Aquino regime wants to set up 'new Subic' for US military

ANG BAYAN
21 February 2012

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US imperialism needs a Subic Naval Base-like military facility to serve as a docking area for its warships, a landing pad for its spy planes and a rest and recreation area for American troops forming part of thousands of US soldiers to be deployed on a rotation basis in various countries in the Asia-Pacific in the next several years.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had insinuated in a recent US Senate Armed Forces Committee Hearing that the Obama and Aquino governments were working on an agreement for the accomodation of US military troops and equipment in the Philippines. The US would like to pattern the accord after a newly signed agreement with Australia that allows US warships to dock regularly at Darwin City and grants access to 2,500 US Marines.

The regular docking of US battleships is part of US plans to use the Philippines as a platform for its power-projection, China containment and interventionist operations in the Asia-Pacific region.

Prior to the US Senate hearing, officials of the Obama and Aquino governments had already met about setting up military facilities for the US in the Philippines during the Strategic Defense Dialogue (SDD) in January. The talks were disclosed in an article published in the Washington Post despite initial attempts to keep the meeting under wraps. US officials have said that they are merely awaiting the Aquino government's concrete proposals on the matter. Like a true puppet, the Aquino regime has responded by saying that plans are already underway. It has placed all the facilities needed by its imperialist master at the disposal of US troops. High-ranking US officials are expected to arrive in the country to sign the agreement as soon as it is completed.

US officials had announced plans to transfer 8,000 soldiers currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan to an American military base in Guam, a US territory. (The plan was spurred by the Okinawans' widespread opposition to the presence of the abusive American troops and by the Obama government's own desire to cut back on military spending due to the economic and financial crisis), The US has shelved this plan of late, however. It has instead decided to transfer only 4,700 troops to Guam and send the more than 3,300 remaining troops “on rotation” to Australia, the Philippines, Singapore and Hawaii.

Plans to build new military facilities for the regular port calls of US warships bring to mind bitter memories of the Philippines' long experience with military bases. The presence of US troops inevitably involves the abuse of women as well as prostitution and violence against children. The people have not quite forgotten Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith's rape of “Nicole” in 2005 and how he was able to avoid imprisonment in the Philippines.

The people's patriotic movement is sure to be kindled with American soldiers free to leave and enter the country at will and use the country as a launching pad for military operations and efforts to impose US hegemony in the Asia-Pacific. The struggle for national liberation will further intensify in the face of US interventionism and the Aquino regime's puppetry.