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Monday, October 24, 2016

WE ARE STUPID

Jose Alejandrino
The Philippines is the oldest ally of the United States in Asia. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines during WWII, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged us to fight on vowing to replace every chicken and carabao lost in the Philippines.
We fought loyally on in Bataan and Corregidor despite being outnumbered and outgunned. When Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to reclaim the Philippines, Manila became the most devastated city after Warsaw in Poland.
We rebuilt our devastated country with our own sweat. While America gave billions in Marshall Aid to reconstruct its former enemy Germany and billions more to rebuild its other enemy Japan after the war, the Philippines received little help.
The foreign assistance the US gave us in the 1980s, 1990s, and up to today totaled less than 11 billion US dollars. Our population is eleven times bigger than Israel's but US foreign aid to Israel was over 130 billion dollars. Under the new agreement signed recently, US aid to Israel will increase to 3.8 billion annually in the next 10 years from 3 billion annually in the previous 10 years. Population-wise this translates to over 500 dollars per person in Israel compared to nearly two dollars per person in the Philippines.
We have given the US access to five Philippine bases. Israel has not given any to the best of my knowledge. Israel despite its small population of 8.5 million has chosen to defend itself without the help of US troops. All its wars were fought by itself where Israel emerged victorious thanks to the courage, audacity and ingenuity of its soldiers.
We can fight our own wars. Our soldiers have shown in the past during the Philippine-American War, at Bataan and Corregidor, and in the Korean War what they are capable of. Indeed our soldiers have never been known for their cowardice. All they need is the equipment and technology to fight a modern war which the US has provided to other nations but denied to us their oldest ally in Asia.
Why has the US taken us for granted, we who showed our loyalty in the past? The answer is simple. Because we have remained subservient unlike the Israelis who do not hesitate to tell the US government to go to hell when they disagree with it, like Netanyahu did to Obama over Iran. The Israelis have always placed their national interest ahead. That is why I admire them. Despite being told to go to hell, the US keeps increasing its foreign aid to Israel not only because it is a valuable strategic partner but also out of respect for this small but brave country.
The Philippines occupies a strategic position in Southeast Asia. That is its greatest asset. Without access to Philippine bases, the US Navy will have to operate far from choke points in our part of the region. We have failed to make use of this vital card in our hands because of too many Amboys in our country who are satisfied to receive crumbs from the table of Uncle Sam. Because of our slave mentality the US took us for granted.

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