As geostrategy returns to the Caucasus, MLQ3 points out another geoeconomic hotspot where a power-grabbing leader is handing out IOUs to regional sharks, Indonesia and “Greater” Malaysia.
The Philippines, a protectorate under this American postwar vision includes extensive portions of present-day Indonesia (the Commonwealth government-in-exile had seriously proposed the union of the Philippines and Indonesia in 1943 and this caused great consternation with the Dutch, until the idea was quietly dropped; but it would resurrect two decades later with proposals for Maphilindo) while all of Borneo is apportioned to the British. Additional American protectorates are Taiwan (Formosa) and Hainan off the coast of China. The various islands comprising Guam, Nauru, etc. seem to be a gigantic federation that marks the American security perimeter in the Pacific.
this is all to point out the Americans like to think in terms of spheres of influence, and we like to think we sit comfortably -and importantly- in the American sphere. Thing is, from the time America decided on a Europe First policy in terms of prosecuting World War II, Asia has been the secondary front and Europe, the primary one. And whatever importance we had in American strategic thinking diminished to the point of barely existing, after the closing of the US Bases. Iâ€™ve mentioned in the past that even with the War on Terror, the United States has pretty much been content to leave Southeast Asia to its own devices, with Australia taking up the slack (strikingly reminiscent to the 1942 map assigning most of our part of the world to the British Commonwealth). A couple of years back, in a think tank conference on the region in Washington, the darling of American policymakers was the President of Indonesia and the Philippines mattered mainly in terms of the threat to regional security posed by the JI.
That this “Greater Malaysian Federation” will make for “a large, extremely wealthy, country” is, I think, an understatement. I believe it would be a dominant regional power in this part of the world.
This regional power would control the sea lanes where oil exports from the Middle East to China, Northeast Asia and the United States pass through; as well as the potential oil and gas reserves of Sulu Sea and Liguasan Marsh. Should this regional power assertively claim more lands in Mindanao, the Philippines would be defenseless.
And this regional power, by the way, would be against the United States. Which is why I agree with Quezon when he said that among the priorities of the United States in the Mindanao conflict is containing Malaysia.
Of course, as I have said in my previous post, the Americans have their own designs in Mindanao too. But these designs stand in the way of Kuala Lumpurâ€™s. This is why the Malaysians have consistently rejected the idea of the United States being part of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), which, in turn, is the reason why Washington had to resort to using the United States Institute of Peace to work in Mindanao and Sulu for its interests.
We are therefore seeing cunning maneuvers by the MILF, the Malaysians, and the Amercians at the expense of the Philippinesâ€™ sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Whatâ€™s sad about this is that while the foreigners and the seccessionist are busy protecting their respective interests, the Philippines is selling out its own- just so the bitch can stay in power.
I guess as the American, it’s up to me to fathom the game Washington is playing with Manila, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur. I have NO faith the Bush administration can pull off whatever wicked stratagem it’s cooking.