Friday, July 13, 2007

De Capital of the Abu Sayyaf

Dean Bocobo at Philippine Commentary notes disapprovingly that the Left proposes to respond to the decapitation of ten Philippine Marines who were searching for a kidnapped Italian priest with "peace negotiations". That's right. Prove your moral authority. Stay calm. Don't lose your head. Oh wait ... Bocobo writes:

"The Philippines has SEVENTEEN decapitations to its name just this year alone, starting with those seven young men kidnapped for ransom and beheaded last April by the Abu Sayyaf's Al-Bader Parad. Add to that this past week's ten Marines who were beheaded and mutilated reportedly by Isnilon Totoni Hapilon, who has a five million dollar bounty on his sorry head."

Oh well.

Nothing follows.


Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard --

Actually fighting these evil bastards would require ceding power to the people who would the fighting.

And that would never do old boy.

Simple as that.

7/13/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger boinky said...

well, the left in Manila might be whining but the rest of the country is angry.
Even leftist Bishop Cruz's blog denounced the atrocities. And Gloria, even though she kisses posteriors of Muslim nations that hire our OFW's, knows better than not to let the Marines take their vengence. If she tried to stop it, she'd be out.

Look for a major battle and a lot of whining this weekend.

7/13/2007 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

The Fourth Rail (Bill Roggio's site) is going to be providing an embed in the PI AO:

"...; and Bradley Patty, a military contractor who has written on intelligence and counterinsurgency, who will be reporting from the Philippines with U.S. special operations forces and the Armed Forces of Philippines."

Depending on what access the man can get, that might become a good source to watch for news.

7/13/2007 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

One of the reasons the Philippine Marines are so incensed is because they were ambushed in the area of a group which is allegedly a "Peace Partner" in negotiations. The Marines were not tactically deployed, but riding in trucks on their way to base on a road. The Philippine Star reports:

The military has accused the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic extremist group known to have ties with al-Qaeda, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), of joining forces to launch the attack.

The MILF owned up to the attack but denied beheading the soldiers and having support from the Abu Sayyaf. ...

The 12,000-strong MILF, which has a three-year-old truce in place as it negotiates peace with the government, says its forces attacked the Marines after they entered MILF territory without advance notice. ...

Gonzales and Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the ambush of the soldiers cannot be justified by mere allegations of intrusion into MILF-controlled territory.

“If they (Marines) indeed strayed into their territory, is that enough reason to engage in an ambush? We are in a ceasefire period, so this ambush, obviously premeditated, to me is treachery,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales admitted there had been violations of the ceasefire agreement but the latest incident is “worst because of its savagery.” ...

“Troops were on their way back from mission when they were attacked. You can see no intent on the part of the Marines, but to go home. The most they could have done is to surround them, just not in that manner. There is no justification for their actions,” he said.

On the other hand, Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza cited the need to isolate the bad guys among the MILF ranks for the peace process to prosper.

As you can see from the above the dynamics of trying to fight terror are about the same in poor Third World Philippines as they are in Washington DC. The same peace lobby vetoing everything; the same treacherous type of enemy claiming the protection of a peace process and attacking without restraint anyway; the same two-faced politicians; the same unending horror for the hapless civilians and combatants on the ground. The only thing different are the props, which are low rent and pathetic in Basilan. But the human dynamics are very similar.

7/14/2007 01:52:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Here's how low-rent the props are:

We have an air force that’s all air and no force. Now we’re learning that we have an army without proper arms. A scene captured on television showed the wretched state of the fighting men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Marines loading mortar rounds to provide cover for their colleagues who were trapped in an ambush in Basilan by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, only to find out – twice – that their artillery would not fire.

Fourteen Marines died in that MILF ambush, with 10 of them beheaded and mutilated. Body parts of the victims had to be collected and pieced together for a proper funeral. Some of the survivors are still in critical condition. Why the savagery? Only the MILF can explain. Since the ambush was staged to protect the separatists’ kindred spirit, the Abu Sayyaf, whose members were fleeing from Marines looking for kidnapped Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi, the MILF cannot toss the blame for the savage attack to any other group. MILF commanders, who seem to be the only members of their group interested in peace, have admitted that their group was responsible for the ambush. There was no fear in that admission; the MILF smells this administration’s desperation for a peace agreement. It knows the government will always come down hard on communists and their suspected sympathizers but will look the other way in the face of even the most brutal MILF atrocity.

The attack, staged in a province where the MILF does not normally operate, could have been repelled if the Marines were properly armed. They found out too late that their heavy weapons would not fire. Yesterday military officials ordered an inspection of all AFP mortar rounds – about 38,000 of them, bought at more than $100 a piece – as well as AFP artillery. The defective ammunition in Basilan could have simply deteriorated from exposure to the elements. But negligence and even corruption in supply procurement cannot be ruled out.

If we want our soldiers to risk their lives to fight enemies of the state, they should be given at least the basic weaponry for it. If they can’t get even decent ammunition, they should just file for early retirement before more heads roll, literally, in the next barbaric attack.

A friend of mine, who became an undersecretary after a hair-raising youth, told me how a certain junior intelligence officer with whom he was personally acquainted had literally asked him for a few pesos to pay for bus and jeepney fare so that he could surveill certain terrorist suspects. I think I related the story of how, when I was in Basilan last, I noticed a somewhat battered stretcher clipped to the roof of the ferry. This is how soldiers are evacuated to a Zamboanga hospital if they are badly wounded. But they have to wait until the ferry's scheduled departure time comes, unless they are prepared to buy up all the seats. One of the most appreciated things is medical evacuation that is sometimes provided by US assets. You would hate to be wounded and rooting through your pockets to buy that last ticket to get the ferry to go.

7/14/2007 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

CTB account.

7/14/2007 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

"behead us last" certainly sounds like a solid long term strategy ;->

7/14/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Bob at Mindanao Blog is ruminating the AS & MILF connections and the stories told as they relate to reality. He is confused by the forthright denials by the MILF and their calls for an independent investigation (of at least the beheading part) versus the fact that hot on the end of the battle here comes AS (or some other group) with its beheading operation.

In addition, Bob ( notes a few other MILF claims do not balance with reality. See also this post:

7/16/2007 10:56:00 AM  

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