Tuesday, June 6, 2017

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To Connect or Disconnect? ... That is The Question

Larry Hughes with a piece looking at unrest in the Philippines and the distortionist role played by the MSM. The piece also puts Islam in the region in a historical context.

The official political presentation by the Western MSM in keeping with the official government line is that the spate of lone wolf radical Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe cannot possibly be attributed in any way to Western foreign policy and interventions in Muslim countries. The contrast during the recent confusion over the Casino incident in Manila and the haste by the same Western MSM to infer a connection between that incident and those multiple deaths and the ongoing unrest in Mindanao in the Southern Philippines was therefore striking. So, perhaps it is worth looking at the internal reality in the Philippines as well as the historical background to the 'unrest' in Mindanao and then decide for ourselves, either to connect or to disconnect events, regardless of the Western MSM and government 'interests'.

What we now know as the Philippines is an archipelago of over seven thousand islands that when 'discovered' by Europeans in the 16th Century had countless tribes and languages and whilst Islam had arrived on the southern most shores, paganism was deep rooted in the rest of the islands. Bathala was their God, the creator of everything and an Adam and Eve Garden of Eden belief system existed among them long before Christianity arrived. Indeed there remains today high in the mountains of Luzon island a pagan tribe, the Ifugao, that has shunned all modernisation and has managed to remain isolated, cultivating rice terraces and living as they have always done.

Catholicism has flourished here since Spanish colonists arrived in 1521, but on northern Luzon island - where the sky meets rice terraces 1,500m above sea level - former headhunting tribes have lived uninterrupted by outsiders for at least 2,000 years. They even defied the Spanish conquistadors who ruled the Philippines for 300 years until 1898. Among those tribes are the Ifugao of Banaue. In the village of Batad, declared a UNESCO-protected site in 1995, the natives have painstakingly guarded most of their traditions, despite steady modernisation in the rest of the country. Thanks to their remote location, the Ifugao have managed to hold off the influence of Christian lowlanders for centuries, along with their ways
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Ifugao tribe elderly women

The ongoing unrest in what has always been regarded as Muslim Mindanao has its roots, like many of the current and ongoing global trouble spots, in the colonial period. During the 16th Century when Christopher Columbus was discovering the Americas for the emerging Spanish superpower of the day, it would be a mere thirty short years later that another Spanish sponsored explorer Ferdinand Magellan, found a way around the southern tip of the Americas and reached a group of 7000+ islands and gave it the name Philippinas, after the Spanish monarch Philip ii of Spain.

On arrival in the archipelago the Spanish Catholic Conquistadores were horrified to discover Islam was already rooted and present in parts of the region. Indeed the derogatory term moros, was given to those natives during the Spanish colonisation and was as a result of the Spanish conflict with the Moroccans during the Middle Ages in Spain, when Spain itself had been colonised by Islam. The word moros is now a badge of honour for Muslims in the Philippines. Islam is the religion of not just the southern Philippines but also in what are now called Indonesia, Malaysia and Southern Thailand. This had come through the arrival of traders from the Middle East over centuries who brought Islam with them to some of the tribes most prevalent at the time.

Whilst not successful in spreading Islam to the entire archipelago where there are to this day thousands of different Filipino groups and language dialects it took strong root in the southern region and the second largest Philippine island of Mindanao. There is a very strong kinship between Muslims of the Southern Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei to this day. Also a strong and enduring connection between the area and the Middle East, North Africa, (Libya) and pilgrimages are also taken to Mecca and children sent for education to the Muslim nations in the Middle East. The Muslims of Mindanao proudly assert with a slightly begrudged acknowledgement from the massive Philippines Catholic population that Islam and not Catholicism is in fact the oldest faith of the nation. Muslims assert with pride that they have resisted the Spanish, American and Philippine governments based in Manila and have never been effectively subjugated by any of them nor changed their faith. 

The Spanish, as colonialists did and do, enlisted the help of some indigenous peoples/tribes against the others. One who refused to submit to Spain was Lapu Lapu. Claimed by both Muslim and Christian Filipinos as a national hero today, he defeated the Spaniards at the battle of Mactan. Being originally from modern day Borneo and returning there in later life, Lapu Lapu was residing in Cebu at the time the Spaniards arrived and whilst from Borneo originally it has been disputed as to his Muslim faith given that the Islamic faith had not spread and dominated as far north as Cebu during his life time nor indeed has it done so to this day. However the story of his encounter with the Spanish and Magellan is an interesting one. The Spanish through a combination of arrogance, hubris and underestimating the skill and resolve of their native enemy came to a very embarrassing end. An estimated 60 Conquistadores told their local allies to observe as they waded ashore to meet Lapu Lapu and his warriors. This was to be an exhibition if European superiority to those native tribal allies. What could possibly go wrong?

