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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    • DJB on February 28, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    MLQ3,
    I think that the true character of a person shows in what he or she is willing to do when he or she thinks no one will ever know about it.

    If I am harsh on the Left, and even disdainful, it is because there is an essential cowardice and deceitfulness in their refusal to admit their true allegiance is to the CPP-NPA, or some vision of the latter’s goals, even if they are at some particular moment, not engaged in “armed struggle.”

    Even then, they must delude themselves about the real nature of the armed struggle. They will insist that unless one actually bears a gun and shoots it at the military or police, then they are not engaged in the armed struggle. But truly, it was Joma who revealed the relationship: “CPP is the brain; NPA is the brawn; NDF is the shield.”

    But it is a bald lie that the reason they refuse to either confirm or deny their association is fear of persecution. I think it requires greater cunning and commitment to the cause to be an above-ground secret cadre than it does to actually hide in the hills and be an NPA, without pretense, without denying it engage in armed struggle. That is why the most dangerous of the communists are the ones who can so successfully lie on camera, in Congress and in the democratic sphere. To spit in the faces of those who love democracy, love the people, love peace, and claim that they do to, when the reality is they would abet murder in the name of revolution, they would lie, cheat and steal as badly as GMA for their beliefs.

    And it is crucial that this denial be as convincing as possible. For they could not live with themselves otherwise. I have called them martians, but it is their character that has become inhuman, not their heritage or their genes.

    If one does not at least sympathize with the stated noble goals of the communists when one is 19, one may have no heart. But at 29 and still a communist, one must have not head. Or worse, no soul that has journeyed from the primeval to the present state of flux in which humanity finds itself.

    I leave you with Longfellow on this…

    Ye who love a nation’s legends,
    Love the ballads of a people,
    That like voices from afar off
    Call to us to pause and listen,
    Speak in tones so plain and childlike,
    Scarcely can the ear distinguish
    Whether they are sung or spoken;-
    Listen to this Indian Legend,
    To this Song of Hiawatha!
    Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple,
    Who have faith in God and Nature,
    Who believe that in all ages
    Every human heart is human,
    That in even savage bosoms
    There are longings, yearnings, strivings
    For the good they comprehend not,
    That the feeble hands and helpless,
    Groping blindly in the darkness,
    Touch God’s right hand in that darkness
    And are lifted up and strengthened;-
    Listen to this simple story,
    To this Song of Hiawatha!

    • manuelbuencamino on February 28, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    This poem is better when sung

    Street Fighting Man

    Ev’rywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
    ‘Cause summer’s here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy
    Well then what can a poor boy do
    Except to sing for a rock ‘n roll band
    ‘Cause in sleepy London town
    There’s just no place for a street fighting man
    No!

    Hey! Think the time is right for a palace revolution
    ‘Cause where I live the game to play is compromise solution
    Well then what can a poor boy do
    Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band
    ‘Cause in sleepy London town
    There’s no place for a street fighting man
    No!
    Get down

    Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
    I’ll shout and scream, I’ll kill the king, I’ll rail at all his servants
    Well, what can a poor boy do
    Except to sing for a rock ‘n’ roll band
    ‘Cause in sleepy London town
    There’s no place for a street fighting man
    No!
    Get down

    (Jagger-Richards)

    • manuelbuencamino on February 28, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    DJB misses the point when he rails against root causes and armed struggle. The point is this – when you fuck with someone you have no business telling your victim how to fight back. Your victim will react the way he wants to react. Period. That’s reality.

    There are people in this country who see themselves as victims and they resort to armed struggle. Legalities don’t matter to them. Armed struggle is what they choose to do.

    The government has to put down the armed struggle but it must do so within the Constitution and the laws of the land. The Constitution and the Law is the only thing that differentiates the legitimate armed band of government from rebel groups.

    So the issue is not how many that fucking Joma ordered killed or whether or not Teddy Casino condemns those killings or disguises himself as a peaceful leftist. The issue is why the AFP is involved in extra-judicial killings. The game of “whose worse” cannot be played here because the competitors play by different rules.

    Take Iraq. The US invades and then occupies it. Many Iraqis resist with any means available. The Americans, like DJB is doing with the leftists, tell the Iraqis – “you can’t react to our invasion in that manner, we know we pissed you off but you have to fight back the way we believe you should.” Well the Iraqis ignore America’s absurd request. So what do the Americans do? Abu Ghraib, Camp X-Ray and all that. So now, who has the moral high ground? Absurd di ba?

    Similarly, the AFP should worry about its behavior. The AFP must prove it is capable of fighting a barbaric insurgency in a civilized manner. How Joma behaves is beyond the AFP’s control and control. “If you want to be right then be right, don’t point to the other guy.”

    There is no excuse for extra-judicial killings. The AFP has to defeat Joma’s rebellion without resorting to extra-legal means. That’s all there is to it.

    • renmin on February 28, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    DJB-

    “But the means never justify the end. That is simple enough to understand.”

    If you’re willing to stand by this, then can I ask you to make a clear and heartfelt repudiation of the armed revolution your founding fathers waged in 1776? Can I hear you say that George Washington and co. were a bunch of terrorists–in spite of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and all that?

    • Shaman of Malilipot on February 28, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    My problem with DJB is that he equates the Left with communists. But the Left-wing in politics has all sorts of shades – social liberals, socialists, greens, yes the communists, and social democrats of which Norberto Gonzales purports to be one (Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas). He shares the AFP’s paranoia (brought about by the military’s inability to wipe out the insurgency that started 40 years ago) that sees a communist in everyone who fights to change the present social order.

    DJB is not only a little brown American, he is a little brown McCarthy.

    • Jeg on February 28, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    On the other hand, I seem to ‘get’ DJB. He isnt a McArthy at all, since he said he’d gladly welcome the left into society if they renounce their criminal activities–for that is what extortion, gun-running, political executions are. He is against the armed struggle and what he terms the hypocrisy of the legal left in denying their NPA connection. What I think is inconsistent in his position is his espousal of ‘the ends does not justify the means,’ while at the same time, he seems to give our military a pass when they commit atrocities in hunting down the reds. But like manuelbuencamino said, we shouldnt hold our military to the same standard as the NPAs–the military should be held to a higher standard. The NPA is the enemy and our side is supposed to be on the side of good.

    • nonong on February 28, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    I think the standard “to uphold and defend the Constitution.. against enemies, FOREIGN and DOMESTIC” is a high standard and fundamental enough to prevent any atrocities. (Oath of Office or Oath of Enlistment)

    So, what do the Others have? Short of a UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice)?

    • Nick on February 28, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Jeg, excellent comment.

  1. If I am harsh on the Left, and even disdainful, it is because there is an essential cowardice and deceitfulness in their refusal to admit their true allegiance is to the CPP-NPA, or some vision of the latter’s goals, even if they are at some particular moment, not engaged in “armed struggle.”

    – You already gave an answer to your own query, Mr. Bocobo. There is a marked difference, however, between cowardice and fear of persecution. When you have an enemy like Marcos, Palparan, GMA or Esperon, it is quite understandable for the Left to deny its connection to the CPP-NPA. And when you have reactionaries like Norberto Gonzales and Fr. Romeo Intengan who, like you, seem unsympathetic to the scores of activists being killed, it is quite understandable for the Left to neither confirm nor deny its approval of the armed struggle.

    Armed struggle per se is not downright immoral, Mr. Bocobo. Just because you hate the ideology that is fueling the armed movement, you seem to imply that they have no right to resort to it even if to them it is the only way to advance their goals, rightly or wrongly.

    • Nick on February 28, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    As, I’ve mentioned before in my blog. And this is from personal experience, since I’ve lived in the province where there is consistent strife between the military and the NPA.

    When the citizens are equally skeptical and afraid of both the military and NPA, there is something wrong. We should hold both sides accountable, no free rides.

  2. I am sympathetic to the Left not because I espouse the armed struggle, but because some of their programs are really pro-people and pro-poor.

    In the end, it is the Filipino people, probably through the party list elections, who would decide the fate of the Leftist movement — not Palparan, not GMA and not even you Mr. Bocobo.

    The end does not justify the means, Mr. Bocobo? Even your beloved America came into being partly through the barrel of the gun.

    In the Philippines, the end should not justify the means. In Iraq, it’s perfectly okay to bomb, kill and slaughter in the name of democracy. A classic case of double standard mentality.

    • DJB on February 28, 2007 at 10:13 pm

    MB, Renmin,

    Only “the people” can make a constitution. Only “the people” can make armed revolution, which is the making of a new constitution. In nearly half a century of trying, the communists have not been able to convince the Filipino people to join them in their “protracted struggle”, else they should have won by now. No. They would insist that the “root conditions” the people find themselves in justify that struggle. It is they who are telling the people how to fight. But the people see through their duplicity. They want to establish not a democracy, not freedom, but dictatorship of their insane ideology, their class hatred, their religion of perpetual violence and coercion. A revolution ought not sustain itself on extortion, kidnapping, and other criminal activities. That is what makes their “armed struggle” invalid and illegitimate.

    The principle that the end never justifies the means is an eternal or metaphysical principle. It is valid under ALL circumstances. It does not, ipso facto, invalidate all armed revolution. Every “end” or “goal” is self-justifying. Every means is just or it is criminal.

    1776 gave European colonialism and Empire its first kick into the graveyard of history. The American people wanted freedom and democracy. The communists want dictatorship of the proletariat.

    But those who are deluded into thinking the communists want democracy and freedom should be forgiven and understood for supporting them. But it would not erase the delusive character of that belief, nor validate their support for an armed struggle that can only lead to the end of what democracy and freedom we have.

    So no, Renmin, it is you who should repudiate your support for the CPP NPA. Now I might have obliged you, if like Joma and the CPP, Washington and the founding fathers saw the Americans establish a pro-British republic and constitution, but they inaugurated a guerilla war to surround New York from the Allegheny mountains and kept it up for a hundred years despite clear rejection of their ideas by the American people. If they then joined that republic, ran for its Congress, and only pretended to be peaceful, while at the same time supplying arms and ammo and food and medicine to a bunch of thugs and extortionists, then yeah you could have that heartfelt repudiation. But that isn’t what happened is it?

    If the CPPNPA use violence to attack the future that most of the people want, then they will reap a whirlwind of violence in return. But even if they surrender their weapons and eschew violence, I would oppose the goal of dictatorship of the proletariat. Except I would fight for their right to espouse it, crazy as it is, though no more crazy than any other “religion” or “set of beliefs.”

    Regarding Iraq, we are the First Iraq. But in the second Philippines they are killing Iraqis 500 to 1 American. We never did that! They are not really fighting Americans but carrying on the habits of the Lost Imam fighting his father in law’s modern day inheritors. That is their “religion of peace”.

    • DJB on February 28, 2007 at 10:15 pm

    Shaman,
    Yes, I am a Little Brown American, and proud of it. What are you proud of?

    • rego on February 28, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    Her economics degree from Ateneo!

    • DJB on February 28, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    MB,
    There is never anything civilized about violence. It is merely “necesary” at certain times — like shitting. It is always ugly and it always stinks. That is why it should not be protracted, nor its despicable nature denied. The American people supported the war in Iraq because they thought it was necessary. Likewise Afghanistan, and if you folks are paying attention to the UN and IAEA, it may soon be necessary again in Iran.

    • DJB on February 28, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    rego,
    He he! You must be fomenting sectarian violence between De La Salle and the blue school that ranked 100 places behind it in the world university rankings. Nice consuelo de bobo for Joaquin Bernas.

    • UPn student on February 28, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    DJB… of course, you are aware than in a “dictatorship of the proletariat”, as in the CPP/NPA, there are the proletariat-sheeps, and then there are the proletariat-leaders. And naturally, the leaders are better-off (like living on a pension in Utrecht with extortion-money raised on the backs of Filipino farmers and business-owners).

    But Shaman can not truly join the CPP/NPA. I doubt she’ll take to a chain of command who tells the sheep when it is time to get married and when it is not.

  3. In the dialogue comparing the Philippines and Iraq, I am not sure that consideration of the religious factor is an oversimplification of why the United States largely succeeded in the Philippines while it is failing badly in Iraq. The Philippines being a predominantly Christian country like the United States made the colonial conquest by the latter relatively easy because both colonist and colonized were buoyed by similar or parallel religious moorings. THE FACT THAT THE UNITED STATES (NOR SPAIN, FOR THAT MATTER) WAS UNABLE TO SUBJUGATE THE PHILIPPINE MUSLIMS, ALBEIT A SMALL FRACTION OF THE FILIPINO POPULATION, IS A LESSON SORDIDLY NOT LEARNED IN THE CASE OF IRAQ.

  4. Mlq3,

    Gloria’s antidote is simple: put the AFP command under officers from the same PMA Class watch.

    Do you realize that the PMA Class of ‘74 is making history for being the only class, so far, where the Chief of Staff, the Army, Navy and Air Force Chiefs are classmates?

    I have a suspicion that when these 4 folks retire, Gloria will make sure that Class of 76 will take over, sort of 2nd history in the making.

    It’s the best way “to guard” or to make elements in the AFP, toe the line. Good tactic. But a courageous PMA 75er can punch a hole in that “guard AFP scumbag strategy.”

    • cvj on March 1, 2007 at 12:35 am

    DJB, the Left is a broad category with many variants so to equate it with the CPP/NPA is simplistic and plainly inaccurate. As far as i’m aware, there is no such as thing as ThoughtCrime, so those among the Left who sympathize with the CPP-NPA, “or some vision of the latter’s goals” should still be free to do so without fear of reprisals. What should be declared criminal are loose definitions of armed struggle which serve to justify summary executions and other atrocities against unarmed individuals. Unless the purpose is to encourage an atmosphere of impunity, the distinction between metaphorical and literal armed struggle should be maintained.

