Wednesday, March 18, 2009

As if they never left...



We have long dismantled the US military base here in my country, but the Philippines remained on the radar of the US goverment. They sought to regain military foothold in my country through various agreements.

In 1999 our senate ratify an RP-US Visiting Forces Agreemet (VFA) which serves as a legal framework for the treatment for visiting American troops, and this serves as the legal basis for the stationing of US troops in the Philippines.

But unlike the base treaty, the VFA has no duration. It is in effect, by all intent and purposes, INDEFINITELY! Add to that, it does not limit the area where they can visit, the number of troops allowed, nor the activities of the visiting troops. Theoritically, the US can station or deploy any number of troops anywhere in the Philippines for unspecified activities.

This is favorable to America as the design is more flexible and less costly to maintain. One batch leaves another enters... in a kind of revolving door fashion.

So, why did I talk about it today? Because President Obama called our president to talk about the VFA.

Obama is an American president, and he represents American interests. His own claim to power depends on his ability to be seen as representing American interests. The importance of the VFA to the US today may be seen in Obama’s call to Arroyo after refusing to acknowledge her existence all this time. There is always the fear that Arroyo might drag down US interests along with her.

I have always admired Obama. He is the first American president to have recognized the Philippine contribution to the Allied cause in World War II. All the other US presidents have merely paid lip service to Filipino bravery. Obama has put money where the American mouth is.

Of course, he made a mistake calling up Arroyo. It allows Arroyo to put a spin to that call and exploit the American vulnerability to being held hostage by the Visiting Forces Agreement. But that is for us, the Filipino people, to oppose. That is for us, the Filipino people, to correct.

So to the elected president of America, here's what I want to say:

"The VFA has no place in the world you envision. Certainly it has no place in the country we live in. It is not your place to demand that it continue to exist. It is an exaction upon us, no less than your bases were. It ought never to have seen the light of day.

We are America’s ally, we are America’s friend. But principles are the true foundations of alliances, not expedience. Equality is the true foundation of friendship, not imposition. You want us to respect you, respect us. You want us follow your lead, lead where we may follow.

You have been an inspiration to America, you have been an inspiration to the world. Be an inspiration to us as well."

16 comments:

NEO-CONDUIT said...

Awesome hun! loving this bit "Equality is the true foundation of friendship, not imposition. You want us to respect you, respect us. You want us follow your lead, lead where we may follow".
That should apply to everyday life!
Love Kirst
xoxoxo

Tracey said...

I'm sure between you and Kirst, you could put the whole world to rights, maybe you should get together and form a political party, I know I'd sign up!
Love Tracey x x x

blue_butterfly said...

I dont understand why Obama can set a time table to pull out his troops in Iraq, and yet cannot do so in here.
I am not being anti-American, i just see Obama as larger than life, and i expect him to do heroic action or undo the monumental harm wreaked by his predecessor upon this country.
of course we believe in fighting terrorism. but we believe in fighting terrorism not by the ways of terrorism but by the ways of democracy. terror will not be defeated by mounting more terror, it can be defeated by understanding the sources of terror.
and we certainly don't need america to teach us how.

Angry American said...

I had no idea the US no longer had a base there Odette. With the B2 Stealth Bombers, and all the super carriers, we don't really need ANY air bases to launch a first strike air campain.

Even so, this all boils down to keeping our military options open. It's a little easier to "slip" a revolving door into your country now than to force feed you a "new reason to ship troops and anchor ships" there if the sh*t hits the fan.

How the hell the Philippine islands could possibly help our ground forces reach the middle east, or Europe, or any other part of Asia any faster then the rest of our bases around the world is beyond me.

But, wtf do I know. I'm just a dumb pollock. :D

Tracey said...

An amusing dumb pollock though!

blue_butterfly said...

Angry American,
for almost a century, the US military had use two major bases in the Philippines, Clark Air Force Base, and Subic Naval Station.
it took a strong anti-nuclear, anti-imperialist mass movement and a majority vote in the Philippine Senate to finally end the long US military occupation.
some quarters say that the US military withdrawal from the Philippines will cause economic havoc and political unrest in my country.
but know what? my country's economy at that time not only recovered from the initial economic crisis but also has experienced phenomenal growth.

blue_butterfly said...

Tracey,
yeah right, amusing, hahaha!
now if only he will post a new article in his page soon...tapping fingers on the table.

Anonymous said...

well said dette,i'm with you on this ... all the way

joy oh (still unable to post properly)

blue_butterfly said...

Pleasing 410,
wow, finally! i shrieked upon seeing your signature here. thanks!
hey, i love the post you had written on filipina migrant workers. i am glad you had started writing again.

Boysie Gonzaga said...

This post got balls of steel...!!! But you should have addressed your pleading to your dear Tita Glorietta in that palace by the stinking river rather than to the Oval Office. Lol...

Welcome to Odette's blog.... in high definition color! Nice, nice, nice...!

blue_butterfly said...

Boysie,
if you had only seen her glorious majesty's picture on papers after the supposedly friendly call of Obama. the picture MalacaƱang issued for Sunday’s newspapers showed Arroyo scowling on the phone, as if giving the US president a lecture.
there is limit to filipino's gullibility but then again, our president never listens to us, so maybe the US president will, no? hahaha.

Boysie Gonzaga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boysie Gonzaga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boysie Gonzaga said...

Sorry about that Odette. Got some runtime error on my side. Malacanang must have something to do with this! Looool! Just clean up the mess he he he.

Anyway, here it is:

She was so "simpatica" the last time I met her. But that was years ago. The greed for power must have turned her into a drolling gremlin.

Blog the cretin! LoooooooooooL!!!

The Acolyte Tao said...

Obama doesn't represent american interest. No one but a few congressmen, very select few governors, and even fewer senators.
The rest=political head figures for world banking interest. Aka, puppets of the Rothschild family.

blue_butterfly said...

TAT,
there is a difference between the people and it's leader. we can always loathe the leaders but admire the people and its spirit. those people who would fought back imposition and exaction with a spirit of blazing trails to usher a change.
i still believe that Obama is the best thing to have happened to America in a long time. my hope that he will be able to shape a better world, quite apart from pluck his country out of another Great Depression. maybe if you rally behind him he can do away with the select few whom you said is running the affairs of the state, and put back the people's interest to the fore...

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin