Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Watch Out! By Erick San Juan

Watch Out! By Erick San Juan

When is a military exercise tend to be a tool for provocation that might lead to a regional conflict in the process? Take for example this year’s Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) to be held from June 27 to July 2 by the United States (US) and Philippine navies. It’s a five year planned exercise from 2011 to 2015, and because of the tensions brewing in the contested areas in the South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea) recently, such naval exercise might create a situation that can lead to something else if not handled with utmost caution.

The mere fact that this year’s CARAT will be held some 60 nautical miles from the disputed Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) using live fire where Chinese ships are stationed, the said exercise’s timing is still suspect, whether we like it or not.

And to make matters worst, Danny Russel who will be the next assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (replacing Kurt Campbell) said that: “I certainly will do everything in my power to try to lower the temperature, push claimants, including China, into a diplomatic track and continue to warn them that the region in which China will flourish is a region of law, a region of order and a region of respect for neighbors, not one in which there is space for coercion and bullying.”

Is there a planned scenario that we are not aware of which can put the whole country back into the enemy’s crosshairs? Was the meeting in California, USA by the two leaders, Obama and Xi have something to do with the strong words coming from the American diplomat? Just asking.

Although we noticed the rhetoric (or doublespeak) of the good diplomat when he said that “the United States supports the rise of China that is stable, prosperous and abides by international rules and norms. He said the United States seeks ‘practical cooperation’ that benefits both countries and the region.” (From the Associated Press)

It is quite obvious that somehow Uncle Sam needed the help of Beijing to reign in North Korea about the development of its nuclear weapons which is considered to be a threat, not just in the region but particularly against the US.

So, which is which?

If there will be any confrontation at all during the military naval exercise near the Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal with the Chinese stationed there, due to miscalculation or ‘mere stupidity’, will the ‘big brother’ stand by its ally’s side? Or we will be too confident to start the confrontation because we know that the ‘big brother’ is there to defend us?

Now is the time for a reality check confronting the leaders of this country, as well as its citizenry, like I have been saying for years already that “walang tutulong sa mga Pilipino kungdi kapwa Pilipino”.

We must be ever vigilant and always rally behind our country and defend our sovereignty, we can never tell how far our so-called ally will help us and defend our sovereignty against a perceived enemy if worse comes to worst.

There is always a possibility that an invented war will occur in the region due to the economic factor that the G2 is experiencing at the moment coupled with the possible unrest among its citizenry. Let us help our leaders realize this and pray harder that such scenario will not materialize.

No comments: