I've read a couple of headlines in popular media that basically take the stance that the Philippines is "alone" among Asian nations in opposing the aggressiveness of China.
"Poppycock!" I say. "Poppycock!"
China has succeeded in making the Philippines SEEM alone. Score 10 points to China for dividing the Asean meeting this past week. It is the first time in 45 years the group has failed to develop a consensus statement. Consider China far ahead in executing its strategy to deal with . . . and intimidate . . . each nation one on one.
So the emotional Philippine press have fallen for China's bait. They have gone deep six on this, wavering and weeping like an abandoned child. China must be wringing its hands with glee. "The Philippines is on the run!" they probably chortle, noodle juice dripping on the crayon drawing of the nine-dash map.
Other nations are of course cautious about offending China. They have deep trade relationships with China. Why risk putting that on the line over a situation that is still developing? But if you went off the record with any of the leaders of nations with coastlines on the West Philippine Sea, you can bet they would be sympathetic to the Philippine situation.
The Philippine media is so SHALLOW and SENSATIONALIST. It makes me mad, it does. Those stupid, emotional, non-factual headlines. This idea that if you are not WITH US, you must be AGAINST US!
I don't know what insults to use to properly express my disgust at what shallow-minded, fear-mongering wimps these reporters and their editors are. "Girlie men!" I can't use that any more. "P******!" No. I can't use that, for sure. The late great George Carlin would have a list of about 100 names, but I can't go there, either. I'll have to work on it. Right now the best I can serve up is "sensation-mongering, wrong-headed, non-professionals." I'm sorry that is so bland. It does not accurately convey my disgust.
Here are some things to think about.
- It is China that is driving the agenda, not the Philippines. If the Philippines does not stand up for its rights, China will take them away. What choice does the Philippines really have? It MUST respond confrontationally, alone or otherwise.
- Japan is currently on a head-to-head confrontation with China over another group of islands. So clearly, the Philippines is not "alone". Viet Nam has had conflicts in the past. Indonesia broke off relations with China for a time. Many nations are sympathetic to the Philippines . . . guaranteed.
- How can the Philippines be classified as "alone" if it is working vigorously to build defense alliances with the U.S., Australia, Japan and South Korea? The newspapers reported on these steps, also in sensational fashion, some even suggesting that the Philippines was giving up sovereignty by having alliances. Boy, that is putting the nation into an no-win box. Criticized if acting alone, criticized if having alliances.
- Being in the lead, being a LEADER, is a lonely position. Ask President Aquino, or President Obama, or any president. Get used to being a leader. It is better than being some beggar sycophant, weeping and cowering behind mama's skirt. (Can I say that?)
- It would be a mistake to try to force Asean countries into the impossible predicament of declaring themselves supporters or else considering them to be "against" the Philippines. That is in the Filipino tradition. Win, lose, for me or against me. It would be a mistake to expect other countries to put aside their self interest to pursue Philippine self interest.
That is the danger of these "we are alone" headlines. Some people may want to start criticizing other countries for not "standing up". Well, that is poppycock, too.
The Philippines should do what it has to do and let other nations do the best they can do. Here's what the Philippines can control:
- Define its economic zone clearly.
- Issue its own Code of Conduct for the area, given that one is not forthcoming from Asean.
- Understand exactly what defensive aid allies are prepared to give, other than provide materials. Will they shoot if Philippine boats are rammed or fired on?
- Prepare for military confrontation to prevent China from establishing a physical presence in the Philippine economic zone. Develop a guerilla style maritime fighting capability. Rockets from speedboats works for me. Commando Joe don't need no stinkin' destroyer.
- Prepare to ban Chinese imports and nationalize Chinese businesses operating in the Philippines.
- Work actively with allies to get materials, training and armed backing if it comes to that. Work actively behind the scenes with other nations to keep misunderstandings, and idiot press headlines, from ruining relationships.
IN OTHER WORD, BE A FRICKIN' LEADER! Learn to love the loneliness and exhilaration of being in charge of your own destiny.
And stop reading or watching these idiot reports from local media. Switch-'em off. Boycott them. Use them in the bathroom.