Friday, September 9, 2016

Duterte calls out US human rights hypocrisy in Laos, bares "shocking" US Army atrocities

The “disente”crowd’s panties are once again in a bunch because of the news that Obama did not shake Duterte’s hand at the East Asia summit (read here).

This was supposedly on account of a “shocking” presentation that Duterte made at a closed-door meeting with only heads of state and officials present. Duterte gave the presentation on America’s bloody oppression of Filipinos during the colonial period after Obama gave a speech on human rights.

I was against Duterte’s public tirade against Obama before he flew to Laos. But this time, I want to stand up and applaud.

Why? Because when Duterte did his pre-departure rant, I thought his message was right but his timing was off. He should have waited until he and Obama were face to face and out of direct media earshot so his message would get across without distortions.

And now, he actually did it. Through a presentation that he made in the presence of other ASEAN heads of state. It seems he planned this all along, even though he had a different prepared speech.

The shallow-thinking “disente” crowd won’t be able to get over their embarrassment at Duterte’s “shocking, uncouth” behavior to see the real significance of this incident. To them, this will just be another tirade.

But there is a certain group that will be smart enough to see the real point here—the ASEAN heads of state, many of whom, at one point or another, have been accused by the US and the UN of violating human rights because they went to extraordinary means to fix the extraordinary problems in their countries.

We all know how the West criticized the draconian policy on drugs and media of Lee Kuan Yew, father of current Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong. We know how the West slammed Joko Widodo for strictly enforcing the death penalty on drug traffickers in Indonesia, including executing foreign offenders such as Europeans and Australians. We know how protests have been staged by human rights activists in front of the UN headquarters in New York to discredit Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen. (Sound familiar? Loida Nicolas-Lewis needs to tell her principals that their handbook on regime change badly needs an update.)

By calling out America’s hypocrisy right to its face, Duterte, in behalf not only of the Filipinos but of the entire ASEAN, delivered the long-deserved “F*ck off” that has been at the tip of the tongue of nearly every Southeast Asian leader since the 1970s.

I never thought I would see the day, but a galvanized, unified ASEAN that will stand together against external interference seems to finally be emerging after all these years. Change is coming.

(P.S. You will note from the ABS-CBN report linked above that the author says “alleged human rights violations during the Philippine-American War”. They use the word “alleged” when referring to historically documented atrocities committed by American soldiers against Filipinos, but not when they insinuate that Filipino policemen are behind the unexplained killings of drug pushers. That is “patriotic” Philippine journalism for you. It brings the word “presstitute” to a whole new level.)

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