Saturday, November 11, 2006

Equal Opportunity Terrorism

The telecommunications infrastructure of the Philippines is a favorite target of the New People's Army. The ubiquitous cell sites that serve the country's favorite utility and pastime are often attacked, burned, or otherwise damaged and destroyed as part of the NPA's extortion of "revolutionary taxes." Thus whenever you read a headline like, "NPA Attacks Cell Site" -- most likely it is because the celco refused to pay up. A frequent reader of Philippine Commentary recently emailed to tell me that there is glaring disparity in the number of times the NPA attacks Smart and Globe cell-sites. So I decided to google the search phrase NPA attack "GLOBE Cell Site" -- which yielded 242 references. Googling on NPA attack "SMART Cell Site" yields a surprising 6 references. So what's going on here? Judging by the news coverage anyway, it appears that in an overwhelming majority of the cases over the years, the NPAs attack Globe cell sites far, far more than Smart facilities. Is Smart/PLDT paying revolutionary taxes to the New People's Army to secure its cellphone transmission system? Maybe free cellphones and credits for the poor suffering comrades--the better to coordinate their attacks on...Globe!

[Via MLQ3] John Nery of the Newsstand Blog (with the help of Wendy Kaminer) discovers that there is NO right to be offended if we uphold democratic free speech--
She laments the transformation of universities and colleges from bastions of academic freedom, where free speech and the arts of argument are considered essential to education, to fortresses of political correctness, where the distinction between words and actions is fudged, and censorship trumps freedom of speech...even though some uses of language can be offensive, we shouldn't place any limits at all on free speech, that it should in fact be [a] "free for all."
Hmmm...I seem to recall a number of PDI editorials and column pieces on "responsible journalism" that bear looking at now, with irony. But I must send this to Fleming Rose and the Danish cartoonists at Jyllands Postens. They will see it as progress and perhaps even thank Benedict for the lesson of Regensberg, and its salutary libertarian effects on our responsible Media.

Oh, but poor Rina Jimenez David has had her day of sightseeing in the Khyber Pass and intense haggling at the suqs and shopping bazaars of Peshawar interrupted by a terrorist suicide bombing--
A Taste of Terror: The minute we arrived in Peshawar, on a delayed flight from Karachi, we heard the news. A total of 42 army recruits, many of them still in their teens, were killed when a suicide bomber ran into their midst in a schoolyard and detonated himself. About 20 others were injured.
That'll teach'em for wanting to become soldiers, eh Rina?

Manila Bulletin carries the approbation of US Ambassador Kirstie Kenney and Asst. Secretary Dr. John Hillen for the "legacy of reform" that resigned Sec. Nonong Cruz leaves. It is the strongest signal yet that the US wants those reforms to continue because it really is in the US national interest that the Philippine Military become professionalized and freed from the clutches of the politicians so it can do its real job: to defend the country and secure the people. For example, I think the US wants the Philippine Military to be concentrating on the joint training and planning exercises scheduled this year and next, rather than getting involved in the 2007 elections, because we are due, we are due! I notice Dulmatin and Bali Bombers have probably escaped, and the Filipino people even have to pay for the air fare of demure Mrs. Dulmatin back into the arms of the Jemaah Islamiyah. I hope the right people get the picture, like alleged Garci General Hermogenes Esperon, who was there to see Ambassador Kenney painting a clear picture for him, in case he hasn't been listening lately.

Senator-Judge Joseph Estrada? If the return of Atong Ang wearing a bullet-proof vest marked "NBI" doesn't get Joseph Estrada off his arse in Tanay, probably nothing will. Manila Times reports. But I think the Filipino people deserve liberation from the long-festering case of Erap, which the Philippine Star editorial recently called a "national embarrassment." It is a nontrivial conundrum however, because who will deny that Joseph Estrada has lost an essential element of due process because he has been denied the presumption of innocence and cannot be given a fair trial. Inasmuch as the Edsa Dos Supreme Court of Hilario Davide claimed the 2001 regime change to be "Constitutional throughout," Erap's current plunder trial cannot even be given the cover of "frontier justice" or "victor's justice" that the Iraqi court trying Saddam Hussein is accused of. Yet, even I must admit, deep in my heart, I do believe Erap Estrada WAS guilty of plunder and corruption. It is a classic case of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem apparently being applicable to the Law itself! Erap cannot get a fair final judgment from the Supreme Court that he accuses of illegally overthrowing him. In such a case, IS there a higher court than the Supreme Court? I claim there is: the Filipino people themselves. Trial by election. Joseph Estrada could legally run for the Senate in 2007, and be in time to become a Senator-Judge for GMA's impeachment trial.

15 comments:

john marzan said...

Yet, even I must admit, deep in my heart, I do believe Erap Estrada WAS guilty of plunder and corruption.

I believe Erap took Jueteng bribe money. Corruption yan. but to my knowledge, siya pa lang ang big fish na nakakulong dahil dito o for laundering jueteng money so far. Which is curious and funny.

And the slogan "sugal, alak, babae" encapsulates everything you needed to know about the man. Sabi ng simbahan imoral si erap. They are correct.

and no, i don't want erap to run anymore. kahit na sa senado. kahit na alam nating mananalo siya. wag na, erap, please.

Rizalist said...

This afternoon i heard on the radio that they took away his cellphone. inaapi. it's just like in his movies you know, just before...

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Do you think it'll be like in his movies, the inaapi triumphs in the end?

John,

What about Gloria or members of her family, do you think they too took jueteng money?

Marcus Aurelius said...

So this acronymn NPA means No Phones Allowed?

I noted this sometime ago on Blogger Beer. I read some story about the NPA blowing up a Cell Tower in the Bisayas somewhere and the story had that same line. No notes on how one companies towers seem to be targetd more often than others, though.

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
john marzan said...

John,

What about Gloria or members of her family, do you think they too took jueteng money?


Yes. Not only pocket the money, but use it to buy off COMELEC officials (Zuce).

Juetengate 2 was part of the impeachment complaint vs. Arroyo.

the CBCP under Capalla did not support Oscar Cruz's jueteng expose though when it first came out.

More related links re baliktaran here and here and coverups here.

bumaliktad rin si zuce (ala mahusay/doble) in the end after almost one year dito.

john marzan said...

I'm worried.

Rizalist said...

John, It is to be expected. As Ramesh Ponnuru said, the Democrats will immediately have the illusion of power and mandate.

john marzan said...

I'm not worried about the democrats.

I'm more worried about Bush wobbling.

The fact that realist james baker (and the rest of GHWB's people who dubya has recently embraced into his admin) are seriously recommending for all intents and purposes a cut-and-run policy is very troubling.

no wonder ann althouse is depressed. jeez.

HILLBLOGGER said...

What would you suggest Bush do?

Nuke Baghad perhaps?

Deploy 500,000 troops in addition to the 140,000 they already have there? Would you be willing to put in your share of the additional 300 billion dollars that will be necessary to make that happen?

How do you reckon either could ensure that the world would be a better place to live in, i.e., no more terrorists?

The Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld invasion of Iraq was made on a wobbly Rumsfeld strategy at the onset. Four years into the war and nothing has changed except to quadruple the number of terrorists.

One thing which is clear here is that thanks to the clique in Washington, they have turned many moderates in Iraq into terrorists and they have allowed the terrorists to perfect ASSYMETRIC WARFARE.

Phase withdrawal in Iraq is not cutting and running because without Rumsefeld in the way, his arrogance and bitching which has cost thousands of US lives unnecessarily and plunged the world into a deepening, unstoppable crisis, those US generals can think and do something worthwhile and not just cut and dry.

George Sr could only do what he did at the time (he was there for only 4 years).

HILLBLOGGER said...

I mean not just cut and run...

Much as I've always been against the invasion of Iraq on moral and legal grounds, if there had to be an invasion that would work, Bush-Cheney/Halliburton-Rumsfeld should have opted for Powell's strategy, but Rumsfeld, the war bum, cut him off and the rest is history.

Realistically and militarily, if America decides, for the sake of argument, to "finish" the war on Iraq, the only solution, short of nuking Baghdad, is to deploy the number of troops required - additional 250,000 troops in one go, with corresponding war materiel which should cost a measly 100 billion dollars instantly.

