Sunday, March 22, 2009

Philippines and Red Cross Clashing

The Philippine government and the Red Cross bicker over how to get the Red Cross hostages back. Notice that in the headline no mention is made of Abu Sayyaf, the Al Quaeda inspired and financed Islamist organization that is threatening to lop off the heads of Red Cross workers if their demands aren’t met.

Lloyd of the Philippines wouldn’t see the connection be the authoritarian Communist regimes and the Islamist organizations inspired by the techniques of these regimes, but the information describing the connection is available. Sayyid Qutb studied Stalinism and Stalinistic techniques were incorporated into modern day Islamism. Terror was an intrinsic part of Stalinism and what inspires more terror than capturing, torturing and beheading civilians. What image does “Red Cross Worker” inspire if not meekness and harmlessness, but Abu Sayyaf loves it, loves the effect they are causing: look at all those infidels scurrying around in terror. We have them in the palms of our hand.

Lloyd of the Philippines would rather blame the US for its one adventure in imperialism at the end of the 19th century than blame the Communists for modern-day trouble in the Philippines. I had written "after the Spanish-American war we took the Philippines, but at the time the justification wasn’t considered to be empire but to keep it out of the hands of others. Even so, even if others did want it, we couldn’t in good conscience keep it and so set about a schedule of independence."

Lloyd responded with,
“That is simply wrong. By the time the U.S. imperial forces intervened in the Philippines, the local nationalist revolutionary forces were already on the verge of victory against the Spanish colonizers.”

But I didn’t have Spain in mind. Maybe I’ll get into this a bit more later on, but one of the nations the US was worried about taking over the Philippines was Germany. The Philippines wasn’t developed enough to defend itself successfully. Someone was going to take it over. And there was a confluence of atypical pressures working in the US government at the time that inspired that American Philippine endeavor. And probably most in government didn’t even see it as Imperialism.

Here is an example of the thinking at the time. This is from the Schurman commission, commissioned by President McKinley in 1900: "Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission believe that the government of the Philippines would speedily lapse into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did not necessitate, the intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the islands among them. Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea of a free, self-governing, and united Philippine commonwealth at all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the Filipino point of view of maintaining American sovereignty over the archipelago is recognized by all intelligent Filipinos and even by those insurgents who desire an American protectorate. The latter, it is true, would take the revenues and leave us the responsibilities. Nevertheless, they recognize the indubitable fact that the Filipinos cannot stand alone. Thus the welfare of the Filipinos coincides with the dictates of national honour in forbidding our abandonment of the archipelago. We cannot from any point of view escape the responsibilities of government which our sovereignty entails; and the commission is strongly persuaded that the performance of our national duty will prove the greatest blessing to the peoples of the Philippine Islands."

Lloyd of the Philippines seems a fan of Chomsky’s way of thinking when he writes: Those who opposed this continued subservience to U.S. imperial interests were demonized as 'savage communists' who were then imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, and salvaged.” Here, he assumes something not in evidence, namely that the US had and has imperial interests that are ongoing. Chomsky makes similar assertions as well. We might go into Korea to help the South Koreans oppose Communist aggression, but Chomsky says “ah ha, you have expanded your imperial realm.” We might go into Kuwait to chase Saddam Hussein out, and Chomsky says “ah ha.” We might remove Saddam from power at great expense to the American tax payer, and Chomsky says “ah ha.” We are anxious to leave Iraq and Afghanistan as quickly as those nations are stable, but Chomsky says “ah ha! ah ha! ah ha!” Lloyd too, I imagine.

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