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Filipino-Americans to Obama– “No to America’s Pacific Century!”

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October 7, 2012

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin
Chairperson, BAYAN USA

As the US military occupation of Afghanistan enters into its 11th year, Filipino-Americans across the US, under the banner of BAYAN USA, condemn the past 4 years of the Obama administration for continuing what is essentially the same international war campaign as its much-hated predecessor. As 4 years of the Obama administration continues its total war for oil policy in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia under the disguise of so-called “humanitarian missions” in conjunction with the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Obama administration has launched another war and militarization campaign towards the Asia-Pacific region, aiming for what US State Secretary Hillary Clinton has called a “America’s Pacific Century” one year ago this month.

War and Neoliberalism: 2-sides of the Same Coin

This campaign has both military and economic components. On one hand, the US pushes to shift its military might towards the region, including increasing its military basing facilities under the largest and most expensive of its global commands– the US Pacific Command (PACOM). In countries critical to this geopolitical strategy, such as the Philippines, increasing US military presence translates to greater human rights abuses committed by the Philippine military through US-funded counter-insurgency operations. There have also been documented US drone exercises in the Philippines, from which civilian deaths have been reported.

On the other hand, US military warfare works in tandem with its economic warfare through neoliberalism. Underneath the US military pivot to the region is its even more aggressive campaign to outline a US-dominated trade zone in the region through the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The massive scope of the TPPA sets it larger and more destructive to the sovereign integrity of the affected countries than that of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), launched under Clinton in 1994. The NAFTA experience sparked massive peoples awareness and resistance to the destructive character of the US neoliberal offensive, which sowed unspeakable poverty at the root of forced migration while destroying local industries, jobs, the environment, and allowed for patterns of gross human rights abuses.

Control of the Asian Market

The Obama administration frames its pivot to the region as an effort to isolate the threat of China, its main super-rival, even as the US maintains trade relations with China. What dictates the Obama administration’s military and economic moves in the region is its loyalty to the interests of US monopoly capitalism, or imperialism, which is faced with a worsening protracted global economic crisis created by its own neoliberal economic policy. Key to US imperialism’s survival of its own crisis– after wasting billions in its failed war campaign in the Middle East– is domination over Asia’s trade and commercial market, which accounts for over $1 trillion worth of the US export industry. The US ruling elite also sees the region as a source of cheap labor as it is home to 60% of the global workforce.

2-Party System vs Peoples Struggle

US imperialism maintains it control over the US government through its 2 major political parties. The past 4 years of the Obama administration have proven this through its continuation of Bush’s US foreign policy dependent on total war of aggression abroad, as well as a domestic policy dependent on war at home in the form of crippling budget cuts on the public sector in favor of privatization, expanding military and prison industrial complexes, and a wave of fascist legislation against the poor, immigrants, people of color, and the US constitution.

But the global economic crisis caused by imperialism has also borne greater peoples struggle and resistance all over the world. In the Philippines and all over Asia, anti-imperialist struggle heightens through national liberation struggles waged primarily through armed resistance. The same holds true in Afghanistan, Pakistan and across the Middle East/North Africa region where US and NATO forces continue its wars of aggression.

In this era of global economic crisis, US imperialism’s greatest threat is growing international resistance and solidarity. In this respect, Americans burdened by the effects of the same crisis here in the US must unite and raise the level of class struggle against monopoly capitalism’s 1% and forge solidarity with the broader global 99% abroad against the same enemy.


BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 18 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of thePhilippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit