Friday Night, March 31, 2006

Hubris and the Fall

In China I met a Chinese Filipino who was currently a resident of Hawaii and just visiting China like I was. He told me that as a young man in the Philipines he had joined the resistance against Marcos, the evil, greedy dictator that was supported generously by the U.S. government even when he declared martial law in 1972. He was still "president" of the Philipines when Reagan was president. Reagan and Marcos got along famously. They both had wives who loved to spend money on vanity. "Marcos ruined our country," the man said.

The man was educated at a Jesuit school and the Jesuit priests constituted one of the strongest forces in the political movement that finally led to Marcos' ouster.

"One of the priests said it would take two or three generations to reverse the damage done by Marcos," he said. "I thought it was an exaggeration at the time, but now I think he was right...

"What finally got him out was hubris. He killed Aquino, had him shot in front of the world at the airport. Aquino was a resistance leader who had been long imprisoned, but refused to make a deal with Marcos to get out of jail.

"When he did get out, Marcos had him killed. Ted Koppel interviewed Marcos, who boasted that he was so loved by the people that if there was an election, he would win. Koppel said, 'Would you be willing to have an election?' Marcos, with all his bravado, fell for it.

"The elections were faked, but the people rose up. Marcos seized the Catholic radio station, but they had already set up a relay system with other broadcasters and within a short time the signal was being broadcast again. And Marcos couldn't find it.

"One of Marcos' generals turned against him after Marcos killed Aquino and became part of the movement to overthrow Marcos. The general told what he knew about Marcos. The people demonstrated and when Marcos sent his army after them, they held up religious symbols and the soldiers wouldn't shoot them."

And back to the Dream of the Today:

  • Condoleezza, the great betrayer of her people, her gender, and struggling people around the world, received a villain's greeting in London, (Guardian) was dogged by demonstrations everywhere she went, blundered into a sheepish admission that the U.S. had made "thousands of errors" in Iraq, had to cancel a visit to a Mosque because no one was buying her game.

  • He Blew It -- Ted Turner: At least he understands he made an error by selling out CNN to Time Warner. It's turned into mush, garbage. Why did he sell? Did he need the money? On Bush and Iraq: "We can't afford the war in Iraq. This is a big waste of time..." Bush lacks a true understanding of the world, Turner said. "We had a president of the United States who had been out of the country but once before he was elected," he said. "And this guy has his finger on the nuclear trigger, too -- reformed alcoholic, nothing wrong with that."
  • Woodward in Wonderland -- David Corn in The Nation compares an official minutes of a meeting between Bush and Blair with the fairy tale version as written by Bob Woodward in his adoring memoir of the Bush rush to war.

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