Saturday, November 18, 2006

Kim

President Bush was urged at the APEC summit in Hanoi to get more involved in fighting terrorism in Mindanao.


President Arroyo urged for a greater US involvement in the peace efforts in Mindanao by including more economic and military aid to promote greater presence in the fight against terrorism in the Southeast Asian region.

Mrs. Arroyo twice made the pitch before US President George W. Bush on the sidelines of the 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit here. The first was at the meeting between the US president and the heads of state of APEC members from Southeast Asia, and the second, at the "pull-aside" one-on-one meeting with Bush. ...

"Mindanao has all the ingredients of a fresh global crusade to defeat terror, to foster understanding and interfaith solidarity, to build self-determination, to fight ignorance and poverty," Bunye said, quoting Mrs. Arroyo during her bilateral meeting with Bush at the Hanoi International Convention Center.

Most statements made by Third World heads of state on the subject of terrorism contain a large domestic political component as well as a covetous glance at resources which they hope the US will send their way. And one of the fears expressed about American involvement in the terrorism fight in the Philippines is that US-provided capabilities are actually used to spy on domestic political opponents and resources are just plain stolen. The term apparently applied to the process of theft is "conversion". "Conversion" takes place when the fuel for Philippine Navy ships is sold on the open market leaving the warships tied up at dock instead of on patrol, leaving the seas to the Abu Sayyaf. "Conversion" may be loosely applied to the practice of using combat helicopters as VIP transport or for joyrides. Of course the most painful sort of "conversion" occurs when troops find themselves under fire from guns and ammunition sold from their own armory.

The absence of large scale regional State support for terrorist activity is undoubtedly the saving grace in the situation. If Malaysia or Indonesia were hostile to the Philippines and poured men and money into fueling unrest in Mindanao there would be little doubt that an army bled dry by "conversion" would be hard pressed to deal with it. But this happy circumstance is a product of the inherent historical legacy of the region rather than the achievement of statecraft. If the Philippines were bordered by Syria, Iran and Pakistan instead of Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand things might be very different.

One promising initiative is the attempt to take back the madrassas or Islamic schools from radical teachers. Readers will recall that sudden oil wealth enabled the Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia to dominate the supply of textbooks and teachers to madrassas. The idea is that by supplying the textbooks and teachers themselves, ASEAN governments can take back the madrassas from radical influence. It is one area where ASEAN has a real hope of success, although if the past is any guide the radicals will simply flood the zone and "convert" any foreign aid aimed at stopping them to their own uses. The Asian News reports:

Leading Muslim religious leaders from Southeast Asian Nations will intensify the fight against extremism and terrorism by empowering moderates in the Muslim world. Discussion about what means to employ to stem extremists will be the focus of an encounter between Muslim leaders of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), to be held in Manila from 22 to 24 November.

So far, so good and then this heart-dropping paragraph.

A UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Commissioner, Basman continued: “Every Muslim must stand up and join the campaign to drown out the screaming voices of the extremists..." Participants at next week’s meeting include academics, women and exponents of religion-based youth communities from Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Also expected are members of the Moro National Liberation Front, Islamic separatists in the southern Philippines with who Manila signed a peace treaty in 1996 after decades of guerrilla warfare.

There are many tasks which semi-functional Third World governments can undertake on their own. But there are certain other jobs for which they are critically dependent on the United States. One of these is suppressing State Sponsors of Terrorism, something Third World governments are wholly incapable of doing themselves. They are also dependent on America for force multipliers they are unable to buy or operate themselves. These includes aerial surveillance, ELINT, SIGINT and combat logistics, including medical evacuation. US medical evacuation is particularly prized because the local rotary wing assets may be at the golf course ferrying VIPs. That's "conversion".

But the question of how effectively Americans can operate in the absurdities of the Third World must be open to question. It is certainly possible, but it requires people who know and are able to beat the local cheats at their own game. Cultural knowledge and language skills are essential, but they are only the beginning. Some people may find that they need to build a network of contacts within host countries who are personally loyal to them in order to get anything done. All too often normal Americans make the mistake of going through the front door of the Minister's office to get cooperation. Ministers will tell you what you want to hear; and he will tell the next man something different. Cooperation is often better obtained by building up the trust of key persons who will perform tasks, not for their country or America, but out of a loyalty to you in ways that many Westerners find hard to understand.

But Americans who persist eventually do and the day finally comes when they are equally at home dealing with poor men swathed in the rags that keep out the oily mist of grit and diesel exhaust in which they must stand the all day and looking down from some high apartment window at the snake-line of European luxury cars vaguely visible through the smog, their yellow lights pausing at the port-cocher as they unload their jeweled cargos of local politicians and dubious businessmen at a fine restaurant; knowing that terrorists who threaten all that he knows and loves, all that he has sworn to protect -- are out there. And that he will defeat them.

So thus the Search is ended. For the merit that I have acquired, the River of the Arrow is here. It broke forth at our feet, as I have said. I have found it. Son of my Soul, I have wrenched my Soul back from the Threshold of Freedom to free thee from all sin - as I am free, and sinless! Just is the Wheel! Certain is our deliverance! Come!' He crossed his hands on his lap and smiled, as a man may who has won salvation for himself and his beloved.
-- Kim, Rudyard Kipling

42 Comments:

Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

President Arroyo urged for a greater US involvement in the peace efforts in Mindanao by including more economic and military aid to promote greater presence in the fight against terrorism in the Southeast Asian region.

In other words, the Philippines is too good for the US having bases at Clark and Subic, and one kidnapping in Iraq is enough for GMA to pull her 50 troops out, but our money is green enough for them.

11/18/2006 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

Islamic terrorism in the islands is a small issue to the US. After all, this brand of Islamo-nutcase doesn't have the oil money to finance operations against the US.

Indeed the US will have to expand the WOT, but not now. Also, the rest of the Western world is going to have to deal with Islamo-nutballs too. The Flips have been dealing with terrorism for a long time. Just wait till the cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys on the wrong side of the English channel have to seriously deal with radical Islam - their time is comming and it will be more than a few burned cars.

Believe it or not, the US isn't the only "satan" according to the Islamists.

11/18/2006 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

After all WC, those Generals have to keep up expensive Manhattan apartments, where else will the money come from?

Is Gen Carlos Garcia still free or is he under house arrest, or what? I thought he was convicted of the corruption charges against him. He should be vertically deployed in a sealed niche, visted every Todos Los Santos, oh sayang.

Hehehe, good thing the Philippines isn't surrounded by international terror sponsors. Some are still not far enough away Qaddaffi for example.

11/18/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

dla wrote:

Islamic terrorism in the islands is a small issue to the US. After all, this brand of Islamo-nutcase doesn't have the oil money to finance operations against the US.

Somalia has no proven oil reserves, yet all you have to do is hint there's a "Terrorist Training Camp" somewhere near the frontier with Ethiopia and WorldNetDaily and Debka go nuts. Same principle applies here. Gloria meets with Condi about the Training Camp Situation in Zamboanga. Dr. Rice asks her to take care of it. GMA replies, "Walang pera" and the US taxpayer gets ready to shell it out.

11/18/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

WC, first out off the tee and right on the green. The money the US invested in the two bases was enormous. The Phillipines are noticing that bad decisions have consequences.

11/19/2006 01:12:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

2164th wrote:

WC, first out off the tee and right on the green. The money the US invested in the two bases was enormous. The Phillipines are noticing that bad decisions have consequences.

To be sure, the Special Economic Zone (special because they actually practice capitalism) at the former Pubic Bay Naval Base is doing some modest export buisness ($1 billion per annum), but then again, if I prevailed at the city council and kicked the owners of the Des Moines marina out of town, I'd be doing some modest business sheltering sailboats in my new Puget Sound Special Harbor Zone too.

11/19/2006 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

WC, are you winking at me?

11/19/2006 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

2164th wrote:

WC, are you winking at me?

We don't like to call it a wink, we prefer to call it a post-Clinton Navy salute.

11/19/2006 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Wretchard had a nice paragraph - But Americans who persist eventually do and the day finally comes when they are equally at home dealing with poor men swathed in the rags that keep out the oily mist of grit and diesel exhaust in which they must stand the all day and looking down from some high apartment window at the snake-line of European luxury cars vaguely visible through the smog, their yellow lights pausing at the port-cocher as they unload their jeweled cargos of local politicians and dubious businessmen at a fine restaurant; knowing that terrorists who threaten all that he knows and loves, all that he has sworn to protect -- are out there. And that he will defeat them.

A big flaw in American-Asian dealings is our preference for dealing with Ruling Elites and believing what they tell us rather than be connected to the facts and to the condition and motivations of the Asian up on that 17th floor flat looking down through the dim haze at the wealthy few. We also are vulnerable to those westernized Elite's ability to sense our concerns and use them to their enrichment.

Islamic Terrorism is actually way down as a concern in Asia. Seen as a minor problem they have been managing for decades. At the last Asian Summit in China, where the critical issues were globalization, currency value, China's Rise and dominance, what economic allliances made sense - a collective WTF?? was the reaction when Bush came in and fixated on Terrorism! TErrorism! Evildoers! Terrorism!
But while dismissing Bush as a one-note buffoon, the Elites still saw a way to make money, more helicopters for Elites VIP chauffer use. "Yes indeedy, we have horrible terrible terror issues and please America, give more untracked money to your friends in capitals who speak perfect English. We love you. No shit."
We appear a little smarter this Summit, but only because Bush is a Free Trade ideologue&true believer doing his best to ignore the damage unrestricted free trade and Open Borders is doing to his people aside from Owner Class Americans and "middleman elites".

Some aid is needed - but we should be very wary it doesn't disappear down the usual Asian corruption ratholes, but are carefully accounted for. And our long term interests are frankly better served if we put our aid not into counterterrorism but predominantly into development that helps China's neighbors from becoming vassal states. And to do that, we need to understand what that rag-swathed man of the masses hopes for.

11/19/2006 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

cedarford wrote:

At the last Asian Summit in China, where the critical issues were globalization, currency value, China's Rise and dominance, what economic allliances made sense - a collective WTF?? was the reaction when Bush came in and fixated on Terrorism! TErrorism! Evildoers! Terrorism!

No doubt there would have been a 'collective WTF??' had Bush pushed for air marshalls, reinforced cockpit doors, and a ban on box cutters in his 2001 Inaugural Address as well. It will be quite an amazing thing to see, the shift in priorities, the first time al-Qaeda takes out a single-hulled Chinese oil tanker smack dab in the Malacca Strait.

11/19/2006 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger R2K said...

You mean his one stop in that country?

11/19/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

OT - There may be continuing conversations about Iraq, but I think we are all waiting for the recommendations and report of the Baker-Hamilton Commission.

We have had some hints.

1. The message that our policy must change to demanding the noble purple fingered shitheads better step up or we will, in phases, withdraw our support - even if that means noble shithead-on-shithead Civil War.
2. That we best end the stupid Bush-Neocon idea that having dialogue with nations we have problems with Only Rewards Them!. Attempting to isolate regimes instead of engage, with invasion the only approved of strategy if others who engage them fail has not worked out well.
3. A likely recommendation of the reversal of the disastrous Bremer decision - which is now unfortunately a Shiite-dominated Iraqi goverment call, not ours, but a recommendation nevertheless to repair part of the damage we inflicted on Iraq and ourselves by supercharging the Insurgency.
4. Some Federalism being strongly recommended, particularly in local ministers and officials, especially police - being predominantly the ethnicity of the local population. And a federal distribution of oil revenues where regions are allocated a fair share.
5. Ending the Bush refusal to address larger Regional concerns - namely the #1 issue - Israel. Lee Hamilton did hint that the Baker-Hamilton group will say that the question of the Israeli-Palestine conflict will be central in their report and Bush may have a hard time ending uncritical support of his "Special Friend".

