Of course, we knew it all along. It’s just that there are stubborn people who insist otherwise.
According to a news release by the UN News Service, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan “had reiterated his well-known position that the military action against Iraq was not in conformity with the UN Charter” in a BBC interview.
When repeatedly asked if the war is “illegal,” Mr. Annan finally answered: “Yes… I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal.”
Three years ago, the world’s most powerful nation suffered from the 9/11 terrorist attack that killed thousands of its people. The United States government retaliated by attacking Afghanistan, believed to be the base of Osama bin Laden, main suspect in the World Trade Center Attack.
Later, it claimed that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was in cahoots with bin Laden’s al Qaeda. Thus, with a little help from its friends in the so-called “coalition of the willing”–to which Philippine President Arroyo enthusiastically dragged her nation–US invaded Iraq and killed around 12,000 Iraqi civilians and a thousand of its own soldiers.
Just a month after the Angelo dela Cruz hostage crisis, the Philippine government is now seriously contemplating on lifting the ban on sending overseas Filipino workers to Iraq. The pullout of RP troops from the war-torn country to risk the life of one truck driver has spun criticisms from abroad including the United States and Australia to name a few.
I remember the long hours we had to endure inside the freezing, tension-filled newsroom as we awaited Angelo’s fate, just about a month ago. Looking back, I could only imagine now the agony his family felt. More vividly, I could still remember the smiles on our faces when we finally saw Angelo looking shaken but alive on our television screens.
The Inquirer today reported that the Philippine government is open to sending another batch of “humanitarian mission” to Iraq. Such a new batch of Filipino troops would be under the United Nations framework, foreign secretary Delia Albert reportedly said.
Before the US-led invasion of Iraq, President Arroyo kept on paying lip service to the UN. In the end however, she joined the so-called “coalition of the willing,” which went to war in Iraq without UN sanction.
The governments of United States and Australia, among other countries, have been criticizing the Philippines for pulling out its troops in Iraq to save Angelo de la Cruz.
Mr. Howard, you accuse the Filipino people of weakness for the way they responded to the hostage crisis. May we take the liberty to tell you that it is those who see no course for themselves other than to unflinchingly hug the tails of imperial mass murderers who are the real weaklings. It is they who, above all, risk the lives of their countrymen for a war that is not worth the life of even a louse, much less that of an innocent human being.
You need not look to the Philippines to find weakness, Mr. Howard. You need only look in the mirror.