U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter Calls Philipines President Duterte’s Comments on Hitler, Drug Addicts “Deeply Troubling”

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter gives his opening remarks for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defense ministers meeting in Ko Olina, Hawaii, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Eugene Tanner AP Photo

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President Rodrigo Duterte scratches his head as he addresses Philippine Marines in suburban Taguig City east of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. Duterte used an expletive to warn key ally Barack Obama not to lecture him on human rights and, in another impromptu speech, declared a dramatic policy change such as removing US counterterrorism forces out of his country’s volatile south. Impassioned speeches by Duterte about the United States, the European Union and the United Nations have repeatedly led his government to issue clarifications, although he had been on the job less than three months. AP/Bullit Marquez

Updated 8:48 PM ET, Fri September 30, 2016

Washington (CNN) The US rebuked the Philippines President for likening himself to Adolf Hitler but stressed Friday that the strong relationship between the two countries would not be affected by the controversial leader’s rhetoric.

President Rodrigo Duterte compared himself to Hitler and his purge of drug offenders to the Holocaust.
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“I’d be happy to slaughter them. At least if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have (me),” Duterte said Friday while speaking in his hometown of Davao City. “You know my victims, I would like (them) to be all criminals, to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”
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Asked about Duterte’s comments Friday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called them “deeply troubling.”

In this picture taken on July 8, 2016, police officers investigate the dead body of an alleged drug dealer, his face covered with packing tape and a placard reading “I’m a pusher”, on a street in Manila. Getty Images

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Speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Oahu, Hawaii, Carter said Duterte’s remarks were not discussed in the meeting. He stressed that US-Philippines cooperation would continue, saying, “It has served the interests of our nations for many years now” and adding that he had good discussions about “ongoing alliance operations” with his counterpart from the Philippines.
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Carter’s description of Duterte’s remarks were echoed earlier Friday by State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
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“We find them troubling,” Toner told reporters in Washington.
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Toner went on to say that the US-Philippines relationship was based on “our shared belief in human rights and human dignity, and within that context, President Duterte’s comments are a significant departure from that tradition.”
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He added, “Words matter, especially when they’re from leaders of sovereign nations.”
While defense officials from both the Philippines and the US downplayed the immediate impact of the President’s statements, his comments are bound to complicate a relationship that the US has long seen as one of its most stable in Southeast Asia.
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The US and the Philippines are co-signatories of a mutual defense pact, signed in 1951. Duterte signaled that he would continue to honor the pact while speaking in Vietnam, noting it dates back to the 1950s, even as he said he would “establish new alliances for trade and commerce.”
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But as the US seeks allies amid China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea, the loss of the Philippines could be a major headache for US policy planners.
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Only month’s before Duterte’s June swearing in, the two countries inked an agreement granting US military forces access to five bases in the Philippines. It’s a major boost for US troops in the Pacific as China has engaged in the development, and by many assessments militarization, of man-made islands in the South China Sea.
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In July, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in a maritime dispute that was seen as a victory by the US, concluding that Beijing had no legal basis to claim the bulk of the South China Sea.
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But Duterte has singled that he is willing to enter bilateral negotiations with the Chinese over the dispute and has publicly expressed a desire for closer relations with the Asian power.
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Asked about the Philippines’ relations with other countries, Toner, the State Department spokesman, said the US was not opposed.
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“This is not a zero sum game for us,” he said. “We are not trying to dictate with whom the Philippines have a strong relationship with.”
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Related:
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While Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton began what was called the “U.S. pivot to Asia.” In this photo, Hillary Clinton talks with then Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. on September 5, 2012. Today Hillary Clinton is running to become the next President of the United States and China’s former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has been promoted to the number three leadership within the Chinese Communist Party. China seems to be in control of most of the South China Sea and is pressuring all U.S. allies from Japan to Australia to Singapore to ally themselves with China or face consequences. In 2012, Hillary Clinton was a big advocate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After Donald Trump said the TPP was not a good deal for American workers, Hillary Clinton became against the TPP.

Above: Flight of Chinese fighters near Japan’s claims in the East China Sea

 

 

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One Response to “U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter Calls Philipines President Duterte’s Comments on Hitler, Drug Addicts “Deeply Troubling””

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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