As The Bamboos Sway: Filipinos should oppose Trump’s saber-rattling on North Korea


Based on the United States dragging the Philippines in its wars in the past, Filipinos should oppose POTUS Donald Trump in his recent saber rattling against North Korea.

Ten hours after Japan devastated Pearl Harbor in December 8, 1941, its Zeros bombarded the Philippines. The initial aerial attack was followed by landings of imperial ground troops which eventually subdued the US and Filipino armed forces in Bataan and Corregidor. At the end of the war, an estimated one million Filipinos died in the ravaged country.

While Japan was on an imperialist rampage itself throughout South East Asia including trying to consolidate its hold on China which prompted the US to freeze her assets and impose an oil embargo, there is no question that Japan attacked the Philippines because the United States had airbases and troops in the country.

During the Korean War in the early 1950s and the Vietnam War, the Philippines was used as a staging area for its maritime, aerial, and ground attacks. Based on its Mutual Defense Treaty, the Philippines had to send troops which suffered casualties, Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) against North Korea and Philippine Civic Action Group against Vietnam, for both wars which the United States lost. Former President Gloria Arroyo even sent a contingent during the height of the Iraq war which has spawned the ISIS which the US has not yet won or clearly not really winning in the Middle East.

Now POTUS Trump appears to be dragging South East Asian Countries that includes the Philippines again in a war that would involve, again, North Korea. In his saber-rattling stance, the POTUS had ordered the US navy’s armada which is capable of launching, among others, Massive Ordnance Air Blast or Mother of all Bombs (MOAB) close to the Korean Peninsula. This was after devastating a Syrian airbase with 59 Tomahawk missiles based on a false pretext, killing scores of civilians in a nearby village. He also dropped a MOAB in Afghanistan. All these as if to warn North Korea that it could use this destructive bomb against the communist country if… the North Koreans will not denuclearize.

North Korea, however appears not be intimidated. At the UN, North Korea’s permanent representative Ambassador Kim In-ryong, condemned the US missile strikes in Syria. He said the US was “disturbing global peace and stability and insisting on the gangster-like logic that its invasion of a sovereign state is decisive and just and proportionate and contributes to defending the international order”. The stance of North Korea is: if the US attacks, they will launch their missiles against the US and its allies in the region.

Against its allies?

Surely one of those allies will be the Philippines.

Although the base treaties between the Philippines and the US had been terminated, the US presence in the country had not only been tolerated but encouraged by the Government of the Philippines. Despite the early rhetoric of President Rodrigo Duterte against the US under Barack Obama, he is silent on this issue against POTUS Trump. His silence is deafening in agreement to the stance of the United States against North Korea.

While China, Russia, and other Western Countries are clamoring of diplomatic talks to salvage the missteps due to careless rhetoric of POTUS Trump, the US appears to continue to flex its military might as if it has actually won wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Isis. Trump has even said that if China will not curtail its ally, the US will do what it must do. He is forgetting that China, precisely supported the North during the Korean War because they did not want the US so close to their border plus they did not want to be burdened by the influx of Korean refugees if ever. While Trump is courting China, he appears not to be aware that China has a mutual defense treaty with North Korea which is effective until 2021.

Should diplomatic talks fail and the US do not accept its embarrassment for its saber-rattling misstep, peace in the region will surely be disturbed.

Disturbed means the Philippines will surely be again dragged into the fireworks. There is no telling what devastation the country will suffer this time given that the North Korean missiles, even if they might not reach the mainland US, could surely reach the Philippines.

While the US is boasting that they could preempt strikes on the North Korean missile sites, there is really no guarantee that they could. And while the US devastated Iraq for reported germ laden bombs which did not actually exist, North Korea paraded their nukes. And in warfare, you do not show everything. You might well assume that North Korea did not show everything during their recent parade.

So, there. Filipinos better be part of those who oppose POTUS Trump in averting a situation where the Philippines be again put in harms away.

Shall we say POTUS Ina Niya! #


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