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Me and Adolf
Duterte: Yes, That’s Right, I am Hitler

Just when you thought he couldn’t say anything more inflammatory, the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte makes headlines again:

In a rambling speech on his arrival in Davao City after a visit to Vietnam, Duterte told reporters that he had been “portrayed to be a cousin of Hitler” by critics.

Noting that Hitler had murdered millions of Jews, Duterte said: “There are three million drug addicts (in the Philippines). I’d be happy to slaughter them.

“If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have…,” he said, pausing and pointing to himself.

“You know my victims. I would like (them) to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.”

Duterte, who has been doing his utmost to put distance between the Philippines and the United States, will head to China in mid-October. He will be accompanied by a coterie of businessmen, and a slew of deals are anticipated. Whether some kind of agreement over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea is among them remains to be seen. The Chinese have not yet confirmed the meeting, and have been sounding cautiously optimistic about the relationship in official pronouncements. Ahead of Duterte’s recent outburst, Beijing said it “understands and supports” the crackdown drugs and said it was “willing to co-operate” with Manila.

Politically, however, you can’t argue that Duterte has been anything but successful at home. His violent crackdown on drug dealers and willingness to thumb his nose at critics abroad has earned him an approval rating of 92 percent.

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  • QET

    Devil’s advocate here: I suppose if he urged the killing of unscrupulous landlords who exploited poor renters and compared himself to Lenin, Trotsky, or Stalin, Thomas Friedman would gush over him in the NYT. Here in the USA, many of our leading elite lights have publicly discounted the value of “due process,” that quaint anachronism of dead white European men. And I seem to recall the US killing drug dealers in South and Central America via military and paramilitary operations. But that was different, so it’s OK. Somehow. And our prisons, which are in many ways death camps, are filled with drug users. It remains to be seen whose methods will prove more effective in solving a problem that no one denies needs solving.

    • Andrew Allison
      • QET

        Typical straw man “blame America” vapidity from the Globe. That purportedly serious analysts can only think in terms of caricature (“this town ain’t big enough for both of us”, “demon spawn”)–this guy imagines the movies he watches are reality–is a bigger problem than any concept of “primacy.”

        • Andrew Allison

          Nonsense. The thrust is that the USA has more than enough problems of its own without lecturing other governments how to run their countries. Considering the damage that our attempts to impose our view of democracy on the rest of the world, shut up seems a perfectly appropriate suggestion.

          • QET

            The last time the US didn’t lecture other governments how to run their countries, World War 2 broke out. There seems to be a misimpression about that the world is capable of governing itself without US hegemony. This may be true, but there is no empirical evidence to support it.

          • Andrew Allison

            Actually, Wilson was a supporter of Fascist regimes in Europe. Furthermore, there’s plentiful evidence that US efforts to impose its vision of democracy on other countries has been disastrous for the countries concerned.

    • Jim__L
  • Ofer Imanuel

    Solving the drug problem with whatever it takes is great. Comparing himself to Hitler (and showing his lack on knowledge – 6 million Jews were murdered, not 3) is stupid. Making an indirect comparison between Jews and drug addicts is even more stupid. Why is he looking for more enemies?

    • Jim__L

      Hitler comparisons have lost a bit of their value due to endless repetition. The sting is starting to fade.

  • FriendlyGoat

    Will it be considered “successful at home” if Duterte takes his country out of the U.S. orbit, into the Chinese orbit, and receives a domestic approval rating for doing it? Are we willing to go so far as saying that the Philippine people are better off aligned with China than us—-if they decide to say so in their domestic polls?

    • Jim__L

      Well, that depends entirely on whether we have any faith in our own values, or value for our own geopolitical standing… neither of which are anything Obama and his former Secretary of State seem to be able to implement successfully.

      • FriendlyGoat

        You’re saying the Philippines will be better off with China if you don’t get Donald Trump. You don’t know you’re saying that because you have lost the ability to hear to tone and intent of your own writing. Honestly Jimmy, it’s going over an edge.

        • Jim__L

          No… I’m saying that anyone (like, say, Obama) who figures the rest of the world is better off without US power and leadership because he has no faith in traditional American values, or anyone who’s too incompetent to do anything about the decline of US geopolitical standing (like, say Hillary) might say the Philippines are better off with China out of either ideology, or just to save face.

          If you read my comments with the idea in mind that Obama and Hillary are not really people whose “talents” and “accomplishments” are to be respected, you should catch the meaning a lot faster.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I do read your comments with the understanding they mostly all exist to bash Obama or Clinton or their world views. I do “catch the meaning” that way. But, that’s the problem. This article is about Duterte and whether he can/will lead his people poorly while still obtaining their high approval ratings of his performance. Kim Jong Un is. Putin is. Hitler did. Duterte may.

          • Jim__L

            You seem to imply that the people of the Philippines would think that falling into China’s orbit is a loss. If the poll numbers said they approved of falling into China’s orbit, then that implication is incorrect on the face of it. The article directly equates success at home with high poll numbers — no question about that.

            Whether that equation makes sense to anyone else in the US depends on whether we’re looking in absolute terms (i.e., in terms of our values, which Obama does not share, being an instinctive anti-colonialist) or in apolitical terms (i.e., NOT in terms of whether it can be spun into something other than a loss of whatever news cycle it shows up in, as a Clinton would.)

            I think it would be a clear loss for the US if the Philippines fell into China’s orbit, because I value our geopolitical influence. I don’t think that is either Obama’s or Clinton’s primary criteria for judging, which are ideological, and unenlightened self-interest, respectively.

          • FriendlyGoat

            “Success at home” means leaders doing the right thing for a people. I do not believe aligning with China has any more benefit for Philippine people than aligning with China has benefit for North Korean people. Kim and Duterte share some personality traits not congruent with either freedom or progress. Both Obama and Clinton recognize this and also recognize the strategic importance of the Philippine location to the USA.

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