SHOULD THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT THE U.S.’ WAR IN IRAQ?
Professor Roland G. Simbulan
Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development
University of the Philippines, Manila
Over OUR Filipino dead bodies. That is how the U.S. and British invaders in Iraq want to sustain their continued occupation of the land that is the cradle of civilization. They want to project an image of legitimacy thru the use of “peacekeeping forces” from other countries in their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. U.S. allies sending troops to Iraq are like mercenary armies who are being provided U.S. military assistance and given PX goods privileges in U.S. military commissaries.
With our contingent of 51 Filipino soldiers and policemen in Iraq, why are we assisting in the continued occupation of a country that would not have been brazenly invaded if it were just growing spinach instead of having oil-rich reserves? In addition, an estimated 3,000 Filipino civilian workers are employed in U.S. military installations in Iraq.
Why should we support the U.S.-British occupation army that has destroyed the country, ravaged its economy and continues to be in hot pursuit against Iraqi freedom fighters whom they have tagged as “insurgents” and “terrorists”? A century ago, the same invasion army in Iraq ravaged and occupied the Philippines and with more than 100,000 American troops hunted down Filipino freedom fighters like Apolinario Mabini, General Miguel Malvar, Macario Sakay, Julian Montalan, Francisco Carreon, Leon Villafuerte, among others.
Why should we disrespect the sovereignty of others or extend overseas the disrespect that we have already inflicted on ourselves by inviting U.S. military forces to intervene in our local peace and order problem?
Like the American and British invaders of Iraq, we do not have a real understanding of Middle East geopolitics or why we are getting deeply involved in the war in Iraq. To most Arabs and Muslims, the U.S.-British invasion is a 21st century Crusade by Western powers, and the Anglo-American military bases and installations in the Middle East are like the medieval network of Crusader castles and fortresses on Arab soil. The US-UK invasion strikes some deep chord in Arabs and Muslims especially the occupation of Iraq, the birthplace of Sultan Saladin who defeated the 3rd Crusade of King Richard the Lion heart. Saladin is the preeminent hero of the Islamic world who defeated the largest Crusader force in the Middle Ages by uniting Arabs, defeated the Crusaders in epic battles, recaptured Jerusalem and threw out European invaders out of Arab lands. Because of these circumstances, we endanger life and limb of the Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs) spread out in the Middle East in reprisals against Filipinos for supporting an invasion force.
We should not support the U.S. occupation of Iraq because the U.S. invaders and occupiers of Iraq will soon be defeated by the resistance forces of the Iraqi people. There will be a more virulent and united resistance from the Arab peoples in the face of foreign invasion. It will be like the Great Battle of Hattin led by Saladin that won total victory over the invasion army of Crusaders. When that happens, we would be more consistent with our own nationalist history and Constitution if we were on the side of the Iraqi freedom fighters than with the Modern Crusaders, the foreign military invaders of Iraq.
* Article by Roland G Simbulan – For a full professional background of Professor Roland G. Simbulan (Click Here)