(First of two parts)
No country in the developing world has ever reached progress and equal treatment without fighting for self-determination and choosing an independent foreign policy.
BY THE CENTER FOR PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT IN GOVERNANCE (CENPEG)
Posted by Bulatlat
A rare opportunity to reform Philippine-U.S. relations is unfolding. This is signaled, first, by the start of the term of Barack Obama as the new American president where, in his inaugural speech, he made an oblique reference to the corruption and political persecution under Gloria M. Arroyo. Second is the Supreme Court’s (SC) Feb. 11 ruling directing the transfer of detention of convicted rapist U.S. Lance Corporal Daniel Smith from the U.S. embassy in Manila to Philippine authorities. The failure of both the Arroyo government and the U.S. authorities to honor the high court ruling has triggered calls in and outside Congress to review or scrap altogether the U.S.-Philippine 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Third is the evolving global economic recession that is bound to cause the restructuring of the monopoly capitalist-dominated international system with a specific impact on Philippine-U.S. ties.
The imperative of reforming Philippine-U.S. relations, which takes its roots in the nationalist ferment beginning in the 1950s, is an issue whose ultimate resolution rests not on the Philippine government but on patriotic organizations, civil libertarians, and other sectors. This is because no Philippine president shackled to the reactionary tradition of deference to a colonial master is expected to begin the process of foreign policy reform. Moreover, the Obama presidency, despite its liberal rhetoric, is expected to push a right wing-oriented foreign policy to ensure U.S. global hegemony with a more interventionist tack in the Philippines.
Decline of capitalism
Global capitalism is on decline – and with it the hegemony of the American empire, whose regression became imminent in the 1970s with the U.S. quagmire in the Vietnam War.(1) Capitalism suffers a cycle of periodic crisis that has become more crippling in recent decades. But the financial meltdown of 2007 that led to the global economic recession which now looms as the Greater Depression has a trajectory of at least 15 years. Just as the financial meltdown that begun in the U.S. was a key factor for the defeat of George W. Bush’s Republican Party, the current global economic recession is seen to effect a profound political transformation throughout the world.
David Harvey, a professor of the City University of New York (CUNY),(2) assesses that Obama’s $800-billion worth of stimulus package as a step toward financial recovery will fail. It will fail, he notes among other reasons, not only because the money is short of the $2 trillion needed every year but also because recovery depends on the willingness of other countries such as China and the Gulf states to lend.(3)
Citing recent U.S. intelligence reports, Harvey said that “U.S. hegemony had been fading…for some time but its economic, political, and even military dominance was now systematically waning.” Indeed, a declassified intelligence report issued in November 2008 – or right after the election of Obama – by the U.S. National Intelligence Council(4) projects that by 2025 or 15 years from now, the U.S.’ relative power will decline corresponding to the rise to power of China and the other BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, and India – with China seen as a global economic and military power.