AS we are celebrating our Independence Day last June 12, the occasion’s festive mood turned to anger and dismay with no less than Defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana announcing that three days previously, June 9, a Chinese vessel “rammed” a Filipino fishing vessel anchored at ‘Recto Bank’ in the West Philippine Sea— and left behind the 22 crews fending for themselves in the cold water.
This incident is fodder to the cannons of those who have nothing to say anything good about our “pivot” to China, who if they can have their way, would want to see our entire armed forces mobilized followed by a declaration of war against the mightiest military power after America and Russia.
Alternatively, some quarters are not arguing for this approach but rather, for the Duterte government to do a “Noynoy” by seeking “international support” in condemning China, which by interpretation, can only mean “soliciting” the support of the West and Uncle Sam, both of whom are eagerly trying to find any excuse to engage China in a “hot war.”
Translation? If this suggestion is to be followed we’d end up as “cannon fodder” to the ultimate goal of Western Imperialism of starting a military confrontation with China, a scenario that is what PDU30 has been consciously trying to prevent from happening thru his “independent foreign policy” approach.
Of course, China is adding to the delight of its (and our own) enemies when it downplayed the incident as an “ordinary maritime incident” and even warning us “not to politicise” the issue, comments that showed that its Foreign Ministry people are as far removed from reality as they can be.
I mean, this is rubbing salt to the wound, so to speak. The sinking of the F/B Gemvir could have been more “palatable” but to left the crews to die after the sinking and later on describe it as an “ordinary maritime incident?”
That is definitely something else and I share the dismay and indignation of every patriot over the way China has treated this issue.
To PDU30’s credit however, he is taking his time before making any comment on the incident, despite the “pambubuyo” or “pang-uurot” by some groups who are possibly already hearing the trumpet of general mobilization given the (possibly) negative consequences that his no-holds-barred language can generate if directed against China.
This is what true statesmanship is all about dear readers— to measure far ahead in time the consequences of one’s statement and decision on a hotly contested issue.
Nevertheless, over the way PDU30 is allowing his official family to make all sorts of negative comments against China is a clear sign of where he is on this issue— on the side of Philippine interests.
But then, to be emotional about the whole matter as what his enemies and Imperialism’s local stooges want him to do— and what they also want every Filipino to do— is not going to solve but rather, make this already bad situation far worse.
For when it comes to the brass and tacks of things, what can we really do by way of “revenge?”
Are we up to the task of “defending” our national pride and honor?
Or should we not first learn from history as to how emotionalism has brought disaster to the French Empire during its ‘War of 1870’ against Prussia (which later on became the German Empire).
Here, let us refer to the famous ‘Ems Dispatch,’ a narration of the meeting between King Wilhelm I of Prussia and Count Vincent Benedetti, French ambassador, at the king’s vacation resort in Bad Ems, Prussia, where they talked about the ‘Spanish Succession.’
When the King authorized Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck to make the meeting public, Bismarck got the opportunity to “edit” the texts and when it was finally released, it generated so much emotions in both countries (the Prussians believed their King had been insulted while the French believed the King insulted the French), culminating in the War of 1870– to the utter ruin of France.
The Ems Dispatch was of course, a machination of Bismarck who is looking for any opportunity to declare war on France and with the latter’s defeat, the consolidation of all German-speaking states into the German Empire.
In another conflict, it was “emotion” that guided Hitler into declaring war against the United States in 1941 after its Axis ally, Japan, bombed the US naval fleet in Pearl Harbor.
It should be remembered that Germany and the US were not at war even after the Pearl Harbor bombing by Japan.
But US president Franklin Roosevelt and... British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were counting on Hitler’s reaction to the bombing of Pearl Harbor by his ally as to what is going to happen next— and it did.
My point in this narrative is simply this: For those seeking a wider war behind our back, even emotion is a good excuse. Or as the saying goes, be careful of what you wish for— you might just get it!