Uninvited US Special Forces in the Philippines

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Uninvited US Special Forces in the Philippines
by Stephen Lendman
Washington claiming they’re aiding the Philippine military combat ISIS in the southern city of Marawi belies US support for the terror group – its fighters serving its imperial interests.
What’s going on? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his government requested no US military aid. He “never approached America,” for help, he stressed.
He didn’t know about the presence of US special forces in Marawi “until they arrived,” he explained.
Were they deployed to aid ISIS against his government? Is there a US plot to oust him? Washington is displeased with his outreach to China and Russia, saying he intends building “new alliances.”
Earlier he called for removing US forces from Jolo and Basilan islands, saying:
“These special forces…have to go. I do not want a rift with America, but they have to go.” They’ve been in the southern Philippines since 2002, supposedly to train and advise government forces during Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines.
Duterte blamed Washington’s military presence for inflaming Muslim population tensions. “As long as we stay with America, we will never have peace,” he said, adding he’s reorienting the country’s foreign policy.
“I am about to cross the rubicon between me and the US,” he explained, saying he’s not ready to “break ties (with Washington), but we will open alliances with” China and Russia.
Weeks after taking office in mid-2016, he blasted Western imperial Middle East policies, saying the Obama administration and Britain “destroyed the (region)…forc(ing) their way into Iraq and kill(ing) Saddam.”
“Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya.” He called Obama a “son-of-a-bitch” – refreshingly candid but no way to make friends in Washington.
So-called Joint Task Force Marawi spokesman Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera claimed US forces “are not fighting. They are just providing technical support.”
Did the country’s military invite them without Duterte’s permission? Are they operating behind his back?
Does Washington want him replaced by a compliant, easy to control pro-Western puppet ruler?
Strained US relations with the Philippines under Duterte suggests something may be up – perhaps why ISIS fighters were deployed to Mindanao.
Duterte admitted the risk of defying America, saying “one day, during my term, if I survive the CIA, I still have five years to go.”
Washington tolerates no independent governments, targeting them all for regime change – Duterte very much threatened.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.