Thursday, July 16, 2009

Obama blues

“To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist,” declared Obama in his inaugural address to rousing cheers from people across the globe. Later on, when the incorrigibly corrupt, deceitful and oppressive Gloria Arroyo couldn’t get as much as a phone conversation with him, Pinoys cheered even more. Some opposition politicians, in hopes of being anointed by the US someday, also showed their obeisance by effusing over the new US leader’s statement. All that enthusiasm was, of course, only the height of naiveté, if not downright delusion, for what I had long expected of Obama is now coming to fore: He’s more of Bush--just more beguiling.

On July 30, 2009, Gloria will get to wear a magic halo on her head simply by being received at Obama’s White House. Speculation is rife over how she got that long coveted encounter finally calendared. Is it because of Gloria’s cozy relations with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? Or is it the threat of the growing influence of China in our region? For one, I don’t think the US conducts business on the basis of personal ties; although it is important. On the other hand, the US-China rivalry is no longer new and nothing drastic has changed that would suddenly require a personal meeting between the US and Philippine presidents.

Both China and the US already have a modus vivendi in that it’s economic fair game for them in the Philippines , with the US having a slight edge due to its military presence. A prime example is the Transco privatization packaged by the Carlyle group, which the China State Grid took over courtesy of the Razon and FVR-linked Monte Oro Corp., with all parties merrily raking in, using the nation’s power transmission lines. In other instances where competition can be fierce, the US will simply scuttle, through its various assets in local media and the academe, Chinese “advancements” like the ZTE-NBN and NorthRail projects or the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking between China and the Philippines .

Since none of these cases ever necessitated the US president to receive Gloria who, on the other hand, had to run to China frequently to explain her gouging up on “down payments” without delivering anything, what could be behind this latest caper?

Despite presidential candidate Jojo Binay’s reported warning about an attempt to re-establish US military bases in the Philippines, more specifically in Mindanao, I seriously doubt if the US still needs any formal arrangement since there is already an existing chain of its radar and monitoring facilities dotting Southern Mindanao, along with thousands of its troops, whose pictures pop up regularly on our papers’ front pages, ostensibly giving medical assistance or building school houses, but actually conducting military operations.

The truth is, there are still a few things the US covets here, which it has yet to get its hands on: The Liguasan Marsh natural gas and Sulu Sea oil.

During his time, George W. Bush tried to overtly obtain these via the highly treasonous Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD) that sought to carve out the BangsaMoro Juridical Entity (BJE). Through it, the MILF was to be granted its own territory, plus control of all its resources, including the seas with its own navy. Such a deal, which almost came into effect, was signed and sealed last year until an overwhelming tsunami of popular and military opposition compelled Arroyo to allow the Supreme Court to strike it down for lack of public consultation.

But since the MoA-AD’s freezing last year, the MILF and its “rogue” elements have been on the warpath with over 40 attacks, causing numerous deaths and displacing well over 200,000 Filipino Muslims and Christians--which the US has never condemned. Recently, as terror bombings began spreading anew, calls for a resumption of “peace talks,” egged on by US Ambassador Kristie Kenney, have also re-emerged.

When Obama agreed to receive Arroyo, he and his people knew the political significance this tacit seal of approval brought. They also knew that given Obama’s inaugural address, there will be a great dent on his reputation once his renowned smile beams down on the diminutive tyrant. Gloria, meanwhile, sees this as an ecstatic moment to blunt the continuing crash in her approval and trust ratings, now at below -30. Why, it could even be construed as an approval of her Charter change (Cha-cha) efforts so long as elections are held, with Cha-cha going for federalism to unblock the road toward the MoA-AD’s BJE.

Of course, Kenney says the US expects “free and fair elections” in 2010. But why doesn’t she mention “presidential elections” nor does she say anything about a “proclamation,” both of which are expected loopholes for Mrs. Arroyo? But then again, she might be thinking: Why go through that fuss when Gloria has already ushered in an era of massive election cheating, to be made worse by Melo and Rafanan’s automation foray unless an insider squeals again?

Gloria Arroyo is definitely the US’ kind of leader--infinitely “buyable,” “blackmail-able,” and “coup-able”; a perfect cheat who has moreover killed (in the Edsa III massacre) and is willing to kill more of her own people to stay in power, to continue her entire cabal’s plunderous reign.

No one in the opposition can be that kind of perfect minion just yet. So with that invitation, Obama has undoubtedly given Filipinos a slap in the face. And since all we can say is, “Thanks, we needed that,” let’s now get on with the business of tirelessly exposing Obama, Kenney, Gloria et al. till the final revolution comes!

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