A superpower could be behind the Glorietta blast
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-10-21
With recent developments fueling stronger anti-American sentiments, superpower geopolitics is turning uglier and even threatens to entangle the Philippines into what is seen as an inevitable war, one that does not eliminate a nuclear possibility.

These developments are, as follows:

1. The forging of the new alliance between Russia and China.

2. The affinity between China and North Korea and the emergent relationship between Russia and Iran. While China has always been a staunch supporter of North Korea, Russia is now backing Iran.

3. The US is most displeased with the nuclear development programs of both North Korea and Iran.

During his official state visit to Iran, Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, asserted that Iran has the right to develop its nuclear capability for peaceful applications. Putin subsequently warned the US from attacking Iran, as the US had threatened to do time and again.

These developments were accelerated by the US—led invasion of Iraq which was regarded by superpowers Russia and China as a clear assertion of Anglo-Saxon hegemony. Prior to the Iraq invasion, Russia, China and the US were managing a healthy rapport.

The ill-advised, poorly planned invasion of Iraq upset that status quo and compelled the Russians and the Chinese to anticipate worsening aggression from the US and the UK. Iraq is not just a large chunk of Middle East real estate. At a time when oil prices are climbing amid tighter supply, Iraq happens to be the second largest oil producer in the world.

The US-UK presence in Iraq forced the Russians and the Chinese to renew their old alliance — with India now poised to jump in. That translates to over 2.5 billion of the earth’s inhabitants falling within the Russia-China-India alliance.

Judging from the build-up of pressure from the American and British people to leave Iraq, it becomes even more unthinkable that the US and UK would be able to muster the will to engage the Russia-China-India alliance in a war, whether conventional or nuclear.

The US and UK won't be able to accept a casualty of easily 500,000 combatants and non-combatants—the realistic estimate from a conventional non-nuclear war that is fought against the Russia-China-India alliance. Think in terms of millions if the war goes nuclear.

Although the Philippines is now right smack in the middle of this superpower game, albeit as an unwitting participant, most of our countrymen are unaware about the real possibility of the country being the target of a nuke attack in the event the worst case scenario plays out.

The squabble and the controversy involving the approval of the ZTE contract actually demonstrates superpower play between American and Chinese companies which submitted bids for the national broadband network. Taken in this light, the project can be considered a serious national security risk whichever country, China or the US, end up supplying it.

Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) has gone from one end of the superpower tug-of-war to the other. She started as George W. Bush's "little girl" in Southeast Asia — among the very first to join the Coalition of the Willing that invaded Iraq.

She rushed to join the Iraq War, which is now known to be unjustified, even when this went against the national interest. She should have considered protecting our own oil supply from the Middle East States as well as our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) working there.

Had the other Arab States banded together against the invasion coalition and enforced an oil embargo, the Philippines would have been caught in a desperate economic squeeze. Arab retaliation would have also imperiled the status and wellbeing of OFWs in the Middle East.

True enough, GMA did a quick about face and abandoned the Coalition of the Willing when OFW Angelo de la Cruz was held hostage in Iraq. GMA feared that if he is killed, the resulting public outcry back home will undo her.

From being the apple of Bush's eye, GMA became the target of US ire. From then on, the US was to become the source of very embarrassing, if not destabilizing reports that placed GMA in a bad light.

Having jilted the Americans, GMA ran to the Chinese — the reason why there is so much on the plate now from China. Philippine foreign policy shifted overnight during the Arroyo regime from out and out pro-American to out and out pro-Chinese.

Acting on their own, the junior officers who are against GMA do not pose that great a threat. GMA's greatest fear is if the US gets involved and encourages the disillusioned junior officers to embark on another military adventure that will reshape the political equation here to suit American interests.

The geopolitical chess game is also the reason why the US is playing a very close watch over Muslim Mindanao, ever ready to use an opportunity to fulfill an old American promise to be the protectorate of an independent Muslim State in Mindanao, once this becomes convenient.

The head of the elite Philippine Marines has expressed concern that the recent political events are affecting the military. The CBCP has issued a very strong statement denouncing the moral bankruptcy of the Arroyo regime.

That is the vaunted combination of the Cross (symbolizing the Catholic Church) and the Sword (symbolizing the military) that engineered EDSA I and EDSA II.

Even an intellectually-challenged US President like George W. Bush can figure out just how to take advantage of that. Based on historical track record, can we rule out the Glorietta blast as a US covert operation?

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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