Editorial: Sowing fear is what terrorists do


Sowing fear is basically also what bullies do to their victims to get what they want. Some may remember the bullies in their school days who were hungry for recognition. It was important for them to control the class so they bully their classmates with threats of a fist fight, name calling, constant harassment and even run away with their victims’ “baon”.

In a larger scale, we have political leaders who are like the schoolboy bully who seems to have the penchant for violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit or to protect their political goals. This is layman’s description of a terrorist, and what they do is terrorize – terrorism.

Browsing the net, Wikipedia says, “there are over 109 different definitions of terrorism. American political philosopher Michael Walzer in 2002 wrote: Terrorism is the deliberate killing of innocent people, at random, to spread fear through a whole population and force the hand of its political leaders”.

In the same article quoting, “Angus Martyn, briefing the Australian parliament, stated, … During the 1970s and 1980s, the United Nations attempts to define the term (terrorism) floundered mainly due to differences of opinion between various members about the use of violence in the context of conflicts over national liberation and self-determination.”

Anyway, a review of the news the past months, in the regions of Cagayan, Cordillera, and the Ilocos there now are two army divisions (approximately 10,000 soldiers and officers if they are complete) where for a long time it has been just the 5th Division. Like more visitors bring traffic problems to the city, more soldiers bring their militarist culture into traditionally peaceful civilian communities that (militarist culture) actually has created traumatic problems in the past so that the soldiers’ mere presence already alarms ordinary people.

Although, officers have told media that they were deployed into these northern regions on their so-called community service programs that, some officers pointed out, is to facilitate government projects. What government projects would need such a grand mobilization from the country’s official peace keeping and national defense forces in full battle gear? They tried to tell the media that they had come on the invitation of the local government units, the civilian government officers would be too frightened to deny them anything like that.

The last time there was a visible deployment of our national defense forces in these parts was in the 70s’ under martial law when the dictatorship tried to harness the grand Chico River and clear the western forests of Cordillera for the US big business. Where they left a trail of Extra Judicial Killings, illegal arrests, torture, Enforced Disappearances, Trumped up Charges, hamletting, massacres, etc.; while implementing their community service programs to facilitate government projects: as the four mega dams along the Chico and deforestation of Abra and Mountain Province for the CRC pulp production plant.

It was only the strong unity and trust in themselves that the people on the ground in solidarity with other Filipino communities and friends around the world that they overcame the fear and terror, gained courage to save the common resources for their future generations, and help to bring the dictator down. Unite and organize to overcome the fear, draw the courage to defend the people’s resources, culture and communities. # nordis.net


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