Numerology and politics

This entry was all brought to mind by my postponing with several a-bloating entries still in draft form, and taking time off to read article by Lei Feng in the Asia Sentinel, China’s Disasters by the Number:

Like the US post-9/11 and my fellow office workers, many of China’s Netizens have been trying to find meaning in what it is being called the worst year in the country’s history – though none mention the famines in the late ’50s or the Cultural Revolution years.

There were the crippling snowstorms of January, unrest in Tibet followed by what is widely perceived here as international insult and humiliation heaped on the “sacred flame” of the Olympic torch while it made its journey outside the Middle Kingdom. A horrific train crash came next and now the earthquake the Internet is abuzz with material that is familiar in its own way to Americans who have pondered the coincidences of the John Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln assassinations (“Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln; both had vice presidents from southern states named Johnson…”).

It is also reminiscent of the weird idea that a Nostradamus couplet foretold the attack on the Twin Towers, or that the word “Satan” could be seen in the smoke that rose above the collapsed building on 9/11.

In China, it’s about numbers: add up the dates of the snowstorm (1-25), the Tibet riots (3-14) and the earthquake (5-12) individually and you get “8” normally an unusually auspicious number and the reason the Olympics will kick off on 8-8-08 (and why it costs significantly more to get a phone number with multiple 8’s).

The five tooth-achingly cute cartoon character Olympic mascots called ” — I think of them as exotic, colorful Smurfs are also now seen by some to be harbingers of China’s recent miseries. Representing a fish, panda, swallow, Tibetan antelope and the Olympic flame, those seeking coincidence see the panda as an earthquake warning, since the ravaged area is also home to China’s endangered giant panda; the Tibetan antelope well, you can figure that out; ditto for the Olympic flame; the swallow is seen as emblematic for the “kite city” of Weifang in Shandong province where China experienced a deadly train crash last month.

The remaining one is a fish symbol, representing water, which online doomsayers suggest could indicate pending horror in the Yangtze River.

Some Taiwanese TV stations are also blaming the feng shui of Beijing’s massive new “Bird Nest” Olympic stadium, saying it has “interrupted the pulse” of a giant dragon said to lie beneath the country.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt died, Josef Goebbels whipped out an astrological chart and confidently informed Hitler that the tide had finally turned in favor of the Third Reich. Nancy Reagan consulted astrologers. Aguinaldo supposedly had a potent anting-anting, Time Magazine reported in 1944 that Quezon was somehow convinced he would never die in the daytime (he died in the morning) and of course Ferdinand Marcos adorned his room with mystical pentagrams and had a great faith in the significance of the number seven. President Arroyo has had the presidential palace exorcised several times, she consults mystical nuns (one independence day celebration involved little flags adorned with some sort of slogan being dropped from a helicopter, apparently upon the prophetic exhortation of one such nun), while Feng Shui principles are applied to the layout of the Palace and so forth. Former Speaker de Venecia decided to support the last impeachment because he was receiving letters dictated by his dead daughter from beyond the grave. And Romulo Neri, apparently, does nothing without consulting the I Ching.

If, as Randy David says, the real crisis confronting our country is what he calls A Crisis of Modernity, then you have to despair of a political class that determines its political actions not according to a pragmatic cost-benefit analysis or anything else, but according to omens and other efforts at divination. Not least because this prevents any real, rational, analysis of political events and trends. Or then again, if numerology and divination helps us cope with an increasingly complex world, maybe it’s no big deal?

Manuel L. Quezon III.

235 thoughts on “Numerology and politics

  1. who said the whole muslim world will intervene just because we are trying to enforce the rule of law on our renegade citizens?

    when Afghanistan was invaded by Russia, mujahadeens from all parts of the world went and helped their muslim brothers in Afghanistan. yes, including our muslim brothers in Mindanao.

    the fight in Gaza, in Taliban, in Iraq, Israel…

    in any conflict wherein islamic interests are threatened, the whole Islamic community will give its backing.

    that’s why oil prices continue to rise. because Saudis and most islamic countries virtually control the supply of oil. they do not do it on a whim, or because of market forces.

    they do it first: to force the US to its knees. and second, to enrich themselves.

    isn’t it crazy that the U.S. is funding its own enemy?

    if the U.S. truly wants to defeat the terrorists, it would earnestly start a campaign to wean away it’s economy from oil and go to alternative sources of energy.

    we defeat the terrorists the day we suck dry their coffers.

  2. that’s why oil prices continue to rise. because Saudis and most islamic countries virtually control the supply of oil. they do not do it on a whim, or because of market forces. – devilsadvc8

    i thought close to half of the price per barrel is due to speculators seeking to recover losses from the US subprime mortgage mess?

  3. “that’s why oil prices continue to rise.”

    Oil prices have risen precipitously because the gangsters who have held power in the U.S. for the past eight years LOVE high oil prices. Almost as much as much as they love greenhouse gasses (refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol), gas-guzzling vehicles (refusing to mandate higher fuel economy standards) and wars that destabilize oil supplies (lying to the world in order to justify aggression against Iraq).

    George Bush’s heart is with the oil industry. Oil is big in Texas and the Bush family is in the oil business. The Bush family also has very strong business and personal ties with the Saudi Royal Family, who must be ecstatic about the soaring prices of oil.

    Bush’ Vice President is Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney also very close to the oil industry. He was the CEO of Halliburton, an oil-services company that also provides construction and military support services. That’s a home run, with bases loaded, for wartime spoils. Is it any wonder, then, that oil has rocketed to such great heights since the Bush-Cheney mafia took over?

  4. jude, about honoring treatises, are you using my argument against yours? read again my comments. didn’t i say foreign intervention that could trigger action by our allies under mutual defense treatise?

    cvj, regarding thermopylae, believe the spin of your own source (a dime a dozen)to your heart’s content. what do we know? as you said it happened a bunch of millenia before our time.

  5. Bencard, I stated that there is no need for our neighbors to OPENLY intervene.

    To enlighten you, allow me to point out historical events in our country that illustrate how intervention between countries can be done surreptitiously.

    At the height of the Muslim insurgency in the 1970’s, it was an open secret that Malaysia was giving aid, arms and comfort to Filipino Muslim rebels. Malaysia’s clandestine support wasn’t only just to come to the aid of fellow Muslims. It was also to put Marcos and the Philippine government in their place due to Marcos’ attempt to claim and take control of Sabah.

    Muslim fighters were trained in Malaysia by professional instructors, financed and supplied with arms by the Malaysian government, through the intercession of the powerful and wealthy Tun Dato Mustapha, who was then Chief Minister of Sabah and who was, ironically, actually a Tausug of Philippine origins.

    Malaysia trained and developed leaders of the Muslim insurgency. These included Nur Misuari and Salamat Hashim, founders of the MNLF and MILF, respectively. Malaysia also funded these insurgent groups and provided them with arms. At that time, it was common knowledge that Muslim politicians and mujahideen opposed to the Philippine government were given sanctuary and comfort in Malaysia. Secessionists, as well as anti-Marcos politicians like Pendatun and Lucman were graciously treated in Malaysia. Even Ninoy Aquino made a stopover in Malaysia before proceeding to his martyrdom in the Philippines.

    The Americans then had their bases in the Philippines. The mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines was very much in force. Why didn’t the U.S. attack or even censure Malaysia?

  6. “Why didn’t the U.S. attack or even censure Malaysia?”

    Jude, let me give my tuppence worth on this subject. During those days, the U.S. can only attack in Return or in imminent danger of being attacked, or if under the treaty will provide support in arms or personnel to an ally under attacked or threatened by another sovereign. It did not have yet the “Preemptive” policy that was only invoked in Iraq.

    Even Russia at the height of its occupation of Afghanistan, can not do much about the indirect and direct support of Pakistan as Proxy to the U.S. and all other Muslim countries supporting the Mujaheddin and So the U.S. can only do as much as Threw words against the Chinese and Russian during the Vietnam War.

    And also, the U.S. does not want to compromise its Interests with another country (in your comment, Malaysia) for something that was Hypothetical as seen on their own side.

  7. “Oil prices have risen precipitously because the gangsters who have held power in the U.S. for the past eight years LOVE high oil prices”

    I beg to disagree with you but you may have a point on the speculative side. It is an imbalance of supply and demand.

