The announcement last week by the United
States of the largest military aid
package in its history – to Israel – was
a win for both sides.
minister Benjamin Netanyahu could boast
that his lobbying had boosted aid from
$3.1 billion a year to $3.8bn – a 22 per
cent increase – for a decade starting in
Mr Netanyahu has presented this as a
rebuff to those who accuse him of
jeopardising Israeli security interests
with his government’s repeated affronts
to the White House.
In the past weeks alone, defence
minister Avigdor Lieberman has compared
last year’s nuclear deal between
Washington and Iran with the 1938 Munich
pact, which bolstered Hitler; and Mr
Netanyahu has implied that US opposition
to settlement expansion is the same as
support for the “ethnic cleansing” of
American president Barack Obama,
meanwhile, hopes to stifle his own
critics who insinuate that he is
anti-Israel. The deal should serve as a
fillip too for Hillary Clinton, the
Democratic party’s candidate to succeed
Mr Obama in November’s election.
In reality, however, the Obama
administration has quietly punished Mr
Netanyahu for his misbehaviour. Israeli
expectations of a $4.5bn-a-year deal
were whittled down after Mr Netanyahu
stalled negotiations last year as he
sought to recruit Congress to his battle
against the Iran deal.
In fact, Israel already receives
roughly $3.8bn – if Congress’s
assistance on developing missile defence
programmes is factored in. Notably,
Israel has been forced to promise not to
approach Congress for extra funds.
The deal takes into account neither
inflation nor the dollar’s depreciation
against the shekel.
A bigger blow still is the White
House’s demand to phase out a special
exemption that allowed Israel to spend
nearly 40 per cent of aid locally on
weapon and fuel purchases. Israel will
soon have to buy all its armaments from
the US, ending what amounted to a
subsidy to its own arms industry.
Nonetheless, Washington’s renewed
military largesse – in the face of
almost continual insults – inevitably
fuels claims that the Israeli tail is
wagging the US dog. Even The New York
Times has described the aid package as
Since the 1973 war, Israel has
received at least $100bn in military
aid, with more assistance hidden from
view. Back in the 1970s, Washington paid
half of Israel’s military budget. Today
it still foots a fifth of the bill,
despite Israel’s economic success.
But the US expects a return on its
massive investment. As the late Israeli
politician-general Ariel Sharon once
observed, Israel has been a US
“aircraft carrier” in the Middle East,
acting as the regional bully and
carrying out operations that benefit
Almost no one blames the US for
Israeli attacks that wiped out Iraq’s
and Syria’s nuclear programmes. A
nuclear-armed Iraq or Syria would have
deterred later US-backed moves at regime
overthrow, as well as countering the
strategic advantage Israel derives from
its own nuclear arsenal.
In addition, Israel’s US-sponsored
military prowess is a triple boon to the
US weapons industry, the country’s most
powerful lobby. Public funds are
siphoned off to let Israel buy goodies
from American arms makers. That, in
turn, serves as a shop window for other
customers and spurs an endless and
lucrative game of catch-up in the rest
of the Middle East.
The first F-35 fighter jets to arrive
in Israel in December – their various
components produced in 46 US states –
will increase the clamour for the
Israel is also a “front-line
laboratory”, as former Israeli army
negotiator Eival Gilady admitted at the
weekend, that develops and field-tests
new technology Washington can later use
The US is planning to buy back the
missile interception system Iron Dome –
which neutralises battlefield threats of
retaliation – it largely paid for.
Israel works closely too with the US in
developing cyberwarfare, such as the
Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s
civilian nuclear programme.
But the clearest message from
Israel’s new aid package is one
delivered to the Palestinians:
Washington sees no pressing strategic
interest in ending the occupation. It
stood up to Mr Netanyahu over the Iran
deal but will not risk a damaging clash
over Palestinian statehood.
Some believe that Mr Obama signed the
aid package to win the credibility
necessary to overcome his domestic
Israel lobby and pull a rabbit from the
hat: an initiative, unveiled shortly
before he leaves office, that corners Mr
Netanyahu into making peace.
Hopes have been raised by an expected
meeting at the United Nations in New
York on Wednesday. But their first talks
in 10 months are planned only to
demonstrate unity to confound critics of
the aid deal.
If Mr Obama really wanted to pressure
Mr Netanyahu, he would have used the aid
agreement as leverage. Now Mr Netanyahu
need not fear US financial retaliation,
even as he intensifies effective
annexation of the West Bank.
Mr Netanyahu has drawn the right
lesson from the aid deal – he can act
against the Palestinians with continuing
- See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2016-09-19/palestinians-lose-in-us-military-aid-deal-with-israel/#sthash.fL4Eq28N.dpuf
“They” Really Try to Kill President Duterte?
October 17, 2016 "Information
Rodrigo Duterte, the outspoken President of
the Philippines has by now, most likely,
joined the concealed, prestigious and
permanent hit list of the Empire.
hit list is very long; it has already been
long for several decades. One could easily
lose count and get confused: how many
personalities have been marked and secretly
condemned to death? How many of them
reads like a catalogue of illustrious world
leaders: from Patrice Lumumba (Zaire),
Mohammad Mosaddegh (Iran), Hugo Chavez
(Venezuela), Sukarno (Indonesia), Juvénal
Habyarimana (Rwanda), Salvador Allende
(Chile) to Muammar Gaddafi (Libya), Al-Basheer
(Sudan) and Fidel Castro (Cuba), to name
just a very few.
were directly assassinated; others were
‘only’ toppled, while only a handful of
‘marked’ leaders actually managed to survive
and to stay in power.
were several grave crimes committed by
almost all of them, very similar crimes.
They include: defending the vital interests
of their nations and people, refusing to
allow the unbridled plunder of natural
resources by multinational corporations, and
standing against the principles of
imperialism. Simple criticism of the Empire
has also been often punishable by death.
Duterte is committing all those horrid
crimes, which have been mentioned above. He
seems to be ‘guilty as charged’. He is
denying nothing; he even appears to be proud
of the charges that are being brought
bored with his life?’ some are asking. ‘Is
he out of his mind? Is he ready to die?’
a hero, a new Asian Hugo Chavez, or just an
out of control populist?
definitely risking a lot, or maybe he is
even risking absolutely everything. He is
now committing the most unforgiveable sins
in the eyes of the Western regime: he is
openly insulting the Empire and its
institutions (including the UN, NATO and the
EU). He is even spitting in their faces!
make it worse’, he is not only chatting; he
is taking decisive actions! He is trying to
help the poor in his country, he is flirting
with the Communist Party and with the
socialists, and on top of it he is basically
asking both China and Russia for assistance.
sparks are flying. Periodically such people
and institutions like Obama, Pope, the US,
the EU, and the UN get advised to go to
hell, or are re-Christened as
son-of-a-bitches or son-of-a-whores!
the people of the Philippines absolutely
love it. Duterte won elections with tiny
margins, but his latest approval rating
towers at an astounding 76%. Some would
therefore argue that if ‘democracy’ is truly
the ‘rule of the people’ (or at least it
should be reflecting the will of the
people), then all is exactly as it should be
in the Philippines.
While Eduardo Climaco Tadem, Professorial
Lecturer of Asian Studies
(University of the Philippines Diliman), is
critical of Duterte’s ‘un-presidential’
speech writing and for him “scoring
negatively on the issue of civil and
political human rights”, he is clearly
impressed by his achievements in several
other spheres. As he recently wrote to me in
“Positive initiatives on other fronts have
been taken. The appointment of Communist
Party cadres to cabinet positions for
agrarian reform, social work and
development, and anti-poverty programs is
good. Other left wing and progressive
personalities occupy other cabinet positions
in labor, education, health, science, and
environment. More important, positive
initiatives have been taken on moving land
distribution forward, ending labor
contractualization, reaching out to and
learning from Cuba’s health programs, and
curtailing the environmentally destructive
operations by big mining corporations.
Moreover, peace negotiations with both the
CPP and the MILF/MNLF have been revived with
initial steps that are looking good.
independent foreign policy has been
announced and Duterte no longer kowtows to
the US and Western powers, unlike previous
presidents before him. He is also mending
fences with China and taking a different and
less belligerent track in resolving the
territorial disputes in the South China
is all ‘bad’, extremely bad as far as
Washington, London and Tokyo are concerned.
Such behavior never goes unnoticed and
response of the Empire came almost
immediately this time.
September 20, 2016, the International
Business Times reported:
Philippines government has claimed that a
coup d’état is being masterminded against
President Rodrigo Duterte and said the
administration is cracking down on the
suspected plotters. A government
spokesperson said some Filipino-Americans in
New York are planning to oust the abrasive
Without revealing the names of the suspected
plotters or their plans, the Philippines
government Communications Secretary Martin
Andanar said those conspiring against
Duterte should “think twice… ‘I have
received information from credible sources
in the United States. Yes, we have names but
I don’t want to mention it. We are looking
[at] it seriously. We are investigating
it,’” said the senior government official.
coups, the assassination plots. Soft coups,
hard coups: Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia,
Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Paraguay,
Honduras, and Sudan, half of Africa… All in
just the few last years…and now the
Philippines? Bravo, the Empire is
accelerating! The work ethic of its
cutthroats is clearly improving.
President Duterte has it all figured out. As
mentioned above, he has already defined
President Obama as a ‘son-of-a-bitch’,
‘son-of-a-whore’, and recently suggested
that ‘he goes to hell’.
is even tougher than what President Hugo
Chavez used to say about George W Bush, also
known as “Señor W”. And President Chavez,
according to many Latin American analysts,
ended up paying for his openness, antagonism
towards the Empire and imperialism in
general, with his own life.
truth is that the Empire never forgives
those who show it a mirror. It kills
mercilessly for the tiniest signs of
disobedience, rebelliousness. Its propaganda
apparatus and its right hand – the mass
media – then always manage to craft a
suitable explanation and justification. And
the public in both North America and Europe
is fully complacent, indoctrinated and
passive; it only defends its own narrow
interests, never the victim, especially if
the victim is from some far-away country
inhabited by ‘un-people’.
great Indonesian President Sukarno was
overthrown and destroyed (among other
things) for shouting publicly at the US
ambassador: “To hell with your aid!” …And of
course, for defending the interests of his
people against the Empire. Patrice Lumumba
was assassinated for daring to say that
Africans have no reason to be grateful to
Duterte says much more. He is bitter and he
has countless reasons to be. The United
States murdered more than one million
Philippine people, most of them at the end
of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th
Century. In recent history, it has turned
this once proud and promising nation into a
doormat, into a humiliated semi-colony,
fully dependent on Washington’s whims.
Capitalist and totally pro-American, the
Philippines has evolved, like Indonesia,
into a ‘failed state’, a social disaster and
an intellectual wasteland.
President Duterte has managed to put in
place a determined cabinet of like-minded
thinking intellectuals and bureaucrats.
“Duterte’s foreign secretary, Perfecto
Yasay, who has at times tried to
downplay his boss’s comments, released a
statement on Facebook titled “America
has failed us” in which he says that,
while there are many “countless things
that we will be forever grateful to
America for,” the US has never fully
respected Philippine independence.”
“After proclaiming in July 4, 1946 that
the Filipinos had been adequately
trained for self-determination and
governance, the United States held on to
invisible chains that reined us in
towards dependency and submission as
little brown brothers not capable of
true independence and freedom,” the FM
said in the statement.”
statements very rarely appear in the pages
of Western mainstream media publications,
where Duterte and his cabinet are
uninterruptedly demonized and ridiculed.
is how the latest headlines on the
‘Drug-dealing daughter of playboy baron
Antony Moynihan is shot dead in the
Philippines’ (Daily Mail).
president of Philippines has been accused of
feeding a man alive to a crocodile’ (The
Journal.ie via Yahoo UK & Ireland News)
‘Special Report – in Duterte’s war on drugs,
local residents help draw up hit list’
‘Duterte killed justice official, hitman
tells Philippine senate’ (AFP)
Nothing about the fight for social justice!
Nothing about the battle against Western
war on drugs…
many people in the Philippines are genuinely
concerned that the ‘bodies are piling’ and
the approach of this government could be
defined as too heavy-handed, even
the situation is not that simple. This is
not Europe. This is Asia with its own
culture dynamics and problems. In
Philippines, the crime rate has reached
grotesque heights, unseen almost anywhere
else in Asia Pacific. Much of the
criminality is related to drugs. And people
are genuinely fed-up. They demand decisive
many years, Mr. Duterte used to serve as the
Mayor of Davao, a city on the island of
Mindanao. Davao used to be synonymous with
delinquency; a tough place to live and many
say, almost impossible place to govern.
Duterte is honest. He openly admits that he
could not have lasted long as a mayor of
Davao, if he ‘was following the 10
Commandments’. Perhaps no one could.
extremely sensitive to criticism of his
human rights record. Whether it comes from
the UN or EU or the US, his reply is mostly
defiant and consistent: “Fuck you!”
that is what usually gets reported in the
what is omitted is that Rodrigo Duterte
usually continues, explaining:
tell me about human rights? What about those
millions you are killing all over the world,
including recently in Iraq, Libya and Syria?
What about the Filipino people that you had
slayed? And what about your own people,
African-Americans who are being slaughtered
by police, every day?
does not hide his deep allergy towards
Western hypocrisy. For centuries, the United
States and Europe have been killing
millions, plundering entire continents, and
then they reserve the right to judge,
criticize and boss around others. Directly,
or through institutions they control, like
the United Nations. Again, his reply is
clearly Sukarno-esque: “To hell with you! To
hell with your aid!”
you will not read this on the pages of the
The New York Times or The Economist. There
it is all about the ‘war on drugs’, about
the ‘innocent victims’ and of course about
the ‘strongman’ Duterte.
situation is evolving rapidly.
Recently, President Duterte ordered a halt
to a military drill, dubbed as the
‘Philippines Amphibious Landing Exercise’
(Phiblex). It began on 4th October and was
scheduled to run for more than one week.
Around 1,400 Americans and 500 Filipino
troops are involved in the war games, some
dangerously close to the waters near the
disputed islands in South China Sea.
According to several leading Filipino
intellectuals, the US has been using the
Philippines for its aggressive imperialist
ambitions in the region, consistently
antagonizing and provoking China.
Duterte’s government is determined to move
much closer to China and away from the West.
It is very likely that the Philippines and
China will be able to resolve all
disagreements in the foreseeable future.
That is, if the US will be out, kept
permanently at bay.
demonstrate its goodwill towards China, and
to show its new independent course, Manila
is also planning to cancel all 28 annual
military exercises with the United States.
President Duterte knows perfectly well what
is at stake. To mark his 100 days in office,
he has given several fiery speeches,
acknowledging that the West may try to
remove him from the office, even kill him:
want to oust me? You want to use the CIA? Go
ahead… Be my guest. I don’t give a shit!
I’ll be ousted? Fine. (If so) it’s part of
my destiny. Destiny carries so many things.
If I die, that’s part of my destiny.
Presidents get assassinated.”
do. They often do get assassinated.
recently, one after another, countries all
over the world are joining the
anti-imperialist coalition. Some are
prevailing; others get destabilized (like
Brazil), economically devastated (like
Venezuela) or fully destroyed (like Syria).
All defiant nations, from Russia to China,
the DPRK and Iran are demonized by Western
propaganda and its mass media.
seems that the world has had enough. The
Empire is crumbling; it is panicking. It is
killing more and more, but it is not
Filipinos joining this alliance? After only
100 days in the office, it seems that
President Duterte has made up his mind: No
more servitude! No coming back!
going to survive? Is he going to stay on his
tough is he, really? One has to have nerves
of steel to confront the Empire! One has to
have at least nine lives to survive the
countless intricate assassination plots,
elaborate propaganda schemes, and
trickeries. Is he ready for all this? It
appears that he is.
elites of his country have fully sold out to
the West; the same as those of Indonesia and
to a great extent, Thailand and Malaysia.
will be an uphill struggle. It already is.
the majority of his nation is behind him.
For the first time in modern history,
Filipino people may have a chance to take
control over their own destiny, in their own
the West does not like what is pouring out
from Manila? President Duterte doesn’t care.
He has declared that he has already prepared
plenty of counter-questions. And if the West
cannot answer them:
they are unable to answer, son of a whore,
go home, you animal. I will kick you now. Do
not piss me off. It cannot be that they are
brighter than me, believe me!”
likely, they are not; they are not brighter
than him. But they are definitely more
ruthless, more brutal.
are they accusing him of? Of a ‘war on
drugs’, that has taken around 3,000 lives?
many lives has the West (or those
‘son-of-whores’, as many would call it these
days in the Philippines) taken after the end
of WWII, all over the world? Is it 40 or 50
million? Depends how it is calculated:
‘directly’ or ‘indirectly’.
Empire will almost certainly try to murder
President Duterte, most likely soon, very
order to survive, to keep on going, to keep
fighting, to defend his battered and
exploited country, he will most definitely
have to permanently forget all about the 10
Andre Vltchek is a
philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and
investigative journalist. He has covered
wars and conflicts in dozens of countries.
Three of his latest books are revolutionary
and two bestselling works of political
Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting
Against Western Imperialism”. View his
other books here. Andre is making films for
teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. After having lived
in Latin America, Africa and Oceania,
Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and
the Middle East, and continues to work
around the world. He can be reached through
‘I don’t give a sh*t
about human rights’ - President Duterte:
“I do not care what the human rights guys
say. I have a duty to preserve the
generation. If it involves human rights, I
don’t give a sh*t. I have to strike fear
because the enemies of the state are out
there to destroy the children,” he said.
interview: Death, drugs and diplomacy:
Video - In an exclusive first interview
since he was sworn in, we talk to Duterte
about his controversial war on drugs and
foreign policy - including deteriorating
relations with the United States and
potentially warming relations with China.