Considering that formal agreements and peace talks can instantly dissolve the moment fighting begins – with the distinction between MILF and Abu Sayyaf, civilian and guerrilla vanishing the moment the military appears on the scene – it is imperative that our armed forces ponder whether there is such a thing as an isolated offensive versus any single group. The collision of an ancient martial culture, tribal loyalties and the security of the state has been proven, time and again, to be costly to all concerned."
Today's editorial in the Philippine Daily Inquirer I believe is the most silly and idiotic one ever to see print in that blurb.
"Ominous Offensive" takes the pacifist and anti Arroyo spin to its most ridiculous conclusions with non sequiturs worse that what Dan Brown can dish. The editorial link the service call of an American warship on the way to exercises with the Indonesian navy, the fact that MILF insurgents can never be expected to hold to on a ceasefire, the wisdom of offensives against a single insurgent group, fear of upsetting Malaysia with (drumrollls.....), the President's supposed plan to declare a national state of emergency just because a group of bandits waylaid a marine platoon in order to remove the public's bad taste of a Frenchy and Yankee dinners in Washington DC.
"What haunts the imagination of the public is the mutilation of some of the slain soldiers – this desecration of the dead is forbidden under Islam and has horrified pious Muslims and angered public opinion; it is an atrocity that both Muslims and Christians abhor. In the face of rising emotions, we counsel sobriety: a resumption of hostilities in Mindanao could endanger our democratic project.
The Inquirer even in its editorial idiocy has got one thing right. A military solution to the Mindanao conflict involves a grand strategy (which I believe the AFP has lost). This is something like the total destruction of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan by the allies in World War II. A Commander-in-Chief should not hesitate to use the appropriate response and firepower to incinerate these bandits. This Republic should not hesitate to destroy its enemies in order to secure the Philippines peace. Who is the Inquirer trying to scare? The Republic's democracy while may be fragile as some people contend, I believe is strong enough that its democracy can prevail over a band of bandits and those who want to exploit these for political gain. If the Inquirer is in shivers over "endangering our democratic project" this is premature. The greatest danger to our democratic project happened 20 years ago when some misguided Mistahs decided to overthrow Mrs Corazon Aquino. Subsequent attempts are laughable, especially the last and Mrs Arroyo knows that.
Securing the peace is costly and we know that. Peace is never cheap and requires vigilance over messianic military officers, the terrorists, petrified Maoist ideologues and all of them demand peace talks . Peace talks demand sincerity. Some of these peace talkers don't even want to be parted from their EU passports! The problem with the Arroyo administration is that it is a lame duck and it is too late in the day to do a Mahindra Rajapaksa.
A clouded 2010 scenario is what the insurgents want and may be a temptation for Mrs Arroyo. If she really can do a Mahindra Rajapaksa however unlikely, she can be PM forever and ever! But emergency rule?...... unlikely. This PhD prez isn't that dumb as those non-PhD critics don't realize.