Category: colonialism

“We are here to stay.”

that’s U.S. president barack obama telling asia  that the U.S. military would expand its role in the Asia-Pacific region, despite budget cuts, declaring America was “here to stay” as a Pacific power which would help shape the region’s future.

he said it in australia, in a pre-ASEAN summit visit, but he might as well have said it here, where U.S. forces continue to be based (“visiting” kuno) and where hillary clinton happened to be celebrating the mutual (so-called) defense treaty with the prez and shrugging off anti-America demonstrations by the militant left.

not that it needed saying.  alam naman natin, the history is indisputable, they never meant to leave.

Dear Hillary

Conrado de Quiros

Not that you are likely to read this, though it can’t hurt to read something a little more intelligent than the usual crap given you that passes for intelligence. I write to reiterate some of the points I made in a previous letter I wrote your boss a couple of months ago. I wrote it in the hope that people who have the audacity to hope would also have the audacity to listen.

I was one of those who rejoiced at your party’s victory a year ago (has it been that long?), a victory that had “We shall overcome” written all over it. I was one of those who believed that victory did not just represent a victory for Americans but a victory for the world. The first world president, the signs blared in neon, and I thrilled to see it. What a difference a year makes. The lights have not gone out completely but how so much dimmer they’ve become.

I personally rooted for Barack Obama over you in the primaries, even if it meant nothing to you or your country. Not leastbecause of your endorsement of the Iraq invasion—let’s call a spade a spade, although occupation, seizure or grabbing is a lot more accurate—which your rival, who eventually became your country’s first black president, had a field day twitting you with. Your excuse that it was a bipartisan vote and that you got the wrong intelligence from George W. and his bunch of cutthroats just doesn’t cut it. All it proves is that your intelligence is crap, and you would be better off reading more intelligent things like this.

Still, I had hoped that your becoming state secretary would add fuel to a US government that seemed to want to go boldly where no US government had gone before. I had hoped you would help present the other face of America to the world, the face of Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain and Martin Luther King and not the faces of Randolph Hearst, Richard Nixon and Fox News. At the very least I had hoped you, upon the frenzied instigation of your boss, would do no less, if not much more, than Jimmy Carter in pressing the cause of liberty before the world.

I hoped wrong.

Your coming to the Philippines does not press that cause before the Filipinos, it suppresses it. It cannot help that you pass off your trip here—trumpeted loudly by your ambassador—as a desire to personally see the devastation wrought by the recent typhoons. I know we are a country that has earned worldwide renown only for boxing and stealing, but we have not entirely lost our wits. When two top American officials visit this country one on top of the other—the other one was CIA director Leon Panetta who visited last June—we have to ask what we have done to deserve the honor.

Being flattened by howling wind and raging flood is not the first thing that comes to mind. The American capacity for solicitousness has nowhere been in evidence in this country. What has been in evidence throughout the years is a “special relations” that gives whole new meanings to the word “special.” It improves on Sun-Tzu’s famous aphorism, “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer,” by proposing, “Make your enemies pay dear and your friends even dearer.”

To suggest that you are coming here out of concern for our ravaged state only makes you out to be afflicted by the same disease as your host, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The activists are right: You want to see a spectacle of devastation, look elsewhere. The burying of whole villages in water and the ruining of whole crops at harvest time are nothing compared to the wasteland this country has been turned into by two things.

The first is your host. It cannot speak very highly of a transformational government that you want only to transform someone who has been the greatest bane her countrymen has known after Ferdinand Marcos into a blessing for democracy. The last by saying, as Obama did when she visited, and as various US officials like yourself have said when she has complied, or gone overboard, with the American wishes, that she is a mighty ally in the fight against terrorism.

Mighty ally, my foot. No one has wreaked more terror upon this land than she, though that is clearly of little concernto you. Sort of reminds us of how George’s father, Bush Senior, toasted Marcos for his adherence to democracy during his time. The only transformation that seems to have happened is the superficial one of color in the American leadership, from white to black. For us at least, it remains as black (-and-white) as before.

And for what? Just so you can continue to have your will with us. Spare us the nurturing posture, it merely adds insult to the injury. And it makes you look like Kristie Kenney, your one ambassador who has learned the art of humoring the natives. You are here, as Panetta was here, as all sorts of American officials high and low will be here, because you are anxious to remain here. Or because you are anxious to have your bases remain here. Yes, bases. They may be mobile, they may be itinerant, they may be floating, crawling, or traipsing, but they are bases nonetheless. Before the storms became permanent visitors in this country, you already were.

You want to see devastation, gaze upon the devastation you have wrought. Upon a people who have done you no harm, who came to your side, notwithstanding that you enslaved them at the very time of their lives they were near to being free, when you lay prostrate at the hands of the Japanese. Gaze upon the way you repaid them by propping up their oppressors in the name of fighting communism and now of terrorism. The point of fighting communism and terrorism is to protect democracy. It is not to create more communists and terrorists by the sheer hellishness of it.

You shall overcome?

Right now, the only thing you need to overcome is yourselves.

smith walks free

anc breaking news around 5 p.m.: u.s. marine in subic rape case acquitted.

The Court of Appeals (CA) on Thursday acquitted US Marines Lance Corporal Daniel Smith of raping a Filipina in Subic back in 2005, and ordered released immediately.

The ruling was part of the 71-page decision penned by Justice Monina Zenarosa of the CA’s Special 11th Division.

wasn’t it just a couple of days ago when the supreme court was ordering the court of appeals to investigate in 90 days the leak of a draft decision acquitting smith, sabay order smith’s lawyer to explain in 10 days why nicole’s “recantation” was notarized at his lawfirm?

The Supreme Court has ordered the Court of Appeals to investigate the leak of a supposed draft decision reversing US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith’s conviction for the rape of a Filipino woman in 2005.

In a resolution, the Supreme Court First Division also ordered Smith’s lawyer, Jose Justiniano, to explain why the victim “Nicole’s” supposed recantation was notarized at the Sycip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan law office, to which Justiniano belongs.

so the court of appeals no longer recognizes the authority of the supreme court?    so the court of appeals is now (as ever?) heeding a higher power?   a higher power na masyadong nagmamadali.   i wonder what the chief justice has to say to that.

and i wonder what the trade-off is for gloria.   gloria forever?   ngek.

so long, gloria? 2

that unscheduled, and failed, trip to washington tells me how desperate gloria is for a one-on-one with the u.s. president.   i suspect she was all set to request that obama order the world bank to back off, cease and desist from, releasing any more information re corrupt practices related to infrastructure projects of her government, especially the report that points to hubby mike arroyo’s involvement.

in return kaya for what?  what was gloria prepared to offer that president obama might not have been able to resist?  maybe the acquittal of rapist corporal daniel smith?  maybe charter change and the lifting of economic restrictions?  maybe charter change and federalism and the signing of the moa-a.d.?  maybe charter change and the return of u.s.military bases?

suddenly i’m beginning to think that there’s more to the rumor that the u.s. wants gloria out and noli in, sooner than later, the better to foil an erap return, and that the world bank report is a big part of the effort to discredit the arroyos and agitate the people.  after all, it is the u.s. that is the power behind the world bank.  writes george monbiot in The Age of Consent – A Manifesto for a New World Order, 2003, page 16:

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are supposed to assist impoverished nations to build and defend their economies, are run on the principle of one dollar, one vote. To pass a substantial resolution or to amend the way they operate requires an eighty-five per cent majority. The United States alone, which possesses more than fifteen per cent of the stock in both organizations, can block a resolution supported by every other member state. This means, in practice, that these two bodies will pursue only those policies in the developing world which are of benefit to the economy of the United States and the interest of financial speculators, even when these conflict directly with the needs of the poor.

besides, it’s not like the world bank to be so high-profile rather than behind-the-scenes in its dealings with government agencies.  maybe the u.s. has finally given up on the recalcitrant arroyos?  maybe they’ve already made a deal with vice president noli de castro?

but if so, the u.s. must be rethinking its options now that noli de castro has been tainted by the legacy scandal.   as it turns out, legacy owner and operator celso de los angeles financed pala noli’s 2004 vice-presidential campaign and noli returned the favor in no uncertain terms.  writes ducky paredes in malaya:

Can Vice President Noli de Castro’s friends in the Senate (where he was part of an influential group of senators before the 204 elections) keep his name out of the Legacy scandal? He has clear ties to Sto. Domingo, Albay Mayor Celso de los Angeles, the owner and operator of the bankrupt Legacy Group of Companies.

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lost hard-earned money in Legacy’s fraudulent investment firm and rural banks. Can they actually forgive Noli de Castro’s role in their worst-ever experience? These people lost their life savings to someone who campaigned for Noli and was rewarded with a high post in Noli’s housing programs.

Of course, the Vice President is now distancing himself from De los Angeles after the latter’s grilling by the Senate for the questionable operations of the Legacy group and his companies’ investigation by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But no matter how De Castro disowns Delos Angeles, the damage to his squeaky-clean image has been done.

Noli De Castro admits that Delos Angeles financed his 2004 vice presidential campaign, caused the printing of his campaign materials, and even bought a tabloid to help sell him to voters.

So, immediately after De Castro assumed the vice presidency, he promptly endorsed De los Angeles as head of the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).

By paying a political debt to De los Angeles, De Castro not only epitomized everything despicable about traditional politics. De Castro also helped De los Angeles lure more unsuspecting investors and depositors into putting their money in Legacy.

How does the Vice President connect to the Legacy mess by his acceptance of the 2004 election funding from Delos Angeles and his endorsement of the businessman to NHMFC?

Simple. When De Castro endorsed De los Angeles, he vouched for the latter’s integrity, leading people to conclude that De los Angeles and his Legacy Group must be clean for having been given a seal of approval by De Castro, no matter how indirectly.

In fact, although Noli had no qualms dropping De los Angeles like a hot potato, it may not have been because of complaints to Gloria Arroyo that Celso was the worst thing to happen to her housing program, we hear that the two friends had already reached a state of enmity over a pretty young thing. Of course, the TV talent chose the more powerful of the two (and refused to return the jewelry that the other gave her as gifts).

How ironic that they were both working in the Pag-ibig program. Ang pag-ibig nga naman!

With the discovery of the dubious operations of the Legacy Group, shouldn’t the Senate do what it should have done a long time ago – investigate De los Angeles’ stint as head of NHMFC to uncover possible anomalies? In fact, isn’t it about time that they take a hard look at their former colleague’s work at Pag-Ibig and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council?

Are they afraid that they may find that the foundation of our Housing Program is infested with termites like Celso and other Noli friends?

and then, again, what if mababaw (sort of) ang kaligayahan ng mga kano?  what if their attitude is, anyone but gloria?  what if, as jeg suggests, the u.s. has the goods on noli, too, and whatever gloria offers, noli promises, too?

well, at least it will be interesting to watch, whatever happens, or doesn’t happen.