Kwentong Barbero: Ang Minahan ni Juan sa Probinsya

Juan: I was googling “Philippines” and “mineral wealth”; such are the privileges of retirement, when I came across an article with the above title. It dates back to early 2005 and suggests all our economic woes would be over if we just dug stuff out of the ground. Does anyone agree with this or is it old news and have we already made a start on mining our reserves? Look forward to hearing some views and here is the link:   http://www.Globalpolitician.Com/2327-philippines

Pedro (replying to Juan): There are urban legends (and you know, legends come from something that was actually, true and the story was just passed on  that there’s enough gold in the mountains and oil in the marshes of Mindanao – to pay off the entire foreign debt and have spare change. One major gold mining area has another 50 years of high grade gold ore supposedly. In one gathering it was mentioned the road expansion in the towns leading to the major mining area is in preparation for loading the ore and processing it overseas – this minimizes local pollution although one must say we need to keep our eyes on the actual gold content of the exported ore – better safe than sorry, you know. This highway road expansion (8 lanes) in turn is also tied to the expansion of a deep-sea port in a northern town adjoining one of Mindanao’s premier urban centers. The main issues with mining (from an istambay sa kanto na tulad ko) are this:

1 – The local mining industry has not upgraded its occupational safety practices – if you think foreign mining companies are bad – just you wait till you get to this major mining area – It’s a wild wild west – he who has the gold has the guns, goons, girls, and government. There are stories of daily cave-ins which are not being reported. You know why? Because supposedly, the more blood is spilt in the mining area, the more gold can be found. Quite disturbing you’d think it’s a very subtle form of human sacrifice – in this day and age under our very noses. The abanteros as the mine workers are called – are nameless.  – Check out the photos!!! Their names are not recorded when they go the the mines. They have dreams of striking gold in the mines -only to die from bullets, cave-ins, disease, and vice. Each mine owner have their armed guards that watch as the abanteros drill through the rock. Oftentimes the crews of competing mine operators meet halfway, oftentimes ending in a gun battles underground. The competing operators cum owners – the high graders are playing golf somewhere; while underground the respective crews kill each other. The gilded jungle is extremely Darwinian – and pre-Cambrian.

2 – The local gold miners have not parlayed the gold into an upscale jewelry business nor is gold traded in Manila
– with good reason -they don’t want anybody to know their wealth – it will set them up for government harassment, not to mention increase their “costs of doing business” – allegedly with the npa, afp, denr, lgu, malacañang, and their private armies.

3 – The ownership of gold and oil will be a continuing battle between malacañang, the local miners, the foreign mining companies, and the local indigenous population (who see the mineral as their community’s heirloom). Allegedly, the local players are concerned that Malacañang will no longer be satisfied with pay-offs and becomes interested in running the show themselves. An attempt was made by national to tap a local player to enter the scene in the said mining area. So far, it has been silent – which means, it’s all good. 😉

4 – The church and NGOs are not helping and often wind up muddling the issue.
All they do is rally – it’s a tired solution. The NGOs who lead the natives should enable the communities to learn how their communal mineral assets can be tapped and gain major concessions and substantial equity.  Why not pursue a mutually beneficial arrangement where green mining practices are observed and social nets are provided to the community where the mining is ongoing (i.e. Schools, hospitals, housing, employment preference, profit-sharing, oversight committee). Unfortunately, silent whispers abound that hawks in the Pasig tenants are trying to figure out is how to kill all the moros and have the oil and gold only unto themselves – nope, indios not included – just the pasig’s tenants, matinde.

Tomas: I agree that there is actually a lot of gold in the Philippines (esp. In Mindanao) and with the current price of gold, the Philippines can be really rich. However, unlike the middle eastern sheiks and the sultanate of Brunei who all realized that relying on foreign companies and their technology/know-how was the only way they were going to make money on what they had “underneath”, the Philippines has greedy oligarchs who want to do “do it themselves” but aren’t serious about learning the technology and gaining the know-how and aren’t even willing to really invest time and money to really dig it up.

