Skip to comments.President Obama Must Show Support for the Philippines
Posted on 04/25/2014 6:48:49 PM PDT by dignitasnews
Commentary by Paul Winters, Dignitas News Service
In comments made Thursday in Japan, US President Obama pledged his support for Japanese rights in its dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea. The disputed land, known to the Japanese as Senkaku and referred to as Diaoyu are at the center of the Sino-Japanese tensions. The comments come as part of Mr. Obama's week-long trip through Asia in which he has been vocal in support for Japan and Korea in the region, but has been embarrassingly silent on support for the Philippines amid increased Chinese aggression in the South Philippines seas.
The President will arrive in Manila on Monday for talks with Filipino President Benigno Aquino as interested parties on both sides of the Pacific hope he is as vocal in his support for one of America's longest and most trusted allies. American remains the only defensive ally in the region and his words of support will go a long way in easing concerns of the vulnerable South East Asian Island nation.
Philippines Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. addressed these concerns in a statement today, "Washington is only defense treaty ally of the Philippines and this relationship has been a cornerstone of peace and stability in the region. He stressed the need for clarity as to the United States intentions in defense of the Philippines against Chinas aggressive moves in the West Philippine Sea, the parts of the South China Sea within Manilas exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
From the Philippine perspective, we would like to be able to arrive at a clearer understanding with the US on important aspects of the strategic partnership in those three areas, Coloma told reporters, referring to political and security cooperation, trade and cultural ties with an ally whose friendship in previous years was beyond question.
Coloma's comments echo the concerns of many of the Presidents critics at home, who have accused the Administration of a muddled and inconsistent foreign policy which has served to embolden our enemies and leave our closest allies, such as the Philippines, confused as to our commitment to our friends.
President Obama's inauguration in 2009 was greeted around the globe with enthusiasm as he pledged to mend negative feelings about the United States with many across the globe, who became concerned with the aggressive foreign policy of both the Clinton and more so the Bush Administrations. In a post 9/11 world, Mr. Obama promised to show "another side of the United States" to those with a less than positive view of America, particularly within the Muslim world.
While we should encourage the mending of shattered relationships and the prospect of turning foes into allies, the lessons of 9/11 should be, that in addition to having some very real enemies, we also have some very dear and loyal friends. Much of our economic standing in the world is due to the cooperation and partnerships we have forged with our strongest allies. While any relationship we have with foreign countries should be primarily driven by long-term US interests, every possible effort should be made to insure that the collateral benefits of our global influence should be shared first and foremost with our able friends and trusted allies. As we survey the world around is, its hard to find a reasonable argument to suggest there is a greater friend to the United States than the Philippines.
With all due respect to Japan and South Korea, the foundation of democracy and freedom in the Asian region rests in the Philippines. During World War II Americans and Filipinos fought together, bled together, faced starvation together and died together. Filipinos faces imprisonment, rape and execution to smuggle food, water and other essentials to our POW's and non-combatant hostages behind the Japanese lines. At a crucial stage during the Cold War, long before victory over totalitarian Marxism was assured, we were aided by the example of the Philippines, who showed the world that the forces of freedom and liberty could indeed triumph over dictatorship. It is no small coincidence that shortly after the Marcos regime was toppled, people all over the world began to make their voices known and demand the essential right of self-determination over tyranny. As we fight a world-wide battle against terrorism, the people of the Philippines are on the front lines, doing battle against extremism within their own borders.
While by all means we need extend our influence, solidify friendships with strategic allies and reach out to new friends, there is something to be said with dancing with the one who brought you. One can easily note the difference between the benefits of a long-standing relationship built on mutual trust, understanding and acceptance of each others faults, as we have with the Philippines, and the short-term pleasures of a liaison based on expediency and opportunism, which will surely crumble as soon as the passion fades and each party has achieved its short terms aims.
We would be wise to re-visit our history and recognize how much our relationship with he Philippines has meant to our nation. We have gotten as much as we have given in our long-standing friendship with the Filipinos and our commitment should be so strong that it never comes under question by a wonderful people who count on our support for their security, peace of mind and economic stability in a region with a long history of stronger, aggressor nations threatening the sovereignty of smaller nations whose vulnerability is often merely a consequence of geography. We owe our dearest friends at least that much.
As the United States finds its power and commitment to freedom questioned by those around the world, The President has a wonderful opportunity to clarify America's commitment to the Philippines when he arrives in Manila Monday. It is not only the right thing to do morally, but strategically as well.
He doesn’t even support the United States and you want him to show support for another country that is allied with us?
Yeah, and we can invest billions refurbishing and rebuilding Naval and Air bases so the unappreciative Manila pols can boot us out and take them over for profit. Again.
Nothing against the Philippino people, but dang this is like a bad movie. We owe them, but they can deny us any time? Really?
Didn’t they recently want to kick our military out for a ho hooking up with some enlisted person?
A majority Catholic/Christian country getting support from Barry? I hate to say this, I really do, but you folks are seriously screwed if your counting on support from “The Won”.
Just ask any true American.
This dispute involves the Spratly Islands, basically a no-man’s group of islands in the South China sea. A number of countries lay claim to the Spratlys.
Back in the 60s, a group of hams formed an expedition to put the islands on the air as a new ham radio country, using a prefix of “1S”. They were blown out of the water by pirates, killing one or more of the group. It was an espedition that I had looked forward to contacting.
Now, and in recent years, there have been numerous DXpeditions to the Spratleys, using 9M (Malaysian) prefix.
For more on the Spratlys....(http://www.spratlys.org/collection/claims/philippines/"
Obama is going to draw another red line and threaten/implement sanctions against insignificant PLA and Chinese Communist Party members. He is also going to send nasty letters to the Chinese leadership. And that’s it.
Even with the fond memories of my time stationed in Subic Bay, Philippines in the late 1980s, I will say that American blood and treasure should not be spent defending the Philippines from China or anyone else.
They kicked us out in 1992, let them defend themselves.
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