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Duterte Crushes the Obama/Hillary Imperial Pivot to Asia

by Michael Billington
October 2016

A PDF version of this article appears in the October 28, 2016 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is re-published here with permission.

Oct. 24 (EIRNS)—The newly elected President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, in a press conference at the beginning of his visit to China on Oct. 18, described the reasoning behind the transformation of his country’s foreign policy from subservience to U.S. dictates to alignment with China’s New Silk Road concept of win-win development of the world as a whole. (A transcript of portions of Duterte’s remarks is included below.) At the same time, he presented a powerful indictment of Obama, Bush, Tony Blair, and the British Empire for crimes against humanity—an unprecedented and courageous act for a head of state. The truth of his indictment was clearly contained in the indictment itself.

Xinhua/Li Xueren
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (left) holds talks China’s President, Xi Jinping, in Beijing, Oct. 20, 2016.

Obama’s plan for war against Russia and China has been dealt a powerful blow by Duterte’s courage. The threat began with Obama’s “Pivot to Asia,” announced by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011, a plan to militarily encircle China with U.S. nuclear forces, together with an economic isolation of China (the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP). The centerpiece of the policy was to be the transformation of the Philippines into a vast U.S. military base, an “unsinkable aircraft carrier.”

The Philipines was then governed by a puppet of Obama’s Wall Street and British controllers, Noynoy Aquino, the manipulable son of Cory Aquino, whom the United States had placed in office after the successful “regime change” operation against the last nationalist president of the country, Ferdinand Marcos, in 1986. Obama worked out a deal with the young Aquino, called the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), allowing the deployment of U.S. air, land, and sea military forces into bases across the Philippines, with prepositioning of weapons and military materiel, ready for a war on China. The EDCA agreement was implemented illegally, bypassing the Philippine constitutional requirement for Senate approval for such foreign military deployments on Philippine soil.

Obama then orchestrated a phoney “international tribunal,” under the aegis of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, which was no tribunal at all, since China refused to participate in the rigged game. The tribunal, composed of anti-China judges chosen by anti-China interests, refused to follow their own guidelines, ruling that China’s historical rights have no meaning in the new Alice-in-Wonderland world, but that “international law” is determined by those who pick the judges.

But Obama’s dreams of maintaining a unipolar world, with military control over Asia after a probable war with China, have now been dealt a severe blow. Even Wall Street’s Bloomberg News posted a headline on Oct. 23: “The Philippines Just Blew Up the Obama Pivot.”

U.S. Navy/Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Williamson
At Subic Bay, Philippines, Oct. 5, 2016, sailors of the amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay participate in the U.S.-Philippine bilateral exercise PHIBLEX.

As you can see in the transcript, Duterte has turned the tables on Obama. While Obama and his “human rights” mafia are denouncing Duterte for the killing of drug dealers in his ferocious war on the drug cartels—cartels that are killing the youth of his country—even demanding that Duterte be taken to the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity,” Duterte instead indicts the western leaders who have killed hundreds of thousands of innocents in wars against countries which were no threat to the West, from Iraq, to Libya, to Syria today, and even reflecting back on Vietnam, when young Filipino soldiers were also sent to fight and die for a pointless and losing cause in that fellow Southeast Asian nation.

Duterte in China

Duterte’s wildly successful trip to China resulted in an agreement to put aside the issues of sovereignty in the South China Sea, and instead to work out agreements for sharing the natural resources in the region and ensuring the peace and stability necessary to deal with the horrific state of the Philippine people and their failed economy. As mentioned in an editorial in China’s Global Times when Duterte arrived on Oct. 18, 40% of the Philippine people are living in poverty, many of them suffering from hunger. The fishing industry in the Philippines, it said, employs more than 1.6 million people and provides nearly 40% of the protein consumed in the nation. “In this context,” it continued, “many Filipinos equate the right to fish as the right to life.”

Indeed, one of the most contentious issues between China and the Philippines has been over fishing rights in the region of the Scarborough Shoal, a contested area between the two countries. When the Aquino government sent Coast Guard boats to push Chinese fishermen out of the area in 2012, the Chinese responded with their own Coast Guard, and have kept Philippipine fishermen out of the region since that time. Now, the two sides are not only working out joint fishing rights, but China has offered to significantly upgrade the fishing industry in the country.

As to the South China Sea, the two sides signed an agreement for the “establishment of a joint coast guard committee on maritime cooperation,” while Duterte has announced that there will be no further joint patrols of the region with the United States. On the other hand, the Philippines will become a major part of Xi Jinping’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, linking the world’s maritime nations in win-win development projects.

Altogether, Duterte and the Chinese signed 21 agreements, including $13.5 billion in Chinese soft loans and investments in the Philippines. This includes cooperation in the War on Drugs and investments in rail, roads, agriculture, and more.

ASEAN Unified

Beyond the bilateral agreements, Duterte’s rejection of war and confrontation has also facilitated a transformation of the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). For years, the Philippines sabotaged the consensus required by the ASEAN Charter, serving as Obama’s puppet to demand denunciations of China at ASEAN summits. At the last summit in Laos in September—the first attended by President Duterte—ASEAN came together, expressing its united intent to work with China’s Silk Road process, drawing on the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation development plans, and other regional development plans, rejecting confrontation in favor of growth and development.

No to U.S. Policies of War and Poverty

Duterte’s dramatic public declaration has been widely publicized in the West. Speaking in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, he said, “In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States. Not in social matters, but militarily, and in economics also. I have separated from them.” Clearly he meant a separation from Obama’s war and confrontation policy in favor of cooperation with all nations—including the United States, but not in confrontation with others. Economically, he will not reject American investment, but as he makes clear in the transcript below, U.S. investment has been limited to extracting raw materials. The investors have refused to invest a cent in building infrastructure, and that is what the country needs to grow, and which is the core of the offers coming from China.

But Duterte is clearly aware that he has made himself a primary target of the Bush/Obama/British “regime change” imperialism, either by a “color revolution” or by direct assassination or war. His Defense Secretary, Gen. (ret.) Delfin Lorenzana, told the press that in every discussion with his military leaders, Duterte tells them that he may not survive his full term, and that they must continue his uncomprimising war on drugs, crime, terrorism, and subversion.

In the same vein, Duterte’s Social Media Director during his presidential campaign, Pompee La Viña, posted on his Facebook page on Oct. 20 an article written by this author in 2004 in EIR, describing in detail the coup run by the American neocons in 1986, led by George Shultz, to overthrow President Marcos, in one of the first “color revolutions,” making the coup appear to be a “people’s power” revolution. In that case the color was yellow. La Viña wrote in his posting (translated from Tagalog): “The Secret Sin of U.S. to Philippines. No secret stays hidden forever. These documents explain how the U.S. IMF “Economic Hitmen” (global elites) helped the “Yellow Oligarchy” take over our country and resources from 1986 to present. Is Uncle Sam our true ally? Think again.”1

The message is clear. Just as Washington would not allow Marcos to turn the Philippines into a modern nation state—with nuclear power, industrialization, self-sufficiency in food, and friendly relations with China—so it will also try to stop Duterte.

War Danger

Obama is further exposed and weakened by Duterte’s courageous moves, but, as Lyndon LaROuche has emphasized, Obama is all the more dangerous, since his last resort is war.

Indeed, Obama’s maniacal Defense Secretary “Nuclear Ash” Carter, meeting in Washington with his South Korean counterpart, according to Voice of America, declared that “the United States is considering the permanent deployment at its bases in South Korea of B-1B and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers, F-22 Stealth fighter jets, and nuclear-powered submarines.” It is widely recognized that such mass overkill, like the deployment of THAAD missiles to South Korea, has no purpose whatsoever against North Korea, but is aimed at China and the Russian Far East.

Stopping such a scenario of doomsday for mankind requires the courage of every citizen of the United States and of the world to stand up against the mad oligarchs in London and Washington, as demonstrated by the “outsider” Duterte, elected President of the Philippines by a population that has finally seen enough of poverty, hunger, drugs, terrorism, and war under U.S. tutelage. The alternative is before us all, in the new paradigm posed by China, Russia, India, and most of the developing nations, who have joined in the “New Silk Road” concept of global development for the common aims of mankind.


1. See Mike Billington, “Shultz and the ‘Hit Men’ Destroyed the Philippines,” Executive Intelligence Review, Dec. 24, 2004.