21st March 15:50
Surrendering to the Global Jihad
Old poor Gloria, no matter how hard she has tried to please this
warmonger Bush, she is still bashed by the shameless unsatiable
If anything, if there is any historian left to write about the 21th
century, Bush's lawlessness will be judged; not Arroyo's withdrawal of
less than 60 so-called ``peace-keeping'' troops. Why, the life of the
poor father of 8 does not deserve to be his president's highest
The Phillipines is a very impoverished nation and has many of its own
worries and therefore can ill-afford to spare its strong young men
from its own problems.
Yet it was goaded into sending some 50 to 60 reluctant men to do
Bush's dirty laundry because poor Gloria wanted to be compliant. But
the unsatiable Bushites don't care what she has done for them already.
The Bushites can't put themselves in other people's shoes. They can't
see that the Phillipines is the most Catholic nation in Asia and the
Catholic Church is entirely opposed to this immoral war. So why would
any sane Catholic want to sacrifice one of his or her fellow men to
cover for an immoral war?
Yahoo! News Wed, Jul 14, 2004
Newsview: Iraq Becomes Political Problem
Wed Jul 14, 2:33 AM ET
By SONYA ROSS, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - The Iraq (news - web sites) war is not only a major
election-year problem for the Bush administration, it is proving a
monumental political pain for America's friends.
The Philippine government Tuesday said it was withdrawing its
51-soldier contingent from Iraq ahead of its scheduled Aug. 20
departure to save the life of a Filipino hostage. President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo (news - web sites) faced the decision under pressure
of a disputed election victory that has led to threats of mass
demonstrations and general unease even though the opposition has been
unable to turn out large numbers.
Arroyo's foreign undersecretary was in Iraq trying to work out a deal
to save hostage Angelo dela Cruz's life.
An early departure from the unpopular war as demanded by the
kidnappers would place the Philippines on the road out of Iraq
alongside Spain, which left after a pre-election terrorist attack in
The former U.S. colony also is bunched as terror targets with
Bulgaria, Egypt, Japan, South Korea (news - web sites), Turkey and the
United States, nations whose citizens have been used as bargaining
chips by Islamic militants.
Like the others, Arroyo's government has been subjected to high-level
U.S. pleading to stick it out, a strategy that Washington employed
successfully with the others.
The U.S. administration is none too happy with the Philippine
"Our policy is not to negotiate or provide benefit to terrorists. We
think that can send a wrong signal, and that's why we're disappointed
to see statements like this," State Department spokesman Richard
Boucher said Tuesday.
The Philippines' dilemma certainly is not unique. Like most
governments participating in the U.S.-led coalition, the Arroyo
administration wanted to enhance its already positive relations with
the United States and concluded that lending support in Iraq would
Filipino officials also were sensitive to the possibility of national
outrage should they fail to secure freedom for dela Cruz, a
46-year-old truck driver and father of eight. Arroyo has been under
blistering criticism for her handling of the kidnapping crisis, and
small groups of protesters have taken to the streets of Manila for two
The Bush administration should not be surprised by Manila's actions,
said Stephen Walt, professor of international affairs at Harvard
University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. As time passes
without hard proof to back up the rationale for war, such as the
discovery of ousted President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s
destructive weapons, coalition countries are less able to explain why
they remain in Iraq, Walt said.
"These governments look naive for having believed us," Walt said. "You
don't want to see other governments suc***bing to this kind of
blackmail. But we ought to recognize that there are reasons why
foreign governments are feeling the heat, and the reason is that the
original case for war turned out to be a sham."
Hoping to keep the Philippines in the fold, Secretary of State Colin
Powell (news - web sites) called Arroyo. Similarly, U.S. officials
reached out to Seoul with personal assurances when South Korea saw one
of its citizens beheaded in Iraq, and to Japanese President Junichiro
Koizumi, who held firm in Iraq after three kidnapped Japanese citizens
To soften the impact of the Philippine withdrawal on its international
standing, the United States also praised Australia for deciding to
send more soldiers to Iraq and El Salvador (news - web sites) for
extending its troops' stay by a year.
Even so, more problems loomed. Bulgaria, which has two citizens held
captive, grappled with reports that one of two Bulgarian truck drivers
taken hostage had been killed.
"What is the U.S. giving these countries? Basically nothing," said
Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, senior fellow for trans-Atlantic relations
at Johns Hopkins University. "A lot of countries say the U.S. got us
in this mess, it's basically up to the U.S. to deal with the problems.
"What you will hear in public opinion or elsewhere is the U.S. policy
toward Iraq before and now was flawed. And unless that policy changes,
one is really willing to engage internationally on this issue, it's
going to be a difficult situation," she said.
Changes in Washington did not seem to be forthcoming.
"There is a difference between leading a coalition of many nations and
submitting to the objections of a few," Vice President **** Cheney
(news - web sites) said Monday at a fund-raiser in Pennsylvania. "The
United States will never seek a permission slip to defend the security
of our country."
EDITOR'S NOTE -- Sonya Ross has covered national and international
affairs for The Associated Press since 1992.