Tuesday, September 12, 2006

9/11, "The Day we Saw the Face of Evil," A Filipino American View

I was driving to work at 715 am, and I normally tune in to 94.1 and 98.5 to help me pump up my morning. Instead of energy music, I heard the news explaining some plane crash on one of the the Twin Towers in NYC. I thought this was some kind of joke. Something like that couldn't possibly happen in the US. So I changed the station. Same thing. Whoa! My day was going to be a sucky one. Five minutes later, I arrived at work, and the look on everyone's faces, as if someone has just sucked out their very last breath, leaving just enough to live.

I, too, wanted to go after those terrorists. We have never seen an attack of such magnitude on our very own shores. We Americans think we're invincible. We are too great of a superpower for anyone to be messing with us. Think Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Think Cold War. Think Nato. Sometimes, this mentality though, the we-cannot-be-touched-mentality, or the we-are-always-right-mentality, can even make us a bigger target for terrorists.

There is no excuse for what happened on that day. It is completely evil. But this is something that you all have probably read about. There is nothing new to these statements.

Instead, I offer my confusion in these matters. But first, I commemorate and pay respect to those that died in that tragedy, and for the deaths of our brave men and soldier who are fighting for global freedom in Iraq, and for those who have already lost their lives for that cause.

Here's my confusion. 9/11 happened. We went after Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda because they organized this terror. When we couldn't catch Bin Laden, we focused on Iraq. We attaced Iraq because we believed that they have WMDs, Weapons of Mass Destruction. We bombed them. We killed them. They killed us. Then UN reps went in to investigate. Found no weapons of mass destruction. Then we bombed them again. We killed more of them. They killed more of us. Still, no weapons of mass destruction.

Confusion number one. How did we link 9/11 and Iraq? How did all of a sudden, the American people think that for some reason 9/11 and Iraq was connected? News spin? Propaganda? Just illogical association. We were so caught up with our emotions that anything that has any hint of terror in it, near the Middle East, near petroleum, oil, in which we Americans are the biggest consumers of, any hint of terror, we will react aggresively against. Iraq was the perfect link.

Confusion number two. When we found out that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which was the very reason why we went into war with them, why did the American people continue to support this war? What if our justice system worked that way? Let's say we find that a neighbor was suspected of manufacturing coccaine, drugs, or what have you in their house, and we've been suspecting for a while. We smell chemicals; we see irrational behavior, and we have enough evidence to call the cops on them believing there is something fishy going on in there. The cops do a surveillance. They raid the house. Found nothing but dishwashing liquid. Rotting fruits and vegetables. Clorox spilled everywhere.

Do we continue to prosecute? Likewise, do we continue to attack and finish what we started?

I don't even want to bring up the Filipinos and the Philippines in this post. All I can remember is there was a Juan Delacruz, (just looked it up on Google, it's Angelo Delacruz) who was captured and later released in exchange of pulling out the whole Philippine army out. Well I guess I do want to bring up my beloved Pinoy and the Philippines here. It's just fitting.

Sometimes, I don't understand why the Pinoys were there in the first place. Was it to appease their colonial masters? I mean, did they not know that death and captivity was inevitable? Did they think that this was going to be an easy task? It just seems like the Philippines was just there to please their foreign masters. They weren't really fighting for global freedom. Otherwise, they would not have pulled out. I wonder if a Filipino American officer was captured, would they have pulled out? Were the Filipinos ready to sacrifice life going into this war?

In essence, by pulling out, we were succumbing to the will of the so-called threats. We were once again looked at by foreign nations as a wimp, no balls. Just a little trashy island somewhere in Southeast Asia with nothing to contribute to the greater good. We made a big celebrity out of Dela Cruz. We made fools of ourselves. We should not have been there in the first place. Or was that the right move? I am a believer of "things happen for a reason," but I still don't quite understand the reason Filipinos and the Philippines were in Iraq.

After having said all this, I'm glad that Angelo Dela Cruz is alive.

To be honest, I am a pacifist. Dialogue. Diplomacy. Exhaust these options first. I wish the US had not gone into war. But we're in it. For some time, we have to stand behind our soldiers. Solidarity. Support. Patriotism. Then we realize that enough is enough. There is no point anymore.

I love the stories of the People Power Movements in the Philippines. Solidarity. What is our place in this war? What is our story as Filipinos in this war? Where are the modern day Jose Rizals? Who will represent us in a global fight for freedom?

I guess I have more questions than answers. So I guess I am still confused. Am I?


gbert said...

Angelo dela Cruz was one of the OFWs who are willing to risk their lives just to give enough food for their families to eat... i can understand his situation... and yeah, i don't agree either in sending Filipino troops to iraq... the attack to iraq by the u.s. is already questionable... but here in the country, the fight against terrorism will never end coz the government really doesn't have brave actions against it... afterall, there were so many JI and Al Qaida-linked visitors nested here for years without knowing it...

utakgago said...

nice nice blog!

all i can say is that - POLITICS is very confusing: composed of different ideologies from different countries and opinions.

it wasn't easy.

:-< nice loong post. loong yet you have made it clear that you're on the good side.

got curious from jhed's blog. :) http://vindication.wordpress.com

schumey said...

The Filipino troops were there because somebody is making money out of what the soldiers earn as "peace keepers". It is being investigated now. This government is so corrupt that they would even exploit the lowly footsoldier. It has nothing to do with fighting terrorism but as a way of showing off and getting more dollars.

Now we've earned the ire of the US when we pulled out our troops. Angelo was just a pawn that GMA used to improve her domestic image.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. And that's a fact.

Jhed said...

Honestly, I am as confused as you are. With regards to the connection of the 9/11 with Iraq, have you seen "Fahrenheit 9/11"? I don't know if that answers your questions in that part, but yeah, it makes it a hell more confusing. Haha!

The Filipino troops are sent there to make "palakas" to US.

I so hate our government right now.

Jhed said...

Honestly, I am as confused as you are. With regards to the connection of the 9/11 with Iraq, have you seen "Fahrenheit 9/11"? I don't know if that answers your questions in that part, but yeah, it makes it a hell more confusing. Haha!

The Filipino troops are sent there to make "palakas" to US.

I so hate our government right now.