One of these days, President Obama is going to notice the Philippines, but apparently not yet.
During the campaign, although Senator McCain took time out to visit President Arroyo, Senator Obama just was unable to give her five minutes, even though they were both in Washington DC at the same time, and the city of Washington is not a very large city.
Then, while visiting Davos and other places in the world, President Arroyo attended the Annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C., even changing her schedule to attend. Although Arroyo met with Clinton and others at the state department, she did not get any photo ops. At the prayer breakfast, where nearly everyone gets a photo with the president, President Obama, snubbed our president, even though Arroyo-was in the company of Senator Pelosi.
As GMA News noted sarcastically:
Itâ€™s obvious he wants to keep GMA and her scandal-tainted administration at a safe distance. Almost as if sheâ€™s toxic and contagious. Certainly, she makes us all look foolish with her Obama-stalking.
Well, maybe after being a politician in the perfect land of Chicago politics, Obama doesn’t want to dirty his hands meeting someone from the corrupt Philippines, where the going “bribe” rate is twenty percent of the project, a bit higher than Chicago.
But why not meet with Arroyo, who has never been convicted of taking bribes (although there is a lot of suspicion that the money goes to the “First Gentleman”).
Or maybe he is avoiding her because of her human rights record: too many “extrajudicial” killing of those who are supporters of the communist insurgents, some of whom still are around killing and kidnappingÂ (not to mention the killing of reporters who spill the beans on local corruption).
But that hasn’t kept President Obama from meeting with some equally corrupt government heads fromÂ Pakistan (run by “Mr Ten Per Cent”, a nickname because he got ten percent of all the contracts when his wife was president), or offering to meet heads of state from Iran or Syria whose human rights records are far worse than here.
But the latest snub even has angered the usual anti Arroyo press.
Mrs. Clinton is taking her first diplomatic trip to Asia, and will be visiting China, Japan, South Korea, and Indonesia.
But not the Philippines.
This, even though there has been a recent flair up in the war on terror in the Southern Philippines.
Apparently no one seems to think talking with anyone in our government about this is necessary.
Yes, the war on terror here is mixed up with those trying to get their own autonomous state in the south and predates Osama Ben Laden by at least a century; yet like Afghanistan or the tribal areas of Pakistan, one cannot merely ignore the problem in the name of multiculturalism or local autonomy, especially when “charity money” is busy radicalizing and training locals to kill innocents via bombs in markets or terror attacks on Christian villages.
So why did Senator Clinton ignore the Philippines on her Asian trip?
And why didn’t she visit India?
Both countries are actively fighting both Marxist and Islamicist terrorist groups that are supported by locals with local grievances, but who get a lot of help and funding from other countries, and both countries have their own ideas on what needs to be done.
Ignoring India and the Philippines suggests that Obama feels he can take friendly democracies for granted.
Someone should tell him the days of Gunga Din are long over, and he needs to treat these growing democracies as equals.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines.