The beach revelers who don't see the mega tidal wave about to hit them
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-06-21

They have been partying late into the night — too engrossed with the lifestyle of the rich and infamous that they have been enjoying since taking to the beach. They had lost sight of the fact that there are bigger realities out there and that the wheel of life can suddenly turn — sans any warning — to transform the joyful to the sorrowful.

Oblivious to the great danger of a 100-foot mega tidal wave threatening them, the beach revelers continued to feast on gourmet food, drink expensive wine and carouse with the finest specimens for personal playmates that their money could buy. When the mega tidal wave finally hits them, there is little doubt if any of them will be around to offer another toast to the lifestyle of the rich and infamous.

Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA), her cronies and kin can be likened to the beach revelers. Drunk with power and given the false feeling of complacency that nothing in the puny and divided Opposition can deter them from continuing their beach party — they have altogether forgotten the realities and lessons of contemporary Philippine history.

Like the beach revelers, instead of planning their transition and developing their exit points — they have foolishly decided to dig in, order more intoxicating wine and indulge in the ultimate Bacchanalia which is to party forever and ever.

Their wine is branded as Cha cha (Charter change). After gaining a reputation for uttering falsehoods and being associated with cheating and other forms of chicanery, they have deluded themselves into thinking that the nation will buy their rationale for offering Cha cha as the means for economic reform.

Many Filipinos may be drowning in poverty but they are not about to take the offer of the Great White Shark for a ride on its back all the way to the shore. Despite their problems in coping with the Information and Education Gaps, the street smart Filipinos realize that the only place they will land if they accept the offer of the Great White Shark is inside the shark’s belly.

Filipinos know only too well that they have never been as miserable as they have been during the last eight years under GMA. In their minds and hearts, Filipinos know that there is no hope of economic salvation under the present dispensation.

Failing to remember the lessons of our experience with Ferdinand Marcos’ imposition of martial law, GMA and her bunch of party revelers lost sight of the fact that the Opposition is not the only stumbling block they must hurdle in order to keep on partying.

They continue to underestimate the pubic discontent which is not easily detected because it has already advanced from dissatisfaction to cynicism. They also pretend that they do not have a rebellious faction in the military waiting for the time to ripen to make their move.

Most of all, they have forgotten that there is a superpower to which our national fortunes are tied — the US. Anyone who reads contemporary Philippine history will know that nothing significant happens in our country without the shadow of the US behind it — nothing.

Typical of the thinking that fails to see beyond their pug noses, GMA and her bunch of power drunk accomplices forgot about the superpower that can easily engineer mega tidal waves which can alter overnight the political landscape of the country.

The beach revelers forgot that it was the US that sponsored our 1972 martial law imposition and it was also the US that played a key role in ending the Marcos dictatorship. They also forgot that when the December 1, 1989 coup was about to topple the Cory Aquino government, it was the US ‘persuasion flights’ that compelled the military rebels to stand-down.

GMA forgot that the approval of then US President Bill Clinton (through a known golf course designer and close Clinton friend) was secured by the real movers of EDSA II before engaging in activities that resulted in the 2001 turnover of presidential power here.

But then, there is a world of difference between GMA and Ferdinand Marcos. Where GMA can only account for a track record of dubious transactions and elections during her eight years as president, Marcos had always displayed a keen appreciation of history which enabled him to save his life and the lives of his family. Marcos knew when it was time to listen to his US sponsors — to cut and cut clean.

Where Marcos knew his limitations and never lost sight of the fact where his point of orbit was in the galaxy of nations, GMA seems over intoxicated with power and has lost track of the geopolitical realities governing our country. She gravitated to China and it does require too much intelligence to fathom how the US feels about that.

Knowing his geopolitical ABCs, Marcos immediately complied with US suggestion that he hold the 1986 Snap Presidential Election in order to diffuse the political fallout created by the August 21, 1983 assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino. A political genius like Marcos knew that the Snap Election could well be the US plan for a transition from martial law and the return to democracy. But because it was the US that asked for it, Marcos complied.

In his historic inaugural address, US President Barack Obama warned despotic and corrupt regimes that their days were numbered. One would sense that the warning is to be immediately applied to US vassal states like the Philippines.

During his recent Manila visit, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that the US expects the 2010 presidential elections to proceed without a hitch. In her June 12 address to the Filipino people — without even mentioning once the name of GMA — State Secretary Hillary Clinton emphasized the importance of the Philippines as a beacon of democracy in the world.

Those are the President, Defense Secretary and State Secretary of the US stating clearly and without equivocation their commitment to the Filipino people that the US is there to help democracy flourish here. Any one of those three is enough to state US preference or policy in the Philippines. Therefore, you have to be especially inebriated with the wine of power not to hear what all three of them are saying.

Still, GMA and her cohorts think that they can party forever and ever. It is said: “Pride goeth before the fall.” It is also said: “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

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