Let's simplify things: Don't forget that when you deploy 250,000 troops today for a 6 month period, you should have in reserve another 750,000 fresh troops waiting on the side, prepared to be deployed on a rotation basis.

Has America got that? The 1 MILLION READY TROOPS and the corresponding war materiel to storm Iraq? How will America recruit that today and of course, finance it?

These are the harsh realities - before you attack, the strategy must be solid! That's the problem when non-military guys at that level think they could override their military top brass on how to conduct a war. Pathetic!

Rizalist said...

Well, Anna, John, the ball is in the court of those who "want to govern" and "are prepared to lead" (the words of Nancy Pelosi). The challenge of electoral victory is to turn it into effective policy. Yeah yeah change of course. But in what direction? Do yo know?

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Bush is still the president and commander in chief if I recall - the best thing for him to do is TO LISTEN to the military top brass - they KNOW what to do. Read Bob Woodward's book and see for yourself whether the bureacrats in Washington were actually listening to the military top brass.

Stop day dreaming that Rumsfeld knew what he was doing. Four years into the war, do you still believe that he KNEW what he was doing? He advised the president and RULED with so much arrogance to the detriment of the warfare that could have worked.

Do you sincerely believe that Bush today knows what he is doing? His STAY THE COURSE is exactly what what, Dean????

If for the sake of argument, they would allow him to do as he pleased and continue the war ON Irag, would you be prepared to enlist to join the 1,000,000 troops required to say, "win" the war on Iraq and win Bush's war on terror there?

And by the way, speaking of winning, do you want to militarily EXTERMINATE your Philippine rag-tag NPAs? The only way to do that - EXTERMINATE 'em NPAs is to have at least QUALIFIED, PROFESSIONAL 500,000 offcers and men with the corresponding modern logistics. The kind of topography you have in Pinas, no way could you do less than that, if you WANT TO MILITARILY EXTERMINATE the NPAs. You prepared to see the extermination process in Pinas?

Stop bitching about Bush being right on the conduct of war on Iraq Dean, he ain't right! He's done more bad than good - heck, for an intellectually adequate person like you, how could you not see that?

Marcus Aurelius said...

The military even the top brass does not give the orders. The orders come from the President. Lincoln, was often referred to as the "original gorilla" by one of his top Generals (the one many experts consider to be the most competent of those who were the top commanders)

Too many people are caught up on the Powell doctrine, the only wayt to win a fight is by bringing the most soldiers and firepower to a fight. That isn't the way it always works.

The British fought a 13 year insurgency in Burma before it was over there. Of course, in our near 1 hour problem world (i.e. TV) all problems that require a part II episode are very ver difficult.

Ahhh, the plan must be sound argument as well. There was a plan, the plan worked well to a point (very very well and those who pissed & moaned about the stoppage on the march to Baghdad did not realize that too was a part of the plan, the Army wanted to enter Baghdad during the new moon, darker nights). The plan fell through when authority on Iraq admin was handed over to the State Dept.

In any event failure of a plan does not mean there was no plan or it was inadequate, it could just mean the enemy has a brain and plans itself.

In the end the civillian leadership controls the military and not the other way around. Careful what you wish for Hillblogger.

I also see the chickenhawk argument being deployed. Hillblogger, I hope you don't oppose murder, unless of course you are a member of the police force (then how about fires?).

HILLBLOGGER said...

Marcus Aurelius,

You will note that not once did I transgress the tenet that civilian authority rules supreme over the military in any my comments.

If you want, my "beef" is that the civilian authority should have listened to the military top brass on the course of action to take.

We have seen that Rumsfeld's "plan" for Iraq failed. Do you need any other proof that the hawks in Washington have proven themselves not up to the task re Iraq? While I agree that Rumsfeld did something good, i.e., finally the formation of US light extremely good reaction forces, the invasion of Iraq at the time should have been done with more troops as Powell had initially recommended.

Blair's own "plan" for Iraq was blasted to pieces by General Sir Richard Dannatt and rightly so. It would be completely wrong of a military top brass not to call civilian authority to task if war plans aren't working. He would be equally guilty for failing the republic.

If you remember, Bush has had a fair share of criticisms from American generals although the generals spoke up after they retired from service.

Nope, I don't work for the police forces but for the defence.