Aletho News


Harris’ visit to Palawan could instigate China into boosting Spratly Island defences

By Ahmed Adel | November 18, 2022

The US is preparing for Vice President Kamala Harris to visit the Palawan Islands in the Philippines, located near the disputed areas in the South China Sea. Her visit to the archipelago is part of Washington’s wider strategy of containing China but will likely trigger Beijing to respond, which could include the strengthening of Chinese defences in the Spratly Islands.

A senior US official said that Vice President Kamala Harris will visit the Palawan Islands to show Washington’s “commitment to stand with our Philippine ally in upholding the rules-based international maritime order in the South China Sea, supporting maritime livelihoods, and countering illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing.”

Harris’ visit to Palawan is scheduled for November 22. With this visit, she will become the highest-ranking US official to visit the chain of islands adjacent to the Spratly islands, parts of which are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The Vice President is also expected during her visit to inspect the Antonio Bautista Air Force Base. One of the base’s facilities is under construction as part of a military cooperation agreement between the US and the Philippines. The Philippine military command is located at the air base and is responsible for overseeing security and patrolling in the Palawan archipelago.

By Harris visiting this geographically sensitive area, the US is drawing international attention to the South China Sea issue and shows support for the Philippines, a Philippines which until recent times was fostering closer relations with China.

After a face-to-face meeting in Bali between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden, which was aimed at de-escalating tensions, Harris’ trip could backfire efforts already made. Coupled with Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Harris’ visit is undoubtedly a demonstration of the trend in US policy to contain China.

It is possible that Harris’ visit is also part of the US response to the security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands. The Americans are increasing their presence in the region and may be signalling to China to give up its ambitions. Beijing will not capitulate to such a demand and could in fact respond by deploying more modern weapons on the Spratly Islands.

Since the beginning of this year, the Philippines has had to deal with many problems. The conflict in Ukraine has caused energy and food prices to sharply rise. In addition, the Philippines is struggling to cope with the consequences of the pandemic. Therefore, renewed tensions with China in the South China Sea may not be something the Filipinos want to deal with at the moment, but it could serve as a unifying factor across the country.

In addition, at his meeting with Xi Jinping, Biden said that he has no intention of containing China. At the same time, a US visit to Palawan gives clear intentions and is an action louder than any words Biden can sprout.

The recent meetings in Phnom Penh between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and ASEAN partners, as well as the results of the ASEAN summit, show progress in finding a consensus on the South China Sea issue. All parties expressed their wish to ensure stability in the region to resolve the South China Sea issue without interference from outside parties. This positive dynamic in diplomacy lessens the reasons for regional states to oppose China, something which Washington opposes.

If the parties make real progress in negotiating the disputed issues in the South China Sea, then Washington will not be able to leverage this issue to pressure China and unite regional states. If a compromise is reached on a bilateral or multilateral basis that satisfies all involved parties to the dispute, this lessens US influence in the region.

It is no coincidence that Washington is hurrying to strengthen its military ties with its allies in the region and is supporting this process in every way possible. Manila announced on November 15 that Washington would spend $66.5 million to upgrade three military bases in the country. Accordingly, training facilities and warehouses will be built at the bases as noted in the 2014 security cooperation agreement.

As Reuters noted, the US and Philippines have a 70-year-old Mutual Defence Treaty and their respective militaries participate in dozens of joint training exercises each year, ranging from live fire and amphibious assaults to humanitarian missions and counter-terrorism drills. In this way, the US is leveraging its military as a source of influence in the Philippines, but for decision makers in Manila, the path of diplomacy is preferred, even if Harris will attempt to suggest otherwise during her visit to Palawan.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

November 18, 2022 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 2 Comments

Treachery by US Army Generals in World War II

Tales of the American Empire | September 30, 2021

The performance of some US Army Generals in the Philippines at the beginning of World War II was atrocious. The conquest of the Philippines by Japan was the worst major military defeat in United States history. After just four months of fighting, over 23,000 American military personnel were killed or captured, while embedded Filipino soldiers killed or captured totaled over 100,000. The soldiers fought well, but the overall defense plan was horribly incompetent resulting in a rapid defeat by a smaller Japanese force. Three important incidents demonstrated treachery by US Army Generals: 1) General MacArthur sacrificed his aircraft. 2) Fort Wint was abandoned. 3) General Sharp committed treason.


Related Tale: “The American Empire’s Disastrous Defeat in 1942”;…

“The Fall of the Philippines”; Louis Morton; US Army History Center; 1953;…

“Subic Bay and Fort Wint”; Charles Bogart;;…

October 3, 2021 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

The Fake War on Terror in the Philippines

Tales of the American Empire | January 7, 2021

Americans see corporate media stories about Muslim terrorism in the Philippines. This peaceful nation was declared a terrorist battleground by American President George Bush many years ago. A few hundred US troops are quietly based there to assist, but this war on terror is fake. Evidence suggests that the America CIA is responsible for some of the few random bombings each year used to justify an American presence. The Philippine army needs no help, and some terror attacks are the result of false flag operations to justify American aid. Ending America’s fake war on terror in the Philippines would improve relations, save money, curtail corruption, and lessen the violence.


