Saturday, February 12, 2011

From D (Dictatorship) to D (Democracy) by D (Demonstration) and D (Display), of D (Desire) and D (Dedication)

My barber was at the People Power Revolution led by Cory Aquino and Jaime Cardinal Sin. He was one of those who answered a call to protest the fraudulent Presidential elections and to end the long oppressive dictatorial regime of Marcos.
 The call was also to reinforce the withdrawal of support by General Fidel Ramos and Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile and their followers in the military against the Marcos regime.

I was not at the historic revolution. I was here in the United States as an active officer of the Movement for a Free Philippines (MFP) portraying a different role in support of the revolution. More specifically, I was in Honolulu, Hawaii with the mission to convince then Consul-General Raul Rabe to defect and support the military faction of Ramos and Enrile and of course, the People Power Revolution. He did not need convincing. Even before I could see and talk to him, he had already scheduled a press conference to announce his defection.
People Power in the Philippines
A lot of books and articles had been written about this historic event so no need for me to repeat them. What is worth remembering and “repeating it again and again once more for the nth time” is the courageous display and demonstration of desire and dedication by the Filipino people in the struggle against dictatorship to achieve democracy.

This became a showcase for all countries that transitioned from dictatorial regimes to democratic governments subsequently.

The case of Egypt, which is now a major candidate for a similar transition, would be a quick study. Political analysts would say that the demonstrations and rallies would have to continue and grow in numbers to display the people’s will and desire for freedom. A well-disciplined and trained military would have to eventually withdraw its support to the dictator and side with the Egyptian people. The United States which has been heavily funding and training the Egyptian military must also clearly signal to the latter that the “Pharaoh must let the people go.” The free world should and would support such a transition by quickly recognizing the new Egyptian government organized with the consent of the governed.

People Power in Egypt
Deposing the dictatorship is actually only the first part of a long and usually uncertain democratic future. A Constitutional framework of governance would have to be established; clean, fair and democratic elections would have to be held; and an honest, humble and honorable leadership would have to deal with the high hopes of the Egyptian people. Many would have high expectations and some would be easy to please. Definitely, many would be disappointed. The silver lining is, that everybody would have this various set of feelings FREELY.


My barber tells me about a customer of his who was an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) who came from the Middle East. He saved so much to be able to build a new house, buy a VCR, a TV and a Video Camera. Noticeable despite his relative lack of education was his regained confidence especially on the geography of the Middle East where he was assigned for many years.

My barber asked him, “Can you tell us about Egypt, Iraq and Iran?”

The OFW answered with utmost confidence still with his native accent, “E-Jeep is not e car. Neither is it e bus. E-Rock is not e small stone. E-Ran is not e-Walk.”

When asked about the Kuwait-Iraq War, the OFW also confidently said that Iraq would eventually win over Kuwait. “Why?”

The OFW replied, “Like Manuel Uy, a Kuwaiter never wins, a Winner never Kuwaits.”


We now know the role of the United States in eventually freeing Kuwait from the invading Iraqis.

“Why did Iraq decide to invade and keep Kuwait in the first place?” again the OFW was asked.

Now venturing into a difficult foreign policy, he went ahead and gave his own historical interpretation of the event leading to the invasion.

A White House briefing regarding the Middle East for several Arab diplomats was being held. According to the OFW, the Iraqi diplomat kept interrupting the briefing and discussions. This prompted the White House Middle East expert to shout, “KEEP QUIET” which the Iraqi diplomat understood as “KEEP KUWAIT.”

A call was made to Saddam Hussein immediately letting him know that the United States had given the GO SIGNAL.

My barber was taking it from an OFW!


Egypt’s President Mubarak, his ardent supporters, the Egyptian military, the Egyptian people and the free world are looking for a clear signal from the United States. History is being re-written and re-played. The U.S. must be on the right side of history.

The formula for a similar situation has been available and tested a number of times. From D (Dictatorship) to D (Democracy), by D (Demonstration) and D (Display), of D (Desire) and D (Dedication), expect no D (Defeat)!!!

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