By Erick San Juan
It is quite alarming to know how the world sees us through the internet by some known writers and bloggers together with the different comments posted in news articles from various media outfit here and abroad.
There is one particular sentence I noticed in an article by Peter Lee (The Riddle of the Scarborough Shoals) in Asia Times online (May 19, 2012): “The Philippines, on the other hand, is cruelly described as a military doormat. It's also a doormat that probably reads ‘Welcome China’.”
I came across with the term US “military doormat” from our friends in the progressive group (some say left-leaning), actually the term used by Renato Reyes that describe our country, was ‘US colonial outpost and doormat’. Whether we like it or not, this is the painful reality that we have to bear, the stigma of an ally/slave kowtowing to a perceived master.
How are we going to free ourselves from such a stigma?
The statement from Peter Lee’s article tells it all, our relationship with US and China. The re-appointment of the Presidential envoy to China, Domingo Lee and Cesar Zalamea is quite strange the way Palace defended their appointments. According to PNoy, Zalamea (veteran banker) will help to negotiate with Chinese investors to invest in the country while Lee (Chinoy businessman) will attract tourists from China to spend their vacation here. That’s really a “Welcome China” doormat.
The recent appointment of Ambassador Sonia Brady as our new ambassador to China by President Aquino is more approriate and welcomed by the diplomatic community.
But as I have written before it would be a win-win solution and to ease the tensions at the same time in the South China Sea if all the claimants and China will jointly explore its riches and share with all its wealth. Initially, the energy company of Mr. Manny Pangilinan will try to jointly explore (and later will start drilling) oil/gas in Recto Bank with China’s national oil company.
Anyway, China is very firm with its decision to solve the territorial issues in the SCS bilaterally. Presently, there’s allegedly no point to ask for a third party to negotiate the matter with China. If this administration will consider the matter seriously, PNoy has appointed the right person as ambassador to China and not just people favored by his loop.
With the confluence of events, our country together with the other claimants should accept reality wholeheartedly that China is our neighbor and like any community of civilized men, we have to resolve disputes peacefully.
Uncle Sam in the background
Yes, he will always be and with the recent warning from The Future Asia Project, a part of the Washington DC-think tank International Strategy and Assessment Center that specializes on American security issues, the SCS disputes will worsen courtesy of China’s continued hostilities towards its neighbors.
Added to this is the visit of some US ships, including US most advanced submarine recently in Subic – (translation), the timing is very suspicious, why now? Uncle Sam knows something we don’t know and sadly as if nobody is minding the store (again), is the possibility of a conflict not far behind? Or maybe they are just testing the waters and how far the ripples they created will go. Will it reach the shores of China? What will be their reaction? Just asking.
With this scenario they are trying to create at our expense, and the mere fact that the second cutter (named BRP Ramon Alcaraz) from Uncle Sam is again stripped down with all its weapons, we are really living to our name as an overused military doormat.
We have to be united under one ideology and gradually remove this “US military doormat” stigma or we will suffer a mutually assured destruction in the process.
Wake up Pinoy!