Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Troika: Why Not by Erick San Juan

The Troika: Why Not by Erick San Juan

Now that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has branded the Asia-Pacific region as the “engine” of the global economy, will the countries involved in the disputed areas in the region be sensible enough to ease the tension?

Last September 8 and 9 at the APEC meeting, “U.S. officials said, they would welcome a more active Russian role in the Asia-Pacific where territorial disputes, including between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea, sparked by nationalist rhetoric have fueled fears of conflict”.

Furthermore, “with Putin actively promoting Russian greater economic and strategic ties with Asia and hosting the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in much spruced up Vladivostok, Clinton is eager to hear what his "goals and ambitions" are and how they might complement U.S. efforts, particularly in easing strains that could interfere with oceangoing commerce in the Pacific…” (By Matthew Lee)

Representing US President Barack Obama at the APEC meeting, State Secretary Clinton cited that the “US is looking for Russia to play a greater role in the region as it seeks to quell growing maritime tensions.”

The idea is not bad at all if such move will benefit the countries in the Asia-Pacific region by reducing the tensions and concentrate more on its development. But knowing Uncle Sam, this can also mean something else. What could be the real agenda behind? Could this also be part of a divide and rule scenario? Just asking.

Russia can pivot to the Pacific, too.

Yes, in an article by Dmitri Trenin he explained in details the possibilities of Russia turning to the Asia-Pacific region. With the same title – Russia can pivot to the Pacific, too - he significantly cited that “Russia's hosting of the APEC summit has suddenly reminded quite a few people in the region that Russia has two-thirds of its territory in Asia, as well as a very long coastline along the North Pacific." This is a useful reminder.

Hillary Clinton's famous Asian pivot article in Foreign Policy last November last year mentioned a wide range of countries, but it omitted Russia. Discussions of U.S.-China strategy are now routinely held in Washington and elsewhere without any reference to China's northern neighbor,which is Russia (ESJ’s emphasis).

If the present Russian leadership will consider this opportunity of developing the country’s eastern part, the US-Russia-China triangle might help to neutralize this turbulent region and avoid the skirmishes turn to a world war. There’s nothing to loose if the goals are for regional peace and development that will benefit Asian countries in the process.

The possibilities are great and if this plan will materialize our country will be one of its beneficiaries if we will play our cards well. But sadly, the recent boo-boo on the so-called backdoor channeling issue between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Antonio Trillanes regarding the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal standoff was a clear sign that until now there is no clear foreign policy that is in place that will address such crucial matter.

It seems that the present administration is using a "band-aid" solution when it comes to foreign policy issues. This is a big no-no in international relations and diplomacy. The government must have a clear foreign policy that will address matters of international importance with firm clarity and determination without prejudice to other nations.

We hope and pray that the rift between our legislators will end and move forward in achieving goals for the nation’s welfare. If the US-Russia-China triumvirate in the region will help in any way to bring peace and development, I hope that the government will appoint the right people that will analyze the situation well and will possibly benefit our nation

We are living in very exciting times and in the coming month of October, there will be several military exercises around the world, one of which is between US and Israel which is highly militarized, highly provocative and highly unnecessary drill – the “Austere Challenge 12”. In the said exercises, Israel will test its Arrow 2 missile defense system while the US will deploy its Aegis Ballistic Missile defense system and PAC-3 Patriot Air defense platforms. Any miscalculation during such military exercises can lead to a mutually assured destruction.

God forbid!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Avoiding ‘War of Minds’ into ‘War of Arms’

Avoiding ‘War of Minds’ into ‘War of Arms’
By Erick San Juan

Being one of the claimants in the disputed areas in the South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea), we will always be confronted with tensions and provocations from other claimants particularly with China. To make matters worse, we are perceived by other countries as Uncle Sam’s “military outpost and doormat” in this region, whether we like it or not. As if a giant magnet, we are perceived to be attracting more enemies and in the process we are putting our country in the crosshairs.

What we are experiencing at the moment are exchanges of rhetoric in the name of diplomacy and/or deception, affected countries should be vigilant. We could all be possibly drag to a mutually assured destruction.

In Drazen Pehar’s analyses in the argumentation made by George Lakoff of the University of California at Berkeley, in his seminal paper on ‘Metaphor and War’, the following excerpt is worth considering:

Analysis of the rhetoric that leaders use to explain, justify, and pre-program their foreign policies seems to offer a sound basis for diplomatic prevention of armed conflicts. There are two reasons for believing that this is the case.

“First, rhetoric, together with historical memories, cultural practices etc., belongs to the set of spiritual and psychological causes of war. Rhetoric usually precedes armed conflicts and hints at the important issues over which the upcoming war will eventually be fought. Thus, through leaders’ rhetoric, one can witness a not yet fully materialized "war of minds". This may then, ideally speaking, prompt one to try to remove the spiritual incentive to fight a war; to cool down the "war of minds" before it turns into a "war of arms".

Second, the rhetoric that leaders use is, as a matter of principle, extremely rich in imaginative projections, in fanciful descriptions of the international affairs of leaders’ concern. The rhetoric is therefore always half a dream, and half a reality, which, from the perspective of critical and rational argumentation, makes it fragile and relatively easy to debate.”

If and only if that such rhetoric or the war of minds can prevent the war of arms, the growing tension in the South China Sea will remain a tinderbox that only a spark can lead to a shooting war.

Annually, country leaders and think tank gather in different conferences, meetings, forum and so forth and so on, in an effort to solve and resolve international issues in various aspects – peacefully. Yes, they come and go and most of the time the problem remains a dilemma for most countries.