    Jeg, DJB’s similarity with McCarthy has more to do with his zeal on conducting an inquisition, i.e. on getting the members of the legal Left to confess their allegiance to the armed struggle as well as his insistence on getting them to repudiate the same. Substitute the word ‘CPP/NPA’ with ‘Witch’ and you will get a flavor of how it was during the Spanish Inquisition or the Salem Witch Hunts.

    • cvj on March 1, 2007 at 12:42 am

    Speaking as a La Sallite, i think the Ateneo should be proud of Shaman.

  5. Two tragic instances make me differ with DJB’s:

    “The principle that the end never justifies the means is an eternal or metaphysical principle. It is valid under ALL circumstances. It does not, ipso facto, invalidate all armed revolution. Every “end” or “goal” is self-justifying. Every means is just or it is criminal.”

    I don’t know why the “Which came first? The chicken or the egg” dilemma crosses my mind.

    Just happened to have a very dear friend, who was a cop and was captured by the NPA, mutilated and was fed his own flesh before being brutally murdered. Also had a cousin in his prime who was a municipal councilor, was blasted to death as he opened his front door to those he thought were friends but were actually NPA operatives. Whatever their “end” or “goal”–which included terrorizing the community into giving the NPAs aid in the form of money, food and some of their possessions–is NOT a self-justifying reason for the NPAs’ brutal murder of these two people whose sin just happened to be their being on the side of the law. Especially because their senseless murder did not in the end really make a whit of a difference. The status quo persists.

    It’s tough to assess which “end” or “means” is justified because neither side–the government forces on one hand and the NPA or extra-legal forces on the other–does not in reality carry on their “justifying actions” according to a “higher standard”, whatever that means.

    Are we really that helpless pontificating here while the world moves on like a runaway train?

  6. And naturally, the leaders are better-off (like living on a pension in Utrecht with extortion-money raised on the backs of Filipino farmers and business-owners).

    Precisely like the lifestyle of Mao Tse Tung and his comrades in the sequestered mansion of the rich Chinese.
    He had a swimming pool, a chef, ate imported steak (yes my boy) while his wife had his coterie of ladies-in-waiting. So much about ideology for the poor.

    • bogchimash on March 1, 2007 at 2:52 am

    Boss Manolo,

    Did you enjoy Bacolod? How’s the political goings on there? Who has the best chance of winning in the local races? Are you coming back soon even just for gastronomical reasons only? And about blogging, will it pick up in Bacolod? It is good to know that you had a safe trip.

    • rego on March 1, 2007 at 5:41 am

    “Speaking as a La Sallite, i think the Ateneo should be proud of Shaman.” – CVJ.
    ———————————————————
    Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!

    The same way that it should be proud of Erap and , Kris Aquino. And UP should be proud of Marcos and the majority of congressman and senators, And Assumption should be proud of Gloria and Loren!!!!

    Di nga nagkamali si DJB……

    • DJB on March 1, 2007 at 6:45 am

    Joe Padre,
    History’s verdict on Iraq and the actions of America there is not yet in, believe it or not. Remember that SIXTY MILLION HUMAN BEINGS died in World War II, yet that was probably humanity’s greatest victory over organized and militarized fascism. Next only to the implosion of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, and China taking the capitalist road. The problem with our communists is they want to continue a failed and deadly experiment. CVJ. Inquision? Puhleeze! Yes thoughts are free. It is actions that matter. What really matters is what really works. The 20th century however saw two great human experiments prove the lethal nature of Fascism and Communism and how wrong they were. We are today fighting the thing called global terrorism. Here in the Philippines it comes in two flavors.

    As I said, history’s verdict is not yet in on Iraq. There is no turning back in the Middle East. The future of the world is at stake there now. We cannot treat it like a spectator sport. We shall be engulfed by the victor there, either way, because it is the Fuel Tank of the Single Jetliner that the whole world economy is and that we are all riding in. It won’t just go away, like VietNam. Too much is at stake there for us to treat it like that.

    But the verdict is not yet in. Either that is Armaggedon or the West will once more succeed, as once it brilliantly did in Asia and in Europe. If America, after sixty million deaths decided to turn in on itself and “conquer” the world as it could have in 1945, when only she had the Bomb and supreme power, what would have happened to a militarist Japan and a Fourth Reich in Europe?

    The Middle East MUST become more like Southeast Asia as a region, where there is also a Muslim-Buddhist majority (the Philippines being its only Israel!). Normal, capitalist, democratic. That too is a vision, but it is largely a reality now in our region.

    It was George W. Bush’s vision when he said: “Liberty is God’s gift to every man, NOT America’s!”

    The difference between great and little men is that the former just see farther and believe more in man’s potential.

    HOw quickly we forget what a terrible price was paid to get to this disdained imperfection. But in your disdain for America what do I glimpse but little brown anti-Americans! In the possibilities of which, I do rejoice and am not-so-secretly satisfied.

    • manuelbuencamino on March 1, 2007 at 7:37 am

    DJB,

    Two rhings

    1. Since you used an analogy -” There is never anything civilized about violence. It is merely “necesary” at certain times — like shitting. It is always ugly and it always stinks. That is why it should not be protracted, nor its despicable nature denied.”

    We have toilets now and that’s where the AFP and the US have to do their crapping. And they are not supposed to use the Constitution and the laws as toilet paper.

    2. “They would insist that the “root conditions” the people find themselves in justify that struggle. It is they who are telling the people how to fight. But the people see through their duplicity. They want to establish not a democracy, not freedom, but dictatorship of their insane ideology, their class hatred, their religion of perpetual violence and coercion. A revolution ought not sustain itself on extortion, kidnapping, and other criminal activities. That is what makes their “armed struggle” invalid and illegitimate.”

    Like I commented earlier, don’t sweat the CPP-NPA’s methods. You don’t have to lecture me about how evil they are. I know they are evil. And I have never bought their crap, unlike you who was once naive enough to join their youth organization. I am not one of the disenchanted. I never bought in.

    Having said that, I will repeat my comment – Let’s worry about staying on the straight and narrow that’s the what makes us unlike them who are hopeless. In short, reform the AFP not the CPP-NPA, a group you and I have no control over. In the same way, Bush should rethink his war instead of telling the Iraqis how they should be trying to expel him from their land.

    • inidoro ni emilie on March 1, 2007 at 7:46 am

    rego, trying to spark school wars again, eh? don’t forget djb’s rizalist was an atenean.

    anyway, so where are we?

  7. Almost boasting, DJB claims the Iraquis are butchering each other at the rate of 500 Iraquis to 1 American although the nifty message, maybe unintended, is that the poor Iraquis are causing all the gory mess. But which ‘decider’ has brought into Iraq the bloody shitty meat grinder as the MEANS supposedly to attain the END of creating a democratic Iraq?

    Like mama America our little brownie friend must learn to walk his talk.

    Incidentally, are you surprise at all the sell off in mainland China has triggered a sharp market fall in the land of honey yesterday? I mean it’s now China sneezes and America catches a cold. Is this why Washington Sycip is suggesting the time is come to dust off our Yellow family tree?

    • Jeg on March 1, 2007 at 10:25 am

    rego, trying to spark school wars again, eh? don’t forget djb’s rizalist was an atenean.

    As a high school graduate myself, Im baffled at all these ‘school wars’ engaged in by ivy leaguers. I think it’s sad for anybody to have peaked in college that they keep coming back to it again and again. 😀

    • DJB on March 1, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Abe,
    China and Russia are biggest, baddest arguments against communism. Get over it. Humanity has rejected Marxism Leninism, except apparently among certain Filipinos. Yao Ming represents the Yellow Race far better than your idol, Mao Zedong. As for Tonshingwa Sycip, I am sure he agree with me far more than he agree with you. IN fact, I know he agrees with me more than you! And where may I ask do YOU live and work? … Don’t worry, even Harvey Keh is on his way over there!

    • Bencard on March 1, 2007 at 11:09 am

    We have the AFP because we need to protect our Constitution and our duly-constituted authorities from enemies of the State, both internal and external. We arm our soldiers with the best weapon and equipment that we can afford to buy and finagle from our rich allies. We put the lives of our best and brightest youth on the line while we sleep in the comfort of our homes, sheltered from the perils of the killing fields.

    We have known enemies whose violence and atrocities are no secret. For these enemies, the only good soldiers are dead soldiers. They are not subject to any civilized rules of warfare, and they have for their most potent weapon the workings of the very Law that governs their adversaries.Thus, they cry “due process”, “constitutional right”, “freedom of expression”, etc., whenever punitive action is taken against them.

    Many pseudo intellectuals from the left would have our soldiers not use their weapons when attacked by rebellious groups. They protest the loudest when members of insidious wings (fronts) get killed, but shed no tears when a government soldier is butchered.

