POSTSCRIPT / July 18, 2004 / Sunday

By FEDERICO D. PASCUAL JR.

Philippine STAR Columnist

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Iraq war question goes beyond Dela Cruz case

BACK TO BASICS: The Arroyo administration is not yet ready to say it, but its handling of the case of a Filipino worker threatened with execution by Iraqi militants goes deeper than merely springing the hostage and reuniting him with his family.

The decision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to pull out the Philippine contingent from Iraq against the wishes of President George W. Bush goes to the very core of the war — an invasion actually — that has ravaged what is known in history as the cradle of civilization.

Although Angelo dela Cruz, the Pampanga truck driver held by militants protesting the occupation of their country, now looms as the symbol of the overseas Filipino in search of a better life, he is just a dot in the overall picture that is Iraq.

…Malacanang is no longer just staring at the dot on the screen. It is now scanning the bigger picture, reexamining the very basis of the US invasion — under false pretense — of a co-equal sovereign country and fellow member of the United Nations.

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SAVING ONE TREE: President Arroyo and her advisers have no choice but to step back, expand their view and look deeper if they want to get the proper perspective to guide them in Angelo dela Cruz cases.

To reduce the problem to the simplistic question of whether or not to pull out a 51-member contingent to save Dela Cruz is to embrace one tree marked for cutting down and lose sight of the entire forest similarly threatened.

There are about 1.5 million Filipino workers in the Middle East, majority of them in Saudi Arabia and around 4,000 in Iraq laboring under inhospitable conditions. They are the other trees in the forest.

As long as there is a Filipino trooper toting a gun and marching with the foreign occupiers in Iraq, as long as the Philippine flag flies with those of the invaders, Filipino civilian workers in Iraq will never be safe.

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MEDIA FAILURE: Much of US media, plus their echo chambers here and other parts of the world, played deaf and blind at that crucial moment when the hawkish President Bush was gearing up America and its willing allies to invade Iraq.

The lack of logic and legality — and more importantly, the lack of humanity — in Bush’s use of war as an instrument of personal politics was so glaring that we were amazed the US media by and large missed the man-made meteor about to hit them.

Even as we journeyed across America in spring last year talking with officials, think tankers, businessmen and students, we were struck by two things: (1) their failing to grasp fully the idiocy of invading Iraq, and (2) their asking “why do they (much of the rest of the world) hate us?”

I think the answers lie mainly in US mainstream media’s failure to enlighten the American public they are supposed to serve.

But we see a glimmer in the horizon. It seems that the coming US presidential election, the lethargic economy and the mounting American casualties in Iraq are finally rousing up American media and the population.

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HEAVEN-SENT CASE: If Americans themselves are now realizing the folly (an understatement considering its criminal elements) of the Bush-led unholy crusade in Arab land, we Filipinos can do no less sorting out our loyalties and priorities.

I would say that the Dela Cruz case and the Arroyo administration’s having gone into a retreat of silence and introspection on the Iraqi question is heaven-sent.

My only fear is that American pressure agents might be able to get to Ms Arroyo and yank her back to the side of Mr. Bush.

Or, heaven forbid, some astute operators might be able to hypnotize her back to the old “America can do no wrong” spell and then prompt her to spring back to the warfront once Dela Cruz is released!

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STATESIDE CRUMBS: All that crap about the Philippines losing US aid and American business slinking out of the country is nothing but the old Yankee-doodle bluff.

Even as we played the total tuta (lapdog) to the US master, we have not received much beyond the crumbs thrown our way now and then — especially as compared to America’s assistance to less friendly countries.

Somebody with access should make an inventory of what the US has promised us since way back (including the time of Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Erap Estrada and Gloria Arroyo) — against what has actually been delivered to us and against what the US has given other client-states.

(This is not counting yet the plight of Filipino veterans who fought valiantly under the Star and Stripes but who have been denied the promised compensation and benefits due them and their families.)

Such a recap should jolt us to the fact that the great Uncle Sam has failed miserably to deliver on its promises.

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GUIDING LIGHT: The US has started to scare us through media, including their local mouthpieces, through leaders of staunch US allies (such as Australia) and officials throwing bolts of lightning from State and other departments in Washington.

Our advice is not to mind them. Like a bad dream, Bush and his ilk will go away soon. On the Iraq issue, Bush and his war cabal are standing on quicksand.

Our people should be told the fact that the US and its parasites benefit more from the Philippines than we Filipinos from the US. Americans, including the carpetbaggers in our living room, have more to lose by bludgeoning us.

If Ate Glo is looking for a guiding light from above, it has been there all along. It says: “Look after your own people and they will look after you. Pag nahihirapan ka na, sumandal ka lang sa iyong kababayan, and there you will find strength and consolation.”

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MORE HEALTH TIPS: Sorry we skipped a beat last Thursday. Honestly, we missed our readers more than they possibly missed us.

We are back to share more health tips gleaned from the lectures of Dr. Yasuy Moralla, whose radical health advice has caught the eye of people in search of natural cure to common and scary ailments.

For readers who have Internet connection, we have uploaded the Moralla series in our website www.manilamail.comWhen the homepage opens, left click the red link titled “Leery of synthetic drugs, surgery & hospitalization?”

We are still emailing the complete health notes to readers who send us their email address. For now, here are more Moralla tips:

* So what happens to the putrified matter in our intestines? Fatty acids in the stomach raises bile acids and enzymes that are necessary to digest meat. But too much of these acids can cause ‘holes’ (layman’s term) to form in the intestines and lining of the stomach.

* Since there is nothing but toxin in our digestive system, our villi (the short, finger-like projections that absorb nutrients from food) will also absorb the toxins — till they reach the bloodstream. As there is nothing but toxin, the blood will also absorb it. Once these toxins reach the bloodstream, the person will have allergies, skin rashes, asthma, arthritis, sinusitis, hypertension and many more.

* This shows that many ailments are problems related to digestion. By the way, if there is too much of putrified, dead matter in the intestines, we will not be able to absorb efficiently all the nutrients from the food we eat. That is why we have to cleanse and detoxify our system from time to time. Those with good metabolism (i.e. people who can eat a lot without getting fat) are also those with efficient digestive systems. That is because they can quickly absorb the nutrients and release the energy.

* Not all overcooked foods become putrified dead matter. Meat, in particular, becomes putrified. Overcooked veggies may lose their vitamins and minerals, but they still provide plenty of fiber, which is very good for us.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of July 18, 2004)

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