Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Colonial mentality ‘tutas’

Gloria Arroyo was so desperate to get invited to the Obama National Prayer Breakfast that when she finally did, our national dailies headlined it without fail. Thus, her subsequent failure to get just a handshake from Obama made for even bigger news, becoming the butt of jokes everywhere amid much rejoicing. For anti-Gloria politicians and other Filipinos fed up with Gloria’s regime, Obama’s third successive snub signifies a withdrawal of US support, which they hope would portend her ouster. Alas, these people are still looking to the US and Obama to get our country out of the rut that Gloria has placed us in. But this mindset, as typified by the Inquirer headline, “Obama to save Filipino OFWs,” even when he can’t save US jobs from being lost every month, should make us wonder whether this betrays a lack of nationalism on their part or just rank idiocy.

Local radio and TV talk shows, as well as, the US mainstream media effuse in the glow of Obama’s halo. Granted that some may have been taken by his charms, a lot more must have been instructed by their corporate bosses to keep a sacred light beaming around their new “Messiah.” After all, these “corpo-Rats” wouldn’t be his biggest contributors for nothing, won’t they?

It’s only from Internet Web sites of critical truth-seekers where one can learn the truth about Obama: How his cabinet consists of the very same finance operators that deregulated the US financial system, which led to its recent financial collapse. The inclusion of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Treasury Chief Timothy Geithner and 21 others--all members of the elite Bilderberg Club, is precisely why there has been no prosecution of the bankers and finance speculators behind the collapse; only quibbling about bonus packages and CEO compensation ceilings thereafter.

In security and defense, the extension of Defense Secretary Robert Gates means the continuation of military aggression and torture. CIA appointee Leon Panetta, though touted to bring about change, already retracted earlier statements saying no to “rendition,” or sending captured “terror suspects” to allied countries for interrogation, while his condemnation of torture has also become muted.

In line with this, torture perpetrators in Guantanamo will no longer be prosecuted as US forces are extending their stay in Iraq , all contrary to Obama’s election pledge. In turn, US Afghan deployment is even expanding by 30,000--a move that is a continuation of the strategy of encirclement of Iran , China and Russia . As they say, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

It is very clear that the election exercise and the “change” it regularly introduces is part of a system of manipulation of the electorate’s state-of-mind. If, in the finance realm, there’s a manipulated boom-and-bust cycle while the ruling elite stays the same throughout, there is also a similar cycle in the popular psyche that is being manipulated to rein in discontent. That the US elite was able to get overwhelming public support for the global aggression of George W. Bush, as well as, his corporatist policies (remember deregulation, Enron, WorldCom, etc.) is undeniable proof of this. So now, even without Dubya around, the US still suffers from the diversion of its resources for war that has enriched its ruling class’ defense and other investments.

To forestall popular discernment of the truth and a consequential rebellion of the people, especially from the poorest of them all, the Blacks, the rise of a new Black “Hope” was imperative. The financial collapse was then timed to make Obama’s ratings zoom against his Bush-backed opponent. And so the grandest presidential proclamation was staged in all of US history, with the pomp and pageantry no different from what Soviet rulers or Kim Jong Il stage to keep their people mesmerized with the glory of power.

In like manner, what works with the US population for the continuance of this political-economic status quo should also work for the US Establishment’s diplomatic needs across the globe. Africa ’s Blacks, for instance, cannot avoid empathy for a US Black president, and this becomes timely in light of the ramping up of China-US competition for that continent’s resources.

Here at home, one can see how simple, brilliant, and useful the myth of “Obama as Messiah” is when looking at the Filipino media and public. First, it provides a believable yarn of change in Washington with a non-white and multi-cultural president. Second, it becomes so much harder to explain the history of continuing US aggression, as well as, its exploitation and domination of the Philippines and the Third World--a task that was made much easier by George W. Bush’s arrogant imperialism and globalization, and his failures both globally and in the Philippines .

Now, the Philippine ruling elite are taking advantage of this Obama myth to the hilt to make the Filipinos forget their collusion with Bush in all his failed policies.

Needless to say, Gloria, Edsa II and all its attendant failures are part of the Bush tragedy. I don’t think the Obama government and the US Establishment would want Gloria to tag along and drag their international image down with her. Although there was a polite invitation for Gloria (snagged perhaps by her operatives), they made sure there was no mistake for their new Black knight-in-shining-armor to be tarnished by Gloria’s “kiss of death.” Gloria has served her purpose in a decade of plundering. She’s ready for the dustbin; although this should not yet be mistaken as a US move to oust her. The World Bank exposé which the US buttressed is meant to keep Gloria and her term extension off-balanced. Obama will want Philippine elections to put up a “new” hope for “change,” the way he was installed.

Strangely, the only other Filipino politico invited to Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast was the NPC’s Chiz Escudero. That’s clearly a sign he is being groomed to be a new Gloria Arroyo for the US . Chiz looks educated, young and cute, the way the “economist” Gloria Arroyo was presented in 2001. I’m sure Chiz and his Boss are already salivating on the prospects. As such, Chiz has kept his nose clean, keeping away from the Blue Ribbon Committee in order not to step on any toes, including Gloria’s; while his Boss smoothens the alliance for the “change.” So young, yet so “tuta.” With him and his ilk, there’s no hope of freedom from the Filipinos’ economic enslavement.

(Tune in to 1098AM: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. / Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. / Saturday, 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Destiny Cable, Channel 3, Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with the topic, “Layoffs: Workers demand solutions;” also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

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