Police state

The Department of National Defense drama continues. The short list has expanded somewhat. But the scuttlebutt seems to be that former police general Ebdane is the leading contender. The armed forces, of course, have always looked down on the police as being incompetent and corrupt. Even Fidel Ramos, when he was given the defense portfolio, encountered some resistance because he was a Constabulary and not not Army man.

I’ve posted plenty here on the President’s relying on all the wrong things to stay in power; and her reliance on the police as the ultimate safeguard of her power (together with a small cabal of generals not known for their military skills, but rather, their political abilities or police experience: former police and Constabulary generals, such as Ebdane and form part of her innermost circle). So literally, a police state has been in operation for some time (see Ellen Tordesillas’ blog which has the skinny on Nonong Cruz).

The Palace and the Speaker try a softer, vaguer approach to accomplish a constituent assembly.

Senate thinks 5 billion pesos has been misspent in the Office of the President; a billion pesos has been earmarked to grow plants in time for elections; an American group says the Philippine budget system lacks transparency.

Speaking of budgets, there’s an interesting couple of articles in Newsbreak on local government units and their revenue remittances from the national government. They serve as a reminder that the country’s been attempting devolution for over a decade now. Indeed, proponents of Federalism are often reminded that much has to be done in terms of implementing existing devolution policies -and getting local governments to learn the ropes and take the plunge in terms of utilizing the income-generating strategies open to them. So read Getting the IRA Right (which points out the bad habit of Congress to legislate unfunded mandates) and They’re Running Out of Manna (which enumerates the various schemes local governments to use to raise funds).

Mediashift live blogged the American midterm elections. Ignatian Perspective recounted what his voting day was like (his wife, who has voted before in their precinct, discovered her name had disappeared from the list of voters). History Unfolding says the media’s been slow in calling contests whose outcomes were clear enough: and that it’s a certainty the Democrats have captured the Senate.

The fallout from the American midterm elections begins. Biggest news, of course, is the fall of Donald Rumsfeld though there was a harbinger of it when the Army Times came out with an election eve editorial saying he should resign (though The Economist had asked for the same thing back in 2004). The Corner on National Review Online of course pooh-poohed the editorial; Fred Kaplan said it was a pretty big thing. Phillip Carter runs through Rummy’s catalog of failure. Incidentally, guess who first broke the news Rummy was doomed? A Comedy Central blog! (so said Boing Boing)

The Seventh Sense points out how massive the Republican defeat is: they lost the House of Representatives and quite probably, the Senate, too. Democrats control the majority not just of state governorships, but state legislatures, too. Read the whole entry. He also says Rummy’s fall means Cheney is in bad odor.

Can’t beat the glee of Bike riding donut guy who says Bush was “de-nutted” or The Rule of Reason who says a long national nightmare is over. Three German students in America, in their blog Atlantic Review, take a look at the midterm elections and remark on the American integration of plebiscites into the electoral process:

Germany could learn some direct democracy from the United States. German voters do not often get a chance to vote on specific policy issues, unlike in the United States where 205 measures were on yesterday’s ballots in 37 states…

Their blog also points to the influential political blog DailyKos, which has its founder saying the end of the electronic voting machine has come. He suggests mail-in paper ballots, instead.

jobsanger, though, cautions that what took place was a protest vote against the Republicans and not necessarily a ringing endorsement of the Democrats. Firedoglake appeals to Democratic party leaders to focus on those that elected them instead of trying to grab credit for the sweep. Media Nation thinks the Democrats had better look into their media management. Scrappleface looks at the top ten positive outcomes of the election for Bush.

Daniel Gross says the rich aren’t voting Republican anymore, hence one reasons for the Democratic sweep. Jacob Weisberg says economic nationalism is now the name of the game thanks to the election.

In the punditocracy, my column for today is Brain of Baler.

The Inquirer editorial and the Asahi editorial comment on Saddam Hussein’s trial and conviction. See Frank Murphy’s dissent in Yamashita case (mentioned in the Inquirer editorial) as well as Max Hastings in The Guardian and Christopher Hitchens and Anne Applebaum and Philip Carter in Slate.

Billy Esposo says the administration has exchanged a stiletto for an axe.

In the blogosphere, Philippine Commentary is irked when people describe democracy as “Western-style” and delves into how Congress has to tackle amendments via constituent assembly.

An OFW Living in Hong Kong doesn’t think midterm elections should be viewed as referenda on the incumbent. I think the reasons he gives are based on too high an opinion of American politics, voters, and politicians (see links above for machines that didn’t work, voter intimidation, disenfranchisement, contested contests, and dynasties in the US of A). Newsstand asks some philosophical questions after noting how some bloggers are popping champagne corks over the Democratic sweep.

The Bystander dissects the terror law. Confessions at 7:00 AM on what Atong Ang’s legal options are. The Warrior Lawyer wouldn’t mind Miriam Defensor Santiago as Chief Justice.

Punzi appeals for help for an ailing friend. In Fraternam Meam boils down international etiquette.

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    • manuelbuencamino on November 9, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    On the Saddam trial and verdict. ( Same question I asked DJB)

    “Was the trial fair and impartial?”

    The sentence is death. If the trial were somehow rigged and the sentence preordained then executing Saddam would be murder.

    • manuelbuencamino on November 9, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    The AFP has made known its preference for an ex-military man as SND. In Dong Puno’s show, Ramos’ former COS said a former soldier would command more respect. In the papers today, retired general Felix Brawner said basically the same thing – that the tayo-tayo system in the AFP is sacrosanct.

    Dong Puno’s guest said, soldiers ask “bakit wala na bang magaling sa amin at kailangan pang kumuha ng tigalabas?” And that is a question that career people in the DFA, the DOTC, the DPWH and scores of other civilian government offices would like to ask those retired officers who always end up being appointed to civilian posts.

    • hvrds on November 9, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    Frontier Justice for Saddam. It is very difficult to put an institutional face on his trial since there is no existing Iraqi State. Very much like Vichy France was. However I read the Philippine Commentary Blog and was impressed by the authors thoughts. He is also a student of history similar to the views of Condi’mushroom cloud’ Rice. The present instability is a sure sign of coming stability and history will tell. My money is on the Kurds. They are a more progressive lot. They even have a Marxist party already. For Muslims that is a gigantic leap. The U.S. needs them vs Persia. Iranians are not Arabs and I prefer to call them Persians.

    When asked about the anarchy after the fall of Iraq to the Americans we have to remember Rummy’s words “stuff happens”. W. remarked that the situation in Iraq will be a simple comma in their history.

    Like the history of the U.S. there were many commas also.

    The road to freedom is one of struggle. “Stuff happens” Nation building have to go birth pangs. That is why the U.S. does not do body counts today. The Spartans are in-charge of the White House today. Henry K. himself said that the fundmentalists must be taught that America will be ready to deal with Islamic fundamentalism at all levels of warfare. No quarter given and none will be asked. Rendition, torture, collateral damage are acceptable costs in the defense of the homeland.

    W., in one of his last campaign sorties said it succinctly, a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the terrorists. The author of the Philippine Commentary does not realize his affinity for Marxist thought on changing history by force.

    He forgot the Prime Directive in Star Trek about the absolute prohibition in interfering with lower developed planetary inhabitants. Even if it involved the search for dilithium crystals, the source of warp power. The Kling-Ons off course did not care.

    • Punzi on November 9, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    My most sincere gratitude for the plug for my best friend. He’s also a member of the ALG, one of those who fought against the People’s Initiative.

    • manuelbuencamino on November 9, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Moments of accountability Part I –

    Bush “Well, we had an accountability moment, and that’s called the 2004 election. And the American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me, for which I’m grateful.”

    Part II – “We were thumped”

    • manuelbuencamino on November 9, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Did Rumsfeld know he was going to be fired?

    Rumsfeld – “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

    I guess not.

    • DJB on November 9, 2006 at 3:59 pm


    Imagine that in February 1986, instead of flying Marcos out to Hawaii, a force of US Marines led by Fil-Am officers storms Malacanang, arrests Ferdinand Marcos and delivers him for trial in a few months to the newly constituted Republic under Cory Aquino. Then, having been tried and found guilty of plunder, salvagings, and illegally proclaiming himself Dictator for Life, after he is sentenced to a life of hard labor on the Prison Planet Crematoria, how would we like it if some Iraqi Conrad de Quiros or PDI starts writing about how the “Rule of Law” was violated and mere frontier justice was done? If we can accept a decision like Javellana, how can we complain about Iraqi Justice in the matter of Saddam Hussein, Marcos’ Big Brown Brother?

    Btw, your claim that “there is no existing Iraqi state” must be rhetorical because the Iraqi people in plebiscite with credible turnouts ratified a democratic constitution in 2006 and elected a government, which doesn’t seem to be any more chaotic or incompetent that our own. But at least their insurgency is only a few years old and I bet they get a handle on it sooner than us, who’ve liberally tolerated the communist insurgency, like a harmless infection, for well nigh half a century.

    • cvj on November 9, 2006 at 5:03 pm

    DJB, what gives Americans (even if they are Fil-Ams) the license to barge into Malacanang? If that happened in 1986, the proper response would have been for the Filipinos (whether Marcos Loyalists, oppositionists and communists) to set aside their differences, unite and boot out the invaders. hvrds is correct, Neocon thought has its roots in Trotsky and their methods are an adaptation of Mao’s.

  1. Agree with cvj totally.

    • Carl on November 9, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Donald Rumsfeld is a self-made man who has proven his competence in government and in business and certainly has more substance than his Commander-in-Chief. He may have been wrong on Iraq, but he was only taking orders from the President and the Vice-President, with approval of the U.S. Congress and Senate. But success has many fathers, while defeat is an orphan. As a team player, Rumsfeld had to assume paternity for the tar baby that is Iraq.

    Despite being a man of proven intelligence, however, Rumsfeld has been known to bastardize the English language as much as his boss, George W. These remarks are possibly as much a result of being in a difficult situation as they are of the hubris that is reflected in them. This is the same hubris that is etched in the disdainful scowl that is stamped on the face of Dick Cheney. manuelbuencamino quotes Rumsfeld’s famous remarks on the “known unknowns” above. Other quotable remarks by Rumsfeld:

    “The future is necessarily less predictable that the past.”

    “Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been before this administration–except for those instances where Colin’s still learning.” – – – On supposed disagreements with then Secretary of State Colin Powell

    “We know where they are.” – – – When asked about the existence of WMD in Iraq before the invasion. These words were to haunt him in later months.

    “The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence…Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist.” – – On the futile search for WMD in Iraq

    “Freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.” – – On the prevailing strife and anarchy in Iraq

    “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.” – – – On criticism about the U.S. forces’ ill-suited equipment and armor in Iraq

    “Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.” – – – On criticism about American casualties in Iraq.

    “I don’t do quagmires” – – – On being blamed for Iraq

  2. MB,

    Add this famous February 2005 quote by Rumsfeld…

    “I am not going to give you a number for it because it is not my business to do intelligent work.”

  3. Carl,

    Add the following quote he made in 2004:

    “It seems to me that it’s up to all of us to try to tell the truth, to say what we know, to say what we don’t know, and recognise that we’re dealing with people that are perfectly willing to, to lie to the world to attempt to further their case and to the extent people lie of, ultimately they are caught lying and they lose their credibility and one would think it wouldn’t take very for that to happen dealing with people like this.”

  4. Here’s Rumsfeld exact quote in March 2003 on the whereabouts of the WMDs in Iraq:

    “We know where they [Iraq’s WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat.”

    • bogchimash on November 9, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    manila’s 400; sell out congress with abusive euro-trash clone kids; seperatists in the south with a fresh army and petro-dollar funding; commies in the north with ussr and chinese backing; student leaders who were parroting half-understood concepts because this anti-establishment trend was the latest in the ivy league school scene; and a big brother who was not exactly looking out for our best interest…marcos dealt with them all at the same time

    i agree that his estate should pay damages to the families of the human rights abuse victims based on command-responsibility…his martial law went on longer than what was proper, thereby creating a power addicted armed force…however, to put him on the same plane with saddam and demand for his blood and dishonor is way too much…

    marcos was the country’s acapulco trade of the 20th century…his regime with all the roads, bridges, air and sea ports catapulted poor people who strove to middle class status…many families, in one generation’s time, were able to afford higher education for the children…in administrations previous to his, such stories may have happened but these were far and between…

    there may be much to be desired from marcos as much was given to him but everbody before him and those who came after are no comparisson…

    marcos pa rin!

    • Jeg on November 9, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    I remember Robert Pirsig wrote in one of his books that fanaticism comes from doubt. After all, you dont see anyone fanatically proclaiming that the sun will rise in the east tomorrow.

    Neocons believe in democracy, but they dont believe that democracy is so compelling that anyone exposed to it will succumb to the power of its idea. That’s why theyd rather do the convincing through force of arms.

    • UP student on November 9, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    marcos pa rin? imelda still holding power in her corner of the world, imee and other children, well-entrenched in their fiefdom. Totoo nga… maraming Pilipino ang nagsasabi na “Marcos pa rin”. What about “Ver pa rin”?

    • UP student on November 9, 2006 at 7:37 pm

    On what the US does next in Iraq now that Rumsfeld is done. Remember that one of Rumsfeld’s strategic position is that there are enough US troops on the ground. With Bush really serious about leaving only when the job is done and with Democrats very afraid for their legacy of “..ending an unpopular war in the wrong way”, it is still a possibility that more US troops are deployed to Iraq in the next few months.

  5. UP Student,

    I doubt that the US will send more troops in addition to the ones they already have there.

    The US military is stretched. There are close to 140,000 troops personnel deployed on a rotation basis in Iraq. Already rotating that number is proving to be an incredible task for Pentagon; they must also consider troop deployment in other areas on the globe, including on their own home front. Basic but hard military realities …

    Just like the UK forces, the US armies are not inexhaustible.

    Today with some 25,000 British soldiers on operations out of a force of some 100,000 the balance does not add-up. 25% are preparing to go, 25% are there and 25% have just returned. Not a lot of time to be at home and recover. The average age of the British army is about 22. The vast majority of soldiers and officers on operations are under 25. The stress for these young people is extraordinary – they are not sitting in a factory and going home every night, but living in a foreign country, surrounded by people anyone of whom may shoot them, living in temporary portacabins, going on patrol whatever the weather – snow, rain, 40 degree temperatures. They are asked individually to decide whether this time they should fire their gun at a target or not.

    The Americans are already finding it difficult to contribute more forces to the 10,000 they have in Afghanistan based on the same UK experience (above) so I doubt they will increase their troops on the ground. Besides, more troops would mean increasing the war budget and I don’t think the new leadership in Congress will take kindly to that bearing in mind that the Bush administration has spent almost 300 billion dollars on the war on Iraq…

    • Schumey on November 9, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Its nice to see justice done, but without an overseeing world power watching your every move. The problem is that America bestowed upon itself the title of world police. And there lies the danger of it all. It cannot be always what America says, America gets. The UN therefore is nothing but a hollow institution. What gives America the right to meddle in everyone’s affairs? The world is not America’s playground. Why on earth would we declare every country free if we all allow ourselves to be dictated upon by another?

    • jemy on November 9, 2006 at 8:47 pm

    “fanaticism comes from doubt”. great pirsig quote, jeg.

    that explain’s why some people behave the way they do.

    • jemy on November 9, 2006 at 8:49 pm

    “fanaticism comes from doubt”. great pirsig quote, jeg.

    that explains why some people behave the way they do.

    • Carl on November 9, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    Critics like McCain feel that the present administration has done too little. If it invaded Iraq, it should have done an honest-to-goodness invasion and put in perhaps half a million troops to finish the job. So, on one side you have people like McCain who supported the war but think that the execution was botched because of a half-baked strategy. The military establishment that criticized Rumsfeld generally thought along these lines.

    On the other hand, there are people like newly-elected Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who is a decorated Vietnam war hero like McCain. Webb, an Annapolis graduate and a marine who served as Secretarry of the Navy under Ronald Reagan, left the Republican Party because he opposed the war in Iraq from the very beginning. People like Webb thought that invading Iraq was duplicating the mistakes made in Vietnam. A diplomatic option was better instead of becoming mired in a thankless guerilla war which would cost the U.S. billions of taxpayers’ dollars and had very little chance of suceeding. There were those in the Republican party who also thought along Webb’s lines, but they didn’t raise their objections unlike Webb, who left the party and joined the Democrats and run as a Senator in Virginia against one of the rising stars of the Republican party. Webb had a double vindication. Not only was the Iraq war repudiated, he was also elected a Senator.

    The problem now is how to save face. How can the U.S. pull out without appearing to “cut and run”? Even long-time critics of the war in Iraq, like Nancy Pelosi who voted against the war from the very beginning, will tread on this matter very carefully. I am sure that she will take a measure of the public mood. And the public, even if it is wary about the war, will not want it to appear that the U.S. went into a fight and ran away. I think things will move gradually, even if it will be towards disengagement.

    • UP student on November 9, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    schumey… but Filipinos like foreign interference in the Philippines. I guess it was elinca or Jon M, not you, who applauded when Madrigal begged a court in the Hague to pronounce (and proclaim GMA guilty) what an all-Filipino institution (Lower House of Congress who have been elected by Filipinos) does not want to do. Or was it DJB who applauded Madrigal’s speech in the Hague?

  6. Carl,

    I agree – “I am sure that she will take a measure of the public mood. And the public, even if it is wary about the war, will not want it to appear that the U.S. went into a fight and ran away. I think things will move gradually, even if it will be towards disengagement.”

    Bush also has the option of tapping allies in Europe; take off some of the heat, politically that is. He will find that many countries who once opposed the invasion of Iraq – because they found BushCheneRumsfeld’s basis “flimsy” – will be prepared to cooperate this time, now that they’ve been proven right. How? That will be a matter for diplomats, defence and military top brass to negotiate. Unlike Rumsfeld, Mr Gates is widely respected in Europe.

    I hope General James Jones can contribute to both the diplomatic and militaristic efforts to make that happen, unless of course, he’s definitely been buried career-wise.

    • Jeg on November 9, 2006 at 9:36 pm

    Or was it DJB who applauded Madrigal’s speech in the Hague?
    DJB applauded it. But only because he thinks it’s the funniest stand-up comedy act since Lenny Bruce.

    Bush also has the option of tapping allies in Europe; take off some of the heat, politically that is.

    The US’s best bet is to get the Arab countries involved, especially the rich ones. In fact, why arent they involved? These people are supposedly their brothers and yet theyre content to just watch Arabs slaughter other Arabs.

  7. Jeg, maybe because they reckon they’re already paying America dearly by allowing them rights to their oil wells… not really sure. Who knows, America is perhaps finding it hard to trust their Arab ‘allies’.

    • Amadeo Dela Cruz on November 9, 2006 at 10:18 pm

    Don’t expect any changes in strategy when it comes to Iraq. The Dems in Congress will not in any way force a change in strategy. Why? Presidential election is 2 years away and they need the Iraq mess to win the White House. The Dems will more likely concentrate on domestic issues like budget deficit, taxes, health care and minimum wage.

    • cvj on November 9, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    Jeg, Anna, i think the Arab dictators are afraid to antagonize the man on the street who are overwhelmingly anti-US. The US can still salvage the situation if they don’t concentrate too much on ‘saving face’. Anyway, it’s too late for that. They would no longer appear as powerful as they were the day before they invaded Iraq.

    1. President Bush (or his successor) should ask for forgiveness in front of the UN General Assembly for the invasion and promise reparations for their part in the death and destruction.

    2. After such a genuine act of contrition, it may be possible to enlist the help of Iran and the Arab countries (especially Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan) in a genuine restoration and reconstruction of a unified Iraq.

    3. As continued US military presence is provocative in the Sunni and Shia areas, they should withdraw to the Kurdish region where they can act as a buffer against Turkey.

    4. The Iranian army should be allowed to roll into the Shia zone setting up a protectorate.

    5. Similarly, a pan-Arab force led by Syria should occupy the Sunni areas.

    6. Baghdad should be left for the Iraqi army to control.

    7. Under the protection of the US, Iran and the Arab countries, Iraq can then start to wind down the ongoing civil war and form a working government.

  8. cvj,

    “President Bush (or his successor) should ask for forgiveness in front of the UN General Assembly for the invasion and promise reparations for their part in the death and destruction.”

    Bush? Asking for forgiveness? I’m afraid that is outside the list of doable things.

    Much as I’d like to be Polyana personified, I don’t believe Bush will do that. When push comes to shove (for him to do that), I see him nuking Teheran instead…

    But ok, let me try a bit of optimism. Remember he swore to do something about Iran before his term is over – well, could go any one way… say, I believe Bush is capable of listening to reason (ugh!) so mebbe, juz mebbe, he might shake hands with the fellow (what’s is name again?) in Teheran and all’s well that ends well.

    • Jeg on November 9, 2006 at 11:52 pm

    The Arab governments should have no fear of the man on the street if they say, “Ok, we’ll handle this. We can take care of our own. You boys can pack up and leave now. And we mean Now.” They can say theyre doing it for the Iraqis and not for the Yanks.

    The Saudis and the Gulf states have more than enough money to fund the whole enterprise. Iran too, but their presence in Iraq might make the Sunni minority nervous.

    I think the US is just as powerful on paper except that that power is checked by another potent force: the moral code of its people. Aided by easy access to information, the American people will not let their government wield that awesome power without just cause. When it came out that the war was waged under false pretenses–or faulty intelligence, take your pick–the American people’s support for the war began to wane.

    In an interview, TV host Bill Maher was asked whether he agreed with Rosie O’Donnell when she said evangelical Christians are just as bad as Al Qaeda, he said: “I disagree with that completely… Because one reason why the west is superior, in my view, as far as tolerance is because, yes, we have preachers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who in my view say crazy things, but nobody takes them that seriously here. In Saudi Arabia they speak out against homosexuals and then they chop off their heads. Government sanctioned beheadings in chop-chop square in Mecca. OK. We don’t chop off their heads, certainly not government sanctioned, in this country.”

    • UP student on November 10, 2006 at 12:01 am

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the Iranian army rolls onto Iraqi territory to set up a protectorate. Will the Iraqi-Shias see Shias, or will they see Iranians? [to remember : Saddam troops rolled into Iranian territory and expected Iranian Sunnis to join him against Teheran. Nationalism prevailed over religion then.]
    Maybe Iraqis and Filipinos are different. I have a sense that Filipinos will not applaud should Malaysian troops roll into Jolo and/or Zamboanga to set up a protectorate.

  9. Re: “The Arab governments should have no fear of the man on the street if they say, “Ok, we’ll handle this. We can take care of our own.”

    Arab governments are much mike Asian governments – very difficult for Asians to handle many of their own.

  10. UP Student,

    Maybe not true for Jolo or Zamboanga but I remember Filipinos applauding when it was clear that Malaysia was there in Sabah to stay.

    • cvj on November 10, 2006 at 12:26 am

    Anna, i agree with your assessment of Bush not being able to ask for forgiveness. I’m hoping your scenario of him doing a ‘Nixon’ in Teheran comes to pass. That’s one of the few ways he can [partially] redeem himself before history. Of course, as ‘The Onion’ said, he may decide to take the easy way out and choose to end history so he does not have to face its judgment.

    Jeg, and yet it is the country with the ‘moral code’ that has been more efficient in causing the deaths of innocents, i.e. more than 600,000 in less than five years. At a crucial moment, the American’s desire to ‘kick a–‘ has taken precedence over their moral code.

    UP Student, yes it would be interesting to see whether Iraqi (vs. Iranian) national identity, Arab (vs. Persian) ethnic identity or a shared Shia faith wins out. There is also the possibility that they will be greeted as ‘liberators’ just like we did the Americans when they liberated us from the Japanese in World War 2. To minimize Iraqi nationalist resentment, the three way US-Arab-Iranian alliance should stick to a timetable as agreed with the Iraqis for leaving their respective sectors.

    • UP student on November 10, 2006 at 12:30 am

    Anna… Suddenly, I realize that I do not know know what to think as to how the various Filipino segments — the Ilocanos and Bicolanos or Cebuanos, UP students or Baguio high school students or the Inquirer-editors, the CBCP or the INC — I do not know who among Q3, Bong Austero, deQuiros, DJB, One Voice, Lambino, Mon Tulfo, Schumey and JoMa will react near-violently should Malaysian troops roll onto Jolo or Zamboanga to set up a protectorate.

  11. Hahahah! UP Student, that’s a very very good thought….

  12. cvj, I believe this suggestion of yours, i.e., a three-way alliance is not only doable but smacks of common political sense. Bush would do very well to listen to you. That sort of initiative coming in the wake of his thumping could prove to be a great achievement, he will be hailed as a political genius and as I said in one of my posts, I am all for America building statues everywhere in America in his honor should he achieve something as magnificent as that.

  13. UP Student, Malaysian troops rolling onto or underneath Jolo or Zamboanga is really not in the cards even with their Polish tanks or their submarines unless the MNLF, MILF, and the other muslim militia factions there get together to offer Jolo and Zamboanga on a silver platter to the Royal Malaysian Armed Forces.

    Even then, I doubt the Malaysian military top brass, in spite of their military hardware superiority, have the stomach to fight the AFP mano a mano. They are still Malays in the purest tradition – bit lacksaidal.

    (My friends in Malaysia will thump me for saying this but heck, that’s my opinion, funny but I already told a member of the Malaysian military this and he just grunted, maybe because he knew I’d thump him back if he’d tried!)

    • DJB on November 10, 2006 at 1:25 am

    cvj, anna,
    In my hypothetical invasion of Malacanang Palace by a posse of Fil-Am Marines trying to arrest Ferdinand Marcos for turnover to the People’s Permanent Tribunal in the Hague (where Jamby Madrigal did indeed tear her garments top to bottom), would you have taken up arms to patriotically defend the Da Apo, Imelda, Bongbong, Imee, Irene and the rest of the Palace cohort?

  14. What dya mean by Fil-Am Marines? US Marines you mean?

    No such thing as Fil-Am in the US Marines corps.

  15. Besides what you’re saying about the US turning over Ferdi to a peoples tribunal in the hague couldn’t have happened. your hypothetical invasion for that purpose is ludicrous.

    • cvj on November 10, 2006 at 1:53 am

    DJB, that’s a loaded question. If ever i decide to take up arms, it would be to defend my country against those who would violate its sovereignty. It’s similar to today’s situation where circumstances find us alongside Estrada in fighting Arroyo. It’s not defend Estrada, nor to bring the former president back to power, but to defend our institutions against an illegitimate President. Now that i have tried to answer your question, can you answer the one i asked above. What gives Americans (even if they are Fil-ams) the license to invade another country?

    • UP student on November 10, 2006 at 2:16 am

    cvj…. Dubya Bush’ answer will echo what you said — defend the country. Dubya Bush answer to your question is “when the security of the United States” is threatened. [So Bush will not enter Malacanang under the Bush doctrine, unless the President of the Philippines is a major drug-dealer and a threat to US (or even South-East Asia regional) security.) The section of the “Security Strategy” (“Bush Doctrine”) on pre-emptive action is here:
    The full document (US National Security Strategy) is here:

    • UP student on November 10, 2006 at 2:23 am

    (I gave a speech to some folks at PAHO/WHO/Washington DC on the “Bush Doctrine”. The audience — UN employees — could see the logic (maybe not wisdom) in some of the details, but all in all, they were unenthusiastic about it.). The doctrine is not new and had began to hit US-of-A and world press as far back as 1993. The prior version is the “Wolfowitz Doctrine”, click here for discussions:

    • Amadeo Dela Cruz on November 10, 2006 at 3:17 am

    In the US the party in power almost always loses seats in midterm elections, particularly second-term midterm elections. After six years, voters have had enough of the party in power.

    Over the last 100 years, the president’s party has lost an average of 32 seats in the House and five seats in the Senate in the sixth-year elections. So this year’s outcome is really about average.

  16. cvj,

    West Point graduates would seem to agree with you about having not having license to invade; check out this site: http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/

    • Amadeo on November 10, 2006 at 5:24 am

    Before people start banking too much on the last Democratic wins as the signal of either the demise of the Bush policies on Iraq or an early withdrawal from Iraq, the following have to be considered:

    1. No mention has been made on the wins of two of the leading Democrats’ pro-Iraq War senators, Joe Lieberman running as an independent against his own party and of course, Hilary Clinton of NY, whose win was a foregone conclusion. Thus, while the Iraq War was the primary engine that moved the elections, pro-war candidates did win.

    2. Starting with the post-war era, the incumbent president’s party has always lost considerable number of seats in the Congress during his 6th year mid-term elections. Even Bill Clinton became unpopular during the same time and lost Congress, too in 1994. Thus, the recent results are quite in keeping with that history. The question is: Was this any worse than the past? Political pundits will be working on that.

    3. Many of the Democrats who won from both houses ran on either center or conservative issues, not on far-left issues. This is partly confirmed by the propositions that passed in their respective districts/states. Thus, these “blue-dogs” Democrats are not necessarily going to toe the line of the current Democratic leadership. Also, while far-left blogs like DailyKos or Firedoglake may have been very active during the campaigns, the victors will not necessarily kowtow to their issues.

    Lastly, a divided government has always worked well for the country.

  17. Amadeo,

    Sadly, I can only agree with you… there’s not gonna be radical changes in US policies on Iraq – America will stay. Oh sure, there will be a slight shift, a bit of compromise here and there but nothing major, i.e., number of troops will be SLIGHTLY DECREASED, but America is in Iraq to “stay” at least until George Bush’s term is over. That seems to be a reality that we all have to face.

    Let’s put it this way, Bush will not make it easy for Democrats; in the short term, I’m counting on Bush, on his no-compromise stand (yeah, ok, he’s offered an olive branch), on his unabashed determination to run to the finish to give ’em Democrats a thorough run for their money. He’ll use executive orders much like Clinton to go around Congress and get things done.

    Yep, you’re right the Democratic Party win is not “a signal of either the demise of the Bush policies on Iraq or an early withdrawal.” This is a political reality.

    The elections gave us the satisfaction that Bush got thumped and thumped royally he was indeed, that he’s a diminished world leader and American neo-cons will be less inclined to invade another country again based on a pack of lies; not much but it’s one step in the right direction to show Bush and the hawks that they were wrong.

    I’m banking Nancy Pelosi to set the phase and remind them that brutal reality over and over again when negotiations with Republicans get tough.

    • DJB on November 10, 2006 at 6:59 am


    No one has a right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign dictator like Saddam or Marcos, is that the morality we want the Superpower to adopt?

    • Tony on November 10, 2006 at 6:59 am

    ON TRHAILAND… their ombudsman (or whatever they call the office) can’t find proof of Thaksin corruption, and in the meanwhile, the “Heroes-Kuno” have given themselves a $3,000-a-month pay raise. When the military pulls a coup to come to the rescue, the military comes to the rescue of themselves!!!
    Click below for payraise story.


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