The United States of America is no longer a ship at full sail, it seems. Although I am not a US citizen, I am afraid for President Joseph Biden and Vice-president Kamala Harris as their lives are and will always be in constant danger. They are the moving targets of members of those white supremacist militia bands who breached Capitol Hill last 6 January, a seditious attack aimed to overthrow the US government and keep Donald Trump in power. It was no secret that they were determined to kill, maim and noose senators and representatives who did not “stop the steal”. Not even Vice-president M. Pence would have been spare; they were looking for him and calling him a traitor. For the Biden-Harris team, the road to national reunification and economic recovery is filled with sinkholes and it will always be under construction way beyond their terms of office.
On its face, this unexpected invasion of Capitol Hill revealed a silent cancer gnawing at the entrails of the USA’s apparatus of national and international security, which we all believed to be invincible. Many Filipinos long for those years when the Seventh Fleet and the Thirteenth Airborne were headquartered in Subic and Clark, respectively. We had the illusion that the USA would always defend our country. In the course of decades, thousands of Fil-Americans have served in the USA military and naval forces as these prowled the world upholding democracy, extinguishing (sometimes igniting) regional conflicts that threatened the international balance of power. Due to its global reach, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could protect American corporate interests in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia against policies inimical to the former’s profit margins. The CIA has violently deposed many a duly-elected leader by forming and funding local militias, religious and youth groups to attack a government deemed uncooperative.
That is why I find it quite surprising that the USA’s security system, the best-oiled and experienced, seems to have been caught off guard last 6 January. Apparently, the insurrectionists had been plotting and planning quite openly on social media. The invasion of Capitol Hill was announced, heralded, posted on the information highway. Former Pres. Trump and his lackeys were blowing dog whistles, calling their minions to action, yet, no one in the security apparatus was listening.
Hundreds of insurrectionists are now facing a raft of charges based on the very evidence they flaunted on social media; they took selfies at every step and twitted messages to their friends as they staked territory. As it turned out, many of them are veterans, retired policemen/women or still on active duty, ex-firefighters, rangers, seals. The majority were men who definitely had military training. Now, isn’t that a capacious arena for thinking that it was definitely an inside job?
Frankly, I was appalled that those white extremist bands have many members who are veterans. Why were they attacking the government and institutions they swore to defend? Why were they duped by former Pres. D. Trump who said soldiers were suckers and losers, who disrespected a war hero like the late Senator John McCain? This raises a question about active members of the military, navy and the rest of the USA security apparatus, are they true defenders of the US Constitution, or white supremacists and, therefore, insurrectionist n the making?
In the Philippines, retired generals and other high-ranking officers are often rewarded with high positions in the civilian bureaucracy. Many of them have been appointed as Cabinet Secretaries, heading departments of Public Works, National Defense, Environment and Natural Resources; retirees with lower ranks are placed in government commissions and corporations. Midway his term, President R. Duterte tripled the number of retirees from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in his government. He has also signed the Anti-terrorism Act of 2020 into law, Republic Act 11479. That seems to be a common practice with Philippine presidents, governors and mayors. Keep them busy and out of trouble.
Prominent businessmen are known to invite high-level retirees to become members of their Boards of Directors; a few are appointed CEOs. Some are put at the helm of security agencies precisely because of their military training and expertise in the acquisition and use of weaponry. Correct me if I am wrong, I think this practice began during the rule of the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos who was in power for 20-years, thanks to the acquiescence of the military, and of the CIA! That was probably why there were many coups by the military against Marcos’ successor, Pres. Corazon Aquino. The Biden-Harris team should immediately bring to justice all those responsible for the inside job of 6 January, or suffer the consequences.