“All of this will not be finished in the first one hundred days, nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin” – John F. Kennedy.
The end, in most instances, is just the beginning. Year 2006 might have expired, but there is no assurance whatsoever that its ugly remnants will not transcend to year 2007. What is sure is that the Year of the Boar is just another portal to a history yet unfold.
So much things, events, tragedies and victories, happened the past year, which somehow triggered some changes in the international community, and brought despair to Mother Earth, and lessons – that deserve faithful understanding—to humanity.
Despite the lingering apathy between the so-called pro-democratic nations and rebel states, the year of the Fire Dog brought about positive transformations to the international community.
The post-war Iraq, although still unstable in all aspects, introduced a new kind of understanding to the global village. U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s admission that America is neither winning nor losing in its fight in Iraq is but a patent justification that America’s unilateral policy is becoming an aberration in the modern age.
These positive aspects that continuously form a concept of international consciousness include (1) the shift of U.S. unilateralism to multilateralism, (2) the gradual rise of two worlds –Asia and Europe— that both threaten the position of America, and (3) the formation of international policies that would lead to unification of and understanding between and among nations.
In the first aspect, the Iraq war proved to be a quicksand to the Bush regime, as America’s unilateralism that has been there for over three decades is now facing extinction, thus, the advent of the age of multilateralism. During last year’s U.S. midterm elections, American voters junked the regime’s allies in the Congress and the Senate, thanks to Iraq war.
This gradual rise of multilateralism may also be attributed to the entry of two proverbial worlds—Asia, characterized by the inevitable ascent of imperial China, and Europe, which is now under the control of the powerful European Union (EU). These two growing empires both pose a strong threat, politically, economically and militarily, to America whose image is getting worse in the international community due to its mishandling of Iraq issues. Thus, we can say that a New World Order is gradually surfacing.
The third aspects refers to the mounting consensus among nations, whether democratic or communist, third world or first world, to establish or forge either politico-economic or military alliance based on the idea of survival and hegemony.
American planners are now faced with a gathering storm characterized by the growing defiance of unpredictable Russia, the shifting of most Latin American countries to socialism, including those in Europe like Hungary, Poland and Italy, and the political and military alliance of Iran and Venezuela whose leaders are extreme critics of Bush.
In the local setting, the Philippines, under the Arroyo regime, is still trapped in the subsisting legitimacy crisis of Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Although the Malacanang Palace has considered the issue long resolved, criticisms, dissents and protests are still at large even after the issuance the so-called fascistic Presidential Decree 1017 that put the entire country under state of emergency.
Mrs. Arroyo also backed Charter Change that would change the 1987 Constitution on the premise that it is already obsolete and in need of revision. This is against a Supreme Court opinion that an attempt to change the charter upon the order of the President is seriously doubtful.
The “great debate” started after Mrs. Arroyo read her State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year. This alerted House Speaker Jose De Venecia to make haste and ordered his allies to work on their cha-cha ambition.
First, the Sigaw ng Bayan, an alleged pet project of the Malacanang Palace, solicited millions of signatures from people, either dead or alive, mostly not given copies of the proposed draft. But the Supreme Court ruled against the petition and described it as “gigantic fraud.”
Perhaps if we are to rate, the issue of charter change has gotten almost 80 percent of the Arroyo camp’s attention, as pro-administration solons were never undaunted in pushing the cha-cha train amidst tragedies in some parts of the country, like those places severed by super-typhoon Milenyo and those people whose houses were buried in Albay.
Thus, we cannot help but conclude that the political events in 2006 proved the following theories:
1. that EDSA II is but an aberration;
2. that the Hello, Garci controversy proved to be the country’s mockery of justice and deserves a faithful visit;
3. that the issue of charter change deserves its natural death;
4. that the Arroyo government’s bowing to U.S. pressure over Daniel Smith’s custody is a manifestation of the regime’s overt disregard of the Constitution;
5. that the Arroyo regime cannot be trusted with restraint in its exercise of police power and other ‘political’ discretionary powers; and
6. that the Filipino people should be more determined to put all these things to an end in the upcoming May elections.
I believe year 2006 is but a transitory period to whatever mistake, aberration, and “lapse in judgment we had two or so years ago. For the current regime, it was a transitory period to pull off, with utmost force and will, all its remaining cards for the sake of self-preservation.
With the advent of year 2007, the Filipino people saw, for the first time in five years, the sheer light of hope. Only three months hence, the people should, and must, correct the mistakes of the past.