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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, October 3, 2014
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From the Center
with Rolly Espina

MassKara amid a
world in convulsion

Rolly Espina We have just entered into a month of MassKara with the whole world rocked by convulsion. And we may just be tempted to avoid focusing our attention on what the world is undergoing and instead concentrate on the merry-making facet of MassKara.

Of course, the worst crisis is that of the ISIS in the Middle East. If there is anything that has geopolitical implications that could alter the world, it is that. The ISIS is not just a tribal upsurge, but, in the language of an Arab leader the inevitable consequence of colonialism. And definitely, it is also anti-Western. The Arabs still recall how the Middle East was carried into pattern by the Western powers without regard to ethnicity nor to culture, nor even religion.

That is why even President Brack Obama asserted the they had underestimated ISIS. An acknowledgement that they had failed to comprehend the depth and the gravity of the trauma which the Middle East tribes and tribal leaders had to undergo all these years.

To a certain extent, the ISIS revolution started with the war on Iraq. It was second powerful nation of the Middle East. Saddam Hussein may have been executed, but what he had left behind was not filled by another strong man figure that could have held Iraq intact.

That is the same with Iran, and Syria, and the other countries of the Middle East. The few states that are still intact are just drawn up by the pens of former colonial and Western powers who just draw them on the ground without taking into consideration tribal loyalties, ethnic identity and cultural beliefs as well as religious faiths.

There was yesterday a very disturbing but actually credible survey which showed most Arab countries account for 20 percent of the world’s military spending. Like, for example, Saudi Arabia. Consider the fact that its population is very low compared to those of other countries nearby. You begin to wonder why Saudi is buying so much sophisticated armaments. For one, to keep their Wabbib tribe under leash. And to prevent the emergence in their midst of any other power than the Aziz attended family of royals.

The fact that the Western powers are finally finding themselves baffled by how to control the ISIS is an admission that they don’t know how to extricate themselves from the problems imposed on the Middle East by their forefathers.

The other potential flashpoint is Hong Kong where the students are threatening to occupy government buildings for the last week. And the President of China remained obdurate and seemingly patient in the fact that the intransigent students are augmented by professionals and the middle class.

Pinoys over there have joined the protest. They are seemingly unaware of what the Foreign Office had warned them about not joining the rallies. While seemingly done in peaceful and essentially Chinese way, the pro-democracy protest could still end up peacefully with both sides finally reaching a compromise on how they could accommodate each other. But the potential flashpoint is when outsiders take a hand in the situation and force China’s Communist overload to send down the liberation Army barreling down with guns.

How it will end and develop is anybody’s guess.

So perhaps we can also cast our eyes on these developments outside Bacolod and instead of just concentrating on our merrymaking, perhaps we can also offer our prayers that these things do not aggravate and develop into potential catastrophe.

Only God can save us from the expected major trouble that could erupt if this thing deteriorates further. But again there is also the good sign. India and China jacking up a new alliance. A sign that world leaders remain intent on seeking peaceful means to untangle the mess. If the world leaders are truly interested in improving the worldly affairs, then they should devote themselves to seeking ways and means to improve the lot of people, especially the poor. Only then will there still be hope for mankind.

So perhaps, we can ask the Lord to help us out by instilling in the minds of the world leaders that they have the plight of mankind in their hands and must focus their interest on how they can help all of us, especially the poor and oppressed.*

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