Musings, Thoughts & Commentaries
Life imitates art in the chilling reality of today in Mindanao, Philippines.
NBC Nightly News has reported attacks by Philippine forces with US Air Force and Special Operations forces support on the ISIS stronghold in Marawi, Mindanao, southern Philippines. ISIS may be failing in the Middle East but splinter groups trained in Afghanistan return to homelands to revolt.
The premise of the novel in fiction Rebels of Mindanao is that splintered factions unite and, funded by foreign sources, demand a “democratic” election. United States foreign policy supports “democracy” in the world so how could they object? However the foreign money in this case is to be used to bribe the electorate to vote for an Islamism caliphate that will declare independence from the Philippines, an outcome that would never be accepted by the central government of the Philippines, nor would the United States permit the Philippines to become an Islamic state. Thus there will be war.
The US Secretary of State Tillerson met with Philippine President Duterte in Manila and they agreed to join forces to fight ISIS efforts to use the Philippines as a springboard to fuel Islamic States in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, hostage beheadings continue and rebel snipers kill hundreds of citizens while over 3,000 Philippine Army regulars try to take back the territory.
The rebels want to keep their land and they believe they must keep their guns to succeed. The central government believes if the rebels have guns they have the power to overthrow the government. Thus the conflict will continue until one side states a firm objective and dedicates itself to achieving that objective. Simplistic? Then why has it never happened? The central government in Manila is far removed from the rebels of Mindanao and is reluctant to attack in force and destroy the enemy—it would take a strong commitment, be expensive and lives would be lost, many more than in the few attacks that made the news—last week’s news is already forgotten. The rebels do not have the power to overthrow the government without outside help; the Philippine forces do not have the power and the government does not have the will to wipe out the rebels.
So it will continue, an endless struggle with brother fighting brother, until an outside influence enters the conflict and helps one overpower the other.
Read the book Rebels of Mindanao
Tom Anthony is a West Point Graduate and combat veteran who spent his professional civilian career in global business all over the world. He has lived and worked in Austria, Italy, Spain, England, Iraq, Israel, and throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Anthony also lived in Mindanao for seven years.
Copyright 2017 Tom Anthony.