Caution: Moral Snares Ahead: An LA Times Commentary recalling the last time US troops landed on Southern Philippine soil to combat Moro separatists — in 1903.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for getting rid of the Abu Sayyaf, and American help is more than welcome in light of our military’s inability to deal with the problem. (Especially with these allegations of corruption and bribery between Filipino soldiers and Abu Sayyaf rebels!)
Extreme nationalists and local communist groups, however, refuse to accept the return of any American influence to the Philippines. Whether this is military aid or simple combat training, whether it’s the war on terror or ulterior motives, whether it’s constitutional or not; this is a hot point of contention which affects the stability of an already unstable government. The US government would do well to remember that it treads on eggshells here in the Philippines, and its actions will strongly affect the destiny of this troubled people for years to come.
Now, about those US statehood talks… ;)