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061117/OPINION/611170387/1002

One area where the recommendations of the ISG may run into resistance from Bush himself is in Hamilton's answer to the last question from the audience at DePauw. "Do we have to rethink our relations with the state of Israel? That issue is at the top of the Arab agenda." Essentially, Hamilton said yes, the strongest criticism of America is its pro-Israel stance. "In the Middle East, everything is connected to everything else, and at the core is the Israeli-Palestinian question. It's terribly important for the U.S. to deal with every aspect of this, refugees, borders, Jerusalem. The U.S. has to get seriously involved in the Middle East beyond Iraq. We have to adjust our relations with Israel to move the process. This does not mean we'll change our close relations with Israel, but we do have to adjust our relations."

Supposedly, AIPAC is in a mild panic because both Baker and Hamilton have bucked the policies of Israel in the past when they believed they damaged America's vital interests. Same with Vernon Jordan.

Amusingly, reports are being made that the Bushies are rushing to develop plans for Iraq and the Region that they can present as alternatives to the Baker-Hamiliton Commission. Isn't that special! After 3-5 years of "staying the course" the Bushies are now actively thinking of other possibilities in case they find any of the Commission's ideas unpalatable. How commendable!

11/19/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

About twenty five years ago I lived in Thailand and my impression was that the Thais would provide "workarounds" for Americans who were often congenitally incapable of paying bribes. I suffered from that condition and when I wanted a visa extension had to jump numerous additional bureaucratic hoops. I had a Thai tutor at the time, and took her with me to see a Thai official. I was rather surprised to see her -- I believe the technical term is grovel -- before this gentleman. Upon leaving his office I said, "Gee, that was, well, mm." And she angrily shoot back, "I know!" like it was my fault. Which it was (I was there to witness it).

I knew an American "Merchant of Death" who felt he was at a distinct disadvantage to his French counterpart because he couldn't pay bribes (maybe pick-up the tab at dinner--if the lawyers approve) and he feared becoming a "Merchant of Manslaughter" or "Involuntary homicide." Except in the end the Thai's would ask themselves "Who you gonna call, the French or the Americans?" And so he would make his sale.

Much of the world resents American because we are here to witness it, and yet they like having us as their freinds.

11/19/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"5. Ending the Bush refusal to address larger Regional concerns - namely the #1 issue - Israel." = "5. Ending...Israel."?

11/19/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...and yet they like having us as their freinds."

That's the ol' "sawin' off heads" trumping bureaucracy" analysis at work, again.

11/19/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

3case,

I would say "sawing off heads" is resentment at work (an extreme form, to be sure).

11/19/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it all were only that simple, our tsking and saying countries are on their own now because they rebuffed us when we needed them and were helping them before, and, anyway, they’re corrupt and irresponsible. The security and stability of the smaller nations and that of our own are knotted together when imperial menaces are on the prowl, like Soviet Marxism before or the Islamist version now, and both somewhat hideously allied today for maximum corrosion of the western world. Then there's China looming larger and larger. When terrorist activity and political subversion were stories filed from overseas in the WaPo and CSM and not from NYC and DC, we thought we had the luxury of picking and choosing who and where we lent support against groups and movements. No longer.

