By Alejandro Lichauco
If there?s any doubt at all that US President Obama has decided to support this regime ? in spite of the corruption charges hurled by the World Bank (WB) and the US State Department just a few weeks back ? that doubt has been dispelled by the decision of the WB to extend the regime a $3-billion loan aid for its projects. This after weeks of international publicity on WB and US State Department open denunciation of corruption in high places. Judging by the prominence given those charges, unprecedented in their directness and open assault on Malaca?ang and the Judiciary ? one might be forgiven for his expectation that the Philippines is about to witness another US-backed ?regime change.?
But following the cascade of publicly given to the WB and State Department assault came that celebrated overseas conversation between Obama and GMA ? this time on initiative of Obama ? concerning the status of the VFA and America?s war on terror. Following which came Nicole?s recantation; and following which in turn demands the abrogation of the VFA.
Then comes now the story carried by this paper in its issue of Saturday (?Corruption key to WB?s $3-B aid to RP?). Read the story and what it tells you is that the WB is taking back everything that it has said about corruption in this country, virtually announcing that it was considering ? another word for ?approving? ? a $3-billion loan to the regime to finance projects against poverty and to support what it calls ?good governance.?
But that is as expected. In a prior piece, this writer maintained that the US-China military confrontation in the South China Sea area has highlighted the importance of the Philippines as a strategic base of operations for the United States and the indispensability of this country as a base from which to launch an attack on China in some eventual future.
So, if shouldn?t come as a surprise that shortly after that overseas call from the US President, reportedly on the subject of the VFA (for what other subject could he have called about), the WB should immediately announcing its decision to ?consider? ? again, another word for ?approve? ? a $3-billion loan aid to this government.
China?s display of military resolve in the South China Sea apparently worked very much in favor of GMA insofar as securing US support ? which, in operative terms, refraining from any further acts of destabilization.
The WB action stand is in stark contrast to the denunciation issued by the European Union (EU) against this regime for its human rights violations. The EU could of course afford such a stance of hostility because it doesn?t have any military interest to protect in this country. And besides, the EU isn?t known to be in military confrontation with China.
So there we have it. Forget all that talk ? at least on the part of Obama ? about his administrations? determination to promote good governance along with democracy around the world and his warning to one and at that corrupt governments abroad are on the wrong side of history. It was an international advisory widely interpreted here, particularly by the opposition, to mean that Obama is just about to do GMA in as his predecessors did Marcos and Estrada in.
Nope. It?s clear that America?s first black President is sticking to the usual approach that has marked American foreign policy in the last hundred or so years. Meaning, the US government will support any and all kinds of foreign governments, regardless of their morals, ideology and politics, as long as those governments serve America?s foreign policy interests. Hence, the support for Saddam as long as he served America?s interest: For Pinochet, as long as he served America?s interest; Ngo Dinh Diem, as long as he served America?s interest; Noriega, as long as he served America?s interest. And so on ad infinitum.
Of this the opposition should be aware: In the conduct of its international politics, to the US there never has been any such thing as transparency, good governance and even democracy.
Both Obama and GMA now stand joined and united on the same side of history.