Government News Analysis

What hypocrisy looks like

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearings on the Philippines' War on Drugs

The US Democratic Party is still in tantrum mode nearly seven months after losing the US presidential election – and still determined to pursue the wishes of its poster boy, former president Barack Obama. And do so with as much spite as it can muster.

Its latest effort in this endeavour has been to denounce President Donald Trump – its number one target of hate – for inviting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for a meeting at the White House. Duterte is regarded by Obama’s legacy Democrats as a pariah for allegedly trampling on human rights in his country. As far as they’re concerned, he’s unwelcome in Washington.

They’ve also never forgive him – and most likely never will – for insulting their idol; their prince. Hell hath no fury like a Liberal (Democrat, same thing) scorned. Duterte is the first Philippine head of state in recent times to have publically stood up to a US president and threatened to break with America. In fact, you’d have to go all the way back to 1899 when the first president of the Philippine, Emilio Aguinaldo, declared “That peace and friendly relations with the Americans be broken and that the latter be treated as enemies…”

Last year, Duterte reprimanded Obama for insinuating himself into his country’s internal affairs; specifically for criticising Duterte for his handling of the illegal-drugs problem in the Philippines. Then, while on a visit to Beijing he told Washington, “Your stay in my country was for your own benefit … So time to say goodbye, my friend”.

The Democats didn’t like that one bit. How dare a Philippine president – the head of a former US possession; a state which for the 70 years since independence from America has known its place as a junior partner in the US-Philippine relationship – serve notice on its superior? How dare this man unilaterally declare an independent foreign policy without so much as a by your leave?

They appear to believe they can strong-arm the Philippines to getting back into line.
They’re still scratching their heads over all that. At the same time, though, they appear to believe they can strong-arm the Philippines to getting back into line. And at the recent Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearings on the Philippines’ War on Drugs, they attempted yet again to do just that.

Democratic Party representative for California, Mz Jackie Speier (photo, left), told the Commission – a caucus of the US House of Representatives – she was disgusted by Trump’s invitation; James McGovern (photo, right), the Democratic Party representative for Massachusetts and co-chair of the Commission said that he would personally lead the protest if Duterte visited the White House.

What they’d latched onto was an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; an opportunity to display their familiar righteous indignation over what Speier described as Duterte’s “murderous, extra-judicial campaign” and over the fact that Trump could even countenance a meeting with the Philippine leader. The emotive subject of human rights then was the glue used to stick their protests together.

Yet this is the same cult of Liberals which drooled over Obama’s moves to normalise US relations with the brutal Cuban communist dictatorship of Fidel and Raul Castro; a regime that never even paid lip service to human rights.

Actually, it’s worse than that; McGovern, whose been visiting Cuba since 1979, has been a long-time advocate for Washington renewing ties with Havana. He’s been working to change US-Cuba policy for decades. This totalistic tyranny killed an estimated 73,000 Cubans; something McGovern seems to have conveniently swept aside.

In August 2015, he was alongside then US Secretary of State, John Kerry, at the re-opening of the US Embassy in Havana. In March last year, he accompanied Obama on his historic trip – the first to Cuba by a US president since Calvin Coolidge’s visit in 1928. And here’s what he said: “I give [Obama] great credit for having the guts to do something that quite frankly should have been done decades ago”. He described the isolation of Cuba by the US as a “relic of the Cold War that didn’t help the Cuban people”.

It seems an open-arms welcome to the despots of Havana is good for the Cuban people, while extending the same courtesy to Manila is somehow bad for Filipinos.
McGovern, though, has been a long-time groupie of communism; particularly the Latin-American variety. He was a big fan of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or, FARC) – a brutal Marxist-Leninist guerrilla, narco-terrorist movement that’s been in a war with the Colombian government since 1964. In 2008, he attempted to halt US military aid to Colombia and managed to stop a free trade agreement that would have benefitted the Colombian economy. He also worked to support the communist insurgency of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (or FSLN) in Nicaragua.

Both these organisations were hallmarked by human-rights abuses, mass executions and the oppression of indigenous minorities. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if McGovern was also a supporter of the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing the New People’s Army. They would seem to tick all the boxes for McGovern.

And so it seems an open-arms welcome to the despots of Havana is good for the Cuban people, while extending the same courtesy to Manila is somehow bad for Filipinos. It should also be pointed out that so far no corroborative evidence has been produced to support the global Liberal coalition’s claims that Duterte’s administration is culpable of any human-rights abuses – unlike Cuba where they’ve been documented for more than half a century. Obama Democrats try to massage those hard facts but even they can’t outright deny them.

Fidel Castro, who ruled Cuba with a rod of iron as its president for 41 years – he died last November – put his political opponents on trial in revolutionary courts and had literally hundreds of them executed. Even today there’s no freedom of the press, freedom of expression or freedom of assembly in the Castro Cuba. It remains one of the most repressed societies on Earth. Cubans can only dream of the freedoms enjoyed by the Filipino people.

Mz Speier, meanwhile, was also fully supportive of Washington’s realignment with Havana and eagerly put her signature to the 2017 Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act which deregulated decades of travel restrictions for US citizens.

Here’s what she said on her Facebook page about her country’s renewal of ties with hard-communist Cuba. “Normalizing relations is the right thing to do, and opens a new chapter between our nations. It’s is [sic] the best way that we can promote human rights, democracy, peace, and security in nations around the world: through earnest relations and open dialogue”.

If that’s not hypocrisy and typical of the double standards of the Liberal establishment, it’ll do until we can find a better example.
That seem odd when juxtaposed to what she had to say about Trump’s outreach to Duterte. Here’s what she said about that: “His [Duterte’s] murderous, extra-judicial campaign has drawn condemnation from around the world – except from President Trump, who had a ‘very friendly’ conversation with the man who once said, ‘I don’t care about human rights’ and who called President Obama a ‘son of a whore’ for speaking out against atrocities Duterte has committed against his own people”.

Again we emphasise that the allegations leveled against Duterte are hearsay and have not been shown to have any evidential basis. This is in sharp contrast to the abuses and violations carried out by a bludgeoning Marxist-Leninist one-party state which Cuba – right on America’s southern doorstep – continues to be.

For us, if that’s not hypocrisy and typical of the double standards of the Liberal establishment, it’ll do until we can find a better example.

And then there’s that elephant that’s too big for any room – Iran. This is one of the world’s most prolific state sponsors of terror – it’s supported and armed the Hezbollah in Lebanon; Hamas in the Palestinian Territories; and Shi militias the length and breadth of the Middle East.

Over the course of the past three decades plus – going back to the 1979 Iranian Revolution which turned Iran into a theocracy – it’s gathered enough blood on its hands to fill the Red Sea. It’s also been viewed by successive US governments as the biggest single threat to world peace, a belief reinforced by Tehran’s persistence in pursuing its nuclear programme.

Obama brushed all that aside along with the Iranian chants of “Death to America” – after all he wasn’t personally being insulted – when in 2007 as a US senator and during his first presidential campaign he famously remarked that he would meet with then-Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This is a man who dismissed the Holocaust – the genocide of 6 million Jews in Nazi Germany (1941-45) – as a myth propagated by Western governments. Later he claimed that the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks of 11 September 2011 which killed 2,996 people in the US, were orchestrated by “some segments within the American government … to reverse the declining American economy, and its grips on the Middle East, in order to save the Zionist regime.

Quoting former US president, John F. Kennedy, Obama said in defence of his stance: “We should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate” – an approach evidently lost on Speier and McGovern.

It would seem then that the Castros and Ahmadinejad, as leaders of totalitarian regimes, are people the Liberals can do business with; while the democratically elected head of a sovereign Southeast Asian state – a man, unlike the Cubans and the Iranian, who’s hugely popular with his people – is not and should be shunned.

Why would Duterte want to subject himself to the pageantry of protest for which the US has become so renowned – those street carnivals of hate?
Whether Duterte goes to Washington in the near future remains to be seen. Loose media reports of a planned visit in the autumn have never been confirmed by either side. In any event, we don’t see why such a trip needs to be scheduled at this time – given the fact that Trump is expected to attend the East Asia Summit to be held in Manila in November. There’ll be plenty of opportunity for them to get together there.

urthermore, why would Duterte want to subject himself to the pageantry of protest for which the US has become so renowned – those street carnivals of hate, choreographed by the Democrat/Liberal establishment? Why would he want to help the struggling US mainstream media to sell hate news about him?

There’s not much doubt that, given the chance, Duterte and Trump could put Philippine-US relations back on a steady footing; they seem to have the will. Unfortunately, that’s not what the Liberal establishment wants though. Its preference is to exploit the Duterte-Obama rift and further destabilise the relationship by continuing to weaponise the human-rights allegations.

What they’ve figured out is that by doing that they can embarrass Trump as the friend of a “dictator” – ironic given Obama’s history – and further ostracise Duterte. And the reason for that is quite simple: they don’t want Trump in the White House and they don’t want Duterte in Malacañang. As far as they’re concerned those places should be occupied, respectively, by Hillary Clinton and Mar Roxas; in turn, the rightful heirs to Obama and former Philippine president, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino. Now there’s someone who didn’t need to be told where the Philippines’ place was in its relationship with the US.

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