    The AFP is an armed government instrumentality that has a mission to accomplish. Killing enemies of the State is its primary reason for existence. I say let them do their job unobstructed by nitpicking, “bleeding heart” hypocrites who would have no qualms delivering the country to the wolves.

    • UPn student on March 1, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Abe… the sell-off in China was because of numbers about a slowing US-economy, especially decline in durable-goods order.

    • Jeg on March 1, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Bencard’s post reminds me of Jack Nicholson’s speech in A Few Good Men.

    Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the
    manner in which I provide it. I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to.

    Excellent movie. 🙂

    The AFP is not in a Jack-Bauer-type situation with the NPA such that if they dont skirt the law or even break it, innocent people will die in 24 hours. That’s the only time I believe the rule of law should take a backseat to the right to life. And even then, they should be prepared to face the consequences of that action.

    • DJB on March 1, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Jeg,
    Funny how Filipino leftists and elitists would acquiesce to the overthrow of a duly elected President-movie-actor like Erap, or threaten to leave the Philippines as Harvey Keh did if Richard Gomez is elected…only to leap into the ideological arms of Hollywood (Michael Moore, A Few Good Men, Al Gore). I tell ya, even our Leftism is a form of colonial mentality!

    By the way, I heard Keh today call the Senate Vote not to open the Second Envelope an attempt to hide the truth. What a nut! Doesn’t he even know what was IN the second envelope? My God. Of course he didn’t threaten to leave if Joker Arroyo wins a Senate seat, when it was that joker moonbat who aborted the impeachment trial, derelicted on his oath to prosecute Erap, and GUARANTEED we would never really get rid of Erap when his friend Hilario Davide raped the Constitution!

    Hu-aahhh!

    • Jeg on March 1, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Yes, Hollywood is that powerful. When I heard that Hollywood was going to spearhead the fight against global warming, I saw global warming beating a hasty retreat, looking for a place to hide.

    • DJB on March 1, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    Al Gore is bursting at the seams though, his tuxedo barely able to hold him in. Maybe he will join in the Obama v. Hillary squabble for the Democratic nomination. Looks like only the Democrats can defeat the Democrats in 2008.

    But seriously, nothing has changed about global warming. It is STILL a scientific problem, much as many would like to turn it into a political one. If there will be a solution, it will be a scientific solution.

    What I fear is that it is an almost pure version of the Tragedy of the Commons, a well-studied scientific conundrum for which the consensus seems to be there is no technical solution and only coercive force is available for mitigation.

    The fascinating write up is by Garret Hardin:
    http://dieoff.org/page95.htm

    • hvrds on March 1, 2007 at 12:30 pm

    “1776 gave European colonialism and Empire its first kick into the graveyard of history. The American people wanted freedom and democracy. The communists want dictatorship of the proletariat.”

    Whew!!! Our favorite jihadist is at it again. Dowd the NY columnist calls “Mad Dog” Cheney a ‘Chickenhawk’ I will stick to jihadist. His interpretation of U.S. history he took from some writer of fables.

    Our warrior wannabe Bocobo always talks about the soft power of the Eurpoeans vs. the hard power of the Great Eagle in the sky. The American people in 1776? Is he nuts? There were only approximately 3 milion white men outside the area controlled by the British in Canada. He forgets that in those days the natives did not have immigration policies yet and all those de facto illegal immigrants proved deadly. Just try clicking on to the Cherokee Trail of Tears on how the white men imposed land reform on the poor natives.

    How come this warrior wanna be keeps mentioning Amercian history as told by in fables. Has our warrior wanna be ever met an honest to goodness native American? The lakota Sioux had a ssying before going to war. The warriors would paint themselves and dance and greet each other ‘Oka hei.’ (it’s a good day to die)All warriors in going to battle count themselves as dead men. That is the nature of nature. The native Amercians would mutilate their dead enemies so they would have a competitive advantage when they meet each other again in the after life.

    Oh yeah, G. Washington was a well known land grabber during British rule and even after. He poached on Indian lands.

