Arms race

Papers around the world recoil in horror over North Korea’s nuclear test. Or, as the Korean Central News Agency grandiosely phrased it, “The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent.” Oddly enough, the official North Korea propaganda site says nothing. Unease had already been expressed, as this AFP story in the China Post shows, even prior to the actual test. The test came in the wake of a long-awaited thaw in Sino-Japanese relations.

Meanwhile, scientists are scrambling to validate whether there was a test or not. The clearest indication was a jolt equivalent to a 4.9 magnitude earthquake. Don’t know if many will buy the idea that it’s a North Korean hoax, though.

The Korea Times sets the tone:

North Korea tested a nuclear weapon yesterday morning in defiance of the wishes of peaceloving countries of the world. The worst scenario, ever imagined on this peninsula, has become a reality. More than 40 million people living in South Korea are on the verge of being taken a hostage by the nuclear weapons of the North.

The Philippine government is also upset, as are world governments, particularly China and the USA.

Newspaper editorials compete to put forward various regional points of view. The Sydney Morning Herald asks,

But it is difficult to decide who has failed the most. Was it Mr Bush, who chose to confront the North Koreans in October 2002 over a covert uranium enrichment program, and rebuffed Pyongyang’s subsequent efforts to bargain a place in the American sun? Or the South Koreans, seeing their “Sunshine Policy” of the past few years milked by the North with little conceded in return? Or the Chinese, with their six-nation diplomatic effort getting nowhere and their past military sacrifices and long-running economic aid to prop up North Korea counting for little?

The Arab News editorial pins the blame on George Bush, Jr. The Daily Yomiuri thinks the Sino-Japanese rapprochement offers prospects for further cementing ties.

Papers such as The Australian call for sanctions; the Korea Herald appeals for renewed talks;

In his column, John Mangun says the effects of intensified security concerns will be palpable in the Philippines: reduced Japanese and South Korean investments abroad, including the Philippine economy, as both countries beef up their armed forces and focus on defense spending. Fred Kaplan lists four scenarios concerning North Korea -“all bad,” because China and America are “blunderers.”

From Newsbreak comes commentary from Thailand: the King of Thailand says the situation is dire.

The Inquirer editorial eulogizes a slain bishop and focuses on the nationalism of the Philippine Independent Church. Juan Mercado says the country’s been perpetually deprived of closure for decades. For his part, Conrado de Quiros firmly sticks to a retake the exam position, and speaks of overseas Filipino feelings on the nursing exam issue:

Having just come from the United States, which is where many of the examinees dream of going, I do have some idea of the impact the news of the tainted licensure exams has had there. The Filipino community is monumentally dismayed by it. And what is monumental dismay to the Filipino community can easily be monumental distrust to the American hospitals. The successful examinees don’t retake the test, they will have their applications for work abroad scrutinized by their prospective employers more ferociously than their applications for visas by the US and British embassies.

In other news: 1,500 MW of power needed; we may repay some debts early; Lehman Bros. recommends credit upgrade for the country.

In the blogosphere, Belmont Club looks into what kind of nuke was actually tested by North Korea -and whether there’s been a follow-on test (listen to his podcast as well). The Daily Nightly blogs something I wish we’d see more of: the impressions of a TV journalist as they observe a scene -in this case, from the UN Security Council.

TPM Cafe has Stirling Newberry pointing out Republican culpability in the whole thing:

There is a round of Washington led diplomacy for further sanctions. However, the North Korean nuclear train left the station years ago, even as the United States was boarding the Baghdad Express.

For those of us who grew up in the shadow of nuclear war, the the return of the ticking of the atomic clock represents a proof that the post-Cold War moment has been wasted in the wastelands.

George Bush and his bully boys talk the talk of being tough, but they do not walk the walk. Instead of dealing with the emerging atomic states – Pakistan, North Korea and Iran, the decision was made to wage a war of aggression in Iraq. We did not invade Iraq because Saddam had WMD, but because he did not. We did not invade Iraq because Saddam was a threat, but because he was not. It was seen as a cheap way of creating the impression of an America willing to used armed force. It seemed that the oil would pay for the war. It seemed a way of gaining partisan political advantage. It seemed a series of blank checks for military pork.

Coffee With Amee reminds us Jaime Florcruz, CNN correspondent in China, is a Filipino.

ExpectoRants points to indie films on the MV Solar oil spill being censored.

Since I quote editorials a lot, here’s an interesting dissection by Mediashift on whether newspaper editorials should continue to be written or not:

That said, despite all the truths embodied in Gillmor’s maxim that news is no longer a lecture but a dialogue and the consequent necessity for editorialists to engage discussion, not end it, the role of editorialist remains a vital one. Why? Because he or she gets what most others in the conversation don’t - namely, a regular paycheck to study, think, listen and write about issues others care about or are discussing.

Even in the Internet age, the vast majority of folks with something to say in cyberspace spend most of their time making a living and living their lives. The issues of the day aren’t their first concerns, nor should they be. Editorialists on the other hand make their living doing that thinking/listening/studying/writing thing. Taken seriously and carried out in an intellectually honest manner, such a role ought to carry some weight.

And on papers in general, here’s Opus, by Berkely Breathed (weekly, in the Washington Post):



Tonight’s The Explainer is on ROTC and proposals to make it mandatory again.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

94 thoughts on “Arms race

  1. Philippines has NO strategic value to US!

    Denial of the sea lines of communications passing the Spratly Islands to merchant shipping would disrupt world shipping markets even more severely generating shortages. Freight rates around the world would be affected, thus adding costs to American imports and exports. Nearly half the world fleet would be required to sail farther, generating a substantial increase in the requirement for vessel capacity. All excess capacity of the world fleet might be absorbed. The effect would be strongest for crude oil shipments and dry bulk such as iron ore and coal.

  2. cvj, a nuclear-bomb will cost the same as 1,911 ACM’s!! Which means the government pays out 900-million-pesos and the country gets an Ombudsman’s report and a dud of a device that does not conform to the requirements.
    But 1911-ACM-purchase was by the Comelec. I wonder what the Philippines gets when it is the Armed Forces of the Philippines that rides herd over the procurement?

  3. Anna de brux,

    Yes, that is possible and probable. Several years back, some cause oriented groups were protesting against arrivals of possible nuclear armed vessels. But they never got around to proving that they did as they did not have the means and the U.S. never admitted if those vessels which came actually carried them.

  4. cvj and UP stude, kakanejoy naman nag mga sagot nyo sa tanong ko. now im contmeplating of taking the role of issueing just clarificatory questions in this forum..

    anyways I wana share to this QA i got from NY Daily News in my way home. (its always a habit for to pick up a copy of NY daily tabloid before embarking into a very long subway ride home) what caught my attention is the fact that the North Koreans did not actually developed their nuclear bombs by them selves. They hire a Pakistani Nuclear Scientist to teach them…Di na toluy ako ganon ka impress…



    U.S. intelligence believes that in the past few years, North Korea has accumulated enough fissile nuclear material – the uranium and plutonium necessary for an atomic weapon – to build six to 12 small nuclear bombs. But whether the isolated Communist regime has actually built any bombs is not known.


    There are differences of opinion on whether North Korea has been able to build a nuclear device small enough to put on a missile. Some experts say it’s likely, however, that the North Koreans can arm a missile because they got their technology from a nuclear state: Pakistan. “Does anyone have any doubt that Pakistan has nuclear warheads on their missiles?” said John Pike, an analyst at, a defense research group.


    Seismic readings vary according to which country you ask, but most indicate that – for a nuke – it was a small. By most measures, it had only a fraction of the power unleashed by the U.S. bomb over Hiroshima.


    Some intelligence officials believe the blast was so small that they suspect it was created by “several hundred tons” of conventional explosives rather than nuclear material.


    The North Korean test was conducted at an underground site, making it hard to confirm that it was nuclear, U.S. officials said. “If it’s really deep underground, it makes it even tougher to know,” an official said.


    North Korea got much of its technology from A.Q. Khan, the rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist. Khan also helped show North Korea how to make nuclear fuel more easily.


    “We know where some of their suspect sites are,” a U.S. official said coyly yesterday. There are at least 22 nuclear facilities in 18 locations identified by the U.S. and its allies, mostly near Yongbon, according to


    Possible, but more unlikely than it was in the 1950s. Now, only 30,000 U.S. forces are in South Korea beneath a border that is well fortified by the North.

  5. UP Stud. 900 Mega Bucks…hmmmm… maybe we should bring back ROTC after all and include wooden nuclear warheads in our armaments. We could use that 1911-ACM’s for the bidding of contract…….grandiyoseng plano….

  6. elinca said: “Like every nation in the world, the U.S. first goal is self-preservation. And it always should be.”

    I agree that self-interest can be used in a constructive way. After all, American conservatives embrace the concept of “rational self-interest” even if, ideally, this should also include advancing the interests of others. By logic, when the interests of others are taken into consideration, one’s self-interest can also be advanced because overall well-being reduces the chances of conflict. By reducing conflict, theoretically at least, overall well-being is further enhanced. This may be seen as an enlightened form of self-interest, as opposed to narrow-minded self-interest, which usually ends up as self-limiting, if not self-defeating.

    The U.S., being the richest and most powerful nation on earth, naturally expects envy and animosity from some quarters. You cannot please everyone. I believe, however, that the present U.S. administration has done more than any administration in the past 20 years to promote hatred of the U.S. It has used force in a heavy-handed and arrogant manner, unmindful of the views of other nations. Perhaps it has confused gung-ho individualism with leadership. Maybe that is what happens when you read too much Ayn Rand without being able to assimilate it properly.

  7. enlica, the U.S, doesn’t need forward bases in Iraq to launce a couple of BomBs to obliterate and erase Iran off the map; she can do it from any point of the earth, including perhaps from space, if she has to, but need Iraq as planned originaly to launch a subsequent invasion of another member of the Triad (another is NOKOR) Remember, the U.S. thoughts of just walking into Iraq and be welcomed by Iraqis with flowers and done with it and then do a detour to Iran which was expected a little bit harder as the country is a little united against the Great Satan. But as events developed, Bin Laden Al Qaeda Cells everywwhere landed in Iraq and ruined that well-laid plans. Back to the Drawing Boards..

  8. rego, “They/NoKor hire a Pakistani Nuclear Scientist to teach them(how to build a bomb0…Di na toluy ako ganon ka impress…”

    So NoKor gives out their version of H1-visas. [Mental note to myself — to add Pakistanis as viable candidates for hiring. The best, in my eyes, are Chinese, be they directly form the Mainland, or from Taiwan, or circuitously via Cambodia or Vietnam.]

  9. Ay ako, UP stude base na rin sa expereince ko working with different nationalities, next lang sa akin ang chinese to India, especially those IIT Grads. But of course you can not really generalize. I believe pinoys just need a really good break

  10. Khan was honored as a pakistani national hero by Mussaaraf years ago because it was under Khan’s leadership when Pakistan developed nuclear bombs.He was later put under house arrest (i think up to the present ) when an investigation revealed that he exported nuclear technology to other countries including north korea.It was a big news several months ago and he was featured in a long article in one of the us weekly magazines.

  11. agree with rego. if you go to IIT campus in chicago, most students are indians. however, when it comes to dealing with them, i have a different experience. i like japanese and chinese better, though harder to communicate.indians, they are different.

  12. economic sanction against n.korea? i would think twice before they do it, why? kung may sanction sa n.korea lalong magugutom ang mga tao dun…at ang taong gutom ay nandidilim ang mga paningin at di nakapag-isip ng malinaw. eh kung yung sundalong n.korean na nagbabantay sa nuke missile station dahil sa gutom ay napindot ang button at na launch yung missile dahil sa akala nya ay button para sa vending machine? patay tayong lahat! wwIII na! kung ako sa mga superpower bigayan na lang ng pagkain ang mga n.korean in exchange. at tayo mga pinoy talaga ang hilig magbigay ng two cents natin na parang may halaga naman…saling pusa lang tayo! magconcentrate na lang tayo kung paano maituwid at maiwasto ang gobyerno natin. at saka kung nasa kabilang ng mga superpower na ang pinas tsaka magdakdak ng dakdak tayo at sigurado pakikinggan tayo ng ibang bansa. ngayon banana republic tayo!

  13. may silbi rin naman yung ibang 2 centavos ng mga pinoy, saka mabuti ring exercise ng mga daliri at dila. hehehe…

  14. cvj and anna, no way any hyundai gets discarded to Guantanamo, not since hyundai made-in-the-US cars are equal in quality to honda cars of 3 years ago. A brand new made-in-Alabama hyundai Sonata is higher in quality than eqwuivalently-priced brand-new made-in-us (or made-in-canada) ford or gm. One car engineer says that in a 2006 Hyundai sonata, ” you’ll get Honda-quality engineering, a long warranty and a car as reliable as a Lexus or Infiniti.”

  15. UP Student@6:47 am – I hope the Armed Forces does not allow the vendors to use ‘demo software’ during the tests.

  16. kung IT man ang pag-uusapan..look no further the, “LOVE BUG”, a great testament of filipino ingenuity, sa kalokohan nga lang pero magaling…ang philippines being the text capital of the world! mga mercano bago pa lang nadiskobre yung text messaging.
    bokol lang talaga ang gobyerno natin.

  17. MLQ


    “Desiring to declare publicly and formally their sense of unity and their common determination to defend themselves against external armed attack, so that no potential aggressor could be under the illusion that either of them stands alone in the Pacific area.

    “ARTICLE IV. Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the Pacific area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the common dangers in accordance with its constitutional processes.

    ”ARTICLE V. For purposes of ARTICLE IV, an armed attack on either of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of either of the Parties, or on the island territories under its jurisdiction in the Pacific Ocean, its armed forces, public vessels or aircraft in the Pacific.”

    Is this treaty still valid? I hope not.

  18. Boy asking me what suggestions I have for this country is not that hard. No one can debate this reality. The country is the premier country of the world under the U.S. sphere of influence. Call it what you want but that is the truth. We are in my estimation a doormat for U.S. interests in S.E. Asia. The U.S. treasury runs our economy and what we have of modern economic development are primarily American and European corporations followed by Japanese. The rest is owned and operated by Greater China.

    We are primarily a de-facto colonial enclave economy and country.
    A “work in progress” state. At the turn of 19th century there were slightly over 6 million Filipinos spread out over the islands.

    The economic paradigm here in the country is primarily what I refer to as the “Potosi Mindset”. Potosi is named after the mountain of silver and gold in present day Bolivia that made Spain and Portugal empires before Francis Drake and Henry Morgan and Adam Smith destroyed the Spanish and Portuguese Empires. The country is still centered on gold.

    At the time of the Russo-Japanese war and the Portsmounth Agreement which gave T. Roosevelt his Nobel prize China was colonized by the European nations and they (the white guys) did not want to allow the Japanese a foothold in Manchuria. Please remember that the winners who comprise the permanent members of the Security Council are; U.S., France, U.K., China & Russia. The wining nations of the Second World War. The Russo Japanese war set the stage for the eventual rise of Japan and their reasons for the Second World War – oil of Manchuria and the East Indies.

    Knowing all of that the first thing one would do is prepare contingency evacuation procedures for Filipino citizens in South Korea. The U.S. Armed forces are no longer positioned along the DMZ. They have moved back giving them space against an artillery and missle barrage from N. K.

    Prepare for war to happen in our neck of the woods within the next five years

    Move on a crash program of food production and the government might be wise to take over Petron and start involving themselves in the price of oil. All purchases of crude oil to go through a state owned buying office. Oil is bought with long term contracts and can be negotiated with countries that own the resource. Ban the import of refined oil products over a period of time to afford time for local based producers (including Shell) to increase productive capacities.
    Start a strategic oil reserve or come to an agreement with Brunei or Indonesia or Malaysia to build one for joint use.

    Take over all power plants and hire private managers to run them.
    Move to bring wages in the public sector in critical agencies of the state up to more than living wages.

    Institute capital account controls and pass a law ordering that all gold must be sold to the state for pesos. No private individual or corporation can own gold bullion in the country. Businesses that require foreign exchange will register themselves and all persons involved in the same will register themselves with the tax authorities.

    Broaden the access of the state to the banking system relative to the Bank Secrecy law. All accounts will be subject to audit by the Finance Department. Bring the BSP back as an adjunct agency under the Finance Department.

    Cancel all mining agreements ongoing through a process of the state taking over and by making foreign participants participate in an orderly transfer of technology. All crude produce should be owned by the state. The processing for export will be recalibrated for predominant domestic use for further processing and/or kept as a hedge for emergency trading in the world market.

    The first most important commodity is food then crude basic metals and onward. They also serve as a hedge for international trading. Surplus food is renewable but basic metal ore are not. These two basic commodities serve as the bedrock of currencies. The currency of currencies accepted anywhere on this planet.

    If we agree to all things then we can ask the offcies of the IMF/W.B./IFC/ADB to leave after we pay them back in full from the reserves we have deposited with the Federal Reserve system.

    Then we can ask Palparan and some of the Filipino military men to go join up with the U.S. private armiess in the Middle East where killing without prejudice is sanctioned. He could get to ride around in a humvees with a machine gun and fire at will. He would love the Anbar region or the Sunni triangle. The U.S. could toss in green cards for anyone interested. There you shoot anyone you believe is carrying a personal IED. You decide you own free fire zone.

    It is all part of Rummy’s plans. Bob Woodward mentioned it in his new book.

    “On May 1, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld circulated a secret memo titled “Illustrative New 21st Century Institutions and Approaches.” The six-page document, excerpted below, highlights the Iranian threat, calls for a multilateral military force and argues that the United States’ antiquated system of government makes competence “next to impossible.” I obtained the contents of this memo while reporting for “State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III” (Simon & Schuster).

    — Bob Woodward

    The ffg are excerpts

    “Effective international organizations are needed to bring competence to such areas as quick reaction forces, military training, military police training, counterproliferation, capacity building for the rule of law, governance and domestic ministries. This may require institutions designed for those purposes rather than struggling to reform existing institutions to take on tasks for which they are ill suited.”

    The U.S. and like-thinking nations could help to enable such a capability by training, equipping and sustaining peacekeepers with military and police capability, perhaps organized regionally in considerably greater numbers than are currently available. . . . “Similarly, the U.S. and our friends and allies could help organize and train cadres of international professionals who can assist emerging governments in areas of governance and ministry building. The cost-benefit ratio of being prepared in advance and in benefiting from the use of several nations’ troops rather than using solely US military forces would be substantial.” Donald Rumsfeld

    The other choice would be to sell land to S. Koreans so they could wait out the worst of the upcoming storm. Our favortie salespeople Mike Defensor, Mike Arroyo and JDV could organize the next summit to push this.

    Please note the words of Rummy. This is not reform this is a revolutionary way but not really if you study the Roman Empire. Their problems when they started to reduce the volume of silver in their coins.

    “Anywhere and always inflation is a monetary problem.” Milton Freidman.

  19. Man what about the War on Terror, now the aces have all gone back to the former Cold War enemies China and Russia and they have a vote on the Security Council. No sanctions can work without them as their countries straddle North Korea. Are we in a new de facto Cold War division? All of sudden the focus has moved from Afghanistan then to Iraq and then to Iran and now to N. Korea.

    Condi ‘mushroom cloud’ Rice had a carrot and stick message, from the NY Times. I wonder why no message from Rummy and Cheney.
    In an interview on CNN, one of a series of television appearances, Secretary Rice stressed that “the diplomatic path is open” for the North, and that giving up its nuclear program would “lead to all kinds of benefits for North Korea.”

