Then, around the time Obama was exiting through the emergency staircase, a Chinese official attempted to block national security adviser Susan Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes after they lifted a blue rope holding back press and walked to the other side of it, closer to Obama. A member of the Chinese delegation began shouting at White House staff, demanding the pool leave the arrival scene. A White House official said Obama was our president and Air Force One was our plane and that the press was not going to move from the designated area. The Chinese official angrily responded “This is our country. This is our airport.” more
by on September 5, 2016
Has President Obama, the leader of the Western world, become a Rodney Dangerfield character on the world stage, the guy who gets no respect?
First, he endured a humiliating snub on his arrival in China for the G20 meeting. What, “Deliveries through the service door, please?” And no red carpet, that’s for Putin.
HANGZHOU, China (AP) — If President Barack Obama was hoping for a graceful start to his final trip to Asia as commander in chief, this wasn’t it.
Confrontations between Chinese officials and White House staff and other diplomatic dust-ups were out in the open from the moment Air Force One landed in Hangzhou, where world leaders were attending an economic summit.
The first sign of trouble: There was no staircase for Obama to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet. Obama used an alternative exit.
On the tarmac, a quarrel broke out between a presidential aide and a Chinese official who demanded the journalists traveling with Obama be prohibited from getting anywhere near him. It was a breach of the tradition observed whenever the American president arrives in a foreign place.
When the White House official insisted the U.S. would set the rules for its own leader, her Chinese counterpart shot back.
“This is our country! This is our airport!” the Chinese official yelled.
Compare the reception given to Obama — alternative exit, no red carpet — to how Putin was received (video below):
And then there is Philippine President Duterte … first he insulted the US ambassador, Philip Golberg, calling him “a gay son of a bitch,” explaining that, “I was annoyed at him for interfering in the elections, giving statements here and there. He wasn’t supposed to do that.” But given Philippines’ strategic importance, the US reaction was subdued: “US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said the department had summoned the Filipino chargé d’affaires to “clarify” Duterte’s remarks.” The US State Department apparently considers “gay,” “son of a bitch” and “interfering in elections” obscure terms that need “clarification.”
Duterte’s respect for the US has not increased after Kerry’s subsequent visit, despite the fact that Kerry came bearing gifts (or perhaps because of that):
“Kerry came here, we had a meal, and he left me and Delfin $33 million. I said, OK, maybe we should offend them more.”
Duterte got his opportunity when word reached him that President Obama might call him to task about the summary executions of drug dealers Duterte has approved in his war on drugs:
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned President Barack Obama on Monday not to question him about extrajudicial killings, or “son of a bitch I will swear at you” when they meet in Laos during a regional summit.
Duterte said before flying to Laos that he is a leader of a sovereign country and is answerable only to the Filipino people. He was answering a reporter’s question about how he intends to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama. According to some reports more than 2,000 suspected drug pushers and users may have been killed since Duterte launched a war on drugs after taking office on June 30.
In his typical foul-mouthed style, Duterte responded: “I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions. Putang ina I will swear at you in that forum,” he said, using the Tagalog phrase for “son of a bitch.”
John Kerry’s visit was met with massive anti-US protests:
A blast wrought destruction upon a busy night market in the city of Davao in the Philippines island of Mindanao. According to CNN, 14 people were killed and 71 wounded. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte visited a morgue early Saturday to pay respects to the 14 people killed hours earlier in an explosion at a crowded market in Davao City.
Before being elected president, Duterte was the mayor of Davao (his native town) so this terrorist act is also an act of vengeance and a personal message.
“We have to confront the ugly head of terrorism,” Duterte said, standing near the explosion site in his hometown. “We will take this as a police matter about terrorism.”
The cause of the explosion, which happened around 10 p.m. ET Friday, is not known.
The terrorist act may prompt Duterte to declare martial law. Is a US “humanitarian intervention” on the horizon?