By Ramon Farolan
War books are often about brilliant victories and heroic campaigns. Some are about incompetence and stupidity resulting in the unnecessary loss of lives of both friend and foe. In his book “Fiasco,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas E. Ricks writes about America’s tragic bungling in Iraq. He dedicates his work “For the war dead” and quotes Sun Tzu, noted Chinese military strategist: “Know your enemy, know yourself. One hundred battles, one hundred victories.”
By Rina Jimenez-David
When Espie Enriquez-Hupida heard news of the killings of at least 19 soldiers in a village called Al-Barka in Basilan, she felt a chill run down her spine. Three years ago, together with an NGO colleague, she was kidnapped by men identified as Abu Sayyaf and brought to a remote barangay that was the group’s stronghold. That was Al-Barka, a place, said Espie, that is “very close to my heart.”
This refers to Ramon Farolan’s column titled “A failed state.” (Inquirer, 10/24/11) No doubt about it, the Oct. 18 ambush and massacre of our soldiers at Al-Barka, Basilan, was a wake-up call for all Filipinos, who seem to be paralyzed or divided when facing a critical problem or situation. “Rejection of all-out war divides senators” [...]
By Ramon Farolan
For a while, some people were beginning to wonder if the country had a secretary of national defense. For almost two weeks after the massacre of our troops in Al-Barka, Basilan, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was not heard from. Neither were his spokespersons saying anything on behalf of the secretary or his department. It was as though a wall of silence had engulfed the defense office in the wake of a disaster that has brought into question the nation’s determination to defend its territorial integrity as well as its ability to preserve law and order throughout the land.
By Conrado de Quiros
Those were some awesome things 2nd Lt. Erren Khe had to say last week in “Strictly Politics.” Erren is the brother of Lt. Jose Delfin Khe, one of the officers killed in Al-Barka, Basilan. First off, he cried to the heavens, why did his enemies have to mutilate the body of his brother and those [...]
By Francisco Lara Jr.
Incendiary language has roused and war drums have been sounded following the recent ambush-slaying of 19 Army Special Forces troops in Al-Barka, Basilan in southern Philippines. As in other civil wars, the battle on the ground ignites a similar battle on the air lanes, with each of the contending side trying to communicate its version [...]