Leaders representing their countries only engage in what we call a play of words and much rhetoric, in the end the problem remains.
In our country’s situation, through the present leadership, the arms race for a possible ‘war of arms’ begun. It’s quite obvious that the centerpiece of Uncle Sam’s return to the Asia-Pacific region is the military modernization of its allies. They gained a lot by selling war materiel and sustained their military- industrial complex operation while the poor (and most of the time 'stupid') ally will become a pawn in their game of war.

The other day, China Daily warned that the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam might compromise peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) if they enlist the U.S. support in the territorial disputes.  The arrival of several nuclear warships and the aircraft carrier, USS George Washington  to the Philippine shores is perceived by China's People's Liberation Army as an agit prop(agitation).

This writer has been constantly reminding our leaders through the years to be wary in dealing with our "friends". Most of them are so hard-headed and keep on repeating history wherein some leaders turn to dealers. Their only motivation - “what’s in it for me” and forget the people they were supposed to serve and protect. The people were repeatedly shortchanged and kowtow to this perceived master.

Again, the predicate has been laid and we must read the writings on the wall. Remember: “Rhetoric usually precedes armed conflicts and hints at the important issues over which the upcoming war will eventually be fought”.

If we can still avoid the war of minds to become a war of arms, let us unite and support the present leadership, if not all of us will be dragged to war not of our choosing.

Wake up!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NWO vs. NAM? by Erick San Juan

Last week, the Non-Aligned Movement held it's conference in Tehran, Iran. The organization which was founded in Belgrade has it's members from nation-states in Central and South America, Africa, Middle East and part of Europe. The alliance acronym NAM speaks for itself, they pledge to be neutral, don't pick sides nor get involved (ATS 8/30/12). The nation-states membership is now quite big and looked like it meant to counter the west or the western New World Order.

Iran presented the Non-Aligned Movement summit as a diplomatic triumph. According to report, the two day forum renewed it's effort to dillute the power of the United Nation's Security Council's permanent members and uphold calls for the creation of a Palestinian state. Two kings, 27 presidents and hundreds of diplomats attended the conference. Former senator Kit Tatad who joined Vice President Jojo Binay, attended the meeting and said, 'Iran is not isolated anymore.'

Ayatollah Khamenei in his speech said that the world is in transition towards a new international order and the Non-Aligned Movement can and should play a new role. He added that there's a need for solidarity among all NAM member states, an "obvious necessity" in the current era for establishing this new order.

Several position papers were given and a summary analysis of the so called 'Iran Update' circulated. Another was a white paper entitled, "Say No To War on Iran!" To quote- "While the possibility of a war with Iran is acknowledged in US news reports, it's regional and global implications are barely analyzed. Very few people in America are aware or informed regarding the devastation and massive loss of lives which would occur just in case of a US-Israeli sponsored attack on Iran. The media is involved in a deliberate process of camouflage and distortion. War preparations under a "Global Strike" concept, centralized and coordinated by the US Strategic Command(STRATCOM) are not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities. The 'Globalization of War' involving the hegemonic deployment of a formidable US-NATO military forces in all major regions of the world is inconsequential in the eyes of the Western media. The broader implications of this war are either trivialized or not mentioned. People are led to believe that war is part of a "humanitarian mandate" and that both Iran as well as it's allies, namely China and Russia, constitute an unrelenting threat to global security and to the western democracy. While the most advanced weapons system are used, America's wars are never presented as "killing operations" resulting in extensive civilian casualties. While the incidence of 'collateral damage' is acknowledged, the US led wars are heralded as an unquestionable instrument of "peace-making" and "democratization". This twisted notion that waging war is a "worthy cause", become entrenched in the inner consciousness of millions of people. A framework for 'good vs. evil' overshadows an understanding of the causes and devastating consequences of war. Within this mindset, realities as well as concepts are turned upside down. War becomes peace. The lie becomes the truth. The humanitarian mandate of the Pentagon and NATO cannot be challenged. The conquest of Iran's oil riches is the driving force behind America's military agenda. Iran's oil and gas industry is the unspoken trophy of the US led war,which has been on the active drawing board of the Pentagon for the last nine years. While the US is on war footing, Iran has for more than 10 years, been actively developing it's military capabilities in the eventuality of a US sponsored attack. If hostilities were to break out between Iran and the western military alliance, this could trigger a regional war extending from the Mediterranean to the Chinese border, potentially leading humanity into the realm of a World War 3 scenario. US and allied special forces as well as intelligence operatives are already on the ground inside Iran. US military drones are involved in spying and reconnaisance activities. The world is on the edge of global conflict. But it is not too late to say NO to war on Iran!"

The problem with these warring nations will lead to a mutually assured destruction of everyone. A self fulfilling prophecy of the ruthless and greedy elites who want to control the world. Using the principle of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend', the Russian government, in a recent statement, has warned the US and NATO that should "Iran get drawn into any political or military hardships, this will be a direct threat to our national security." It signifies that Russia, the main supplier of arms for Iran and it's military ally, will act militarily if Iran is attacked."

Who will pull the trigger? After the Apec meeting in Vladivostok, Russia, a bilateral meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is set for September 27. According to report, the bone of contention is Iran. Last January 25, New York Times report reiterated the statement of President Obama saying that." if Israel will wait too long in attacking Iran, it will no longer be possible. By November it will be too late." With this statement coming from President Obama, a Nobel peace prize awardee, the signature of the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is in the works. Roosevelt evaded losing a presidential election by going to world war 2.

Thanks to the American patriots in exposing this so called "windows of opportunity". God forbid!