    Demand Side: Although many factors have contributed to higher crude oil prices, a combination of strong (and somewhat unexpected) global demand for oil since 2003 and expectations of continuing future tightness is the major cause. These demand/supply imbalances reflect robust global activity, an apparent shift in the demand for oil by China and other emerging economies, and limited investment in the oil sector in the past two decades. Naturally, given the tightness in the oil market and uncertainties about demand and supply, factors such as geopolitical developments, fears of potential supply disruptions, and speculation have also all played a part in price movements, but largely through their impact on expectations regarding future fundamentals.

    Supply Side: On the supply side, the main players in the crude oil market are OPEC—which currently provides about 40 percent of world supply and holds about 70 percent of proven reserves—and non-OPEC producers. OPEC, as the marginal supplier, behaves as a semi-cartel in normal times by aiming to maintain excess extraction capacity in order to influence crude oil prices. In recent years, its policy has been to balance the market while allowing for an ‘appropriate’ level of crude oil inventories in consuming nations. Non-OPEC producers, on the other hand, have relatively limited reserves and spare capacity, and generally behave as price takers. Under current circumstance—when quantity demanded is close to productive capacity—OPEC’s ability to lower prices is limited.

    The Role of Speculation: The significant rise in longer-dated futures prices reflects the perception of continued tightness in the physical market, and is facilitated by increased investor interest… ( bush and cheney are oil investors)

  8. “uhh, can you spell I-R-A-Q?” devilsadvoc8

    i thought there is a democratic government in iraq, by, for and of iraquis. u.s. is still there, not as occupiers, but to help maintain peace and order, and clean up the place of terrorists. if there’s anything the u.s. wants right now is to be able to go home and leave the place to the iraquis to defend and preserve its democratic government. ditto with afghanistan.

  9. “that’s why oil prices continue to rise. because Saudis and most islamic countries virtually control the supply of oil. they do not do it on a whim, or because of market forces.”

    It is not just the Muslim countries that controls the oil supply. To coordinate oil production policies, OPEC was created in 1960..
    Opec’s members..
    The demand of oil have increased since 2003:

  10. cvj, and i can understand why you believe everything you read as long as it’s not from your own authorship. how can you be sure that that i’ve seen the movie your blogger “scholar” is criticizing, anyway. xerxes a drag queen? who knows?

  11. btw, how do you know that cyrus the great sent the jews back to where they came from, not on the kindness of his heart, but to get rid of them without having to deal with the mess of annihilating them inside his own empire? again, there are no eyewitnesses that can tell us the “truth”, so your guess is as good as anybody’s, including mine. evidently, hitler thought that was stupid, hence, the holocaust.

  12. ‘For me an all out war is not a solution.’

    I agree. I already said these things before but what the heck I’ll say them again.

    1)Construct 3 penal colonies 1 each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Make sure they can accomodate 50,000 prisoners. build the Mindanao penal colony first probably in Maguindanao province. Open the gates of the Mindanao penal colony as soon as the MILF declares independence.
    2) Construct a military complex that can accomodate a naval base, air base and army base in Cotabato. Don’t leave it when the MILF declares independence. It will stick out like a sore thumb similar to the US base in Guantanamo bay.
    3) Build up the transportation infrastructure in Mindanao. Rail and expressway to connect each major city to each other. Leave MILF the tab when they declare independence.
    4) The most effective thing to do is ignore the MILF. KSP lang ang mga yan. Puro drawing.

  13. btw (#2), as between your authority a certain cyrus (not the great) kar, and herodotus, i’ll bet my money on the later. i was looking for kar’s credentials but other than his own claim that he is engaged in “correcting” ( sounds to me more as ‘revising’ or ‘rewriting’) ancient history by filming alleged historical sites, among other things, i couldn’t figure out how in hell he could second-guess herodutus. i’m sure you “contributed” a hefty sum to his project. i did not, and would not, even if i could.

  14. Bencard, you can ask about Cyrus the Great if you have any Orthodox Jewish friend or Rabbi. Alternatively you can look him up in the Old Testament. Just a clarification, Cyrus did not send the Jews outside his empire, rather he sent them home to the Promised Land which was still within his Persian Empire. You see, prior to that, the Jews were conquered by the Babylonians (under Nebuchadnezzar) who sent them into exile in Babylon. In a manner of speaking, Cyrus the Great put Israel back in the map.

  15. cvj, you’re always on the lookout for mistake, aren’t you? it does give you a boost of confidence about yourself, right? i guess that compensates you for acting as my editor.

    i know “the promised land” a.k.a. judea, was conquered by nebuchadnezzar’s babylonia, enslaved it’s inhabitants, and made part of the babilonian empire. cyrus’ seat of power was in babylon and my hypothesis was that he did not like the jews living with his people and had to send them back to where they came from (there was no “israel” as a distinct territory at the time, and up until 1947 when the u.n. carved a portion of the area for the jews and called it the state of israel). thanks for your suggestions about asking an “orthodox jew” or rabbi. i’m sure they have their religious convictions which i respect but not necessarily believe for reasons i’ve already stated.

  16. Bencard, actually, there was an ‘Israel’ as a territory (under the Persians, then the Macedonians, with a brief period of independence under the Maccabees, then under the Romans) from the time of their return (courtesy of Cyrus) from Babylonian captivity up until the time of the Jewish revolt where the rebels chose to commit suicide in Masada (rather than submit to the Romans) in the first century AD. From then, they became an wandering people until 1948. That’s why the oath of every Israeli soldier is “Masada shall not fall again.”

  17. In summary, contrary to your understanding, it was the Ancient Persians who put the Jews back on the map (by bringing them back to Judea from Babylonian captivity), and it was the Romans who wiped them off the map (by crushing the Jewish revolt).

  18. “It is an imbalance of supply and demand.” – leytenian

    It always boils down to a supply and demand situation. However, the circumstances for a supply-demand imbalance can be influenced by wasteful energy policies OR SIMPLE BAD FAITH BY THOSE IN A POSITION TO CREATE POLICY. The U.S. is the world’s biggest consumer of oil by far. By itself, it consumes more than 25% of the world’s oil. China’s consumption is a mere fraction of that, and so is the entire Europe’s. Being the world’s only superpower and the world’s largest consumer of oil and energy entails responsibility and leading by example.

    Europe has shown responsibility and judiciousness by setting policies that discourage high consumption and waste of energy. It has imposed high taxes on oil in order to discourage profligacy. It has established fuel efficiency standards in order to steer the automotive industry towards higher mileage. It has encouraged and subsidized research and development of alternative systems of energy.

    Cars and trucks account for more than 60% of oil consumption in the U.S. (see BusinessWeek, “Bush is Blowing Smoke On Energy”). Energy experts agree that the single most effective way to cut oil dependence is to increase fuel efficiency. “You have to start with higher miles per gallon,” says Robert E. Ebel, chairman of the energy program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington (D.C.) think tank. And yet, the Bush administration’s tepid response has been to extend tax credits for diesel and hybrid cars. The Bush administration’s Federal fuel-efficiency standards are such a mockery that the Attorney General of California had to go to court to invalidate it because the standards were TOO LOW!

    Oh sure, there are market forces and certain disturbances in the market that cause distortions in supply and demand. The Chinese surge in demand is a factor but, as pointed out, the surge in demand for oil in China isn’t enough to justify the skyrocketing price of oil to present levels. But it can clearly be pointed out what is a major cause for disruption in oil supplies, and that is the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, which was one of the world’s top oil producers and has one of the largest oil reserves in the world.

    The illusion that oil prices are created by “free markets” is precisely what the Bush-Cheney mafia want the world to think. Here is what Donella H. Meadows, adjunct professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College says about free markets, especially in the energy sector:

    “Any economics textbook will tell you two reasons why the free market cannot and should not make energy policy. First, the energy market is not free. Second, even if there were a free market, it would not produce an energy policy any nation would want to live with.

    Governments, corporations, and cartels constantly fiddle with energy supplies and prices, trying to bend the market to their advantage. Oil companies and then OPEC have manipulated oil supply for decades. Electricity is a regulated monopoly. Nuclear power would not be competitive if its subsidies were taken away.”

    And if that wouldn’t be enough to disabuse “free market” believers and bring them down to earth, here are some characteristics of free markets, as pointed out by Prof. Meadows that reveal that they’re actually not free or spontaneous:

    • “A free market assumes that complete information is available to all players — but information is itself a market commodity. For example, if Americans knew the actual costs of and returns to various energy choices, they would buy efficient appliances and cars in a big way. But it is not in the interest of energy suppliers to sell efficiency, so that information isn’t available.”

    • “A central necessity of energy policy is to put into place a system based on renewables (hydro, solar, biomass) as fossil fuels run out. That could be done with a depletion tax that funds development of energy alternatives. The U.S. government gets it just backward. U.S. government gives away depletion tax CUTS – HANDOUTS TO THE OIL INDUSTRY AS RESERVES DECLINE.”

    • “Markets are driven by the private values of market players, not the common values of society, such as security, justice or the environment. In markets, unlike democracies, some people have a lot more votes than others, therefore markets provide for the needs of the rich few rather than the poor many. Government intervention is essential to establish at least minimal fairness.”

    Prof. Meadows goes on: “A market economy is a wonderful thing” but, she cautions: “to rely on the market alone is equivalent to stationing a nearsighted, excitable, ignorant, and powerfully self-interested boy at the wheel to steer the ship of state.”

    “When a government persists in a perverse policy it’s usually best to assume incompetence, not conspiracy. But the Bush White House is not incompetent. It is full of economists who know about the market faults.”

    “The President, who is an oil man, must be well aware that when he invokes “the market” like a Holy Grail, HE REALLY MEANS THE VESTED INTERESTS.”

  19. “Why didn’t the U.S. attack or even censure Malaysia?”

    If we are talking of the 70s:
    propbably because, they just lost a lot of resources in vietnam, the anti vietnam porotest etc.

    The oil problem:

    I remember a few days ago HVRDS pointed to this link, on the democrats not seeing the clear picture:

    Going back to the uS has bases,why not attack Malaysia.

    if 80s:
    probably bigger problems like : Iran-Iraq,Afghanistan

    in the 90s: they left.

    Your guess is as good as mine.

  20. cvj, why do you say “contrary to (my) understanding”? did i ever claim either of the two put the state of israel on the map, as you exaggerate? under both babylonian and roman empires, there was no independent “israel” except briefly under the maccabbees. yes, there was a land which the jews called “eretz yisrael” but insofar as the babylonians, and later the romans, were concerned, it was just a province of their respective empires. it was no different from what present-day muslim mindanao calls “bangsamoro”.

    perhaps you are a better researcher than i but don’t even think you have a handle on truth about these matters, as you are in a habit of doing. your information as well as mine are only as good as our sources.

  21. “1)Construct 3 penal colonies 1 each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Make sure they can accomodate 50,000 prisoners. build the Mindanao penal colony first probably in Maguindanao province. Open the gates of the Mindanao penal colony as soon as the MILF declares independence.
    2) Construct a military complex that can accomodate a naval base, air base and army base in Cotabato. Don’t leave it when the MILF declares independence. It will stick out like a sore thumb similar to the US base in Guantanamo bay.
    3) Build up the transportation infrastructure in Mindanao. Rail and expressway to connect each major city to each other. Leave MILF the tab when they declare independence.
    4) The most effective thing to do is ignore the MILF. KSP lang ang mga yan. Puro drawing.”

    Maganda sana eh, kaso puro drawing .

    Pt.1: same as the garbage problem:
    you can have dumps and landfills,but not on my backyard.

    whatever happened to the plan to remove bases in manila.
    FT, bOnifacio’s sale:what happened to the funds?
    Try throwing out those who refuse to leave.
    The chinese doesn’t not want to proceed,because of what happened to the Koreans.

    Pt. 3
    Maganda na naman sana.
    but ask any miner, kung magkano ang dapat iaabot sa mga rebelde para makabalik ka lang kinabukasan.

    Another reason, why procurement does not work is that you have to allocate something for the rebels,aside from other’s who receive the ambons.

    You can check how many DPWH projects are overpriced in mindanao,sa ibang me sariling storya yan.

    and number 3 is the reason why number 4 can’t happen.

    bakit nga ba,we can’t go over the obstacles,hurdles and constraints,get around them or under them,ewan ko.

    Is a paradigm shift the answer?is going outside the box the answer?

  22. KG,

    ‘Is a paradigm shift the answer?is going outside the box the answer?’

    Kasi ang mga Filipino karaniwan takot at pessimistic. Kapag may nakapag-isip ng kakaiba ang sagot ‘Hindi puwedeng gawin yan kasi blah blah blah’. Sa tingin mo ba magagawa ng mga Kano ang Interstate system sa US kung ang unang sagot ng mga engineers kay Eisenhower ay ‘Hindi pwede boss kasi blah blah blah’.
    You don’t need a paradigm shift. You don’t need to think outside the box. Just do it.

