The nation cries: Save Philippines!
First of 2 parts
MY SAY MAURO GIA SAMONTE
The Manila Times
WHAT is taking place in the country now is a people at long last realizing that they have committed the supreme stupidity of picking up a stone by which to bang their heads. Indeed, we all took Bongbong hook, line and sinker as the rightful heir to the good government begun by the preceding Duterte administration. And even as the nascent Bongbong administration was wracked with controversies here and there, controversies that very early on already betrayed an uncaring regard for the populace, this column still refused to ride the tide of popular chastisement of the new President. Wrongdoings criticized of Bongbong could amount to the labor pains of an old society giving birth to a new one. But then, suddenly here comes EDCA, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement concluded by America with the Philippines as a vital cog in the overall strategy crafted by the United States back in 2014, whereby to use Ukraine as a proxy in its war with Russia in Europe and the Philippines as proxy in its war with China in the Indo-Pacific. With one single stroke of his hand, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has willed the Filipino people to their perdition. His approval of four additional EDCA sites (actually the original US request was for five) has finally stirred China into registering angry protests. As reported in the media, the spokeman for the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines issued this statement: “It is plain and simple that those moves are part of the US efforts to encircle and contain China through the military alliance with this country. “By doing these, the US has not only heightened tension, driven a wedge between China and the Philippines, but also has disturbed and upset the joint effort of countries in this region to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.” China is no mean adversary of the United States. The last statistics dealt upon by this column some time ago showed that in terms of the economy, China has really already overtaken the US which, in fact, has fallen to third rung behind India, which is in second place. The reason, it is said, that China is content with being regarded as just second to the US is because China enjoys certain advantages as a still developing nation. But in terms of military capability, even top US war officials admit that the US has no defense against China’s hypersonic nuclear missiles with the capacity of reaching Europe, Canada and North America in a matter of minutes when fired from mainland China. How much easier it would be then for China to blast the Philippines when the tensions in the South China Sea finally explodes into a shooting war. Once that happens, God save the Philippines! For the guidance of us all under the current circumstances, it is high time the whole nation is enlightened on what the EDCA actually is. It is an agreement that grants the US so-called agreed locations inside select bases of the Armed Forces of the Philippines where to deploy US troops and war armaments, and set up war facilities in unhindered sorts and numbers. In military parlance, this is called pre-positioning for a war that is expected to come. Two factors stand to assure the occurrence of such a war. One, the evident intransigent resolve of China to defend what it claims to own, i.e., the entire enclosure of its so-called historic nine-dash line; and two, the never-ending policy of the US to perpetuate its one-country hegemony over the world. The Chinese resolve was demonstrated as early as 2012 when the outgoing intelligence chief of the US Pacific fleet reported the reclamation job being done by China in a number of reefs. According to the report, those maritime features had been turned by China into forward military bases complete with war installations such as radar, hangars and runways. On the other hand, this move by China had been prompted by its recognition of the second factor cited above. In a report titled “US Hegemony and Its Perils,” carried by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its website MFA News, China made an exhaustive elaboration of the breadth and width, and height of US hegemony from the time of America’s inception as a nation. The report said: “The history of the United States is characterized by violence and expansion. Since it gained independence in 1776, the United States has constantly sought expansion by force: it slaughtered Indians, invaded Canada, waged a war against Mexico, instigated the AmericanSpanish War and annexed Hawaii. After World War 2, the wars either provoked or launched by the United States included the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the Libyan War and the Syrian War, abusing its military hegemony to pave the way for expansionist objectives. In recent years, the US average annual military budget has exceeded $700 billion, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s total, more than the 15 countries behind it combined. The United States has about 800 overseas military bases, with 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries.” This is the kind of devouring monster nation that President Marcos has fed Filipinos to with his approval of the four additional EDCA sites. Far from the propaganda line ventilated by Defense department Officer in Charge Carlito Galvez Jr., those sites are not meant for sociocivic activities and disaster response, but for the continuing assertion by the US of being, in the words of its own President Jimmy Carter as attributed in the Chinese foreign ministry report, “undoubtedly the most warlike nation in the history of the world.” The attribution is buttressed by a Tufts University report, “Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A new Dataset on US Military Interventions, 1776-2019”: “The United States undertook nearly 400 military interventions globally between those years, 34 percent of which were in Latin America and the Caribbean, 23 percent in East Asia and the Pacific, 14 percent in the Middle East and North Africa, and 13 percent in Europe. Currently, its military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa and subSaharan Africa is on the rise.” It has been cited that of the entire number of countries in the world, only three have not experienced military intervention by the US, and it is for the simple reason that the US has not found them yet on the world map. To be continued on Saturday, March 25.