Wednesday, December 26, 2007

THE TALE OF THREE TREES (Author Unknown)

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world!" The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world."

Years passed and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said. The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!" The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, nor with treasure. She was coated with sawdust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty ship was made that day. Instead, the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river. Instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."

Many, many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him," her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful," she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the King of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why Does God Allow Suffering

Luis Palau is one of my favorite Christian evangelists. He has the ability to present the Gospel in a simple but striking manner. In this article, he explains the rationale behind the sufferings we experience. Everything has a reason and purpose.

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A philosopher from Paris once commented, "God is dead. Marx is dead. And I don't feel so good myself." His attitude illustrates the pessimism rampant in our culture today.

If there really is a God, people wonder, why has He allowed so much suffering in the world?

Many Christians honestly struggle with that same question. Only by turning to the Bible can we begin to understand the problem of suffering in this life.

Basically, there are four types of suffering. The first type is that which comes as the result of natural disasters, such as an earthquake or a hurricane. The suffering that results from these disasters happens to both the righteous and unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).

A second type of suffering can be called man's inhumanity to man. War would be classified under this type of suffering. Because of humanity's greed and pride, people try to hurt other people (James 4:1-2).

A third type of suffering is best seen in the life of Job in the Old Testament; it came as a result of Satan's attack on him. After receiving permission from God, Satan moved in and caused incredible suffering to Job and his family.

A fourth type of suffering is that which comes as a result of our own erroneous actions. For example, if I walk off the roof of my office and fall to the ground, breaking my leg, I am suffering because I broke God's law of gravity. We also suffer when we break God's moral laws.

Much suffering can be traced to the evil choices we make. Some, but not all, suffering is allowed by God as a punishment for sin. Often God simply forces us to live with the consequences of our actions (Galatians 6:7-8).

Whenever people break God's laws, others are bound to suffer as well. I refer you to the story of Achan in Joshua 7. When he coveted and took some of the spoil from the battle of Jericho, Achan cost the lives of thirty-six men in battle against Ai. It is inevitable that others will suffer in the wake of an individual's disobedience.

How we respond to suffering—whether or not we brought it on ourselves—is going to make us or break us as Christian pilgrims. Circumstances often do more to reveal our character than to shape it. But by properly responding to trials, we can develop patience and proven character (Romans 5:3-4).

Problems, stress, calamity, or the death of a loved one often cause us to search ourselves for any sin in our lives (see 1 Kings 17:18). Pain plants the flag of truth in a heavy heart. But we must be cautious not to let Satan overwhelm us with excessive and false guilt or grief (2 Corinthians 2:7). Job's wife told him to curse God and die. He refused to give up and remained faithful to the Lord. Notice that in the end God gave him all he had before and even more (Job 42:10-17).

Instead of looking at our circumstances, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ, the source of life. He will bring us through whatever situation we face, and as a result we will be stronger Christians, better able to serve Him because of our trials.

In a day of pessimism and suffering we can say with the psalmist, "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 118:6). The Lord Himself, as the great Sufferer, is our comfort and hope in troubled times.Publish Post

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Who is my Neighbor?

But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? And answering, Jesus said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothing and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by coincidence a certain priest came down that way and seeing him, he passed by on the opposite side. And in the same way a Levite, also being at the place, coming and seeing him, he passed on the opposite side. But a certain traveling Samaritan came upon him, and seeing him, he was filled with pity. And coming near, he bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine, and set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And going on the next day, he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him. And whatever more you spend, when I come again I will repay you. Then which of these three, do you think, was neighbor to him who fell among the robbers? And he said, The one doing the deed of mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise (Luke 10:29-37)

THE PRIEST

  • It is said that not less than 12,000 priests and Levites dwelt at Jericho; and as their business was at Jerusalem, of course there would be many of them constantly traveling on that road.
  • He saw him and passed the other side.Maybe he was thinking of his busy schedule and do not want to be bothered
  • He broke the Jewish Law which states that even enemies should be treated as friends:Exodus 23:4-5-If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the ass of him who hates you lying under his burden, and would hold back from helping him, you shall surely help him.

THE LEVITE

  • Levites assist the priests in temple ceremonies
  • The Levite watched the man but still did nothing to relieve him.

THE SAMARITAN

  • The Great Commandment: Luke 10:27 - And answering, he said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.
  • Jews and Samaritans were enemies (Matthew 10:5, John 4:9).Love your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48)
  • Came upon him and see him—He took time.We must make time to help our neighbor.
  • He was filled with pity—He showed compassion.We must love one another (John 13:34-35)
  • Bound up his wounds with oil and wine—Acted out his compassion.If we are indeed religious, we must show it by works of faith (James 2:18, 20,26)
  • Brought him to an inn and took care of him—He supported him all the way. We should never stop from doing good (Galatians 6:9-10)

The World After 9/11

TAKING STOCK OF THE DAY THAT
DISTURBED INTERNATIONAL ORDER[1]

Ronald C. Molmisa


Ken Booth and Tim Dunne, WORLDS IN COLLISION: Terror and the Future of Global Order. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke & New York 2002. 384 pages

Much has been said about the character of 9/11 attacks from being the fulfillment of Nostradamus’s bleak prophecies to the alleged re-surgence of worldwide Islamic jihad. September 11 events have undeniably altered people’s perception---from the business executives of Manhattan to the opium farmer of Afghanistan---of the dynamics of globalization, national security and international relations. For some, the collapse of the Twin Towers offered a déjà vu of the demolition of the Berlin Wall. If the unification of Germany symbolized the values of international legality and democracy, the WTC attacks witnessed the birth of a new form of realpolitik (Archibugi 2001). The Achilles’ heel of US’s power was ultimately exposed in the so-called paradox of ‘9/11’ which both convey Washington’s readiness to respond to complex emergencies (911 emergency dial) and the susceptibility of the American territory to foreign intrusion. No country has confronted the US lead before, and for the first time ever, the Hegemon has been challenged by an absolutely gratuitous attack. The casualties of September 11 constituted one of the worst one-day massacres in the last decade, together with the Rwandan genocide of the Tutsis. Major debates revolve around the question whether 9/11 should be deemed as an unprecedented event which shattered the previous international order, or just another flashpoint in the history of 21st century. Answers to this question do not come easily.

