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Letters to the Editor

Trump’s ‘Indo-Pacific dream’ is working Asians’ nightmare

/ 05:00 AM November 18, 2017

It has been 16 years since the United States launched their “global war on terror” which, according to them, was an “action to end the waves of terror and chaos in the different parts of the world.” This was yet another lie.

A quick study of recent history since 9/11 would prove that it was not the obstruction or decimation of terrorists or jihadists that the United States focused on. But rather, they tactically used their “war on terror” in order to gain control of cheap raw materials needed to fuel their global economic dominance (Iraq, Libya), open up new markets (Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan) and strengthen their foothold on countries with strategic trade routes. This is what is unfolding in Somalia today and their objective in their continued interference in the Malacca Straits and in the South China Sea.

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Ever since the Philippine-American War—a result of American businessmen wanting to establish a porting dock in Asia—up to the multiple, unequal and unjust trade and military treaties such as the Bell Trade Act (1946), the Cold War relic, Mutual Defense Treaty (1951), the circumventing Visiting Forces Agreement (1999), and of late, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that promoted our economic dependency on the United States, the Filipino people were, and still are, tied on an imperialist leash.

The Filipino people are tired of being treated as “little brown men” by our “GI Joe liberators.” All of the nation’s past presidents have succumbed to the imperialist agenda. Fostering our economic dependency on the West, politicians have bled us dry to pay for onerous debts the bankers promoted as “development projects,” placing us in the crosshairs of a nuclear Armageddon, placing our rural communities in peril for their extractive industries and giving undue privileges to their multinational corporations at the expense of Filipino workers.

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When President Duterte promised an independent foreign policy, we were given hope that the status quo would change. However, the Filipino people have been deceived, again.

US President Donald Trump’s first visit to the Philippines in time for Asean’s 50th anniversary dawns a new era of exploitative policies and treaties; he calls it the “Indo-Pacific dream.” Trump recently outlined the administration’s overall Asian policy in his address to CEOs in Vietnam. He offered a general set of principles and interests that will unfold in the coming years, obviously designed to rival China’s Silk Road Economic Belt roadmap that Mr. Duterte has fallen in love with.

The supposed main thrust of Trump’s vision for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” is “partnership” with strong, independent nations willing to play by their rules.

Trump’s “economic security is national security” could only mean that imperial America will not sit idly as its throne as a global economic power is slowly eroding and is being contested by other superpowers such as China and Russia.

His “Indo-Pacific dream” is but a military and economic conquest for dominance in East Asia and Southeast Asia—the location of the world’s most dynamic economies since 2008. This is a blatant admission of imperial America’s true and unwavering agenda in the region. This could mean more deregulation, market liberalization and corporate takeover of social services.

Trump’s pipe dream is most certainly the working Asians’ nightmare.

JOANNE S. LIM, spokesperson, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan, progresibongkabataan@gmail.com

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TAGS: Donald Trump, Indo-Pacific, Indo-Pacific dream, Inquirer Opinion, Trump
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