That’s the problem I see so far. One of my recent “hobbies” has been investing in the mineral sector (particularly in gold and precious metals companies) and I have to say, I made quite a killing with philex mining. (Pse: px) one other promising company I’ve put a lot of my net worth in is call tvi pacific (tsx: tvi) which is Canada/Toronto-listed and its principals hail from Calgary, Alberta where there’s a lot of technology and know-how for mining (‘coz apparently extraction is the only thing they can do there: oil and minerals).

This company operates in the Philippines, and its main mine-site is in zamboanga del norte (canatuan). They’re doing pretty well and have been operating profitably, and their mining techniques are solid…They’re generally beating the hell out of local companies because the Canadians have the technical expertise, while many local companies, on the other hand, didn’t have “real operations” and instead just owned the mine-site, and then simply had all these local barrio-type “individual prospectors” come into their mine-site, dig the minerals, and then hand-over a percentage of whatever the individual “small-scale miners” extracted to the owners. In short, many of these local mining companies didn’t have a professional organization of trained people and instead just “farmed out” the extraction to unpaid prospectors. In other words, it was really nothing but haciendero-style tenant-farming implemented on mining! (That’s how it’s been for a long time) rent-seeking was how they did it. In fairness to GMA, it was largely under her watch that the liberalization of the mining sector first started by FVR was continued. Under Erap, he tried to reverse that since he had friends who wanted to keep foreign firms out. Still, a lot needs to be done to get pinoys out of this whole “foreign companies are all evil” cr@p that many of them like to feed on.

Once again, I always bring up the rich middle eastern countries as well as Brunei to rebut that… Without foreign companies, those gulf countries would be nothing but collections of goat-herders and shepherds. Arabia would not be “Saudi Arabia” (with the al-sauds at the helm) and the pilgrimages to Mecca would be the chief source of hard currency. And the Brunei sultanate would just be a collection of sleepy fishing villages. So far, I don’t see malacanang (well, the fvr-gma project, that is) too much as the problem. Generally, I see the same group of nitwits that Pedro identified:

1. National and local oligarchs
2. Church activists  (mostly the lib-theo types like that running-priest idiot)
3. Protectionist NGO nuts (they’re the same “anti-foreign” and “anti-capitalist” bunch who only operate because some capitalists somewhere were philanthropic enough to send them funds)

Juan , you can check this out… http://www.Atimes.Com/atimes/southeast_asia/he26ae02.Html

Pedro: Tomas, that’s my beef with the Moro sultanates, I hate to say it but the oligarchs of the Bangs Moro are delusional and fancy themselves like mini sultans of Brunei or mini kings of Saudi Arabia – for crying out loud.. And they make no bones about their “destiny” and “birthright” of holding government power. The “royals” formally wield powers by morphing the feudal structure into the republican government structure. Thus, a sultan or Datu, and becomes the governor or mayor… Commoners – who do not in any way have no pedigree have no chance of becoming an elected official without the approval of the grand sultan or Datu.

The feudal culture gives rise to impunity – from the medieval knights to the caliphates to the sultanates. It’s not just that the Ampatuan massacre is gruesome -it’s also that it happened at a time when media was able to capture the act. In earlier times when Moro clans have rido – 100 is nothing – it’s a no-man’s land policy – kill anything that moves – including the pets.

The royal families of KSA and Brunei had the good sense to send their children to the top schools in Europe in preparation for eventually taking over the government in their generation. In the Philippines, the only few that I know who value education are the tribes who include a current Harvard-trained governor – and even then, he is just a figurehead for the patriarch of the clan. The royals counterparts in other tribes are just too busy with making money, gunrunning, smuggling of contraband from Malaysia and Indonesia, wholesale dealing with shabu (the tsismis that never was heard is that precursors from Shanghai, sent via 14k to Taiwan, entry points in Northern Luzon, transloaded and processed in Northern Mindanao, regional distribution via Central Mindanao, couriers, received by christian area distributors – that can include scions of local executives – narcopolitics in highly populated centers in Southern and Western Mindanao.

As far as the Moro royals are concerned, Malacañang is just an appointed “point-guard” of the oligarch faction in power. The “royals” in turn are power forwards of the point guard.

Then, there’s the ASG.The chatter in the streets from the people without slippers seems to corroborate the speech of Sen Nene Pimentel:

[Privilege speech of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel at the Senate, July 31, 2000]

Long before the tourists of Sipadan were kidnapped on April 23 of this year, the Abu Sayyaf had already been blazing a bloody trail of murders, abductions, rapes, mutilations, arsons, and other heinous crimes that is impossible to match in terms of callous cruelty by any armed band of hooligans locally or even internationally.

To respond to the problem posed by the Abu Sayyaf, it may be helpful if we recalled the circumstances of its creation.

CIA recruits

In the early 1980s, the CIA actively recruited, “armed and supported” moujahideens or volunteer Muslim warriors to fight the CIA sponsored-US proxy war in Afghanistan against the Russians who had invaded the country in 1979 and had put up a puppet regime there.1

Thousands of Muslim fighters from many parts of the world, including many young men from the Muslim-dominated areas in Mindanao, enlisted to fight in Afghanistan. After all, the dollar-denominated monthly pay plus incentives of $100 to $300 a month2 was certainly attractive enough for the jobless and impoverished Muslim youths.

These young warriors were, then, trained to – and many did – fight in Afghanistan supported with funds and equipment by the CIA and its network of friendly foreign funders which at that time included Osama bin Ladin, a highly successful Arab business man in the construction industry. Bin Ladin subsequently fell out of grace with the CIA which has since been trying to get him either literally or extradited to the US for his complicity in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993.

Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, supposedly a colleague of bin Ladin, was directly implicated as one of the bombers of the World Trade Center. Ramzi becomes immediately relevant to our discussion not only because of his supposed connections with bin Laden but more so because soon after the kidnapping of the Sipadan tourists, the kidnappers who had proclaimed themselves as members of the Abu Sayyaf announced that one of their demands was the release of Ramzi from US prisons.

Training as Moujahideens

The training of the moujahideens for guerilla warfare was undertaken by the CIA with the active collaboration of secret, usually, intelligence, services of the armed forces or select military officers in various countries, including our own.

Now, when the Russians had pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, the Moujahideens either returned to their home countries or proceeded to other countries and put their Afghan war military experience at the service of certain fundamentalist causes of Islam.

Birth of Abu Sayyaf

In the case of the Filipino Muslim Moujahideens, most came back to various parts of Mindanao from their base in Peshawar, Pakistan.

In the words of John K. Cooley in his book, Unholy Wars, “This group (of Filipino Muslim Moujahideens) was the core of an armed guerilla band of several hundred men who xxx moved from its Peshawar, Pakistan base to the southern Philippine Islands after the end of the Afghan war. Under the name of the Abu Sayyaf group, it operated on the fringe of the Moros Muslim insurgency.”

Thus was the Abu Sayyaf born.

The Abu Sayyaf took its name from Professor Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, an Afghan intellectual, who had preached an ultra-conservative Islamic ideology called Wahabi.

Cooley calls the Abu Sayyaf in the 1990s as “the most violent and radical Islamist group in the Far East, using its CIA and ISI (Pakistan’s intra-military directorate for intelligence services) training to harass, attack and murder Christian priests, wealthy non-Muslim plantation-owners and merchants and local government in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.” [p. 63]

Military coddlers

Because the Abu Sayyaf was operating on the fringe of the Muslim insurgency in the country, its partisans were enticed by certain officers of the armed forces to serve as informers on the activities of the Muslim insurgents in Southern Mindanao.

Marites D. Vitug and Glenda M. Gloria name, at least, three military and police officers as coddlers or handlers of the Abu Sayyaf in their book, Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao. One was the commanding general of the Marines at that time, Brig. Gen. Guillermo Ruiz; the other two were police officers, Chief Supt. Leandro Mendoza and Chief Supt. Rodolfo Mendoza.

In the case of Ruiz’s involvement with the Abu Sayyaf, Vitug and Gloria theorize that “The Marines – led by then Brig. Gen. Guillermo Ruiz – apparently flirted with the Abu Sayyaf because they controlled the mountains and (he) wanted to keep his business.” [page 218]

The business of Gen. Ruiz reportedly had to do with illegal logging which led the Catholic Church of Basilan led by Bishop Romeo de la Cruz to demand that the Marines be pulled out of the island. As Vitug and Gloria put it, “By 1994, the Marines were out of Basilan.” This episode has tarnished the otherwise unblemished record of the Marines, who had been held in high esteem by the people in troubled areas where they had been assigned.

Perks from the intelligence services

My information is that the Abu Sayyaf partisans were given military intelligence services IDs, safe-houses, safe-conduct passes, firearms, cell phones and various sorts of financial support.

Edwin Angeles, a leader of the Abu Sayaff in Basilan, told me after the elections of 1995, that it was the Abu Sayaff that was responsible for the raid and the razing down of the town of Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur in early 1995. In that raid, Angeles told me that the Abu Sayyaf raiders were reportedly provided with military vehicles, mortars and assorted firearms. All this time, Angeles was “handled” by police officer, now chief superintendent, Rodolfo Mendoza.

Angeles, if you will recall, was summarily executed, salvaged, if you will, by up to now unidentified persons in 1999. He was killed a month after the principal organizer of the Abu Sayyaf, Abdurajak Janjalani, was shot dead in a reported encounter with police officers.

But even as Abdurajak Janjalani and Edwin Angeles are dead, the Abu Sayyaf up to this very day continues to defy the law, spill blood and cause havoc in the country. In short, the Abu Sayyaf has become a horrifying menace to our people.

A CIA-Monster

For what the Abu Sayyaf has become, the CIA must merit our people’s condemnation. The CIA has sired a monster that has caused a lot problems for the country and is giving the country a horrible reputation in the international community.

The CIA, however, is a tool of American foreign policy. It will do what advances the cause of the US even at the expense of other countries like ours.

Inexcusable involvement

What looks inexcusable to me is the involvement of a few officers of the armed forces – handlers of the Abu Sayyaf, my informants call them – in the training of the Abu Sayyaf partisans, the very same group of hooligans who are responsible for the kidnapping of foreigners and locals alike and the atrocities they had committed for several years now.

The best that can be said of these officers is that they had been acting, like Col. Oliver North in the infamous Iran-Contra arms deal controversy in the US, outside the loop of the regular command. Their mission, most likely, was to get the Abu Sayyaf partisans as their sources of information on the movements of the Muslim insurgents and probably of their allies from other Muslim countries and as friendly pawns in the game of divide and rule as far as the Muslim insurgency is concerned.

To that end, these officers did not only “handle” the Abu Sayyaf, they cuddled them, trained them, protected them, passed on military equipment and funds from the CIA and its support network, and probably even from the intelligence funds of the armed forces to them.

It is also quite possible that these officers pursued their own self-interests when they dealt with the Abu Sayyaf.

Butch Fernandez of Today tells me that Gen. Alexander Aguirre was present at a meeting – perhaps organizational – of the Abu Sayyaf. Whatever the nature of Gen. Aguirre’s involvement with the Abu Sayyaf has to be explained.

A retired military officer, brigadier general Ruiz, whom Vitug and Gloria had tagged in their book as responsible for the Marines’ flirtation with the Abu Sayyaf, figured recently in the rescue of an Abu Sayyaf hostage in Sulu. He had his picture prominently taken in the company of Sec. Robert Aventajado, chief negotiator of the government for the release of the Abu Sayyaf hostages. In all likelihood, Gen. Ruiz got involved in the Abu Sayyaf hostage release negotiations because he is supposedly trusted by Abu Sayyaf partisans having been a “coddler” of theirs in the not-too-distant past.

Gen. Ruiz should be called to account for his involvement with the Abu Sayyaf. So should Chief Supt. Leandro Mendoza and Chief Supt. Rodolfo Mendoza.

De Villa and Ramos, too

Naturally, the then chief of staff of the armed forces in the 1990s, Gen. Renato de Villa, should likewise tell the people what he knows of the involvement of the CIA and our own military officers in the creation, handling and supervision of the Abu Sayyaf.

It goes without saying that the commander-in-chief of the armed forces from 1992 to 1998, namely, former president Fidel V. Ramos should likewise tell the people what he knows of his administration’s involvement with the creation, handling, and supervision of the Abu Sayyaf.

In our search for the truth regarding the creation, training, funding, supervision and operation of the Abu Sayyaf, the best evidence would be the testimony of people who possess first hand information on these matters.

My witness, Edwin Angeles, is dead. There is or was a file of video-taped testimony of Angeles with ABS-CBN that should be made available to the Senate in connection with its investigation of the Abu Sayyaf.

Arlene de la Cruz, the lady journalist who had first brought Angeles’ exploits to light as an Abu Sayyaf officer told me recently that the file still exists in the vaults of the ABS-CBN.

It was she who had accompanied Angeles to see me in 1995 to explore my providing Angeles with legal assistance. Angeles’ predicament, then, was that he was reportedly being hunted down by the then Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Rafael Alunan.

Corroborative evidence

Ms. de la Cruz would be a good source of corroborative evidence on many aspects of the operations of the Abu Sayyaf.

A body-guard of Angeles is likewise still alive. Some weeks ago, he told me the names of some other officers of the armed forces who “handled” Abu Sayaff matters. He is, however, deathly afraid of coming out into the open.

Circumstantial evidence

If we are unable to ascertain the truth about the responsibility of the CIA and some of our own military officers in the creation, training and supervision of Abu Sayyaf activities from direct evidence of the persons in the know, materials abound that weave an incontrovertible tale of their involvement through circumstantial evidence.

Among the authors who have written about the Abu Sayyaf, to my knowledge, it is Cooley who makes the most direct statement regarding the training and funding of the Abu Sayyaf by the CIA.

Cooley supports his allegations not only with documents obtained from CIA and Russian sources but with interviews that he had conducted with persons in the know of the secret operations of the CIA in connection with the Afghan war.

Today we are faced with a difficult problem of trying to contain, if not eradicate, the curse of the Abu Sayyaf in parts of Southern Mindanao.

Unassailable evidence

The evidence is now overwhelming – unassailable in my mind – that the CIA was the procreator of the Abu Sayyaf and that some of our own military officers acted as midwives at its delivery and who have nursed the hooligans under illegal, if not, at least, questionable circumstances that enabled the latter to pursue their criminal activities to this very day.

We probably cannot do anything about the CIA’s responsibility in the creation of the Abu Sayyaf and the funding, training and equipping of its members by the agency. That is a thing of the past.

But we can and ought to do something about the involvement of our military officers who were active participants or conduits of the CIA in the creation, funding, training and equipping of the Abu Sayyaf.

Preventing a treasonous recurrence

We have to find out what we can do as legislators to prevent a recurrence of the situation where certain military officers of our armed forces became willing tools of the CIA in the creation, funding, training and equipping of this bandit group that has brought so much harm to the national interest in the last several years and opprobrium to our name in the last several months.

The officers who have been identified as coddlers or handlers of the Abu Sayaff in various studies and documents must be called to account.

While the paternal bonds of the CIA with the Abu Sayyaf may already have been cut off, I am not too sure that the filial connections of the Abu Sayyaf with certain officers of our armed forces have already been severed.

Berting: This and the other things discussed so far — gold and drugs, etc. — that take place in Mindanao and other “hinterland” areas constitute information, news, and issues that are not given enough airtime in our manila-centric politics and the “reporting” of our media. Even rumour-mongering is given more airtime in the media. Considering that even the relevant manila-based issues are glossed over in manila in favour of the trivial intrigues of the capital, news and issues from outside of luzon don’t stand a chance. It took a maguindanao massacre or the kidnap of what’s-her-face (hi-profile abs-cbn *bandila* news presenter) to get non-manila issues airtime.

Juan: well that was enlightening, if depressing. Am I to assume, then, that aspects of this topic are considered too hot to handle by …..

Pedro: SSShhhhh… The walls have ears.

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22 comments

  1. Anonylol · ·

    Well shit. I knew we live in a backward country, I didn’t know it was that backward.

    That’s some medieval-era bullshit right there.

  2. About that #4 NGO thingy, I heard somewhere that their intentions are not really to fight the against abuses of mineral resources but driven by pogi-points that is convertible to hard cash from overseas donors who are supporting their cause.

