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The Dragon Comes With a Suitcase

Since many of those cartel bosses are probably Communist Party leaders, the recent Chinese offer to "help" will likely expand, rather than diminish, the drug war in the Philippines. Now the door is open and Beijing will lose no time in rushing in.

China has pledged to help the Philippines in the campaign against illegal drugs, with its embassy saying narcotics are "a common enemy of mankind."

In a statement to the media, Chinese Embassy spokesperson Li Lingxiao said that China "has expressed explicitly to the new administration China’s willingness for effective cooperation in this regard, and would like to work out a specific plan of action with the Philippine side."

Li said the Chinese government has been "firm and severe in drug control and in punishing all drug criminals in accordance with laws regardless their nationalities" and added it has cooperated effectively with other countries against drugs.

"Fighting against all drug-related crimes is shared responsibility of all countries in the world," Li also said.

Duterte, who has promised a bloody war against drugs and criminality in the country, said Monday that he plans to raise grievances with China over links that some Chinese nationals allegedly have with illegal drug syndicates.

Obama's framing of Duterte's drug war as a human rights problem, which it doubtless is, missed a key dimension. The drug war is the symptom of a national security problem: the narco invasion of the Philippines. The killings are a result and not the cause in themselves of the problem. And now that the diplomatic breach has opened the door to Chinese subversion on an unprecedented scale with incalculable consequences to regional security, it is likely to get worse.

The Era of Hope and Change has been one prolonged act of suicide. If anyone had said that Obama would manage to alienate Israel and the Philippines, lose Turkey, pay Iran a hundred billion dollars, preside over the loss of a won war in Afghanistan, lose billions of dollars in military equipment to ISIS, watch a consulate burn, restart the Cold War with Russia, cause Japan to re-arm and go the knife's edge with China, would you have believed it? If someone had told you in 2008 millions of refugees would be heading for Europe and that the UK would leave the EU after Obama went there to campaign for them to remain, would you not have laughed?

He promised "smart diplomacy" and the restoration of American prestige in the world. How did it come to this?

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