Ask the CIA
- Written by Tribune Wires
- Tuesday, 10 April 2018 00:00
Recently, President Duterte said in one of his speaking engagements that if “my plane explodes, ask the CIA,”
referring to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency.
It was one of Rody’s horsing around moments but similar to his usual jokes, behind lies a deeper meaning.
Geopolitical experts, for instance, consider the sudden audacity of Islamic groups in the country which is being encouraged by strong outside forces motivated by adverse developments in the country.
New Zealand-based political analyst Darius Shahtahmasebi traced the links between the Islamic State (IS) and American hegemony.
He said the IS has a long history of traveling to places “the US is vying to bomb.”
He said, for instance, in Syria, the former Obama administration used the pretext of ISIS’ rise to power as a means of gaining back door access to bomb Syrian territory, having previously been denied the opportunity in 2013.
Within Iraq and Syria, the US allowed IS to move from place to place freely, up until it decided the jihadists had landed at a location the US was happy to reclaim for themselves, Shahtahmasebu said.
He said the US granted safe passageway to thousands of IS fighters fleeing Raqqa, Iraq so that they could travel on to Deir ez-Zor, Syria’s most oil rich region.
The US military now refuses to leave Deir ez-Zor, even bombing pro-government forces that get too close for comfort.
He said if the US has any hand in allowing IS to regain and regroup inside the Philippines “as has been the case in Iraq and Syria, we can be sure that the real issue lies with the Philippines’ growing fondness for Russia and China; as well as Duterte’s defiant attitude toward Washington, who even invited the CIA to assassinate him at one point.”
He said Americans were uneasy over the recent presence of three Russian warships, including two anti-submarine vessels which docked in Manila to unload weaponry and military vehicles also donated to the Philippines from Russia.
“These types of developments are a deal-breaker for the United States, that wants a unipolar world in which it can rely on its allies to contain and counter both Russia and China,” he said.
He noted the many indications that IS or the groups that it inspired are looking to renew their armed campaign.
“As is typically the case, wherever IS goes, the US military is not too far behind,” he said.
“Not many people will be aware that aside from the fact that peace prize-laureate Barack Obama was bombing at least seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East at any given time during his presidency. He was secretly drone-bombing the Philippines, as well,” he added.
The US bombing campaign using remote-controlled aircraft was an effective recruitment tool for groups like IS.
Operation Enduring Freedom Philippines, launched not long after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and ended in 2014, was considered the largest US counterterrorism effort in the Pacific theater, he said.
He noted that the Marawi City siege had the US military immediately assisting the country’s authorities in the battle.
“Shockingly enough, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte did not actually expressly authorize America’s renewed involvement in its country, having long signaled a greater desire to turn away from the United States and focus more on rebuilding relationships with rising giants Russia and China,” he said.
He also implied that the military and defense officials are speaking in a different voice with that of Rody’s.
“This paradigm which sees Duterte saying one thing while the Philippines’ military continues to say another can be seen even to the present day.
Not too long ago, the US gifted six Boeing In situ ScanEagle drones to the Philippines (for free), approved via a US grant of over $13 million,” he said. At around the same time, Duterte was making announcements of his own stating that he would not allow Filipino troops to be dragged into any more US-led wars unless there is a direct threat against the Philippines.
The defense department’s and the military’s contradict Duterte’s position that he would prefer any means of battling extremism in his country other than relying on the US military.
He even suggested arming civilians with “high-powered guns” — a strategy far too wild for even someone like Donald Trump, Shahtahmasebi said.
The US government’s sinister moves that Rody raises whenever he is provoked may have a more solid basis than his morbid sense of humor.
ASEANEWS EDITORIAL CARTOONS:
7.1. Ask the CIA – The Daily Tribune
7.2 Transformation at the grassroots – The Manila Bulletin
7.3. The task ahead– The Manila Standard
7.5. Inflation fears– The Philippine Daily Inquirer
Trump’s moves in the Middle East could spell disaster – For The Straits Times
Jonathan Eyal was born in Romania, but has lived most of his life in Britain. Educated at Oxford and London universities, his initial training was in international law and relations, in which he obtained both his first degree and his Master’s with a Distinction. His doctorate, completed at Oxford in 1987, analysed relations between ethnic minorities in Eastern Europe. After teaching at Oxford for three years, Dr Eyal was appointed a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies in London. Since 1990, Dr Eyal has been Director of Studies at the Institute. Dr Eyal has authored books on military relations in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, and became a regular commentator for The Guardian newspaper in London. He started writing for The Straits Times in 2001, and is currently the paper’s Europe Correspondent. He is fluent in French, Romanian, Italian, Hungarian and German.
– For The Straits Times
VEERA PRATEEPCHAIKUL FORMER EDITOR
– The Bangkok Post
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