  3. Funny thing, I thouht the ABU CIA connection was just far fetched.

  4. […] Originally posted here: Kwentong Barbero: Ang Minahan ni Juan sa Probinsya | Anti-Pinoy […]

  5. Yes, funny you mentioned that Free. A lot of people will still think it’s far-fetched, but that’s only because there isn’t much info on this (and OTHER related issues)….also, this is way too out-of-the-box for some people, so you know how that’s gonna go. In fact, I’ve got long but detailed article from ’02 that would knock the socks off readers like you. Let’s just say that it was quite an eye-opener, and it made me rethink about “who’s really in-charge” of our affairs. Too complicaterd to fully understand and explain, but maybe it’s better this way.

    Bong, i must commend you for putting this out. I’ve been hoping to read something like this on AP for quite some time, and i hope there’s more of it coming. I haven’t read the whole article yet cuz it’s quite lengthy, but I’ll find the time to read it slowly…for sure.

  6. Everyone is trading hearsay factoids in Manila and forget that there is the rest of the country quietly operating like a feudal society right under the radar. Or maybe perhaps Mindanao politics simply aren’t newsworthy enough for the Manila-centric and profit-centric Philippine Media?

    Answer: All of the above.

  7. That’s actually sort of true. It’s not just in the Mindanao though it’s everywhere particularly among members of AKBAYAN PL and BISIG. Once the foreign funding runs out so does the NGO.

  8. Or that journalists aren’t trained to think outside the box

  9. While I think it’s farfetched that CIA affected EDSA 1, the CIA on Mindanao is a lot more plausible. Basically, this is something that they’re likely to be concerned about, since JI in Indonesia is their biggest worry in this region. As for the CIA training Abus, I see it more as an unintended consequence: CIA trains Mujahideens against Soviets, Mujahideens train Abus after they go anti-American. Still, CIA is responsible for a lot of problems in the world. Their works tend to be short-sighted and backfiring.

  10. Thanks.

    I kind of confused before what’s wrong with banana aerial spray where it has been for ages since the 70’s and these NGO’s are adamant in fighting against the “abuse” of chemicals.

    Little did I know the the free-flowing of dollars from overseas is hard to ignore.

  11. The CIA had nothing to do with EDSA; Pimentel’s narrative concerning those who would later become the Abu Sayyaf is correct in its basic points. What people should understand about the CIA is that it is not a policy-setter, it is a tool of the national security policy of the US. So while a lot of what the CIA did in fact turned out to be pretty stupid in hindsight, there is always a deeper cause. In the case of the mujahadeen, the Carter Administration (who helped goad the Soviets into invading Afghanistan) realized the opportunity of getting the Soviet Union mired in an unwinnable war, and developing a bulwark in Afghanistan against a Soviet threat to the Persian Gulf. In order to do that, of course, Afghanistan would have to develop a stable leadership core; Carter and Brzenzenski understood this, and they had no particular problem with that leadership core being Muslim as long as they were not Communists.

    Once Reagan replaced Carter, the long-term Afghanistan policy was out the window. Reagan and his people saw the Soviets were in big trouble, figured that the problem was solved, and abandoned the mujahadeen to concentrate on other things, like Central America. Obviously, that was the real mistake, with worldwide and continuing repercussions.

  12. Chino,

    Terrorism is often the reason cited for the U.S. presence in Mindanao. It makes sense for tv and is often quite believable…but it’s only as far as our media’s gone in explaining the “whole” situation to the common tao.

    But here’s a sample of what we don’t often hear or read about. This is a small excerpt from the 2002 online article I mentioned above:

    ________________________________________________________

    The role of the Philippines takes on even greater significance when viewed in the context of the larger 9/11 War agenda, which includes, among others:

    1) Control of key natural resource regions and transit routes; seizure, consolidation and control of final supplies and deposits of non-renewable world energy supplies.

    2) Control of international drug traffic, and management of covert narco-money flows (through world financial system).

    3) Geoeconomics (neoliberal corporate globalization).

    4) Geostrategic positioning in defense of and/or expansion of western “security” interests (superpower hegemony).

    5) Legitimization of neo-fascism. Removal of anti-western imperialist/anti-globalization political opposition groups and nationalist movements.

    6) Ongoing manipulation of terrorist groups via intelligence apparatus (CIA, Pakistani ISI and other affiliated proxies) to carry out imperial covert agendas.

    7) War-industrial complex (neo-Cold War).

    8) Corruption, fraud and government-corporate crime.

    For a multitude of reasons, new as well as time-honored, the US is in the Philippines to stay.

    __________________________________________________________________

    Jeez, is this all true? Are we doomed to fail?

    Too bad i can’t count on the media for answers…

  13. How did that emoticon get there?

    That’s supposed to be no. 8……sorry. 🙂

  14. Here’s another excerpt. I would love to hear from those who are in a position to confirm or deny the points laid-out here:

    ______________________________________________________

    FOCAL POINT OF U.S. POWER IN THE FAR EAST

    There is an old saying in the intelligence world: GOD stands for “Gold (financial assets), Oil (natural and mineral resources) and Drugs.” In a more modern version of this adage, the “G” includes “Geo” (as in geoeconomics and geostrategy), as well as “corporate Globalization.”

    Professor Peter Dale Scott explains that “all US wars in modern history—from Vietnam to the Gulf War to 9/11, Afghanistan, etc.—have involved overt and covert alliances with drug proxies and narco-trafficking criminal syndicates that are simultaneously involved in and with oil. The global narco-economy is inextricably tied to the petro-economy, and both are vital to the larger global economic and financial system itself. Drug and oil proxies assist US geostrategic aims, and vice versa.”

    “GOD” is in abundance in every major theatre of the 9/11 War, from Afghanistan to Georgia to Colombia to Yemen. The Philippines is no exception.

    1. The Philippines is geographically central, the gateway to Southeast Asia at the heart of the South China Sea. The Philippines is the fulcrum from which the US can project its military, intelligence and economic power throughout the Far East region. (Just look at the map.)

    2. The South China Sea region is the Eastern frontier of the “Grand Chessboard” as described by Zbigniew Brezezinski in his Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, a book that continues to serve as a virtual blueprint for the 9/11 War. In Brezezinski’s “integrated, comprehensive and long-term geostrategy for all of Eurasia,” he details how Asia is the final stop in a NATO expansion across the Eurasian continent all the way to the Pacific Ocean. He also discusses the nurturing of US-led (pro-western) military alliances in the Southeast Asian region, the importance of “the US management of its relationship with China.” Among the regional flash points: Taiwan, North Korea, Indonesia and China itself (which the US is simultaneously engaging and containing).

    Brezezinski: “The far eastern mainland is the seat of an increasingly powerful and independent player (China), controlling an enormous population, while the territory of its energetic rival–is confined on several nearby islands—and half of a small far-eastern peninsula provide a perch for American power.” (note: the Philippines are among the “nearby islands.”)

    “Suppose China does not democratize but continues to grow in economic and military power? A ‘Greater China’ may be emerging, whatever the desires and calculations of its neighbors, and any effort to prevent that from happening could entail an intensifying conflict with China.”

    “To accept China as a regional power is not a matter of simply endorsing a mere slogan. There will have to be substance to any such regional preeminence. To put it very directly, how large a Chinese sphere of influence, and where, should America be prepared to accept as part of a policy of successfully co-opting China into world affairs? What areas now outside of China’s political radius might have to be conceded to the realm of the reemerging Celestial Empire?”

    “In brief, US management of its relationship with China will inevitably have direct consequences for the stability of the American-Japanese-Korean triangular security relationship.”

    3. The Philippines has historically been America’s key military base, listening post, and naval port in the Far East region.

    4. The South China Sea is the world’s second busiest international sea lane. More than half the world’s supertanker traffic passes through the region’s waters. It is a major “chokepoint,” as vital to the world economy as the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal. The United States continues to patrol these seaways. In fact, as Michael Klare points out in his book, Resource Wars, “the US is obliged by treaty to ensure the security of Japan, and this, in turn, entails an obligation to protect Japan’s vital supply routes. American warships also transverse the South China Sea when sailing between US bases in Japan and the Persian Gulf area.”

    5. Nearly all of Asia’s energy imported from the Middle East and Africa pass through the Strait of Malacca and through the South China Sea. The bulk of the world’s liquefied natural gas passes through the South China Sea. A South China Sea that is “managed” by the United States and its allies is vital in the proposed transportation of (still unrequited) Central Asian oil and gas from its source to its ultimate markets. The demand for oil and energy in developing Asia, particularly China, will grow rapidly in coming years.

