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Will They Try to Kill Duterte?

by Andre Vltchek, October 18, 2016, via New Eastern Outlook

Rodrigo Duterte, the outspoken President of the Philippines has by now, most likely, joined the concealed, prestigious and permanent hit list of the Empire.

The hit list is very long; it has already been long for several decades. One could easily lose count and get confused: how many personalities have been marked and secretly condemned to death? How many of them actually died?

It reads like a catalogue of illustrious world leaders: from Patrice Lumumba (Zaire), Mohammad Mosaddegh (Iran), Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Sukarno (Indonesia), Juvénal Habyarimana (Rwanda), Salvador Allende (Chile) to Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Al-Basheer (Sudan) and Fidel Castro (Cuba), to name just a very few.

Some were directly assassinated; others were ‘only’ toppled, while only a handful of ‘marked’ leaders actually managed to survive and to stay in power.

There were several grave crimes committed by almost all of them, very similar crimes. They include: defending the vital interests of their nations and people, refusing to allow the unbridled plunder of natural resources by multinational corporations, and standing against the principles of imperialism. Simple criticism of the Empire has also been often punishable by death.

Mr. Duterte is committing all those horrid crimes, which have been mentioned above. He seems to be ‘guilty as charged’. He is denying nothing; he even appears to be proud of the charges that are being brought against him.

‘Is he bored with his life?’ some are asking. ‘Is he out of his mind? Is he ready to die?’

Is he a hero, a new Asian Hugo Chavez, or just an out of control populist?

He is definitely risking a lot, or maybe he is even risking absolutely everything. He is now committing the most unforgivable sins in the eyes of the Western regime: he is openly insulting the Empire and its institutions (including the UN, NATO and the EU). He is even spitting in their faces!

‘To make it worse’, he is not only chatting; he is taking decisive actions! He is trying to help the poor in his country, he is flirting with the Communist Party and with the socialists, and on top of it he is basically asking both China and Russia for assistance.

The sparks are flying. Periodically such people and institutions like Obama, Pope, the US, the EU, and the UN get advised to go to hell, or are re-Christened as son-of-a-bitches or son-of-a-whores!

And the people of the Philippines absolutely love it. Duterte won elections with tiny margins, but his latest approval rating towers at an astounding 76%. Some would therefore argue that if ‘democracy’ is truly the ‘rule of the people’ (or at least it should be reflecting the will of the people), then all is exactly as it should be in the Philippines.

***

While Eduardo Climaco Tadem, Professorial Lecturer of Asian Studies (University of the Philippines Diliman), is critical of Duterte’s ‘un-presidential’ speech writing and for him “scoring negatively on the issue of civil and political human rights”, he is clearly impressed by his achievements in several other spheres. As he recently wrote to me in a letter:

“Positive initiatives on other fronts have been taken. The appointment of Communist Party cadres to cabinet positions for agrarian reform, social work and development, and anti-poverty programs is good. Other left wing and progressive personalities occupy other cabinet positions in labor, education, health, science, and environment. More important, positive initiatives have been taken on moving land distribution forward, ending labor contractualization, reaching out to and learning from Cuba’s health programs, and curtailing the environmentally destructive operations by big mining corporations. Moreover, peace negotiations with both the CPP and the MILF/MNLF have been revived with initial steps that are looking good.

An independent foreign policy has been announced and Duterte no longer kowtows to the US and Western powers, unlike previous presidents before him. He is also mending fences with China and taking a different and less belligerent track in resolving the territorial disputes in the South China Sea…”

That is all ‘bad’, extremely bad as far as Washington, London and Tokyo are concerned. Such behavior never goes unnoticed and unpunished!

The response of the Empire came almost immediately this time.

On September 20, 2016, the International Business Times reported:

“The Philippines government has claimed that a coup d’état is being masterminded against President Rodrigo Duterte and said the administration is cracking down on the suspected plotters. A government spokesperson said some Filipino-Americans in New York are planning to oust the abrasive leader.

Without revealing the names of the suspected plotters or their plans, the Philippines government Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said those conspiring against Duterte should “think twice… ‘I have received information from credible sources in the United States. Yes, we have names but I don’t want to mention it. We are looking [at] it seriously. We are investigating it,’” said the senior government official.”

