Friday, August 29, 2008

Intellectual Cowardice and Treason

“In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely” – Hunter S. Thompson

That quotation, taken from the Uniffors (Union of Filipino Foreign Service Officers) website, shows the truth long known by career diplomats in the Department of Foreign Affairs: that the swines and pigs who are rising in the institutional ladders of power and fame are the ones ruling the country today.

By extension, the intelligentsia is no different since these spokesmen for the ruling system are ensconced in high and mighty positions, and are quoted and propagated by mainstream media.

I note two of these intellectual emissions of the ruling class’ mentality who are attempting to find a way out of the national, political and economic dilemma they’ve put this country in by their sponsorship of Edsa-style “people power,” particularly Edsa II.

A recent headline report by Felipe R. Salvosa in Business World entitled, “RP’s fight vs poverty lags in Asia” from baseline year 1994, cited Vietnam in 2006 as doing vastly better with only 16 percent classified as poor against the Philippines’ 29.5 percent based on a $1.25 poverty line.

In it, Vietnam was found to have reduced its poverty level by 4 percent each year compared to the Philippines ’ half-a-percent, which is pathetic even when compared to Indonesia ’s 2 percent.

What is the difference between the economic policies of these three countries that makes the Philippines the laggard? Well, Vietnam is socialist, nationalist, protectionist and a self-sufficiency-striving economy while Indonesia still protects its people through subsidies and controls. The Philippines , meanwhile, is only full of…liberalization and free trade.

Salvosa’s report, which quoted “esteemed” Edsa I and II economist Solita Monsod, cited the latest Social Weather Stations poverty survey and estimates of UP economist Arsenio M. Balisacan “who found that poverty worsened between 1997 and 2006 with even lower thresholds…(with) estimates pegg(ing) the number of poor people at 26.9% of the population in 2006, from about a quarter in 1997.”

Monsod, in response, blurted: “That starts from the Estrada administration” -- a factually twisted, blame-shifting ploy that betrays a real but still suppressed sense of guilt, which also reeks of intellectual dishonesty, given the fact that President Joseph E. Estrada only won in 1998 and moreover took office in June of that year!

Clearly, the spike in Philippine poverty was due to the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, which occurred under the administration of Fidel V. Ramos. Philippine growth plunged to zero as the economy imploded. It was even Estrada who brought back four percent growth in 2000, only to be unconstitutionally deposed in a coup disguised as “people power” in January 2001 before momentum could ever pick up.

Plus, less than six months before that, Estrada had already succeeded in his “all out war” against the MILF, reclaiming authority over its 46 camps.

Still, in another historical twisting of facts, Philippine Star columnist Billy Esposo denigrates this now widely-acclaimed decisive victory of Estrada against the MILF. His ludicrous “Listen to Estrada and lose Mindanao ” piece forwards the view that the MILF had not really been defeated by Estrada.

Yet even an idiot knows this cannot hold water as the Mindanao situation back then steadily pacified after Camp Abubakar ’s fall, with MILF chair Hashim Salamat running to Kuala Lumpur for refuge.

Nonetheless, as if wanting to make all the AFP men and civilian fighters who died in the past turn in their graves, Esposo now argues that Filipinos cannot defeat the “US-backed MILF.”

By saying that “a US-supported MILF can wage a war that we can hardly afford to fight -- especially if there is no superpower to support us,” Esposo exposes himself as a coward in every sense of the word; a coward who moreover hides in the face of imperial oppression and subversion; and a coward who limits his imagination in the midst of vast diplomatic imperatives, such as alliances with Venezuela and other anti-imperialist South American countries, which I have written about at length -- among other options to counter US domination such as strengthening ties with China, Russia and India.

As for Esposo’s “utak polvora” tag, shouldn’t it apply more to the MILF than the government forces under Estrada? It’s been the MILF using violence -- a fact that has long stripped Murad or Eid Kabalu of any moral basis for protesting the “all out war” against their atrocities. What’s more, Estrada was able to wage a successful campaign while suspending offensives during Ramadan -- a far cry from the policy nowadays.

In all, Marcos and Estrada defeated the rebels; it was Edsa I and II that brought them back to life.

Up to now, Esposo has never accepted my challenge to a public debate. But then, why should he when he is the “star” columnist of an Edsa tradpol-owned mainstream paper who lobbied for the passage of the Epira by handing out millions in grease money to his fellow greedy tongressmen?

I’m telling you: The scenario in Mindanao today has been cooked up right after Edsa II, just as the 2003 Iraq War was planned by the neocon Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 1997-98 -- developments that had been the crux of my “Kosovo in Mindanao ” article as early as 2003.

So I’m telling you this now: A huge atrocity against both Muslims and Christians in Mindanao is in the works by neocons for this September’s Ramadan to serve as basis for accelerating international intervention by Blair and the OIC, and the entry of “international peacekeepers.”

Thus, our response with other nationalists is to prevent the Filipino people from losing out completely in this battle against Balkanization. Armed with truth, we, the descendants of Bonifacio and Rizal, can get out acts together -- over the carcasses of the swines of intellectual cowardice and treason.

(Tune in to: Talk News TV on GNN, Destiny Cable Channel 3, Tuesday at 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with guest, Cuban Amb. Jorge Rey Jimenez; Kape’t Kamulatan, Kabansa on 1098AM, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and Sul√≥ ng Pilipino every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the same station. Also, check out: