Monday, December 21, 2015

PNoy’s zero-sum game strategy

PNoy’s zero-sum game strategy





The issues about the Bangsamoro Basic Law and our current tension with China may be unrelated.  But to those who could understand its implication, our intensified anti-Chinese stand came as no surprise.  Some say our heightened tension with China over those uninhabited islands in the Spratly was purposely instigated to neutralize the unprecedented revulsion by our people over a law that could formally break up the Philippines to give way to the creation of a theocratic Islamic state instigated by Malaysia.


Political analysts failed to observe that this pretending-to-be-honest government has applied the devious strategy of zero-sum game to purposely bring us to a situation where one or more participants’ gain or loss would be equal to the loss or gain of the other participants.  Thus, a gain or loss for one must result in a loss or gain for the other.  To make ourselves clear, any issue intended to generate hysterical chauvinism would be most appropriate if only to match the other.  It is a perfect device to break the formidable unity exhibited by our people against the approval of that sellout Agreement.  All that is needed is to create an issue that could also incite the same degree of chauvinism and patriotism to effectively neutralize their enthusiasm in opposing the BBL.
This has to be pointed out because both the BBL and our war of words with China elicited from our people the same fervor to fight.   Applied to a given situation, they would have the effect of dividing their zeal  to either support the unpopular BBL now seen as the hallmark of President Aquino’s treasonous act or to respond to its jingoistic call for a possible war with China.  The strategy is most effective much that it could divide us in our opposition to the BBL or  prepare ourselves for a possible shooting war with China.
Notably, while the BBL puts the blame on President Aquino, the issue on China makes him a hero without our people knowing that the tension with China was artificially generated to coincide with the period when Congress would be debating and voting on a bill that seeks to dismember this nation.   It is intended to divert our attention, and for us to give a second thought that this lackluster President is not a wimp.    This government needs a break to soothe the boiling anger of our people for the creation of a Bangsamoro state which, as noted by columnist Francisco Tatad, became a law even before it was passed by Congress.  
Maybe China unwittingly played into the hands of the administration, with some even saying that the strategy has the crafty markings of those tacticians in the Pentagon and the State Department.   Creating a tension with China is meant to lessen the critical level of opposition to the BBL, vis-à-vis against the government.   They fear that if the floodgate is not opened, opposition to the bill could overwhelm the administration.   Fortunately, the reclamation by China in one of the islands gave this corrupt government their best alibi to redirect our hatred away from the BBL, with the US and Japan playing the role of accomplice in drumming up our xenophobia.   The China bogey was so effective that we almost forgot the horrifying carnage of the 44 members of our elite Special Action Force by the same people demanding separation in the name of peace. 
The humiliation we suffered as a result of the Mamasapano massacre was overshadowed by the anti-Chinese hype that had it not happened, it could have triggered a coup d’ etat against the Aquino government.  Our soldiers’ attention was successfully divided between preparing themselves for an imaginary war with China and preparing for a real war to prevent this government from handing a part of our national territory to the MILF.   In fact, they are the same politicized and agitated people willing to fight to oppose the BBL that have manifested their eagerness to go to war with China. The zero-sum game placed us in a dilemma such that we are now preoccupied in preparing ourselves for war that may never happen than in taking the threat of the MILF  spokesman seriously - that  it would not accept a watered down version of the  BBL.  
Having been fed with the daily dosage of wrong information by the mainstream media, our analysis of important issues has been reduced to mediocrity, and this corrupt government is using the situation to manipulate us.   We could not digress from the thought that when Mohagher Iqbal said that the MILF would not accept an amendment to the agreement, he was in fact insulting the very person brokering for its passage.   On the other hand, if this  government has a bit of decency, it should have instantly desisted from campaigning for its passage, for in any event the BBL is passed with some changes made by either the Senate or Congress, they would reject it, and that could place the government in an awkward position. 
Moreover, the US would not recklessly go to war with China on our behalf, or keep the sea lanes open, or control the mineral deposits that have been discovered in the area.   The US has to quantify the situation it in terms of defending their own territory or in securing its strategic interest as a world power which is absent under the given situation.    It does not even appear that there would be some kind of standoff between China and the US to serve as a flashpoint leading to actual hostilities.     For us to assume the US would to go to war to defend our claim on the Spratly Islands is absurd, much that the US has never gone to war in defense of the interest of other countries, but solely to defend its own interest.    Its increased military presence is only meant to make our claim of the so-called aggressive design of China credible, thereby justifying the zero-sum game of diverting public outcry away from the BBL which incidentally would be to the interest of the US, if approved by Congress.  
In fact, the passage of the BBL in the House went on smoothly. PNoy did not encounter much difficulty in convincing some members of the opposition to toe the line.  Rumors had it that those who voted were assured of their DAP and an undisclosed amount of sluice funds to ensure their reelection.  Unfortunately, what Congress did was in defiance to public sentiment for the fact that only 28 percent of our people favor the BBL.  Bluntly stated, the decision of the majority of the members of Congress was contrary to public sentiment, which is the reason why they are there in the first place.

rpkapunan@gmail.com

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