  23. “However, the circumstances for a supply-demand imbalance can be influenced by wasteful energy policies OR SIMPLE BAD FAITH BY THOSE IN A POSITION TO CREATE POLICY”

    “Cars and trucks account for more than 60% of oil consumption in the U.S”

    Agree and Global demand however continues growing, and U.S. consumers are reluctant to make any significant lifestyle changes or significant efficiencies.

    “But it can clearly be pointed out what is a major cause for disruption in oil supplies, and that is the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, which was one of the world’s top oil producers and has one of the largest oil reserves in the world”

    True but over 99% of Canadian oil exports are sent to the United States, making Canada, not Saudi Arabia, the United States’ largest supplier of oil.

    Regarding Iraq: After more than a decade of sanctions and two Gulf Wars, Iraq’s oil infrastructure needs modernization and investment.

    IRAQ claims to have the world’s fourth largest reserves of oil at approximately 115 billion barrels (18.3×109 m3), although it would rank third if Canadian reserves of non-conventional oil were excluded.
    As a result of war and civil unrest, these statistics have not been revised since 2001( before Bush went to war) and are largely based on 2-D seismic data from three decades ago. International geologists and consultants have estimated that unexplored territory may contain an estimated additional 45 to 100 billion barrels (bbls) of recoverable oil. However, in the absence of exploration data these estimates are highly speculative and do not meet the industry definitions of proven, probable, or possible oil reserves.


  24. Talking of “Delikadeza”, How about this one:

    Les Whittington
    Ottawa Bureau
    Toronto Star

    OTTAWA–Prime Minister Stephen Harper tonight announced the resignation of Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, in advance of revelations by his ex-girlfriend that Bernier was careless in his handling of secret cabinet documents.

    Bernier submitted his resignation a few hours before TVA in Montreal aired an interview with Julie Couillard, in which she said that the former minister left a government document in her apartment in April. (Julie Couillard, was an ex-girlfriend of the Minister and was also said to have links with Bikers Gangs and Organized Crime).

    “It is a very serious mistake–regardless of who the minister is, regardless of personal life–to leave classified documents in an unsecured location,” Harper told reporters in a hastily called news conference on Parliament Hill.

    “The minister has recognized this error himself and offered to resign,” the Prime Minister said.

    Harper, who has previously turned aside questions about Bernier and Couillard as an intrusion on the former minister’s personal life, said, “This is not to do with the minister’s private life or the life of a private citizen.”

    He said Bernier would be replaced as foreign affairs minister on a temporary basis by Trade Minister David Emerson.

  25. In this case nobody questioned about the truthfullness of Julie Couillard Statements, asking for more concrete evidence or just dismissed her statement as mere Hearsay.

    Or not even questioned her past association with Criminal gangs as to doubt her allegations in regards to the Foreign Affairs Minister’s mistakes of Careless handling of Cabinet Documents. Just pack up and resign…

  26. One of the most serious tactical and strategic mistake to do is to ignore the MILF. These folks do not know diplomacy and the practical and effective nuances of negotiation. The MILF does not even know how to wage war — the MILF executes terror tactics. And terrorists, left alone, do not mellow with age. Like cockroaches that plot and cause more damage, expect the MILF to recruit more 15-year-olds or younger and to do ethnic purification of villages to enlarge the territory they can claim. GenSan City is always at risk while the MILF operates.

    The GRP has already effectively weakened the MILF, but only to a stalemate. An additional thousand soldiers — well-led, well-trained — can do a lot of good. Even better if 5,000 GRP soldiers can be brought to bear. At minimum, more civic-action teams should be sent into Mindanao to protect what are currently secure villages, especially to prevent 15-year-olds from being shanghailed as under-age MILF soldiers.

    [As for those short snippets on military/counter-insurgency ratios that cvj had mentioned, when did cvj believe in US military tactics anyway? And cvj has not even mentioned negotiations with the MILF. cvj has periodically given me the impression that the arguments regarding military tactics against the MILF, he chose and crafted to support the conclusion he wants — for a let-up in military pressure against the MILF (which just provides the MILF more time to regroup, recruit and plot, “more space” that is less about “why can’t we all get along”-type peace in Mindanao but more about defeatism for the republic and for the MILF to prevail in Mindanao.]

