Super-propagandist, The Washington Post, one of the shabbiest purveyors or corrupt journalism to be found anywhere, and an unapologetic protector of select interests within the Capital Beltway, is clumsily attempting to infer that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s switch in foreign-policy focus – away from the US and towards China – contradicts the will of his people.
And here’s its evidence; that a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows Filipinos love Americans more than any other nation on Earth – including possibly Americans themselves. In the poll, 92% of Filipino respondents (we don’t know the sample size) gave the US the thumbs up. By contrast, the Post article points out, only 54% expressed a liking for China.
So what was the question they were asked? Was it: Does American foreign policy in East Asia serve the Philippines well? Was it: Are Filipinos satisfied with remaining a virtual US dependency – 70 years after gaining independence from it? Was it: Should America drive a wedge between the Philippines and its biggest neighbour, China – a country with which it also has a long and enduring history? Or was it: Should Manila accede to the wishes of Washington on all regional issues and let Philippine policy be made in the White House and not Malacañang?
Well, it was none of those. It was this: “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the US?” A fairly anodyne question. But anything could be going through people’s minds – from burgers to basketball; CocaCola to Hollywood; Lady Gaga to Spiderman; online dating to a Green Card. It was a ridiculous question and it deserved a ridiculous analysis of its findings which The Washington Post willingly supplied. In its view, Filipinos’ love for America means that Duterte has betrayed his people. That’s so far from the truth that we are awarding the Post eight Pinocchios – the badges of dishonour which the paper normally reserves for those it deems untruthful.
Meanwhile, The Volatilian™ has decided to take a closer look at that Pew Research survey and, using the same Post’s once-over-lightly analytics, draw a few more conclusions.
What it clearly shows is that countries where the US Government has been actively engaged, there is a less favourable view of Uncle Sam. For our purposes we will look at countries in the region which America is desperately trying to pivot away from – the Middle East – in order to set up in East Asia. This is how they marked America’s favourabiliy.
Jordan, 14%; Lebanon, 39%, Palestinian Territories, 26%; Pakistan, 22%, and Turkey (a NATO partner), 29%. Pew apparently couldn’t find anyone to ask in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Yemen, but we’d hazard a guess that in some of those places US favourabiliy would be struggling to make double digits.
Aside from the paucity of thought that went into this survey – that speaks for itself – what The Washington Post article shows is that it will manufacture any argument it can, however irrational, to make a case against Duterte; a man who has repeatedly put the US establishment’s nose out of joint. And of course it has to; it’s in Obama’s back pocket for one thing, and it’s a leading member of the mainstream media glee club of White House coddlers for another; it’s not going to break rank.
It’s as if Obama’s tame media are on some kind of bonus system which rewards anti-Duterte editorial in proportion to the number of column inches of it which it spews out. And the more fallacious, also the bigger the pay out.
None of this, of course, is remotely relevant to Duterte’s realignment of his country’s foreign policy. Furthermore, Duterte’s eastward policy shift has nothing to do with the people of Idaho, Nebraska or the Carolinas – nor with the Filipino people’s love of them; nor their high regard for things American.
What it does have to do with is the constant dictating by the Washington political class of what is acceptable to it in terms of the Philippines – and, we repeat, three score year and ten after the archipelago gained its independence from that political class.
What The Washington Post would like us all to believe is that Duterte has snatched his people, from the comfort and safety of the American cradle and delivered them to a dark and evil stepmother. The VolatilianTM has been saying this for quite some time: Washington, and the many-tentacled octopus it controls, want Duterte out of office and will do almost anything to achieve it. And that certainly includes sowing dissent within the Philippine population.
This is nothing to do with people-to-people relations; between Filipinos and Americans they will endure and continue to prosper. Nothing can stop that. This is about an extremely popular democratically elected leader saying that he wants full and unreserved sovereignty over his country’s future. And that is all it’s about.