Our single biggest national security threat
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-03-08

The single biggest threat to Philippine national security isn’t former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA). She could delay our journey to DAANG MATUWID (straight path) because of her reported enormous war chest and remaining tentacles in the government. However, she’s far from being our single biggest national security threat.

The single biggest threat to Philippine national security isn’t Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ) Renato Corona. His accusers say that he’s unfit to be in the SC and an impediment to serving justice because of his links with GMA. Even if he has the full backing of the Iglesia ni Cristo — something the INC leaders deny — there’s no way that he can qualify to be our single biggest national security threat.

The single biggest threat to Philippine national security is neither the Muslim rebellion in the South nor the decades-old Communist insurgency. Neither of them is capable of winning a strategic victory but they do provide instability and dampen the local economy where they operate.

The single biggest threat to Philippine national security is our damaged culture. We Filipinos are the single biggest threat to our country’s national security because of the way see, the way we think and the way we feel. We fail to see the big picture, especially on matters that could be of utmost concern to our safety. We love our colonizers to the point of mimicking them and we scorn our few nationalists and patriots. We are more emotionally attached to becoming American citizens than becoming a factor for positive change in our country.

Feeding our damaged culture are the media and educational institutions. Our media are addicted to showbiz and would allow the showbiz slant in a major story to become the focus of the narration. Our educational institutions have yet to know the historical truth and teach this to all Filipinos. Only when we know who our real enemies are — the historical truth — can we truly chart a national course for real independence and sovereignty.

Because of the showbiz addiction of our media, especially television, many Filipinos do not see the big picture and are thus unable to arrive at the right decisions. During elections, note how our media provide greater mileage to showbiz candidates over the truly deserving and often better-qualified candidates. In the case of the continued increase of the prices of basic commodities that are triggered by the rise of oil prices, look at how idiotic our media are in focusing on the internal effects here instead of the external factors that are causing higher oil prices.

The Leftists can rally 24/7 at the offices and residence of Energy Secretary Rene Almendras but that will not present any solution to higher oil prices. Almendras cannot improve the political instability problem in the Middle East, which has been hampering oil production and distribution. Almendras cannot provide the alternative sources of energy to address the looming global scarcity in 20 years — as admitted by the IEA (International Energy Agency).

This global oil scarcity is a very serious and disturbing development. That’s the reason why the US plunged into the Iraq War — to corner the oil in Iraq and Iran in particular, and to dominate the Middle East oil supply in general. This is the reason why the US and China have been deploying their forces all over the South China Sea because of the rich oil and gas deposits it offers.

If global oil supply will dry up in 20 years, then why are we not talking about this? This will spawn global instability and anarchy in weak states but we’re not talking about this. We are one of the most vulnerable victims if these developments escalate to armed conflict between the US and China. The West Philippine Sea as we call it will be the front row of the theatre of war. The US and China have engaged in wars with far less importance than what is at stake in this South China Sea looming conflict.

At the very least, the government — including Congress and the Senate — should be openly discussing this issue with the Filipino nation and preparing contingency plans for projected scenarios. What are we to expect and do when the oil supply can only fill 50 percent of what the world needs? Following the IEA assessment, the world oil reserve will dwindle to 50 percent in a decade.

We cannot wait for 2022 before we decide to sit down and discuss this. If we don’t do anything now, the only thing that we can do in 2022 is to panic. By then, it would have been too late for any planning or scenario building. By then, forget about preparing our armed forces to defend our seas and shores. By then, we can only chart where the conflict will be at its most severe and avoid being in that area.

The Filipino today can be likened to very sick man afflicted with pancreatic cancer, chronic kidney disease and fatty liver — whose frame of mind is to address only his cough or skin pimples. Let’s all get our act together or we’ll all sink together.

Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must never unwatched go.”

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