August 10, 2016

Diplomacy 101: Don’t Address Your Allies With Slurs

How does that playground song go? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but homophobic slurs will destroy diplomatic relations.” President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is under fire for using a homophobic slur while referring to US Ambassador Philip Goldberg as a “gay ambassador” and “the son of a whore.” A teenager would be kicked out of their Model UN club for less. This probably won’t do wonders for his ties with the US and couldn’t come at a worse time. With China trying to claim virtually all of the South China Sea away from the Philippines, Washington and Manila have moved to deepen their longstanding military alliance. Fearing China’s increased militarization in the region and their own paltry defense capabilities, the Philippines upheld a defense pact that allows the US military to build facilities at five Philippine bases just in case. Duterte, however, doesn’t seem worried about annoying his allies. When Goldberg objected, he told him to “shut up.”

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: