Wooow! What an amazing coincidence. I’m kidding of course. There is no coincidence. In late April President Obama visited the Philippines and it is only normal to announce new agreements on a POTUS visit. POTUS = President of the United States, this is what the State Department staffers call a visit by the President.
But what did he announce: Two things – –
First, the President’s biggest news was an agreement to berth additional US troops in the Philippines. With China asserting themselves in the region and America’s pivot to the west, this makes sense. There is one problem though. The Philippines were an America colony for 50 years or so, and remained America’s stooge for many years after that. The Philippine people were fed up with those American troops and happy to see them go. I can research the exact dates – and I’ll do that later but this was not a happy announcement for the Philippine people.
America has many ties to the Philippines. Many Americans retirees live there, especially former service men. Maybe I’ll move there too. One of America’s biggest – maybe the biggest – Veteran’s Hospital is in Manila. Nevertheless the Philippines cherishes their own sovereignty and they don’t want to risk it again after so many difficult years as a Spanish and then an American colony.
And why would they allow Americans back in? Two reasons: one is that they do have risk facing off against the much bigger China.
Then, too, it appears that America has bought them off too. The second “gift” – probably one of many we don’t know about – that President Obama announced was to take the Philippines of the list of countries on the Piracy Watch List. On this blog we usually talk about the War on Trafficking and the TIP list. But the United States is also in a War on Piracy of Intellectual Property. Since 1989 and continuously since 1994 (19 years) the Philippines was on the piracy watch list. Now they aren’t! Coincidence? Maybe, but curious nevertheless.
The Office of the US Trade Representative said the Philippines has made great progress in stopping piracy of intellectual property, but what else is he going to say when standing next to POTUS? Being off this piracy of intellectual property list is apparently great for foreign investment. So, money, money, money – surprise!
Next it will be TIP grace, as if they need it – –
I will be holding my breath to see if the Philippines get a special blessing like that on the 2014 Trafficking in Persons list this June. But the Philippines doesn’t need that blessing because they are already on TIER Two and not the watch list. I wonder how many right wing, religious Americans know that.
The Philippines has an open, easy-to-find, thriving sex worker industry with big neon signs and such in several major tourist locations – Manila, Subic Bay, Angeles City, and more. Maybe the secret the Philippines can share with other countries is to throw several foreign men, but not Americans, into prisons on trumped up charges and throw away the key. If you don’t know why I would say that switch to this post and take a look. So far it is just Swedes and Aussies who got the shaft, but soon it will be American military guys letting off steam who should be prosecuted. You’ll see!
Add story sailor who killed a ladyboy here
Politics – –
One of the big complaints about the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) program is that it rewards our friends and is tough on our enemies. It is polarizing. And, with a careful reading of the annual TIP report, it is easy to see why people / countries would feel that way.
Seeing the Philippines get a big break after 19 consecutive years is sooo suspicious that it demonstrates to us how all of these non-military Wars the United States is in these days are used as chips in negotiation.
They are political. Keep that in mind when you read those sad stories about saving abused children forced into prostitution. It sounds so good, but it is just another chip on the political negotiating table.