Pacete: The Obama diplomatic tour

US President Barack Obama is visiting our country as part of his diplomatic tour. Juan de la Cruz is perceived to be a friend of Uncle Sam. Both of them love to eat hamburgers. America was hailed as the Savior of the oppressed, not only by the English races of the earth but by the foreigners in all the continents of the world.

American president William McKinley was very popular for his Benevolent Assimilation Proclamation for the Philippines. Students of Philippine history know this. “The authority of the United States is to be exerted for the securing of persons and property of the people of the Islands (our country) and for the confirmation of all private rights and relations. We come not as invaders or conquerors, but as friends, to protect the natives in their homes, in their employment, and in their personal and religious rights.

“Benevolent assimilation” has become an oxymoron that could mean cruel kindness. Any intelligent Filipino would understand that assimilation is the act of imbuing a people with one’s culture or mores by exercising control over them . . . can never be truly benevolent or good for the people who are to be subjected to another’s rule. That could be funny, not fun.

It could be the same thing as saying, “Anyone who will not follow us will be treated with a grain of salt . . . with force, as we find it necessary. That is expected to happen when Obama meets PNoy. Our president cannot say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Tita Cory and Senator Ninoy were given “accommodation” in the US when the “Apo” and “Maganda” were hot on them. PNoy could not open topic to Obama that the Philippine-American war was started by the American soldiers, not by the Filipino rebels. The February 4, 1899 incident was premeditated, or shall we say, planned ahead by the Americans to start the hostilities with the soldiers of El Presidente (Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo). That was in the pages of our history books.

Uncle Sam wants to possess the Philippines because our country has a strategic location. It is the gateway to the East, particularly to China. The Philippines can always serve as a trade outpost or pathway to the huge markets of China. The Americans are there in China already with their burgers, soda, cosmetic products, cigarettes and t-back panties. Uncle Sam will probably convince Juan de la Cruz to forget China as a bully. Uncle Sam knows that he borrows money from the “Sleeping Dragon”.

Juan de la Cruz will be reminded that China’s cultural influence extends beyond its boundaries because the Chinese, their religion, their culture and language are found in Japan, Korea, Indochina, Philippines and Chinese communities around the world. China is no longer the “Sleeping Dragon”. It has a prospering capitalist economy with a new slogan, “To get rich is glorious!” The rich Chinese have their billions, and still growing.

Mao Zedong was once exporting communism abroad and capitalists (like the Americans) were called “foreign devils”; but now “foreign devils” are welcomed in China as long as they bring new technology, new investment and more partnerships. President Obama may not even open “hate issue for China”. If the bullying in the Spratlys will be mentioned, probably (just probably) President Obama will say, “Okay, let us have more of ‘Balikatan Exercise’. You may buy our vintage war toys to update your defense program.” Fun Again.

If PNoy will continue talking about irritating China, the US President will talk about China’s economic boom. Topics will be on China’s high technology factories, skyscraper buildings, shopping malls, modern superhighways, and fast food restaurants (with US franchise). Uncle Sam has seduced the “new rich Chinese” to be Westerners in their lifestyle. Other than hamburgers, Chinese are also into wearing blue jeans, going to hot parties, investing in the stock market and buying luxury goods.

And this is very important; the Chinese government has the largest treasury in the world – over two trillion dollars in cash. It became the main creditor of the US, holding another two trillion dollars in US debts. China could fight the US anytime without a single fire. She will just call in the loans. (America will tremble.) Or, China will raise the value of its currency. All the US dollar-dependent countries will have economic poisoning.

PNoy and President Obama will have a concluding statement that a richer and more powerful China is indeed like a new giant in the East that is shaking the world. The Makati Business Club is correct that their members will talk with Obama on business bilateral relationship and global economy. USA, China, and the Philippines could engage in a tripartite venture in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Our country should be included in the TPP. Uncle Sam should push for this. This is part of friendship. Friendship is like music. It should not be out of tune.
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