Why the Philippines ought to develop a nuclear bomb
HIGH GROUND By William M. Esposo
Inq7.net 2006-11-19
INASMUCH as there seems little hope that we will develop an enlightened leadership in our lifetime that will emancipate millions of Filipinos from poverty, there is good reason for the country to seek economic salvation by developing a nuclear bomb like North Korea did.

Just look at all the attention that North Korea is now getting after testing its nuclear bomb last month. Everybody with a major stake in the world’s economic and financial pie is now raring to offer North Korea all the incentives in exchange for abandoning its nuclear program. There are six countries, all of them major economic powers, who are set to sit down with North Korea to work out that deal.

If only we had the bravado and single-mindedness of the North Koreans, we too can develop our own version of the nuclear bomb. Overnight we can expect to erase our foreign borrowings. Those very same countries now enticing North Korea to drop their nuclear program for economic benefits will offer us an immediate debt write-off. All those payments that we make year after year for interest and principal will then go to improve our health and education. Expect barriers to Philippine exports to be eased if not outright removed.

Impossible you say in the case of the Philippines? Not really, I think.

North Korea did it and the Philippines has a far better economy than North Korea. Not only that, we also have superior manpower resources compared to North Korea. If we pool and utilize our manpower resources properly—I’m sure we can also develop the scientists to assemble such a bomb.

Besides, one does not even need to reinvent the wheel in order to make a nuclear bomb in this day and age. The state of technology is such that much of it can be outsourced from countries like Russia through its underground market that sprouted after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

We already have a nuclear power plant in Bataan to begin with. We can modify and convert that to develop the feared bomb. Iran is supposed to be developing nuclear energy for its power supply and yet we see how alarmed the United States is over the possibility that Iran will not confine its nuclear development program to energy generation but could expand it to weaponry.

The Filipino race has never been lacking in talent or genius. What we lack is a leadership with vision, integrity, patriotism and a conscience—a leadership that can set a good example.

We have a great talent pool. In fact, that great Filipino talent pool is practically running the homes and industries of many countries. Our problem it seems is where we apply our talent and genius.

For instance, instead of pursuing an economic development program that will relieve over 40% of our people from poverty, our leaders have perfected the art of plundering the country and getting away Scot-free. Wiping out poverty increases our market capacity and expands the economy. Plunder derails economic progress.

Instead of diligently improving ourselves, we have resorted to devising cheating mechanisms—just like what happened in that controversial nursing exam. In the end, we become the biggest victims of our own narrow-minded and short-sighted schemes.

In the hi-tech world of computer science, let’s not forget that it was a Filipino who was able to unleash that “Love Bug” virus a few years back which paralyzed computers all over the world. Per a Time April 9, 2001 Report by Daffyd Roderick, the virus “wiped out files and paralyzed Internet access from Pakistan to the Pentagon.” Instead of producing a Bill Gates and all the billions that Bill Gates generates, we produced a world-class hacker.

Compared to developing a nuclear bomb, what seems more difficult for us to do is to produce the kind of leadership that we need to move our country forward. When one considers what the current political landscape has to offer, there is hardly any reason to hope for salvation.

Just look at the lineup of senators that the so-called United Opposition is floating for the 2007 elections and you’ll see what I mean. Instead of producing a new set of leaders who can inspire and match the challenges we face—we are being offered re-cycled losers.

Our democracy was progressing very well after getting rid of the Marcos dictatorship. The Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos administrations were steadily chalking up positive economic numbers. Then Joseph Estrada became president followed by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The effects of the 1997 Asian currency crisis were worsened by these two regimes.

Our ASEAN neighbors got it bad but we had it worse and longer. It was not the Asian currency crisis that caused our stock market to plummet. It was market manipulation—the BW stock scandal—that did.

Now after the surveys show that the nation is poised to register its rejection of the Arroyo regime in the 2007 polls, what do we see? We see an opposition that is set to rally around the standard of Joseph Estrada’s political leadership! We hear about plans to place another member of his family in the senate.

In there lies the sum of all our failures. We never resolved our problems and so the past keeps coming back to haunt us. Instead of moving forward we are set to go back to Joseph Estrada who started us on this downward spiral.

Well, if that is the case, then we may as well develop the nuclear bomb so that the next time we plan to do something stupid or suicidal, we can use that on ourselves. Or just like North Korea—we can use that to extort economic packages from the major powers.

If you’re wondering just what exactly is my mood and frame of mind as I write this—I’ll tell you. It is a combined tongue-in-cheek and exasperated sort of mood. It is the kind of exasperation of a father who, after his son has smashed the family car for the 8th time in 7 days, tells his son: “OK, I’m now going to give you a Ferrari so that you can also smash your head with the next collision.”

You may email William M. Esposo at: macesposo@yahoo.com

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