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Feb 28

Red flags: People Power Antidote?

Today’s Inquirer editorial brings to mind an article in the February 2007 issue of Harper’s Magazine (my favorite magazine). The article is by Edward N. Luttwak and titled Dead End: Counterinsurgency warfare as military malpractice. Unfortunately, the article still isn’t on line (but you can find Harper’s in some magazine outlets). See the useful reflections and summaries on the piece in The Smirking Chimp (who assesses Luttwak as a thinker, recounts discussions with the writer, and the merits of the article), complete with significant extracts. The entry is as fascinating as the article it ponders. See, too, extended drum solo’s review of the article.

Also, Rolling Back The Tide of Extremism, One Post At A Time has some quotes from the article, and a quote is in Black Box Miasma, too. Another view in Daily Blague. See also Blog for Arizona,

This reminds me that Dean Jorge Bocobo in proclaiming the Philippines the “first Iraq,” overlooks two central things the Americans did here, and which they refused to do there (Iraq), which explains much as its embarrassing in retrospect, they succeeded here and are failing there: 1. they assumed all government functions for several years, gradually farmed out jobs, but retained the final say in everything for about a generation; 2. they integrated the rival leadership of the First Republic into their governing apparatus, from the start (no complete “de-Baathification”), allowing them to offer a juicy carrot even when using a formidable stick.

Anyway, taking another cue from DJB (see his critique of the Inquirer editorial, and his view that the Left’s participation in Edsa 2 killed Edsa 1)and the spirited debate he always invites), and the Inquirer editorial, a good question for discussion arises. If the Communist Party of the Philippines hadn’t boycotted the 1986 Snap Elections, would the Edsa Revolution have been possible at all? And if groups associated with the Left hadn’t participated in Edsa Dos, would it have failed, or been larger and actually achieved a stronger impetus for reform? And finally, if red flags hadn’t been prevalent in the public arena since 2005, would more people have gone out to the streets?

My Arab News column for this week is The Beauty of the Press Is That We’re Essentially Accountable.

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59 comments

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  1. Bencard

    cvj, i don’t think our soldiers are as stupid as some pseudo intellectuals think they are, nor do i think they need you to tell them they are being used by anyone for anything other than serving the cause they believe in.

    jeg, i appreciate your comparison of my thoughts with that of Nicholson’s character in ” A Few Good Men”. However, in that movie, he was accused of covering up the killing of one of his own men, a clear criminal act.
    what i was writing about is the killing of NPA or Abu Sayaff, among other terrorists, all in the line of duty of our professional military men.

  2. Bencard

    p.s., the rule of law should never take a backseat. it is the hypocritical application of the LAW that should never be allowed to impede the maintenance of peace and public order.

  3. Jeg

    From Bencard: the rule of law should never take a backseat.

    That’s where we differ, Bencard. In a situation where innocent people face imminent death based on reliable information, the rule of law, which is made by man, should take a backseat to the right to life, which is inalienable. ‘Jack Bauer’ will have to answer to the law later after he saves lives.

    what i was writing about is the killing of NPA or Abu Sayaff, among other terrorists, all in the line of duty of our professional military men.

    What was being discussed was extrajudicial killings. Our soldiers certainly have the right to render unto terrorists that which the terrorists are ready to deal unto them. That’s all in the line of duty and not extrajudicial.

  4. Shaman of Malilipot

    DJB, I’m proud to be just a blue-blooded Filipino.

  5. cvj

    Surely you are not the contra-to-Bencard where you mutter “…mabuti nga” when a CAFGU, Marine or Philippine police/soldier is killed by an anti-government agent. – Ca T

    You’re right on that. I’m against any form of execution, judicial or extrajudicial, even for people like Palparan.

  6. cvj

    Sorry, the above was meant for UPn Student.

  7. Philippine Vigil

    Same here re cvj’s “I’m against ANY FORM of EXECUTION, judicial or extrajudicial, even for people like Palparan.” (caps mine)

  8. dark_horse

    well there’s info for you people..do you think that the NPA cares about your constitution,or your human rights, or even your fucking dreams and aspiritions,the answer my friend is “NO” and it’s a big one for that,u wanna lean to the left fo to the mountains and live there,and learn to feed on the poor and watch them become poorer and eventually get fucked by the reds..communism is a dead cause,the only reason why there are here with us,is just one simple reason..and that is katamaran,they would rather ripped off some poor farmer,extort some money on a bus operator and a lonely dicer who goes deep into far flung barangays just to sell his products and make a decent living..take it from me coz i know not just one but a whole lot..it’s not idealogy people,its a sick mental state..hell if push come to shove,id rather be on the side who sports freedom and allows me to hope that my kids would have a better future..

  9. dark_horse

    well there’s info for you people..do you think that the NPA cares about your constitution,or your human rights, or even your fucking dreams and aspiritions,the answer my friend is “NO” and it’s a big one for that,u wanna lean to the left fo to the mountains and live there,and learn to feed on the poor and watch them become poorer and eventually get fucked by the reds..communism is a dead cause,the only reason why there are here with us,is just one simple reason..and that is katamaran,they would rather ripped off some poor farmer,extort some money on a bus operator and a lonely dicer who goes deep into far flung barangays just to sell his products and make a decent living..take it from me coz i know not just one but a whole lot..it’s not idealogy people,its a sick mental state being pushed by joma sison,(i hope the cia rendetion his ass)..hell if push come to shove,id rather be on the side of one who sports freedom and ndependence and allows me to hope that my kids would have a better future.after all the only reason that would make me afraid of the military or police is “if im one of them”.but im not..

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