As expected, last night’s Academy Award ceremony in Hollywood came with notable political overtones. In the category for best full length documentary, one witnessed the surreal moment where an anti-Syrian film made with the help of the al-Qaeda affiliate White Helmets called Last Man In Aleppo went up against a film called Icarus which purportedly ‘blows the lid’ off the so-called ‘Russian doping scandal’. After the anti-Russian film beat the anti-Syrian film, the show’s host Jimmy Kimmel said, “Well, now at least we know Putin didn’t rig this competition, right?”
To recap, an audience in Hollywood, where a combination of prescription drugs, legal recreational drugs and illegal narcotics are more popular than water, have had a laugh at Russia’s expense over doping allegations. Most Russians will just see this as another display of bigotry, but there is a much larger issue at play.
While the US and its allies on the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency have worked for years to discredit Russian athletes based on allegations of using so-called ‘performance enhancing drugs’, even if this were a real scandal, it would ultimately be a benign one. Even if every athlete in the Olympics from every country was on performance enhancing drugs, does this actually hurt anyone in the wider world? The clear answer is no.
By contrast, the drug epidemic in The Philippines has turned ordinary people into violent monsters, turned entire parts of towns and cities into crime infested danger zones, has given rise to heavily armed criminals in the lucrative black narcotics trade and has helped to fund terrorist insurgencies in the country. Such a problem should garner world attention, but for years it did not. It was only when President Rodrigo Duterte was elected on a promise to effectively clean up the drug, violence and crime problem that it gained world attention, but for all the wrong reasons.
When it comes to someone who is ‘anti-doping’, Duterte is a clear leader in such matters. His zero tolerance for drugs campaign has already improved the daily lives of millions of Filipinos who can now walk the streets in safety. Today the criminals are afraid of Duterte where in previous years, it was ordinary people who hid in fear of the criminal element surrounding the drug culture. What’s more is that Duterte has exposed the link between narco-money and terrorism. Terrorist organisations need financing and one of their main sources of finance is through trafficking and selling illegal drugs.
While there are many drugs used by terrorists, well-known narcotics such as cocaine is at best, a second favourite among today’s killers. The 21st century terrorist’s drug of choice is a pill called Captagon whose effects while similar to cocaine, are even more extreme, making its users capable of super-human violence while totally erasing what remains of a human conscience.
Captagon has been found among Daesh (ISIS) and al-Qaeda fighters in Libya, Iraq, Syria, as well as in terrorist shipping roots in France and Italy, just to name a few. But other drugs also play their role. Philippines President Duterte has waged a war against drug addicts, drug dealers and the criminal networks built up around both. These networks include not only mafioso gangs, but Daesh aligned terrorist organisations. Soldiers in The Philippines have discovered that the Daesh aligned Maute Group who for months occupied the city of Marawi in Mindanao, were taking the drug known as Shabu, a powerful methamphetamine which has been at the root of South East Asia’s drug problem.
Recently, it came to be known that the terrorists who slaughtered civilians last year on England’s London Bridge and surrounding areas, were on powerful steroids. But it is not just Daesh and al-Qaeda related terrorists who are fuelled by drugs. Most of the so-called mass shooters in recent US history, have been under the influence of narcotics both during and before their killing sprees. This includes Stephen Paddock, the man who committed the biggest mass shooting in US history last year in Las Vegas.
With terrorist fighters taking drugs and with terrorist organisations profiting from the sale of drugs and with historic and current allegations of the CIA profiting from its own involvement in the international narcotics trade, one contemporary leader stands above the rest in both articulating the nature of the drug problem and taking concrete steps to stop it. This man is Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. Gaddafi first warned of this phenomenon in 2011, at a time when most people outside of Davao did not know the name Rodrigo Duterte.
Today, Duterte is saving lives by tackling the drug problem at its core. It is no surprise therefore that some of the same neo-imperialist forces which killed Gaddafi are now trying to imprison Duterte due to their fear that he might expose the link between drugs and terrorism even more than he already has done. The CIA of course has its hands dirty in the drug trade, while the US has been supporting terrorism in Libya and Syria for at least seven years. Duterte has made a brave stand in taking on not only local gangs and terrorist groups, but their Washington benefactors. Anyone who opposes terrorism, should stand with President Duterte, for it is only he who understands its most fundamental root cause.
Instead of applauding Duterte, the US, EU and other allies including Australia have criticised Duterte for supposedly violating the human rights of the kinds of mafioso bandits, dangerous individuals and social liabilities who violate the human rights of everyone else on a daily basis.
The dangerous drug problem that Duterte has attacked head on, represents a far bigger public service than attacking Olympic athletes who at the end of the day, merely exist to entertain people in stadiums. Perhaps for next year’s Academy Awards, there should be a documentary film about how a vast majority of Filipinos have applauded Duterte’s campaign to clean up the country and put an end to a very harmful drug problem. This would make for a far better film than an Olympic scandal which few people care about and even fewer are affected by.