  27. supremo’s proposal for more kilometers of new roads in Mindanao should be supported. Development economics pushes for such farm-to-market-roads — Malacanang should encourage Saudi Arabia or Japan or Canada to fund these roads.

    Interestingly, the MILF is against the roads. While more roads give the “inside villages” better access to commerce, news and other services, the same better roads also allow the Philippine army/marines to move troops more rapidly.

  28. UPn, what are the chances that Saudi Arabia (or any of the Gulf countries) would fund the construction of roads in Mindanao if they are aware that these roads will be used to pursue a policy of ‘all out war‘ against their fellow Muslims? Have you thought that through?

  29. cvj, you don’t seem to distinguish between the rebels, and the muslim population in general. when muslim countries fund projects, its for the muslim population in general, and when the afp fights, it’s against the rebels.

  30. Mindanaoan, in an all out war (or even during counterinsurgency operations), do you think we’d be capable of such nuance? Even at this stage, UPn’s (and Bencard’s) rhetoric in this thread does not seem to do so.

  31. On the part of the Filipino Muslims, do you think that in the event of war they would take the side of the non-Muslims?

  32. cvj, an all-out-war scenario can only be between the afp and the rebels. most of the muslims are poor, very poor. they can’t afford to join any kind of war. and the milf is not capable of fighting in christian areas, maybe just a few raids. only the afp can go to the muslim areas to fight. haven’t you noticed the collateral damage are always muslim civilians?

  33. upn, where will you put your farm-to-market roads? sulu and tawi-tawi are mostly islands, and i dont know of commercial trucking going into and out of lanao del sur. in the maguindanao marshlands then?

  34. KG: While it would be imprudent to disregard the peak oil theory, there are significant oil discoveries that recently have been made all over the world that have made up for some of the wells that have been drying up. It has to be noted, though, that most discoveries have been made at extremely deep seas.

    There are important fields discovered in the South China Sea off Vietnam (fueling more speculation about oil in the Spratlys) and around China’s Bohai Bay (near Korea). Chevron has also found massive oil reserves in the deep waters off the Gulf of Mexico and more oil has recently been found in the North Sea. In Kazakhstan, the biggest oil discovery in the past 30 years may soon be coming into production.

    The most spectacular recent oil discoveries are the Tupi and Carioca fields off the coast of Brazil. If estimated reserves prove correct, these oil discoveries may propel Brazil to become one of the world’s top oil producers in a few years. The Atlantic Ocean has become the most recent hotbed for oil discoveries.

    In an interesting side note, this has led Peter Zeihan, vice president of Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), the political consulting company which has been dubbed the “shadow CIA”, to state that discoveries in the Atlantic and in the Far East would diminish the importance of the Persian Gulf as a source for oil. Consequently, the U.S. Navy’s presence in the Persian Gulf and adjacent waters would be reduced, leaving the region exposed to more conflict, Zeihan said.

    “We could see that world becoming a very violent one,” added Zeihan, “If the United States isn’t getting any crude from the Gulf, what benefit does it have in policing the Gulf anymore? All of the geopolitical flux that wracks that region regularly suddenly isn’t our problem.”
    But before we write off the Persian Gulf, it must be noted that Iraq has not been producing at capacity for several years now. It still maintains huge oil reserves and it is estimated that many more billion barrels of oil (estimates place it as high as 250 billion barrels) have not yet been discovered in Iraq, as oil exploration has been limited by turmoil. Iraq still could become the 800 pound gorilla of oil reserves and production.

  35. mindanaoan (at 1:51pm), i don’t think that there’s any kind of war (conventional or guerilla) that involves only the combatants and has not affected the civilian populace. That has been the case since at least World War I. Besides, those who are very poor have little to lose.

  36. mlq3: “Yes” to railroads, too, but I believe one can’t just do a USD $20Million railroad project while $20-million can build a lot of kilometers of 2-lane all-weather roads.

    Maguindanao: The more difficult question probably is “where FIRST to put new roads”. I doubt that all municipalities with 5,000 or more already have all-weather roads to connect them to a major highway.

    cvj: most of the Mindanaoans, poor or not, will not be joining an all-out war. Don’t be ridiculous here, the Mindanaoans do not even want to join on-weekends-only wars. What they want is for the power-brokers to sit down, negotiate, find solutions because “… for crying out loud… why can’t we all just get along?”.

    The unfortunate part is a small group has grown itself into an army. Now this army, because of its secessionist- and other goals, is doing territory-cleansing while projecting its presence every so often by detonating bombs, not against GRP soldiers, but against civilians. Seriously, you do not want Malacanang to cry “…we are defeated!!!!” and ask the MILF for its terms and conditions, do you?

  37. cvj: I agree with your sentence that there is not any kind of war (conventional or guerilla) that … has not affected a civilian populace.

  38. Bencard,

    you might want to read the Old Testament, particularly the prophetic books (from Isaiah onwards), for more info on the relations between babylonians, persians and jews

    since medyo mahaba yan, try reading Nehemiah and Ezra

    it was the persians who decreed the return of the jews to the promised land. the jews did return, but it was not like during David’s time. they were still under a foreign power

  39. who cares about the history of jews and the persians? let’s deal with our very own problem.
    talking about “Delikadeza” VIC,
    Winston Garcia should just resign.

  40. cvj, if you are thinking that the army is fighting against the muslims, rather than against rebel groups like the milf, you are wrong. that’s probably why you have notions of other muslim countries coming in.

    and what civilian population are you talking about? the fighting between the afp and the rebels are only in the jungles and remote barangays.

    UP n, the question is what do you want to do with your roads. there are not many muslim farmers.

    and a lot of people do in fact want to join the fighting, both christians and muslims, especially when there are news about atrocities. but what can you do if the fighting is in basilan and you are in ozamiz?

    and it’s not very simple. there are also christians fighting for the milf (yes, they also recruit christians) and there are muslims in the armed forces.

  41. Jude: I would not be surprised that off the Celebes Sea will be a huge energy deposit which has become commercially-feasible at the $100-a-barrel price-point. Now US companies will prefer t

  42. UPn, as it is with all rebellions, i believe that a good portion of that ‘small group’ or rebels represent the best and the brightest of the Philippines (or Bangsa Moro). By all means show them no quarter, if and when the time comes to fight them, but we should be fully aware of what our country as a whole will be losing in the process. Your insistence in depicting the Muslims as the Other does not help in this regard.

  43. mindanaoan, correct me if i’m wrong, but i get the impression that you don’t live in one of those remote barangays that may be affected by the fighting?

  44. Supremo,

    point taken,pero kailan pa nagyari ang just do it?

    You just answered it,because of the blahblahblah.
    But my blahblahblah,to your points are more out of frustration kung bakit di magawagawa ang maga puntos mo.
    babalik na naman ba tayo sa use trust and let’s doh it.

    thanks again for the bundle of knowledge.

  45. leytenian, the Foreign Minister the Press call “Mad Max” which resigned after leaving some Cabinet Documents at her Girlfriend’s apartment is still in the Headlines, and what a beautiful EX he had that even got the attention of George W. during their meetings..and she also had a very colorful past with links and relationships with noted Biker Gangs Members and Organized Crime. But her connections got nothing to do with the Minister demise, but his carelessness of handling Government Property…and also his intervention in the affairs of Afghanistan Government, which created quite a ruffle among allies..

    And hope this one will eventually suceeds for the sake of Autistic Children.

    Autism lawsuit needs more work, court says:
    Parents fighting to have their autistic children receive expensive, specialized therapies within the public education system were tossed a thin lifeline by Ontario’s highest court yesterday.

    In a unanimous ruling, the Ontario Court of Appeal essentially handed back the parents some of their claims against the Ontario government and seven school boards, saying they need to be substantially reworked if they are to have any hope of succeeding in their lawsuit.

    The court ruled the argument needs “substantial redrafting,” noting lack of clarity “makes it difficult to know” what the parents want.

  46. US early morning news: savings of 17 billion miles of travel was recorded this past memorial day weekend. people refrained from long travel according to CNN. looking on actual data of cars for sale online… plenty of inventories for SUV’s. americans are now feeling tightness and adjusting to the high oil price. this might be good news for oil demand to stabilize the price but bad news for the car industry. Not sure where would they store their Hummer inventories.

    Meanwhile, tourists from all over the world continue to pour their money into the US economy. Enjoying their travel and sightseeing here in the US at very low price. This is an advantage to hotel, restaurants, parks, beach, and car rental industries.

    Philippines: many friends got approve for their US tourist VISA. Is US immigration now loosening their requirements?

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