August 15, 2003
The Guardian (UK)

Is the Philippine Government Bombing Its Own People for Dollars?

by Naomi Klein

On July 27, 300 soldiers rigged a giant Manila shopping mall with C-4 explosives, accused one of Washington's closest allies of blowing up its own buildings to attract US military dollars - and still barely managed to make the international news.

Both the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and the Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri have embraced Bush's crusade as the perfect cover for their brutal cleansing of separatist movements from resource-rich regions - Mindanao in the Philippines, Aceh in Indonesia. . . .

In the six months since, while all eyes have been on Iraq, there has been a leap in terrorist bombings in Mindanao. Now, post-mutiny, the question is: who was responsible for these? The government blames the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The mutinous soldiers point the finger back at the military and the government, saying that by inflating the terrorist threat, they are rebuilding the justification for more US aid and intervention.


Fred Hill, "Ethnic Cleansing In Mindanao, Philippines," April 17, 1996

Eric Margolis, "Philippines, Next Target of Bush's War," The Wisdom Fund, January 26, 2002

Amir Butler, "An Enduring Freedom for the Moros," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2002

[The conflict has strong roots in the question of control over natural resources, especially land but also mining, timber, oil, gas, and fishing resources. The heightening of friction between Muslims and the government was accelerated by a resettlement program that increased the ratio of Christians to Muslims on Mindanao, and by the fact that Muslim areas remain comparatively underdeveloped--Alyson Slack, "Separatism in Mindanao, Philippines," ICE Case Studies, Number 118, May 2003]

["America is proud of its part in the great story of the Filipino people," said President Bush to a joint session of the Congress of the Philippines last week. "Together our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule."

Unfortunately, we then killed more than 200,000 Filipinos. Almost all of the dead were civilians, killed in the two years after we liberated them from the Spanish in 1898. . . .

A second important lesson is this: The occupied always prevail in the end, because they are there forever and the occupier one day will go home. It may take 50 years, which is how long we stayed in the Philippines, but that is not much time in history.--Richard Reeves, "The Uses and Abuses of History," Universal Press Syndicate, October 23, 2003]

[Michael Meiring is a man at the center of a mystery, a fugitive from justice, a man who may be closer than you think. And it began in 2002 in Spring and half a world a way in the Philippines where Davao City was fighting its own war with terrorism and losing.

First there was an explosion at the local airport, then another bomb at the city's wharf. In all, 37 people died and 170 were injured. . . .

Officials laid the blame with the Islamic rebel groups that often terrorize the southern Philippines.--Mark Greenblatt, "Is a bombing suspect living in Houston?,", December 2, 2004]

Criselda Yabes, "'Nat'l Psyche is not for Muslim empowerment'," ABS-CBN News, March 4, 2008

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