World governments demonstrated three main responses to the trauma of 9/11. First, state power was rapidly reinstated through the intensification of sovereign control which the realists heralded as the strengthening of statecraft. The self-help system of world politics compels states to prioritize their security concerns above the interests of other states through the use of military force as a key instrument in gaining states’s objectives. The transnational nature of terrorism likewise reinvigorated inter-state cooperation aimed at preserving regional security. For rationalist institutionalists, globalization opens a Pandora’s Box which creates new channels for protest including the terrorist path. International institutions promise to assist governments in addressing these challenges. In 1970s, Keohane and Nye proposed the complex interdependence framework to explain the nature of international interdependence and the benefits of multilateral cooperation. They argue that multilateral initiatives are more politically-effective and resource-efficient than bilateral actions in addressing transnational concerns including terrorism (Keohane and Nye 1989). This is accomplished through the institution of a ‘regime’ or a set of rules that countries subscribe to, in leveling the playing field and minimize cheating and relative gains as proposed by the realists. The term ‘collective security’, first employed during the construction of the League of Nations, finds it niche in the security architecture emerging post 9/11. In theory, collective security would discourage potential aggressors from angering a collectivity of states. Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty is premised on this notion which provides that an attack on one of the member states shall be considered an attack against all. Likewise, Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations provides that nations can exercise their right to individual or collective self-defense. As comprehensively discussed in the book, these multilateral initiatives are defied by the hawkish, cowboy foreign policies of Washington. Holding steadfast to the doctrine of defensive realists, the Bush administration’s expansion of security tools had serious repercussions to the security standing of others by decreasing their military power (Taliaferro 2001).

Second, bin Laden’s involvement in the attacks signaled the criminalization of terrorism and its attendant actions, nostalgic of what Keohane explains about the delegitimation of piracy in the 18th century. Terrorists of diverse ideological motivations were widely condemned including the nations which harbor them. The ‘axis of evil’ was identified comprising of Iraq, Iran and North Korea, countries assumed to possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Widespread suppression of public dissent became the norm to quell domestic discontent, leading to the decreased space for civil society.

Third, majority of states “embroidered” the concepts of ‘nation’, ‘heroism’ and ‘freedom’ to elicit sympathies and galvanize public support for the anti-terror campaign. Global media networks accentuated the rhetoric of war while stories of civilian casualties were romanticized mainly through dramatic media video footages and metaphors. Not only had these imageries stirred the collective pathos of the peoples around the globe, it also provided enough raison d’etre for governments to apply military solutions in the name of national security and order.

The horrors of 9/11 have become ‘fashionable’ in recent years with numerous cozy presumptions and grand interpretations about world politics demolished and questioned. Bringing together an outstanding group of intellectuals, Worlds in Collision primes itself as an indispensable book in understanding the debates about the future of global order in the wake of international terrorism and the war in Afghanistan. Booth and Dunne have managed to garner contributions from a stellar group of scholars in a commendable speed (completed in 2002). The plurality of viewpoints ranging from the writings of Kenneth Waltz, Amitav Acharya, Noam Chomsky, Immanuel Wallerstein, among others, makes the collection as a must-read for scholars of International Relations. The volume presents the current dialectics of thought-worlds explicating the nature of terrorism, the current international order and the variegated worlds co-existing in the globe. Deeper appreciation of the chapters reveal three more sub-themes: 1) the reinforcement of US global power and its consequence on the international political structures, 2) the interplay between globalization and culture in reconciling thought-worlds, and 3) the assumed configuration of a new world order.

The book clearly sets out that we are confronted by a ‘confusion of misunderstandings, crude stereotypes and parallel absences of self-knowledge’ (pp. 5). Different international actors have divergent perceptions on the motivation and real character of the WTC bombers. The terms terrorism and terrorists require serious attention and examination since they have not been defined in a coherent manner (Chomsky). One country’s terrorist can be another state’s nationalist freedom fighter. 9/11 has bifurcated the notions of terrorism between the US-inspired and other countries’ brand of terror with the term terrorists being applied only to Washington’s enemies and not against itself. The US is notorious in approaching the world through a series of simple minded binaries: friend and foe, west and east, allies and enemies, as substantiated by President Bush’s “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” speech.

Terrorism can be dissected according to its nature and purposes. It can be minimally defined as the ‘use of terror by organized groups to achieve given objectives’. But there is more than meets the eye. The multiplicity of terrorists’s strategies can get easily entangled with their somehow nebulous, non-political motivations. We can discern religious overtones from the pronouncements of al-Qaeda members stating their fundamental mission to stage a protracted armed struggle against the enemies of Islam, especially the Great Satan-US. Still, terrorist activities are not only a monopoly of shadowy groups but can also be utilized by states as a means to gain legitimacy. Authoritarian governments of Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and the Talibans exhibited how leaders wage war against nonconforming constituents through state oppression.

The US was successful in establishing the Coalition of the Willing[2] (or Coalition of the Coerced?) to gain global support for its regime change project in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nonetheless, supporters of Bush’s anti-terror campaign overlooked and miscalculated the costs of their participation. As in the past, military cooperation with the US could not guarantee the honest exercise of multilateral cooperation nor can it safeguard the interests of smaller players. On the contrary, it could put governments to a more vulnerable position as demonstrated by the experiences of the Philippines, Spain and Great Britain which became epicenters of terrorists’ initiatives in recent months.

REASSERTION OF US HEGEMONY

Neorealists maintain that contemporary states have already abandoned the maximization of state power but rather focus on striking a balance between international relations and power politics. On one hand, the anarchic nature of the international system permits powerful states (the so-called poles) to determine the trajectory of the international order. The stability of the international system, as neorealists suggest, can be attributed to a single dominant state or a lead hegemon which can articulate and enforce the rules of interaction among the international system (Hegemonic Stability Theory). Admittedly, since coalitional politics are unstable in this conjuncture, Halliday and Gray highly consider America as the only viable global leader. The volume magnifies US’s punctured political ego and its aggressive military responses.

While some take the view that 9/11 destroyed or, at least decreased, the US’s omnipotence, the reverse may be more compelling (Hill 2001; Smith 2002). Cox believes that the “end of the unipolar moment” thesis is untenable and should not be conveniently received because US, as the former isolationist of pre-WW2 period, is beginning to rebuild its image as the main sheriff of world affairs. Series of military build-up put the country in a more dominant status and no country can challenge the Hegemon without suffering its consequences. As Guzinni (2002:292) succinctly writes,

The Bush administration’s foreign policy hitherto suffers from a neglect of diplomacy. It has emphasised a strategy that combines unilateral and re-militarising elements. Security is conceived of in terms of a gated community writ large. Diplomacy is downgraded to alliance-building (conveniently misnamed multilateralism) for a policy already decided. Other countries are sheer objects, not subjects, within US foreign policy. The conception of order in international society is stripped of substantial components of justice or legitimacy, to which the US would accept being subjected itself.

Combating terrorism and maintaining peaceful international relations necessitate the preservation of the integrity of the international law. Yet the imperial tinge in the application of these laws is apparent and continues to injure international players. Byers and An Naim strike it hard when they tag the US as a ‘vigilante and a self-imposing entity’ which comfortably circumvents UN resolutions--either to dismiss it or to engage in ‘a la carte multilateralism’ which can complement its own preferences. Washington rejected the idea of an International Criminal Court of Justice mainly because of its detrimental provisions for the American government. It has been flouting the Geneva Convention on the Laws of War for more than five decades. US rejected the Kyoto Protocol on gas emission to guard its economy which is heavily funded by the oil industry. Moreover, Washington’s protectionist policies on its steel industry intimidate its Western Europe’s counterparts with fifty percent of global economy in the hands of American corporations.

Coalitional politics is the major instrument of US to exert its power and compete with other states on distinguishing the terrorists and ascertaining acts of terrorism. Washington recasts itself as the final arbiter of what is morally right or wrong but as Chomsky argues, Bush’s moral truism reflects that it only acts to protect the civil liberties of its people and undermine the human rights of other peoples in the world. Washington and its allies were successful in securing good legal ‘cover’ to legitimize its use of military power using the doctrine of pre-emptive strikes as its grand smokescreen. Although it brands itself as an epitome of democratic society, it has been consistent in applying terrorist measures in Panama, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans and Afghanistan to ostracize erring civilians. This posturing is exacerbated by the vague definition of ‘national defense’ provided by Article 51 of the UN Charter. Previously, it was generally understood that military self-defense should only focus on halting or repelling the attack that has taken place; it should not be retaliatory, punitive, or aimed at pre-emption against possible future attacks. Historical evidences abound about the US’s violation of this UN pronouncement. In 1986, the US took military action against Libya in response to terrorist attacks on its forces in Berlin; many states insisted that such action went beyond legitimate self-defense. In August 1998, the US attacked Afghanistan and Sudan in response to terrorist attacks on its embassies in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Washington’s global democratization project contradicts the concept of a just war. Normative theory defines a jus ad bellum (just war): 1) as a war of self-defense in response to aggression; it is legitimized by state authorities as a last resort after exhausting peaceful remedies and (2) as a war that is being exercised in right conduct (jus in bello) including the protection of the noncombatants and the innocent, non-use of immoral weapons (e.g. WMD) and when actions are taken with a right intention to accomplish legitimate military objectives and to minimize collateral death and destruction (Viotti and Kauppi 1987). Conventional requirements state that non-combatants should not be the intended target of the enterprise. Governments’s responsibility to protect their people does not provide them a right for the use of violence. It must be recalled that the photographs of the Iraqi prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib elicited condemnation and anger among the peoples of the globe. The arrogant display of US soldiers’s violation of human rights clearly defies Elhstain’s definition of a compassionate, forbearing American military. He somehow misconstrues Washington’s military policy when he claims that

No group in the US pays more attention to ethical restraint on the use of force than does the US military. We do not kill or even threaten to kill nearly 3000 civilians because that number of our own civilians has been murdered by perpetrators who scarcely deserve the name of either soldier of warrior.” (p. 266).