The coups, the assassination plots. Soft coups, hard coups: Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Paraguay, Honduras, and Sudan, half of Africa… All in just the few last years…and now the Philippines? Bravo, the Empire is accelerating! The work ethic of its cutthroats is clearly improving.

***

President Duterte has it all figured out.  As mentioned above, he has already defined President Obama as a ‘son-of-a-bitch’, ‘son-of-a-whore’, and recently suggested that ‘he goes to hell’.

That is even tougher than what President Hugo Chavez used to say about George W. Bush, also known as “Señor W”. And President Chavez, according to many Latin American analysts, ended up paying for his openness, antagonism towards the Empire and imperialism in general, with his own life.

The truth is that the Empire never forgives those who show it a mirror. It kills mercilessly for the tiniest signs of disobedience, rebelliousness. Its propaganda apparatus and its right hand – the mass media – then always manage to craft a suitable explanation and justification. And the public in both North America and Europe is fully complacent, indoctrinated and passive; it only defends its own narrow interests, never the victim, especially if the victim is from some far-away country inhabited by ‘un-people’.

The great Indonesian President Sukarno was overthrown and destroyed (among other things) for shouting publicly at the US ambassador: “To hell with your aid!” …And of course, for defending the interests of his people against the Empire. Patrice Lumumba was assassinated for daring to say that Africans have no reason to be grateful to the colonizers.
Duterte says much more. He is bitter and he has countless reasons to be. The United States murdered more than one million Philippine people, most of them at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th Century. In recent history, it has turned this once proud and promising nation into a doormat, into a humiliated semi-colony, fully dependent on Washington’s whims. Capitalist and totally pro-American, the Philippines has evolved, like Indonesia, into a ‘failed state’, a social disaster and an intellectual wasteland.

***

President Duterte has managed to put in place a determined cabinet of like-minded thinking intellectuals and bureaucrats.

As RT reported recently:

“Duterte’s foreign secretary, Perfecto Yasay, who has at times tried to downplay his boss’s comments, released a statement on Facebook titled “America has failed us” in which he says that, while there are many “countless things that we will be forever grateful to America for,” the US has never fully respected Philippine independence.”

After proclaiming in July 4, 1946 that the Filipinos had been adequately trained for self-determination and governance, the United States held on to invisible chains that reined us in towards dependency and submission as little brown brothers not capable of true independence and freedom,” the FM said in the statement.”

Such statements very rarely appear in the pages of Western mainstream media publications, where Duterte and his cabinet are uninterruptedly demonized and ridiculed.

This is how the latest headlines on the Philippines read:

Drug-dealing daughter of playboy baron Antony Moynihan is shot dead in the Philippines’ Daily Mail

The president of Philippines has been accused of feeding a man alive to a crocodile The Journal.ie via Yahoo UK & Ireland News

Special Report – in Duterte’s war on drugs, local residents help draw up hit list Reuters

‘Duterte killed justice official, hitman tells Philippine senate AFP

Nothing about the fight for social justice!   Nothing about the battle against Western imperialism.

The war on drugs…

Yes, many people in the Philippines are genuinely concerned that the ‘bodies are piling’ and the approach of this government could be defined as too heavy-handed, even intolerable.

But the situation is not that simple. This is not Europe. This is Asia with its own culture dynamics and problems. In Philippines, the crime rate has reached grotesque heights, unseen almost anywhere else in Asia Pacific. Much of the criminality is related to drugs. And people are genuinely fed-up. They demand decisive action.

For many years, Mr. Duterte used to serve as the Mayor of Davao, a city on the island of Mindanao. Davao used to be synonymous with delinquency; a tough place to live and many say, almost impossible place to govern.

Mr Duterte is honest. He openly admits that he could not have lasted long as a mayor of Davao, if he ‘was following the 10 Commandments’. Perhaps no one could.

He is extremely sensitive to criticism of his human rights record. Whether it comes from the UN or EU or the US, his reply is mostly defiant and consistent: “Fuck you!”

And that is what usually gets reported in the West.

But what is omitted is that Rodrigo Duterte usually continues, explaining:

You tell me about human rights? What about those millions you are killing all over the world, including recently in Iraq, Libya and Syria? What about the Filipino people that you had slayed? And what about your own people, African-Americans who are being slaughtered by police, every day?

