Friday, 15 March 2013

Of seeing some (if not most) "Star Sprangled" Comments and rebuttals

Of seeing some (if not most) "Star Sprangled" Comments and rebuttals

(Or all after reading pro-and-anti US comments at PxO)

It was long time ago when this writer had sought some "Agit-prop" made in an online page named Pixel Offensive.

Known much for its radical-leaning visual artwork and its anti-system rant (depending on which topic, of course), that page had thousands of followers trying to get updated with the latest issues involving the system and the people who felt getting affected by its actions mostly deemed as contrary.

However, not all those who had "liked" the page are those who had adhere its views, especially those who seemingly "liked" the page just to have a series of rebuttals guised as "debates" concerning the nature of the pictures, may it be pointing against the Aquino administration, the present crisis, US Imperialism, and others that this writer would say inimical to the aspirations of the people clamoring for a just, progressive society.

For example, this writer had sought a segment of pictures speaking about US or Chinese intervention, and it would say that based on PxO's pictures depicting the continuous intervention of both America and China in Philippine affairs, it had simply became a subject of catcalls and heckles all due to the reports concerning Spratlys, Scarborough shoal, and even the incident on Tubbataha reef that resulted to damage in its  well renowned corals, or perhaps plain and simple ad hominem statements trying to malign one commentator to another.

And most of its comments, ranging from anti-American commentators assailing Balikatan exercises and for the damage at Tubbataaha reef to its Anti-Chinese counterpart condemning Chinese occupation of Scarborough shoal and Kalayaan islands, would say that they're rather continuation of decades-old cold war sentiments, debates that made Filipinos took on ideology as one basis for its foreign policy. Anti-Chinese individuals within the page may had look on "ideology" as its basis due to their comments such as "Communism" if the topic tackles about "US Imperialism" or even "Spratlys", that somehow this writer would say that they had forgotten watching the news and getting new information, post-cold war and in regards to China, post-Deng.

That somehow in this writeup, basing much on the observation in PxO, speaks on how these people clamor, lobby in a state that tries to cover events in a thin blanket of silence.

Revisiting and analyzing their comments

In a series of pictures concerning the legacy of US Imperialism in the Philippines, there are comments, pro-and-anti contesting how the US occupiers treated the Filipinos, especially in its earlier days of the occupation such as those of water cure in one one of its pictures shown.

That somehow one of its commentators, seeing the long-term problem of US intervention both based on history and its effect on today's issues, had said this:

"The Americans merely took us from the old iron cage of Spain and put us in their own golden cage. It may be prettier, but in the final analysis it's still a CAGE." 

Anyways, most of the pictures depicted was all shown during the Philippine-American War. Known much by the old as "the Philippine Insurrection", the "victorious" American troops had occupied Manila after defeating Spain, and again gained victory against the young republic that made the Philippines subjected under its "Benevolent Assimilation" consist of "intense pacification" and "exploitation" of resources. That made the commentator, comparing "benevolent assimilation" into a gilded cage, the idea McKinely coined was rather a by-word for colonization, especially that earlier US policies includes having its own government, military and domestic affairs imposed in a foreign country, with most people would opted to say beneficial (thanks to its commercial goods and promises of good life) regardless of its earlier atrocities the US had been done.

However, on that same page, there are people who tend to justify US's action other than the usual ad hominem or China-related topic, such as this, also in the same discussion:

"Because of this epic battle, the Philippines was liberated from Spain. Why hate this battle anyway?"

Or even this:

"We cannot liberate ourselves before from the Spaniards the Americans did, we all know that Americans ruled us better than the Spaniards."

But as for the latter, it seems that had underestimated the Philippine resistance made by the Katipunan and the young republic led by Aguinaldo and his cohorts. America had intentions to use the war and describe as "redeeming oppressed nations like Cuba, Puerto Rico and the east indies" but come to think that they opted to make them dependent because of its cash crops available to these territories. Hawaii, for instance was once a Kingdom yet the US had overthrown the monarchy and hence made it a territory. Yes, America may had done good things but how about the British? They even let the Sultans dominate in Malaya unlike the Americans who had underestimate Filipino leadership as barbaric! What is Bodong? What is the Barangay? What is the Sultanate?  And others that made Filipinos capable of self-governance? Yes, the Filipino nation, according to Rivera (a well known Hispanist) had experienced governance under Spain and hence in its independence be capable of handling its own affairs only to be subjected to another occupation thinking of "how ignorant those Filipinos" with their sheer racism.

For sure according to William McKinley and his "benevolent assimilation", he saidth:

"...that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly, and the next morning I sent for the chief engineer of the War Department (our map-maker), and I told him to put the Philippines on the map of the United States (pointing to a large map on the wall of his office), and there they are, and there they will stay while I am President!"

Only to be responded with this, such as those in the masthead of the newspaper "Filipinas Ante Europa", as it said:

"Contra Norte-America, no; contra el imperialismo, sí, hasta la Muerte!" 

Despite given sympathies to the American people that most are anti-imperialist in their leaning, the masthead reflects its anti-American sentiment such as its imperialistic intentions laid by its system. Well, history repeats itself as expected: Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as low intensity conflicts in the Philippines and supporting dictatorships in Central America before tends to justify America's control over its subjects using "peace and order" as its pretext; and this may also been a rehash of its very own Manifest Destiny that benefited the ignorant with its wholesale commercialism, enjoying the unseen cage while those who oppose are given the big stick and hence described as "terrorist" and subjected to repression.

And speaking of "cage" (courtesy of the first quote stated), one commentator had even stating US had "Gave" independence that somehow justifies the Philippines in America's own gilded Cage, as it said:

"You call that a cage? The Americans gave us our independence we didn't won it over them."

Only to be responded with this:

"I Don't think so. They just bought us from no more than like a stage play."

Frankly speaking, good rebuttal for the latter, for he is somehow right thinking that with a mock battle, the US had bought the Philippines for a million  along with other once-Spanish controlled territories as part of the  Treaty of Paris; and despite all intentions vested by McKinley's words such as "christianization" and the like, most  Filipinos were rather still clamor for independence from lobbying to the use of arms like what Macario Sakay did. The United States didn't gave "Independence" but rather earned by those who kept on clamoring for it, why on earth you will "give" yet you gain profit in a resource rich group of islands in the orient? Even today the US and other countries (including China) had to import "finished goods" while keeping the country dependent with its "cash crops" exported than for internal consumption. Hence, that independence "given" in 1946 may consider as "sham" with its policies greatly dependent from a greater power.

That until today these matters continue to prevail. From raping women to disrupting ecosystems and coddling murderers would say that they are "keeping the peace" people like it or not.


In general, it is quite strange to read most of their comments especially in "Pixel Offensive" such as those after the incident at Tubbataha, as comments coming from both aligned and against, mirrors how these people hath understood situations depending on which topic being discussed. Obviously, there may be some who chose to be apathetic in history, keeping themselves ignorant thinking about the benefits what comes from Imperialism no matter what they had done in its subjects such as the Filipino people making dependent in their mercy.

Personally, this writer's opinion would say that some think much of the United States as a beacon of Democracy, and hence it has the "power" to act like a "global policeman" all despite its actions inimical to those of others such as a third world country like the Philippines, and it is much obvious that with globalization, patriotism had weaned or reduced into a mere idea with countries had to observe in "international standards" such as "free markets", "free trade", and even alignment such as to a greater power may it be from the US, Russia, European Union or perhaps even China. With comments coming from both sides as its example would also say how these people tend to understand serious situations especially after a foreign power had occupied a certain territory in the Philippines or even indirectly imposing wants over its people. May it be China with Panatag shoal and Kalayaan Group, or the US with its policies being observed for decades.
Worse, most people are still as if living in a cold war period condemning a "Communist" Country yet had became "Capitalist" as it followed "International Standards" that is, from the WEC, WTO, and from the United States itself. This writer had read much of their comments at Pixel Offensive only to read sentiments such as "China" and "Communist" in response to "America" without any deeper understanding what's behind an incident such as Spratlys, Tubbataha, Visiting Forces Agreement or even Balikatan Exercises; also coming to think that how come the Communist Party in China didn't support its Philippine counterpart as it focuses much on the field of economics than revolution? Haven't they notice that most "Communists" in Beijing, Shanghai are Businessnmen than Revolutionaries, having companies than communes? But still Cold-war mentality prevails despite conveying constantly what goes today.

Anyways, that is what they're thinking of or perhaps feigning ignorance as they justify their stances, to these people politics is personal matter being vented thoroughly same as Religion.

Idealistically speaking, patriotism in the Philippines should be neither China or the United States, Beijing nor Washington,  especially in dictating affairs the way politicians look on Japan, England or in America during the commonwealth period. Yes, people had sought China had occupied Scarborough and Kalayaan group while the Americans constantly intervene in Philippine affairs such as Balikatan excercises and its facilities used in Zambales and Pampanga; but despite all these, it should also come to think that both countries  had made the Philippines dependent in their imports such as technology and foodstuffs while keeping the latter predominantly agricultural with a degree of "industry" such as consumer goods or even Business outsourcing. Seems that being a member of the Non-Aligned Movement became useless these days or perhaps for decades after having aligned to a greater power while its very own people still clamor for independence, progress and prosperity in midst of dependency and poverty made by those who dictate policies to the other, that somehow made this writer, as an individual to think of this:

"When will the Philippines develop its own capabilities to justify further its own independence?"

or even say this frankly:

"When will these heckling stop and start discussing?"

That's all this writer would have to say. Thank you.