My friend Ron, who is a Filipino, has been working in Singapore for the last few years and likes his job. He has to endure this lunchtime "conversation" with his colleagues every Wednesday though, and is requires to participate. Usually he endures through the ordeal where the boss starts conversations very Piers Morgan style, about what is wrong with the West. Last week it changed a bit, the topic was, "Why does the world hate the United States of America".
Ron is not only pro-American but had the guts to tell this group who were
overly in the "America
is the cause of all the ills in the world" opinion. He cited how the
US never colonized a country
for gain, although they were in the Philippines for 50 years. President
McKinley did not want to have foreign colonies, like Spain maintained, but perhaps knew
if we just let the go they would be swallowed up by the Dutch or the
Chinese. And we fought a short war against their nationalists, and more
so Islamists, General
Pershing knew how deal with Islamists in a way we can not do these
days. I personally don't give a damn if they love us or hate us. We
are not a superpower because everyone loves us.
Getting back to the topic, he cited how the US
took basically a slave culture under the Spanish, who kept them impoverished
and uneducated and introduced public education, English as a second language
and brought tons of industry to the Philippines. We also
introduced democratic institutions there and established self rule on all but
foreign affairs. This is now what imperialists do. Total
independence was scheduled for 1946. WWII got in the way and the Japanese
had different ideas. We Americans sacrificed many lives liberating the Philippines,
and much of the pacific islands, and do not have an empire to show for it. We do however have the largest overseas cemetery
and it is in Manila. In 1946 they became an independent republic.
They haven’t done all that well since independence and the Marcos regime chased
a lot of business out of that country.
Well after Marcos was overthrown the incoming governments courted foreign
investment and a commercial trade zone at Subic Bay
was established, and FedEx went in there in a big way. Well, they had elections, like all democratic
republics, and the people elected what is best described as the Bruce Willis of
the Philippines. Joseph Estrada is an uneducated actor but was
able to buy an election based on his popularity. First thing he did was fire the administrator
of the Clark and Subic Bay free trade zones and replace them with cronies, and
their job was to shake down foreigners.
Bad decision, Erap. Don’t fuck
with Fred Smith. FedEx called his bluff,
built a new Asian hub in Guangzhou China and left the Philippines.
This gets me back to the original topic. “Why does the world hate America?”
Ron talked about the American history in the Philippines
and basically told his colleagues that the US is not the problem, and it is
He did not get a warm reception on his comments, and got called into his bosses
office and was told to write a letter of apology for offending his
Singapore is not the USA, and thank
god we are not them yet. But with
political correctness run amok we may not be too far from that.