The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has just given us notice he will be terminating the Visiting Forces Agreement that governs U.S. military personnel in the islands. His notification starts the clock running on a six-month deadline. If no new agreement is negotiated, the VFA is dissolved. What triggered the decision? Duterte was offended that one of... Read More
Now what? President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines is outraged. He wants an end to the U.S. military presence in his country. He wants to curb all cooperation with the U.S. armed forces. He hits hard, talks big. And his people seem to be behind him, no matter what – his popularity rating is high... Read More
fatherandsonwithwives
How long have you lived overseas? First I solo’d my yacht across the Pacific, then settled in the Philippines. It is close to 20 years ago now.   What made you decide to leave North America? Canada: It is cold, with lots of rain, and the sun never gets high in the sky. US: After... Read More
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Pre-mature Political and Military Ejaculations
Introduction: Wall Street and the Pentagon greeted the onset of 2016 as a ‘banner year’, a glorious turning point in the quest for malleable regimes willing to sell-off the most lucrative economic resources, to sign off on onerous new debt to Wall Street and to grant use of their strategic military bases to the Pentagon.... Read More
I’ve written a couple pieces of the smoking hot issue in Pivotland, Philippine president Duterte’s swerve toward a pro-PRC foreign policy, and what the U.S. and pro-American sector of the Manila elite are going to do about it. The first piece, Reports of death of US-Philippine alliance may be exaggerated, addresses the fact that Duterte’s... Read More
«Your honors, in this venue I announce my separation from the United States… both in military and economics also». Thus Philippines President Rodrigo «The Punisher» Duterte unleashed a geopolitical earthquake encompassing Eurasia and reverberating all across the Pacific Ocean. And talk about choosing his venue with aplomb; right in the heart of the Rising Dragon,... Read More
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... Read More
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Introduction: In 2012 President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter launched a new chapter in their quest for global dominance: a realignment of policies designed to shift priorities from the Middle East to Asia. Dubbed the ‘Pivot to Asia’, it suggested that the US would concentrate its economic, military and... Read More
While the mainstream media continues its obsessive reporting on the mud-slinging campaign for the White House, a dramatic development in China last week brought President Obama’s “pivot to Asia” to a sudden halt. Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, while in Beijing, announced his country’s “separation” from the United States. He told his Chinese audience, “Your honors,... Read More
When will the neoconservative chant begin: “Duterte must go”? Or will the CIA assassinate him? President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated that he intends a more independent foreign policy. He has announced upcoming visits to China and Russia, and his foreign minister has declared that it is time for the Philippines to end its subservience to... Read More
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Awkwardly, apparently. Awkward facts surrounding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's awkward estrangement from the United States seem to produce some awkward reporting. I have a piece up at Asia Times about “Sonofawhore-gate” i.e. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged insult delivered to President Obama that got the Duterte-Obama confab in Laos canceled, and was breathlessly reported in... Read More
Long Live?
As relatively muted reactions to the Philippines v. China arbitral tribunal award come in from ASEAN and EU, it appears likely that the PRC at the highest level traded an undertaking to finally abandon the nine-dash-line in return for international forbearance on declaration of China as an international outlaw for ignoring the ruling. I suspect... Read More
The U.S. government and the Manila elite are pretty interested in hyping the naval confrontation with the PRC, while going all "bygones" on the bloody, corrupting, ongoing, and (for some elite Filipinos empowering and enriching) U.S. deep penetration of the Philippines' political and security regimes. Duterte upsets this script, because his political career has been... Read More
boxersharpers
I have a piece up exclusively at Asia Times, Duterte’s Beef with America. Go read it! It unpacks the story of Duterte’s coolness to the United States dating back to the Michael Meiring incident in 2002. Duterte’s spokesman recently cited the Meiring case in explaining his attitude toward the U.S., leading to a New York... Read More
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On January 25, 2015, 44 members of the 84th and 55th Companies of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force or SAF died in an engagement with Muslim insurgents near Mamasapano on the island of Mindanao. Perhaps there have been worse days for special forces, but I can’t bring any to mind. The bloodbath is... Read More
And...Island Games: Okinotorishima vs. Johnson South Reef
My Twitter feed contained the following ringing statement: To paraphrase Napoleon on the Pope, how many battalions does the frickin’ passive voice have? “Must be prevented”. That’s the problem with the pivot. The "pivot to Asia" is an idea. It's not a doctrine, like the Monroe Doctrine, the Truman Doctrine, the Eisenhower Doctrine, or the... Read More
PRC Moves to Hard Power in South China Sea It is difficult to be blithe about the dispatch of China’s HYSY981 drilling rig into disputed waters off the Vietnamese coast. It actually would have been less of a provocation if the PRC had sent the aircraft carrier Liaoning down there instead. One of the interesting... Read More
Failure of engagement to deliver ideal outcomes do not mean that deterrence will be more successful, or even more desirable.
I try to eschew dramatic, click-baiting headlines, but I think current developments in Asia are a big deal.   President Obama is visiting Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea. He’s not visiting the People’s Republic of China.  He never planned to, because this trip is meant as an exercise in pivot-love, the bromance of... Read More
...But Should Be Worried About the Iron Law of Unintended Consequences
A commenter took issue with this piece in its original form.  I thought his comments about the tone were well-taken, and I've revised the text accordingly.  As an admonition to myself, the chinahand Twitter feed will be updated to "Less heat more light".  Also, he got me to thinking about the ADIZ friction we can... Read More
Reuters’ concern-trolling over the low-key Chinese response to the Philippine Haiyan supertyphoon disaster is revealing, in a relatively inadvertent way. Yesterday it was China's Meager Aid to the Philippines Could Dent Its Image Today it is No Sign of Help for Philippines from China’s Hospital Ship The Chinese government has not been particularly forthcoming in... Read More
The run-up to presidential elections is a time of heightened state-sponsored repression as Asia’s foremost ‘death squad democracy’ wages war on its progressive rural medical workers. The notoriously violent and corrupt elections in the Philippines stand in sharp contrast with those in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia, where the ruling elites have secured their... Read More
The Arrest of Congressman Satur Ocampo
On March 16, 2007, Philippine police arrested veteran journalist, activist, former political prisoner and torture victim, Congressman Satur Ocampo, on the steps of the Philippine Supreme Court. One day earlier, in Washington DC, California Senator Barbara Boxer opened hearings on the mounting death squad executions and kidnappings in the Philippines. Nearly a thousand union leaders,... Read More
Waging war on activists and others, with U.S. support. Since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo joined the U.S. global ”war on terrorism,” the Philippines has become the site of an ongoing undeclared war against peasant and union activists, progressive political dissidents and lawmakers, human rights lawyers and activists, women leaders, and a wide range of print... Read More