Once a "Peace Process" becomes an end in itself, no treachery however vile, should ever persuade the "peacemakers" that their "friend" is actually their enemy. Philippine Commentary talks about the astounding lengths to which the Arroyo government went to conceal that their "peace partners" had taken the negotiators themselves hostage.
All the way back from Baguio City today, I was listening to radio coverage of the detention by Moro National Liberation Front TERRORIST-INSURGENTS of 25 high ranking government "peace negotiators" including Undersecretary for the "Peace" Process Ramon Santos and Marine General Benjamin Dolorfino. I almost rammed a tricycle illegally plying the national away after my blood boiled over listening to "Peace Talks" head honcho JESUS DUREZA, and 3rd Marine Division Commandant Juancho [inaudible], make light of the whole thing, saying there was even a festive mood in Panamao, Jolo, after the terrorists slaughtered a calf in what was surely some kind of nasty celebration of the government's utter humiliation. Both claimed "no real harm has been done." All 25 detainees were released after being held for two days by the terrorist gang of Ustadz Malik, a Nur Misuari supporter. ...
NO HARM DONE? After a bunch of gun-wielding insurgent terror warlords detain the Major General that heads the National Capitol Region Command, a bunch of his colonels, as well as the Cabinet minister in charge of the peace process? No harm done!?
I think it's time for the Filipinos to start reading up on DHIMMITUDE.
Because that is what the Philippine Government and people have fallen into, thanks to the head dhimmi herself, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who started this fatal trend with the Angelo de la Cruz capitulation and ransom payoff to Iraqi terrorists, and continuing with her incredibly lame-brained leadership in a peace process whose only reason for existence is to claim it exists.
To lend credence to this fantastic story, the Arroyo government today paid $9,000 in "goodwill money" to the Muslim faction which detained her peace delegation, according to Philippine Commentary's new post. This shows nothing can be gained by force that cannot be more readily surrendered by farce. The Phlippine Inquirer now says that the Peace Delegation wanted to make amends for the deaths of their peace partners who turned out to be members of the Abu Sayyaf. "Sulu Gov. Benjamin Loong said the money was never intended as ransom. ... Dolorfino said the cash assistance for the families of the slain MNLF members was 'done according to Muslim practices.'" Would those practices include adopting the convenient identity of the moment?
For the first time, a top military official yesterday acknowledged that the nine alleged Abu Sayyaf members killed by Marines in an encounter in Patikul, Sulu, on Jan. 18 were MNLF members.
“Actually they were mistakenly identified (to be Abu Sayyaf members). The MNLF admitted it already, those were their men,” Cedo said on the phone. Navy and Marine officials previously insisted those killed were Abu Sayyaf members. A Marine spokesperson said the MNLF leadership might not be aware that the Front was being infiltrated by Abu Sayyaf bandits.
Here's some YouTube footage of US efforts in Panamao, Sulu, taken some months ago, in the area where those peace negotiators were taken hostage. Note the primitive conditions everywhere and how this US Special Forces soldier hopes the locals would turn to haberdashery and tailoring to earn a few extra bucks.
The key skill of any demagogue is the ability to promise everything to everybody even when the promises are contradictory, just as it is essential for the compleat swindler to be able to sign every check, whatever the amount, regardless of the prospects of its encashment. They can do this because they plan on offloading the consequences on somebody, even if that somebody doesn't know it yet. In the case of Arroyo, those "somebodys" are likely to be the Filipino people and the United States taxpayers. Thus, she can remain popular with her Leftist allies by throwing them Lance Corporal Daniel Smith while secretly welcoming American aid. Similarly, she can remain in good graces with the Peace Lobby and the International Community by appeasing not the best -- but the worst -- of her peace partners. The honorable Muslim insurgents by definition will refrain from making inordinate demands. Too bad for them. They have missed out on the gravy train that is to be supplied by the hapless Filipino and almost equally hapless American taxpayer. If by the time she accepts her international peace prize, all hell has broken loose in Mindanao, that would be so yesterday. Move on folks. Still hung up on that?
And if all of this sounds foolish, consider how much more foolish commitment to the Peace Process with the Palestinian Authority must sometimes seem. Item: U.S. moving ahead with plans to train Palestinian security forces
The United States is planning to spend millions of dollars to train Palestinian security forces as part of a renewed effort to strengthen Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. American, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Monday that they're fine-tuning a proposal that would send thousands of Palestinian forces loyal to Abbas to neighboring Jordan and Egypt for advanced training. The initiative is intended to provide Abbas with critical support in his political and military confrontation with the well-armed Hamas hard-liners who've controlled the Palestinian Authority since elections early last year. The militant Islamist Hamas and Abbas' Fatah faction have fought in the Gaza Strip in recent weeks.
But there's disagreement over whether to provide Abbas' forces with arms. Critics have charged that military aid could end up fueling, not containing, the street fighting, which has claimed more than 100 Palestinian lives in the last two months.
A cynical observer might be forgiven for thinking that the only plausible purpose for pouring weapons into Palestine was to ensure the fighting continues. Fighting by Fatah against Hamas. Fighting until one side wins, or preferably, until both sides lose. But in the language of diplomacy, the weapons are being supplied to advance the Peace Process. Orwell may be gone, but he is not forgotten.