    But she said the North’s decision to pursue its nuclear program meant that it would face “international condemnation and international sanctions unlike anything that they have faced before.”

    Hmmmm all kinds of benefits. Will Rice send Brad and Angelina to talk to the madman who loves Hollywood? What about asking him which sports team cheerleaders he likes best? Maybe Donald Trump could suggest holding the next Miss Universe contest in North Korea. He owns the franchise.

    This guy might have bitten off more than he can chew. I hope I am wrong but these are certainly interesting times.

    It is amazing in the so called New Age of globalization where everything remains the same. From the words of Adam Smith, written over 200 years ago
    “Hereafter, perhaps, the natives of those countries may grow stronger, or those of Europe may grow weaker, and the inhabitants of all the different quarters of the world may arrive at that equality of courage and force which, by inspiring mutual fear, can alone overawe the injustice of independent nations into some sort of respect for the rights of one another. But nothing seems more likely to establish this equality of force than that mutual communication of knowledge and of all sorts of improvements which an extensive commerce from all countries to all countries naturally or rather necessarily, carries along with it.” Adam Smith

    I wonder what he would say of how mankind has turned technology of all kinds to this level of warfare. Mao was not the first to say that power comes out of the barrel of the gun. The father of the so called moral philosphy of the free markets said it first in a well known book. Markets are ruled primarily by the idea of price information. Power is defined by how advanced ones’ weaponry is for destroying the planet.

    And to digress a bit this piece from Max ‘matamoro’ Soliven on the anti-terror bill. This proves that policeman and military men should never be allowed to recommend laws. This general wants the writ of habeaus corpus for all suspects to be suspended for at least 15 days for all suspected crimes. Torture time requires it. In the U.S. they abolished the writ for foreign suspected terrorists.

    What is supposed to be a “defined” new crime “Terrorism” will change the entire revised Penal Code for all crimes.

    “The importance of an Anti-Terrorism law was once again underscored to me by Police Deputy Director General Avelino “Sonny” Razon Jr., the Deputy Chief PNP, when I met with him yesterday. Razon who has been leading Task Force USIG, to investigate and arrest suspected killers of activists, journalists and other citizens in extra-judicial murders, pointed out that under our outmoded Revised Penal Code, the police can hold a killer-suspect or a suspected terrorist for only 36 hours, while in Britain, for instance, a terrorist suspect can be detained for 16 days without charges still being filed against the suspect. In short, our cops and soldiers are fighting the bad guys and terrorists with one arm tied behind them.” Max ‘matamoro Soliven

    It is really unfortunate that when the pot boils the most dangerous people come up on top.

  20. hvrds, those are excellent contingency measures worth chewing over. (Here in Singapore, a local recently told me that they have been long advised by the government to keep two weeks worth of food and water in their homes. I’m not a local so i was not officially in the loop.) i like the one about selling land to the Koreans.

    While we’re at it, let’s immediately abrogate the mutual defense treaty with the USA referred to by domingo above and declare strict neutrality so we don’t get caught up in their wars just like we did back in 1941. This time around, let’s try to be like Switzerland.

  21. But i dont think this woudl be that easy. CVJ. First Im sure there will be backlash from US if we abrogate the treaty. Unlike Switzerland, we as a nation has been so defendent on the US since our birth…..Second our military is not really that strong to defend ourselves from any foriegn agressor.????

  22. Justice League,

    Re: “But they never got around to proving that they did as they did not have the means and the U.S.”

    I am quite sure that there are officers in the AFP who know which ship is nuclear armed or not.

    The Navy officers who get invited on board a US vessel (although they may not be able to inspect the whole vessel), will know just the same if the ship is nuclear or not. The Philippine Navy subscribes to Jane’s fighting ship (for Jane’s records and Jane’s consulting services with whom the Navy has an ongoing consulting contract) so all they have to do is to identify the ship and consult Jane’s – really kiddie stuff.