    December 27, 2006
    Op-Ed Contributor
    Our Founding Illegals
    By WILLIAM HOGELAND
    EVERY nation is a nation of immigrants. Go back far enough and you’ll find us all, millions of potential lives, tucked in the DNA of our African mother, Lucy. But the immigrant experience in the United States is justly celebrated, and perhaps no aspect of that experience is more quintessentially American than our long heritage of illegal immigration.
    You wouldn’t know it from the immigration debate going on all year (the bipartisan immigration bill-in-progress, announced this week, is unlikely to mention it), but America’s pioneer values developed in a distinctly illegal context. In 1763, George III drew a line on a map stretching from modern-day Maine to modern-day Georgia, along the crest of the Appalachians. He declared it illegal to claim or settle land west of the line, all of which he reserved for Native Americans.
    George Washington, a young colonel in the Virginia militia, instructed his land-buying agents in the many ways of getting around the law. Although Washington was not alone in acquiring forbidden tracts, few were as energetic in the illegal acquisition of western land. And Washington was a model of decorum compared to Ethan Allen, a rowdy from Connecticut who settled with his brothers in a part of the Green Mountains known as the Hampshire Grants (later known as “Vermont”). The province of New York held title to the land, but Allen asserted his own kind of claim: He threw New Yorkers out, Tony Soprano style, then offered to sell their lots to what he hoped would be a flood of fellow illegals from Connecticut.
    Meanwhile, illegal pioneers began moving across the Alleghenies and into the upper Ohio Valley, violating the king’s 1763 proclamation and a few more besides. (George would today be accused of softness on immigration; he kept shifting the line westward.) Immigrants from such déclassé spots as Germany and Ireland violated the laws and settled where they pleased. The upper Ohio was rife with illegal immigrants, ancestors of people who, in country clubs today, are implying a Mayflower ancestry.
    Parallels to today’s illegal immigration are striking. Then as now, it was potentially deadly to bring a family across the line. But once across, illegals had a good chance of avoiding arrest and settling in. Border patrols, in the forms of the British Army and provincial militias, were stretched thin. The 18th-century forest primeval, like a modern city, offered ample opportunities for getting lost. Complex economies thrived in the virgin backwoods, unfettered by legitimate property titles.
    When conflicts developed between the first and second waves of illegals, some salient social ironies arose, too. By the early 1770’s, George Washington had amassed vast tracts to which his titles were flatly invalid. The Revolution rectified that. With British law void, Washington emerged from the war with his titles legal by default. But he acquired another problem: low-class illegals were squatting on his newly authenticated, highly valuable property.
    Washington harbored no fond feeling for breakers of laws that he too had recently flouted. “It is hard upon me,” he lamented without irony, “to have property which has been fairly obtained disputed and withheld.” He went to court to have the squatters evicted, complaining that they had “not taken those necessary steps pointed out by the law.” He was appealing to righteousness from atop a high but wobbly horse.
    Descendants of the great immigration experiences of the 19th and 20th centuries visit the Ellis Island Immigration Museum to learn of the tribulations of ancestors who risked much to become Americans. Those of us whose ancestors risked everything as illegal immigrants, and in the process helped found a nation, owe our forebears a debt of gratitude, too. Without their daring disregard of immigration laws, we might not be here today.
    William Hogeland is the author of “The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty.”

  8. DJB,

    Where do I live and work, does it really matter? In fact, seven years or so ago, I was asked many times the same question when I was seeking the collaboration of some very energetic, youthful and global Filipinos – mostly Tsinoys and Tsinays perhaps as spirited and patriotic as Harvey Keh – to found Pinoy-rin, an online community, and then Pinoy-rin, Inc. I said where I am now is of no moment, the watershed question being: Where do we, Filipinos, go from here?

    So, isn’t the right question: Where are you really headin’?

    Thanks for asking, Dean.

    • DJB on March 1, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Fair enough answer Abe. It really doesn’t matter where we physically are, but where our minds are at, and yeah, where we are heading.

    Harvey Keh is an interesting piece of work, though. He is supposed to be some kind of “youth leader” who recently wrote an email that the newspapers saw fit to publicize. It’s basically a list of seven candidates whom he says in the email would cause him to leave the Philippines if they were elected (Gringo, Tessie Oreta, Chavit Singson, Richard Gomez, Lito Lapid, Garci, Manny Pacquiao).

    Why they thought this was newsworthy however, completely escapes me. Especially after he talked to Ricky Carandang on morning TV to say, “Oh, I didn’t really mean I was gonna leave, but if I didn’t put that title on the email people might think it was just spam…”

    He had the silliest smile on his face though. Made me hurl, actually. Oh yeah, he’s another Atenean, spamming and scamming his way through life with elitist goody-two-shoes BS.

    Probably angling for a column in the main stream media. Part of the “pagbabago” crowd. Fits. If only he were serious about leaving…

    • UPn student on March 1, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    Philippine newspapers have a habit of printing red herrings — items whose main value is to distract people from the more important events or issues.

    Tabloids sell!!!

    • cvj on March 1, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Remember that SIXTY MILLION HUMAN BEINGS died in World War II, yet that was probably humanity’s greatest victory over organized and militarized fascism – DJB

    I think you have become a victim (or the perpetrator) of the anchoring effect. The reality of 60 million deaths in World War 2 should not desensitize us from the fact that over 600 thousand (so far) have already died in Iraq. BTW, just to give credit where it is due, the ‘greatest victory over organized and militarized fascism‘ came about with the help of the Soviets. Two-thirds of the 60 million human beings who died during that war were citizens of that communists state.

    We shall be engulfed by the victor there, either way, because it is the Fuel Tank of the Single Jetliner that the whole world economy is and that we are all riding in…-DJB

    If you really took to heart your analogy of a ‘single jet liner’, you’d realize that the last thing anyone wants to do when inside a plane is to start a shoot-out. Today, the biggest enemy of democracy and freedom is war itself and those who promote it.

    It was George W. Bush’s vision when he said: “Liberty is God’s gift to every man, NOT America’s!” – DJB

    Any garden variety politician can wax eloquent, but it takes an American President to transform those words into a death sentence for hundreds of thousands.

  9. Harvey Keh

    A young person afflicted with MCS. Messianic Complex Syndrome. At 27 and with 500 or so people he claimed he had helped, he felt that the Philippines owed him so much.

    I could cry. Give me some Kleenex tissue please. duh.

  10. cvj,

    Re your entry on March 1st, 2007 at 7:10 pm: Just to complete the picture, allow me to add Mick Smith’s (British soldier, author, award-winning investigative journalist and columnist with The Times) comment to a bombastic comment made a poster in his blog re “Granddaddy America’s” appeasement posture during the early part of WWII –

    “Who do you think was standing alone against Hitler while your granddaddy wondered whether America should appease Hitler or fight him? There were plenty of other European countries trying to stand up to Hitler and being too small to hold back his armies but the minute each of those countries was occupied there were resistance movements taking on the Nazis at enormous cost with the Nazis carrying out reprisals, and still the US stood on the sidelines wondering whether or not to join. Dont come lecturing us about appeasement and having the guts to stand up to dictators. This country has nothing to prove to you.”

  11. “Many pseudo intellectuals from the left would have our soldiers not use their weapons when attacked by rebellious groups. They protest the loudest when members of insidious wings (fronts) get killed, but shed no tears when a government soldier is butchered.”

    -This is the reason why we should make a distinction between the CPP/NPA and militant organizations, no matter how some, like Mr. Bocobo, Gonzales and Palparan, would like to see them as one. The NPA are combatants — they have guns — while activists are not. The problem with the military is they always look for the easy targets — the activists — and conveniently pass them off as collateral damage.

    Activists should protest when a member gets assasinated because the last time I checked the Constitution, freedom of speech and of assembly does not distinguish between Bocobo’s undying love for the Establishment and the ideology which he and Palparan so hate.

    • UPn student on March 1, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    bystander… Bencard raises a valid point. “Many pseudo intellectuals from the left …. shed no tears when a government soldier is butchered.”

  12. “We have known enemies whose violence and atrocities are no secret. For these enemies, the only good soldiers are dead soldiers. They are not subject to any civilized rules of warfare, and they have for their most potent weapon the workings of the very Law that governs their adversaries.Thus, they cry “due process”, “constitutional right”, “freedom of expression”, etc., whenever punitive action is taken against them.”

    -The above proposition is treading on dangerous grounds for it presumes that the State (as currently represented by the Macapal Administration) can do no wrong. That is why “enemies of the state” is a relative term, for it could be that the real enemy comes from within. Unfortunately for Bencard, both Melo and Alston have come up with initial findings that it is the AFP which has not been “civilized” in its warfare. Just look at how activists are being butchered by Palparan.

    • cvj on March 1, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    bystander… Bencard raises a valid point. “Many pseudo intellectuals from the left …. shed no tears when a government soldier is butchered.” – UPn Student

    Better than shedding crocodile tears. I hope the foot soldiers of the AFP who are doing the dying eventually realize that they are being used as pawns by power hungry politicians and war profiteers, and act accordingly.

    • UPn student on March 2, 2007 at 2:19 am

    cvj… We know Bencard sheds no tears for any AbuSayyaf or NPA/CPP killed in combat-skirmishes with Philippine forces. 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.

    • Jeg on March 2, 2007 at 9:34 am

    This is the reason why we should make a distinction between the CPP/NPA and militant organizations, no matter how some, like Mr. Bocobo, Gonzales and Palparan, would like to see them as one.

    Again, I seem to get Mr. Bocobo. The legal left is free to espouse their ideology. What Mr. Bocobo is accusing the legal left of, especially the party list left, is bankrolling the NPA with their pork barrel funds. That’s our money, folks. That’s easy enough to determine, I should hope, by an audit. If an audit proves that the legal left is clean, then that should settle that.

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