“War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.” — Sun Tzu
NOTE: First published on Nov. 3, 2011.
President Noynoy Aquino’s compromising, suicidal “all-out-justice” rhetoric appears to be foundation- the bedrock- of the government’s policy of appeasement. The separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) spate of attacks on government soldiers and innocent civilians over the past weeks did not just reveal the true nature of the nation’s enemy, it also exposed the current administration’s ignoble weakness: its inability to deal with its enemies and to make right and crucial military decisions, and political relativism.
Yes, the Aquino administration miserably and disgustingly holds on to its policy of appeasement, which will definitely put the country’s security in a compromising, uncertain situation, because of its policy-makers’ utter inability to understand the nature (and what motivates) the nation’s enemy. However, I believe that the fundamental source of the current administration’s dangerous security and military policies is moral and political relativism.
Relativism per se is defined as “the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.” It maintains that there is no absolute, objective universal truth. Political relativism is essentially the result of moral relativism, “the philosophical theory that morality varies between individuals and cultures and so there is no objective right and wrong.” The moral relativists believe that each and every society determines its code of morality according to the belief, whims of feelings of the majority or according to the established culture, tradition, social norm, etc. This means that if the majority of a society wants to establish slavery or to slaughter a certain race or a group of people, that’s perfectly moral, according to the view of the moral relativists.
Political relativism, on the other hand, is the result of a person’s or a group of people’s subjective view of morality. It is the result of one’s compromising, non-absolute view of morality as well as myopic view of reality. In the realm of politics, nothing can be more dangerous to a nation’s security and sovereignty than political relativism. It is the inability of the political relativists in power to assess any crucial problem or any situation involving national security that makes them the main enemy of the nation and of the people. In any situation or event involving military conflict, the political relativists in power are indispensable part of the Fifth Column.
Yes, nothing can be more of a threat to national security and sovereignty than the political relativists in the government who embolden and strengthen the enemy through their policy of appeasement and inability to assess the situation and to know the nature and what motivates the enemy. That makes these political relativist politicians in the government essential part of the enemy’s Fifth Column.
President Aquino and his political relativist security advisers and minions are indeed the MILF’s, the Communists’ and other rebel group’s FIFTH COLUMN. Through the president’s destructive and suicidal policy of appeasement, the government becomes the most effective Fifth Column that the nation’s enemies could ever devise. The President and his political relativist security and defense advisers are doing their part as if they took orders consciously from the MILF, the NPA and other rebel/separatist groups. And whether they want it or not, they are pushing the nation towards the path of destruction. Indeed, the whole nation is now in a Trojan situation, as the President helps build the enemy’s Trojan Horse.
What is this dangerous, suicidal policy of appeasement I’m talking about? The President admitted that he gave P5-million tribute, which is a treasonous act, to the leader of the secessionist MILF, the terror group that killed 19 of our soldiers in October 18 and has been conducting terror attacks against government armies and civilians for years. That clearly wasn’t a gift; it was treason! Worse, the President claimed that what he did was part of government tradition, as previous administrations also paid tribute to the separatist Islamic group. Just recently, media reports revealed that the this administration is set to spend P31 million in livelihood projects in communities occupied by the communist breakaway group Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP-RPA-ABB). It is also set to release P1.8 billion to accelerate peace process by funding various projects aimed to reduce poverty and vulnerability in conflict-affected areas in the country. Thus, part of the President’s policy of appeasement is to throw money at the enemy. But will it work?
When it comes to national security, the whole nation is indeed faced with two main enemies: 1) the problem involving the separatist rebel groups composed of the MILF, MNLF, Abu Sayaff group, the CPP-NPA and other breakaway communist groups; 2) the political relativist administration’s policy of appeasement. But which of the two poses clear and imminent danger to our security and freedom? I believe it’s the second.
The president’s policy of appeasement is the exact replica of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s rhetoric of appeasement that helped bolster the guts and grit of Germany’s absolute fuhrer Adolf Hitler to pursue his plan to dominate the world:
We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analysing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will. I cannot believe that such a programme would be rejected by the people of this country, even if it does mean the establishment of personal contact with the dictators.
“We are not for all-out war. We are for all-out justice,” President Aquino said.
The following statement exposes the commander-in-chief’s suicidal, dangerous political relativism and unwillingness to understand our security problem:
“We recognize that these calls for all-out war may come from those who do not have a full awareness of all the factors at play. However, my decisions cannot be borne out of ignorance. They have to be based on available facts.
“If we go down this path, more innocent civilians will be put in harm’s way. The difficult peace process cannot be enhanced by shedding more blood and generating more ill will. We have to exhaust all possibilities for attaining peace through dialogue.”
Was the president trying to say that the MILF is not a criminal organization, but just a group of disgruntled rebels with justifiable grievances? What “full awareness of all the factors at play” was he talking about? Our soldiers are being handicapped by the government’s peace negotiations. They are sitting ducks, to borrow the phrase used by Teddy Locsin. And what “available facts” do we still need to confront the undeniable reality that this Republic is faced with enemies on various fronts?
It’s time for our government to face reality. And if the government still demands real-world facts, reality offers the following:
- The nation has been confronting various enemies motivated by certain ideologies (.e.g., secular and religious ideologies). The MILF and other separatist Islamic groups are motivated by religious ideology, while the CPP-NPA and other breakaway groups are motivated by socialist/communist ideology.
- The secessionist goal of the MILF is not motivated by land; that’s merely secondary. It is primarily motivated by religious ideology, which is the main reason why they want to establish a society founded on Islamic law and dogma. They don’t want Mindanao in order to secede; they want Mindanao and they demand secession because of their religion. We have seen this very similar case in Sri Lanka wherein the separatist Tamil Tigers waged war on the Sri Lankan government and conducted terror attacks both against government soldiers and civilians. Anyways, what did Hashim Salamat, the late MILF chairman, say? He said: “The configuration of the territory of the Bangsamoro State may be subject to negotiation. What is non-negotiable is the setting up of an Islamic government in our homeland.” That should have informed our previous and present governments of the dogmatic, radical nature of this separatist group. They are motivated by their deep, uncompromising Islamic ideology.
- The communist rebels are not demanding secession; they simply want to turn this country into a socialist/Maost/Marxist slave pen. The Communist Party’s ideological leaders are not fighting a war because of the country’s poor economic condition. In fact, they root for the economy to fail in order to recruit more members.
- The government’s attempt to throw money at the problem or the enemy simply exposes our political relativist leaders’ inability to understand the problem. They believe that the problem is purely economic- and that’s the reason why the President ordered the release more taxpayers’ money. This governmental gimmick indeed reeks of political relativism. The president and his political relativist ilk fail to understand that the problem is purely ideological. That no one can ever appease a madman motivated by an evil ideology. The MILF simply wants to establish their own Islamic fiefdom, while the CPP-NPA seeks to replace the current system with a property right-less system that sanctions central planning, total redistribution of wealth, and protectionism. That’s why the Communist Party in the United States still exists despite the country’s tremendous economic success. The CPP-USA simply rejects America’s semi-capitalist system.
As to the president’s new-speak called “all-out-justice”, he should understand that war was already part of our political realities when the enemy, which is determined to overthrow the existing government or to secede, committed aggression and indiscriminately attacked government soldiers and civilians. To deny the existence of war is to deny reality and to compromise the security and safety of the entire nation. It’s time for our president to wake up to reality and heed Sun Tzu’s immortal advice: “War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.”
Objectively speaking, the ongoing war was not initiated by the government. True, our government is not perfect. In fact, our country badly needs a constitutional reform in order to correct our flawed economic system and policies and to guarantee economic freedom. However, I don’t believe that this is the right time to do that knowing the kind of people surrounding the president. We are at war, whether we like it or not. The presence of separatist groups that have been conducting terror attacks should tell us that WE ARE AT WAR. Whether you like the word “war” or not, we have to admit that we’re in a situation wherein we have to defend, ideologically and militarily, our freedom and rights against their aggressors.
War is an awful thing, but as long as we do not initiate war and aggression, we have morality and justice on our side. But if war were initiated by a group of criminals motivated by an evil ideology, the government has the moral duty to defend our rights and freedom against their destroyers. The moral principle here is: the government cannot just let the enemies of freedom kill our soldiers and civilians. In the case of the MILF versus our own government, justice demands war.
So what should the government do to properly deal with the MILF (including other separatist/rebel groups)? I believe it should do the following:
- Stop negotiating with the enemies. That means: stop peace talks.
- Do not give in to their demands.
- Treat them as criminals because that’s what they are. They are criminals and they’ve been spreading and committing crimes and terror activities for years.
- Declare a war of attrition against these criminals. The war should be done effectively through the use of tactical operations (planned only by our finest and battle-tested generals) and most effective weaponry. Instead of throwing money at the enemy, the government should use that money to upgrade our military.
- Train our soldiers in guerilla warfare. That means more training.
- Most importantly, KNOW THY ENEMY. The government must understand that it’s the enemy that calls for the use of military force by committing indiscriminate crimes and terror attacks against unarmed civilians.