Manila, Philippines – This is not about conspiracy theories like one that is now circulating that the Marawi siege was a United States Central Intelligence Agency plot to destabilize the government.
It is much more subtle and, in a sense, sinister than that sort of speculation. We can see from global events that there is a battle between those that believe in a sort of “One World Order” and those that are committed to national sovereignty and national self-interest.
The failed initiative of the Trans- Pacific Partnership was an effort by the US to bring more nations together to from a union that would better serve the interests of the few more powerful countries led by the US.
In return for supposed greater access to the US markets, the Philippines, for example, would have had to give up some of its own laws protecting local consumers and companies. Simplistically, Vietnam would have been able to sell more rice to the US, but then would have had to accept importing more US automobiles.
While nations are expected to operate in their own self-interests, there is an unwritten rule that no one is allowed to go too far in protecting those interests.
Take the recent example of the Catalonia region in Spain. Certain groups in Catalan have been calling for complete independence for decades.
The Spanish Constitution forbids this from happening and the European Union (EU) has backed Spain in putting down this independence movement.
However, the EU mandate and charter also says that people have the right to self-determination.
Regardless of any charges of voting irregularity, the EU was extremely upset by the fact that Crimea opted to join Russia. However, the EU is comfortable with Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.
Since President Duterte made clear his intention of the Philippines pursuing a more independent —meaning not under US control—foreign policy, the Philippines has become a global “bad boy.”
There was the continuous propaganda that the nation would become a debt slave to China.
No one but a person completely ignorant of how the process of taking a foreign loan works or someone only with a political agenda could buy that argument.
The administration’s “war on drugs” and the issues of human rights are valid. But threats of officially curtailing foreign investment is simply bias. Neither the EU nor the US has called for the same action against China.
Human-rights groups have repeatedly called out Vietnam for its death penalty. But the EU has not had a problem pushing the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which will go into force in 2019 even as foreign direct investment in Vietnam is up 34 percent in 2016.
The One World Order people cannot afford to have the Philippines succeed either economically or geopolitically. However, they walk a difficult path. The US stops armaments shipments to the Philippines and sees both Russia and China fill the gap.
Certainly, also, the US would go crazy if the time ever came for the annual joint military exercises—Balikatan—taking place with the Philippine Armed Forces and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.