Sunday, February 10, 2008

Who Do We Believe?

By Dr. Erick San Juan

The recent massacre of eight people, including a pregnant woman, a child and an MNLF integree in Sulu by troops accompanied by US military advisers in the course of a supposed operation against the abductors of a businesswoman should jolt the nation since it shows just how grave US involvement in the so-called war on terror in Mindanao has been despite the denial of the US Embassy whose credibility is being destroyed by the hawks in their military establishment.

A sworn statement executed by a survivor of the mayhem will be hard to discredit, and the military is trying doubly hard to shield the Americans from their responsibility for the massacre.

The involvement of US military advisers in this latest bloody episode in Sulu will necessarily reignite the hatred of the Tausug for the Americans, whose forefathers had massacred thousands of Muslims in Bud Datu a century ago in the course of the pacification campaign in Mindanao.

US officials will have to work triple time to regain whatever goodwill they had among the Tausug of Sulu, who had earlier suspected the presence of the US troops as a prelude to another Bud Datu.

Some US military personnels are actually abusing the hospitality of our people and our soldiers by being everywhere in Mindanao, ordering doctors to shut off electricity in their hospitals, and telling military officers to follow their bidding even in military operations.

They are doing what they did before when Washington brought in thousands of soldiers in Vietnam to be an army of aggressors, and not advisers.

The militarists in Washington are certainly doing their utter worst to transform Sulu into an area of internecine warfare, egging on poor Filipino soldiers to fire at will to replicate their My Lai and thousands of other massacres in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

President Bush and his subalterns are concededly creating a world where mindless violence is justified in the war against faceless, nameless terrorists, with everyone becoming a victim of collateral damage to justify trillions of dollars in expense in wars that cannot be won.

In the name of sanity, nationalism and self-respect, these US “butchers” should go as quickly as Bush must.

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