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Author Topic: Mindanao in a Nutshell  (Read 17575 times)
Isug Among Luha
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« on: December 08, 2003, 11:43:37 AM »

(taken from peyups.com)


I am from Kidapawan, Mindanao. I am a Christian. I disagree with Balikatan II. I disagree with war as the solution to the Mindanao problem. Allow me to share with you a history of this problem, my opinion, and my suggestion, in the hopes of shedding light and sympathy for the people of Mindanao. Since most of the decisions are being decided by those from Luzon and the Visayas, this short narration is crucial. Keep in mind, if anything else, that ignorance always breeds bloodshed.

Pre-Spanish era Philippines was divided into ethno-linguistic groups. In the north were the Tagalogs, Pampango, Kapangpangan, Ilocanos, Ibanags, and Bicolanos. These were further broken down into tribes. The Ifugaos, Igorots, Aetas represented the highland groups. In the Visayas were the Cebuanos, Ilongos, Warays, and Aklanons. In Mindanao, the T?boli, Mano?bo?s, and Bisayas in northern Mindanao.  The Muslim groups here were represented by the Maguindanaos, Maranaws, Tausugs, and the Yakans. Back then these groups fought. They fought for control of trade routes, for slaves, and other various reasons but the main point of note is that their religions were of no importance during these little wars. The low land tribes, such as the Cebuanos and Tagalogs, worshiped anitos specific to there regions. So did the Negritos and Igorots of the high lands. The Yakans, Samals, and Tausugs worshiped Islam, a religion they readily accepted from Muslim traders. The Philippine Islands during this time was already experiencing the fruits of the Southeast Asian trades, between China, Borneo, Sumatra, India, Japan, and Siam.

Then enter the Spaniards. They brought with them their swords and their friars, who practiced Catholicism of the Dark Ages. While Europe was waking up into their Age of Exploration, the Catholic Church was still involved in extortion, rapes, and various other criminal acts. This was the Catholicism brought to the Philippines. After subduing the lowlanders, i.e. the Tagalogs, Ilongos, Ilocanos, and Cebuanos, the Spaniards set out to conquer Mindanao. Because the Maguindanao, Maranaw, and Tausug sultanates were more organized and held a strategically more fortified region, the Spaniards never conquered them. They managed to place an outpost in Zambaonga, but that was all they accomplished.

Enter the Americans. The upper class Filipinos took over the revolution began by the peasants against the Spaniards, and decided to hand over their new nation to the Americans (they fought half heartedly, prioritizing their status over the nation?s freedom). The lower class continued their struggle in the mountains, but eventually they were defeated. Luzon and the Visayas knelt to their new colonizer, the US.  Mindanao was next. Where the Spaniards only succeeded to call the Maguindanaos, Tausugs, Maranaws, and the Yakans collectively as Moros, the U.S. was determined to win Mindanao. ?If they could pacify the American Indians, it shouldn't be too hard to conquer Mindanao', the Americans reasoned. This was the early 1900s.

Enter the American corporations. Dole and Del Monte are among the largest of these companies. These corporations still hold vast amounts of land throughout Mindanao, i.e. Davao, and Cagayan de Oro. A few years before these companies effectively manipulated the American government to invade and conquer the islands of Hawaii, a sovereign nation at that time. The main purpose was the acquisition of more lands to grow pineapple and sugar. The anti-imperialist forces in America forbade these companies from touching Luzon and Visayas. So they along with the U.S. military set their sites on Mindanao.

With better arsenal the U.S. succeeded, where the Spaniards left off. But unlike the Spaniards, Mindanao was left to continue its culture. This is the most interesting part. While Luzon and the Visayas were set to be Americanized, a different policy was being developed for Mindanao. The U.S. military and the above companies wanted Mindanao for themselves. So, while the U.S. military encouraged the Muslims to continue their traditions, they were making case for full military colonization of Mindanao. Luzon and the Visayas did not require full military colonization because they were already Christianized and Europeanized, Westernized. Mindanao however required the full attention of the U.S. military. So under the auspices of the U.S. army, the corporations prospered. The more Mindanao looked uncivilized in the eyes of the Americans, the more justified the military occupation in Mindanao was.

Although the Muslims groups were subdued, culturally they were not conquered as the Cebuanos, Tagalogs, and the Ilocanos were. So, under American occupation little Moro children went to school, but they were taught to continue their traditions and culture. While their Christian brethrens were mastering the intricacies of Americanization and American laws, the Muslims in Mindanao were effectively getting marginalized by the Americans, still practicing their native ways and customs. This would later prove disastrous after WWII, as this ignorance of American laws and culture led to the Muslims? victimization by their more westernized counterparts of the north, the Cebuanos and the Tagalogs.

After WWII, the Americans left. They passed the torch of western American thought to their fully colonized prodigies, the Tagalogs and the Cebuanos. After the Americans left, these Americanized bearers of government saw the vastness of Mindanao. They patterned a settlement program similar to what the Americans did in the west, when they killed off all the Native Americans under "Manifest Destiny". They invited various people from Luzon and the Visayas to settle in Mindanao. The people of the north were now the new colonizers of Mindanao. It is the late 1940s.

This is where my family comes in. From Cebu, my parents were educators. In the 1950s, the state constructed various schools and colleges throughout Mindanao. I attended elementary, high school, and college here. 1960s was a great time in Mindanao. My classmates were Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Ilongos, Maguidanaos, Maranaws, some Tausugs, and still some from indigenous tribes such as the T?boli and Mano'bo'. The land was beautiful and the people got along very well. We were foreigners, but the local Muslims and Mindanao natives welcomed us as new settlers. We were all Filipinos, and proud of it. Just 20 years before our parents fought the great Japanese empire and defeated them.

In the mid 1960s, a few settlers became too greedy and began tricking various Muslim peasants into giving up their lands. Once a few more settlers got wind of this ignorance?that many Muslims were not fully aware of the intricacies of western land laws and codes?these peasants became common victims. Eventually it snowballed; many more Muslim peasants were ousted from their lands by Christian settlers. The natives of this land were now being marginalized and victimized further since American occupation of Mindanao. This was the beginning of Muslim peasant displacement. Landless now, they became refugees.

The MIM (Muslim Islamic Movement) was established by Datu Udtug Matalam in 1968. The former Governor of Cotabato, Matalam was ousted from his office in 1967. Prior to forming the MIM, Matalam was the premier advocate of Christian-Muslim political harmony in Mindanao. Having become a political casualty himself, by a Christian supported Muslim rival, Matalam decided to call for Mindanao secession.

1968 was also the year of the Jabidah Massacre on Corregidor Island, off Manila Bay. About 30 Muslims from Sulu had been executed by Ilocano Philippine Army officers. There were originally 180 Muslim trainees recruited from Mindanao, and brought to Corregidor Island for secret military training. Their secret mission, devised by Marcos, was for the infiltration of Sabah, Malaysia. The small Muslim force was to invade and destabilize the region of Sabah, preparing it for a larger Philippine Army invasion. Very similar to the ?Bay of Pigs? incident, devised by the Americans to oust the Castro regime. So, the Muslim trainees traveled to Corregidor. In the process of the training, the Muslims were severely maltreated by their Ilocano trainers. They also did not receive their promised pay. In response, the Muslims demanded to be allowed to go back home. The Philippine Army, in response, executed 30 of the Muslims. This became the Jabidah Massacre of 1968, and became the catalyst for the larger Mindanao Muslim secessionist struggle. Amidst the violence, extortion, and illegal Christian land acquisition in Mindanao, the Jabidah Massacre was the last straw that broke the camel?s back.

Two rising leaders of the Mindanao struggle, were Nur Misuari and Hashim Salamat. Both became active after the Jabidah Massacre. Nur Misuari, from Sulu, represented the emerging western educated new counter-elite. He attended the University of the Philippines, Diliman.  Hashim Salamat, from Maguindanao, represented the middle-eastern educated cleric counter-elite. He attended Al-Azhar, in Egypt. In contrast, Datu Udtug Matalam represented the old datu elites of Mindanao.

Misuari and Salamat, first met under Datu Udtug?s MIM meeting. At this time the MIM was just a small unpopular movement whose only public political actions were pronouncements in the form of manifestos and declarations of policy publicized in the press and disseminated to politicians and leaders. Basically, a useless propaganda machine. Eventually military training was begun under the MIM, but soon after came Marcos? martial law.

Under martial law, all political groups were ordered to be disbanded. The MIM (later renamed Mindanao Independence Movement in 1973,a sponsored government front organization to wrest popular support away from the MNLF) was dissolved, and Datu Udtug Matam pledged his allegiance to Marcos. The Datu class (established elites) of Mindanao did three things in response to the martial law: 1). They left the country, 2) they supported the Marcos regime, or 3) they joined the MNLF. The majority of the datus supported Marcos.

This left only the new emerging counter-elites, one western educated and the other, Islamic educated. In response to the martial law, the Moro National Liberation Front was formed and later went underground to fight for a free Mindanao and defend against Philippine Military atrocities perpetrated against the Muslims of Mindanao.

Misuari, a reluctant soldier, was an academic, a professor of political science and a product of UP Diliman. As a poor scholar from Sulu, Misuari saw first hand the injustices of the state, along with its few settlers, have perpetrated. He saw the injustice the state perpetuated upon the Muslims outside of Mindanao. The settlers who stole lands were now engaging in full extortion using arms and the military to retain the lands they've stolen. In response, Nur Misuari formed the above group. It represented Christians, Muslims, and indigenous groups who were now living in Mindanao, but needed to defend themselves from the new settlers infected with greed. Around the same time Sison's NPA also developed. More and more the settlers who stole lands were being helped by the state's military. So these groups organized and began to defend themselves. Misuari believed the only way to save themselves from these thieves and the military is to form an entirely different nation, the Bangsa Moro. In 1984, Hashim Salamat would later peel off the MNLF, to form a more Islamic oriented organization, the MILF.

When Marcos came in the picture, he made the situation, which could have been solved by dialogue, entirely worst. He sent in his Ilocano military to attack the NPA, MNLF and MILF groups which had legitimate grievances with the state, who begged for dialogue. Marcos?s answer was to annihilate them. During this time, the military killed anyone and everyone who got in their way. This led to more displacement of both Christian and Muslim peasants in Mindanao. Seizing the opportunity, Ilocano officers, decided it was high time that they participate in the acquisition of lands. Stealing the lands left behind, as well as extorting those which were still occupied.

***
My Humble Opinion

Fast forward to 2003. The U.S. is now in a rampage to kill anyone Muslim. It?s labeling all groups who are anti American as terrorist, regardless of their reasons, which are mostly economic and representation. These are dangerous times. The groups I?ve mentioned above have legitimate grievances with their government, very similar to the grievances the American colonies had towards the English crown in the late 1700s. The problem in Mindanao can be easily compared to the U.S. policy towards its native American Indians in the 1800s. The Indians were killed off to make way for American westward expansion. Now the products of these Americans, the Tagalogs and the Cebuanos, are doing the same to the Mindanao natives.

In my eyes the Philippine military is more a terrorist organization than the above groups. It wouldn't surprise me if the ones responsible for the bombings in Mindanao were connected to the military to bolster support for American intervention. This has happened before. For the military, it is nothing new.

Now specifically, the Abu Sayyaf. This group, at most numbers 500 men. Before Balikatan I, last year, this small group consistently out maneuvered a regiment size military force, comprising of Philippine marines and army soldiers, in the small island of Basilan. How is this possible? They are supposed to be Muslim fundamentalists, but they have been known to eat lechon and engage in many non-Muslim acts. Kidnap for ransom is something common in the Philippines and almost all the time, the ones behind such operations are various personalities in the Philippine military or the national police. More and more I?m led to believe that the Abu Sayyaf was a mere tool designed by the military to justify an all out attack against various Mindanao liberation factions with the help of the U.S. military. Let us not forget, that the military since the 1970s has consistently derailed peace talks thru bombings, executions, and intimidation. This is understandable, as the military officers stand to benefit from the chaos it produces in Mindanao.

We have to be more critical about the issues involved. I?ve lived through a peaceful Mindanao, and I?m sure if all parties involved were willing to talk to solve the problems at hand, your generation can see the beautiful Mindanao I saw in the 60s. War is not a solution, as too many peasant refugees and innocent lives have already been affected by the fate of history that has befallen Mindanao.

***
My Simple Suggestion

We began with mere ethno-linguistic differences. The Aetas, Negritos, Agtas, and other original Filipinos, called us "straight haired". And we called them "curly haired".  There was never mention of light and dark skins, until the Spaniards came. Skin color was a European means of separating the world: light skins were smart and dark skins were stupid--a foreign value from foreign invaders.

The Spaniards called the ethnic groups in Mindanao ?Moros?, because they resembled the Moors who they've recently driven out from Spain. The Moors gave the Spaniards architecture, arithmetic, science, art and music.  The 'Moros' in Mindanao were exactly like the 'Catholics' of the Visayas and Luzon. They practiced the rituals, rites, and prayers of their foreign beliefs but both groups knew very little of their religion. Both foreign religions existed side by side with indigenous beliefs. To this day, there are 'Catholic' and 'Muslim' mananambals (shamans). Our indigenous similarities still out-weight our foreign differences.

The Americans fostered Muslim separatism to suite their interest: the U.S. military and U.S. corporations wanted Mindanao for themselves, separate from Manila's control.  After WWII, when the Americans left, the cold war set in and two super powers grew. To balance this, the Middle East, under Nasser of Egypt attempted to push for pan-Arabism. Under this, he invited young Muslims around the world to attend Arab cleric universities in the 1960s.  Prior to this, the only Arab connection to Mindanao was more than 500 years ago when Islam first came to our islands. This was at the wane of Islam's golden era.

1960s for Islam, signify another era, an era sanctioned by the Wahabi clan (religious clan of Saudi Arabia) and their sole interpretation of Islam.  While the Saud clan handles civil matters, the Wahabi clan handles religious matters for the rest of the Muslim world. Only history can analyze the significance of this era.  The 'Muslim' conflict in Mindanao is only 30 yrs old. Prior to 'Muslimizing' the issue, our conflict was merely a human one--of GREED.  'Muslimization' of the Mindanao issue began when Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq interfered.

Granted, 'Muslimization' would never have happened had not our 'American-westernized' policy gone completely astray. Our government copied America's ?Manifest Destiny? policy and implemented it on Mindanao. Basically, those who were colonized, now wanted to colonize. And they targeted non-westernized Mindanao, marginalizing them as non-Filipinos.

Take away Manila's 'American-westernized' policy in Mindanao, take away our blinded 'America-is-the-best' philosophy of doing things, get rid of colonial mentality and our irrational dependence on the U.S., then take away the Middle East's interference in our domestic conflict, and we can begin working through the problem in its simplest form?simply that of GREED. Why is the state supporting illegal land acquisition? Why is the military supporting and participating in this illegal act? Slowly work through the problem as Filipinos?not Americanized Filipinos, not Catholicized Filipinos, not Muslimized Filipinos, just simply as FILIPINOS (a collective ethnic title only 100 years old), in which our indigenous similarities outweigh our foreign-influenced differences.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, everyone in Mindanao?from the Tagalogs to the Tausugs, the Bisayas to the Mano'bo's, Maguindanao to the Ilocanos?agreed to target only one group. That was the Ilongos, simply because they were, and still are, a bunch of braggarts.  So, let's return to the peaceful Mindanao, in which we only make fun of one ethno-linguistic group?the ILONGOS!!! (this is a joke of course, among Filipinos as each group is known for a specific characteristic)

********************
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Anonymous
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2003, 03:39:10 PM »

This was indeed a good read.  I was hoping anyone else out there would know more about Mindanao/Philippines.  If you could provide a list of good books and reference materials about Mindanao history, culture, etc. I'd me muchabliged.  Thanks!
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Crafty_Dog
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Posts: 31840


« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2003, 12:43:48 AM »

Isug et al:

  That was an interesting read-- if I am not mistaken, it was also included in a thread nearby.  

  Two questions/comments though:

1) If I understand correctly, the post criticizes the US for allowing the Muslims to follow their religion/culture when we colonialized the Philippines-- thus leaving them backward (Please note I am paraphrasing here!)   I am left with the distinct impression that we also would have been criticized if we had sought to repress/replace their religion culture-- a proverbial "Catch 22".  

Also, is not the implication of the argument that their religion/culture somehow "less" than the American/Christian culture/religion?

2)  The post also states "The U.S. is now in a rampage to kill anyone Muslim".  Forgive me, but this strikes me as glib, trite, and demonstrably untrue-- unless Islamic Fascism is considered to represent the Muslim world.

Nevertheless, an interesting post and thank you for sharing it.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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underdog
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2003, 02:07:05 AM »

The point was that the US during that time period had an "imperialistic" motive. It really does not matter whether the US at that time cared about allowing the culture to thrive or not. What it was pointing out was that the US being an imperialistic country at time time would use whatever it can to justify its claims and reap its benefits as a colonial master. It was just pointing out that culture was being used as a tool to keep the chaos happening to justify all the budget that they needed to stay in Mindanao.

Forget about the proverbial Catch 22. The US was there before as a colonial ruler like Spain to reap the Whatever their means was, their intentions were for their own good and not for the welfare of the ruled people.


The Filipinos thought that they would have already been liberated from the Spaniards and declared independence in 1898, but the US instead occupied the Philippines under the guise of what they called "Benevolent Assimilation". It is funny how Theodore Roosevelt ( I may be wrong , well whoever was the US President during that time) even used the excuse of "Christianizing the Philippines" as he sent Methodist missionaries to justify their claim of the Islands. It is either Roosevelt was ignorant of not knowing that 85% of Filipinos are Catholics or that Catholicism is a form of Christianity. Whatever the mistake was,it was a not so intelligent reason if we think of it now.

However, chaos sometimes brings the good out of any organization and the Anti-Imperialist League was born in Massachusets. That what makes America great. There is always a check and balance that can happen. So let freedom ring.

God bless America!

Merry Christmas to All!




Quote from: Crafty_Dog
Isug et al:

  That was an interesting read-- if I am not mistaken, it was also included in a thread nearby.  

  Two questions/comments though:

1) If I understand correctly, the post criticizes the US for allowing the Muslims to follow their religion/culture when we colonialized the Philippines-- thus leaving them backward (Please note I am paraphrasing here!)   I am left with the distinct impression that we also would have been criticized if we had sought to repress/replace their religion culture-- a proverbial "Catch 22".  

Also, is not the implication of the argument that their religion/culture somehow "less" than the American/Christian culture/religion?

2)  The post also states "The U.S. is now in a rampage to kill anyone Muslim".  Forgive me, but this strikes me as glib, trite, and demonstrably untrue-- unless Islamic Fascism is considered to represent the Muslim world.

Nevertheless, an interesting post and thank you for sharing it.

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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Timothy Hardcastle
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2003, 02:19:10 PM »

Good questions, Crafty and underdog's response was equally good.  I thought the post was informative also. So allow me to answer the second:

Quote
2) The post also states "The U.S. is now in a rampage to kill anyone Muslim". Forgive me, but this strikes me as glib, trite, and demonstrably untrue-- unless Islamic Fascism is considered to represent the Muslim world.


I think if taken literally, then you are right it is "glib, trite, and untrue".  But if you put yourself in the shoes of Muslims, I think you'd also say the same phrase.  I think especially right after Sept 11, when there was an obvious attack by the public at large against those they perceived as Middle Eastern and Muslim.  If you boarded a plane, with Muslim garb, you'll feel the distrust and hatred pointed at you.

So, I believe what the writer was trying to convey was the above sentiments, prejudice, stereotypical American reactions; and not so much our state's policy (but then again you could also argue against this).
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2003, 02:19:09 AM »

Woof All:

I wrote:  

1) If I understand correctly, the post criticizes the US for allowing the Muslims to follow their religion/culture when we colonialized the Philippines-- thus leaving them backward (Please note I am paraphrasing here!) I am left with the distinct impression that we also would have been criticized if we had sought to repress/replace their religion culture-- a proverbial "Catch 22". ,  , , "

---

"underdog" (NOT the Underdog of the Dog Brothers folks!) responded:

"The point was that the US during that time period had an "imperialistic" motive. It really does not matter whether the US at that time cared about allowing the culture to thrive or not. What it was pointing out was that the US being an imperialistic country at time time would use whatever it can to justify its claims and reap its benefits as a colonial master. It was just pointing out that culture was being used as a tool to keep the chaos happening to justify all the budget that they needed to stay in Mindanao.

"Forget about the proverbial Catch 22. The US was there before as a colonial ruler like Spain to reap the Whatever their means was, their intentions were for their own good and not for the welfare of the ruled people."

---

I respond:

I know what the point was, and have no problem acknowledging substantial imperialist motives on the part of the US.  My ONLY point was that the particular point with which I quibbled was a Catch 22.

---

I wrote:

2) The post also states "The U.S. is now in a rampage to kill anyone Muslim". Forgive me, but this strikes me as glib, trite, and demonstrably untrue-- unless Islamic Fascism is considered to represent the Muslim world.

---

Timothy Hardcastle responded:

, , ,  allow me to answer the second:

"I think if taken literally, then you are right it is "glib, trite, and untrue". But if you put yourself in the shoes of Muslims, I think you'd also say the same phrase. I think especially right after Sept 11, when there was an obvious attack by the public at large against those they perceived as Middle Eastern and Muslim. If you boarded a plane, with Muslim garb, you'll feel the distrust and hatred pointed at you.

"So, I believe what the writer was trying to convey was the above sentiments, prejudice, stereotypical American reactions; and not so much our state's policy (but then again you could also argue against this)."
 
---

I respond:

I think it important to respond to what people actually say, and what was said WAS "glib, trite and untrue".    And in that spirit when you say "especially after 911 when there was an obvious attack by the public at large against those perceived as Middle Eastern and Muslim." again I disagree.

First, before 911 the US played a major role in preventing a genocide against Muslims in the former Yugoslavia.

Second, post 911-- apart from isolated incidents which were condemned from the President on down, what attack?  Suspicion on airplanes is not an attack.  Attack and suspicion have quite different meanings and in these times such sloppiness is counterproductive.  An attack would be what happened to WSJ reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan for being Jewish.

Suspicion on the other hand is an emminently understandable human reaction-- not only to the nationality and religion of the killers of 911, but also to mass reactions throughout the Arab world to the events of 911 as well as some fairly tepid condemnations here in the US from some in the American Muslim community.  It is also a natural response to strong Muslim teachings of unity-- what do these teachings imply when a Muslim sees a fellow Muslim seeks to kill infidels in the name of Allah?  Does he save "the infidels" or is he do nothing out of "loyalty" to his co-relogionist even as he disagrees with his tactics?

But to say that "the US is now on a rampage to kill anyone Muslim" because there is suspicion is simply a slanderous lie.  IT JUST IS NOT TRUE.

We are in a war with Islamic Fascists such as Al Qaeda and those who come to kill our innocent.   Our nation has chosen to do this by seeking to deny sanctuary to these killers where ever they may be.  

Obviously there is disagreement about whether this is correct or not, but to say that this means we seek to "kill the Muslims" is twaddle.  Unlike Saudi Arabia and many other Muslim lands wherein death results from preaching other religions, here in the US the preaching of ALL religions is not only fundamental to the Constitution, the Supreme Law of this one nation under God, it is also an indelible part of our culture.

Please excuse my plain speech, no flaming intended.
 
Woof,
Crafty Dog
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Timothy Hardcastle
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2003, 02:18:29 PM »

I agree with you, Crafty.

I'm not trying to defend the Muslim Fascists, but the truth is "the US is now in rampage to kill anything Muslim" (this phrase) is a sentiment echoed by many Muslims and Middle Easterners around the World.

If you put yourself in the shoes of a Muslim, having watched all footages in CNN, having looked around you and see your way of life enveloped by Western culture, you would say the above phrase also.

Just as the American Indians have said in the 1800s, and they were all pretty much killed off.  

America is a mean place, this why I'm happy I am American, that I live here instead of there.  Because the truth is, our Corporations, Mining Industries, Logging, Gov't, etc. are out there misrepresenting us, at the same time satiating our need for more resources.  There is a reason why they hate us, and it's not just because we're Americans.

Native Americans in Brazil would've gladly rammed two planes in the World Towers had they the resources for it.  The problem is Consumption, we're consuming way too much, going into other people's land.

Our main national "disease" now is obessity.  

So, which ever lens you want to look the US thru, for many... the above phrase echoes true and we have to recognize it to solve this problem.
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underdog
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2003, 03:40:28 PM »

Thanks Crafty and Timothy for your very insightful responses.

I agree with Timothy that there may be some institutions that are misrepresenting the attitude of the whole American population. I would also like to point out that because of this, any single wrongdoing of any American individual in any part of the world tends to be taken as a representative of the whole American society as some people from foreign lands have been conditioned already to have that type of idea.

There were times in the Philippines when I've met "arrogant" (to distinguish them from the rest of the good Americans) American individuals who would look down upon Filipinos and would even say directly to some Filipinos that their food tastes like sh%t. Do not mistake all the smiles of Filipinos as if they would always agree with what you are doing in their country. Filipinos are known to be very hospitable to foreigners (that's why they were invaded by the Spaniards and later on taken advantaged of by the early American settlers/military) and would always want anyone to enjoy their stay there, but whatever they are thinking or feeling they just usually keep to themselves. How lucky are these Americans who visit to know that Filipinos do not put these feelings to actions as what some nationalities have done, as Filipinos have been brought up to be "peace loving" (example are the more than 3 bloodless revolts and revolutions in the past 2 decades).

It is the job of every single American to keep watch of the arrogance of some, as it is that arrogance that threatens the freedom of all. With all these negative publicity about America that has been happening in some arab media, and perhaps east asian (north Korea) , it is the job of every single American to prove them wrong that most of what they see is just a misrepresentation of what Americans are all about.

God bless America. Let freedom ring. Let's all do our own small part to keep freedom and democracy alive.

Love and peace to all!
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Steve
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2003, 09:50:12 AM »

Quote from: Timothy Hardcastle
I agree with you, Crafty.

