Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Groundhog Day

This blog predicted that the offensive of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front would falter as it ran out of munitions and money and wore out the few mobile troops it has at it's disposal -- long before it could inflict fatal damage to the enemy. That moment, regrettably, may have come sooner than expected if reports that Philippine Foreign Secretary Blas Ople is preparing to reopen negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Teheran are true. Catholic Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, Deputy Speaker Gerry Salapuddin, among others, believe that a negotiated peace is now possible.

Of course, it is not.

The demands of the  Moro Islamic Liberation Front are fundamentally inconsistent with the continued exercise of sovereignty by the Philippine Republic over Mindanao. Even if the entire island of Mindanao and all its inhabitants were ceded to the them, it would only momentarily sate their desire to eventually destroy what they view as an anomalous Christian enclave in the Malay barrier. Whatever assurances Bishop Quevedo may have received are temporary. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front will not cease from strife until Bishop Quevedo's entire flock is converted to Islam and its churches rebuilt as mosques and the Bishop submits himself as a dhimmi. This is the program of jihad, and it is on the first page of the Moro Islamic playbook.

The new "peace negotiations" may abate hostilities for a few months at most. Even while negotiations are under way, there will be no slackening in Moro attacks on selected Philippine military targets. But they will drag on, indistinguishable from the last, as they have always done, until some new town in burnt, or some school full of children is destroyed or the pupils taken captive to be turned into Islamic child soldiers. Perhaps a crowded building in Manila will be blown up. Then the Armed Forces of the Philippines will betake itself again to stagger around the hills for a few days in a parody of decisive war, until negotiations to nowhere are restarted once more, at the same function room, with the same caterer, with yet the same curtains behind the podium, and only the waiter the wiser.

Bookmark this blog, as it will be quoted by myself, with regret, within a few months.

Both the Philippine peace lobby and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are guilty of the worst of all possible crimes: the institutionalization of war without end; suffering without limit, unalleviated even by the prospect of an eventual day of victory. Death with peace sauce. "We did it for Jesus!" Say rather you did it in the name of moral cowardice, foolishness and corruption and you will have reduced your sins by the omission of a lie.