    6. The South China Sea is rich in oil and gas. The Philippines themselves contain a wealth of oil, natural gas and land. The region has become the focus of intense oil and gas exploration by multinational energy companies in the past year.

    7. The South China Sea is the gateway to the renowned Golden Triangle, one of the world’s key heroin-producing regions on earth. Since 2000, when the Taliban destroyed much of the opium crop (that supplied approximately 75 percent of the world’s heroin), the Golden Triangle has supplanted the Golden Crescent as the number one opium source. The Philippines is both a key drug transit nation and an internationally renowned money-laundromat.

    8. Southeast Asia is a key developing economic region. Leading multinational corporations and investors have vital long-term interests in the region, including oil and gas. Asia will attract increasing interest as many Asian economies have adopted the “structural reforms,” deregulation and privatization formulas pushed by the IMF and the World Bank, etc. following the “Asian economic crisis” of the late 1990s (that many authorities believe was an orchestrated financial conspiracy). Asia will become even more attractive as a haven for outside investment if western markets and economies continue to deteriorate.

    9. The Philippines is home to Islamic separatist and guerrilla groups that can be exploited, manipulated and (at least partially) controlled by CIA and other intelligence agencies, and propagandized as terrorists (due to historical ties to Al-Qaeda), and/or otherwise targeted for destruction (for nationalistic tendencies). Where US interests require force, violent intervention (terrorism) is utilized. The fact that some of these guerrilla groups are also drug traffickers fits the pattern of accommodation that is mirrored in other 9/11 War hot spots (Central Asia, Latin America, Balkans, Yemen, etc.)

    10. The Philippine leadership remains deeply connected to Washington and global financial oligarchs. The neo-colony’s ties to corporate elites, and members of the current and former Bush administrations, are historical, persistent and well documented. Essentially, the Philippine government continues to function as a US proxy.

  15. Cite the article properly, so that people can look it up themselves and have a productive discussion about it; “the 2002 online article” is a lousy attribution. That’s something mlq3 or the Jolog Queen would say: “There are those who believe that…” or “It is said…” Or is it because, as I suspect, that one of those tabloid-ish kind of conspiracy nut websites is the source of it?

  16. BenK, you’re right. I should’ve just provided the link from the start, and I forgot. I hope this comes out right this time…

    http://www.yonip.com/main/articles/philippines.html

    I’m unfamiliar with the author, so your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    For what it’s worth, happy reading everyone! 🙂

  17. “Or is it because, as I suspect, that one of those tabloid-ish kind of conspiracy nut websites is the source of it?”

    Hahaha…Now wait a minute! Why would i use something like that as a source?

    Watcha talkin’ ’bout, Willis? 😀

  18. Persona non Grata · ·

    Link is not important. What is important if it makes sense and logical. It is not who said it first and original.

  19. Thanks for the link; I thought a lot of it sounded like something I’d read before, that’s why it was annoying me.

    Much if it is valid, though presented in a cherry-picked, alarmist way; some of it is pure hooey. Peter Dale Scott, for example, has spent most of his career chasing JFK assassination conspiracy theories, and is generally dismissed as a crackpot by the actual foreign policy community. The drug and guerrilla-group angle is a little overdone as well; whatever discreet connections the US has here, it’s certainly much farther up the ladder than those guys.

    Here’s the basic problem, as far as the Philippines is concerned: do you want to be part of the Western sphere of influence, or do you want to be controlled by China? Having demonstrated for its entire non-colonial life that it cannot become an independent global player, the RP is going to fall into one basket or the other, and the US quite naturally would rather it would be theirs. Rather than worrying about what the US or any other country is doing here or elsewhere, the RP ought to be spending some more time pulling its collective head out of its collective ass and working on not being a completely dysfunctional pushover of a country, so it doesn’t have these problems of undue external influence in the first place.

  20. Persona non Grata · ·

    Free, journalists are trained to think inside the envelope.

  21. What’s wrong is that the increasing population has brought settlers and families closer to the areas where aerial spraying is conducted. I should know, I’ve been through one of their forums. Which was also funded by DSWD bTw

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