    I have a suspicion, they simply don’t say anything when a nuclear armed ship is around in order not to alarm media and the population.

  23. Side-note, kind of : I believe that the Philippine Constitution should be amended to allow NUCLEAR POWER GENERATORS on Philippine soil. France shows the cost-effectiveness numbers. Using UScents per kw/hr, the cost numbers are:
    FRANCE : nuclear 2.54; coal 3.33 gas : 3.92
    Japan : nuclear 4.80; coal 4.95 gas : 5.21
    Dutch : nuclear 3.58; ………..gas : 6.04

    [Source : OECD/IEA NEA 2005.

  24. A BBC news item states: “But France, which already produces more of its electricity in nuclear plants than any other country in the world – nearly 80%.” That tiny dot called Belgium, on the other hand, is committed to close all its nuclear power reactors. Likewise Germany.

  25. France — 61Million population, less than Republika Pilipinas — has 59 nuclear reactors. [Sidenote : Belgium does not need nuclear reactors because it can buy its electricity from… you guessed it… France.]

    France accepts nuclear reactors because the French trusts its bureaucracy to do bidding, project-management and “other stuff” to get a nuclear reactor; the French trusts its bureaucrats and technocrats to operate safely a nuclear reactor. The French really do not want to migrate to US-of-A and to any other Anglo-country (even with a promise of higher-paying salaries).

  26. from an inquirer news item:
    According to documents obtained by the Inquirer, the Napocor board submitted a petition to the Energy Regulatory Commission on June 22 to increase its power generation rates …to P4.09 per kilowatt hour nationwide.

    P4.00-per-kwhr is US-8 cents per kw/hr. That is twice the energy-cost in France…Philippines has among the highest energy-cost in the world.

    Enough to make the average Filipino GO NUCLEAR!!!

  27. Rego, i agree that it won’t be easy, but pulling out may be a matter of survival as the biggest national security risk for the Philippines is to be caught in a cross-fire between the US and North Korea or between the US and China (over Taiwan). Anyway, since our independence, there have been only two countries that attacked us – the USA and Japan (who attacked because the USA happened to be here). As we do not have the funds for a military build-up, we need to seriously look at asymmetric warfare as a national defense strategy. Countries with proven track records like Vietnam and Iran can give us advice on this.

  28. UP Student,

    England buys electricity from France too – no wait, rather, EDF owns British electricity company…

    I suppose there really nothing wrong with going nuclear for energy purposes. Even Finland has decided to do that too. Thing is you gotta have to be up to speed when it comes to engineering it.

  29. Adb,

    If they do divulge, not only would it alarm the people but it would also present a case of violation of the Charter.

    I’m not sure if nuclear powered generators are banned themselves. What the Constitution bans outright are nuclear weapons.

  30. Anna, which side? The Kabul government is in worse shape than us as far as military dependence to the US, and in the case of the Taliban, there would be logistical as well as political roadblocks communicating with them (unless we ask the JI via MILF to be a go-between). In contrast, Vietnam and Iran are legitimate states with whom we have existing diplomatic relations.

  31. Heheh! I guess you’re right “Vietnam and Iran are legitimate states with whom we have existing diplomatic relations.”

    What I suggest is for the military folks back home to start reading books or manuals depicting assymetric warfare “methodologies” and they can start by reading Gen Giap’s book and another book written by a French colonel based on his diary and military reports prior to the ultimate battle of Dien Bien Phu when the French lost. Excellent thesis to be made out of Ho Chi Minh’s assymetric warfare there…

  32. Justice League – that’s probably the reason they do not divulge anything coz “If they do divulge, not only would it alarm the people but it would also present a case of violation of the Charter.”

  33. That is sound advice Anna. We need to accept on which side of the asymmetry we belong to and work from there. Sometime way back, i read (or heard) that one of the major mistakes MacArthur made prior to the Japanese invasion was in not preparing for a guerilla-type war. In contrast, the Iraqi insurgents seem have been well-prepared in this respect considering the damage they have been inflicting on the occupation troops for the past three years.

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