ONE of the most confused posts critical to the President that I have ever encountered is one where an immediate end to martial law is being demanded, even as an immediate end to terrorist attacks in Marawi is also likewise urgently asked.
This comes on the heels of the argument by a lawyer that every death of a soldier in Marawi is indicative of the failure of the President.
There is so much irrationality hanging in the air that one can just hypothesize that these are all reactions of peoples who are suddenly displaced from their comfort zones where they usually launch their criticisms of the President. So, used to attacking him on his war on drugs, the political opposition, both the elected and the cyber-located, is looking for a coherent basis that would not make them look like they are terrorist sympathizers.
No wonder that Risa Hontiveros appears so confused with her definition of what rebellion is, and of the nature of the Constitution. She mistook the latter to be a political science textbook where a glossary of terms appears at the end. Rebuked for her incompetent failure to revise the taxonomy of political violence, she immediately accused her critics of committing the sin of spreading fake news against her, even if what she said was captured on videotape. Scrambling to avoid being labeled as a patroness of terror, she makes an extra effort to emphasize that she is against terrorism. But in trying to do so, she again committed an epic blunder by saying that terrorists do not have ideologies.
What provided the narrative to link the terrorist attacks in Marawi to drugs, in an effort to attack the President, is Richard Paddock of the New York Times who blames him for focusing too much on the drug war, thereby failing to contain the growth of ISin the country. This is coming from a newspaper that should know better, seeing how the US was helpless in stopping IS from the very beginning.
The New York Times should know that IS is the product of a hawkish George W. Bush, and its spread was enabled by a dovish Barack Obama, both US Presidents.
The Bush administration, after refusing to take down IS founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi despite intelligence reports indicating that he was a dangerous extremist, later propelled him to prominence by “faking” the connection between him and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida to justify the US invasion of Iraq. When Baghdad fell, the US disbanded the Iraqi Army which left thousands of military-trained men, mostly Sunnis, unemployed and disillusioned. These angry men became the base from where al-Zarqawi recruited his fighters. It did not help that the US was in a state of denial vis-à-vis the Sunni insurgency because recognizing it would have painted the US as an unwelcome occupying army, which in reality it was.
When Obama became President, he ordered the pull-out of all US troops from Iraq. This left a Shia-dominated government in Iraq that marginalized and repressed the rebellious Sunni population. This condition became the breeding ground for IS.
Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi, the new leader of the Sunni insurgency after al-Zarqawi’s death, vowed to fulfill the latter’s vision of a global caliphate. He took his war to Syria, by drawing on the Sunni resentment against the murderous government of Bashar al-Assad. Obama’s security advisers wanted the US to fund the moderate opposition to al-Assad to blunt the growth of radicalized political Islam in Syria. Obama refused. This led to the strengthening of al-Bagdadi’s extremist rebel army which later occupied much of Western Syria and established the caliphate which al-Zarqawi dreamt of. With its capital at Raqqa, the Islamic State was born.
Soon after, IS mujahids marched into Iraq to take a large swathe of territory, including the second largest city of Mosul.
And IS, the horror that we now face, was born. It has become a global force.
It threatens to behead every Christian, stone to death every woman not wearing a hijab, murder every homosexual, and crucify every liberal intellectual that they see. In their extremist ideological worldview, these would include every liberal politician like Risa, every noisy lawyer like that one who blamed the President for every dead soldier in Marawi and every journalist like Richard Paddock.
But reason seemed to have escaped elements of the political opposition and their like-minded allies in foreign media. They are so terrorized by President Duterte’s martial law that they seem not to mind the horrors that the Daesh promises.
One has to beg these critics to enlighten us on how they may want to immediately deal with terrorism other than using the state’s monopoly of the legitimate use of political violence. They complain about martial law. They complain about airstrikes. Perhaps it will be good if we demand from them a blueprint on how to quickly respond, considering that in its absence what I see are only the images of nuns holding rosaries, and of young girls offering flowers to Maute terrorists in Marawi, as we all do a “kapit-bisig” march to prevent them from beheading all of us.
Hold peace talks with them?
But how can we do this when even Risa Hontiveros herself has realized that you cannot talk peace with terrorists?