The book does not fail to juxtapose contemporary wars with the issues of national sovereignty and human rights to reconcile debates concerning the use of force vis-à-vis the universal rights to human protection and dignity. Political observers confirm that a counter-terrorist strategy that separates the enemy from those who harbor them is not part of Bush’s mindset. Al-Qaeda and Jaamiyah Islamiyah are seen as problematic and need to be carefully approached and dissolved. Buzan, reinforces this conviction when he posits that, in the declaration of war, civilians must be separated from their governments as targets, if and only if the people do not deserve the government they have. Although the Geneva Conventions on War dictate that civilians should be treated separately from their governments, it must be noted that not all civilians are innocent. He further states, “To delink people from their governments, when they are in fact closely linked, is to undermine the political point of resorting to war in the first place.” (p.91). He gives the examples of flag-waving Serbs who either stood as silent supporters of Milosevic or as protectors of innocent civilians, Hussein’s despotic rule in Iraq, Kim’s Stalinistic regime in North Korea and Iran’s anti-US theocracy which were all sustained and reinforced by public choice and decision. In all of these, the international community has the right and responsibility to put an end to erring governments and people which cause threats to peace.

WHEN GLOBALIZATION AND CIVILIZATIONS COLLIDE

Huntington’s ‘clash of civilization’ thesis is vigorously criticized by the chapter authors for its flawed culture-based interpretations of 9/11, reflected in his unconvincing justification of terrorists’ genocidal tendencies. Counter-arguments to the image of a religious or civilizational conflict are more pronounced contrary to what Huntington imagines. Globalization factors have blurred the civilizational lines because of porous state borders which enhance the transnational mixing of socio-political loyalties. The assumption of a homogenous Islam is contentious since cultures are not monolithic blocks that can be sustained, and is indestructible. Islam, like Christianity, does not have a unified version of its religious beliefs and practices. Many Muslim nations openly condemned the theology of Osama bin Laden. As Acharya concludes in his chapter, states ‘acted more as states rather than as civilizations’ in responding to 9/11 (p. 195).

The post-9/11 period witnessed a new and sustained interest in the study of Islam and Muslim societies, with the cornucopia of knowledge projected in various governmental and media pronouncements on the subject. But, more often, the interpretation of Islam with regard to terrorism is determined by domestic and international political factors (Dalacoura 2002). The Islam faith has been demonized by Washington as a means to universalize Western liberal values and contain Muslim fundamentalists. Islamic extremism has been labeled as the counter-hegemonic force of the post-Cold War period replacing Communism. Consequently, rather than a ‘war on terrorism’, the international community is currently engaged in a witch-hunt for specific terrorist groups who embrace the doctrine of radical Islam.

Fukuyama describes Islamo-fascism as the Muslim world’s reaction to the social poverty brought about by the Western modernization process in the Arab peninsula. Historically, the September 11 attacks can be traced back to the economic, social, and cultural crisis which plagued the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War and the accelerating process of globalization which started in the late 1970s. Policies of Structural Adjustment and import liberalization have impoverished the powerful proletariats in the Arab world and reconfigured traditional Muslim communities. Still clinging to his ‘end of the history’ thesis, Fukuyama presents his liberal doctrine which argues that Western liberalism is the final destination of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries. He sees the results of the Afghanistan and Iraq democratization projects and the dismantling of the theocratic and despotic nature of Islam politics as crucial factors in transforming the history of the Arab world. For him, “democracy, individual rights, the rule of law, and prosperity based on economic freedom represent universal aspirations that will be ultimately by people all over the world if given the opportunity” (p. 28).

Globalization and fundamentalism are twin phenomena that cannot be separated. Barber has been consistent in his earlier position that we can allow either a globalized capitalist world (McWorld) or a world of fundamentalist (Jihad) to set the terms of international interdependence. We cannot strike a balance between the two because of the inherent nature of capitalism which automatically induces inequalities in the globe---the very reason of resentment among terrorists. There is a view that poverty among Muslim societies engenders terrorism because of clashes between Western consumerism and traditional Islamic teachings. Capitalism is perceived as part and parcel of the neo-liberal ideology which endeavors to secularize the religion of terrorists. In this regard, Smith’s chapter complements Barber’s position when the former formulates 10 factual questions directed to the US regarding the justification of its response, the nature of foreign policy it acted upon and the comprehensiveness of its understanding of the 9/11 attacks. One underpinning purpose of these inquiries is to investigate how cultures determine the perceptions of international actors regarding outsiders. Answers to these questions reveal that both the US government and the terrorist groups have their unique interpretations of each other. This divergence very well explains the vicious cycle of struggle between the al-Qaeda and the developed nations.

Information technologies and the media are shaping the global citizens’ perception of terrorism and its concomitant actors. Acquisition of information and opinion about the aftermath of 9-11 has been a crucial factor in reconciling media coverage and opinion. Media networks have caused global citizens to perceive that the WTC attacks are reenactments of Bruce Willis’ Die Hard series and James Cameroon’s Pearl Harbor. Der Derian provides an interesting twist when he explores how 9/11 provided a platform for wars between networks engaged in maneuvering, influencing and altering with public opinion. Networks’ strategies easily conflate with the global opinion about the moral justifications and the rationale behind the terrorist attacks. Foremost, Washington has attempted to prevent the ‘Vietnam syndrome’[3] to preserve public support. The first phase of its war in Iraq was projected as a successful military campaign which deserved to be sustained. President Bush even established the MIME-Net (military-industrial-media-entertainment network) not only to ostracize negative publicities that could mar the image of his leadership but also to solicit political capital that could catapult him again into power in 2004 elections.

Freedman and Ball concentrate on what they see as the evolution of a new form of warfare. Of interest to them is the war between a modern force and a primitive army (e.g. the United States and the Northern Alliance). Peoples of the globe must recognize that al-Qaeda members are not naïve cave dwellers. The marriage of the narratives of primitivism (fundamentalism) and modernity can be seen in bin Laden’s adherence to Islamic extremism while branding himself as a member of an elite Saudi family. His desire to banish the Western, a secular ideology is enhanced by the al-Jazeera, the Internet and compact m satellite telephones to communicate with his grassroots network organizations in Africa and Southeast Asia. Washington responded to the situation by establishing the Office of Homeland Security and the Human Intelligence Network (HUMINT) systems to safely locate and pursue al-Qaeda operations.

Ultimately, the intelligence community is anticipated to be burdened by the terrorist threats. Challenges lie on the lack of political will among governments to devote resources for the dismantling of intra-states terrorist networks and the failure to realign their legal and juridical systems to the principles of US’s anti-terror campaign. On the broad level, there is a lingering fear among states that the anti-terror campaign can easily translate into a war against freedom and privacy. Biersteker explains that gross infringement of civil liberties is not far-fetched in the future due to several strictures to be implemented on the use of the Internet and other correspondence and transaction systems including the financial market mechanisms. For instance, targeted financial sanctions (TFS), first applied by UN in Angola (1998), Taliban (1999, 2000) and Liberia (2001), is being revived to dismantle the terrorists’ underground hawala system.

A NEW WORLD ORDER?

Have 9/11 events reconfigured the international state system? Some theorists maintain that it has unmistakably altered the traditional Westphalian concept of state as the sole enforcer of security. Interestingly, the book is concluded by Waltz’s statement that nothing has changed since 9/11, frustrating and downplaying the passionate trumpet call for the formation of global civil society by Linklater, Williams, Brown and Parekh. Waltz’s position seems to earn more plaudits since international events show that there is no plausible, major evidence suggesting the emergence of a new world order. The attacks may induce policing problem for the international community but they do not constitute a serious challenge to the norms of international society as the world’s global pattern of military, political and economic power remains unaltered (Brown 2002:263). Changes are more evolutionary rather than revolutionary, characterized by the following: increased assertion of US power, emergence of coalition of countries for and against the US and widespread economic recession in many states due to threats of terrorism.

Gray seamlessly describes the triumph of realist explanations as he chronicles how states supported US to further their national interests. Russia deemed it necessary to cooperate with Washington to contain conflicts in China and the Himalayas. Great Britain committed itself to be the US’s faithful lieutenant to increase its influence in Europe. September 11 briefly brought together European governments into a military alliance with Washington (Wallace 2002). EU governments are well aware of their relative weakness compared with the US military and any cooperation with the Hegemon was the most intelligent option to protect their borders. Yet, NATO’s invocation of Article 5 failed to revitalize the Alliance and transform Atlantic relationship. The issue of war in Iraq disintegrated any unity forged by 9/11 with France and Germany condemning the military actions. In East Asia, the Great Power Rivalries between the US and China reached its peak when Bush’s foreign policies made it difficult for China and Japan to join the anti-terrorism bandwagon.

Asian governments managed to protect their interests by maximizing the opportunity of US cooperation. In South Asia, General Musharraf of Pakistan needed the US military aid and resources because of the lingering Indian nuclear threats on Kashmir. Indonesia accepted the economic and political support from US in assisting to crush Jeemah Islamiyah and other terrorist networks in its territory. But weeks after Washington announced its war in Iraq, Sukarnoputri proclaimed her veiled criticism to the Bush administration. Raja Mohan believes that the U.S. intervention as one holding more promise for South Asia than its earlier involvement in Afghanistan. Karzai’s interim government is still fragile and currently being threatened by the resurgence of warlordism and revival of predatory extraction in the country. There is a growing consensus that Afghans, which had been abandoned by the US in 1991, should not be left alone to tread the road to stability.

Divergent perceptions towards 9/11 were also evident in the local level. For Acharya, the post-9/11 period saw state-society relations more divisive in terms of the relationship of governments to their people than between states. Saudi Arabia and other gulf states witnessed the growing population of Muslim anti-Americans who likewise found an opportunity to actively clamor for the recognition of their Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip. Some Asian leaders, on one hand, showed utmost concern for regime security. Mahathir made it difficult for Muslim jihad supporters to travel to Afghanistan because of threats to domestic stability while President Gloria Arroyo tried to contain the Abu Sayyaf bandit group through the sustained militarization of Southern Philippines. Wallerstein and Rogers foresee that the outcomes of US’s war on terrorism will be uncertain due to conflation of international factors. Political violence will continue to reconfigure global order because the dominant drivers of conflict and insecurity will stay including issues on socio-economic division and proliferation of military technologies.

The UN Millennium Declaration (Sept. 2000) promoting common values such as freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility became hollow post 9/11. The al-Qaeda and the coalition against terrorism see each other as uncivilized and there is no way that these perceptions can be reconciled in the near future. The authors offer their modest recommendations on how to address the recurring international violence. If Fukuyama puts his faith on his unshakable logic of historical evolution to ensure the hegemony of liberalism, Parekh trusts inter-cultural dialogue as the surest means to address the deeper roots of terrorism. Widely shared values must be promoted so that none should be demonized or declared evil in the negotiation process. Bok further contends that it is beneficial to abandon the idea that Islam and the West have divergent perceptions of the world. Imperative to this is for governments to veer away from interpreting 9/11 events in religious and civilization terms.

CONCLUSION: (UN)FILLED GAPS

No short reviews could provide justice to the 31 chapters of the book. Booth and Dunne remained faithful to aspirations they laid down in the introductory chapter—to investigate the fragile relationship between binary opposites: Islam and the West, terror and dialogue, force and law, among others. Nonetheless, the aim to do a comprehensive survey of academic opinions is undercut by their failure to include the works of scholars from other global regions. It must be noted that only two out of the 32 contributors are Asian-based academics--Mohan (India) and Acharya (Singapore). The presence of South American and African contributors can strike an ideological balance between the Western-centric and Southern countries’ interpretations of terrorism. Post-9/11, majority of Latin Americans believe that the U.S. has lost interest in their region. The extent of exaggeration of this notion is crucial in locating Latin American developing countries on the map of US foreign policy. Similarly, the OAU (now the African Union) adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism in 1999. African leaders also issued a strong declaration against terrorism at the Africa Summit held in Dakar in October 2001. But none of these important developments echo in the pages of the volume. Chapter authors barely discussed the dynamics of East Asian geopolitics. The perspectives of China and Japan can give flesh to the dynamics of ‘Great Power Rivalry’ thesis elucidated by Acharya. Apparently, Western-centric interpretations inundate the volume leaning it on realist explanations which overlook the genuine human security concerns.

Nevertheless, a commendable strength of the collection concerns the authors’s attempt to shift the spotlight on to the subdued questions that have been marginalized by policy discourse of governments around the globe. The question of culture and terrorism is again put forth to revive the dying attention of many states toward the role of socio-economic deprivation in exacerbating the terrorist tendencies of their constituents. More importantly, it is very difficult to find a book that contains a wide array of par excellence scholars who have earned their academic reputation very well. Worlds in Collision provides a platform for left-wing socialists to reflect side by side with right-wing uber realists in their quest to explain the transformation of global history. The contributors to this volume come from variegated perspectives which do not always converge. But all of them share an aspiration for a more peaceful globe, a world in which transnational communities coexist peacefully, diverse religious and faith-based groups not only tolerate but also learn from one another, individuals are protected and empowered by their states which act judiciously to protect the collective rights of their citizens.

REFERENCES

Archibugi, Daniele (2001) Terrorism and Cosmopolitanism., available at http://www.ssrc.org/sept11/essays/archibugi.htm

Keohane, Robert Joseph Nye (1989) Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition. Little-Brown, Boston (2nd edition).

Taliaferro, Jeffrey (2001) 'Security-Seeking Under Anarchy: Defensive Realism Reconsidered,' in International Security, vol. 25, no. 3, Winter 2000/2001: 152-86

Mearsheimer, John (2002), Tragedy of Great Power Politics, W.W. Norton, New York.

Hill, Christopher (2002) Perspectives from International Relations in International Relations. Sage Publications: London, vol 16 No. 2. pp. 257–262.

Smith, Steve (2002) The End of the Unipolar Moment? September 11 and the Future of World Order International Relations Copyright © 2002 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol 16(2): 171–183

Stefano Guzzini.2002. Foreign Policy Without Diplomacy: The Bush Administration at a Crossroads.Copenhagen Peace Research Institute.International Relations Copyright © 2002 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol 16(2): 291–297

Viotti, P. and M. Kauppi, (eds.). 1987. International Relations Theory. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York).

Katerina Dalacoura.2002. Violence, September 11 and the Interpretations of Islam International Relations Copyright. SAGE Publications.London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol 16(2): 269–273.

Chris Brown.2002. The ‘Fall of the Towers’ and International Order.International Relations Copyright © 2002 SAGE Publications, London: Vol 16(2): 263–267

William Wallace As Viewed from Europe:Transatlantic Sympathies, Transatlantic Fears

International Relations Copyright © 2002 SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi), Vol 16(2): 281–286



[1] Published in Kasarinlan: A Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, World After 9-11 Issue, vol. 18. nos. 1 and 2 (2003)

[2] Members of Coalition supporting US’s war in Iraq: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and Uzbekistan

WHO AM I?


Who am I?
That the Lord of all the earth,
Would care to know my name,
Would care to feel my hurt.
Who am I?
That the bright and morning star,
Would choose to light the way,
For my ever wandering heart.

Bridge:
Not because of who I am,
But because of what you've done.
Not because of what I've done,
But because of who you are.

Chorus:
I am a flower quickly fading,
Here today and gone tomorrow,
A wave tossed in the ocean,
A vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I'm calling,
Lord, you catch me when I'm falling,
And you've told me who I am.
I am yours.
I am yours.

Who am I?
That the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love
And watch me rise again.
Who am I?
That the voice that calmed the sea,
Would call out through the rain,
And calm the storm in me.

I am yours.

Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
'Cause I am yours.
I am yours.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Muling Pagtanaw at Pagsasapuso sa Tatlong Pagkatao ni Ka Amado

Maaaring ang artista’y sumuko at manahimik, upang mabuhay,
ngunit ang ganya’y tiyak na kamatayan ng kaniyang sining.
Nakikilala niyang bahagi siya ng sosyedad, isang sangkap na tumutustos
a kabuuan at tumatanggap din naman ng panustos buhat sa kabuuan.”
-Hernandez sa “Pilipino sa Panitikan”

Ipinahayag ng isang paham na ang “tao ang lumilikha ng kasaysayan”. Siya ang nakaaalam at magdidikta ng kaniyang patutunguhan at isasapalaran. Kung kaya’t hindi mapasusubalian ang kahalagahan ng ideyolohiyang humuhubog sa mga tagapaglikha ng kasaysayan. Matatag ang paliwanag ni Karl Marx na ang “kalagayang materyal ng isang tao ang nagtatakda ng kaniyang kaisipan.” Kung paniniwalaan ang ideya ng tabula rasa, isang blankong pisara ang isang nilalang nang siya ay iluwal sa daigdig. Ang mga panlabas na salik ng lipunan ang huhubog ng uri ng kaniyang kaisipan. Sa ganitong kalakaran, maging ang mga obrang pampanitikan, bilang anyo o pormang ideolohikal, ay salamin o sumasalamin sa namamayaning ekonomiya, politika o ideolohiya ng bayan. Ang partikular na kalagayan ng isang tao ang pinagmumulan ng kaniyang kamalayan at ang kaniyang pakikipagsapalaran ang nagsisilbing talim at lakas ng kaniyang panitikan.

Ang panitikang Pilipino ay hindi minsang kinakasangkapan ng panahon upang ipaunawa ang tunggalian ng mga maykapangyarihan sa lipunan. Isa itong malinaw na salamin na patuloy na dapat harapin ng lahat ng Pilipino. Madalas, kung makita na nila ang tunay nilang anyo ay doon lamang nila magagawang kumilos at maghain ng mga alternatibong diskurso upang banggain ang naghaharing kaisipan. Matutunghayan sa mga akda ni Amado V. Hernandez na hindi lamang niya ibinunyag ang kalagayan ng bansa. Nagsikap rin siyang maghain ng mga solusyon sa suliraning panlipunan.

Maaaring sabihin na hinubog ng panitikan ang buhay ni Hernandez. Ganundin, binigyan rin niya ng panibagong dimensiyon ang panitikang Pilipino. Hindi niya nagawang takasan ang hamon at impluwensiya ng kaniyang panahon. Ang kaniyang mga kuwento, tula, dula at sanaysay ay nagbuhat sa kaniyang malalim na pagmamasid at pagsusuri. Pinanday siya ng maraming bagay upang maging tagapaglantad ng “kanser ng lipunan”. Ang kaniyang mga akda ay ang kaniyang tunay na buhay---siya si Mando, Andres, at Magat[1], Alfredo[2], Amarillo[3], Lantay[4] na nag-alay ng kanilang buhay bilang peryodista samantalang mababanaag naman sa katapangan nina Tanggol[5] Talyo[6] at Kampilan[7] ang kaniyang pakikipagsapalaran bilang biktima ng digmaan.

Sa kabila ng pasakit na kaniyang naranasan, isinalarawan rin niya ang katotohanang may mas mahalagang bagay kaysa kalayaan, pamilya, o maging buhay man—at ito ay ang karangalan at mabuting pagkatao. Gaya ng kaniyang naisaad sa kuwentong Pagdidili-dili:

“…Ang katawan ng tao ay walang naiiwang bakas sa ibabaw ng lupa at di kaya ng kaniyang mga gawain. Nalilibing ang mga patay, ngunit ang pangalan ng isang mabuting gawa, ang mahal na alaala ng isang dakilang buhay ay hindi namamatay kailanman, bagkus namumulaklak sa labi at humahalimuyak sa labi at humahalimuyak sa puso ng tao”.[8]

Ang edukasyon at kaaalaman ay kailangang gamitin sa pagtataguyod ng bayan at mabuting relasyon sa kapwa. Aniya, ang ‘pinakamabuting lesson plan’ ay ang magsunog ng kilay at mabuhay nang malinis.[9] Tatalakayin ng sanaysay na ito ang tatlong pagkatao ni Ka Amado batay sa kaniyang mga akda: bilang isang sensitibo at mapagmasid na makata, bilang alagad ng Pilipinismo at nasyonalismo at bilang tagapagtaguyod ng demokrasya at katarungang panlipunan. Susuriin ang ebolusyon ng kaniyang kaisipan mula sa pagiging romantikong makata ng dekada ’30 hanggang sa pangatawanan niya ang pagiging maalab na aktibista noong dekada ’60 hanggang ‘70. Kabilang sa pagtalakay sa paghuhugis ng kaniyang buhay ay ang pag-uugnay ng kaniyang mga ideyolohiya at mithiin sa mga kasalukuyang usapin.

ANG SENSITIBO AT MAPAGMASID NA MAKATA

Samakatuwid, tungkulin ng isang artistang manlilikha na ilarawan
ang katotohanan sa kaniyang panahon, hindi bilang marikit na sagisag
ng pangarap o mithiin, mahanga’y nang alinsunod sa lantay na kapayakan
ng kagandahan sa kapangitan o ng kapangitan sa kagandahan.”

-Ilang Sulyap sa Lumipas at Tanaw sa Darating

Unang napansin si Ka Amado sa panahong mataas ang pagtingin sa mga purista. Bagaman bahagi ng dominanteng kultura, ninais niyang tumaliwas sa mga kumbensiyong pampanitikan. Ibinaon sa lupa ng kaniyang mga tula ang kaisipang “ang makata ang dapat makibagay sa wika.” Itinitik sa plakeng ipinagkaloob sa kaniyang bilang Pambansang Artista na, “hinubdan niya ang wikang Tagalog ng pagiging magarbo nito at siya ay sumulat sa isang paraang higit na kolokyal kaysa sa istilong kalakaran.” Para kay Bautista, “Pinagtagumpayan ng mga akda ni Hernandez ang limitasyon ng panulaan ng kaniyang panahon. Hindi lamang siya naging manunula ng mga Tagalog kung hindi maging ng buong bansa.”[10] Walang halong pagkukunwari ang kaniyang mga gawa. Ang kaniyang buhay ay kaniyang tinula, sinalaysay at dinula.

Sa pamamagitan ng kaniyang pagsisikap, giniba niya ang mga nakasanayang sistema ng pagbuo ng tula. Isinilang niya ang mga kaisipang humubog at patuloy na humuhubog sa wikang Filipino. Bago pa man bansagan si Abadilla bilang ama ng “modernong panulaan”, puno na rin ng modernong kaisipan si Hernandez. Patotoo ang kaniyang tulang “Aklasan[11] at “Isang Daigdig.[12] Kasaba’y niyang lumusong sa mundo ng panulaan at pamamahayag ang mga idolo ng kaniyang panahon tulad nina Clodualdo del Mundo, Deogracias del Rosario at Jose Corazon de Jesus.