When Magellan arrived in the Philippines in 1521, he got involved in the rivalries of the local rulers, and managed to secure the allegiance of some of these men. One of the most important of these chiefs was the Rajah of Cebu, Rajah Humabon. Near the island of Cebu was the island of Mactan, which was home to two rival chiefs, Zula and Lapu-Lapu. The former submitted to the Spanish and agreed to pay tribute, while the latter refused to submit to either the Spanish or Rajah Humabon. The defiance of Lapu-Lapu seemed to have made it impossible for Zula to send tribute to Magellan, causing him to request Spanish aid to defeat his rival. This resulted in the Battle of Mactan, in which the Spanish were defeated by Lapu-Lapu and his warriors, and Magellan himself lost his life.

                


Although now Muslims are only an estimated 5% of the population of the country and a minority in Mindanao too after centuries of aggressive policies of Catholic plantations and confiscations of land, discrimination, migration and enforced attempts at assimilation by Spanish, American and then Philippine governments in Manila, radical Islamic groups there like Abu Sayyaf (bearer of the sword) hold steadfast to their faith and sense of separateness.

Moros are confined almost entirely to the southern part of the country--southern and western Mindanao, southern Palawan, and the Sulu Archipelago. Ten subgroups can be identified on the basis of language. Three of these groups make up the great majority of Moros. They are the Maguindanaos of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Maguindanao provinces; the Maranaos of the two Lanao provinces; and the Tausugs, principally from Jolo Island.


The historical and deliberately consistent lack of investment in the Mindanao region it has been claimed, has led to a situation developing of rival groups headed by feudal style overlords vying for any economic advantage. They are generally family/tribal based and there has been an endless series of blood letting and feuding. Since colonial times against the Spanish, piracy has been a mainstay industry in this bandit, lawless region and today kidnappings for ransom are commonplace. Government inconsistency has hampered the greater efforts at a resolution to the trouble there. Now a minority in Mindanao, Muslims in general are content with the huge degree of autonomy afforded to the region by Manila. The population of Mindanao is more than happy in general being part of the Republic of the Philippines. The Islamic militants are not fighting to join Indonesia or Malaysia.

Generally though, the area in recent times has been opened up to tourism. Fishing, notably tuna fishing industry, is again making great progress and the island has a huge amount of unspoilt tropical rainforests as well as massive mineral wealth resources. All in all, during recent times Mindanao has come a long way and Duterte's recent imposition of marshal law may appear to potentially serve to impact as a 1916 Dublin style stand-off opportunity for the small, unpopular and fragmented radical Islamic groups in the area. They have very little support and we can only hope not. Duterte like Thatcher in Ireland could be just the man to pour petrol on the embers of an all but dead fire. On the other hand however, unlike Thatcher, Duterte is from Mindanao and was governor there for a long time before becoming President of the Philippines. Unlike Thatcher, Duterte knows his enemy in Mindanao and is extremely popular there. Indeed not just there but throughout the entire Philippines. The international MSM media on the other hand seem to hate him.

So, had the casino attack/robbery in Manila been connected to the internal Muslim unrest in the Philippines and ongoing military operation in Mindanao, what exactly would that prove other than it is safe for Western MSM to make the connect in Asia in search of a common enemy, but prohibited for political reasons to do so in the UK? This in order to keep up the pretence of non governmental responsibility? Where exactly any of this historical reality for Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and Asia plays into the MSM portrayal of events today is questionable to say the least. Attacks against western citizens, they would have us believe, occur in isolation and in a vacuum. The Western media of today like medieval court jesters, portrait painters and fortune tellers to the Kings of Europe, live and die by projecting their masters' best image and viewpoint to his/her subjects and telling us what their masters want us to hear and to believe and to hell with everything and everyone else. The western MSM cares little for the internal realities of the Philippines.

How badly then the UK - MSM must feel at the moment after dutifully and diligently doing its job only to be let down by the Tory Party 2017 election performance, just about the most arrogant and contemptible towards the UK electorate in history. The MSM has been left totally exposed as naked with nothing to protect it or with which to disguise its political lies and Tory government bias. Any semblance of party political impartiality now emerging is more likely to do with spite for the Tory leadership failings than with any desire for factual reporting. We can only make up our own minds in the end whether we subscribe to the MSM and its biased reporting agenda or not. A case it seems for the western media and governments of , “If you aint with us you're against us” perhaps?

Duterte for his part was not rushing to find any pretence at common ground with the western media and its agenda. No cynical use of the incident for political gain. Good For Him.

Larry Leprechaun meets Lapu Lapu in Manila, Philippines.

Sources:

Muslims And Moros In The Southern Philippines

Paganism in Catholic Philippines

Chief Lapu Lapu Warrior and Hero Philippines

11 comments :

larry hughes said...