I'm not trying to defend the Muslim Fascists, but the truth is "the US is now in rampage to kill anything Muslim" (this phrase) is a sentiment echoed by many Muslims and Middle Easterners around the World.

If you put yourself in the shoes of a Muslim, having watched all footages in CNN, having looked around you and see your way of life enveloped by Western culture, you would say the above phrase also.

Just as the American Indians have said in the 1800s, and they were all pretty much killed off.  

America is a mean place, this why I'm happy I am American, that I live here instead of there.  Because the truth is, our Corporations, Mining Industries, Logging, Gov't, etc. are out there misrepresenting us, at the same time satiating our need for more resources.  There is a reason why they hate us, and it's not just because we're Americans.

Native Americans in Brazil would've gladly rammed two planes in the World Towers had they the resources for it.  The problem is Consumption, we're consuming way too much, going into other people's land.

Our main national "disease" now is obessity.  

So, which ever lens you want to look the US thru, for many... the above phrase echoes true and we have to recognize it to solve this problem.


Do you have proof of all these you've accused America of doing? Because I would really like to know where you got this information.

"If you don't love America, then by all means leave!!!"
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underdog
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2003, 10:08:24 PM »

Hi Steve,

Here's one that might help. I do not know of anything in  South America as Tim has mentioned, but here's one from the Philippines.

Just to clear up something before people get to any conclusions even if your post was not addressed to me. I love America. But what I am trying to point out is that we all have to take care of the freedom that we enjoy. After Sept.11 we have realized that we can not keep our eyes and ears closed regarding things that are happening outside of the country anymore as some people have brought their "cause" to the mainland. We all have to work to keep our reputation in check as most of these people do not necessarily need "facts" to get them moving but only need a little bit of "drama" put into some incidents to justify a "cause" and get recruited .

What I am afraid of is that if we don't act upon this as early as now, travelling to even parts of the world that we consider "safe" may be a luxury of the past. I have heard of people carrying US passports backpacking  in Europe with Canadian flags pinned on their backpacks.

Please do not take my post as being 100% backing up Timothy's posts as I do not have any proof of what he had posted but I am giving my own part to share with you some information that can all help us keep this country a great nation.



Mothers protest for sick children in Clark, Subic
VIEW MOVIE where the protesters sing "Bayan Ko"
(Requires Quicktime 4.0. Movie File Size: 3.4 MB).


?He just goes stiff without any warning. He can?t stand up, and he can?t speak.?

This is how Elvira Taruc, a 35-year-old mother from Madapdap, Mabalacat, Pampanga describes her son Abraham, who at 5 years old is already confined to a wheelchair.

They are not in a hospital. They are under the heat of the scorching sun on the morning of July 27, 2000, in a protest along Roxas Boulevard, in front of the US Embassy in Manila. Together with some 100 other mothers, she is protesting that the governments of the US and the Philippines would do something on the bases? toxic legacy that has left their children sick for life.

The mothers who staged the protest had their children with them, most of them sick from the toxic waste contamination that came from the old American military bases of Subic and Clark.

They had posters with pictures of the children who already died from the toxic waste contamination. Some carried small black coffins that had small lit candles on top while they picketed in front of the embassy.

They also had with them plastic bottles that contained yellowish water which they said contained the poisonous chemicals that caused the sickness of the community who used to live in the CABCom (Clark Air Base Command), now the Clark Special Economic Zone.

President Joseph Estrada, is currently in the US having talks with the US President for the signing of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA), an agreement that the protesters fear will remove the responsibility of the US government in cleaning up the toxic mess they left at Subic and Clark.

?We refuse the ECA. We were never consulted,? said Myrla Baldonado, Executive Director of the People?s Task Force for Bases Clean-up (PTFBC). ?We do not want it because it is stipulated that they (US) do not have a responsibility,? she further added.

As of PTFBC?s last count, there are over 200 victims of the toxic waste contamination from Clark alone. Most of them are children. About 100 already died from the contaminated water in the base.

In an article published in the the Philippine Star last July 22, 2000, the DENR denied that the ground water in Clark contains toxic elements, except for naturally occuring iron. According to Eduardo de la Cruz from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of DENR, they analyzed 54 samples from different areas in Clark and found no significant levels of cadmium, lead, nickel, copper, phosphate, and nitrate.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo Siazon meanwhile dismissed the protester?s petition to US National Defense Secretary William Cohen where they asked that the US pay $102 B to the victims and clean-up the old military bases. It was reported that Siazon thinks the US will not take the petition seriously.

?What do they want to happen? That we all die before they take action?? grieves Dina Valencia, a 31-year-old mother from Madapdap, Mabalacat, Pampanga. Aling Dina had with her two of her three kids, Carlo and Rudolph.

?My daughter already died,? she said, pointing to the picture of Crizel Jane. Crizel is remembered as the 6-year-old ?child toxic warrior? who died in the Greenpeace?s SV Rainbow Warrior while it was in the Philippines on its Toxic-Free Asia Tour.

The night following the tragic incident, on February 25, the PTFBC launched ?Inheritors of the Earth: The Human Face of the US Military Contamination at Clark Air Base, Pampanga.? It was a sad event where they remembered the cheery and optimistic little girl whose crayon drawings became posters and postcards for PTFBC?s many campaigns.

Little Abraham might eventually share Crizel?s fate.



Quote from: Steve
Quote from: Timothy Hardcastle
I agree with you, Crafty.

I'm not trying to defend the Muslim Fascists, but the truth is "the US is now in rampage to kill anything Muslim" (this phrase) is a sentiment echoed by many Muslims and Middle Easterners around the World.

If you put yourself in the shoes of a Muslim, having watched all footages in CNN, having looked around you and see your way of life enveloped by Western culture, you would say the above phrase also.

Just as the American Indians have said in the 1800s, and they were all pretty much killed off.  

America is a mean place, this why I'm happy I am American, that I live here instead of there.  Because the truth is, our Corporations, Mining Industries, Logging, Gov't, etc. are out there misrepresenting us, at the same time satiating our need for more resources.  There is a reason why they hate us, and it's not just because we're Americans.

Native Americans in Brazil would've gladly rammed two planes in the World Towers had they the resources for it.  The problem is Consumption, we're consuming way too much, going into other people's land.

Our main national "disease" now is obessity.  

So, which ever lens you want to look the US thru, for many... the above phrase echoes true and we have to recognize it to solve this problem.


Do you have proof of all these you've accused America of doing? Because I would really like to know where you got this information.

"If you don't love America, then by all means leave!!!"
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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2003, 03:10:54 PM »

Philippine Brand of Islam Faces Foreign Influence
Tue Dec 30, 8:12 AM ET

By Manny Mogato

COTABATO City, Philippines (Reuters) - After 15 years, Amir Baraguir has
taken up smoking again.


He doesn't particularly enjoy it, but he likes the message of defiance it
sends to Muslim clerics on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao who
are trying to instill a much stricter version of Islam than he and many
others are used to. Baraguir's small protest is a sign of how the rise of a
more radical doctrine is dividing the country's Muslim homeland and tapping into deep discontent caused by poverty and decades of war between separatist rebels and government troops.


"Our unique culture is under serious threat," said Baraguir, whose family
belonged to a centuries-old sultanate system in the central Mindanao region of the mostly Roman Catholic country.


"We might wake up one day and find that the rigid foreign-influenced Islamic beliefs have replaced our own distinct cultural identity. We have to fight back and raise the local consciousness on the perils of a borrowed culture."

His ancestors were among the first Arab missionaries who introduced Islam to the Philippines in the 15th century. But times started changing in the late 1970s with the introduction of rigid Wahabi teachings brought to the southern Philippines by religious leaders trained in the Middle East. The newer ways have little room for the brand of Islam practiced by most of the nation's 8 million to 10 million Muslims or traditions such as the "pandita," the dwindling number of old village men who conduct
cradle-to-grave rituals.


STRICT VERSUS MODERATE


The younger generation of Muslim scholars and preachers, called "ustadz" and "ulama," is fast embracing the imported practices, especially after being given scholarships to Egypt, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

"Their numbers are growing rapidly," Baraguir said. "They have the
facilities and the money to recruit more missionaries and scholars, send
them to the Middle East for schooling and bring them back to influence more people to embrace their faith."

He said the Wahabi influence could be seen in the daily lives of many
Filipino Muslims who were being urged to give up habits such as smoking and drinking beer and were growing beards and attending Islamic schools called "madaris."

Islam in the Philippines is predominantly from the Shafi'ite Sunni school
with an influence of Sufism, a more mystical branch of the religion widely
practiced in Southeast Asia, where close to 300 million Muslims live.

Sidney Jones, the Southeast Asia director for International Crisis Group
think-tank, said the influence of Wahabism was not a new phenomenon.

"It's been around for some time in some places in Southeast Asia because of money available to scholars going to Saudi Arabia and teachers brought to the region," she told Reuters.

Zamzamin Ampatuan, executive director of the government's Office of Muslim Affairs, said the rise of stricter Sunni Islam from Arab countries dated back to 1979 when Iranian Shi'ite students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Ampatuan said the Sunnis mounted an unprecedented Islamic revival campaign by recruiting, training and sending missionaries and even helping the Afghans drive out the Soviet forces.  Poverty was another factor behind the increase of Wahabi influence, he said.

BREEDING GROUND FOR MILITANTS?

Thousands of the Filipino contract workers who have gone to the Middle East since the 1970s have returned as converts, many showing more dedication than those born as Muslims at home.   They build rural clinics, mosques and Islamic schools and influence the community to embrace their brand of Islam.

Ampatuan said there were now at least 3,000 Islamic schools in Mindanao and some government officials believe they could be becoming the recruitment ground for militants.  But Izaldin Macamimis, a senior accountancy student at the Catholic-run Notre Dame University, denied that the schools were molding radicals.

"It's only black propaganda to destroy Islam," he said.

Ampatuan also said the schools were not breeding grounds for militants. "But they serve as a social network for extremism," he said, "And extremism tolerates terrorism."

Citing the secular background of al Qaeda operatives behind the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks on the United States, Ampatuan said universities -- where
students can experiment with ideas -- could be the development area for
militants.

WAR OF BELIEFS

But Baraguir said the Indonesians behind the Bali bomb attacks last year
were products of an Islamic school run by a radical preacher. He and several others in Cotabato City have taken up the cause of trying to check the inroads of Middle East-inspired Islamic beliefs.

"We are undaunted by these threats," Baraguir said as he opened another pack of cigarettes. "This is our culture, our tradition. We will defend it with our lives."
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2004, 01:50:28 PM »

"underdog", Timothy et al:

underdog you make your point well with the example of the accusations of those afflicted outside Subic.  That said, when I was in Olongapo (for those who don'tknow, this is the city surrounding Subic) the impression I got was that in general people were sad that we were gone.  This is not to say that it is not entirely possible that the particular accusations you mention be true.

Concerning when Timothy wrote:

"I'm not trying to defend the Muslim Fascists, but the truth is "the US is now in rampage to kill anything Muslim" (this phrase) is a sentiment echoed by many Muslims and Middle Easterners around the World.

"If you put yourself in the shoes of a Muslim, having watched all footages in CNN, having looked around you and see your way of life enveloped by Western culture, you would say the above phrase also"

Well, apart from CNN being a dishonestly biased source in its own right (did you catch, for example, their admission that they shaded their reporting in order to be allowed in by SH and to protect the Iraqis working for them?)

1) I'm not sure what you mean by "all footages (sic) in (sic) CNN".

2) The "envelopment by Western culture", even if true, does not lead to a conclusion of murderous intent.  This simply is non-rational.  Perhaps if my thinking had only the generally unfree press and media of the Arab world to rely upon you may be right-- but perhaps this is a good argument for trying a free press instead of blaming us?

Anyway, here's a literate rant from Victor Hansen which touches upon some themes related to Timothy's arguments.  See especially from the paragraph beginning "If we accept , , ," forward.

Woof,
Crafty Dog

=========

December 30, 2003, 12:00 a.m.
The Western Disease
The strange syndrome of our guilt and their shame

Victor Davis Hanson

 

After watching a string of editorial attacks on America both at home and from abroad in the aftermath of Saddam?s capture, I thought back to the actual record of the last two years. In 24 months the United States defeated two of the most hideous regimes in modern memory. For all the sorrow involved, it has already made progress in the unthinkable: bringing consensual government into the heart of Middle Eastern autocracy, where there has been no political heritage other than tyranny, theocracy, and dictatorship.

 In liberating 50 million people from both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein it has lost so far less than 500 soldiers ? some of whom were killed precisely because they waged a war that sought to minimalize not just civilian casualties but even the killing of their enemies. Contrary to the invective of Western intellectuals, the American military?s sins until recently have been of omission ? preferring not to shoot looters or hunt down and kill insurgents ? rather than brutal commission. While the United States has conducted these successive wars some 7,000 miles beyond its borders, it also avoided another terrorist attack of the scale of September 11 ? and all the while crafting a policy of containment of North Korea and soon-to-be nuclear Iran.

Thus by any comparative standard of military history, the last two difficult years, despite setbacks and disappointments, represent a remarkable military achievement .Yet no one would ever gather even the slightest acknowledgment of such success from our Democratic grandees. Al Gore dubbed the Iraqi liberation a quagmire and, absurdly, the worst mistake in the history of American foreign policy. Howard Dean, more absurdly, suggested that the president of the United States might have had foreknowledge of September 11. Most Americans now shudder at the thought that the former might have been president in this time of crisis ? and that the latter still could be.

Often American and European writers echo the fury of Gore and Dean. For example, on the day before Saddam Hussein was captured, one could reread in the International Herald Tribune a long reprinted rant by Paul Krugman, the Princeton professor. He exclaimed, ?In the end the Bush doctrine ? based on delusions of grandeur about America?s ability to dominate the world through force ? will collapse. What we?ve just learned is how hard and dirty the doctrine?s proponents will fight against the inevitable.? Krugman was apparently furious that American taxpayer dollars were going to be used to hire exclusively American and Coalition companies to rebuild Iraq rather than be paid out to foreign entities whose governments opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein. ?Hard and dirty??

On the same page Bob Herbert assured his foreign audience that ?The Republicans are hijacking elections and redistricting the country and looting the Treasury and ignoring the Constitution and embittering our allies.? That outside entities and media have confirmed the vote counts of the Florida election, that Congress must approve federal spending and pass laws, that an independent judiciary audits our legislation, and that 60 countries are now engaged in Iraq meant nothing. ?Hijacking and looting??

The next day after Saddam?s capture I channel surfed global cable TV. A rather refined-looking French self-described expert in jurisprudence was lecturing his audience about the proper legal framework that was ?acceptable? to the international community. From his dandified look he appeared a rather different sort from the Americans who crawled into Saddam?s spider hole to yank him out. Soft power I suppose is the glib pontification from the salon; hard power is dragging out mass murderers at night in Tikrit.

Next channel: Another worried-looking European analyst was raising the specter of a potential oppressed prisoner suffering at ?Guantanamo? ? in voicing concern for the rights of Saddam Hussein! French trading with a mass murderer, profiting from selling him arms to butcher his own people is one thing; worrying that the same monster fully understands the nuances of Western jurisprudence while in the docket is quite another. Of course, our European humanist never noted that his own country?s pusillanimity over the last decade was responsible for abetting Saddam?s reign of terror even as someone else?s audacity was for ending it.

I could go on, but you get the picture of this current madness. There is something terribly wrong, something terribly amoral with the Western intelligentsia, most prominently in academia, the media, and politics. We don?t need Osama bin Laden?s preschool jabbering about ?the weak horse? to be worried about the causes of this Western disease: thousands of the richest, most leisured people in the history of civilization have become self-absorbed, ungracious, and completely divorced from the natural world ? the age-old horrific realities of dearth, plague, hunger, rapine, or conquest.

Indeed, it is even worse than that: a Paul Krugman or French barrister neither knows anything of how life is lived beyond his artificial cocoon nor of the rather different men and women whose unacknowledged work in the shadows ensures his own bounty in such a pampered landscape ? toil that allows our anointed to rage at those purportedly culpable for allowing the world to function differently from an Ivy League lounge or the newsroom of the New York Times. Neither knows what it is like to be in a village gassed by Saddam Hussein or how hard it is to go across the world to Tikrit and chain such a monster.

Our Western intellectuals are sheltered orchids who are na?ve about the world beyond their upscale hothouses. The Western disease of deductive fury at everything the West does provides a sort of psychological relief (without costs) for apparent guilt over privileged circumstances. It is such a strange mixture of faux-populism and aristocratic snobbery. They believe only a blessed few such as themselves have the requisite education or breeding to understand the ?real? world of Western pathologies and its victims.

If we accept that our aristocratic Left mutters exactly the sort of nonsense described by a host of critics from Aristophanes to Juvenal to Tom Wolfe, then just as bizarre is the Muslim world?s reaction to capture of the murderer of more Muslims than any living Muslim in the Muslim world. On reports of Saddam?s demise the same networks that aired Western professors fretting about his rights were interviewing weeping women in Palestine, somber coffeehouses in Cairo, and pompous intellectuals in Lebanon. In lockstep concern they all bemoaned the ignominious circumstances of his capture: He was found in a hole! He was dirty! And an American medic inspected him like an infected deportee! Alas, he fired not a shot.

To sum up the Arab street: It appears to care not a whit that a native psychopath butchered hundreds of thousands of its own ? only that his anti-American braggadocio was revealed to be a sham to millions and that Americans of all people had to free Iraqis from such a menace. Honor and shame ? the stuff of tribal societies ? matter more than the lives of innocents. If a pundit from Paris was riled that Saddam was not yet advised by an international human-rights lawyer, the masses on the West Bank trumped that concern by lamenting that he had not even machine-gunned an American on his way out ? or indeed done anything to restore Arab tribal pride. Lost between the shared loony sympathies of the first-world elite and the third-world clan, between refined postmodern and uncouth premodern societies, was an iota of lamentation for the dead, those rotting and dried-out bones that appear in the thousands in desert sands outside Baghdad.

Both Western pontificators and the mob in the Middle East feed off each other. Paul Krugman would rarely write a column about how abjectly immoral it was that thousands mourned the death of a mass murderer when one can say worse things about an American president who chose not to use American dollars to hire French companies to rebuild Iraq. Bob Herbert can falsely rant about a Florida election ?rigged,? but seldom about an election never occurring in the Arab world.

The so-called Arab street and its phony intellectuals sense that influential progressive Westerners will never censure Middle Eastern felonies if there is a chance to rage about Western misdemeanors. It is precisely this parasitic relationship between the foreign and domestic critics of the West that explains much of the strange confidence of those who planned September 11. It was the genius of bin Laden, after all, that he suspected after he had incinerated 3,000 Westerners an elite would be more likely to blame itself for the calamity ? searching for ?root causes? than marshalling its legions to defeat a tribe that embraced theocracy, autocracy, gender apartheid, polygamy, anti-Semitism, and religious intolerance. And why not after Lebanon, the first World Trade Center bombing, the embassies in Africa, murder in Saudi Arabia, and the USS Cole? It was the folly of bin Laden only that he assumed the United States was as far gone as Europe and that a minority of its ashamed elites had completely assumed control of American political, cultural, and spiritual life.

Hatred of Israel is the most striking symptom of the Western disease. On the face of it the dilemma there is a no-brainer for any classic liberal: A consensual government is besieged by fanatical suicide killers who are subsidized and cheered on by many dictators in the Arab world. The bombers share the same barbaric methods as Chechens, the 9/11 murderers, al Qaedists in Turkey, and what we now see in Iraq.

