Friday, August 06, 2004

Big Kids and Little Kids

Well, that's done it.

In today's news, the United States has declared that the Philippines is no longer part of the 'Coalition of the Willing.' (As usual, archives are down so the article is good only for today. Or check other local sites on the sidebar.)

So what does that mean?

Well, the Philippines-- having incurred the ire of the United States and therefore a number of the allied countries (like Australia)-- supposedly can't play in the sandbox of the international politics, i.e. Iraq, anymore.

Obviously, Philippine head of state Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo got more than she bargained for when she acceded-- earlier by a month-- to the demands of Iraqi militants to withdraw the Filipino contingent in Iraq in exchange for their hostage.

But as I mentioned in a previous post, every action has a consequence-- one of them being that the US is pissed.

In fact, the US now reminds me of one those big kids in the playground who are used to running the show with smaller kids; that when one of them disobeys their order-- the smaller kid usually gets kicked out of the group: "You can't play with us anymore! Go away!"

Ironically, what can Pres. Arroyo do? Well, it's all a matter of perspective. Between being pictured as someone who buckled under the pressure of "terrorist" demands or taking the bitter pill and facing up against its biggest and most strongest ally, Pres. Arroyo is now saying, "No regrets."

Or rather, she would rather be perceived as facing off against a world superpower, especially a country the Philippines has a history of neocolonialism. After all, politics is also a matter of perception.

It would be interesting how far Pres. Arroyo will take the 'finally independent' stance after a number of years of the Philippines always being one of the most vocal supporters of the US moves in the anti-global terrorism scene.


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