“Why CIA Created the Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines”; Geopolitics; October 29, 2016;…

“Osama Bin Laden in the Philippines”; Aangirfan; March 1, 2010;…

“Oakwood Mutiny”; Wikipedia;…

“Meiring, murder, subversion, and treason: Duterte’s beef with US”; Asia Times; May 20, 2016;…

“Report: Multiyear counterterror operation has failed to dislodge extremists from Philippines”; Seth Robson; Stars and Stripes; August 17, 2020;…

Related tale: “The American Conquest of the Philippines”;…

January 13, 2021 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

US failed to turn the Philippines against China despite maritime demarcation issues

By Paul Antonopoulos | October 21, 2020

Cooperation between China and the Philippines could easily be hindered by U.S. interference in territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Washington wants to exploit Chinese-Filipino contentions in their demarcation claims over the South China Sea in an attempt to pressurize and contain China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia. However, despite Washington’s desire to steer the Philippines away from China, the two countries are currently negotiating joint oil and gas exploitation in the South China Sea and the Philippines’ energy urgency could be a powerful driver for the two sides to finally reach an agreement.

Forum Ltd., a subsidiary of one of the leading energy groups in the Philippines – PXP Energy Group, is negotiating with the China Offshore Oil and Gas Corporation (CNOOC). According to Reuters, PXP said that the parties have not reached an agreement yet. Although an agreement has not yet been made, to date CNOOC is the only foreign company asked by the Filipinos to become a potential participant in joint oil and gas exploitation in the South China Sea. This occurred after Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte approved on October 15 the lifting of the suspension on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea that has been banned since 2014 by a decision of former President Benigno Aquino.

Filipino Energy Minister Alfonso Cusi stated that the decision to lift the ban was made by taking into account the outcome of negotiations between the Philippines and China on the demarcation of the South China Sea, as well as between Forum Ltd and CNOOC. Cusi did not give details on the bilateral negotiations but on October 10 there were talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Filipino counterpart Teodoro Locsin in Dang Chong City in China’s Yunnan Province. It is likely that the two ministers have given approval for energy cooperation. According to the official announcement, Yi confirmed China’s interest in developing cooperation within the framework of large-scale bilateral projects. For his part, the Filipino Foreign Minister declared his readiness to cooperate with China to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Therefore, despite U.S. attempts to push Southeast Asian states away from China, the Philippines have a good opportunity to develop energy cooperation and joint exploitation of oil and gas in the South China Sea. The Philippines is currently looking for new sources of oil and gas. They cannot satisfy their domestic needs with already available resources. Manila has to import energy, which is a major burden on their budget.

Negotiations first began in 2016 after Duterte took office, but no agreement has been reached. The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected the Filipino economy, just like most other countries around the world. Resources are always necessary, especially in times of crisis. Under these conditions, the parties can be willing to make real concessions and real compromises to exploit the common oil and gas on the continental shelf.

China is aware that the Philippines urgently needs oil and gas, and there are about 30 drilling projects in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Southeast Asian country. Philippine Star newspaper reported that in addition to PXP Energy Corp., there are also other well-known companies such as the Philippine National Petroleum Corporation and Udenna Group, who are also looking forward to oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea after Duterte lifted the ban.

The Manila Bulletin notes that 99% of the country’s crude oil needs are met by imports. In addition, the Malapaya gas field, one of the very few functioning resource fields currently being exploited by the Philippines, will be depleted within a few years. As early as 2024, gas production from this offshore field will begin to decline. With this decline, Manila will be more desperate to finalize agreements for the exploitation of oil and gas.

It is with this that Washington will likely become more assertive against the strengthening ties between the Philippines and China.

Duterte has already built a reputation for his outbursts against both the U.S. and China, especially as he mostly pursues an independent foreign policy. At the same time, Washington is directly interfering in regional affairs by condemning Chinese claims in the South China Sea and arming Taiwan. The Duterte administration is ready to take steps to facilitate the negotiation process between China and the Philippines on energy cooperation in the South China Sea. In spite of U.S. threats an agreement of strengthening cooperation with China will be a testament to the independent foreign policy of the Duterte administration, and Beijing will certainly welcome this stance.

Last month, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Stephen Biegun said that Washington wants the defence relations with India, Japan and Australia – known as “the QUAD” – to serve as something resembling an Asian NATO. Although for now the QUAD comprises of the U.S. and the three countries it considers its closest allies in the Indo-Pacific region – India, Japan and Australia – the US Department of Defense hopes that some Southeast Asian countries, mainly those that have territorial disputes with China, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, will join the QUAD, and contribute financially and materially to the overall military structure.

Though China and the Philippines still have outstanding maritime demarcation issues, especially since Beijing refuses to accept the verdict of the Permanent Court of Arbitration which ruled in favour of Manila and determined that Beijing has “no historical rights” based on the “nine-dash line” map, they both acknowledge the gravity of greater U.S. intervention in the region. The Chinese and Filipinos are still able to cooperate and create mutually beneficial agreements despite differences over the demarcation of the South China Sea, demonstrating that Washington has not been able to exploit this vulnerability in Beijing-Manila relations.

The US under the previous administration of Barack Obama condemned the Philippines for its heavy handedness approach in dealing with narcotic issues, which severely hampered bilateral relations. This was seen by Duterte as a direct interference into the domestic affairs of his country and soured relations. Although relations have been more cordial with President Donald Trump, the reality is that new administrations always come and go in Washington, meaning there is an inconsistent policy towards the Philippines.

From Manila’s perspective, the Chinese Communist Party leadership in Beijing is consistent, and with this it is easier for ties to be built upon and be maintained despite some issues needing to be resolved. Duterte would not be interested in joining U.S.-led efforts to contain the growing influence of China as Beijing does not interfere in the internal affairs of his country. China also offers tangible initiatives to help develop Filipino infrastructure and grow the economy. By joining an alliance aimed against China, such as the QUAD, the Philippines has more to lose by risking economic relations with China rather than what it supposedly gains security wise by aligning with Washington.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

October 21, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Russia blasts US’ Indo-Pacific strategy

By M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | Indian Punchline | September 12, 2020

The meeting between the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on September 11 took place at a particularly delicate juncture in regional politics. Russia is carefully ploughing a neutral line in the India-China standoff while also drawing closer to China to push back at US pressure.

The US policies are prompting Russia and China to further enhance their “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.” Summing up his meeting with Wang, Lavrov said the talks were held in “an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust and were very substantial.” He added, “We discussed the key international problems and reaffirmed the closeness of our views on effective solutions to them…We agreed to carry on our close collaboration.”

Significantly, the most striking part of Lavrov’s remarks pertained to the Asia-Pacific region. Lavrov frontally attacked the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy: “We (Russia and China) noted the destructive character of Washington’s actions that undermine global strategic stability. They are fuelling tensions in various parts of the world, including along the Russian and Chinese borders. Of course, we are worried about this and object to these attempts to escalate artificial tensions. In this context, we stated that the so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” as it was planned by the initiators, only leads to the separation of the region’s states, and is therefore fraught with serious consequences for peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region.

“We spoke in favour of the ASEAN-centric regional security architecture with a view to promoting the unifying agenda, and the preservation of the consensus style of work and consensus-based decision-making in these mechanisms, as it has always been done in the framework of ASEAN and the associated entities. We are seeing attempts to split the ranks of ASEAN members with the same aims: to abandon consensus-based methods of work and fuel confrontation in this region that is common for all of us.”

The Chinese state media highlighted Lavrov’s remarks. Wang said in response that China-Russia relations have become “key forces of stability in a turbulent world.” He stressed that the China-Russia alliance has shown “strong resilience” against the backdrop of the “profound changes unseen in a century” in world politics.

The Lavrov-Wang meeting took place in the backdrop of the turmoil in Belarus, for which Russia has blamed the US. On the eve of the meeting in Moscow, a senior Russian lawmaker openly alleged that the US has a master plan to create political tensions within Russia, where regional elections are due to take place on Sept 13. Social media and the Internet, once again, are playing a major role in orchestrating the protests in Belarus.

Interestingly, during the meeting with Lavrov, Wang also called for “further Russia-China cooperation in the area of international information security, against the backdrop that some countries are politicising information technology and cyber security and containing other countries under the pretext of safeguarding its own national security.”

Lavrov’s remarks on Indo-Pacific strategy coincided with the 53rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings (including the 10th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting) in Hanoi on Sept 8-11. The ASEAN faces growing pressure from the US to join hands with it against China, but has refused to take sides. The joint communique adopted at the meeting in Hanoi reflects this stance.

Last week, Reuters quoted Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi as saying that ASEAN must remain steadfastly neutral and united. “ASEAN, Indonesia, wants to show to all that we are ready to be a partner,” said Retno. “We don’t want to get trapped by this rivalry.” Indonesia’s stance becomes important at a time when the US is attempting to split the ASEAN consensus on neutrality by playing on the interests of individual member countries.

The US is pinning hopes that some ASEAN countries may be in a quandary about how to balance ties to get the best out of both of the big players, while some others may feel tempted to use the US-China rivalry as an opportunity to extract leverage for economic or military advantage. Retno alluded to it when she told Reuters, “(ASEAN has) a good culture, but we have to nurture it. We can’t take it for granted that these values will live forever.”

Significantly, Vietnam and Indonesia, two influential ASEAN countries, are also Russia’s major partners. Lavrov’s remarks, therefore, can be seen as signifying a new level of commitment in Russia’s engagement with the Asia-Pacific, while also reinforcing the partnership with China, and going beyond a mere reflexive response to events (principally, the current crisis in Russia’s relations with the West.)

It is interesting that Moscow is unequivocal in subscribing to the description “Asia-Pacific region” and has no truck with the concept of “Indo-Pacific”, which Lavrov derisively regarded as a politically loaded term. Arguably, Indo-Pacific would be somewhat misleading also in the context of Russian policy. Russia is far more interested in the Asia-Pacific than it is in the Indian Ocean or the Indian subcontinent — considering its engagement with not only China but also with Japan, the two Koreas, the US (as a Pacific power) and with the security of the Far East.

Of course, India figures in the larger geopolitical context, but in the Russian perception, India remains a supernumerary member of the Asia-Pacific community. Where Russia has a difference of opinion with India is in its perception of the American security presence in Asia-Pacific as of an extra-regional power who is intrusive and increasingly destabilising.

Fundamentally, Russia approaches the Asia-Pacific from a global perspective whereas India’s vision narrows down to concerns over rising China. From the Russian perspective, Asia-Pacific is a theatre central to the world order in the 21st century where intense geopolitical struggles are erupting, where a battle of ideas, norms and institutions is already under way. Being a resurgent global power, Russia is obliged to position itself at the centre stage in the region.

Indeed, Beijing is well aware of the shift in the ASEAN regional attitudes towards Russia in the recent years. Unlike in the Soviet era, no ASEAN country (Philippines included) tends to identify Russia as a threat or a malign actor anymore. On the other hand, Russia’s relations with nearly all ASEAN states are comfortable. Thus, a more active Russian involvement in Asia-Pacific affairs works well for China.

Simply put, it suits Moscow and Beijing to make common cause in the Asia-Pacific when their respective relations with the US are so difficult, and when both have come under heavy US pressure. It won’t come as a surprise to see a surge in Russian diplomatic efforts in the period ahead to expand relations across the ASEAN region.

September 12, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Philippines says will not comply with US sanctions on China

Press TV – September 1, 2020

The Philippines says it will not comply with the United States’ sanctions against China over regional disputes in the South China Sea, even though Manila itself is involved in one such dispute with Beijing.

Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced during a Tuesday press briefing that President Rodrigo Duterte would not comply with unilateral US sanctions against Chinese firms involved in constructing artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Roque said Manila would make its own decisions and would not follow those of a foreign country.

“We are not a vassal state of any foreign power and we will pursue our national interest,” the Philippine presidential spokesman said. “Our national interest is to ensure flagship projects are completed.”

He said the Chinese firms would continue working on infrastructure projects in the Philippines. The Philippine government is trying to make progress in a 180-billion-dollar overhaul of the country’s infrastructure.

The remarks came despite statements made last week by the Filipino foreign minister that he would recommend that the government abandon the deals with the Chinese companies.

The US — a defense treaty ally of the Philippines — last Wednesday announced sanctions against 24 Chinese companies and individuals over what Washington alleged to be involvement in constructing military facilities on submerged reefs in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

China claims sovereignty over much of the South China Sea. Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Brunei, besides the Philippines, have overlapping claims with China to parts of the sea. The United States, an extra-territorial force, has been stirring regional tensions by provoking China’s rival claimants and conducting routine sails or fly-overs in the sea.

Relations between Washington and Beijing have dropped to the lowest level in decades since US President Donald Trump came to power. The two countries are currently at loggerheads over numerous issues, including trade, technology, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the East and South China Seas, and most recently, the coronavirus pandemic.

The US has been significantly ratcheting up the tensions with China in all of those areas recently.

September 1, 2020 Posted by | Economics | , , | 3 Comments

Drug War Disappearances and Murders

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | July 29, 2020

How anyone can defend drug laws is beyond me. Consider the following:

During the past 15 years or so of drug warfare in Mexico, there have been around 200,000 deaths resulting from drug war violence. 200,000 people, dead. Not because of drugs, but because of the drug war.

That’s not all. There are also more than 70,000 people, including Americans, who have simply disappeared in Mexico. Here one day, and gone the next. Their bodies have never been found. That’s not because of drugs. It’s because of the drug war.

Some of the deaths and disappearances were brought about by drug gangs. Others were brought about by drug enforcement personnel. Either way, it’s the drug war that caused those deaths and disappearances. If there had been no drug war, those people would not have had their lives snuffed out or disappeared by the drug war.

The deaths and disappearances, of course, have not come to an end. The drug war continues to produce more deaths and disappearances on a continuous basis.

