ISIS have carried out their first terrorist atrocity in Philippines outside of the southern island of Mindanao. ISIS has clearly set out not only to conquer Mindanao, but to destabilise and destroy all of Philippines.
It is no coincidence that they chose to attack a country led by a man like President Rodrigo Duterte.
1. Duterte was on the verge of creating peace with Philippine Moros (Muslims)
Unlike the Philippine political elite, President Duterte is a native of Mindanao. He promised existing Muslim insurgent groups that in order to create a lasting peace which builds upon the 2014 Bangsamoro peace process, he would propose a federal structure for the country, thus giving all regions a measure of self-rule. Failing that, he promised to grant Muslim areas known as Bangsamoro, formal autonomy.
Duterte has been highly critical of US foreign policy in the wider Muslim world, something which won him praise and respect from moderate Muslim rebels as well as ordinary Muslim citizens in Philippines. In this sense Duterte helped create ‘moderate rebels’ where in Syria there are only steadfast and moderate government supporters, all of whom are against terrorists.
ISIS did not want to lose a possible base and ISIS knew full well they would have none if peace broke out in the Muslim parts of Philippines, something that Duterte was and remains uniquely capable of achieving.
2. Duterte Has Shifted Historical Philippine Geo-political Alignments
President Duterte has followed through on commitments to engage in an historic rapprochement with China and engage in groundbreaking positive relations with Russia.
If two of the three superpowers became allies with a traditional US dependant, it could shift the regional balance of power and indeed the global balance of power.
ISIS know full well that Russia has helped to thwart their advances in Syria. They saw another country they could create havoc in and they pounced.
3. Duterte Targeted ISIS Drug Revenue
ISIS have been rapidly monopolising the global narcotics trade from opium smuggling in Afghanistan (said to be worth £1 billion per year), to the European drugs network run by Albanian organised criminals to cultivating drug dealing networks in Africa and even Latin America.
By targeting drugs in Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte was targeting one of the major cash cows of ISIS. ISIS clearly knows the value of the Dollar.
4. Duterte Is A Democratic Man of The People
ISIS often finds success in appealing to the poor and those on the edges of society. The poverty that Philippines has suffered from due to years of corrupt government has created a population, particularly among existing Muslims, who are rife for exploitation.
If Duterte succeeded in making Philippines a more equal and fair society, ISIS would have a harder time selling their insane message to desperate and depressed young men.
5. ISIS Has Strange Bed Fellows
Just like in Syria, those opposing the moderate, secular government of Bashar al-Assad are a surreal combination of Wahhabist jihadists, liberal so-called ‘human rights’ advocates, globalists, neocons and corrupt regional regimes like Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Like Assad who remains highly popular among real Syrians, Duterte remains popular among real Filipinos. The same liberal NGOs who even before the arrival of ISIS hated Ba’athist Syria, had all ready descended on Duterte’s Philippines.
The liberals fired the first salvo in both wars, then ISIS came in to do the heavy fighting.
There is no black conspiracy but rather an open one against leaders like Assad and Duterte. If someone has policies that are popular but anti-liberal (in the western sense), the western liberal NGOs and governments and corporations will seek vengeance. When one looks at who funds ISIS, it is no wonder that they are on the same page.
Duterte’s war against drugs and terrorism is now one against the western neo-liberal, globalist world order. Donald Trump may be a personal friend of Duterte, but the neo-liberal globalist US deep state which still controls US foreign policy is not. They have shown themselves to be friends of ISIS, al-Nusrea and the Turkish backed jihadist group Free Syrian Army.
NATO backed and continues to back violent jihadist factions in Libya. One doesn’t need to be in an Arab country to feel the mutual wrath of the blood soaked alliance between neo-liberals and Salafist terrorism.
Duterte was a prime target all along.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.