Obama bribes Eastern nations in search for support of U.S. war policies
United States and the Philippines have signed a military pact Monday, allowing greater presence of U.S. troops in the Asian country. The agreement, signed just hours before the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama to Manila is part of the strategy of political, economic and military U.S. shift towards Asia.
Philippines, the oldest ally of Washington in the region, is the last leg of Obama’s Asian tour, which began on Wednesday of last week in Japan and then took him to South Korea and Malaysia, before landing this afternoon at Manila, where he met with Philippine President Benigno Aquino. After the meeting, Obama said that the alliance, initially for ten years, will promote peace and stability in the region, and that the United States is not trying to renew old or build new foundations.
The pact, called Augmented Cooperation Defense Agreement, was signed by the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, and Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. Set the frame for rotation of a greater number of soldiers, U.S. ships and warplanes in the Asian country arrive in a time when Aquino tries to boost its military capacity to deal with the growing presence of China in maritime areas that dispute the two countries in the South China sea. This is how the United States fights its battles; it has proxy pet governments fight for them.
The alliance granted to the Armed Forces of the United States temporary access to a number of military camps and allow them to be in position for combat will include aircraft and boats, in what is perceived as an effort by Washington to counter China’s military rise in the area.
Obama, however, has attempted to dilute this vision, and has released a conciliatory message to Beijing. “We want to be your partner in the defense of international law,” he said at a joint press conference with Aquino in Malacañang Palace, reports the Associated Press. The new agreement “raises our security cooperation to a higher level of commitment and promotes regional peace and stability,” Aquino reaffirmed.
Ambassador Goldberg said that the new security agreement forms part of an existing military treaty between the United States and the Philippines, and is not a move to have permanent U.S. military presence in the country by opening new bases.
“It will serve to update our security alliance to meet the increasingly complex challenges of the XXI century, whether they are terrorism, transnational crimes or natural disasters like the Haiyan typhoon,” said the ambassador at the signing ceremony. The deal will also allow a greater number of joint training activities of the Armies of the two countries.
The pact has been met with criticism from Beijing and Filipino activists. “Given that the Philippines has a bitter territorial dispute with China, the movement is especially troubling because it may embolden Manila in dealing with Beijing,” said an editorial Monday in the official news agency Xinhua. “A firmer and even reckless Manila could stoke regional tensions and, instead, alter the policy of rebalancing promised by Obama.”
Filipino activists argue that the agreement reverses democratic gains achieved when U.S. military bases were closed in the early 1990s, which ended nearly a century of U.S. military occupation in the country.
Obama has tried to convey that the pact will not be destined to dominate the Philippines. “Increased cooperation between American and Filipino forces enhance our ability to train, exercise and operate with each other and respond faster to a range of challenges, including humanitarian and disaster aid,” said the American president in a written interview with the local media group ABS- CBN. “It will also help the Philippines to continue to build its defense capability, and will help to promote security cooperation in the region.”
Obama insists that the Philippine facilities remain under the control of Manila and that American forces rotate to conduct joint training, as is done in some cases. The Philippine Constitution prohibits the existence of permanent U.S. bases, although hundreds of American soldiers have been deployed in the southern Philippines since 2002 to provide counter-terrorism training to Filipino troops battling Islamist militants. The unconstitutionality of the American presence, however, has not stopped either president from signing illegal accords such as the Augmented Cooperation Defense Agreement.