August 23, 2009 in editorials
Contrary to claims that the continued stay of US troops in the country is beneficial for us, the truth is the presence of foreign troops undermines our sovereignty, and prevents us from resolving our own internal problems peacefully.
While some lawmakers welcome the presence of US troops in the country, they always caution their remarks with the proviso that these troops should not be involved in combat operations.Why this precautionary proviso is explained by the fact that US troops are actually involved in combat operations, and our officialdom knows it, although they always deny or play it down when the fact becomes undeniable.
The Americans are more truthful about this fact. They openly admit that while about 80% of their activities is devoted to so-called “humanitarian missions”, 20% is dedicated to helping local security forces in eliminating “hard-core” elements among rebels and insurgents. In military parlance these “humaniarian missions” are part and parcel of their psychological warfare in trying to win the hearts and minds of the local populace who would otherwise be sympathetic to the rebel or insurgents’ cause.
In brief, the United States continues to meddle or interefere in our internal securtiy affairs through the presence of their troops in the country. This only shows that the US does not really take seriously our pretensions to sovereignty because they know that when crucnh-time comes around, the Philippine government always cry “Uncle Sam!” for help.
This military dependence has been made possible through various treaties and agreements signed between the governments of the Philippines and the United States since 1946, notably the Mutual Defence Pact and, more recently, the Visiting Forces Agreement or VFA. This has made our country ultimately dependent on American military assistance even for internal security as what is happening now in war-torn Mindanao.
The assurance of American military assistance has emboldened the Phlippine ruling elite through various administration not to heed the people’s clamor for meaningful reforms. They make empty promises, paying mostly lip-service to the people’s cry for genuine change, feeling comfortable in the thought that even if the Filipino masses rise up in revolt or rebellion, Uncle Sam can always be counted upon to come to their rescue.
But this comes with a price. In exchange for this security, the Americans also expects the Phlippine ruling elite to abide by America’s wishes, doing Uncle Sam’s bidding whenever America’s interest so dictates, like when Obama asked GMA in her recent Washington visit for the Philippines to be America’s coordinator in ASEAN affairs.
This is exactly the role of a client state whose claim to sovereignty is more fantasy than reality. But there is always a price to pay for being such a lackey of foreign interests. Our country can never really develop or progress because everytime we try to do so, there is always Uncle Sam to keep us in line.
This is the lesson Latin American countries have learned through decades, if not centuries, of being treated as America’s backyard. That is why they are wary about American military presence in their soil because they know it amounts to a derogation of their soveriegnty which translates to a perpetuation of their poverty.
We still have to learn our lesson the hard way. # nordis.net