The balance is a delicate one, though, between serving others' anti-terror interests which are ultimately our own or being a major chump. Wretchard’s inclination that we need to insert more people on the ground in regions of concern (everywhere but Hope Bay, Antarctica) to network and pay off dividends sometimes years later is on the money, but hasn’t that been the CIA’s job all along? Where are our people and local knowledge? Looks as if our distrust and liberalization of US intell agencies over the past several decades and the notion that we had a peace dividend to spend domestically in the nineties will have been our downfall. We can give money and assets to countries overseas, but will only get a small return for it since we don’t have enough agents in the thick of it. Still, to me, it’s less of a worry that the Phillipinos may misappropriate a good portion of assets we send them than how there seems to be no scramble to quadruple the size and pro-Americanize the CIA and other field agencies in order to get many more of our people overseas and working smart with foreign nationals against terror, resurgent -isms and ascendent China. Their work could smoothe the way for a bigger American business presence and mutually beneficial economic development, security and prosperity going hand in hand.

We can’t simply retreat behind walls. The extra security they’d give us would cost us our view of what’s coming at us. The US has to be forward deployed with troops and legions of operatives in the field on a permanent basis.

11/19/2006 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

I do notice that the 'realists' do not really have a way of 'realistically' dealing with this 'real world'. Since they are the main cause of the current problem, which dates back decades, one really must ask: why did they not handle it THEN? The ISG is full of such big thinkers wanting to state such complex problems and come up with... well quite simplistic solutions. And then when those simplistic solutions are applied things go from bad to worse. If just *one* of those great thinkers had given prediction to the USSR going up in a puff of smoke in the years and decades to its actually doing so, they might be worth listening to... but as it is? They try to wash their hands of the stink of their policies and then try to foist more of the same off on us *now*. Really, they have seen no war that they wouldn't like to get some extra generations as a side to it and thusly never end the problem.

But their so splendid world of 'Rational Nation States' went by the wayside some time ago and not a single one of them actually formulated anything to address non-Nation State actors using warfare outside of the legitimacy of the rules of war set up by Nation States. Their answer was to *not address the problem*. And so they wish to run AGAIN from death and tyranny and, thusly, put a maximum price on supporting the fight against same. That price, by the way, has gone DOWN and sharply over the decades that this idea was put forth. By putting a price on such we have put a liberty and freedom up to the highest bidder in terms of lives and blood. Go over that and the US turns around and runs.

Unfortunately if distributed, non-Nation State entities were so very amenable to Nation State organs and concepts, they would have been stopped by *now*. And every time I hear of 'Realists in Diplomacy' I am reminded of 'shuttle diplomacy'... perhaps this time we can load them all onto the space shuttle and give them 90 days in which to examine the Earth and the smallness of themselves, although I doubt that would do any good for Kissinger....

So, what to do? Our Navy is pretty busy in its support role and sending attack subs after wooden supply vessels is pretty much a waste of time.... ditto aircraft carrier battlegroups or even single ships. The Navy can be used to hunt pirates if it has nothing better to do... but this is not one of those eras of slack for the US Navy.

On the ground we send some 'advisors' and 'trainers' and such, but even without Iraq and Afghanistan and homeland defense, there are limits to that both in terms of number and commitment. Something about 'lack of supply infrastructure'... well, the good people of the Philippines wanted us to leave and we nodded and left. You want to defend yourself without our help? Go right ahead.

So, while I do decry the spread of Imperial Islam looking to destabilize parts of Nations and then stepping in to take those over and exploit everyone and everything there to fund the *next* venture, I do find myself at a loss for a Nation that wanted us *out* just a short time ago, while we pointed out problems in the region, and then asking us to examine those self-same problems we pointed out and a few others that have grown up in the mean time. One cannot be on all parts of the spectrum foreign policy-wise of being BOTH Friend and Neutral to the US. The price to be paid for vacillation is in disinterest in your affairs... which you wanted when all was bright and sunny and ignored the storm clouds that you had been warned about. And now that the storm is coming... now you seek help? Will it be long lasting or 'just long enough to do something we can't do and then go away because we have no need of you until the next crisis and please come and bail us out of that'? That, too, is a price of freedom.

And as for the 'realists' and Iraq... well, looking at the underlying problems and such, I found that there is a way to actually stabilize Iraq, but it requires the US to actually do this thing known as attacking enemies... which if a news report can be substantiated might just be something we want to think about.

11/19/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

How come the lovely and vivacious President Gloria doesn't take her snake oil show to Australia? Since they're next-door neighbors and Australia is rich and all?

Isn't Australia acknowledged as a world power in that part of the world? They *were* on the winning side in WW2. And they *have* gone into a couple of places and stomped on Bad Guys.

Or is she also trying to extort funds from the Aussies at the same time, and we're just not hearing about it because it's so far away?

11/19/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

... there seems to be no scramble to quadruple the size and pro-Americanize the CIA and other field agencies in order ...

If you held the budgetary purse-strings, would you give a bunch of people more money who have been leaking your secrets to your enemies, trying to bring you down or to get you impeached?

I thought the general consensus is that the CIA is so riddled with treasonous incompetents that we need to close it down, zero it out, and start all over again.

Hell, I'd rather give the money straight to Gloria to buy shoes with, than puff up the CIA's budget.

11/19/2006 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Make a new agency, Nahncee. That'd be better. But to think we can survive/ thrive without having our LOYAL human assets deployed here and there and everywhere is post-Cold War stand-down, modern out-sourcing think, and post-history indulgence that's gotten us to 9-11 with more to come.

11/19/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

nahncee wrote:

How come the lovely and vivacious President Gloria doesn't take her snake oil show to Australia? Since they're next-door neighbors and Australia is rich and all?

Because Australia never owned a colony, so there is no collective guilt to feed on and try to milk for reparations. She could go to Japan and mention the three years of occupation, but they probably feel the B-29 attacks evened things up on that score.

11/19/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

For all of you out there who believe that Islam rotates on it's oil and that to gin up an alternative fuel source would obviate Islams threat to the world, please explain the thousand years of agression toward all other religions when they didn't have a drop of oil?

11/19/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger George Bruce said...

Get involved in the Phillipines? Unilaterally, without a UN mandate? No! All I can say is "No blood for (palm) oil." Weren't these the same Phillipinos who pulled their small, ineffective and entirely symbolic contingent out of Iraq at the first sign of trouble?

11/19/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/19/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

I am hereby volunteering for foreign service. If my government is interesting in setting up and financially maintaining/insuring a very successful business front, I will spread it's largesse and develop said long term "relationships and assets" that are needed in future intrigues.

I will await the knock on my door.

11/19/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Whit,

You're a true patriot with interesting times to come, if you're selected for service despite your apostrophe violation. Even Jame's Bond was turned down.

11/19/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Have got to get back to work, but wanted to say that Whit’s posts at the Elephant Bar are always worth the read and that Wretchard’s prose as in the above piece makes geopolitical conundrum almost beautiful to ponder.

11/19/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Sorry Catherine:
Did my research lately on the use of the apostrophe. I read that the possessive form was stronger than the contraction therefore it deserved the '.

11/19/2006 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

Alright I will eat humble pie. I did a yahoo search on apostrophe use and I am shamefully corrected. (Although, I did somewhere read the argument for the possessive being the stronger...)

11/19/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Whit, sorry- was just referencing the last thread which you obviously didn't read completely to the letter and memorize! I don:t actually care 'bout punctuation,

About your 11:45 comment, do you mean to say that inserting our ass(ets) into foreign lands via our government is a bad idea?

11/19/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Catherine - when we're attacked again, I want the CIA to be just as helpless and ignorant as the rest of us are.

11/19/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Nahncee,

The CIA proved effective these past few years in helping take down a country's leader and his party. If only we could convince the Agency that Ahmadinejad and al Qaeda are Republican.

11/19/2006 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

george bruce wrote:

Weren't these the same Phillipinos who pulled their small, ineffective and entirely symbolic contingent out of Iraq at the first sign of trouble?

The worst part of the pullout was that it was demanded by the kidnappers of a Mr. Angelo de la Cruz, and Arroyo caved, as well as shelled out $15 million through back channels. No telling how many other kidnappings this encouraged. God knows I was pissed on that day.

11/19/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/19/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN

11/19/2006 04:29:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

President Reagan telling the British Parliament how to win the Cold War - in 1982:

http://millercenter.virginia.edu/scripps/diglibrary/prezspeeches/reagan/rwr_1982_0608.html

...
There are threats now to our freedom, indeed to our very existence, that other generations could never even have imagined.

There is first the threat of global war. No President, no Congress, no Prime Minister, no Parliament can spend a day entirely free of this threat. And I don't have to tell you that in today's world the existence of nuclear weapons could mean, if not the extinction of mankind, then surely the end of civilization as we know it...

If history teaches anything it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. We see around us today the marks of our terrible dilemma -- predictions of doomsday, anti[war] demonstrations, ... At the same time we see totalitarian forces in the world who seek subversion and conflict around the globe to further their barbarous assault on the human spirit. What, then, is our course? Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms? ...

Sir Winston Churchill refused to accept the inevitability of war or even that it was imminent. He said, ``I do not believe that [the enemy] desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries.''

Well, this is precisely our mission today: to preserve freedom as well as peace. It may not be easy to see; but I believe we live now at a turning point...

Any system is inherently unstable that has no peaceful means to legitimize its leaders. In such cases, the very repressiveness of the state ultimately drives people to resist it, if necessary, by force...

Day after day we were treated to stories and film slanted toward the brave freedom-fighters battling oppressive government forces in behalf of the silent, suffering people of that tortured country.

And then one day those silent, suffering people were offered a chance to vote, to choose the kind of government they wanted. Suddenly the freedom-fighters ... were exposed for what they really are -- ... guerrillas who want power for themselves, and their backers, not democracy for the people. They threatened death to any who voted, and destroyed hundreds of buses and trucks to keep the people from getting to the polling places. But on election day, the people ... braved ambush and gunfire, and trudged for miles to vote for freedom.

They stood for hours in the hot sun waiting for their turn to vote. Members of our Congress who went there as observers told me of a women who was wounded by rifle fire on the way to the polls, who refused to leave the line to have her wound treated until after she had voted. A grandmother, who had been told by the guerrillas she would be killed when she returned from the polls, and she told the guerrillas, ``You can kill me, you can kill my family, kill my neighbors, but you can't kill us all.'' The real freedom-fighters ... turned out to be the people of that country -- the young, the old, the in-between...

In the Middle East now the guns sound once more... We must all work to stamp out the scourge of terrorism that in the Middle East makes war an ever-present threat...

Some argue that we should encourage democratic change in right-wing dictatorships, but not in [the enemy's] regimes. Well, to accept this preposterous notion -- as some well-meaning people have -- is to invite the argument that ... they should be allowed an undisturbed reign of terror over their own citizens. We reject this course...

The objective I propose is quite simple to state: to foster the infrastructure of democracy, ... which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means...

What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term -- the march of freedom and democracy which will leave [the enemy] on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people...

Our military strength is a prerequisite to peace, but let it be clear we maintain this strength in the hope it will never be used, for the ultimate determinant in the struggle that's now going on in the world will not be bombs and rockets, but a test of wills and ideas, a trial of spiritual resolve, the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish, the ideals to which we are dedicated...

During the dark days of the Second World War ... Winston Churchill exclaimed about Britain's adversaries, "What kind of a people do they think we are?"... So, let us ask ourselves, "What kind of people do we think we are?" And let us answer, "Free people, worthy of freedom and determined not only to remain so but to help others gain their freedom as well."

11/19/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

One more quote from Reagan's speech:

[In 1955 Churchill] said, "When we look back on all the perils through which we have passed and at the mighty foes that we have laid low and all the dark and deadly designs that we have frustrated, why should we fear for our future? We have,come safely through the worst."

