Obama Admin Stunned By Duterte: "The Minute You Say Something, He Lets Loose His Barrage Of Obscenities"

Tyler Durden's picture

In one of the most shocking US foreign policy failures, and there have been many in the past 8 years, a long-time ally of the US, the Philippines, announced yesterday that it was seeking "separation" from the US and was looking for an alliance with Putin. As we reported yesterday, outspoken president Duterte, during his visit to Beijing for which Xi, announced his "separation" from the United States, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

"In this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States," Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people, to applause, at a forum in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. "Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost."

"I've realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia. It's the only way," Duterte told his Beijing audience.

Needless to say, what appeared to be a terminal severing of relations with the US has put the Obama administration, which was demonstrably stubbed during its last visit to China, has been stumped by this dramatic redrawing of strategic alliances in Asia, and as Reuters points out, Obama now has virtually no options "and limited leverage as it struggles to craft a response to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's increasingly hostile rhetoric towards the United States and his warm embrace of China."

As we had documented ever since Duterte's ascent to the presidency, Washington had consisntely played down Duterte's anti-American insults and broadsides, hoping they were just bluster. But now that the flamboyant new leader raised the stakes to a new level when he officially severed ties when he announced his "separation" from long-time ally the United States and realignment with Beijing and possibly even Moscow, America's two main strategic rivals, the US is finally forced to take Duterte seriously.

Indeed, as Reuters adds, Duterte's latest outburst, less than three weeks before the U.S. presidential election, "casts further doubt on the seven-decade U.S.-Philippine alliance and threatens to further undermine President Barack Obama's faltering "pivot" to Asia as a counterbalance to China's growing assertiveness."

Mindful of Duterte's volatile nature, the Obama administration has trod carefully so far, seeking to avoid provoking him even as it chides him over his deadly war on drugs, U.S. officials say.


One U.S. official, who did not want to be identified, said there had been an active internal debate in recent months on how far to go in criticizing Duterte's government on human rights and that the measured tone adopted was not as strong as some aides would have liked.

Ironically, by directly taunting the CIA, as he did last week when he said "You want to oust me? You want to use the CIA? Go ahead," the president may have removed the favorite US short-cut of dealing with intransigent rulers. The biggest threat to the US is the loss of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, reached under Duterte's predecessor, which allows the US to rotate ships, aircraft, and personnel through five Philippines bases, an arrangement seen as crucial to projecting U.S. military power on China's doorstep.

Meanwhile, every attempt by the U.S. to raise questions about Duterte's campaign against drugs, in which more than 3,000 people have been killed since he took office in June, has only made him angrier: he has derided Obama as a "a son of bitch" and said he should "go to hell."

"It doesn't seem to help to say anything because the minute you say something, he just lets loose his barrage of obscenities," said Murray Hiebert, deputy director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "I think for the U.S. to just blast him constantly is probably not very effective."

To be sure, Washington remains hopeful There is a suspicion in Washington that Duterte could swing back to the United States - if he decides it suits his interests. "There is no question that Duterte is...trying to play the well-worn game of playing us off against the Chinese," another U.S. official said, on condition of anonymity.

Following Duterte's latest outburst on Thursday, State Department spox John Kirby said that the United States will seek an explanation from Duterte over his "separation" announcement, which he made during a visit to China. But he limited criticism to calling the remarks "baffling" and "inexplicably at odds" with close ties between Washington and Manila.

For once, Kirby may be on to something. As Reuters adds, Philippine officials sought on Friday to play down comments by President Rodrigo Duterte who announced his "separation" from the United States a day earlier, saying their country will maintain U.S. trade and economic ties.

Trade Minister Ramon Lopez sought to explain Duterte's comments. "Let me clarify. The president did not talk about separation," Lopez told CNN Philippines in Beijing, even though he quite explicitly did.

"In terms of economic (ties), we are not stopping trade, investment with America. The president specifically mentioned his desire to strengthen further the ties with China and the ASEAN region which we have been trading with for centuries," he said, referring to the Association of South East Asian Nations. He said the Philippines was "breaking being too much dependent on one side". "But we definitely won't stop the trade and investment activities with the West, specifically the U.S."

Well, it won't as long as China doesn't step in to fill the void that a full separation between the US and Philippines would entail. 

It may also be too late.

As we reported yesterday, hundreds of left-wing demonstrators burned a replica of the U.S. flag at a rally in Manila on Friday as they called for an end to U.S. military agreements, while a splinter group of protesters stormed the US embassy. The United States, a former colonial power, has seen Manila as an important ally in its "rebalance" to Asia in the face of a rising China. The U.S. Embassy press attache in Manila, Molly Koscina, said Duterte's statements were creating uncertainty.

* * *

However, what is most amusing is watching the US response as it watches from the side what until recently was unthinkable: a strong ally publicly pivoting away from the US and toward its two biggest economic and geopolitical foes: China and Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Washington intended to keep to its alliance commitments to the Philippines. "Obviously any relationship is one of mutuality and we will continue to discuss that with our Philippine counterparts," he told reporters on a flight to Turkey.

The biggest winner? China, which now has the support of a key regional ally for its territorial ambitions in the South China Sea. China claims most of the waters through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and in 2012 it seized the disputed Scarborough Shoal and denied Philippine fishermen access to its fishing grounds. In a statement issued by China's Xinhua news agency, China and the Philippines said it was important to address differences in the South China Sea "without resorting to the threat or use of force". That now appears to be a done deal.

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max_leering's picture

stick a fork in ol' uncle sugar, he's done

TeamDepends's picture

They are stunned because it is difficult, if not impossible, to out trash-talk the champ Hillary Clinton.

RiverRoad's picture

There goes Hillary's plan for a big naval buildup in the South China Sea.

zuuma's picture

Subic bay no longer available? Fine. F-em. Phillipin-ezuela.

What else does the phillipines have?  Oil? no.  gold? no.  High tech manufacturing? Sort of. Nothing that can't be easily replaced.  Angry muzzies all over the 1000s of islands? yes.

Cam Rahn will do nicely.  We spen Billions building it in the 60s & 70s - then lost it.

Vietnam will be glad to cash our rent checks.

Win Win for vietnam, too.  Big $$$$ from uncle sugar +  gives china an eye poke.

No love lost between vietnam & china - for millenia.


Vietnam = rising economic force.

Phillipines = looking for best tit to suckle

44_shooter's picture

No gold? What about all that nazi gold buried by the japs?

mary mary's picture

The Japs were Nazis?  I don't remember ever seeing any Swastikas on any Japanese uniforms.  Ever.

zuuma's picture

special forces?

Didn't the Gemans bomb pearl harbor?

Belushi said so.

divingengineer's picture

You got a line on it. I've got a metal detector. 

Jubal Early's picture

Vietnam's corn hole is still throbbing from the last few reemings Uncle Sam gave them.  I wouldn't count on Vietnam letting the Borg in Washington take over very soon.

I was in Myanmar a year ago, and there were recent photographs of Soros and McCain on the wall with the owner of a prominent Restaurant in Rangoon.  There was also a Soros instigated protest going on about Chinese exploitation.  Thailand has been waivering for a few years now.

I think all of Indochina could ban together and throw the US out.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I guess the precursor of the Russian attach on our internets was their attach on the spellchecker of this fucking author!!!!


zuuma's picture

no Nazi gold, but we do have spelling nazis!

That's the REAL gold!

Gold...Bitches's picture

Go to your beloved NYT if you want perfect grammar.  Of course, you will get your curated news as well.  Yes, the thing to do is attack someone for spelling - not the content of the article.  I think you are in the wrong place if you think ANYONE here gives a single shit, let alone two, about how a person constructs a sentence over the content of that sentence.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

As long as they give three shits.

activepatriot's picture

You are not factoring in the loss of Philippino women.  I consider this a catastrophic turn of events.  Vietnamese women are pretty but that language is about the most annoying language EVER!

mary mary's picture

"Vietnam will be glad to cash our rent checks".

I believe that the USA still does not allow Social Security recipients to live in Vietnam.  So USA racism against Vietnam continues.  What, exactly, has USA ever done for Vietnam?  And when did USA do it?

Dr_Snooz's picture

We saturated them with Agent Orange that is still creating devastating deformities among newborns to this day...

francis scott falseflag's picture


Dudeface,  read some current events about Vietnam.  Hanoi has already denied


our request to moor more than one naval vessel in their ports


Read, if you can, the privileges that Russia enjoys in Cam Ranh Bay,


whilst America has no more than any other nation that floats a rust bucket.


You are truly an idiot. 

NoDebt's picture

Obama's tactics only work inside the US.  Outside, dealing with world leaders who don't give a shit what the US mainstream media propogandists say, it's like a totally different ballgame.

I actually believe Obama is genuinely shocked that ANYBODY would dare to poke their finger into his chest and say "Fuck you, the answer is NO."  

Mostly because that's never happened to him before his entire adult life.

Give me 30 minutes in a room with Duerte and I could have him back on our team.  I know what he's doing.  It's a tactic mostly, but there is genuine anger there (and for good reason).  What is so obvious to me, what I know I could personally work with and turn around, is A COMPLETE MYSTERY to the Obama administration.  They literally can't see it, can't understand it and can't figure out how to deal with it.  Stunning.  And it's because they've never been told NO before.  They've never had to deal with NO.


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Duterte is secretly working with Putin, Assad and the alt right to harm US foreign policy interests and undermine the credibility of our government. This vast right wing conspiracy needs to be stopped in its tracks, before it consumes our democracy and ushers in a new age of fascism!

Could Militant Trump Supporters Steal The Election From Hillary?

NoDebt's picture

He's not secretly working with Putin.  He's OPENLY working with Putin and with China.

And.... he's working with the alt-right??  God, if only that were true we wouldn't have half the problems we do now.  The guy's never heard of the alt-right.  Internal US political struggles aren't the center of the universe, you know.  That's pretty arrogant to think they are.

PrayingMantis's picture



... Obama Admin Stunned By Duterte: "The Minute You Say Something, He Lets Loose His Barrage Of Obscenities"


... it's known as FRUSTRATION ... I recall during the Philippine campaign, the US ambasssador was campaigning against Duterte in favor of a US-puppet candidate (which was not a good idea to mess with politics of another sovereign nation ... possibly thinking that the Philippines is STILL under US rule) and which resulted in Duterte calling the "diplomat" gay (whether it was true or otherwise) ... perhaps Duterte was associating the diplomat's orientation quite similar to his master ...

PrayingMantis's picture



... > Duterte is secretly working with Putin ...

...it's no secret, Minion Donut Bonehead, it's in the news >>> "‘Make a wish list’: Russian ambassador says Moscow ready to provide assistance to Philippines" >>> https://www.rt.com/news/363597-russia-philippines-cooperation-duterte/ 


... duh!

qomolangma's picture

And another one from PHI's own media:

Russia tempts Du30 - The Standard



President Duterte is nicked as "Du30" in many refs by PHI press, perhaps it derives from Tagalog!? or not... 'Du30' Du+Thirty pronounced sound alike Duterte :), perhaps by the masses of Pinoy tongues

44_shooter's picture

For fucks sake......it's. I secret. Don't you have a blog to write?

mary mary's picture

Filipino Americans should vote for Donald Trump, because Hillary is going to continue flooding Philippines with AFGHAN HEROIN.

jcaz's picture

Yep-  and Obama the cuckhold will continue to send a big fat check to the Phillipines every month, because in his out-of-touch little safe space,  he actually believes that is "foreign policy".

All Duterte wants is a real conversation with someone in charge.  Trump would fix this in a day.

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Obama has put the US in a terrrible position. US foreign policy is an "unmitigated" disaster.

"Our Friends no longer TRUST Us and our Enemies no longer FEAR us."

The future in the Pacific just got a lot more uncertain and will require murder, theft and deceit to fix. ... OOPs NOW I'VE SAID IT.



sinbad2's picture

Obama is just a mouthpiece, a talking head, all Presidents are, Shrub Jnr was retarded, others, people you don't vote for rule the USA, the politicians are just wrapping paper.

Life of Illusion's picture



stop by IMF and WB explain plan to them as well


In his remarks on Thursday, Duterte also accused the United States of "idiotic arrogance" and suggested it was losing influence in Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Laos are already allies of China and now the Philippines is "veering towards China", he added.

China, he said, "does not go around insulting people, insisting on policies to follow them and trying to control the money of the world through the IMF and the World Bank".


wait they already showed up:

Here too, China will progress it agenda. Many of the deals will be funded and administered by China's new global bank — the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

That is about changing the rules of the global financial game towards China and pushing out the Western-centric financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF.



researchfix's picture

I think, Duterte is lost for your ´team´. His main goal is fighting drug consume and trade. If you don´t throw US bases out of your country, you have lost the drug war from the beginning.

researchfix's picture


"They are stunned because it is difficult, if not impossible, to out trash-talk the champ Hillary Clinton."

... and the UN diplomatrice Powers...

SubjectivObject's picture

This is what the death of a hegemon looks like.

I'll be happy to stop paying for it, as much as they will be happy to not receive it.

swmnguy's picture

Oh, you're looking forward to the "Peace Dividend," are you?  How quaint.

Remember the "Peace Dividend?"  That was going to be great.  The demise of the USSR meant we weren't going to have to bankrupt our nation to prop up the War Machine  any longer, so we would actually be able to fix our infrastructure, schools and healthcare complex.

Naturally, the War Party saved us from that extremity.

The way this will work, as the US loses global dominance, the War Party will insist we must spend Moar, Moar, Moar so we lose less ground less fast.  It's the Red Queen dilemma, running faster and faster to  stay in the same place.

Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land's picture

...we must spend Moar, Moar, Moar so we lose less ground less fast.  It's the Red Queen dilemma, running faster and faster to  stay in the same place.

Good, succinct observation.

I think this also explains why so many people wrap themselves in a cloak of denial about the atrocity and destruction wrought; their livelihoods depend on the subsidy of the destruction machine if they work for a company within the chain-of-supply and/or .gov affiliation.

The U.S. production of real goods is dramatically clipped and only those working directly or indirectly to support police state/prison complex/surveillance state, war/DoD contracts and .gov have decent enough jobs, so those employees will deny/rationalize themselves to continue support.  At some point, those people are against everyone else, outside that realm, but that endeavor will eventually eat all the opposition anyway, decreasing opposition through attrition and/or assimilation.  Notice, also, that nearly all the criminal justice and war endeavors all serve to perpetuate their own need, through practices that actually exacerbate the problems they are supposedly trying to solve; their own actions create their own further demand this way.  They aren't stupid and/or failing, this design is needed because what would happen if the problem went away?  What then?  Of course that is also not sustainable.

Also explains, to some extent, the very large targets being villianized -- China/Russia; they are really the only large enough targets of sustenance that remain.  Also explains why only lip-service against the War for Drugs, 80,000 SWAT raids/year, the civil-forefeiture now exceeding what actual criminals steal per year, endless wars abroad, etc.  The prison complex and military complex can't be dismantled because there is nothing to replace those jobs and revenue, so continue it must.

King Tut's picture
King Tut (not verified) Oct 21, 2016 8:11 AM

Duerte= The Thrilla of Manila

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

Obama treated The Phillipines like a Checker Piece, and they felt it.  Duterte is doing what no other sackless politician dealing with The Boy King would: telling him the truth and sticking it to him.

King Tut's picture

If Duerte has half a brain he knows that the CIA calls the shots- not Obama the Zio-Flunky

Never One Roach's picture

Duerte is starting a trend of nations speaking out for his rights for his citizens.


That's an odd leader these days, standing up for their own citizens.

Lyman54's picture

It could be argued that Iceland started it by throwing bankers in jail.  The MSM predicted death and poverty would follow yet Iceland is doing far better than Germany.


Then again tiny little Ecuador offering Assange protection stunned the statist pricks in Washington as well.

iClaudius's picture

"If Duerte has half a brain ..." He'll have half a brain once the CIA has finished.

sinbad2's picture

He was already a marked man, interfering with the heroin market would send them crazy at Langley.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"If Duerte has half a brain"

He certainly does

mary mary's picture

Obama's mother was a CIA employee and Obama's father was a CIA asset.  Obama was raised by and groomed by CIA.  Obama never did a day's work in his life.  Obama is and always will be clueless.

Fisherman Blue's picture

Americans elected a fool twice who's mother was a whore Marxist and who sucked old white cock in highschool for coke money. What the hell did they expect?