Dump Duterte — for Starters

By Pat Buchanan

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)-  Alliances are transmission belts of war. So our Founding Fathers taught and the 20th century proved.

When Britain, allied to France, declared war on Germany in 1914, America sat out, until our own ships were being sunk in 1917.

When Britain, allied to France, declared war on Germany, Sept. 3, 1939, we stayed out until Hitler declared war on us, Dec. 11, 1941.

As the other Western powers bled and bankrupted themselves, we emerged relatively unscathed as the world's No. 1 power. The Brits and French lost their empires, and much else, and ceased to be great powers.

Stalin's annexation of Central Europe and acquisition of an atom bomb, and Mao's triumph in China in 1949, caused us to form alliances from Europe to Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Australia.

Yet, with the end of the Cold War, we did not dissolve a single alliance. NATO was expanded to embrace all the nations of the former Warsaw Pact and three former republics of the USSR.

This hubristic folly is at the heart of present tensions with Russia.

Now, Beltway hawks have begun to push the envelope to bring former Soviet republics Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, with some urging us to bring in the Cold War neutrals Sweden and Finland.

Given the resentment of the Russian people toward America, for exploiting their time of weakness after the breakup of the Soviet Union, to drive our alliance onto their front porch, such moves could trigger a conflict that could escalate to nuclear weapons.

Moscow has warned us pointedly and repeatedly about this.

Yet now that the election is almost over, neocons burrowed in their think tanks are emerging to talk up U.S. confrontations with Syria, Russia, Iran and China. Restraining America's War Party may be the first order of business of the next president.

Fortunately, after the Libyan debacle, President Obama has lost any enthusiasm for new wars.

Indeed, he has a narrow window of opportunity to begin to bring our alliances into conformity with our interests — by serving notice that the United States is terminating its 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty with Manila.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is proving himself to be an unstable anti-American autocrat, who should not be entrusted with the power to drag us into war over some rocks or reefs in the South China Sea.

Earlier this year, we got an idea of what a commitment to go to war for a NATO ally might mean when President Tayyip Recep Erdogan, another mercurial autocrat, shot down a Russian plane that strayed over Turkish territory for 17 seconds.

Had Vladimir Putin retaliated in kind, Erdogan could have invoked Article 5 of NATO, requiring us come to Turkey's defense against Russia.

Given how Erdogan has acted since this summer's attempted coup, purging Turkish democratic institutions and imprisoning tens of thousands, do the benefits of our NATO alliance with Ankara still outweigh the risks?

Duterte harbors a lifelong grudge against America for our war of 1899-1902 to crush the Philippine independence movement, after Admiral Dewey sank the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. We liberated the Philippines, only to annex them.

A longtime mayor on Mindanao before being elected president, Duterte is reputedly the godfather of death squads that executed drug dealers and users. Now, the practice has apparently been introduced nationwide.

While campaigning, Duterte said he would Jet Ski 120 miles to Scarborough Shoal, which is occupied by China though it is in Manila's territorial waters. Since then, he has flipped and become outspokenly pro-China.

Before attending a summit in Laos, Duterte called President Obama “the son of a whore.” He has insulted America and canceled joint military exercises. In Beijing he announced a “separation from the United States. … No more American influence. No more American [military] exercises. It's time to say goodbye.”

“I would rather go to Russia and to China,” he added.

President Obama should email President Duterte: “Message received. Accept your decision. Good luck with the Russians and Chinese.”

Would termination of our Mutual Defense Treaty mean severing ties with the Filipino people? By no means.

What it would do, though, is this: restore America's absolute freedom to act or not act militarily in the South China Sea, according to our interests, and not Duterte's whims.

Whether we intervene on Manila's behalf or not, the decision would be ours alone. Terminating the treaty would absolve us of any legal or moral obligation to fight for Scarborough Shoal, Mischief Reef or any of the other rocks in a South China Sea that are now in dispute between Beijing and half a dozen nations.

A U.S. decision to terminate the treaty would also send a wake-up call to every ally:

America's Cold War commitments are not forever. Your security is not more important to us than it is to you. As Donald Trump has been saying, we are starting to put America first again.