He does not hide his deep allergy towards Western hypocrisy. For centuries, the United States and Europe have been killing millions, plundering entire continents, and then they reserve the right to judge, criticize and boss around others. Directly, or through institutions they control, like the United Nations. Again, his reply is clearly Sukarno-esque: “To hell with you! To hell with your aid!”

But you will not read this on the pages of the The New York Times or The Economist. There it is all about the ‘war on drugs’, about the ‘innocent victims’ and of course about the ‘strongman’ Duterte.

***

The situation is evolving rapidly.

Recently, President Duterte ordered a halt to a military drill, dubbed as the ‘Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise’ (Phiblex). It began on 4th October and was scheduled to run for more than one week. Around 1,400 Americans and 500 Filipino troops are involved in the war games, some dangerously close to the waters near the disputed islands in South China Sea.

According to several leading Filipino intellectuals, the US has been using the Philippines for its aggressive imperialist ambitions in the region, consistently antagonizing and provoking China.

Duterte’s government is determined to move much closer to China and away from the West. It is very likely that the Philippines and China will be able to resolve all disagreements in the foreseeable future. That is, if the US will be out, kept permanently at bay.

To demonstrate its goodwill towards China, and to show its new independent course, Manila is also planning to cancel all 28 annual military exercises with the United States.

President Duterte knows perfectly well what is at stake. To mark his 100 days in office, he has given several fiery speeches, acknowledging that the West may try to remove him from the office, even kill him:

You want to oust me? You want to use the CIA? Go ahead… Be my guest. I don’t give a shit! I’ll be ousted? Fine. (If so) it’s part of my destiny. Destiny carries so many things. If I die, that’s part of my destiny. Presidents get assassinated.”

They do. They often do get assassinated.

But recently, one after another, countries all over the world are joining the anti-imperialist coalition. Some are prevailing; others get destabilized (like Brazil), economically devastated (like Venezuela) or fully destroyed (like Syria). All defiant nations, from Russia to China, the DPRK and Iran are demonized by Western propaganda and its mass media.

But it seems that the world has had enough. The Empire is crumbling; it is panicking. It is killing more and more, but it is not winning.

Are Filipinos joining this alliance? After only 100 days in the office, it seems that President Duterte has made up his mind: No more servitude! No coming back!

Is he going to survive? Is he going to stay on his course?

How tough is he, really? One has to have nerves of steel to confront the Empire! One has to have at least nine lives to survive the countless intricate assassination plots, elaborate propaganda schemes, and trickeries. Is he ready for all this? It appears that he is.

The elites of his country have fully sold out to the West; the same as those of Indonesia and to a great extent, Thailand and Malaysia.

It will be an uphill struggle. It already is.

But the majority of his nation is behind him. For the first time in modern history, Filipino people may have a chance to take control over their own destiny, in their own hands.

And if the West does not like what is pouring out from Manila? President Duterte doesn’t care. He has declared that he has already prepared plenty of counter-questions. And if the West cannot answer them:

If they are unable to answer, son of a whore, go home, you animal. I will kick you now. Do not piss me off. It cannot be that they are brighter than me, believe me!

Most likely, they are not; they are not brighter than him. But they are definitely more ruthless, more brutal.

What are they accusing him of? Of a ‘war on drugs’, that has taken around 3,000 lives?

How many lives has the West (or those ‘son-of-whores’, as many would call it these days in the Philippines) taken after the end of WWII, all over the world? Is it 40 or 50 million? Depends how it is calculated: ‘directly’ or ‘indirectly’.

The Empire will almost certainly try to murder President Duterte, most likely soon, very soon.

In order to survive, to keep on going, to keep fighting, to defend his battered and exploited country, he will most definitely have to permanently forget all about the 10 Commandments.


Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

37 Comments

  1. David says

    I’m just leaving a warning to the world. If you don’t shut this low IQ shot ugly punk up there are people out there like myself who will do so. I will be happy to kill this sissy for a man, and I advocate we kill all the Filipinos who agree with his policies as well…….David

    Like

    • Juan Tigas says

      We dare you to David! Show us what a man you are by trying to it e-thug! You will be going home in a body bag before you get within a mile of Duterte! So you are better off staying away from this country as you and your paymasters (we know who they are) will be declared persona-non-grata!

