Friday, September 25, 2009
by Erick San Juan
Almost a month ago I wrote an article about the recommendation of Sen. Miriam Santiago to the Executive Department regarding the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement stating the need for its review. Sen. Santiago’s observation of the still strong and active insurgency groups in the south only proves that the VFA is not successful.
Now that she formally presented this concern to the Senate and was approved on second reading, and will have the final voting on Monday to formalize its final approval of the resolution, Malacanang will have to push for its abrogation if the US government will not accept the VFA’s renegotiation. Congressman Erin Tanada even advised our government to send a Termination Notice to the U.S. government. Although the Palace gave this task to the VFA Commission’s Executive Director Edilberto Adan to submit recommendations for the review of the agreement, the clamor to abrogate the "agreement" is too strong.
How could all these efforts materialize when the good US Ambassador Kristie Kenney already stated that “ Washington was happy with the VFA and there’s no need for renegotiation”? After all, the VFA is an “executive agreement and requires no ratification by the US Senate”.
What will be the consequences of this move by our leaders to save our country’s’ sovereignty when it comes to military power? Now that the US has changed course of its anti -missile strategy for Europe, the focus now is where our country is strategically located. The US ballistic missile defense (BMD) planners, for the last five years has concentrated on China (not Russia) and North Korea (not Iran ) when it comes to US policy on national security. Remember the almost “collision” of the US and China’s naval ships in Philippine waters? Do we need to spell it out that Uncle Sam badly needs the VFA to sustain its plan in this region?
This could be the biggest test for our leaders’ nationalist stand on a very critical issue that will affect the world.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Osama( bin double) Dead
by Erick San Juan
Last June of this year I wrote an article entitled “Osama: Here We Go Again!” after Osama Bin Laden aired an audio speech over Al Jazeera news in time for the Cairo visit of US President Obama.
Again, on the eve of the 8th year anniversary of the September 11 attack, a video entitled "Message to the American People," was released by the As-Sahab media branch of Al-Qaeda – and this time it was only a still picture of Osama and his voice. It is quite obvious that whoever is running the show for the Osama myth gave up showing different videos of Osama and different faces at that, as what was exposed by the documentary video Loose Change 9-11 and other similar videos showing different Osama Bin Laden.
Going back to my previous article on Osama, I reiterate OSAMA has been DEAD for so long and I am not alone in declaring this fact because like the late Benazir Bhutto, husband Pakistani Prime Minister Zardari and my colleagues from the Asia Media Forum affirmed bin Laden’s death. They are in one that Bin Laden was killed when his airconditioned underground safehouse in the mountain of Tora Bora was heavily bombed. You cannot stop propagandists like Osama from talking and being interviewed if he's still alive. Is there a new CIA unit tracking him?
I can’t believe that the director of this faked Osama video is doing this again and for what reason? Another terror plot in the offing? Could be, as what we always say, when the US economy is collapsing (as some economists predicted that the coming collapse will be next month) they will stage a war.
The idea of the looming terror plot in Jerusalem never escape my analysis because the main targets here are the two religious sites – the Dome of the Rock meaning the Muslim Golden Mosque and the Jews Wailing Wall. Our Philippine National Police warned last night that "terrorists" are now in Metro Manila. The reported possible targets according to their intelligence report are the U.S. Embassy and Plaza Miranda. Could the death of top Jemaah Islamiyah leaders like Noordin Top et al in Indonesia be the signal of a "spill over" and the real main target is the oil depots in Pandacan? God forbid!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Two China's Battle of Nerves
By Erick San Juan
This is a follow up of the last article I wrote on the visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to Taiwan that caused so much fuss both in Taiwan and in Beijing. A lot has been said that the visit was for religious and humanitarian reasons, actually based on some recent analysis it was more of a political move that resulted to the temporary suspension of cross-strait exchanges by Beijing after the visit.
The August 26 visit of Dalai Lama brought a lot of negative reactions towards the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying that President Ma Ying-jeou was victimized by DPP in allowing the spiritual leader Dalai Lama in coming to Taiwan in the middle of the cross-strait exchanges. Even to the point of describing “the move of the DPP as a “political version of Pearl Harbor,” and that the KMT criticized the DPP for pulling a “political stunt.” The DPP argued that the visit wasn’t political.” (Published on Taipei Times 09/09/09 )
I would also like to share the analysis of political science professor Lo Chih-cheng of Soochow University – “the price Ma had to pay was China’s loss of trust in his leadership and credibility, he said. Beijing now realizes it cannot rely solely on Ma to court the Taiwanese public, but must bank on “other agents” as well.”
“Ma also invited criticism when he and other top government officials shunned the Dalai Lama during the visit, creating the image that Ma was a “puppet” manipulated by Beijing,” Lo said.
Taiwan’s President is now in a hot spot and had to work hard to win back Beijing’s trust and at the same time to keep the public from speculating that he is not working for Taiwan’s advantage. While Beijing had to stand with its efforts to unite with Taiwan and continue the cross-straits talks especially with the economic and financial agreements.The Mainland China's unannounced military exercises using live ammunitions with manpower coming from their four major service commands plus the statement of Taiwan's President Ma during the visit of the European parliaments defying the one China policy which was reported by the Asia Times two weeks ago could be the reason why the 7th fleet had their presence felt in the Philippines? Just asking!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Taiwan's Ma's Change of Heart
By Erick San Juan
The 6-day visit of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama in Taiwan is just what Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou needed to satisfy his constituents amidst the tension with Beijing on some of his pronouncements in favor of Taiwan ’s independence. This is the third visit of the Dalai Lama, the first two were in 1997 and 2001. This was approved by Ma after he rejected the spiritual leader’s visit nine months ago saying that the timing was not right.
The six days stay of the Dalai Lama focused on giving comfort through prayers among the victims of the typhoon Morakot that hit Taiwan leaving more than 500 people dead and thousands homeless. This will somehow boost the falling approval rating of President Ma due to his perceived inefficiency in dealing with the calamity that hit Taiwan .
As for China ’s reaction to this visit according to the Xinhua news agency, China 's Taiwan Affairs Bureau said, "No matter under what form or identity Dalai uses to enter Taiwan , we resolutely oppose this.”
"Some DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) members have taken the chance to plot the Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan ," Xinhua reported. "Obviously this is not for the sake of disaster relief. It's an attempt to sabotage the hard-earned good situation in cross-strait relations."
What China really wanted is for the unification of PRC ( China ) and ROC ( Taiwan ), and for moderate Ma, as what he promised that there will be no move to gain independence for Taiwan as long as he is the President.
What was not told in our local newspapers was the alleged statement of President Ma as reported by Asia Times recently defying the one China policy, which he told the European parliamentarians who visited Taiwan.
Is this another cross strait tensions brewing again? Will the efforts made by both states to finally implement the one China policy will go down the drain? We should be keen observers for future development in the cross strait of Taiwan and China especially the scheduled visit of President Barack Obama to Beijing in November.