What America Wants!
By Erick San Juan
After the short visit of the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, it became clearer to most us as what really is the US agenda in Southeast Asia . While Sec. Clinton was here and wanted the Filipinos to believe that the US is here to help the typhoon victims, her boss, US President Barack Obama was country hopping in this region and made the historical Beijing visit. The Philippines just settled for the Secretary of State. Asia, particularly the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the current concern of the US. China’s influence in the region is growing stronger both economically and militarily. The US government has not change it's rhetoric, that we Filipinos are the closest ally of the Americans in Asia, but it's unusual that the US president didn't visit the most loyal nation even for a day. In fact, Singapore is just a four hour trip from the Philippines.
Now that we have fully analyzed the predicament that we or this administration are in, it is very crucial to be cautious in dealing with very important issues that can affect our people now and the generations to come. I am referring to the future of Minsutpala(Mindanao-Sulu-Tawitawi-Palawan) with all its riches especially GOD(Gas,Oil and Deutherium) and the possible balkanization of our country (like Yugoslavia ). Uncle Sam needed us very badly especially in the never-ending war in the south (which was being sustained by covert operations) that will stabilize the region. (Translation – the US forces had to have their bases or a continuity of their much needed military presence there and near the China Sea).
The article of my friend, Ms. Carmen Pedrosa of the Philippine Star the other day regarding the Clinton visit further prove my point that it was all what US wants that our country must adhere to without asking our consent because we were “told” by Clinton of what they would like to see and do here. Protocol wise, we could have set and lead the discussion of the agenda instead of being told or "dictated" by the visiting diplomat. It's just like watching the latest James Bond movie, The Quantum of Solace". Our position is always at the receiving end when it comes to matters pertaining to policies that is internal in nature, but what occurred obviously was not a dialogue. Domestic problems such as sovereignty and political exercises were "ordered" by our visiting ally to be handled according to the principles of “democracy” (or is it democrazy?).
Obama said, "In an interconnected world, power does not need to be a zero-sum game, and nations need not fear the success of another. Cultivating spheres of cooperation - not competing spheres of influence - will lead to progress in the Asia-Pacific." Very well said but not in practice as we shall see the unfolding of events after the Beijing visit by President Obama which takes us a few days back on the completion of the joint "Juniper Cobra" ballistic missile defense (BMD) exercises in Israel, which was described as the largest and the most sophisticated BMD drill of its kind ever held. Hundreds of US military personnel along with US warships joined together with Israeli forces in order to fend off a wide range of simulated missile attacks”. (Peter Brown, AsiaTimes online 11/19/09). UN Peacekeeping mission coming from different nations including from the Phillipines were sent to Israel as "neutralizer".
Need we say more? As what Mr. Brown’s keen observation imply “Juniper Cobra is casting a shadow of war over Asia ”. Here, the VFA issue and the peace talks in Mindanao will fit in perfectly but unfortunately our government leaders never asserted its importance to the US to level off the playing field, so to speak.
We hope and pray, that as PGMA's legacy, her administration will play the US and China cards well in favor of the Filipinos, no more, no less – whatever America wants…