On this, maybe even President Obama could find common ground.

 

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 9 thoughts on “Dump Duterte — for Starters

    1. “When Britain, allied to France, declared war on Germany, Sept. 3, 1939, we stayed out until Hitler declared war on us, Dec. 11, 1941.”

      Sorry idiot BUT HITLER/GERMANY invaded POLAND, an ALLY of France and England after “annexing” Austria, and parts/most of Czechoslovakia with his armies; To have NOT declared war against him would have been the HEIGHT of asinine stupidity . You SEEM to forget that Germany had a history of invading neighboring countries starting World War 1. So up your nose with a rubber hose and you too tionico.

    2. About time the long train of abuses by us into every corner of this planet be terminated. WHY do we have such swelled heads as to think the business of all those other nations is OUR business? Has EVERYONE forgotten George Washington’s strong adminition as he left his post as our First President all those years ago? He warned agianst entangling alliances with other nations, and against poking OUR nose into their internal affairs. He advised easy trade relations, but no military.

      What heve we done? Precisely the opposite. Our trade relationships are far from easy or fair or open. And our military entanglements are everywhere. If I were president I’d immediately begin a programme of withdrawing our troops, advisors, supporters, meddlers (INCLUDING our CIA and FBI) from as many nations as possible… working toward all. Id make room for any nation who specifically requests our continuing help to come to the table and discuss.. WHY, on what basis, for how long, and to accomplish specifically what ends? And for what benefit to ourselves.

    3. Just a FYI
      Listen to the speech and you will realize that he never called the president anything. He called the journalist “putang sa” – not Obama. The whole press core twisted it to fit their agenda. In regards to the killing of the drug traffickers. Pay attention to who opens fire first.

    4. Mr. Buchanan:
      Our country is broke. Mainly as a result of these types of interventionist schemes. Let Duterte be Duterte and let Putin be Putin. It’s none of our business and frankly we can’t afford another long drawn out conflict. The Libertarian Frank Chodorov described our likely fate back in 1959:

      “The imperviousness of economic law to political law is shown in this historic fact: in the long run every State collapses, frequently disappears altogether and becomes an archeological curio. Every collapse of which we have sufficient evidence was preceded by the same course of events. The State, in its insatiable lust for power, increasingly intensified its encroachments on the economy of the nation, causing a consequent decline of interest in production, until at long last the subsistence level was reached and not enough above that was produced to maintain the State in the condition to which it had been accustomed. It was not economically able to meet the strain of some immediate circumstance, like war, and succumbed. Preceding that event, the economy of Society, on which State power rests, had deteriorated, and with that deterioration came a letdown in moral and cultural values; men “did not care.” That is, Society collapsed and drew the State down with it. There is no way for the State to avoid this consequence—except, of course, to abandon its interventions in the economic life of the people it controls, which its inherent avarice for power will not let it do. There is no way for politics to protect itself from politics.” – Frank Chodorov, “The Rise and Fall of Society”

    5. I think the poor guy is trying to thread on two different waters to increase his country’s survivability when the shit hits the fan. Talk is different from what he do and this might backfire to him big time.

    6. Rody Duterte is playing the China Card to get the max leverage for the Philippines. Do you blame him, Pat?
      If we can look beyond all the rhetoric and self-interests, maybe D30’s madness make a lot of sense.
      1. His tilt toward China immediately brought down the temperature of South China Sea dispute. Duterte has calmed the winds of war, something his predecessor has overlooked or not willing to consider.
      2. D30’s trip to China has opened the doors for trade, low-interest loans and give hope to rebuild old infrastructures to the tunes of tens of billions dollars. In real world terms, lives will be better for 100 million Pinoys.
      After Hague ruling of SCS dispute, Manila under Benigno Aquino III relations with China has reached a dead end. To access Scarborough Shoal using force is out of the question. Thus the smart play is to break the ice with China. Abraham Lincoln once said, I defeat my enemies by making them my friends. This likely is the case between Manila and Beijing.
      From an American perspective, Philippines re-alignment with China and Russia is a massive Obama failure among other diplomatic endeavors. The future ramifications of the split are still unclear. Hindsight is 20/20.

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