July 27, 2004

Fair weather lackeys  

I'm sick of hearing about how the Philippines is somehow responsible for the slew of terrorist kidnappings we're seeing now (OK, so as a half Filipino, maybe I'm a little biased). Yes, they "capitulated" to the terrorist demands, but what did you expect them to do? They had all of 51 troops in Iraq, accomplishing all the good that, well, 51 Filipino troops can accomplish. Weighing that good against the life of a Filipino citizen, the government decided it was time to cut its losses and get out of Iraq, and I would have made the same decision (although, like them, I am brown and spineless).

The truth of the matter is, they were only in there in the first place because the United States arrogantly declared "you're either with us or against us" and small, poor nations like the Philippines can't afford to be against the United States. Was it in their interest in any other conceivable way to have troops wandering around the Iraqi desert? Why do you think the "coalition of the willing" is made up of the scorned stepchildren of the world? They're not there out of some kind of Bushian principle; they're there basically out of opportunism. The real captiulation here was to the real bully of the world: George W. Bush.

barrett  {July 27, 2004}

The Philippines is responsible in the same sense that Spain is responsible - not very much.

Certain terrorists might take the Phillippines actions as an encouragement, the same as the terrorists might have taken the Spanish election results as an encouragement. But as you state, the troops were already on the way out of Iraq. In the same vein, in a pre-election, pre-bombing poll, the Spanish public polled 92% opposed to the policies of the government they voted out.

While the propaganda value for the terrorists and the Republicans might be high, the actual influence on the actions of the two nations was negligible.

paul  {July 29, 2004}

I actually think the actions of the terrorists were the determining factor... the Philippine wouldn't have pulled out those 51 troops when they did otherwise, whether or not they were planning to pull out in a month. There's no question they were acting in response to the terrorists' threat. It's just that I don't think it was damnable or irrational since they had no business being there in the first place...

barrett  {July 30, 2004}


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