« 15 million lifetime views on SST | Main | Hilly's best chance ... »

20 October 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


my guess is that this guy will be "replaced" soon.


The dominoes are falling! The dominoes are falling!



We did this to ourselves. It is a long time since my father served 14 years in PI. In an unguarded moment (rare for him) he told me I had brothers and sisters there. He spoke excellent Tagalog and Spanish. pl


Very interesting development.

I was in out out of Subic in the Navy, early 70's.

Indeed what will Olongapo do without us young drunken
womanizers? Are Chinese sailors as debauched?

Stay tuned. And grab some popcorn for the predictable
US response.

Peace. Out.

Seamus Padraig

Yup. I feel another 'color revolution' coming on--a Maidan in Manilla. I can just smell Vicky Nulands baking up a new batch of cookies!


"the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks. "

You can resolve differences by talks between parties? I suspect one has to hold up their side of the bargain too. Surely there isn't anything of public knowledge that might lead the Philippine government to think otherwise.

Babak Makkinejad


That is what I have been saying, US is not putting any positive vision of the future on the table; not in the Middle East, not in Eastern Europe, and not in the Philippines.

Prosperity in East Asia is predicated on having productive relations with China. The Philippines does not have the wealth of the United States to adopt an In-Your-Face foreign policy with respect to China. And even if they adopt it, it would be a pose and will decay very quickly.

Look at India - she is not any more prosperous or secure because of her posture against China. A dead-end policy for a country that has 700 million souls living on less than a $ 1 a day.


My parents met as kids were on Corregidor before WWII. Their parents were US Army Coast Artillery. We visited Subic Bay & Baguio(from Bangkok) for a few weeks in 1985 and really enjoyed it.

The US was being "shaken down" for more money for basing rights when Mt Pinatubo erupted in 1991 and pretty much took out Clark AFB. That was pretty much the beginning of the end of US military being based in the Philippines.

Peter Eisner

This is an important story, but the main traditional relationship with the Philippines is via the Armed Forces, which were, like many others, caught off guard by the ascension of Duterte, who is stirring things up dramatically. It may be too early to start putting Subic back in moth balls.

David Habakkuk


Two points.

Part of the background to this is that, if you are a political leader in a ‘Third World’ country – and the position of such people is characteristically and inevitably precarious – you simply cannot any longer regard the United States as reliable.

(Do not think that this is the remark of a supercilious Brit – we are not important, because we do not have the power, but are just as unreliable as you, if not more so.)

One day, you may be regard as in ‘good standing’ – the next, the whole force of the ‘human rights’ propaganda lobby may be unleashed upon you.

Suddenly, you may be turned into a kind of comic-book demon, so that covert means of destabilisation, and if these fail, all out air attacks, may be unleashed against you.

So, simple considerations of survival may well mean that you think dealing with the Russians and Chinese a better bet.

Another critical point relates to the attractiveness of American economic and political institutions.

In 1989, this was at a high point.

This did not mean that intelligent people in countries like Russia and China necessarily thought that such economic and political institutions could be simply transplanted to their countries.

But, insofar as they could not, many were inclined to think that this was because they were, to some extent, ‘backward’.

All that has now gone.

An ideological revolution has been happening, which people in Washington and London are simply incapable of even beginning to understand.


Philippines, Turkey, Pakistan. The dominoes are indeed falling. Egypt, Hungary,Serbia,Greece in line.Others are hedging.

No matter who wins November 8th, they will begin their term with their legitimacy severely questioned. There is enough material out there in public domain that will keep them hobbled. The next four years are more likely to be like the last two years of the previous Clinton term. And the rats are jumping ship sensing this. This will increase the chances of more risky gambits from our side, like the Belgrade bombing.

We are reaching the point where unless we limit/sever the economic dependancies we've had with China, those that have benefited the 0.1% while hollowing out the rest, we will comfortably settle into the role of numero deux. Our Suez moment may already be in the rear view mirror.


I think the Chinese still view the US as a convenient cat's paw, and they appreciate our ability to serve as a foil (distant and easily fooled) to their machinations. Remember that the local Chinese folks pretty much ran the PI when it was still a colony of ours. WW II disrupted the normal flow of governance, since many Filipinos with Chinese blood fell thru the cracks of "solidarity" that guaranteed their leadership. As one of the older Chinese businessmen told me about 30 years ago, "much face was lost, along with a generation of control."
Danding Cojuangco wasn't a "good Chinese" during his service to Marcos, but the installation of his cousin Corrie Aquino (just before I arrived in the early '80's) brought them back to the saddle. I always though Pinatubo was God's way of telling us that the western Pacific was "a bridge too far," and that we'd be better off folding our tents in the region.
Aka & Seamus have probably got it right, especially with Queenie coming into ascendancy. Duterte's power base is the Visayas (traditional Chinese stomping ground, since it's the breakbulk center for traders) and Mindanao (resource base that's often uncomfortable taking orders from Luzon). There's probably a fair number of fault lines that we can encourage -- and are likely to.


"Philippines, Turkey, Pakistan. The dominoes are indeed falling. Egypt, Hungary,Serbia,Greece in line."

We'll always have Israel.

willy nilly


One could say the same about how the ruling class in US is not putting a positive vision of the future with regards the Americans either.

The future that they are selling is a globalized future where the peons of all races drive uber cars fetching the elites of all races. Since peons and elites will look multicultural, even if they all look, act, and talk the same, it'll be wonderful and egalitarian, with anybody opposed being racist reactionary antidemocratic bigots.


Probably not a Maidan. More slow motion and legalistic, like Dilma in Brazil.


I hear that Israel is also hedging: many of the influential Israeli political factions are heavily "Russian," with fairly friendly ties to Putin and his people. If US does openly clash with the Russians in, say, Syria, I honestly wonder if Israel will back us up, or (covertly?) stab us in the back for the right price.

The Twisted Genius

Aka and Seamus,

I agree that the coup plotters are already plotting their coups. I'm sure Duterte is aware of this and will seek help from China and perhaps Russia, too, to thwart those inevitable coup attempts. Let the Pacific shadow wars begin. Nuland may end up with a bag of cookies stuffed up her butt this time.



You don't your cattle having in group preferences. That may result in common interests which are not elite interests.

Mark Gaughan

I just read this the other day. It's relevant to this discussion.

Ishmael Zechariah

asx, Croesus,
Turkey has not "fallen" as a domino, yet. I cannot decipher what kind of a game is going on, but tayyip is still playing both ends against the middle. The US seems to be doing the same thing.
Interesting times
Ishmael Zechariah



I had a Filipino girlfriend in University and visited Manila and Baguio 49 years ago. I followed on the news what was happening there. I find it shocking that a Catholic Country with S.E. Asia’s history of discord between immigrant Chinese who run the shops and business and the native population would embrace Communist China. This and Egypt’s turn towards Russia shows how corrupt and insane American foreign policy has become. For their safety and prosperity, the world is turning against the American Empire. Europe is next unless there is a restoration of the rule of law and government by and for the people in Washington DC. I am afraid of what the crazies in the basement will do next.


National Duterteism is a large scale incidence of what happened between Fiji and Australia/New Zealand. When Bainimarama assumed plenary powers, our short sighted leaders sputtered about human rights and imposed sanctions. In response, Fiji instituted its 'look north' policy to China and Russia. (Russia recently delivered millions of dollars of new weapons to the Fijian military.) Our traditional influence there has permanently declined.

What's rather amusing though is before the coup, the democratic Fijian parliament was moving toward making the country a Christian theocracy, and was strongly pro-native Fijian - two sorts of things our liberal elites hate. The military by contrast represented business interests and an 'inclusive' social agenda. It imposed a dictatorship that was more or less an explicit version of the soft totalitarian, left-oligarchic orientation in our own societies.


Warning... a very strange music video about cookies, but perhaps symbolically relevant here ;)



The Israelis raised their price on you.

How much of this is Obami mismanagement, and how much is just long term economic decline caused by out-sourcing everything to China?

Babak Makkinejad

The military dictatorship is against Indians.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad