Saturday, July 17, 2004

Pulling out for the wrong reason

There is no doubt that the government should do everything in order to save Angelo dela Cruz from his kidnappers. In fact it should be doing everything to protect any of our OCWs. But capitulating to the demand of the kidnappers should not have been an option.

From the start I was opposed to the US invasion because it was premised on the presence of WMD. The US government brazenly lied just to get into Iraq. But I would have supported any nation who would wage war just to depose Saddam. So I took my hat off to the American and other coalition force soldiers for doing so once the war was a done deal. (I differentiate the soldiers from their governments.  There would be no wars in the world, I believe, if the ordinary foot soldiers would be asked to decide instead of the generals.)

Some bloggers said that the US forces might have not found WMDs but they seized a more destructive weapon - Saddam. I can live with that argument. Others opined that under Saddam Iraq was more stable than now with all those fighting factions. But it is still better to have him out of the way for the sake of those he has imprisoned or forced into exile. At least there is hope Iraq may go the way of Turkey - a secularized Islamic state.

I was ambivalent about our government sending a token contingent. But I understand our humanitarian mission are well-paid; more than they can possibly get here.  Others may call them mercenaries. I call them "kapit patalim". Like all the other OCWs they are being patriotic, risking their lives, by earning precious dollars for our dwindling foreign reserves.

However, we may be pulling out for the wrong reason. Kidnappers will now have a field day. The next kidnapper may demand that we release Nur Misuari or Robot. What then? Perhaps I am trivializing the issue here.

On the other hand, I am irritated when American bloggers call Pinoys backstabbers for pulling out. Why, more and more Americans are against the Iraq war in the first place. So they should set their target sight nearer to home. But I don't really care about what Americans are saying; they have not been blameless in this affair.

I am more concerned about what the Bulgarians, the Koreans or the Japanese will say. Their citizens were also kidnapped but instead of pulling out they have reinforced their contingents. As an Oriental I feel a terrible lose of face.