Indeed, the liberal Europeans should love Israel, whose social and cultural institutions ? universities, the fine arts, concern for the ?other? ? so reflect its own. Gays are in the Israeli military, whose soldiers rarely salute, but usually address each other by their first names and accept a gender equity that any feminist would love. And while Arabs once may have been exterminated by Syrians, gassed in Yemen by Egypt, ethnically cleansed in Kuwait, lynched without trial in Palestine, burned alive in Saudi Arabia, inside Israel proper they vote and enjoy human rights not found elsewhere in the Arab Middle East.

When Europe frets over the ?Right of Return? do they mean the over half-million Jews who were sent running for their lives from Egypt, Syria, and Iraq? Or do they ever ask why a million Arabs live freely in Israel and another 100,000 illegally have entered the ?Zionist entity?? Does a European ever ask what would happen should thousands of Jews demand ?A Right of Return? to Cairo?

Instead, the elite Westerner talks about ?occupied lands? from which Israel has been attacked four times in the last 60 years ? in a manner that Germans do not talk about an occupied West they coughed up to France or an occupied East annexed by Poland. Russia lectures about Jenin, but rarely its grab of Japanese islands. Turkey is worried about the West Bank, but not its swallowing much of Cyprus. China weighs in about Palestinian sovereignty but not the entire culture of Tibet; some British aristocrats bemoan Sharon?s supposed land grab, but not Gibraltar.

All these foreign territories that were acquired through blood and iron and held on to by reasons of ?national security? are somehow different matters when Jews are not involved. Yet give Israel a population of 250 million, massive exports of oil and terrorists ? and wipe away anti-Semitism ? and even the Guardian or Le Monde would change its tune.

Perhaps the most pathetic example of this strange nexus between first- and third-world Western bashing was seen in mid-December on television. Just as the United States government declared a high alert, one could watch a replay of the Indian novelist Arundhati Roy trashing America to a captivated, near-gleeful audience in New York. Her dog-and-pony show was followed by pathetic pleading from her nervous interrogator, Howard Zinn, not to transfer her unabashed hatred of the Bush administration to the United States in general.

Mimicking the theatrics of American intellectuals ? Roy?s hands frequently gestured scare quotes ? she went from one smug denunciation to another to the applause of her crowd. Little was said about the crater a few blocks away, the social pathologies back home in India that send tens of thousands of its brightest to American shores, or Roy?s own aristocratic dress, ample jewelry, and studied accent. All the latter accoutrements and affectations illustrated the well-known game she plays of trashing globalization and corporatization as she jets around the Western world precisely through its largess ? all the while cashing in by serving up an elegant third-world victimization to guilt-ridden Westerners.

Is it weird that Western perks like tenure, jet-travel, media exposure, and affluence instill a hatred for the West, here and abroad? Or rather for a certain type of individual does such beneficence naturally explain the very pathology itself?
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john
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2004, 11:05:29 PM »

Quote
underdog you make your point well with the example of the accusations of those afflicted outside Subic. That said, when I was in Olongapo (for those who don't know, this is the city surrounding Subic) the impression I got was that in general people were sad that we were gone. This is not to say that it is not entirely possible that the particular accusations you mention be true.


Hi All:

Just wanted to share: I was in the Marines back in the 80s, stationed in Subic Bay off and on.  If you've never been there during that era, when the US had Subic and Clark AFB, the best visual depiction of it that I know of would be the very begining of "An Officer and a Gentlemen".  I also met my wife there, at that time a medical student.  This was also the reason I never really was indoctrinated into the whole "bar" scene there.  But having seen and heard stories from my friends of all their exploits in Angeles (off Clark AFB) and Olongapo (off Subic), it really made you question what America was doing there.

Almost half the population in Olongapo then were teenage filipina prostitutes.  There was "the Jungle", an area which only catered to the Black servicemen and there was a White only area--yes, segregation in the 80s.  It was fairly common for servicemen to return from a night out, proudly recalling his time with a 13 or 14 yr old girl.  For someone who grew up in the MidWest, a proud American, what I saw in the Philippines made me cry.  

I was stationed in Hawaii after the base closed down, although I miss the Philippines, I was very happy WE left.
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underdog
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2004, 11:18:36 PM »

Quote from: john
Quote
underdog you make your point well with the example of the accusations of those afflicted outside Subic. That said, when I was in Olongapo (for those who don't know, this is the city surrounding Subic) the impression I got was that in general people were sad that we were gone. This is not to say that it is not entirely possible that the particular accusations you mention be true.


Hi All:

Just wanted to share: I was in the Marines back in the 80s, stationed in Subic Bay off and on.  If you've never been there during that era, when the US had Subic and Clark AFB, the best visual depiction of it that I know of would be the very begining of "An Officer and a Gentlemen".  I also met my wife there, at that time a medical student.  This was also the reason I never really was indoctrinated into the whole "bar" scene there.  But having seen and heard stories from my friends of all their exploits in Angeles (off Clark AFB) and Olongapo (off Subic), it really made you question what America was doing there.

Almost half the population in Olongapo then were teenage filipina prostitutes.  There was "the Jungle", an area which only catered to the Black servicemen and there was a White only area--yes, segregation in the 80s.  It was fairly common for servicemen to return from a night out, proudly recalling his time with a 13 or 14 yr old girl.  For someone who grew up in the MidWest, a proud American, what I saw in the Philippines made me cry.  

I was stationed in Hawaii after the base closed down, although I miss the Philippines, I was very happy WE left.


Thanks for sharing with us your experience. I hope that more "enlightened" American citizens like you would post things like these.  

There are alot of articles that have been posted about prostitution / pedophilia in the Olongapo/ Clark Air base area during the tenure of the US military there.

Aside from segregation based on color, there were also bars that discriminated against Filipinos. Think about it, this "culture" fostered discrimination against Filipinos in their own land. A Filipino friend of mine was out with his US Navyman uncle and was stopped by a bouncer in one of the bars and told him in his face that only US servicemen were welcome there. Having a crewcut, he pretended that he was a Filipino American and was eventually allowed to go in.
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2004, 08:40:30 AM »

John, Underdog et al:

  Oddly enough, precisely because I was there AFTER the base was closed, I was not exposed to any of that at all rather the remainders of the highly qualified, hard working work force that was part of making the base possible.  

John you make your point eloquently.  Thank you.

Crafty Dog
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Anonymous
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2004, 06:37:22 PM »

Here is an interesting article in two parts about the war waged on Mindanao's population:

http://www.ibon.org/news/if/03/10.htm
http://www.ibon.org/news/if/03/11.htm
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krys
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2004, 07:07:12 PM »

Sorry about this, I posted the post on IBON articles   while I was not logged in, as a guest.... embarassed
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