2+2=0 Divided by Provocations
By Erick San Juan
An unacceptable mathematical sentence in the field of mathematics but in social science is possible. After the so called 2+2 meeting of our Defense and Foreign Affairs Secretaries with their counterparts in Washington DC, the result is zero.
Nothing new was presented, all rhetorics and doublespeak from our long time ally. Before the Scarborough Shoal incident, the much awaited 2+2 meeting was anticipated with excitement for this will be the first time that such event will take place. But hopes like bubble burst and the supposed “big time” meeting was a big disappointment. The mere fact that our cabinet officials went there hoping that our 'big brother' will come to our rescue in the recent stand-off. What we got is the same line issued by Uncle Sam before that they will not take side in the disputes over the contested areas in the South China Sea.
So WTF that we have to seek help from Uncle Sam when we already knew that they will remain neutral on the issue? Are our officials too confident that Washington will help us because of the existing Mutual Defense Treaty? After the said disappointment, some solons including Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile think that it is better to terminate the MDT (Mutual Defense Treaty). Others want the Visiting Forces Agreement abrogated. Good thinking, but when will the action take place or this is just another set of praise releases? It is high time that the VFA Commission should come up with its review of the agreement and take the necessary actions that will benefit us more than the US.
Now is the right time to review, not just the treaties, but our relationship with Uncle Sam. Are we just one of their client countries who will buy their obsolete war hardwares? As some pundits see it, we are not getting any special treatment from Washington as a long time ally in this region. In fact, we are being used as a pawn in a possible regional conflict by pushing us to preserve our territories in the guise of protecting our sovereignty and purchasing their junky war machines.
Sadly this is what the Pnoy administration is doing. By leaking to the media that it has plans of purchasing planes/jets and other military hardwares. This is plain stupidity because provoking China into word war may actually lead to a shooting war. The worst the so called war ships are not even equipped with the usual gadgetry and weaponless. To the dismay of our military, now they are looking for other suppliers. Good!
Worst of all, some former Filipino citizens (now Americans) are planning to do some mass actions against China here which can add more fuel to the already fiery situation. The provocations being set by the group of Loida Nicolas Lewis is not helping at all and will place the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs in jeopardy. Last Friday, Secretary Albert del Rosario met with United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hoping that the ongoing tension in the Scarborough Shoal will be resolved through mediation. But if Lewis’ group will continue with their agitations at the Chinese embassy here, we are all looking for trouble.
The present leadership should stop with its press releases of “ifs” and “maybes” of having several war materiel purchase (which are 2nd world war vintage)instead let us unite the country and resolve the issue at hand with outmost care and a lot of diplomacy. This is the only solution to our problem with Beijing. Obviously, we are nothing compared to their military might plus the fact that Uncle Sam will not stand beside us in such dire situation.
Let us all see this circumstances as a wake up call to all of us (including former Filipinos) to unite and help the present leadership resolve the dispute diplomatically.
PNoy should be clever enough to choose between war or profit? Scarborough Shoal stand off or the joint oil and gas project of Philex Petroleum and China's CNOOC at Recto Bank? It will be peace and prosperity for the nation Mr. President! This will be your living legacy.
The rest of the world is in the wait and see mode on the outcome of the continuing dispute at the Scarborough Shoal. It is not cowardice if we just step backward and analyze the condition with much cooler disposition. God help us all.