US decline in the new world compels Filipinos to rethink and retool
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2008-12-02

The US National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) Global Trends 2025 Report which was the subject matter of your Chair Wrecker’s column last Sunday (US Intel Report sees the end of US domination in a new world) may have been an exposition of likely 2025 scenarios but many of its findings are happening already.

Much of what the NIC reported as developing scenarios are done deals already. The arc of instability caused by aging populations in Western Europe and Japan, the damaging effects of climate change, the fall of the US empire, the ever increasing threat of conflicts that can trigger nuclear wars are all part and parcel now of our world.

You need not wait for Iran and North Korea to develop their nuclear arsenal. The Mumbai attacks where India’s Foreign Minister expressed suspicion that Pakistani elements were involved can lead to a confrontation between two nuclear-powered armed forces. The US is a traditional backer of Pakistan. China is now allied with India and both are emerging world titans threatening US domination. An India-Pakistan nuclear confrontation can drag the US and China into the fray.

In such a nuclear confrontation involving the US and China, only a Filipino idiot (again using the eminent Professor Emmanuel Q. Yap’s definition of idiot as one who does not know the truth) will fail to recognize that we could easily be targets of the nuclear missiles. If the US starts using their presence in Mindanao to choke off the South China Sea, expect China to react decisively.

Hopefully, the new American leaders and the Chinese leaders are not like the irresponsible monarchs who were stupid enough to allow their nations to be dragged into World War I. We should also be thankful that George W. Bush will no longer be at the helm at the White House — unless this India-Pakistan situation deteriorates rapidly.

These findings of the NIC 2025 Global Landscape compel us Filipinos to rethink and retool if we are to cope with the challenges of the transformations that are now happening.

1. “Continued economic growth — coupled with 1.2 billion more people by 2025 — will put pressure on energy, food, and water resources.” — Again, we don’t need the added 1.2 billion people to realize that we are already living with this crisis. Much of the solution rests on Filipinos becoming more responsible and preserving the country’s environment and natural resources.

2. “The potential for conflict will increase owing to rapid changes in parts of the greater Middle East and the spread of lethal capabilities.” — We don’t need to wait for this Middle East conflict to arrive here. We are in fact already a society in conflict. We have a long-running Communist insurgency and a Muslim war of secession in Mindanao.

3. “Terrorism is unlikely to disappear by 2025, but its appeal could lessen if economic growth continues in the Middle East and youth unemployment is reduced. For those terrorists that are active the diffusion of technologies will put dangerous capabilities within their reach.” — What is to stop the MILF or the Abu Sayyaf from copying the terror attacks in Mumbai? Imagine 10 simultaneous attacks being conducted in the Ayala Commercial District and what that will do to our fragile economy.

4. "Climate change is likely to exacerbate resource scarcities, particularly water scarcities.” — We may not be the biggest promoters of climate change but we have to help avert the catastrophe. Climate change will affect us even if we caused it or not.

5. “Whether Europe and Japan overcome economic and social challenges caused or compounded by demography.” — It is time that we stopped this nonsense about population control and recognize that population is a national asset. Lack of social justice and avarice, not overpopulation, are the problems we have to solve.

6. “A global multi-polar system is emerging with the rise of China, India, and others.” — We will have to realign our alliances with the emerging world power structure.
What should scare every Filipino is the fact that we are not even discussing these problems. These are world developments that threaten us in a major way and we are taking this Alfred Neumann stance of “What me, worry?”

In 1941, Filipinos did not even think that there will be a Pacific theatre of World War II. Filipinos partied and enjoyed those days of plenty and were oblivious of the war clouds hovering over the Pacific countries. In the 1945 Battle of Manila alone, over 100,000 civilians perished, many of them the victims of some of the worst war atrocities recorded in the annals of history.

Where are our leaders? The biggest task of a national leader is to enlighten the people. But our leaders prefer to keep us in the dark. They even lie to us. Why are they so engrossed with Charter change that will not even change anything rotten — but will even perpetuate the EVIL in the land?

Why are the leaders of the Opposition already behaving like crabs trying to demolish each other? They have not even done anything to indicate that they can restore the rule of law, decency, accountability and transparency in government. They are acting as if they have won already and are now fighting for the spoils.

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