Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ominous by Erick San Juan

The presidency of Rodrigo Roa Duterte has its many firsts and for some it’s too good to be true especially that the country’s experiences from the past leaders, the recent ones were all tainted with so much irregularities and anomalies. Filipinos thought that the ‘new normal’ nowadays are the things that were passed on from previous administrations or could it be that the majority are just too tired and let things be as they are – the status quo.

Although netizens who are aware of the current issues are the ones who are very active in posting their views and comments of the things they strongly disagree or agree via the internet. It is a fact that the last election maximized the use of the internet in reaching out to the electorate.

Now that the ‘majority’ has voted a strong and brave leader, the rest has to bear with him for the rest of his six-year term or less? If one will notice that in several speeches of President Duterte,  he kept on mentioning that “if he can finish his term” or “if he is still alive” to fulfill his promises. The several “ifs” that seem to make him accomplish things in a hurry and in the long run, some empty promises being made.

What is also ominous according to a psychic friend, is his use of DU30. I was reminded that most journalists writes 30 which means death or end.

Desperately wanting to finish such a huge problem like the war on drugs in a short span of time, President Duterte also visited as many military camps as possible when he has the time. Seeking the help of the military arm to fulfill his goal of a drug-free country, he promised a lot of benefits to the men in uniform and their families including a doubled monthly salary, as soon as possible. But he forgot that the government is still tied to the last administration’s budget and that the huge problem of rehabilitation of hundreds of drug users/pushers is impossible to achieve and so he is perceived making commitments beyond in the process.

Our president has done this due to his heightened emotion against the drug problems but Mr. President, you have to be very careful in handling your emotions being exposed through your words, no matter how sincere you are, it will only be used against you if you fail. Sadly, most of these words were directed to officials of foreign countries and organizations. Economists and those who are not so fond with President Duterte are now blaming him for the poor performance of our ‘economic fundamentals’.

With the hearings in both houses of Congress (in aid of legislation), several matters of great importance were exposed.

In his article at the Manila Times, Atty. Al Vitangcol 3rd wrote his observations – “The recent justice committee hearings in the Senate and House of Representatives revealed and made public a lot of things that were only heard from the grapevine before. Now, these things are officially out and part of the public records, by way of the Minutes of the committee hearings.

One of these disclosures is the alleged Plan B, which is to destabilize the Duterte Administration and create a scenario to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. If this will not work, then impeach President Duterte. If all else fails, then assassinate the President. Once Duterte is gone, install Vice President Leni Robredo as the new President of the Republic.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano revived talks, this time officially during the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights hearing, of the Liberal Party’s alleged Plan B to unseat President Duterte.

My insight says otherwise. The supposed Plan B will not prosper and will not muster the support of the people and the military. However, even before Plan B could take off, the groundwork for “Plan D” has already been laid.”

And what is this Plan D all about?

Plan D is the full military takeover of the government in the event of President Duterte’s sudden departure before 2022. His sudden departure could be the result of any of these things – impeachment, forced ouster by foreign states, assassination, or natural death.

In his speech before the 9th Infantry Brigade, the President said in part (while showing and waving the third “narco-list”), "How can I handle this? I cannot just arrest them and kill them. That is nothing. I do not like Martial Law. This will destroy your children, or your grandchildren and the next generation. That is why we are ready to die … because they are not safe anymore."

The President admitted that it is the technicality of the law that makes it hard for him to deal swiftly with the problem of illegal drugs and criminality.

He added, “if that problem outlasts me, for whatever reason, mamatay ako, matanggal, oh ano sa buhay na ito. Sinabi ko sa inyo, isa sa mga opisyal, do not, do not abandon. Resolbahin ninyo ang problema na iyan kasi sisirain ang Pilipinas niyan.” (If that problem outlasts me, for whatever reason, I died, I am removed from this life. I say to you, I said to one of your officers, do not, do not abandon it. Resolve this problem because this will destroy the Philippines.)

He ended his speech by extolling the troops to act on their own in this wise.

