Subic Rape Case: US calls off military excercise
Even as the Philippine government is bending over backwards to try to live up to its oibligations under a ‘executive agreement’ of the VFA and turn over custody to the US Military a service member convicted of rape. Filing midnight motions before the courts and working hard to with in a legal system inherited from it’s former colonizer – the US of A- by the way.
A victory Christmas present of sorts for all those various groups – many left of center – who supported the rape victim came today – the US is doing exactly what they had protested for and is calling off excercises with Philippine forces.
Also this will mean a reduction of support for Philippine Counter terrorism programs. Why… well thats a something perhaps for another blog – but as of this time because of the ‘delay’ in turning over custody of a US Marine convicted of rape.
In light of today’s indictment for Murder of Marines for a massacre in Iraq last year – this move looks like something more for a Kindergartner playground than international relations.
The US Pacific commander in Pearl Harbor has canceled a exercises between Philippine and US forces and even hinted at less support for the US backed counter terrorism efforts in the Philippines as well.
US cancels Balikatan exercises over Smith custody issue
The United States military on Thursday (Friday in Manila) said it has canceled joint war games with the Philippine military after a dispute with Philippine authorities over custody of a US serviceman convicted of raping a Filipina. – ABS-CBN News
The message this sends is not – that of an ally – but that of a bully who refuses to follow law – says women’s rights groups in the Philippines – many of them allied to left of center organizations that in turn are often seen as linked to groups the US calls FTO’s.
By delivering a message at of all times – as most of the Philippine Justice Department’s Secretary’s staff its court of appeals and legal groups supporting the US embassy efforts to gain custody for Daniel Smith – it’s as if PACOM spat in the face of entire country and said like a school yard bully that if you won’t give me back my GI Joe – and play by our rules – We won’t play here and let you play with my toys anymore!
This even the US Navy’s own CNIS investigation report – or even the ongoing proceedings versus anothers marine in Okinawa.
Two of whom have already been met punishment under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
As a Filipino-American – whose roots come from Mindanao – the reaction by the US government to the legal process is both strange and sends a message many in the left of center groups have been saying for longer than this particular case.
The message this sends is – per PACOM that- American troops are above the laws of the lnads they are in – and – even when convicted – the US Military will dictate – demand – pressure its way around.
In light of a new Demcratic majority in both houses of congress coming into its seats in a few weeks and upcoming oversight hearings into the conduct of US forces and their conduct in the war on terror. I can expect a few men from Pearl and Okinawa with a lot of brass on their shoulders being grilled under hot lights in the US Congress.
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