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  • Bronx

    This one has mostly gone under the radar in US news reporting, but it is one of the most important stories of the year.
    Had ISIS and related forces taken over any other city of 200,000 persons, anywhere else, it would have been front page news and garnered wide spread attention.

    I suspect that most people here in the US have little idea of the strategic importance of The Philippines to us, and of
    the generally friendly nature and good relations between our people and countries; the blip over how they handle their
    war on drugs being an exaggerated problem between us.

    I would think most people here do not know that their Capital City, Manila, is a very modern and very Western Place.
    As any big city it has its horrid problems and poverty, but it also has areas that are very modern centers of tourism and
    business. This is no second rate city.

    We need to focus on what is important here. 1) Our strategic needs. We can't allow China or Islamic insurgents or
    communist insurgents to upset our strategic defenses for ourselves and for S. Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.
    2) We have to somehow deal with China's aggression and insure freedom in the South China Sea, aka Western Philippines Sea.

    3) Islamic radical violence is endemic around the world and the Philippine government needs what ever aid we can give it.
    We embargoed shipment of 26,000 rifles because we were offended by their approach to their drug problem Thing is,
    their drug problem is really in large measure Chinese chemical warfare against them. We need to keep some of these things in perspective. Meanwhile, I personally know of a person who was rehabilitated by their approach. (I'm an American of European descent with interests there.) Yes, some people died without trial, a few thousand, but a million turned themselves in for treatment and leniency.

    As DAESH goes down in Syria and Iraq they are looking to relocate in SE Asia. It is in our interests to make
    certain they are unsuccessful at it.
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    Meanwhile, for Americans interested in tourism, Luzon, and especially the Northern most province Batanes, is a
    nice place to visit. Batanes is absolutely safe and beautiful.