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We are going the way of Ukraine, unless…
WHETHER Filipinos like it or not, the Americans, thru EDCA, has come back to the Philippines, facilitated as it is by its many “supporters” in our bureaucracy, especially at our national security establishment and at the DFA.
The argument being sold to us is that all this US military build-up in our own territory is “not targeted against any third country.” In other words, America’s alleged aim of instigating a conflict with China notwithstanding, US troops on Philippine soil, including our own Armed Forces, is “not directed against China.”
For most Filipinos who have always been beholden to America’s goodwill and friendship, such affirmation that “no third party” is being targeted, should be enough to dumb down other people’s anxiety and make them go to bed dreaming only of the good days ahead.
Unfortunately though, if lessons are to be learned from the experience of other peoples and countries and yes, our own historical experience in our relationship with the United States, skepticism over such pronouncements of plain peace and development for the country by both US and Filipino officials is justified.
We all remember that last year, Russia undertook a ‘preemptive military strike’ against Ukraine, calling it a “special military operation.” That SMO, is still raging until now and had already caused tremendous and irreparable damage in the landscape and territory of Ukraine, especially the eastern part of the country.
The West and its other minions can describe the SMO as an “act of aggression” on the part of Russia or by other descriptions meant to malign and demonize Russia in the eyes of the international community.
But what was deliberately left out in the narrative is the fact that the continued eastward expansion of the NATO bloc was not only a betrayal of previous “promises” and
commitments” not to do so by previous Western leaders. It has also been repeatedly warned against by Russia, determining the move, especially the inclusion of Ukraine in NATO as an “existential threat” to its territory and sovereignty.
NATO and the US, for that matter, simply disregarded Russia’s protestations and warnings and so here we are today—a raging war that had also disrupted global grain and energy supplies and with Ukraine only managing to fight thru the massive military assistance being provided by NATO, an assistance that is also fast bankrupting its members’ ecnomies.
Also lost in the narrative is that, back then, every inch of NATO expansion to the east of Germany was justified by the claim that it is “not targeted against any third country,” meaning, against Russia.
In other words, the excuse that resulted to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine is the same excuse that is now being used by the US and some of our officials in claiming that the increasing number of US bases (and troops) in our country is not directed against China.
That excuse, clearly, is not believable, especially to China.
Like Russia, the Chinese also knows how to read a map—any map—and no amount of pacific pronouncement plus our own pronouncement of “lasting and strategic friendship” with China can erase their suspicion that yes Jose, they are the target of every American military project in the Philippines under EDCA, And unfortunately, with our willing collusion.
Unless we take the lessons of history seriously, we are on our way to becoming the Ukraine of Asia.
And you can take that to the bank!