It is my opinion that if President Duterte will suddenly be gone, then the military will act on its own and take control of the government. (Atty. Al Vitangcol)

Yes, there are a lot of possibilities if worse comes to worst and we suddenly become a leaderless country. But for now let us give our support to President Duterte but be very vigilant and carry a lot of prayers in our heart that such eventuality will not happen because all of us will be dragged into the pits. Let's hope that will not be our destination. Sadly, it is now rumored that some of the people in the President’s loop are not thinking the same and few were concerned about is “what’s in it for me” coupled with arrogance.  They should gather their act together and make his presidency lasts up to the last day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

China's 5th Column by Erick San Juan

America’s overall image around the world remains largely positive. Across the nations surveyed (excluding the U.S.), a median of 69% hold a favorable opinion of the U.S., while just 24% express an unfavorable view. However, there is significant variation among regions and countries.

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, many foreign commentators including Americans remarked that the era of U.S. dominance of the global economy and position as sole superpower were at an end. However, in the intervening years, a sustained economic recovery in the U.S. has bolstered its leadership credentials, and in the current survey, about twice as many people worldwide say that the U.S., and not China, is the world’s leading economy.

Nonetheless, global public perception continue to express the view that China either has or eventually will replace the U.S. as the leading superpower. (Source Pew Research Center)

America’s image is mostly positive among the Asian nations polled. Among these countries surveyed was the Philippines with an 85 percent score in 2014 and 92 percent in 2015 according to the Global Attitudes Project of Pew Research Center in Washington DC. People were asked “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the US?”

Methinks we still maintain a high percentage score up to this moment with a favorable view of the US in spite of the ‘bullish’ attitude of our president towards some high-ranking American officials. Some observers believe that President Rody Duterte, in the midst of his balancing act between the US and China, is actually showing that he favors China more.

But the present administration has to be wary because the current war on drugs not only in and out of the largest prison camp like the National Bilibid Prison involves some confirmed Triad gang Chinese nationals. And the perennial problem in the South China Sea over territories that we won from the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration is not being recognized and respected by China, and in the process, our fishermen are still being ‘harassed’.

The perception is that the US is still the better 'devil' that we know than the red Chinese who has exported their underworld ops to our country instead of being grateful to the Filipinos who gave them comfort several times and second home where they now become the ‘novo’ rich.

We have to be wary of China’s sleepers (hybernated spies) and DPA (deep penetration agents) pretending to be part of the social media and our society. They are just waiting in the wings to take over anytime.

Remember the Japanese agents in the Philippines before the second world war. Most of them are lowly employees, drivers, gardeners, small time merchants, etc. but when the war erupted, they metamorphosed and our parents were shocked to know that their neighbor was a military officer of the Japanese Imperial Army.

It could be worst this time, these pro-Beijing ethnic Chinese basically control everything. Many politicians, key government functionaries, even some officials in our AFP, PNP, judiciary and the 'church' are now in their pockets.

Be vigilant always. These sleepers are now bold enough to attack us. The mere fact that even their Facebook pages and social media accounts are fictitious.

And I got this message from a rich friend from China- "it’s a pity that overseas Chinese especially in the Philippines thought that China can save them in a nuke war. We have more billionaires here in China not flaunting their wealth nor included at Forbes Magazine richest. If China's nuke hit the Philippines, they will be part of the so called collateral damage whether they like it or not." 

Who do we believe now? Beware of the propaganda machines. The program is on.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Live Bullet War Exercises, A Prelude To A Real War? By Erick San Juan

 Live Bullet War Exercises, A Prelude To A Real War? By Erick San Juan

The fifth annual China-Russia naval drill (that will go on for eight days) started last Monday, featuring stalwarts from both navies in action at the eastern waters of Zhanjiang, in Guangdong province, the HQ of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy Nanhai Fleet.

Considering this is the first time that the Joint Sea is happening in the South China Sea, apocalyptic alarms from the usual suspects could not be more predictable – and thoroughly dismissed by the Beijing leadership. (Pepe Escobar @Reuters online)

Usually, the joint military exercise between Russia and China took place in the Sea of Japan also known as East Asia.

What a coincidence that a US military drill named 'Variant Shield', 2,000 miles to the east, the US military around the Pacific gathered for a two weeks drill with 18,000 personnel, 180 aircrafts and USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

Overheard that President Rody Duterte said that any possible miscalculation during such naval exercise in the contested area, using live ammunitions at that, might lead to a regional conflict. Ominous?

But can we blame President Duterte by thinking such possibility might happen? Actually there are other observers who feel the same and fear the same might just occur if either side will not be careful during the military exercises.

It is in this context that we should allow and continue our military relationship with the US, whether we like it or not, our status as a treaty ally of the US did not start last June 30, 2016. With the cooperation of our past leaders (others were collaborators) with Uncle Sam in the name of national security and to preserve democracy, various treaties were signed.

Revisiting some of these treaties by the present administration will somehow correct the lopsided parts where we are being shortchanged and the fact that such agreements should be ratified by the proper institutions like our Congress and not just the Executive branch.

Of course we welcome the statement of President Duterte of an independent foreign policy for the country but it should be handled with utmost diplomacy without hurting our existing allies for so many years now. And like any policy, it should be without bias and always for the common good and not only for the favored few. Pres. Duterte if he will do it right, can use this as a leverage and his charting an independent policy will be a good bargaining point with the Americans and with China. A balancing act that should be supported by the people.

In the course of the President’s balancing act locally and globally, he should listen to the Filipino people who believe in him and in what he can do for the good of this nation if he doesn’t want to be called a dictator in the making.

In his article, Duterte’s ‘shock and awe’ diplomacy, La Salle professor Richard Javad Heydarian cited some of his observations on the President’s kind of diplomacy and his attitude towards certain matters – “For those, who have underestimated his ability to reconfigure existing relations with the Southeast Asian country’s most enduring ally, the United States, the past two weeks have been a rude awakening. Rapidly consolidating power over key institutions of the state, and backed up by robust support among various civil society groups, Duterte is in a position to redirect the Philippines’ foreign policy like none of his predecessors."

“I’m really a rude person. I’m enjoying my last time as a rude person,” Duterte famously promised earlier. “When I become president, when I take my oath of office . . . there will be a metamorphosis.” It was a statement of re-assurance that compelled many to (mistakenly) presume that Duterte’s tough campaign-period rhetoric – including those directed at America – was nothing but a clever gimmick.

So when Duterte embarked on his global diplomatic debut, attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, many were expecting a more subdued and statesmanlike Duterte. Instead, the world witnessed a Hyde and Jekyll diplomatic behavior. Duterte, who accepted the Philippines’ (rotational) chairmanship of the regional group, gracefully embraced his fellow Asian leaders, who appreciated his pragmatism on the South China Sea disputes and relations with China, while going on the offensive against the United States President Barack Obama, who was on his final official trip to Asia.

After uttering what appeared as expletives against the American president, the much-anticipated Obama-Duterte bilateral meeting was cancelled. Shortly after, amid growing panic over a potential diplomatic meltdown, Manila released a statement of “regret”, while the Obama administration reiterated that U.S.-Philippine relations remain “rock solid.” Duterte clarified that his foul-mouthed remarks weren’t directed at Obama, who reassured his Filipino partners that he didn’t take Duterte’s insulting remarks personally.

Yet, just when everyone thought that the damage control efforts were bearing fruit, Duterte once again went on the offensive. And most recently has even asked, albeit rhetorically so far, American special forces in the troubled region of Mindanao to get out of the country. He has also made it clear that he is setting his sights on more robust ties, including military, with eastern powers of Russia and China. In fact, Duterte is expected to embark on his state visit to China, a first by any Filipino leader, in coming weeks. In a span of months, Philippine-US relations have gone from special and sacrosanct to uncertain and jittery. And this seems to be the new normal in one of the most intimate and enduring bilateral relations on the planet.”

Are we going to end the most enduring bilateral relations that we had for years now and start a new bilateral relations with China?

Methinks it's better to deal with the 'devil' we know than a perceived 'angel' with the same clothes and interest like the demon. I hope Pres. Duterte will be in the right direction to correct our misfortunes.

Just asking.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Hegemony by Design by Erick San Juan

Hegemony by Design by Erick San Juan

When you study how the United States goes to war, there is a prevalent, though not perfect, pattern. The triggering event is often a sudden crisis that galvanizes popular opinion and becomes the immediate occasion for military intervention, but subsequently is exposed as a misguided perception or outright fabrication. (Source: Joseph Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 7-6-2014)                                                                                                                          

Such pattern, most of the time is considered as false flag operation by a lot of pundits where a superpower wanted to maintain a unipolar world – hegemony over sovereign states. Gradually this 'op' is losing its clout because world leaders are now beginning to realize that humankind has to shift to multipolar world.

Of course the mighty 'Uncle' will not allow such move and so is the containment of Russia and China, countries advocating a multipolar world. Their effort ranges from economic to military cooperation. With the initiative of both Russia and China, there are several cooperation, coalitions and organizations created to counter the hegemony of a single power over the world. Despite that these two big powers don't really trust each other, using the principle of- 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend', they have to cooperate with each other in some ways to protect their interests.

To name some, from the article of Pepe Escobar published in the Information Clearing House – “Slowly but surely — see for instance the possibility of an ATM (Ankara-Tehran-Moscow) coalition in the making — global power continues to insist on shifting East. That goes beyond Russia's pivoting to Asia; Germany's industrialists are just waiting for the right political conjunction, before the end of the decade, to also pivot to Asia, conforming a BMB (Berlin-Moscow-Beijing) coalition.

Germany already rules over Europe. The only way for a global trade power to solidify its reach is to go East. NATO member Germany, with a GDP that outstrips the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is not even allowed to share information with the "Five Eyes" secret cabal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, years ago, was keen on a Lisbon-to-Vladivostok emporium. He may eventually be rewarded — delayed gratification?— by BMB, a trade/economic union that, combined with the Chinese-driven One Belt, One Road (OBOR), will eventually dwarf and effectively replace the dwindling post-WWII Anglo-Saxon crafted/controlled international order.

This inexorable movement East underscores all the interconnections — and evolving connectivity — related to the New Silk Roads, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the BRICS's New Development Bank (NDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU). The crux of RC, the Russia-China strategic partnership, is to make the multipolar, post-Atlantic world happen. Or, updating Ezra Pound, to Make It New.

Such luminary ideologues as Dr. Zbig "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski — foreign policy mentor to President Barack Obama — are supremely dejected.

When Brzezinski looks at progressive Eurasia integration, he simply cannot fail to detect how those "three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy" he outlined in 'The Grand Chessboard' are simply dissolving; "to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."

Those GCC vassals — starting with the House of Saud — are now terrified about their own security; same with the hysteric Baltics. Tributaries are not pliant anymore — and that includes an array of Europeans. The "barbarians" coming together are in fact old civilizations — China, Persia, Russia — fed up with upstart-controlled unipolarity.

Unsurprisingly, to "contain" RC, defined as "potentially threatening" (the Pentagon considers the threats are existential) Brzezinski suggests — what else — Divide and Rule; as in "containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely to overreach." Still he doesn't know which is which; "Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China."   

The board game will have to reach a point where a change of players and rules of the game be created in order to prevent a world war. Although we have to accept that the change of players on the side of the single superpower will affect the pivot from unipolar to multipolar, or worst to stage a war or not.

“In many aspects, not much has changed from 24 years ago when, only three months after the dissolution of the USSR, the Pentagon's Defense Planning Guidance proclaimed.

"Our first objective is to prevent the reemergence of a new rival…This requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and southwest Asia."

Talk about a prescient road map of what's happening right now; the "rival",  hostile power is actually two powers involved in a strategic partnership: Russia and China. 

Compounding this Pentagon nightmare, the endgame keeps drawing near; the next manifestations and reverberations of the never-ending 2008 financial crisis may eventually torpedo the fundamentals of the global "order" — as in the petrodollar racket/tributary scam.

There will be blood. Hillary Clinton smells it already — from Syria to Iran to the South China Sea. The question is whether she — and virtually the whole Beltway establishment behind her — will be mad enough to provoke Russia and China and buy a one-way ticket to post-MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) territory.”

The programmed world war is coming as designed. Can the emerging multipolar world prevent it from happening? Scary indeed.