Anti-Terror Bill OK Seen to Spur More U.S. Military Aid

The passage of the anti-terror bill is expected to spur more economic and military aid for the Arroyo government, in exchange for deepening its involvement in the U.S.-led “War on Terror” and protecting America’s economic stake in the Philippines, independent think-tank IBON Foundation said Sept. 1.

Posted by Bulatlat.com

The passage of the anti-terror bill is expected to spur more economic and military aid for the Arroyo government, in exchange for deepening its involvement in the U.S.-led “War on Terror” and protecting America’s economic stake in the Philippines, independent think-tank IBON Foundation said Sept. 1.

Historically, U.S. assistance to the Philippines had been directly affected by government decisions that impact on American geopolitical or economic interests. For instance, the Senate rejection of the extension of the Military Bases Agreement in 1990 set off the yearly downfall in U.S. aid to the country until the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) was approved by the Senate in 1998 and reversed the downward trend in U.S. aid. The sharpest increases in U.S. aid happened after 9/11, with U.S. military assistance to the Philippines growing by an overwhelming 1,639% between 2001 and 2002. (See Table)

Such aid allows the U.S. to pursue its economic and military agenda in the country. An anti-terror law would make it easier to pacify groups opposed to the U.S. agenda by dubbing them as “terrorists” and curtailing their civil rights as well as levying harsh penalties on them.

Such a law also complements Arroyo’s total war policy against the CPP-NPA etc., tagged a “foreign terrorist organization” by the U.S. State Department. With U.S. guidance, the counter-insurgency war under Arroyo is capped by a widespread assassination campaign targeting leaders of progressive groups and human rights activists. This campaign parallels the Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored Operation Phoenix during the Vietnam War, which was designed to identify and “neutralize” the non-combatant infrastructure of Vietcong cadres in South Vietnamese villages. Posted by (Bulatlat.com)

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