Friday, July 13, 2012

First to Blink!

First to Blink! By Erick San Juan

When the tension at the disputed Scarborough Shoal has eased out temporarily, after both sides withdrew their different sea vessels, the rest of the region also felt relieved. It was no joke, that such incident might cropped up into a regional conflict if any miscalculation or accidental shooting happened. Thanks God that nothing of that sort occurred. But, for how long will countries in this region be safe and peaceful?

The other week, a strongly worded editorial came out in the Daily Tribune – “Noy, a danger to the country,” that pointed out the plan of President Aquino to ask the US to send spy planes to help the country in monitoring disputed areas in the South China Sea.

As we have pointed out before, the government should not announce its plans as sensitive as this while trying its best to solve the dispute with Beijing diplomatically. It is quite obvious that PNoy is being ill-advised here or he knew in the first place the consequences of such advice but still did it. For what reason? Or like what the Tribune editorial stated – 'or maybe because the suggestion came from Uncle Sam so PNoy quickly accepted it as what any Amboy(American boy) could have done.'

So, which is which, Mr. President?

The impression of being an Amboy is not helping you in any way, and the country is quite sensitive when it comes to “who is really running the government". For we have learned from the past administrations and it is not acceptable this time to repeat the wrong part of our history. We are living in very exciting times and any provocation can lead to a real conflict.

The return of Uncle Sam in Asia-Pacific is a significant gesture to countries allied with the US but it can also be interpreted as big trouble to some. From the eyes of someone from the US mainland ,the recent ‘tensions’ in the South China Seas were allegedly encouraged by Uncle Sam in order to return to its former bases at a very least cost (like what happened in the Philippines and possibly in Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam).

Through some corporate mainstream media, it would be easier to ‘demonize’ China as the bullying neighbor and in the process; the bullied nations will seek the help of the Big Brother (US). The willingness of Uncle Sam to help, includes the so-called modernization of the military and selling several (almost obsolete) war materiel to those nations like the Philippines who has no budget to buy high end weaponry. As in our case, we will never get these military equipments for free. We bought them even if they were stripped down with its high tech gadgets. This is how they treat loyal allies.

This is not a healthy situation in the midst of a worldwide financial downturn for countries to have spending spree for war machines. This arms race (courtesy of the Big Brother) will only cripple these countries economically. This is a master piece of the military industrial complex.

More tensions in the near future.

The conflict between claimants in the disputed areas in the South China Sea and China is not the only dispute that we have to watch out. There are also disputed islands in Japan that has to be resolved peacefully with Taipei (and with Beijing?). A possible joint forces of Taiwan and China is reportedly in the offing to rejoin the Japanese islands to what they call Taipei Country, and possibly such event could lead to more acquisition of disputed islands by Taiwan. Some pundits say that some of our country’s northern islands could be a part of such acquisition. That is what we have to watch out with a lot of caution.

This writer is not an alarmist; I am just a messenger who has the opportunity to have an access to some information and to critically analyze the confluence of events that could hopefully help our present leaders. As I always say, if the President will not be wary and repeat the wrong part of our history, all of us will be dragged into a conflict not of our liking. Many believe that we will be the first to blink. Let's be vigilant!

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