Sunday, October 09, 2016

Pivoting to Stupid

Oh good grief:

Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday told U.S. President Barack Obama to "go to hell" and said the United States had refused to sell some weapons to his country but he did not care because Russia and China were willing suppliers.

One, only we get to tell our president to take a hike.

And two, Duterte is aware that his country needs weapons because China threatens its territorial integrity, right?

And he realizes that China is unlikely to sell weapons capable of defending against the Chinese threat, right?

And he realizes that Russia is still in full-on appeasement mode with China and so is unlikely to sell weapons capable of defending against the Chinese threat, doesn't he?

So it was up to the Philippines defense minister to "clarify":

Referring to recent strongly worded comments by Duterte, in which he has declared that the Philippines military gained little from U.S. security ties, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the armed forces were still weak and the country got a lot out of the U.S. relationship.

"That's why I said the president was misinformed, because I think the information he is getting is incomplete," Lorenzana told reporters, a day after the launch of the latest round of PHIBLEX military exercises involving troops from both sides.

"Maybe, the defense ministry and the armed forces were remiss in providing him the correct information. This, we will address in the coming days."

I once wrote that Duterte is perhaps a peek at a Trump presidency, but to be fair, we already have the experience of a defense secretary trying to make up for presidential deficiencies (the search term gets some false positives, but you get the idea).