September 30, 2016

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, said he'd like to kill the 3 million drug addicts in his country.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews.... Now there is three million, there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them."
Killing that number of drug users would "finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition," he said.
Duterte took office in June, and the police have killed 1,000+ drug suspects (according to the police). Duterte's statement was a reaction to criticism about these killings — criticism from European Union officials.

ADDED: From a Washington Post article, published last April, quoted on this blog:
Duterte’s neo-authoritarian style, alongside ‘anti-Imperial Manila’ sentiments, has fueled his popularity, particularly in his birthplace of southern Mindanao. Duterte does not deny his poor human rights record — instead he brags about extrajudicial killings that he claims were necessary to pacify Davao.... Along with his bombastic style and rough language — which is typical of a many local politicians but unusual in national politics — this cavalier attitude makes him a kind of Philippine version of Donald Trump.
I don't know how seriously to take Duterte's statement about killing 3 million drug addicts. It's important to see that he was getting bombastic pushing back the Europeans who were assuming the high ground, lecturing him on how to behave. He also took a shot at them for not taking in migrants from the Middle East: “You allow them to rot, and then you’re worried about the death of about 1,000, 2,000, 3,000?”

Is Duterte properly comparable to Donald Trump? Well, both men use language in a way that works with the people, and both get compared to Hitler. Obviously, Hitler had a way early on of coming right out and saying what he planned to do. It was hard to believe.

Things that sound so much like hyperbole.

AND: "I believe that those who knew me in those days took me for an eccentric."


MadisonMan said...

Well, I'm sure it would make his job easier. Much tougher to figure out a way to help the addicts.

Politicians are lazy.

Mary Beth said...

He needs to stop that. It's making it harder for the media to convince people that Trump is Hitler when Duterte is vying for the title. So inconvenient.

Tank said...

Makes sense, you solve the Jewish problem by killing all the Jews; why not solve the drug problem by killing all the users?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

3 million Jews? I believe the accepted numbers are 5-6 million.

Laslo Spatula said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
"3 million Jews? I believe the accepted numbers are 5-6 million."

There were 3 million Bad Jews. You had to kill 6 million to make sure you got them all.

I am The Replacement Laslo.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

It's about time we got some sympathetic coverage of President Duterte's efforts to establish a little law and order and we certainly don't want hypocritical white people lecturing people of color about their morals or violent tendencies.

MadisonMan said...

@IIB, Well, there are only 3 million drug users.

That Hitler killed 3 million Jews doesn't mean he didn't kill > 3 Million.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm just amazed how Trump has been able to hide his psychopathic killing urges for decades while simultaneously running in elite east coast social circles and cultivating a high profile real estate and media career. I think he deserves to be President based on that criteria alone.

Hagar said...

"Neo-authoritarian"? This is a word? If so, what is it supposed to mean?

Jupiter said...

"I'd be happy to slaughter them."

Well, they'd be happy to slaughter themselves, too, if you'd quit interfering. Just legalize the shit. All of it.

Virgil Hilts said...

Its amazing how bad the drug problem is there (shabu-crystal meth). 5% of population worst sort of addicts; new center for international drug trade, cartels have infiltrated everything; children recruited to push drugs to other children, etc. What other half-way civilized country in modern world has faced this type of implosion?
Filipinos take immense pride in their people and history. They chose Duterte because they were desperate and needed a Godzilla of their own to fight a rampaging monster. He has something like a 90% approval rating. If he can solve the drug problem (a big if) then the Filipino people will throw him out, just like they have prior dictators of whom they grew tired. It's an epic tragedy playing out in the east while cosseted elites in the west sit back and look down with smug disapproval.

Annie said...

isn't that how Malaysia deals with drugs, imprisonment or death, for users and dealers? Has the EU made any noise about that?

Laslo Spatula said...

This is REALLY about the Gays, isn't it?

I am The Replacement Laslo.

Sebastian said...

"Is Duterte properly comparable to Donald Trump? Well, both men use language in a way that works with the people, and both get compared to Hitler. Obviously, Hitler had a way early on of coming right out and saying what he planned to do. It was hard to believe." Right. And what with Trump calling for the killing of foreigners everywhere, the parallels are eery. No wonder both are compared to Hitler. You use language in a way that works with people, and you got it coming.

Annie said...

Virgil, I'm willing to bet that a lot of those cosseted elites have drug problems of their own. Their response is a reflexive empathy of sorts. Laws they make or influence, are for themselves.

