Monday, January 30, 2012

Hail, The "Guns" All Here! By Erick San Juan

Hail, the “guns” all here! With the coming flotilla of US warships to our sea lanes, with advance party docked in Cebu, Mindanao and in Northern Luzon plus the arrival of a Russian destroyer, Udaloy (a large anti-submarine ship) doing a port call in Manila as a friendship visit, what do they know that we don’t know?

We don’t want to be an alarmist, but with the turn of events, we are like a huge magnet attracting negative eventualities that might lead to a regional (possibly global) conflict.

One negative comment came from the editorial of the Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper which is a subsidiary of the state-run People’s Daily :

China should impose “sanctions’’ on the Philippines after it offered to allow more US troops on its soil, Chinese state media said Sunday, amid growing tension over disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Due to our country’s openness to Uncle Sam’s promises of military modernization, we tend to project an image of being confrontational rather than using diplomacy in the midst of tension in the disputed area in the South China Sea. But do we have a choice?


Even the so-called modernization is but acquiring second-hand (junk) military equipments, what more can we ask? We are captive of the big brother’s whims under an old treaty – the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) which is the mother of the Visiting Forces Agreement(VFA). Just like the ongoing story that US rules out new military bases in the Philippines. What “bases” are we still talking about when in fact they are using our military facilities at less expense including external security given by our camp commanders. Try visiting one of our camps where the US have support groups in it. So the statement that US will be back and renew its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, that’s a big 'BS' because they never left.

Their presence in our country, particularly in the south is an epic example that they never left and was enhanced by the so-called war on terror and has used the pretext of a terror threat from international terror groups like al-Qaida and Jemaah Islamiyah. Like the news that came out recently that a unit of US coast guard just finished training their Filipino counterparts. Translation – there’s now an assurance that they will have a full control of our sea lanes and transshipments. It seems that Uncle Sam’s grip is getting tighter as we speak even though they announced a large budget cut in their defense spending. As I have written before (my past articles can be read at the Philippines is that loyal-ally-turned-witting-tool to a possible war we never wanted.

Our good secretary of National Defense, Voltaire Gazmin said the other day that with or without Spratlys row, the military has to modernize, I agree. But to whose expense? It will be better for our defense establishment to procure armaments through ex-deal instead of us getting loans and incur more debts which we can't pay. We have to be wary of the Businessworld report January 31,2012 that our growth is seen at lower end of the government forecast and SWS report that there's an increase in hunger which should be addressed immediately than provoking a war.

Together with other patriots of this nation, we uphold the call for the abrogation of the VFA and an overhaul of the MDT wherein a new treaty could be drawn that is more balanced and not biased to the stronger nation.

We were shortchanged in the past by our leaders who are more of a collaborator than a negotiator that will bargain for what is due us rather than always bowing to "big brother". We cannot blame other foreign diplomats of taking advantage of situations when dealing with our leaders, the fault is with the people running this government, which oftentimes think “what’s in it for me” rather than what's due us as a sovereign state.

In this turbulent times that we are in, the PNoy administration should rethink its strategy when it comes to geopolitics. We must gather our acts together and come up with a plan that is long term and will solve the country’s domestic problem instead of kowtowing to a perceived master that is dragging the entire nation to a conflict of their own doing. Without US support, who could have think that we have the capabilities to confront China? Wake up PNoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Possibility of a Regional Conflict

The Possibility of a Regional Conflict
By Erick San Juan

The nation is too focus on the developments in the impeachment trial of CJ Corona that there are issues being overlooked that is of great significance to our national security.

One of which is the tenth anniversary of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM – Philippines wherein the administration during that time has joined the Bush doctrine in his war on terror and has dragged the whole Filipino race to be on the coalition of the willing against the so-called terrorists. President George Bush Jr. even designated the former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the Asian coordinator in this synthetic war on terror. And the rest is history.

A historical event that has put us up to this moment, under the whim of Uncle Sam, when they want our support to stage a war against a supposed adversary. But not this time, when our military thrust was changed from counter-insurgency to confrontation with China. This is a major change that may eventually drag us to a regional conflict that will leave us (as always) shortchanged in the process.

As what the politicians from the US Congress said, "The United States plans to increase the joint military exercises with the Philippines."

The announcement was made after Arizona Senator John McCain and three other American senators, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire visited the country.

The move forms part of the US' intention to increase its naval and air assets in the Asia Pacific Region.

According to Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, the joint military exercises will "enhance" Philippines' experience, capabilities, and abilities to protect its territorial integrity. But this does not mean that the US is establishing bases in the country. (Source: Sun Star Manila online 1/18/12)

Although as early as January 5, a press release from the Phil. Information Agency (PIA) said from Palawan that -- The Western Command (WesCom) has confirmed the holding of a bigger joint military exercises under the RP-US Balikatan in April this year. But why was it advanced possibly by mid Februrary or March?

The Balikatan is an annual RP-US bilateral military humanitarian assistance and training exercise under the auspices of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement. Again, the government through the Presidential Commission on the VFA (PCVFA) particularly the DFA will hold talks with the US regarding the review of the 1999 VFA. We heard this before, so what else is new?

Such “agreements” only benefits Uncle Sam more than the Filipino people. We are not fully against the Americans helping us but again, they should give what is due us and respect the public’s sentiments when it comes to decisions that will affect the country’s security.

Enter the Water Dragon in “Hot Water”

Uncle Sam’s intervention in the Asia-Pacific region is only intensifying the tension in and around the contested areas in the South China Sea, worst it will use the Balikatan exercises to hold the military drills in Palawan near the disputed areas.

In June of last year, it was reported that China has started its drilling operation in the South China Sea and early this month from Da Nang (AsiaNews) – A Chinese official said that China will soon send a huge ship, the Marine Oil and Gas 708, and a huge oil rig, the Marine 981, to explore for oil and gas in deep waters in 2012, in the South East Sea (or South China Sea as the Chinese call it). However, he did not say in which part of the sea. Built in China, the Marine Oil 708 can explore oil and gas at a depth of 3,000 m and drill at 600 m under the sea. The ship is 105 m long and 23.4 m wide. It is equipped with advanced probes and can withstand wave level 12.

The huge oil rig Marine 981 is also preparing to drill an oil well in deep waters in the South East Sea in 2012. The huge drilling rig can operate at depths of 3,000 m and drill at depths of 10,000 m under sea. Its operational capacity is more than 18 times greater than existing oil rigs.

In the past few decades, the possibility of oil deposits in the South East Sea has unleashed a dispute over sovereignty (of the Spratly and Paracel Islands) involving China, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei. Countries like Vietnam and the Philippines cannot easily explore oil and gas at such depths.

“We always should come first, when competing with the resources. The resources are not able to re-create as well as not infinite in the disputed maritime area,” said a Chinese Communist official, head of the Centre for Energy and Economy Research of a University.

Claimants to the disputed areas in the SCS should be wary now that the Dragon has actually entered the hot waters of the SCS.

Could a regional conflict not far behind now that Washington has already solidified the circle around China through its allies?

Let's watch closely the possible confluence of events soon to unfold.

May God bless the Philippines!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Which Side to Take?

Which Side to Take?
By Erick San Juan

Once again the country is in the wait and see mode for the next episode of the impeachment trial of the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Corona. But this writer’s concern are the events that occurred prior to the scheduled impeachment day.

On the eve of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, a possible terror threat was announced by the President himself that according to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, the reliability of the intelligence report was so high.

After tracking down the possible terrorists’ hideouts in the metropolis and found nothing, the heightened alert was withdrawn. The fiesta ended peacefully. Although the terror alert stays.

But the fear sowed upon the populace was still there and for many who are taken for a ride still believes the synthetic terror warning.

Then the weekend after that, another rumor was floated that there was a threat upon the president’s security. So, what else is new?

Uncle Sam’s Doublespeak

Last Friday the 13th we can’t help but notice the statement made by the US Ambassador, Harry Thomas (that appeared in the newspaper the following day) that the US is not taking sides on the issue of the South China Sea between the Philippines and China. Whatever happened to the good old big brother protecting his little brother and loyal ally in this part of the region?

The statement made was a sudden turnaround from what used to be the usual stand of Washington when it comes to protecting its allies most especially the Philippines. What is confusing here is the mere fact that Washington is giving its support by granting (even with some second hand and almost junk) military hardware to our AFP and yet they are not taking sides. Obviously, by helping Washington’s allies in the region militarily, is actually “taking the side” of its allies against an adversary.

Unfortunately, Uncle Sam is using rhetoric and doublespeak when former Republican Party presidential candidate John McCain said Washington should also turn to diplomacy to help Asean members sort out their own disputes and “establish a more unified front.”

McCain said the US should help members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations like the Philippines develop and deploy an early warning system and coastal vessels in the disputed waters.

He said, the US should let other countries know “which claims the US accepts, which ones we do not, and what actions we are prepared to support,” especially in defense of the Philippines, a treaty ally. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer by Jerry E. Esplanada)
So, which is which? Is Uncle Sam with the SCS claimants’ side or with Beijing?

Financial Armageddon stronger than a Nuclear Holocaust

At this point in time where bullying thy neighbor will not produce any positive results and China bashing only worsens the already tensed situation in the South China Sea, Washington should rethink its strategy. What if Beijing will retaliate in the most unusual way?

Uncle Sam should take the cue from Paul Craig Roberts’ analysis in his article - The Next War on Washington's Agenda, to wit :

Washington is getting all of us in over our heads. Washington has declared the “Asia-Pacific” and the South China Sea to be areas of “America’s national interest.” What sense does this make? It makes the same sense as if China declared the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea to be areas of China’s national interest.

Washington has deployed 2,500 Marines, promising more to come to Australia in order to do what? Protect Australia from China or occupy Australia? Encircle China with 2,500 Marines? It would not mean anything to China if Washington deployed 25,000 Marines in Australia.

When you get right down to it, Washington’s tough talk is nothing but a silly pointless provocation of Washington’s largest creditor. What if Washington’s 'hawks' idiocy causes China to worry that Washington and its UK and European puppets will seize its bank balances and refuse to honor China’s holdings of $1 trillion in US Treasury bonds? Will China pull its balances from the weak US, UK, and European banks? Will China decide to strike first, not with nuclear weapons, but by selling its $1 trillion in Treasury bonds all at once?

It would be cheaper than war.

The Federal Reserve would have to quickly print another $1 trillion dollars with which to buy the bonds, or US interest rates would shoot up. What would China do with the $1 trillion in newly printed paper? In my opinion, China would dump it all at once in the currency market, because the Federal Reserve cannot print euros, UK pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs, Russian rubles, and Chinese yuan with which to buy up its newly printed currency.

Which side to take?

A question for our leaders in this exciting times wherein any moment now, an event can trigger a regional conflict or a full blown global war. It may be nuclear or financial global disaster. Our leaders must always take the side of the nation’s interest and safety – no matter what. Let us pray harder that such unfortunate event will not happen.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shifting Gear and Arms Race

Shifting Gear and Arms Race
By Erick San Juan

In the preamble to the new plan, “Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense”, Obama writes:

As we end today's wars and reshape our armed forces, we will ensure that our military is agile, flexible, and ready for the full range of contingencies. In particular, we will continue to invest in the capabilities critical to future success, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; counterterrorism; countering weapons of mass destruction; operating in anti-access environments; and prevailing in all domains, including cyber. (Published at 1/5/12)

What we are about to witness with this “new plan” is actually a Bush Doctrine – extended play, and to think that Obama is far better than George W. Bush Jr., think again. The same ingredients for possible regional conflict (or another world war) are present – counterterrorism, preemptive strike, regime change, WMD (weapons of mass destruction), etc., to make sure that their kind of democracy is in place and working to their advantage.

In his January 5 Pentagon news conference, President Barack Obama also mentioned from this new strategy that the United States would strengthen its presence in the Asia-Pacific region while cutting billions of dollars from overall defense spending. Translation – a world war is still queued and a much needed regional conflict is not far behind.

As the op-ed by China's state-run news agency, Xinhua warned the Obama administration of adventurism in the Asia-Pacific.

"The United States should learn from its past painful experiences and play a constructive role in the Asia-Pacific instead of recklessly practicing militarism," the article read. "After all, might does not always make right."

The article notes that Washington can play a constructive role in stability in the region provided it's "free from a cold war style, zero-sum mentality."

For Beijing, such posturing of Washington in this part of the globe will not help in achieving regional stability, worse, US is allegedly provoking more tension to the already tensed atmosphere, especially in the South China Sea. But it seems that China is also engaged in a major military build up while keeping the secret that it's economy is also reaching it's limits, according to economist Nicholas Lardy of Peterson Institute. Even Robert Samuelson of Washington Post commented that Europe and US slump weakened China's trade and will achieve growth by becoming even more predatory toward other countries.

Unfortunately, we are in that region and our present leaders has been witting tools in this game of saber rattling. Our leaders never learned from history and even showing an inkling of repeating history when we were dragged and shortchanged in a war we never dreamt of joining.

By openly showing support for Uncle Sam and requesting for additional military equipments like the squadron of F-16, we are really looking for trouble by programming our punches.

Let us be reminded of Halford Mackinder's "Heartland" theory. Mackinder said "Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World Island (Eurasia)."

Mackinder's followers have applied this strategy to Asia, and believed that controlling South China Sea will make the U.S. air force and navy command East Asia, and consequently command the "World Island".

Can we now clearly say that the reason behind US 'Return-to-Asia' strategy is to intensify "security rebalancing" efforts on China, taking comprehensive measures to suppress China, and instigating its allies to pay, contribute and appear to restrain China? (What is behind US 'Return-to-Asia' strategy? by Lin Zhiyuan, People's Daily Online published @ Global Research 12/29/11)

We took the bait of joining the arms race in the midst of calamity-stricken provinces where we can’t afford to address the perennial problems that has brought about natural and man-made disasters. It is about time to rethink the country’s priorities. Wake up and there is no fun when most Filipinos are suffering and struggling to survive in their day to day living while the war president (in the making) is kowtowing to a perceived master.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Playing Gods by Erick San Juan

As we entered the very controversial year 2012, the worldwide web of information was filled with different views on the events that might happen in December this year, as the end of another age. Although, some people find this so called “end of the world” as a positive event in human history, still everything is uncertain.

But one thing I know that is certain – that all kinds of war are being pushed to pressure everyone to go to a real war. We now hear of cyber war, biological, thermo-nuclear and weather wars, etc. Through the advance technology (man has mastered over the years), we can’t help but speculate that every time there is a big natural calamity, we somehow think that it is actually a man-made disaster.

The recent earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricane, tornadoes that devastated properties and killed thousands of human lives are somewhat attributed to weather engineering. If we thought that huge disasters can only be seen in movies, well think again. I was given several documents by my long time radio program avid listener, Rels Octaviano, a geo-physical analyst and researcher about HAARP. The HAARP or High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, is allegedly a joint research venture funded by the United States Air Force, the United States Navy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the University of Alaska. The project was started way back in 1993, with the aim of analyzing the ionosphere, in order to assess the potential of developing it to further enhance the radio communication and surveillance technology. The HAARP Research Station - the facility where this research is carried out, is located at a US Air Force site in Alaska.

As a part of this project, a high powered radio frequency transmitter - the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI) also referred to as 'ionosphere heaters', is used to excite a specific portion of the ionosphere for a temporary period. Other than the IRI, this project also includes the use of equipment like a UHF radar and a fluxgate magnetometer to study the physical changes that occur in the excited portion of the ionosphere. Even though, several ionosphere heaters exist in various parts of the world, this is by far the largest and most powerful among them.

The allegation that the high frequency radio waves alter the core of the planet is yet another infamous attribute of the project HAARP conspiracy. Earthquakes are believed to be triggered by the alteration of the core by the activities carried out in this alleged research project. Some also alleged that the HAARP is a military mega-project in disguise of a research center, which primarily acts as a surveillance system, but also has the ability of destroying the aircraft in midair. Some conspiracy theorists also claim that the radio waves emitted by HAARP can result in adverse effects on the human mind and body.

The HAARP Research Station is a high security zone wherein unauthorized entry is strictly prohibited. This adds to the mystery surrounding the research project and is the driving factor behind a range of HAARP conspiracy theories. In short, the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), reportedly, has the ability to take down an aircraft, manipulate weather and trigger natural calamities, and all these possibilities have put it under the scanner as one of the most infamous conspiracy of the world. (By Abhijit Naik, HAARP Conspiracy @ last Updated: 9/22/2011)
This is only one part of the possible explanation as to why the world is experiencing certain disasters. What I am worried about is the confluence of events that are somehow in tune of what are stated in the Bible. I have been discussing these things in my radio program (DWSS 1494khz, daily@5:30pm) courtesy of my listeners who also happen to be studying and doing a lot of research in the said field for several years now.

All the events in recent times has been manipulated and/or influenced by some evil geniuses who wants to play God and mess around with Mother Nature. It doesn’t matter to them if such actions will produce disastrous reactions that can kill thousands of precious lives in the process. There are a lot of man-made disasters by design only to achieve their goal of depopulation (or what some may call – to annihilate useless eaters of this planet). But in the end, God will prevail and our world will be cleansed…

Let us be hopeful and have faith in what we believe in. Work harder and be good, do good and eventually we will feel good towards every person we will meet in this world. A hopeful new year to all of us!