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President Rodrigo Duterte Unveils Plan to Arm Civilians in the Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has a bold plan to combat crime in his country.

According to a report from Second Amendment Daily News, Duterte is giving away guns to private individuals in an effort fight off drug gangs.

He is specifically arming “Barangay Captains” who have previously been reluctant to report gang and drug-related crime. Such hesitance to report crimes was out of fear of violent repercussions from the gangs and drug dealers that they would be reporting on.

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After careful deliberation with police and intelligence agencies, Duterte announced that he would provide community leaders with guns from the state arsenal.

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According to Martin Dino, the Interior Department Secretary in charge of the Barangays, there are 42,000 of these “captains” who would be eligible to receive free or subsidized guns in private purchases.

Dino stated: “The condition is that the barangay captain should fight drugs and crime. If he is conniving with criminals, he could be the one shot.”

Earlier in June, Duterte declared that barangays would receive the same treatment as law enforcement or soldiers. In other words, Duterte proclaimed that they “will never go to jail” if they shot suspected criminals while on duty.

Edmund Abesamis, the president of the association of barangay officials, claims that this plan to arm civilians has the backing of the barangay association.

The plan to arm civilians is supported by the association of barangay officials, according to its president, Edmund Abesamis.

Unlike America, which has an extensive gun culture and very pro-gun laws when compared internationally, the Philippines does not have many options when it comes to arming it citizens.

Ideally, the country would have similar Second Amendment protections like America.

In the meantime, gun owners worldwide can at least breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Duterte is not going on anti-gun tirades like most international politicians are these days.

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Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?

America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad

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Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.

Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards  questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy. 

In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”

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Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.

That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.

Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:

Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”

Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans. 

After looking at the list of people who have been tapped to join the Biden administration, Hawley tweeted, “What a group of corporatists and war enthusiasts – and #BigTech sellouts.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”

The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change. 

Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.

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