MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 April) – No matter how hard I did, I couldn’t find the flimsiest reason for the Philippine government to fret over the scheduled launching of North Korea’s Unha-3 long-range rocket that will bring a weather satellite into orbit and hype it as a security threat.
The rocket is unarmed, and that’s a clear-cut assurance it isn’t aimed against any imagined target, not even against either of its two nemeses, Japan or South Korea. If this is the case, why would the Philippines embroil itself in an issue in which it has no direct stakes?
The government was acting irresponsibly by spreading fears and treating the event as if a nuclear weapon was about to be launched. Some elements of the media only added to the confusion by uncritically echoing Malacanang’s alarmist statements. Last night, I was aghast to know that a multi-awarded [kuno] broadcast journalist found it all right to feed her viewers with “news” that tended to portray that the rocket launch could wreak terrible havoc on us.
Now, aside from the need for the media to be sober and discreet in reporting events related to the rocket launch, let’s be candid about other things and not indulge in delusions.
The Philippines is a nobody when it comes to geopolitics. Whatever we say on North Korea’s plans won’t create a ripple in Pyongyang, although it will earn for President Aquino a pat on the back from President Obama with a complimentary “that’s my boy.”
We are a nobody when it comes to geopolitics. In fact, we can’t even assert our legal, historical right to Sabah in Northern Borneo.
Don’t brag about PNoy’s eagerness to defend the country’s sovereignty over the Kalayaan Group of islands in the disputed Spratlys. He is speaking from beneath the shadow of Capitol Hill, and presumes that the US military will automatically come to the rescue in case the tension in the West Philippine Sea escalates into a shooting war.
Disgusting indeed that the Philippines should find it in its best interest to embrace a confrontational stance toward China and North Korea only because we are banking on America’s equally aggressive brand of diplomacy as our insurance policy.
In short, our role in Asian geopolitics has not gone and could not go beyond that of being a comic, if nervous, elf standing on the shoulder of one of two mean giants out to destroy each other. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno writes mainly on the environment, human rights and politics. He can be reached at [email protected])