How can anyone actually defend the drug war knowing this? How do they sleep at night knowing that they are supporting a program that brings death and disappearance to multitudes of innocent people? How do they go to church every Sunday and not be wracked by a crisis of conscience for supporting a program that wreaks so much death and so many disappearances? How do they live with themselves?

Of course, many drug-war supporters respond, “Jacob, we mean well. When we support the drug war, we don’t want it to kill or disappear people. We just want to rid society of drugs.”

But who cares about their good intentions? Why should their good intentions matter? Why shouldn’t their drug war be judged by its actual consequences, year after year, rather than by the good intentions of its supporters?

Meanwhile, a modern-day hero of the drug war crowd, Philippine dictator Rodrigo Duterte has had his drug-war goons killing suspected drug violators for the the last 5 years. He is the poster child for U.S. drug war proponents who have, for the past several decades, maintained that the secret for “winning” the drug war has been simply for the government to really “crack down” on the drug violators.

Well, Duterte has been “cracking down,” with his goons serving as judge, jury, and executioner. They don’t bother with arrests, prosecutions, trials, and incarcerations. They simply kill the people who they believe are violating the government’s drug laws. That includes 60 children, according to an article in Business Insider. If what Duterte has been doing to “win” the war on drugs isn’t “cracking down,” then I don’t know what “cracking down” is.

But here is the kicker: Despite and these deaths — along with immunity granted to the police — Duarte and his drug war goons have still not “won” their drug war. The killings go on.

The same holds true in Mexico. Following the suggestion of many U.S. drug warriors, some 15 years ago the Mexican government began “cracking down” in the drug war by employing the Mexican military. That should have done the trick, right?

Wrong! The drug war violence only escalated, along with the massive human-rights abuses that came with military involvement in enforcing drug laws.

Did I mention that more than 100 journalists have also been killed in Mexico’s drug war?

What is so perverse about all this death, suffering, and mayhem is how utterly unnecessary it all is. If drugs were legalized, the drug war violence would disappear, immediately. That’s because there would be no more drug gangs, drug lords, or gang warfare. All of those groups would be out of business overnight.

Note the supreme irony: The state wages war on the drug dealers and, in the process, tens of thousands of people are dead or disappeared as a result. Meanwhile, no matter how many drug busts are made, new drug dealers and drug gangs quickly replaced the old ones. Yet, if drugs were legalized, all those violent drug dealers and drug gangs would be gone immediately given that they can only compete in an illegal market, not a legal one.

Add to all the deaths and disappearances such things as asset forfeiture, police and judicial corruption, racial bigotry in drug war enforcement, mandatory minimum sentences, overcrowded prisons, evisceration of the Fourth Amendment, and the destruction of liberty that has come with the drug war.

The question naturally arises: Why do the American people — and, for that matter, the Mexican and Philippine people — permit this evil, immoral, and deadly disaster of a government program to continue?

July 29, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment

The American Empire’s Disastrous Defeat in 1942

Tales of the American Empire | January 16, 2020

The American defense of the Philippines in 1942 is remembered as a valiant effort to hold off the unstoppable Japanese Army. The conquest of the Philippines by Japan is the worst major military defeat in United States history. After just four months of fighting, over 23,000 American military personnel were killed or captured, while embedded Filipino soldiers killed or captured totaled over 100,000. The soldiers fought well, but the overall defense plan was horribly incompetent resulting in a rapid defeat by a smaller Japanese force.


“The Fall of the Philippines”; Louis Morton; US Army History Center; 1953;…

“Reports of General MacArthur”; Department of the Army: 1950;…

“Malaria and the Defense of Bataan”; MEDICAL DEPARTMENT UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II; Department of the Army; concludes that malaria and malnutrition caused more casualties than Japanese invaders.…

“Douglas MacArthur Is One of America’s Most Famous Generals. He’s Also the Most Overrated”; Time; Nov. 11, 2019;…

July 12, 2020 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment

US Army Genocide in the Philippines

Tales of the American Empire | August 30, 2019

The American conquest of the Philippines occurred throughout 1900 as American troops gradually defeated the Philippine Army. Remnants of this army continued the fight as guerrillas in rural areas while the US Army deployed over 70,000 troops to occupy and run this new American colony. This led to armed attacks on American occupiers. The well-trained and better equipped American soldiers rarely had trouble dealing with local insurgents, but in several cases large groups of Filipinos inflicted heavy casualties. This resulted in negative newspaper stories back home since uprisings did not match rhetoric that Filipinos had been liberated. Attacks angered American Generals who implemented genocide tactics used back home against Indian tribes. The exact number of civilians massacred by US troops will never be known, but Filipino historians believe it was around 50,000 killed from 1900-1902. A much larger number died from the resulting famine and disease.


Related Tale: “The American Conquest of the Philippines in 1899” erases the myth that the United States liberated the Philippines from Spanish rule:…

A great book with lots of photos is free and on-line: Philippine-American War, 1899-1902.

