Tuesday, May 30, 2017

ISIS in the Philippines?

theantimedia |  Islamist movements in the Philippines were not unknown to the U.S. Barack Obama was actually secretly drone bombing the country during his presidency, actions almost completely ignored by western media. As Obama should have been well aware, drone strikes only create more radical elements and greatly expand the problem (they also expand ISIS’ recruitment pool).
Regardless, this is where this story gets interesting. Duterte has claimed multiple times, including in his recent interview with RT, that the CIA would want to kill him for upsetting the current world power structure and cozying up to adversaries Russia and China.

And yet, according to Duterte, even with full knowledge of this ISIS-linked insurgency, the U.S. decided to block an arms sale to the Pacific nation that would most likely be used to combat these militants.

Why would they do that? Because of alleged human rights abuses, as was the official explanation? The U.S. just signed over $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, a rights-abusing, ISIS-sponsoring radical Islamic nation — and barely batted an eyelid in doing so.

On one hand, it seems the U.S. could very well be playing a game of chess with Duterte, perhaps even going so far as facilitating the movement of militants that could put added pressure on his defiant government in order to ensure that America won’t lose its military bases in the country; using the potential ISIS threat as justification for their presence. At the same time, this refusal to sell Duterte arms will only push Duterte closer to Russia and China; he told Russia directly that he needs modern weaponry to combat these militants. Russia will likely have no problem filling the void. In fact, according to RT, Russia and the Philippines just signed a defense cooperation agreement following these recent developments.

This is bad news for the U.S. military establishment, which will stop at nothing in order to put a wedge between Russia and the rest of the world. In tandem with the corporate media, the demonization of Duterte is already well under way. This should give you an idea of where this narrative is headed, as we have seen it all too often before with other former U.S. allies who came too close to America’s Cold War rival.

Though it appears Duterte and Trump may see eye to eye, in his interview with RT Duterte claimed there are people within the State Department and Congress who do not share Trump’s vision, making it difficult for him to count on the U.S. as an ally.

On the other hand, this entire operation may also be an excuse for Duterte to launch a wider crackdown on his people under the guise of fighting terrorism. According to multiple reports, the fighters are not actually ISIS militants but are part of a group known as Maute, having merely pledged their allegiance to ISIS.