By Glen Ford
Americans – including, and maybe especially, Black Americans – were upset that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte called President Obama a “son of a whore” at a summit meeting, last week.
But, what would Americans call the head of a country that killed a million of their compatriots, colonized their country for half a century, dominated its affairs for another half century, and then gave lectures on human rights. Son of a what?
“Duterte does not accept being lectured to by the United States, a country with so much Filipino blood on its hands.”
Don’t be surprised if Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte winds up being overthrown or murdered by his own military or national police, acting on behalf of the United States. All most Americans know about President Duterte is that he called President Obama a “son of a whore” – a term Duterte throws around a lot. Duterte later clarified his remarks, saying the object of his anger wasn’t Obama, personally, but “America,” in general. And, that’s quite understandable, because the United States killed as many as one million Filipinos when it colonized the country back in 1898, and still treats the island nation of about 100 million people like a colony. The U.S. holds great influence with the Filipino military, which operates in close collaboration with U.S. Special Forces troops stationed in the country.
Duterte started cursing when he was told that Obama was planning to lecture him at the G-20 Summit meeting in Laos, last week. Duterte does not accept being lectured to by the United States, a country with so much Filipino blood on its hands. Obama, who has ordered the death of tens of thousands in the bombing of six countries, was preparing to criticize Duterte’s policy of killing accused drug dealers on-the-spot, which has so far resulted in about 3,000 deaths. When the Philippines president found out that he was in for a scolding, he exploded:
“You must be kidding,” he said. “Who is he to confront me? America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country … As a matter of fact, we inherited this problem” – meaning, the drug problem – “from the United States. Why? Because they invaded this country and made us their subjugated people … Can I explain the extrajudicial killing? Can they explain the 600,000 Moro massacred in this island?” Duterte was speaking of Mindanao, where he was born.
Americans = No Peace
The U.S. troop presence inflames tensions with the local Muslim population. “The special forces, they have to go,” he said. “They have to go in Mindanao, there are many whites there.”
But, the Black Americans have to go, too. “For as long as we stay with America,” said the Philippine president, “we will never have peace in that land.”
Duterte thinks Obama has some nerve waving his finger about “human rights.”
"Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?" he asked.
Duterte is popular with his people largely because he is not a puppet of the United States. He calls himself a socialist, and has honored an extended cease fire in the nearly 50-year war with communist guerillas. Duterte says he may begin buying weapons from Russia and China, who offer “soft loans” and better terms. He said he will stop allowing joint patrols of Philippine and U.S. naval forces in the South China sea, and will “follow an independent foreign policy.” And, Duterte says his country doesn’t need American F-16 jets and other expensive weapons.
This is more than enough to get him killed, most likely by the Philippines military. But the hit will be commissioned by the United States, which is not about to allow a president of one of its former colonies to stand in the way of America’s “pivot” to Asia and looming confrontation with the China.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.