Every modern bureaucracy requires a number of un-elected officials to oversee the operations of state institutions on a regular basis. While most of these jobs are technically apolitical, as the goals of an elected government change, often those executing such policies must also change in order to create a streamlined mentality among both elected officials and those who serve to execute their political goals. When such a change involves eliminating corruption and enforcing important laws, such a change becomes all the more pressing. This is clearly what Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte realised when this week he ordered the firing of all executive officials from the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
Duterte became infuriated when he learned that even after the arrests of hundreds of corrupt officials who had been materially benefiting from the illegal narcotics trade, drugs were still getting into The Philippines due to customs officials who were likely on the take from the villainous trafficking of narcotics.
The President’s move is not only good for the health and social welfare of all Filipinos but his move strengthens democratic institutions in The Philippines. Rodrigo Duterte was elected in 2016 with the explicit mandate to tackle a drug problem so virulent that it threatened to consume all of peaceful Philippine society. In spite of fake news reports to the contrary, the most recent survey of public opinion in The Philippines showed that Duterte’s popularity ratings continue to tower over other elected presidents and that furthermore they have gone up in the third quarter of 2018.
Duterte has in fact given his life’s blood to fighting narcotics long before he became an internationally known figure. Beginning in 1988 when he became Mayor of Davao city, he was literally on the front lines in the war against narcotics as he led a drive to empower ordinary citizens to take their city back from the narco-terrorists who had occupied public and private life in the same way in which the Daesh (ISIS) aligned Maute group occupied the city of Marawi prior to a successful anti-terror operation by the Philippine armed forces.
But while a younger Duterte led the war on drugs in Davao in the manner of a brave commando, as President of a large nation, Duterte must necessarily rely on a large state apparatus to make sure that the war against drugs is fought with precision and effectiveness. A corrupt bureaucracy therefor could not be reasonably allowed to stand in the way of the desires of the Filipino people to live in a country free from drugs while likewise, at a time when it is essential that foreign direct investment is allowed easier inroads into the country, serious investors cannot afford to be frightened off because of narco-terrorism.
It has been that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”. Nowhere is this statement more true than in respect of the global proliferation of narcotics. Just about every government and every individual knows the dangers of radical international terror groups including Daesh (ISIS), even if they have not come face to face with such terrorists. Yet in certain countries, the horror of narcotics is either wilfully ignored or distorted to the point that ordinary people have become unaware of a problem that exists in every nation, even if it may not yet exist in every street.
The truth of the matter is that that the spread of narcotics is an international plague that in terms of scale and consequently in terms of wickedness is even more dangerous than traditional forms of international terrorism. The trafficking of drugs has led to the rise of organised criminal syndicates that are often more heavily armed than many terrorist cells. The threats such groups cause to the safety of both civilians and security officers has resulted in more casualties than those who have for example been beheaded by Daesh.
Likewise, the number of communities that have been enslaved by the drug traffickers and dealers number higher than the places under occupation by most of the world’s well known terror groups. Finally, the effects of narcotics and shabu in particular have the ability to turn otherwise downtrodden ordinary people into terrorists whose killing, raping, torturing, burning, breaking and stealing sprees know no end.
But the parallels between the world of narcotics and the world of international terrorism do not end there. Another fact that is continually ignored is that most terror groups fund themselves by selling drugs while most terrorists are on drugs at the time that they commit their wicked atrocities.
In 2011, when Libyan Revolutionary leader Muammar Gaddafi appeared before his nation saying that seditious elements and foreign agitators were on narcotics and thus deprived of their own cognitive abilities, he was laughed at by the western mainstream media who cheered on his subsequent assassination at the hands of al-Qaeda proxies working with NATO.
It turns out that Gaddafi was absolutely correct. Drugs have become a staple of the modern terrorist’s diet. From Libya to Syria and Iraq to Philippines, warped young men without a real knowledge of any particular faith or ideology are taking vast amounts of drugs in order to give them the physical stamina combined with mental incapacity, which allows them to carry out barbaric atrocities without cessation. If it ever seemed odd that young men turn to terrorism which will often lead to their own death, as well as the death of others, without any promise of earthly remuneration, this is because even among the poor or the mentally challenged, terrorism is typically unthinkable.
It is the promise and delivery of mind altering drugs which pushes young people into terrorism, rather than mythical notions about an un-Islamic and un-Christian afterlife. In this sense, the difference between a young man turning to drug dealing or robbery, has the same basic origins as those who turn to terrorism. In most societies it is a slippery slope. It is no coincidence that many well known terrorists were fond of alcohol, prostitutes and so-called recreational drugs prior to committing their atrocities. While alcoholism, the taking of narcotics and the frequenting of harlots is prohibited in Islam, these actions are de rigueur in respect of the lifestyles that surround the narco-trade. Thus, terrorism is anything but a “problem with Islam”, it is a geopolitical problem whose foot-soldiers are fuelled by dangerous 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 tacking 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.
The United Nations itself recently admitted that the horror of narcotics threatens global peace, freedom and economic development. Yet of all the leaders in the world, the vast majority merely talked while Rodrigo Duterte took action. There are times in history when lovers of peace must temporarily lay down their ploughs and take up the sword against an enemy so evil and so pervasive that a tough approach to such dangers is the only thing that stands between innocent life and a megadeath at the hands of the narco-terrorists.
Duterte has stated that he will not rest until he rids his country of drugs. This day would arrive much sooner if every nation in the world joined Duterte in a global fight that is even bigger and broader than that against groups like Daesh – a group that incidentally has made millions of Dollars from selling drugs and a group whose terrorist fighters are typically on drugs.
While others waited for the problem to grow, Duterte knew what needed to be done both at a local level in Davao and later throughout The Philippines after becoming President. Just as any brave warrior who liberates his people from evil is a man of peace, so too is Duterte. In firing corrupt officials who put their own ill-gotten gains above the will of the people, Duterte was striking a blow against a criminal class of bureaucrats while standing up for the desires of his electorate.