Friday, November 26, 2010

Truth, the first casualty of war

"The first casualty of war — Truth.”

At any point in history, wars are being waged on a daily basis on one level or another. This week in the Philippine and world stage, several exchanges of fire and eruptions of abnormally high intensity conflict have been reported by both the local and international media and, as expected, have led to tremendous distortion and disinformation.

As the North and South Korea conflict literally exploded just days ago, most of Western and Philippine media pinned the blame perfunctorily on “Stalinist” and “provocative” North Korea, when the fact is, South Korea fired the first artillery shot.

As an Associated Press (AP) report noted: “The skirmish began when Pyongyang warned the South to halt military drills in the area, according to South Korean officials. When Seoul refused and began firing artillery into disputed waters, albeit away from the North Korean shore, the North retaliated by bombarding the small island of Yeonpyeong, which houses South Korean military installations...”

North Korea has been accused as “provocative” and “aggressive,” as well as an “agitator” in this exchange of artillery fire. But the AP report objectively revealed that it was South Korea’s military forces that made the provocation.

This bolsters the conviction of some analysts that it is one of the US’ attempts to start a much needed war in this region to revive its economy, in line with US military-political think tank RAND Corp.’s proposal of two years now.

It is important for the Filipino nation to be informed of the facts underlying this build-up of tension in the Korean peninsula. Our countrymen shouldn’t be victimized by war-mongering Western propaganda which seeks to draw the Philippines into “their” wars. By setting the record straight, we are reminding the Filipino people that there is never any positive payback for being sucked into conflicts or wars designed for other countries’ interests.

The lesson from the WWll for the Philippines is there for all to recall: Manila became the second most devastated city in the world when General MacArthur decided to use it as a center stage for his own glorification.

The American and Western economies are now in shambles, so their ruling classes desperately need to create wars (while profiteering at the same time) to distract attention from their domestic crises and their own culpability for these.

In the Philippines, the wars of the social classes continue: The ruling class, represented by the Yellow political regime and its variations (including the Liberal, Lakas, Kampi and Nacionalista parties, the Aquinorroyo leftists and civil society, such as Etta Rosales, Karina David, et al., plus the oligarchs, ad nauseum) is constantly pitted against the people.

This week, Pag-IBIG, HUDCC, NHA and other government home financing borrowers are rising up to oppose their eviction from homes which they have been amortizing for over a decade but have had difficulty keeping up with due to loss of employment, shrinking purchasing power (with the lion’s share gobbled up by power and water overcharging), and the oppressive financial policies of financing agencies raring to turn these homes over to foreign mortgage buyers such as Deutsche Bank. And this is something that mainstream media won’t be carrying in their news.

Rising political alternatives to the dominant Yellow regimes continue to be suppressed, as with the unjust detention of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV who embodies the hopes of millions of Filipinos. The Aquino III administration may be going through the motions of responding to the cries for justice and the early release of Trillanes, but its moves in sync with like-minded Yellow elements are making a joke of this. Make no mistake: Joker Arroyo is Yellow to the core and he opposes the amnesty for our patriotic and idealistic soldiers who stood against the Gloria Arroyo regime only to mask his own complicity in one of the darkest periods of Philippines history and an era of untold suffering for the Filipino masses.

As Joker tries to put up more legal obstacles in this Palace show, suspended lawyer Alan Paguia says: Amnesty is an unconditional, political act; it does not require any admission of guilt, and requires no apology (and certainly not to Gloria as the Joker demands).

Joker Arroyo is, among other things, a legislative enforcer of the ruling class. He gave away Meralco without any compensation to what the public paid for when the state expanded its franchise coverage by four times, and allowed the electricity consumers’ payments to pay for what the Lopezes owed the government for getting it.

It is even said that when those blessings were being bestowed, Joker’s most beloved was working as a lawyer for the other party, constantly whispering into the ears of one who would decades later utter the empty phrase, “Kung Bad Ka, Lagot Ka.”

Joker complains about Trillanes’ “mutiny” against a clearly corrupt regime, but wasn’t his Edsa I made possible by the mutiny of a segment of the military against Marcos for a shallower reason — the rivalry between Generals Ver and Ramos? The truth is indeed the first casualty of war, and more so in an information war.