Mackers
can i just point out a couple of paragraphs there were taken from sources and should have quotation marks.... not sure how that was overlooked. cheers

Jeff Sluka said...

This is a very informative article, but the author might have mentioned the Moro National Liberation Front and the Communist New Peoples Army, and also with regard to Duterte his outrageous state terror "war against drugs" in which his police forces have now killed over 7,000 "drug suspects," which is one valid reason why the MSM (mainstream media) has been critical of him.

wolfe tone said...

The so called reports of ISIS raising its head in the Philippines must be purely coincidental with Duterte, recently, thumbing his nose at the US? If true, it's very nice of (the real?) ISIS to help the west bloody the nose of another country that they can't tell what to do. Anyone would think ISIS were a proxy force or something, perish the thought! P.s the Libyan ISIS must be returning the favour mi6 helped them initially with I.e taking control of their country?

AM said...

Steve R,

we didn't post your comment as it was in response to Christy's comment which should never have went up as Christy had asked me not to put it up as it was off message and not germane to Larry's article. I though we had not loaded it and even went as par as to suggest to Christy he should do a piece around the very theme he was raising.

Upshot is Christy didn't make any comment for you to reply to and the fault is ours.

Sorry for any confusion.

Christy,

apologies for messing that up.




AM said...

Larry,

check it out now. It happened as a result of converting from RTF to Word. My fault for rushing it. But it is a well researched and well written article. Like Jeff, I think the MSM have it right on Duerte's murderous policy of summary execution.

TPQ benefits greatly from quality pieces like this so thanks for knocking it out at such short notice.

larry hughes said...

Jeff Sluka

Excellent point but it is not an article on the militant groupings as such. However from what I can fathom the MNLF are in a position there in Mindanao similar to SF here just now in that they are the largest Muslim group and working fully with the government. The present batch of residual head-bangers are in a similar position to dissident republicans here apart from the fact they are very well armed and lethal. The MNLF are actually brokering ceasefires between the Islamic rebels there and the government to get civilians out of harms way. From what I know of the NPLA, which is very little, they are heavily into criminality and protection rackets robbing their own people and viwed as unpopular worthless gangsters.

larry hughes said...

Mackers

Absolutely agree regarding the war on drugs. He is a scary man. People are crying out for a strong leader there though. Drugs is a serious problem and a disabled pensioner unable to move witnessed her grand daughter about 3 years old being raped in front of her by an addict. Life is hard enough there without the scourge of addcts. Totally out of control. MSM had us believing Marcos was universally unpopular. NOT the case, more people wish he was back than hate him. The peoplem with the war on drugs is that it is targetting poverty stricken addicts and not the suppliers who are wealthy and many believe are well'connected'. But in general, they remember what the West did to Marcos and Imelda and how much worse life has become over the years since he was deposed. The yellow revolution of Aquino did nothing other change the name of the airport (Marcos built) to the name of her dead husband. Other infrastructure that Marcos built was renamed in HER honour also. Useless.

BTW I see Teresa May has vowed to dispense with human rights to fight terror in UK.... if the hat fits.....

AM said...

Larry,

there is a lot in that but it doesn't alloy its populist content.

I guess most people with a knowledge of the IRA back in the day will confirm that the IRA was more popular in the communities when it carried out punishment attacks and not so popular when it didn't. People aggrieved want instant justice but it isn't always justice, but something more akin to vengeance.

Niall said...

Larry,
From an historical point of view that was well worth the read, very interesting and informative. As for the MSM, some you take and others you leave. Their biased reporting is quite shocking at times and is especially obvious with their views on Corbyn.....hopefully he’ll deliver another Tory resignation on Saturday morning!
As for Duterte and his fight against drugs, I wonder just how many of the suppliers backed his political campaign?

Michael Mahoney said...

Larry

That's a great piece there as it gives a deep history of the Philippines and its diversity. With thousands of islands, you're going to get some wild sprouts. As you'd expect, I was most interested in the resistance to Spanish colonial rule. The British may have been ruthless bastards the world over, but the Spanish really take the cake. The triple-G program of God, Gold, and Glory left a huge swathe of the world without the stability of a robust middle class, with indigenous populations brutalized by hacienda culture. Cuba, Nicaragua, the Philippines, you name it. As for the drug problem in the Philippines, if indeed it's a significant problem, summary justice is just wrong-headed and resembles the counter-productive vigilantism of Ireland's paramilitaries, not to mention the horrible abuse of organizations like the Los Angeles Police Department. Portugal seems to have it together on drugs. No easy answers obviously. On another note, why are you picking on me, buddy? MSM, MSM, MSM, dang bro, those are my initials! Pmsl.

Steve R said...

AM,

No worries, figured Christy would have pulled it in the end. Thanks for clarifying.