Can't we outgrow our imaginary 'romance' with the US?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-10-25

Filipinos have long demonstrated a so-called damaged culture. Twenty-two years ago, in the Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows wrote “A DAMAGED CULTURE, A NEW PHILIPPINES?”

Fallows said: “The countries that surround the Philippines have become the world’s most famous showcases for the impact of culture on economic development. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore — all are short on natural resources, but all (as their officials never stop telling you) have clawed their way up through hard study and hard work. Unfortunately for its people, the Philippines illustrates the contrary: that culture can make a naturally rich country poor. There may be more miserable places to live in East Asia — Vietnam, Cambodia — but there are few others where the culture itself, rather than a communist political system, is the main barrier to development. The culture in question is Filipino, but it has been heavily shaped by nearly a hundred years of the “Fil-Am relationship.” The result is apparently the only non-communist society in East Asia in which the average living standard is going down.”

Even sadder for us Filipinos, Vietnam has since outpaced us and Cambodia - where they experienced the Khmer Rouge killing fields - is also starting to get its act together and do better than us. Communism has ceased to be an Asian threat ever since China and Russia have adopted Capitalist policies - except here where the corruption and social conditions sustain the insurgency.

As Fallows aptly described, our culture has been heavily shaped by nearly a hundred years of the Fil-Am relationship. A good measure of the damage that relationship did to our culture is how Filipinos continue to deceive themselves that the US is the best thing that happened to our country.

Few Filipinos ever wondered how come after we came under US rule, we hardly saw anymore the nationalism, patriotism and valor of heroes like Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and all those who fought to free us from Spain. Fewer still are those who bothered to find out just what the Americans did to our psyche and culture that made us this pathetic sight in the eyes of our Asian neighbors.

How more pathetic can you get when your people label your nationalists as subversives? This is one of the few places where nationalists are looked down upon instead of admired and emulated.

How more pathetic can you get when an alarmingly large number of your countrymen, especially your youth, say in psychographic tests that if given the option — they would rather be Americans than Filipinos?

How more pathetic can we be when Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo idiotically joins US President George W. Bush’s Iraq War misadventure without even considering that Philippine national interest dictates that we first protect our OFWs in the Middle East who could become targets of reprisals by Arab extremists?

Recently, another idiot in this administration requested the US to step in and help recover the kidnapped Irish priest Fr. Michael Sinnott from his abductors. Kidnapping is a police matter. You don’t need a superpower in order to recover a kidnapped victim.

After realizing the mistake, the administration back tracked and clarified that they did not mean active US troop involvement in recovering the kidnapped Irish priest but mere intelligence assistance. If an Irish priest was kidnapped in Moscow, will the Russians ask for US help to recover the victim? Would the South Koreans do that? Would the Japanese do that?

To call the administration request for US assistance an act of idiocy is to raise the kinder issue. The other possibility is to call it an act of treason. Setting up the US to look good in order to secure US interests in the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) which is now under review and to facilitate the US geopolitical agenda in Mindanao which almost led to the signing of the BJE (Bangsamoro Juridical Entity) accord - is nothing short of a betrayal of Philippine national interest.

The VFA and the BJE are all good for US interests as both are intended to preserve the US superpower stature and military capability in the South China Sea. But insofar as Philippine interests are concerned, we are going to be setting ourselves up to become ground zero in the event of a US - China War. To serve the US interests at the cost of placing Filipinos on ground zero in a US — China War is no less than an act of treason.

It is rather disturbing that foreign media have noted US direct dealings with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) but we are not even briefed by our own government that such important events are taking place. Last October 18, the Malaysian Mirror website posted an AFP (Agence France Presse) story about the October 16 meeting in the MILF main training camp in Darapanan between MILF Head Murad Ebrahim and US Charges de Affairs Leslie Basset.

A superpower with an obvious major geopolitical agenda to pursue in Mindanao and the now main Muslim rebel force in Mindanao getting together and our government does not see that as an important development for Filipinos to know. Is the government trying to hide this from us just like that signed deal of the ZTE Broadband deal? Who is this government serving — is it Philippine or American interest?

They cannot claim not to know anything about the meeting between Murad Ebrahim and Ms. Leslie Basset because the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Commander for Mindanao, Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, admitted to Agence France Presse that he instructed an army division in the area to provide security to the American diplomat visiting the region.

Lt. Gen. Ferrer claimed that he was not aware of the meeting. But he surely found out after it was held and so how come there was no word about this from our government? Are they that naïve to believe that the US is just out to stop terrorism and promote development in strife torn Mindanao without anything to gain from the cost and effort?

If our government is run by such idiots — people who do not know the truth — then they deserve to be ousted. If they are serving US interests at the expense of Philippine national interests — then they deserve a far worse fate.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

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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