Anonymous said...

On-site inspections by Jean-Claude Juncker...

Annie said...

They should take a page out of the Clinton playbook. Hire a third party hitman, and quietly dispose of their target. 'Oh look at that, someone distributed a bad batch of meth. We wil do whatever we can to hunt down the perps and bring them to justice."

Though, in reality, the Clintons would probably ignore that particular problem because drug lords pay better than kickbacks from a rehab.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"Trump calling for the killing of foreigners everywhere" is not something I've heard reported. Obama actually killing foreigners (and the odd US citizen) everywhere, now, that I've heard reported.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

It's the Philippines so maybe legalizing cannibalism would take care of two problems at once.

William said...

All the Filipinos I've ever known in America were kindly, good natured people. This man seems quite awful. I wonder how he manages to gain and keep such popularity. Well, Hitler wasn't a typical German and, in fact, wasn't even German. I get the sense that this isn't going to end well. However, I will note that Chou En Lai was much more popular among western intellectuals than Henry Yew Lee. One man was a supporter of mass murder on an industrial scale, and the other favored caning...........Mexico doesn't seem to be doing much better than the Phillippines with respect to their drug problems. There, the drug cartels rather than the police murder people arbitrarily. Well, to be fair, the Mexican police also murder people arbitrarily, but the government gives lip service to human rights and has abolished capital punishment so it's all good.

buwaya said...

Duterte is popular. His speech is directed to his people, the poor, the masa - literally mass, but without negative implications in that context. This is a communal people and they like feeling like part of something, a mass.
They dont have the sort of reflex hangups Americans and at least some Europeans do to mention of Jews, because in their case Jews are purely theoretical, to a degree that they might as well be mythological, elves or fairies, and their histories fairy tales. There have never been many Jews there and these were never specifically identified in the public mind as anything but just another white foreigner - and even these were rare enough in the provinces. Distinctions among the white foreigners were largely irrelevant.
Reference to Jews in any way does not indicate any animosity, it is simply irrelevant. Jews need not fear, the people would, in the unlikely case they ever ran into a real Jew in the country, see Judaism as a charming quirk.
Anyway, Duterte has a certain style, as is evident.
The real test of his influence and popularity will be whatever happens to the economy. This may turn on external events or some mis-step he makes. So far he hasnt gone the crony route or tried any particularly significant populist foolishness, no Chavez-style stuff. Yet. But thats the real danger from and to Duterte.
External economic events like a global downturn, closing assembly plants or reducing overseas workers remittances, could do him in also. There is no explicit "mandate of heaven" idea there, but leaders are expected to bring good times, somehow.
The place has a way of turning heroes into heels depending on the economy. Bad times ruin popularity. The moment Duterte becomes less popular his legislative coalition will disappear and his influence on the military-police bureaucracy will wither.

buwaya said...

Cannibalism was never a thing in the Philippine Islands that anyone knows of.
Headhunting was. Very popular among the tribes of North Luzon for a few thousand years.
Does not happen anymore, allegedly, but out in the provinces its not good to make oneself unpopular.

buwaya said...

Duterte is not, properly speaking, of the masa. The Dutertes are an old Visayan political family, taking their name from a French ancestor who settled in Cebu. They are related to the Durano clan of Cebu.
Duterte comes from a long line of mayors, public officials and lawyers. To a degree his populist affectations are just that.
To understand his background in a western context, consider them as some rusticated English minor gentry or some minor French noblesse de la robe in an obscure province.
The provincial, Visayan stuff is the key. This is a man from the sticks, and Visayans are a rather direct lot, in aggression and affection.

cubanbob said...

Duterte should compare himself to Stalin. Stalin killed more in total than Hitler, was more competent a leader than Hitler and died of old age and is still held in high esteem by progressives everywhere. He should label drug dealers (and users) Kulaks that need to be liquidated for the good of the people.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Buwaya, I've asked you this you think exiling the Jews from Spain was as wise as expelling the Muslims? Was the threat, if any, the same?

buwaya said...

Filipinos are kindly, good natured people. But thats not all they are. The culture is communal, and the unstated ideal is conformity, hopefully through acquiesence via subtle social signals. If these arent getting through, then there are other means. Its an iron hand in a very very soft glove, usually. But its still an iron hand.

buwaya said...

The difference between Filipinos in the US and those back home, the main one, is that in the old country everything is much, much closer to the bone. There is material poverty there that most Americans don't understand until they have seen it close up for an extended period. Mexico has always been a much richer country, consider that.
Life is cheap under those circumstances. A lot of things are a consequence of this. And yet, oddly, its generally not as violent there as Mexico has usually been. As long as you avoid Muslim areas its been much safer than Mexico, certainly for foreigners.

Big Mike said...

He plans to kill three million drug addicts and if some of the murdered men and women aren't really drug addicts, well ... omelets, eggs, y'know.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"I'd be happy to slaughter them."

Well, they'd be happy to slaughter themselves, too, if you'd quit interfering. Just legalize the shit. All of it.

Exactly. The attrition caused by easy access would immediately reduce a good number of addicts. Eventually, there would be a leveling out of the numbers. However, in the leveling process, the fallout of crime, danger and annoyance to the general public would be higher. The children of addicts are another problem entirely. How to protect and remove them from a situation that they are not willing participants.

My position is that if you want to throw your life away on drugs, alcohol or diving off of high places without a net.....that's your life. Go for it. Just don't hurt other people while throwing your life away.

buwaya said...

No idea about wisdom of exiling the Jews. We dont have an Earth2 with an alternate history to examine. What I know is that it was much easier to exile the Jews, as most of the Muslims were valuable, productive peasants, and were necessary to the revenues of the nobility and the crown. The Jews as usual were mainly urban and not revenue-producing as things were seen at the time. And it was understood that many if not most were likely to convert rather than leave, unlike the Muslims.
From a Spanish political point of view, seeing as how it was and still is politically fractious and liable to civil wars (Isabella was a survivor of the last one, where most of the Trastamaras got whacked, there have been many, many Spanish civil wars), Ferdinand and Isabella needed a unifying principle, and religion was it. So they had to make the case that they were the uniquely Christian monarchs and so also their dynasty. The Jews were expendable in that cause.

Quaestor said...

Interesting Hitler quote. The next sentence is "Amid all this, as was only natural, I served my love of architecture with ardent zeal."

In 1907 Hitler submitted his portfolio of listless watercolor to the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien as an application for admission, which promptly reject him as inadequately talented. He tried again in 1908, garnering the same result. The director took pity on him and suggested Hitler study architecture instead. Hitler spurned the the advise with a Viennese fuck you very much, and hit the streets as a vagrant living by panhandling and the occasional sale of handmade postcards, which at the time he would rather do than actually studying something rigorous and mathematically demanding. It wasn't until he was sentenced to Landsberg Prison for treason that he invented that part of his Vienna days.

mikee said...

China under Mao used this exact approach, killing them, to eliminate both drug addicts and prostitutes in the 1940s and 1950s, and then just anyone who opposed the regime. Again and again.

The problem is, the Filipino President made the wrong historical connection, to Hitler's genocide rather than Mao's. Of course, Mao killed orders of magnitude more of his own countrymen than Hitler managed to kill across all of Europe, so emulation of Mao is even more apt.

If you're gonna kill a whole bunch of your fellow countrymen, Mao is the guy to cite as an example.

Roughcoat said...

Prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War my friends in the 192 Tank Battalion (Provisional Tank Brigade) enjoyed the company of the aboriginal tribesmen residing in an ancient village near Clark Field. The tanks were positioned around Clark's runway on December 8 1941, thus providing the crews with a ringside seat for the catastrophe that unfolded literally before their eyes in the form of V-of-V formations of attacking Japanese bombers and strafing fighters. A little while after the last Japanese planes flew off the village elder accompanied by several of his principle warriors appeared on the scene with bows and arrows vowing to shoot down any additional attacking Japanese aircraft. My friends did not laugh at them but rather appreciated their sentiment. The 192nd Tank Battalion subsequently formed the rear guard that covered the strategic withdrawal of North Luzon Force into the Bataan Peninsula. At one point in the fighting, which was very fierce, the aforementioned tribal elder and his warriors entered the American positions with gifts: the severed heads of Japanese soldiers belonging to a patrol that had been probing for gap in the Fil-American lines. These tribesmen were ostensibly "former" headhunters but as this (and other similar) actions revealed, the appellation of "former" had was too soon applied. In the same campaign Igorot tribesmen belonging to the elite Philippine Scouts became known for separating the heads of Japanese soldiers from their bodies. After the surrender of Fil-American forces the Japanese made a determined effort to murder as many Scouts as they could get their hands on.

MacMacConnell said...

Duarte first published a list of known drug dealers, he asked then to turn themselves in or his security force was coming for those that didn't. There were shootouts with those that refused, the outcomes didn't favor the dealers.
So where is all this meth coming from? It's been reported that it comes from China cartels with the blessing and involvement of Chinese government officials, like Mexico. This is an external threat to the Philippines.

buwaya said...

The individualist idea of letting these people destroy themselves is mostly a foreign concept in the communal world there. You are supposed to live for others, not yourself, everyone is supposed to be bound by a net of family and social obligation.
I often find the American ease of dismissing the failure of sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, as peculiarly callous and unnatural. In my world these are tremendous tragedies.
A drug addict in such a society nearly always has to also be a dealer, as there simply is no other way to pay for an addiction, for nearly any of them. A drug dealer is a danger to a great many people, because they threaten the social value of someone in the family web. This is serious personal business in a place that has not yet succumbed to modern individualusm and anonymity.

MacMacConnell said...

buwaya puti
My question has to do with the recent anti-american sentiment in the Philippines. Is it because the Filipino WWII vets and guerrillas are no longer in politics or just anti imperialism or the worry that America has become a weak player over the last eight years?

buwaya said...

Filipinos still love Americans. Go there, you will be popular. They also profoundly distrust the Chinese and resent their bullying.
The problem is that the Philippine government has to consider matters other than public sentiment.
The Philippines is, geographically, indefensible. It's a Third world country with a First world defense problem.
The US is now perceived as weak and incapable of protecting them from the Chinese. Therefore the only option in the public interest is to be friendly to the Chinese. A weak country has to do what it must.

Roughcoat said...

I often find the American ease of dismissing the failure...

Nothing "easy" about it and to generalize with such know-it-all confidence that Americans "dismiss" failed members of their families with "ease" is indicative of monumental ignorance, cluelesness, and/or stupidity. If you weren't blinded by your arrogance and compulsion (repeatedly demonstrated in this blog) to lecture Americans on their flaws you might recognize that Americans also regard such failures as tremendous tragedies. What bubble do you live in? Wait, I know -- it's the bubble of a permanent resident alien who enjoys the benefits of American citizenship without shouldering the responsibilities and the pain that comes with such responsibilities. It's the bubble of one who has lived and worked for many years among Americans but will still note how "in my world" conditions are different and, by implication, better.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I often find the American ease of dismissing the failure of sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, as peculiarly callous and unnatural. In my world these are tremendous tragedies.

Of course there is a difference between the tragedy of having family member or even close friends who are Hell bent on self destruction and complete strangers who are also Hell bent on destroying themselves. Families often do interventions and go to great lengths to try to "turn around" the addict. We have had this situation in my husband's family with an alcoholic narcissistic toxic sister. It is a tremendous tragedy and after years of intervention attempts, dealing with her malicious and destructive behavior towards her own mother, husband, her children and anyone associated with her....we have to save ourselves and let her deal with her own slow self suicide, while doing our best to try to save her children and others who are affected by her. Cutting loose and distancing ourselves from this black hole of destruction. It isn't malicious on our part. AND it isn't callous uncaring. After a while, you have to protect yourself and save yourself and the rest of your family. So we let her continue her self destruction, because there is not anything that we have tried that will work. She is Hell bent and shall be.

Total strangers who also are destructive towards themselves and towards society as a whole, by thieving, dealing drugs, murdering, spreading disease.....this is also a tragedy but one that I/we have no control over and no ability on an individual level to correct. Society doesn't seem to be a very good job either in preventing the infection of the structure of society by addicts and criminals with our laws and restrictions. Perhaps society needs to let the destruction proceed apace since we can't save everyone.

Just like a family dealing with malignant destructive forces, we can allow the addicts and criminals to drag us down into destruction with them or not. Spend our lives and our money trying to prevent the self destruction of those who will NOT be helped to the detriment of everyone else? We can try to help those who will accept help and more wisely spend our efforts elsewhere where there will be positive results. We can go to greater lengths to protect the innocent, the children. But...we can't save everyone who will not be saved. Attrition.

Cruelty? or self preservation? Family tough love and societal tough love.

Plus...legalizing the forbidden drugs will remove, at least some of the criminal underground element in the illegal drug activity. See the negative results of the Prohibition of alcohol in America's past and the relief resulting in the legalization of liquor.

buwaya said...

Headhunting actually came back as a general peace and order problem in North Luzon.
The Constabulary was called up and mostly died along with the rest of the Philippine army (2/3rds of those who served under MacArthur and Wainwright died).

With the Constabulary away things reverted to previous norms.

Captain Praeger and his Troop C of the 26th Cavalry, Philippine Scouts, the last regular military unit uncaptured and unsurrendered, found that suppressing headhunting was his main political problem, that is until the Japanese finally found their mountain refuge in 1943.

buwaya said...

"What bubble do you live in?"

San Francisco.

" it's the bubble of a permanent resident alien who enjoys the benefits of American citizenship without shouldering the responsibilities and the pain that comes with such responsibilities"

Which ones? Other than jury duty. Other than that minor benefit my rights are limited. Even I will have a problem setting up foreign investments, courtesy of the IRS. And I did do my military service in the armed forces of an ally, thanks. And my wife and kids are US citizens.

" but will still note how "in my world" conditions are different and, by implication, better."

I am the descendant of people who have served three empires, and that's just in the last three generations. I intermediate among cultures, almost by reflex. I can tell you if things are better done here or there, and I have made a career of improving efficiency in US businesses, mainly by figuring out whether something done elsewhere would work. There certainly are things better done in some places abroad, notably education, that you all can benefit from. This sort of thing is not new in US history, note. Whole industries have been carried into this country by groups of foreigners.

I am not too sentimental about such things, or saying such things.

MacMacConnell said...

" but will still note how "in my world" conditions are different and, by implication, better."

Not a reference to buwaya, but why wouldn't they think they have better answers considering foreigners' only exposure to America is the degenerate pop culture we export.

buwaya said...

"why wouldn't they think they have better answers considering foreigners' only exposure to America is the degenerate pop culture we export."

Also the degenerate elite culture, some of which is also exported, but most needs to be seen in its native environment. I have lived in or near San Francisco for thirty years. I have seen what I have seen.

buwaya said...

On Philippine geography and strategic issues -

This is a very densely populated archipelago that depends on inter-island trade for much of its internal economy. It also depends on foreign trade, exports and imports, for far more than does a nation like the US, which supplies more of its needs domestically and for which foreign trade is a fraction of the overall economy. The Philippines is massively vulnerable to interruption of shipping both for its internal trade and its overall economy.

In addition, it is vulnerable due to numerous additional chokepoints and limited infrastructure. There is a set of critical roads on causeways over the swamps north of Manila Bay, for instance, that carry the entire crop of the Central Plain of Luzon, the country's breadbasket, to the only viable port for this crop, Manila. There are a limited number of oil refineries that process petroleum, the tankers for which dock at one port, Batangas, the sole significant oil terminal.

The shipping is in range of Chinese naval strike aircraft (of which they have several hundred) from a dozen or more South China airbases - Hong Kong is only an hour away on commercial aircraft. It wont be long before those artificial islands in the South China Sea become viable airbases for tactical aircraft, bringing many more into range of the Philippines. And then there is the Chinese Navy, which could sail to, and through, the country whenever they please. China can halt the Philippines international and interisland trade in a matter of days. This alone would start slow starvation in many islands.

Similarly the bridges, the refineries, the oil terminal, the coal terminal (for Luzons electric generation, among other islands), and those bridges over the rivers and swamps north of Manila. No gasoline/diesel, no electricity, no rice, and that dense population will, well, die.

A visitor to Manila will see a sea of people, there are 25 million just in that metropolitan area, and its all crowds everywhere. If you understand just what a sparse set of skinny structures keep all these people alive, its easy to imagine it, should those skinny structures be knocked down by some giant, as a sea of skulls. A Duterte looking at his people has to consider their vulnerability.

There is absolutely no need to actually land troops to make the Philippines surrender. Just a bit of starvation. There is no way to prevent this except with an airforce and navy competitive with Chinas. Thats not going to happen.

Richard Fernandez (Wretchard, Belmont Club) was writing a novel on exactly this premise, sort of a zombie survival novel without zombies, on the consequences of a Chinese war. I think you may be able to find it if you look. He needs practice as a novelist frankly, but I think the real reason he gave up is that its a terrible thing to dwell on.

James Pawlak said...

A vert Darwinian solution!

J. Farmer said...

Let's not forget that this is the country that was clamoring for a goofy boxing champion to be their political leader. That said, Détente is the kind of brash nationalist who plays very well in a country like the Philippines with its deep colonial history. He is foolishly falling in the footsteps of Mexican President Felipe Calderon who thought he could run on a law-and-order platform that involved unleashing the poorly trained Mexican army against the better funded, better armed drug cartels.