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  2. “The truth is that the Empire never forgives those who show it a mirror.” Correct. And what’s astonishing, and utterly perverted, here is that the Empire itself stands in front of a mirror, loving itself and itself only. You can observe the empire observing itself – indeed, That is the glory it craves – but you can’t do anything to thwart it. When people oppose lawlessness and destruction, that’s opposition that must be opposed. But it’s never completely unwelcome. Glory that is unseen isn’t glory.

    Like

  3. Here is an interesting assessment of Duterte’s first 100 days in office — the so-so, the really bad, and the rather ugly:

    Philippine Communist Party (PKP-1939) – Assessment of the first 100 days of the Duterte administration

    But according to the PKP, there really is an upside to be acknowledged even if at the end of the day Duterte is no socialist:

    Despite all his faults, Duterte is the first president to ever call for an end to the US military presence in our country, for an end to US war games in our territory, for an end to our military alliance with (and dependence upon) the USA, and for an end to our mendicant foreign policy. He is the only president to ever expose and attack the historical injustice committed against our people by US imperialism, and the only president to ever expose and attack the hypocrisy of the catholic church and its leaders.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Steady on, folks! Rodrigo Duterte at least has a history of being Mayor of Davao City in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, which might be on the front-line of SE Asia’s drug wars and Islamic terrorism – which I understand Israel is keen to flog; anyone remember that incident some years ago in which a supposed al Qa’ida terror cell somewhere in Mindanao turned out to be an Israeli creation?

    So at least Duterte has experience of running a large city in a neglected and underprivileged region of the country which, when you think about it, puts him in a better position to understand the needs of the Filipino people than if they had voted for yet another representative of the Manila-based political elite. This in itself is a significant break in the usual pattern of Philippines politics: that someone outside the political establishment has come to power and the US does not know how to deal with him and the people he brings with him to Manila.

    As Barry Desker at the Eurasia Review puts it:

    “… Duterte will act differently from his Philippine predecessors. But there is a need for a more layered understanding of the man and his policies. He is the first Philippine President who is not from the traditional land-owning elite, which has dominated the critical centres of power in the capital Manila since independence. His base is in Davao City in the traditionally neglected Southern Philippines and he claimed that he will continue to stay in Davao, commuting daily by commercial aircraft, until he is comfortable in Manila. To stress this point, he was in Davao when he was officially proclaimed by a joint session of the Philippine Congress on 30 May as the winner of the election and the next President.

    His election signals a shift away from Manila-centred politics and an effort to reach out to hitherto marginalised sectors of Philippine society. His speeches and public comments are in English rather than Tagalog, the lingua franca of Greater Manila, which has been promoted throughout the archipelago as the national language. He has emphasised his links with Mindanao and several of his cabinet appointments hail from the region …”

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/15062016-president-duterte-a-different-philippine-leader-analysis/

    The entire article is worth reading to see Duterte’s agenda of decentralising power away from Manila to the provinces and his goal of changing the country’s political system to a federal-parliamentary system. This surely will baffle the US government.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. deschutes says

    I typed up a lengthy post here, spent some time on it, then clicked the ‘post comment’ button, and <POOF!>–it vaporized 😦 ….frustrating 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Deschutes,

      Next time try this: after it goes POOF!, navigate back to the previous page (since the browser paginates ‘forward,’ so to speak, after hitting the “POST COMMENT” thingy), find the comment box, and guess what? Your comment should still be there in its entirety. You then have a couple of choices: you can “Ctrl + a” & “Ctrl + c,” and then paste that content in a word document, where you can save it for later use or a subsequent attempt to post or for further editing; or you can try posting it again immediately. If you were posting it as a reply to someone else’s comment, just find that comment again and hit the reply widget beneath that comment. The reply box with your comment will automagically re-appear where you first intended, and then hit the “POST COMMENT” widget. Hope that helps to avoid future frustrations.

      Liked by 1 person

    • rivelle says

      Actually a simpler option than the one offered below is to write out comments in Micro-word and then copy and paste.

      There are quite of number of hazards when using various internet connections and sites.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Herr Ringbone says

    You have no evidence that I am a reactionary. But we have your comments.

    Seriously. The other place. They love people like you.

    Like

    • deschutes says

      Why don’t you try to grow up and act like an adult instead of insulting him? He’s made many excellent points. You on the other hand? Only adolescent insults.

      Like

    • Jacques says

      You didn’t address a thing I said: just reacted automatically with patronizing ad hominem drivel. You tell me to get lost- call me a shill? Pff.

      Like

  7. deschutes says

    Vltcheck actually defends Dutarte and portrays him here as some hero against US imperialism, LOL! Dutarte is an idiot: don’t believe me, go and watch any of a wide variety of YouTube videos of him speaking. He never says anything of intelligence–only wandering, angry diatribes and rants. Even his facial expression belies a density, or stupidity. He plays this schtick of being the macho man fighting a ‘war on drugs’ who has vigilante death squads wander the Philippines killing anybody they allege does drugs, or sells drugs? Thousands have been killed with no due process, no trial, nothing: and Vltchek admires this guy, and actually compares him to Chavez? LOL! This only reveals how utterly lost Vltchek is. I see nothing to like or respect about Duterte. A hot-headed windbag with a foul, insulting mouth who spews insults to get more media attention: what’s to like about that? Nothing. What’s more, in one of his more recent tirades he compared Hitler killing Jews to his killing drug dealers! Nice comparison, huh? Maybe this is why Vltchek likes Duterte so much. And how can anybody defend Duterte’s death squads, which go on witch hunts for drug doers or drug dealers and kill them in cold blood? Where is the outcry against this? Imagine how many innocent people have been falsely accused and killed by Duterte’s death squads? But Vltchek thinks this is okay, you see, ‘they have a different culture over there blah blah blah’. What utter rubbish. There is absolutely nothing good about Duterte. Maybe Vltchek likes Duterte so much because they both have one thing in common: they are both a bit unhinged and prone to violent outbursts.

    Like

    • rivelle says

      I absolutely concur with your assessment of the despicable and damnable Duterte.

      In no way can he be compared with the admirable but unfortunate Sukarno.

      What remains of value in the above article however is the view it offers of the wider Filipino context. Such issues as land reform and national autonomy and protection from the predations of the IMF are still pressing matters.

      The Philippines does also need good relations with China. That episode with the South China Sea dispute was actually quite dexterously well-played.

      They need the money which comes from Chinese investment. Whether or not they can avoid the sorry spectacle of China replacing the USA as the next neo-colonial power is another matter.

      An obsessive focus on Duterte misses all this. He is not the first nor will he be the last of the tragedy that human history is subjected to the contingency of bad luck and circumstance.

      Like

  8. Herr Ringbone says

    Jacques, this is Off Guardian. If you want to shill for the powers that be, you can go to the other place.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jaques says

    Um- if the CIA did kill Duterte I for one wouldn’t shed a tear for him. And NO I am not saying I support eh CIA death squads…

    He is a murderous little thug. Just because he opposes Western hegemony- does not mean he is ‘the good guy’. I have friends with family in the Philippines and they already have personally experienced the unprecedented wave of police brutality, criminality and corruption that Duterte has unleashed. Just the other day he boasted that he would “be happy to kill 3 million”. And your argument that somehow in Asia the standards of human rights and due process may not apply- is not only racist- it’s downright dangerous. A decade ago Thailand tried a similar experiment of extra judicial killings of alleged ‘drug criminals’ with the same death squads and bodies in the streets that we see today in the Philippines. It made absolutely no difference to Thailand’s drug problems- which are worse then ever- and today- just like in America: Thailand’s jails are bursting at the seams with drug criminals.

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    • deschutes says

      You’re absolutely right. Duterte is a horrible person for all of the reasons you lay out. The author is totally wrong about him. Bragging about having death squads that go around killing anybody they accuse of doing drugs or selling drugs? Absolutely horrible. He comes across as an angry, stupid little man with a foul mouth.

      Like

        • Jaques says

          There are sociopathic egomaniac scum in every country. No one nation has a monopoly on evil. It’s called ‘the human condition’. Hillary, trump, duterte, Mugabe, Kim, Putin, Assad and so on.

