The Americans are Coming!

The Americans are coming, the Americans are coming!

The issue with US soldiers fighting Abu Sayyaf terrorists on Philippine soil stems from an article in the Philippine Constitution, which stipulates that no foreign military bases or troops are to be allowed into the country without a mutually agreed treaty to that effect. That’s exactly what the “Visiting Forces Agreement” (VFA) is about, but, as ex-Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago points out (yes, I know, I know, she’s a crazy, loudmouthed, vindictive, pro-Erap witch, but the lady does have brains, unstable though they may be, and she does know international law like the back of her hand), the VFA does not cover “political activity” by the visiting military entity. But how can the “War on Terror,” or indeed any kind of military intervention, not be deemed political in some way?

This brings to light the international problem with the US war on terror: America will attack and root out terrorists who pose a threat to its interests, and the sovereignty of the Philippines — or of any other country which may be suspect — be damned. The other side of the coin, however, is the argument that the Philippine military is simply too inept and/or corrupt to deal with the problems of terrorism and insurgency posed by groups like the Abu Sayyaf or the NPA — an argument which I would be hard-pressed to disagree with.

Will the American military simply leave the Philippines once they are done routing the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups? Somehow I doubt it; such a goal is far less cut-and-dried than the mere process of killing a bunch of Muslim insurgents and building a few roads and bridges. Because of that I feel uneasy, and I wonder about the future of the archipelago, and whether the nascent military grip of a potential American empire is better or worse for the Filipino’s welfare.


  1. wyclif says:

    Most Americans are far more concerned with North/South Korea. Ask yourself this question about American occupation: WHY are 37,000 US military personnel still stationed in South Korea, an ungrateful Asian backwater that would not exist at all had not 33,667 Americans given their very lives to preserve it?

  2. rowster says:

    I think many Filipinos are still asking WHY the Americans colonized the Philippines a hundred years ago, and stayed for another fifty, EVEN AFTER the Philippines had fought a revolution for its own freedom and declared its independence from Spain. Rudyard Kipling, of course, had an answer to that ….

  3. rowster says:

    By the way, wyclif: South Korea: ASIAN BACKWATER???? When was the last time you went to South Korea?

  4. sparticus says:

    perhaps the aspect of american foreign policy I most dislike is the one that says “we can go into other countries to get rid of people we perceive as terrorists. If we perceive that they are actively harboring the terrorists then we don’t even bother asking the country if we can come in”.

    Now this seems kinda wrong to me…

  5. wyclif says:

    We shouldn’t be in South Korea. Period. There is nothing to gain from us being there, and it only annoys the South Koreans. They have a right to ask us to leave.

    Just don’t come running when Kim Jong Il needs to be spanked, got it?