11/19/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The European Union has pledged to release 1 million euros (P64 million) for the reconstruction of areas destroyed by the hostilities in Mindanao, the European Commission delegation to the Philippines has announced.

EU’s initial contribution will be channeled to the Mindanao Trust Fund, which was established by the World Bank in July 2005 to provide grant funding to conflict-ravaged areas.


Rebuild Mindanao

11/19/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Don't listen to C4's drivel. Some of us in Asia are sane and cognizant enough of the Islamic threat. After all, the islamic terrorists are pretty active in my country, and the fact that they have accomplished jack here means nothing to the government.

There was a strong series of advertisements recently everywhere on keeping an eye out for unclaimed bulky items lying about, especially in public transport. Sometimes it borders on paranoia, but like they say, it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

I feel damn insulted by his claim that the ruling elites in my country are mere gold-diggers. Maybe elsewhere, but at least in Malaysia and Singapore, the elites know better, since their power is directly threatened by the rise of islamic fundamentalism.

And frankly speaking, if C4 wants the US to have more friends in the region, he'll do well to note that the US has to ditch his snotty attitude. And building prosperity effectively is via free trade, which he dismisses almost automatically.

Granted, it takes two hands to clap. The Phillipines, as Jacksonian noted, screwed themselves. And I would note that while the general attitude of the East and South East Asian population towards the US is quite negative, the leaders are all quite ready to grovel for the US to maintain a security presence in the region, even China(as much as it hates to admit it). The average man on the street just cannot reason his way through the implications of the US' role as security banker and what its removal would portend.

I blame it on general stupidity, and not enough imagination to think of just two words: 'What if?'

President Gloria Arroyo is the chosen representative of her people(scandals notwithstanding), and a more-or-less accurate mirror of the Phillipines and their attitudes. And frankly, I never had much respect for the crazy, impractical, overly-emotional filipinos. They had so much potential, yet they squandered it. And are still squandering it.

11/20/2006 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

The Wobbly Guy - And frankly speaking, if C4 wants the US to have more friends in the region, he'll do well to note that the US has to ditch his snotty attitude.

Of course Wobbly Guy shows his own wad of phlegm burbling up in the same post:

"And frankly, I never had much respect for the crazy, impractical, overly-emotional filipinos. They had so much potential, yet they squandered it. And are still squandering it."

Pot, meet kettle.

And building prosperity effectively is via free trade, which he dismisses almost automatically.

Free trade is screwing the American workers because there is only downside outside the false abundance of cheap goods at ChinaMart while our wealth goes overseas and our economic base is progressively gutted by free trade, outsourcing. All the gains from free trade on our side of the Pacific, outside cheaper goods for the proles - go to a small wealthy class in the American Ruling Elite.

I can understand why someone like Wobbly Guy loves free trade. 850 billion dollar trade deficits may be ruining the future of the future American workers, but that "levelizing" of labor makes workers in other countries and their Owner Class better off at US workers expense. If I was Malaysian or Chinese entrepreneur oriented, I would think free trade was absolutely great for my goals - but I am an American with plenty of friends and family not members of the Upper 2-3% of Americans - so I am not.

11/20/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Pot calling the kettle black doesn't make it any less true. So what? You're the one who needs it more, not me. Singaporeans are snotty, but we've kinda earned the right to be. Enlightened leadership, good politics and economics, envy of the world, blah blah blah.

You can only wish you have the leaders we have. Shrub isn't as stupid as everybody says he is, but he really isn't the caliber of my country's current Prime Minister either.

As for economic isolationism, the Austrians and monetarists have flogged that dead horse long enough. The proof of prosperity is in the absolute wealth of the population, not relative wealth. Take globalization away, and while you may, perhaps, reduce the relative wealth gap, I will place a high wager that absolute wealth will drop.

Although I do have to admit that protectionist policies practiced by China irk me quite a bit. Offends the fair player in me, though it probably hurts China's consumers more than the US.

11/21/2006 06:25:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger