The Philippine Star is a newspaper published in a city of 12 million people (20 mil if you count the greater Manila area) yet it often reads like a community paper. That's not necessarily a bad thing as the fast, loose, and free-wheeling writing is often more interesting than more edited, sanitized, and staid scribbling that you find in American papers. The best examples of this are found on the opinion pages where writers regular cut loose with passionate rants of the day.
There was such a piece today by Cito Beltran on Gratitude and ignorance:
In other words, we don't have short memory. What we have is "constant low intensity guilt" about the choices or decisions we make. You know that you know, so you accept it's your fault but you will never admit it!
Just before "the great floods of 2009," a number of politicians wanted to kick out the US Forces doing training exercises in Mindanao when terrorists started to engage the American forces directly by using "IEDs" or improvised explosive devices. They obviously did not want our own version of Afghanistan.
But when the typhoons wreaked havoc and there were not enough logistics for rescue and relief, no one made a peep of protest when the US troops came in. Beggars, as they say, can't be choosers. Unfortunately Secretary Gilbert Teodoro seems to have been the only one who said, "thank you."
I realize now that just like the "squatters" and the evacuees, the staunch critics of the US forces now have the attitude that the world owes it to them that the United States sends troopers to help. So don't hold your breath waiting for any of them to say "thank you" like grateful people are supposed to.
Unfortunately, the Nationalists of Metro Manila would rather make peace with terrorists who want to impose their terroristic-gun point lifestyle, in an "Islamic State called Mindanao" instead of studying what the enemy is actually up to.
When Ambassador Kristie Kenney and members of the US forces were in southern Mindanao building schools and helping improve the local infrastructure, no one protested about it because of our "constant low intensity guilt" over the fact that Filipinos never gave a hoot for Sulu and Tawi-Tawi because it's "Moro country."
We never expressed special concern for our Muslim brothers, so if some foreigners want to help, let them. But when the IED bombing happened, the Americans got blamed for getting killed while on the way to help construct a school building.