After Daily Bashing Of "Son Of A Whore" Obama, Philippines' Duterte Wants To Work With Trump
Trump has barely been president elect for one day, and he is already fixing the foreign policy mistake of his predecessor.
What a difference a presidential election makes: after lashing out on an almost daily basis at outgoing American president Barack Obama, calling him “son of a whore” and telling him he can “go to hell”, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte joined Vladimir Putin in congratulating Donald Trump on his election success, and said on Wednesday he now wishes to stop quarrelling with the United States, recalling his anger at the Obama administration for criticising him.
The maverick leader, incidentally known as “Trump of the East” for his unrestrained rants and lewd remarks, has repeatedly hit out at Washington in recent months, threatening to cut defense pacts and end military joint drills. “I would like to congratulate Mr. Donald Trump. Long live,” Duterte said in a speech to the Filipino community during a visit to Malaysia.
“We are both making curses. Even with trivial matters we curse. I was supposed to stop because Trump is there. I don’t want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won” he said cited by Reuters.
Duterte, who as profiled previously won a May election by a huge margin and is often compared with Trump, having himself been the alternative candidate from outside of national politics, campaigned on a populist, anti-establishment platform and struck a chord among ordinary Filipinos with his promises to fix what he called a broken country.
But the biggest fixture of Duterte’s presidency so far has been his hostility toward the Obama White House, expressed in near-daily eruptions of anger over its concerns about human rights abuses during his deadly war on drugs.
He also threatened on numerous occasions to sever a military relationship that has been a key element of Washington’s “pivot” to Asia.
Duterte on Wednesday told Filipinos how angry he had been at Washington, saying it had threatened to cut off aid and had treated the Philippines like a dog tied to a post. “They talk as if we are still the colonies,” he said. “You do not give us the aid, shit, to hell with you,” he said, recalling comments he had directed at Obama. In retrospect, we can partially commiserate with the outgoing administration: it is not exactly clear what the proper response to such daily verbal diarrhea is.
Ironically, with the Obama administration having effectively lost the Philippines as a core strategic ally in the Pacific Rim, it was Trump who told Reuters that the Philippines was a very important strategic location and that Duterte’s comments about removing foreign troops showed “a lack of respect for our country.”
Judging by Duterte’s sudden change of heart, it wasn’t lack of respect for the country, just the individual in charge of it.
On the other hand, for some reason we get the feeling that once the US Trump and the “Trump of the East”, the outcome will be quite volatile, if extremely entertaining.