Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte criticized Western powers Friday for waging deadly wars and interfering in the affairs of Middle Eastern states and bringing terrorism to their own lands.
Duterte blamed the the U.S. and the U.K. for their involvement in Iraq, Syria and Libya blaming them for pulling the countries apart.
“They forced their way into Iraq and killed Saddam. Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look at what happened to Syria … even children are being bombed, because of — they were push to the wall for the failed promises,” he said.
“It is not the Middle East exporting terrorism in America. America imported terrorism,” he continued.
He said that recent investigations into the Iraq war saw “there was no legal basis to declare war, that’s why it’s such a useless war.”
Duterte drew parallels with the colonization of the Philippines by the Spanish and the U.S. saying that it brought many problems in Mindanao region of the Philippines, where separatist Muslim groups have waged war against the government.
He said that many of these groups, often deemed terrorists, fought like groups in the Middle East because “these are the guys who were driven to desperation … that is why they (were) pushed to the wall, then they became radicalized.” He spoke of his aim to restore peace with groups in Mindanao, through increasing federalism.
Duterte won the May election on a tough-on-crime platform, supporting extrajudicial killings which has raised fears of return to the country’s authoritarian past. The so-called “Philippine Donald Trump” had earlier pledged to kill 100,000 criminals and dump so many in Manila Bay that the “fish will grow fat” from feeding on them.