Is the US Exploiting Typhoon Suffering to Win Military Bases in the Philippines?

31st MEU assesses remote sites with Osprey, delivers help

Last week I wrote about the potential for the Obama administration’s Asia-Pivot strategy to inflame anti-colonialist sentiment. I lamented that Washington tries simply to get around this popular opposition to the military surge in East Asia instead of acknowledging that people don’t like to be occupied by foreign militaries.

Cynically, the U.S. has exploited the suffering of the typhoon in the Philippines in order to gain leverage in negotiations with Manila over increased U.S. military presence there. The relief operations performed by U.S. forces are seen as helping to “lubricate” the deal for basing rights, which are one piece of a broader plan to contain a rising China.

According to Robert Farley at The Diplomat, the process of “establishing forward U.S. bases in the Philippines…has moved slowly, largely because of domestic concerns in Manila about a military U.S. presence.”

“Fortunately for U.S. strategic interests (if not the victims of the storm),” Farley writes, “the U.S. Navy’s support in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan may win sufficient goodwill to overcome local opposition to a renewed U.S. military role.”

That is as plain an example of exploitation as you’re going to get. The fact that Filipinos hesitate to welcome the U.S. back onto permanent bases, after kicking us out at the end of the Cold War, should not be belittled. The 1899-1902 U.S. war and occupation of the Philippines was a vicious colonial experiment waged for cynical geopolitical interests. Inclusive estimates that account for excess deaths related to the war say there were as many as 1 million casualties. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos were locked up in concentration camps, where poor conditions and disease killed thousands.

The account of U.S. Corporal Sam Gillis provides a vivid insight into what the occupation was like: “We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now.”

Just as the U.S. is now trying to cloak their interventionism in the guise of humanitarian causes, the 1899 intervention was of course described in the loveliest of terms. The leader of the nationalist movement in the Philippines who declared independence from the Spanish, Emilio Aguinaldo, received a letter from U.S. General Thomas Anderson that read,” General Anderson wishes you to inform your people that we are here for their good…”

President William McKinley insisted the U.S. was just trying to liberate the Philippines: “No imperial designs lurk in the American mind,” he said, but it was “not a good time for the liberator to submit important questions concerning liberty and government to the liberated while they are engaged in shooting down their rescuers.”

The legacy of that imperial war persisted over the decades until the U.S. was finally kicked out of the Philippines in the early 1990’s. The only reason the U.S. is interested in increasing military presence in the Philippines is to threaten and thus contain China. Never mind the fact that China doesn’t actually pose a threat to Americans.

It should go without saying that it is unacceptable for the U.S. to cynically use the quick military relief operations response to “lubricate” a deal that benefits U.S. foreign policy interests.

22 thoughts on “Is the US Exploiting Typhoon Suffering to Win Military Bases in the Philippines?”

    1. Exactly. Notice how it is battle and warships, etc., being moved into place. It's not Red Cross style assistance, because the US has no such entity. It's war machines and people who volunteer to be taught how to occupy foreign countries.

  1. Yeah, let's re-open the Subic Bay Navy base and Clark AFB and turn those places back into hives of prostitution, crime and debauchery. Uncle Sam's heroes can't get away with that stuff in Islamic countries (even though the Philippines does have a lot of Moslems in it).

    1. IIRC those bases were abandoned chiefly because Mt. Pinatubo dumped several megatons of volcanic ash on them in 1991. Does the Yankee Empire really want to incur Mother Nature's wrath again? Heck, the next eruption might generate a pyroclastic flow that turns the area into a latter-day Pompeii.

  2. Do bears sh*t in the woods? The US government never gives aid. It sells aid. It always expects something in return worth more than it gives.

  3. disaster capoitalism in achtung, ain’t the philapeines (?) where maggotsoft modeled profile dosseia secret police protoculls of from, where ¿, thare there

  4. the Chinese are sending a hospital ship. Late.

    Funny how the peacekeepers can get a carrier group there the day after it happens while the 'world threat' doesn't have naval units within striking distance of a prime target? Go figure!

    The 'Peace Ark' they call it not something decent like USS Succour (sucker).

  5. Ehud Barack Obama wants to recolonize the Philippines. He won't have to start Spanish American War II to do it. He will be continuing Cold War II. The 2nd amendment to the US constitution is the right to bear arms. The Filipinos should have had arms to protect themselves from the American invaders.

  6. US is in debts with China, so US wants China to take over their role as Imperialist Masters in the Philippines…

  7. Good, iagree. Some writers tend to come and go, but I think you'll be around a long time. As long as you keep pumping out this kind of content you'll be popular. Thanks for the great information.

  8. but murikka has been doing *humanitarian* works there all along, with special forces, no less !
    *The death of Cardeno exposed the clandestine unit engaged in work that appears in violation of Philippine laws and its sovereignty; the activities of DynCorp and other secret companies have likewise not been disclosed, contradicting the US Embassy claim that the US Special Forces are confined to openly conducted civic/humanitarian projects such as building roads, schools, etc.*

  9. first they "created" calamities to submit the Philippines into a begging state and then entered the scene "dramatically" as heroes for an ultimate interest to control the country militarily. What a grand big stage sacrificing a lot of Filipinos and other peoples of the 3rd world

  10. USAID those what USAID does best, covertly invade nations with the intention of setting the host nation a blaze. Considering the extensive array of Anglo-American cartel controlled Ionospheric heaters in Indonesia It wouldn't surprise me to learn that military Ionospheric heaters were used to steer Typhoon Haiyan

    Wendigo – USAID Foreign-Led Conspiracy To Destabilize Governments

    Ionospheric Heaters Weather Warfare

    Ionospheric heaters Tour de force

    Don't shoot the messengers!

  11. You are out of your Fing mind The whole concept that the aid to the Philippines was tied to some future concessions by the Philippine government for Military bases. It is the Philippine government that is asking for the American presence because China is taking control of Philippine islands and fishing grounds.

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