          Like

      • diliingonnato says

        You never been to philippines and you’ll never will. Try to study our culture first and then you conclude.” deschutes” , seems to me that name had roots in our place.. hmmm somethings fishy.. Keep well 🙂

        Try to read any article about Lapu-lapu, Heneral Luna and or start reading about Visayan People.

        Like

  10. THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES. Pax -Americana is on the way out. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Over extended over rated and soon to be economically bankrupt. It is already morally and intellectually bankrupt

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  11. Duterte should be very careful; the CIA have weaponised Cancer since the 1960`s and used it to remove Chavez. Duterte has Really declared a War On Drugs. This has killed a profitable market for CIA Afghan Heroin and Mexican Cocaine and Methamphetamines.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh my….some of the dark money cashflow has been cut back. Too bad for the CIA..and the rest of the rats. Most everyone knows about the Iran-Contra scheme. Drug sales enmass bring in a LOT of cash.

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    • jaques says

      Garbage: the US has had a ‘War on Drugs’ for decades now and all it has done is make the market for drugs explode. Duterte has not and will not stop the drug trade in the Philippines. Bank on that. Furthermore I strongly suspect the vast majority of drugs sold in the Philippines are manufactured right there in Asia- not Mexico or Afghanistan. He will however oversee a regime of extra judicial death squads that has and will murder many innocent people brutally. Just because he has talked dirty at Washington does not make him a good guy. He is a filthy little murderous bastard. I hope he chokes to death on a chicken bone today.

      Like

      • flybow says

        Never heard that about the contra cocaine for weapons deal then. The contras were selling tons, literally tons on cocaine in the US,. With the full cooperation of the CIA ,FBI, and the DEA.

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        • Jacques says

          Yes I have heard about Iran contra, mena arkensaw, Barry seal, George bush, Oliver north, the cocaine planes, Florida, the CIA- heroin in body bags from Vietnam, the pushing of crack cocaine into black neighborhoods- the fbi’s subversion of the black panthers, the testimony of Michael Ruppert about the corruption of the LAPd and the DEA- – and much more besides. WTF has any of that got to do with duterte???

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          • To my mind, any ‘mafia’ that helps to weaken the other larger, more murderous, because by far and away more dominant ‘mafia,’ is helping — whether it knows it or not, whether it wants to or not — to move things in a more ‘positive’ direction.

            Yes, Duterte is as repugnant as any of the other psychopaths, but if he manages to help to weaken the stranglehold of the West over Asia, then that objectively creates an opening toward a better possible future than any one that currently exists under Western rule. After all, innocent people are currently and as always being murdered in their tens of thousands all over the world by the Zionist-Anglo-American Empire. Whatever helps to destabilize that particular alliance, therefore, by whatever means, actually works in favor of creating opportunities, however meager, for a more and not less humane future.

            Mass murder under the current system of tyranny is the status quo, whether you like it or not, it is very much the rule rather than the exception. Under such circumstances, there is no way forward but that will of necessity require having, as Duterte and Vltcheck put it, most definitely “to permanently forget all about the 10 Commandments.”

            War, as a quasi-universal condition of life, as things actually are for most everybody, spares and exempts no one. As Brecht once put it:

            For we knew only too well:
            Even the hatred of squalor
            Makes the brow grow stern.
            Even anger against injustice
            Makes the voice grow harsh. Alas, we
            Who wished to lay the foundations of kindness
            Could not ourselves be kind.

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            • Jaques says

              My enemies enemy is my friend? Is that how it goes?

              With respect I disagree completely. Two wrongs don’t make a right- and in fact- for the last 65 years or more the US has relied heavily on despotic leadership both in its client states and amongst its enemies. Idiots like Duterte corrupt and weaken the states they run- they waste their energies fighting neighbors, their economies are ripe for exploitation, they are easily demonized in the foreign media. They are easily blackmailed, contained, controlled. The US loves third world dictators- whether they are friends or foes. Divide and conquer.

              Dictators are perfect for creating ‘crisis’ for which the US can offer ‘solutions’. Just think of Saddam, Gadaffi, Noriega, Mulla Omar, Assad- etc.

              The death squads of Duterte will do nothing to weaken US hegemony in SE Asia. It will kill many poor Filipino people- and weaken the the country leaving it open to exploitation from both China and the US. That’s unconscionable.

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              • No, my enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my friend. But when the whole world is drowning in blood, circumstances often dictate nothing but dilemmatic choices. Even choosing to remain on the ethical high ground willy-nilly translates into life-and-death consequences.

                Think about what is going down in Syria, and in particular, in East Aleppo, as but one example of a possible hundred or even a thousand. The mercenaries, all of whom are Muslim Brotherhood types and backed by the Western Europe and America, are steadfast in their determination to overthrow the secular Baathists at any cost, and then if they have their way, are actually set upon cleansing Syria of anyone not sufficiently Sunni or Wahhabi. Should Assad and the SAA and their Russian allies (who openly admit to being in this fight only to serve their own political and economic interests) refrain from putting East Aleppo under siege and laying it to waste because they know that in doing so innocent people, even children, will die? No one who is morally sane wants it. But anyone who is sane also knows that inaction will most certainly bring an ensuing bloodbath and tyranny many times worse than will likely result if decisive (albeit yet uncertain) action — as morally reprehensible as it absolutely is — is undertaken before it is too late. Life is messy. It is ugly. But some choices really are and nevertheless remain, objectively speaking, less reprehensible than others even as they in no way absolve anyone of actual crimes.

                True, “the US has relied heavily on despotic leadership both in its client states and amongst its enemies.” The U.S. establishment is itself a ruthlessly despotic regime, both in its foreign and domestic policies. It likes to pretend that it’s not and does a good job of persuading most of its citizens of that, but it most certainly is despotic, and that becomes completely transparent when, as you observe, anyone takes the time to note the nature of the dictatorial compradores it shores up abroad and with whom it allies. But you nevertheless talk, in spite of this admission, as if, were it only ethical and upright leaders to come to power in third world countries, undermining Western hegemony would be easier.

                Perhaps that might be the case, in local terms, if that leadership were legitimate in the eyes of the population in whose behalf it claims to rule. For it’s always better to be in favor among the masses if one is trying to lead them into defiance or resistance.

                From the standpoint of the Western elites, however, it does not matter how upright or murderous the leadership of another nation may be. If it resists the designs and interests of Western capital, it will be remorselessly demonized in the Western press; and by that very token, if it accommodates Western capital, permitting its people and resources to be plundered at will by the corporations of Europe, the United States and Japan, then from the standpoint of that Triad, that government or ‘regime’ will simply be placed beyond criticism and characterized as deserving of the highest honor and esteem, regardless of its actual humaneness or savagery.

                The Western press and the system of oppression and exploitation that it serves are not animated by the same moral calculus that animates your spirit, Jacques — as you know all too well.

                I also find it somewhat interesting that you would lump Gadaffi and Assad with the likes of Noriega and Mulla Omar.

                In connection with Assad, did you ever get a chance to read Stephen Gowans’ piece: “The Revolutionary Distemper in Syria That Wasn’t? I know that Gowans has also written a few correctives on the topic of Libya.

                But a piece that I thought worth reading in counterpoint to the standardized demonization of Gadaffi is this one by ‘The Burning Blogger of Bedlam:’ ‘THE LIBYA CONSPIRACY’ – Free, Exclusive Book Download For All Readers…

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            • Jaques says

              Oh- and I’d love to hear Brecht’s assessment if the character and worth of a Duterte. I’m gonna make a guess: it wouldn’t be flattering.

              “Society cannot share a common communication system so long as it is split into warring factions.” Brecht

              Divide- Conquer.

              A useful idiot for foreign powers- a great threat to the welfare of the Filipino people:

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              • Brecth, I think, makes a distinction between the ‘violence’ of the oppressor and that of the oppressed against the oppressor. They are not morally equivalent although most certainly equally brutal.

                I don’t think it’s at all obvious where Bretch would stand with respect to Duterte.

                As for “a common system of communication,” Bretch knows it is an impossibility under capitalism, and that capitalism cannot be upended without recourse to what even he himself deplore, but nevertheless accepted as inevitable, namely, violence.

                Peace doesn’t necessarily imply justice, nor dose striving for the latter necessarily imply upholding the former, though one might hope for as much.

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