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Political genius! Duterte leverages PH's prime spot in the Pacific to tame superpowers

Here's a very good analysis of the events that unfolded in Manila recently.

Originally posted on Franco Mabanta's Facebook page

Now that the dust has settled and the rest of the world has spoken, the ultimate takeaway from the #ASEAN2017 is a lot simpler than you think.

Krissia Luchansky
PTPA Krissia Luchansky
(Buckle up! The Du30 haters are gonna be so angry.) 😘

Ready?

Here it is:
With Trump, Putin, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minitser Shinzõ Abe all loudly and proudly declaring their love, this is now the first time in history that ALL FOUR LEADERS OF THE TOP FOUR GLOBAL SUPERPOWERS HAVE UNIVERSALLY HONORED THE LEADER OF THE PHILIPPINES.

What.

Yup. First. Time. Ever.

All four commanders-in-chief — after having spent substantial alone time with Duterte, watching him attend very formal meetings in casual clothing, listening to him crack jokes and cuss, allowing him to take care of them and vice versa, and (most importantly) seeing him in action in terms of creating and executing strategies — have each walked away from the Duterte Experience all kinds of impressed and with an unmistakable, seemingly unprecedented appreciation. Check out every agenda-free international news outlet the last two days. The four superleaders are currently venerating Digong with uncharacteristically candid and transparent descriptions like "he's a good guy" and "he's a man worthy of worldwide respect" and "he's my friend".

This has literally NEVER happened before. Not with Cory. Or FVR. Or Estrada. Or Arroyo. And definitely NOT with Noynoy.

While Noynoy was in office, he was Obama's bitch, his personal fun-sized goldfish, a truth concealed by the euphemism of polite international diplomacy. It's funny, but it's also undeniable. For six years, Aquino was Barack's 12th century chamber maid, helplessly doing his bidding, while the rest of us, in essence, were transitively forced to kneel with him. That wasn't too long ago — I'm sure you remember what it was like.
Look at our situation NOW. Do you feel the knee bent? Because I certainly don't.

One of the biggest social media blowbacks since Digong came into office was when he told the US to fuck off last year and vigorously stated that it was now "China, Russia and the Philippines against the world". Do you remember the Facebook fall out that soundbite generated? A tidal wave of haters and critics alike were going APE SHIT online declaring how much they loved America and how they despised Duterte's foreign policy decision-making while clearly not having understood the situation.

Yet Duts understood it. Like the lion-eating/relentlessly woke/bullshit-free probinsyano he is, he saw the situation and grabbed it by the throat. He saw a rapidly declining superpower in the West and a global, game-changing shift in momentum with a trajectory that pointed nowhere else but East. He observed how essentially every multinational, multibillion-dollar company wanted a piece of China...and he understood that there was great reason for it.

NOW ALL FOUR OF THE TOP FOUR SUPERPOWERS ARE OUR ALLIES.

Holy shit. No need to choose one or two to align with and then distance ourselves from the others to appease the alliance, as has been our standard operating procedure for decades. None of that stuff. We have all of them. And, mind you, the four don't even like each other, but THEY all like US.
The mere thought of the magnitude of that statement makes the hair on my arms stand...if comprehended in its entirety, how could it not?
Again...holy shit.

And then you have Noynoy and Mar sitting at home — one scratching the extended landing strip on his forehead, the other conceptualizing the 2018 sequel to his hyper-tactful cutie-pie Yolanda anniversary video — both watching the ASEAN proceedings thinking they could have accomplished the same. No, they couldn't. Let's be very clear about that right now. NO, THEY COULDN'T. Neither of them could have pulled this off. To be fair, very few human beings walking the planet earth today could have pulled this off.

Global superpowers 5 through 8 are Germany, India, Iran and Israel (in that order) — you know what, I bet you their leaders would dig Digong, too. He's not a normal person, man. Or more accurately, a man like him doesn't come around often. Like what LeBron, Elon Musk, Jordan Peterson, Zuckerburg and Beyonce are to their industries, Duterte is a once-in-every-three-generations kind of human being.

I've been in politics for two years now — admittedly a short amount of time by anyone's political standards — but I've been lucky enough to have had many long and profoundly substantial conversations with our most powerful men and women. What I can say with absolute certainty is that Duterte is the most fascinating human being I've ever talked to, as well as one of the sharpest and most caring.

What, Franco? He's caring but he's ruthless? You can be both. Trust me. You can even be both simultaneously. 😊 To think that ethics and morals in politics are black and white is a mental act of dangerous naivete. Politicking is nuanced and multidimensional and case-by-case, a world where everyone thinks they're the good guy (and everyone else the villain), which is why it's an endeavor of unwavering difficulty for all, and a life of soul-consuming, survivalist mindlessness for most.

I'll leave you with this...an insider tip for higher analysis: Duterte said last week that he stabbed someone to death in the heat of a knife fight (self-defense) when he was 16 years old. Note that this was ONE DAY BEFORE THE ASEAN AND IN FRONT OF AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE IN VIETNAM. Many of you perceived this to be a silly slip up and an unplanned miscalculation. I'm telling you guys right now that you were wrong.

He KNEW that story would reach the other world leaders. He knew exactly what he was doing. That's a move straight from the pages of The Art Of War, which, I'll have you know, Digong allegedly memorized word-for-word at the age of nine.

Remember, the world is not fair. But if you plan intelligently and work your ass off, you'll wake up in a better spot than the one you were in the day before and you'll go to bed in a better spot than the one you were in when you woke. Love you guys. 💪

PS - Aside from you being wrong and Duterte being oh-so-fucking-right about last year's strategic shift from the US to China, let's lay out one last fact. Of the people who've been criticizing our newfound financial partnerships and the tens of billions of dollars in foreign aid and investment from China, Japan, Russia and the Middle East, carelessly tossing around statements regarding "incredibly high interest rates" and "it will take forever to pay back that debt", well, my response is very simple: I'm 100,000% sure that 99.999% of you don't understand economics. In other words (and yet even simpler), you literally and academically have no idea what you're talking about. 💘

Landed in Thailand a few moments ago and I'll be a bit busy. In the meantime, feel free to jump in my comments section — we welcome all the happy discourse. But try to be nice to each other, okay? Okay. 🇵🇭

Political genius! Duterte leverages PH's prime spot in the Pacific to tame superpowers Political genius! Duterte leverages PH's prime spot in the Pacific to tame superpowers Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 7:03:00 AM Rating: 5

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