July 7, 2020 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

US NED-Funded Meddling Exposed in The Philippines


By Joseph Thomas – New Eastern Outlook – 21.06.2019

With little else to offer the nations of Southeast Asia, the US has opted instead to wield the familiar and well-honed weapon of political subversion to peel potential partners away from Beijing in Washington’s continued bid to rescue its waning primacy in Asia-Pacific.

The most recent manifestation of this can be seen in the Philippines where Manila has accused media front Rappler, founded by long-time CNN bureau chief Maria Ressa, and others of representing foreign interests and conspiring with foreign intelligence agencies in direct violation of the nation’s constitution.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its defense of Rappler would claim:

First were the politically motivated state charges that funding provided to the news website Rappler by a U.S. philanthropic foundation represented a violation of constitutional provisions barring foreign control or ownership of Philippine media.

Then came government allegations in April that journalists from independent media groups, including Rappler, the independent media organization VERA Files, and the non-profit Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, were involved in a conspiracy to discredit and oust President Rodrigo Duterte’s elected government. All four outlets issued statements denying the allegation.

Now, a pro-government media campaign claims that the same independent news outlets and the Philippine press freedom group Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility are in the pay of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), a potential criminal offense under local law.

The CPJ notes that all of the accused groups are openly and admittedly funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The CPJ admits (my emphasis):

All four outlets receive substantial grants from the NED. 

Funded largely by Congress, NED was founded in the early 1980s as a way for the U.S. to openly promote democracy worldwide by providing annual grants to non-governmental groups, according to its website.

The CPJ categorically fails to challenge what are the NED’s own assertions that it is merely “promoting democracy worldwide.”

NED: The Public Face of (Often Violent) US Regime Change

The NED’s board of directors includes individuals openly involved in US-backed regime change including in Iraq, Ukraine and ongoing US regime change efforts in Venezuela.

Board members including Francis Fukuyama and Elliott Abrams openly advocated the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 in which the government in Baghdad was toppled and its senior leadership murdered based entirely on now verified lies regarding supposed “weapons of mass destruction.”

Elliott Abrams is listed on the NED’s website as “On Leave,” having been appointed as a US special envoy for Venezuela amid ongoing efforts to overthrow the government there.

The Guardian in an article titled, “US diplomat convicted over Iran-Contra appointed special envoy for Venezuela: Elliott Abrams, who was linked to failed coup against Chávez, to join Pompeo to urge security council to recognize Guaidó as head,” would report:

Elliott Abrams was appointed US special envoy for Venezuela on Friday, as Donald Trump’s administration and European leaders on Saturday further increase the pressure on the socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, to step aside from leading the country he has taken into a deepening crisis.

Abrams will accompany the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to a meeting of the UN security council in New York on Saturday, during which Pompeo will urge members to join the US in declaring Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate head of state.

The Guardian also notes:

Abrams is widely remembered in Central America, but particularly from his time in the Reagan administration, when he tried to whitewash a massacre of a thousand men, women and children by US-funded death squads in El Salvador, when he was assistant secretary of state for human rights.

Other NED directors include Victoria Nuland who played a key role in leading US regime change efforts in Ukraine in 2014.

Reuters in its article, “Leaked audio reveals embarrassing U.S. exchange on Ukraine, EU,” would admit:

A conversation between a State Department official and the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine that was posted on YouTube revealed an embarrassing exchange on U.S. strategy for a political transition in that country, including a crude American swipe at the European Union.

The article also admitted:

The audio clip, which was posted on Tuesday but gained wide circulation on Thursday, appears to show the official, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, weighing in on the make-up of the next Ukrainian government.

The convergence of senior US representatives openly and repeatedly involved in (often violent) regime change most certainly involving the CIA among myriad other US organisations within the halls of the NED is no coincidence.

The NED exists to promote regime change worldwide, merely under the guise of “promoting democracy worldwide.”

The CPJ Defends US-funded Subversion Under Guise of “Press Freedom”

The CPJ failed categorically to inform readers of facts surrounding the true nature of NED and its activities in its defence of Rappler.

This however should come as no surprise. The CPJ itself is yet another shell organisation likewise funded by US corporate foundations for the purpose of promoting US interests. The CPJ does this by protecting fronts like Rappler under the guise of “press freedom” from the repercussions of engaging in US government-funded subversion.

Fronts like Rappler serve as a propaganda “sword” while the CPJ exists as a “shield” to block efforts by targeted nations to defend themselves.

The CPJ in its 2018 annual report (.pdf) is admittedly funded by corporate foundations like convicted financial criminal George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, US corporations like pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and tech giants Twitter, Microsoft and Yahoo, financial institutions like Mastercard and Morgan Stanley and mainstays of Western media including Reuters, Vice, NPR, PBS, Time, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and NBC.

Many of these interests funding the CPJ are involved in activities at the NED. Anne Applebaum, for example, is a senior columnist at the above mentioned Washington Post and serves as an NED director.

