FBI in the Philippines

The FBI is not being all that helpful in the Philippines right now. Word is, some agents sprung a wanted man, an American “treasure hunter” named Michael Meiring, from a Davao hospital last month. It’s news now because a new arrest warrant was released yesterday for him, charging him with illegal possession of explosives related to an explosion in Davao on May 16. We’re so helpful!! If I were FBI I’d watch out, though. Mayor Duterte (who acts like he’s playing a lead role in a Clint Eastwood film and rides around on a Harley) is pissed and “threatened to arrest US agents who operate in the city without any coordination.” This man is serious. He basically dealt with a raging drug problem in his city by making it ok to find drug dealers dead. No messing around with Duterte.

I am happy to hear that the US troops are doing some good on Basilan, however. They’ve been building roads and helping secure clean water supplies to the towns in the area (by digging wells, etc.). The moslem area has been passed over in favor of Catholic (and historically more stable) areas in the south. Now they’re getting a little bit of attention. The military tactic is to reduce the susceptibility of the locals to insurgency talk, and to increase the legitimacy of the Philippine goverment in their eyes. We’ll see if the government keeps it up when the GIs pull out, but for now I’m all for getting some kids clean water and food. If only it didn’t feel so temporary I might feel better… Of course, this story *did* appear in the New York Times.

In lighter news, I’m excited that I get to meet and interview the director of “American Mullet” on Monday. She not only films the mullet life, she has been wearing one for years. I’m going to have to restrain myself from asking her if I can touch it…

Thanks to all for the great feedback on this already. Thanks also, T., for the marriage proposal. Unexpected reaction to my starting a blog, but it was sweet.