The CPJ’s defence of Rappler continues, claiming:

Manila Times columnist Yen Makabenta, in an April 30 op-ed, called for the enactment of a foreign agents registration law to “tame in a hurry the intrusive criticism and interference in national affairs by these foreign-funded [media] organizations, whose activities are subversive by design.” Makabenta continued, “Indeed, if they are working for a group like the CIA, they could be working to change the government.”

CPJ has chronicled how governments, including in Russia and China, have passed laws that require bloggers, journalists and civil society members to register as foreign agents in moves that threaten to obstruct the free flow of information, including over social media. Makabenta’s op-ed suggested the Philippines should implement similar legislation.

The U.S. government has denied the CIA is involved in any destabilization plot against Duterte. The U.S. ambassador responded to the claims by saying, “There is absolutely no effort by the CIA to undermine the Philippines leadership,” according to reports.

Makabenta’s fears are well-founded.

Even at a glance the NED’s board of directors reflects the organisation’s role in fueling regime change worldwide. NED-funded media fronts are demonstrably biased and transparent in their efforts to undermine targeted governments and to promote US-favoured politicians, political parties and opposition groups.

The Philippines’ Punishment for Building Bridges with Beijing 

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has demonstrated a pattern of disobedience toward Washington, having previously threatened to expel US forces from Philippine territory, building closer ties with Beijing and even excluding Washington from bilateral talks held with Beijing seeking solutions to disputes over the South China Sea.

For all of these reasons and more, President Duterte and others throughout the Philippines’ establishment have become targets of US-backed subversion, the public face of which being NED-funded media fronts like Rappler.

A similar pattern can be seen throughout Southeast Asia with NED-funded fronts like Prachatai, iLaw, Isaan Record and Benar News targeting the current Thai government headed by a Beijing-friendly military-led faction that twice ousted US proxy Thaksin Shinawatra and his political allies from power.

It is difficult to say how long organisations like the CPJ can continue successfully defending fronts like Rappler under the guise of defending “press freedom.” Only the CPJ’s intentional omission of facts like the nature of the NED’s board of directors and its extensive history of regime change allows the CPJ to portray its defense of Rappler and others taking NED funds as credible.

Were the CPJ truly dedicated to defending press freedom it would note the danger of foreign-funded sedition dressed up as journalism and alert the public to how this above all else threatens to undermine a free press. Instead, the CPJ defends this abuse, thus ironically undermining genuine press freedom in the process.

Should the Philippines enact an effective foreign agents registration law, other nations in the region might follow, delivering a severe blow to US meddling and pose as a further setback to US ambitions to reassert itself vis-à-vis China.

With the US unable to compete with China’s infrastructure-centred regional partnerships, and even lagging behind in the sale of military hardware, security partnerships and investments, political subversion is the last tool on offer. But maybe taking this last tool away from Washington could be a blessing in disguise. Without it, perhaps Washington will reevaluate other, more constructive methods of engaging with Asia-Pacific (and the rest of the world) based on mutual respect and benefits and above all, upon the primacy of national sovereignty.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas.

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Duterte really threatening war with China? The opposite may be true…

By Darius Shahtahmasebi | RT | May 31, 2018

The media wants you to believe that the Philippines is headed towards war with China. The truth may in fact be the opposite.

If you followed international headlines this week, you may have been alarmed to see the shocking revelation that, despite wanting a closer relationship with China, Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte was now ready to risk war with Beijing to ‘protect the territorial integrity of his country’.

“Philippines’ Duterte threatens war in South China sea if troops are harmed,” Newsweek warns. “Philippines draw three hard lines on China,” Asia Times outlines. “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will go to war with China if it crosses ‘red lines’ and claims disputed resources, foreign ministry warns,” the South China Morning Post (SCMP ) explains. “Duterte will ‘go to war’ over South China Sea resources, minister says,” according to CNN.

Those are indeed some shocking headlines as the last thing anyone in their right mind wants is a regional conflict, not least one that involves a rising nuclear power with the capabilities that China has.

So what did President Duterte actually say, and how close to a regional standoff are we at this current juncture?

Well, according to the reports, Duterte didn’t actually say anything. The majority of these warnings came directly from Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, the country’s top diplomat. While claiming to speak for Duterte, Cayetano drew up three major red lines that could allegedly lead the Philippines’ President to war with China. The first red line that supposedly won’t be tolerated is any Chinese move to reclaim or build on the Philippine-claimed Scarborough Shoal, which lies just over 100 nautical miles from Philippine shores. The second red line is any coercive Chinese move against the Philippine marine detachment guarding the Second Thomas Shoal. The third red line is any unilateral Chinese drilling for natural resources, mostly oil and gas, within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

“Another red line is that nobody will get natural resources there on their own,” Cayetano said. “The President has said that: If anyone gets the natural resources in the West Philippine Sea, he will go to war.”

“If we lost a single island during Duterte’s time, I will pack my bags, go home,” he also added.

Hmmm. It is starting to sound a bit like Cayetano’s red lines; more so than the President’s red lines.

Then not long after, another headline which read “Philippines could go to war over South China Sea: Duterte aide” may have also caught your eye. Again, this involved National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon making the stunning revelation that “just the other night, the president said if my troops are hurt there, that could be my red line.”

Note that in none of these instances is Duterte himself doing any of the talking. When one digs a little bit deeper, this is when it becomes all the more interesting. In actuality, it was just over a week ago that the Philippines’ President was saying the complete opposite.

Even after the Chinese military landed long-range bombers at an airport on Woody Island in the South China Sea – reportedly placing the Philippines within strike range of Chinese bombers – Duterte’s response was to state that “you know they have the planes, not stationed in Spratly but near the provinces facing – Chinese provinces facing the Spratly and the China Sea. And with their hypersonic, they can reach Manila within seven to 10 minutes.”

The President also allegedly added: “What will we arm ourselves with if there’s a war? Will we resort to slapping each other? I couldn’t even buy myself a rifle. It was given to me. So how will we even fight with the Chinese?”

To the rest of us paying attention, Duterte’s comments appeared to indicate that he was ruling out the possibility of any war with China involving the Philippines. He even suggested that he doubts the Philippines could rely on the US in such a scenario. In other words, under Duterte’s leadership, the Philippines would not go to war with China as he is convinced that there is nothing the Philippines can do to confront China without suffering an immeasurable loss.

But don’t take my word for it.

“I cannot afford at this time to go to war. I cannot go into a battle which I cannot win and would only result in destruction for our armed forces. I really want to do something to assert. But you know, when I assumed the presidency, there was already this ruckus in the West Philippine Sea,” Duterte said during a speech at the Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary in Manila.

“So will we be able to win that war? If my troops are massacred, after the war, the soldiers and police will come after me next. Our troops will really be finished off there,” the President also stated at the time.

So what is Duterte’s proposal to deal with the stand-off, bearing in mind that there are many Filipinos who do not see eye to eye with Duterte?

“We don’t have to fight. We can divide this in a joint development, joint exploration. And then we’ll give you [China] a bigger share rather than fight. It’s only America who’s worried because they lost a territory. You’re the ones who came first. I was just new and then you adapted the rascal’s propaganda,” Duterte proposed less than two weeks ago.

While the media continues to mislead the public on Duterte’s alleged new push to confront China in the South China Sea, it also failed to note that at around the same time Duterte was supposedly making these threats of war towards China, he had just appointed a special envoy to China with the specific intention of fostering closer relations with Beijing.

Of course, it could be the case that Duterte has changed his stance this week in a complete nonsensical 180 degree U-turn and will indeed confront China if he feels it is in the best interests of his country. However, it is curious to say the least, that as one of the world’s most vocal leaders (he once admitted killing suspected criminals while serving as Governor) he has not been the one to directly voice this U-turn himself, the statements having come from other subordinates from within his administration.

We also have to bear in mind that Duterte is a man who believes his presidency is protected by Chinese President Xi Jinping, acknowledging that he needs China “more than anybody else at this time of our national life.” He also once said to Beijing that if they wanted to, “just make [the Philippines] a province.” It doesn’t seem too likely that Duterte is all of a sudden prepared to give this dependency up, in light of his consistently pro-Chinese stance.

The other development to keep an eye on is the recent war-drills at the beginning of May this year involving US forces and Philippines’ forces which were the largest military exercises held in the Philippines since Duterte became president. Even then, these drills appeared to focus more on the domestic threat of terrorism inside the country and were not officially aimed at confronting China’s expanding influence.

For ease of reference, a month-long firefight between Islamist militants with allegiances to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and government forces left 1,100 people dead just under a year ago. In that context, it is not completely unusual that the President may have given the go-ahead for these drills to take place. (That being said, Duterte personally admitted he did not expressly authorize the US military’s involvement in its counter-terrorism efforts last year, suggesting that there may be other forces at play which may or may not be beyond his control). This also may be the case with the development that the Philippines has begun repairing a runway and upgrading facilities on Thitu Island, a major point of dispute between Chinese and Philippine vessels last year.

No matter how badly the media want Duterte to reject and confront China, the cold hard truth is that China is an “indispensable geographical reality,” as Richard Javad Heydarian in the National Interest recently put it. There is little that Duterte can do to confront China even if he really wanted to, as he is predicting a future in which Washington becomes increasingly irrelevant in the Asia-Pacific region all the while China begins to exert more and more influence in the area. Rather than butting heads with China, Duterte’s plan is exactly as he says – develop and explore the area jointly with China while coming to an arrangement, which does the complete opposite of what the media wants you to believe he will do, to avoid a war with China at all costs.

June 1, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | | Leave a comment