Sa mga unang kabanata ng kaniyang buhay, ibinuhos niya ang kaniyang sarili sa pagbuo ng mga tulang “naliligiran ng paru-paro’t rosas”. Ngunit kaniya ring ipinakita kung paano siya nananabang sa tema ng pag-ibig kasabay ng pagbabago ng kaniyang panahon. Katulad ng mga katha nina Lope K. Santos (Banaag at Sikat) at Faustino Aguilar (Pinaglahuan), nilaman ng kaniyang akda ang troika ng pag-ibig, katarungang panlipunan at kapitalismo noong panahon ng mga Amerikano. Itinatampok ng kaniyang mga kuwento ang tindi ng emosyon ng pagmamahal at ang negatibong imahe ng mga kababaihang kabilang sa mga kuwento.[13] Bilang pagkadismaya, Ipininta niya ang ilang kababaihang Pilipina ng dekada 30 at 40 na may mataas ang pagpapahalaga sa kayamanan at karangalan sa sosyedad. Ang kanilang kabiguan sa pag-ibig ay bunga ng kanilang paghahangad sa luhong materyal o kaya naman ay simpleng kamangmangan. Buhay na buhay ito sa mga katauhan nina Ligaya (Magpinsan), Naty (Kasal sa Pastor ) at Belen (Sa Oras ng Panganib).

Malayang nailahad ni Hernandez ang normal na kaugalian ng mga magulang na ipagkasundo ang kanilang mga anak sa mga propesyunal na manliligaw nito at bigyan nang higit na pagpapahalaga ang mga may salapi kaysa mga walang maipagmamalaki. Matagumpay na naihatid sa mambabasa ang obserbasyong ito sa pamamagitan ng mga tauhang tulad ni Aling Tecla at ng anak niyang si Nati.[14] Pinalutang ang abang kalagayan ng mga hikahos na manliligaw na lubos na nagsisikap upang mapagwagian ang karera ng pag-ibig. Laging “underdog” ang pangunahing tauhang lalaki habang pilit na sinisilo ng mga masalapi niyang katunggali ang kahinaan ng dalagang kaniyang iniibig. Ganito ang kapalarang sinapit nina Pastor[15] at Nestor:[16]

Nagpalit ng kasuotan ang panulat ng makata nang tumambad sa kaniyang harapan ang lagim at bangungot ng Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig. Ang nakakamanhid na romantisismo ay unti-unting naglaho nang mahantad siya sa krisis ng lipunan. Nasaksihan niya ang hubad, ulila at matamlay na Maynila sa pananakop ng hukbong Hapones. Tinuligsa niya ang mapagsamantalang sistema ng kapitalismo sa pagkauso ng black market na siyang tagpuan ng mga Pilipinong naghahanap ng pantawid-gutom. Naging sikat ang asusena, kalderetang kambing at kinubang aso na siyang pangunahing putahe ng mga nagdarahop. Ang isda, bigas at karne ay inilalalaan lamang sa mga Hapones at sadyang napakamahal ng halaga. Makikita sa lansangan ng Maynila ang tatlong uri ng tao: ang mga sinalanta, ang mga pulubi at mga tulisan. Ang mga tulisang ito ay ang mga mapagsamantala at nanghuhuthot sa halaga ng pagkain, kagamitan at bahay paupahan. Kabilang sila sa mga hunyango ng lipunan. Sa pagkakataing ito hinambalos ni Ka Amado ang karangyaan ng tinagurian niyang mga kolaborador, hunyango, dahong-palay at bantay-salakay. Kasabay nito ay ang panawagan sa lahat ng kaniyang mga kababayan na panindigan ang pagka-Pilipino:

“…ang mga pusakal na kolaborador ay makikitang naka-awtomobil, at ang mga biglang-yaman sa mahiwagang paraan ay tila hindi madapuang-langaw sa kanilang makisig na dokar na hila ng kabayong madudulas…”[17]

“Habang nag-aantay, ang bayang Pilipino’y hindi dapat humalik sa tanikala. Huwag siyang tumulong sa kaaway. Dapat siyang magpatuloy sa pakikibaka sa pamaaraang gerilya..”[18]

Ang gapang-pagong na pagsulong ng lipunang Pilipino mula sa panahon ng Commonwealth ay maituturing na isang sumpa. Nagpatuloy ang kahirapan tatlumpung taon matapos ipahayag ni Quezon noong 1937 ang kabiguan ng demokrasya upang paunlarin ang kabuhayan ng bansa. Lalo pang pinatindi ng pagtatapos ng Ikalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig ang mga pasanin ng bayan. Umigting ang suliranin sa pangangamkam sa lupain sa kanayunan. Lumawak ang kilusang HUK sa mga lalawigan dahil na rin sa kawalan ng tiwala ng mga magsasaka sa mga umuugit sa pamahalaan. Ilang ulit na tinangka ng administrasyong Osmena, Roxas at Quirino na pasukuuin ang mga Komunista sa kabundukan ngunit lahat sila ay nabigo. Ang administrasyong Roxas at Quirino ay naging “puppet government” ng mga Amerikano.[19] Mula sa pagpasa sa Bell Trade Act hanggang sa kaladkarin ng Amerika ang mga sundalong Pilipino patungong giyera sa Vietnam at Korea ay hindi nakatikim ng industriyalisasyon ang bansa. Pawang mga napakong pangako ang pasalubong ng mga lider ng Ikatlong Republika ng Pilipinas. Ang austerity measures ni Marcos ay lalo lamang nagpayaman sa kaniyang mga cronies.[20] Isang malaking katanungan kung kanino magkagayon ang pagsisikap ng gobyerno. Sa mga maliliit na mga Pilipino o sa mga buwayang Kongresista at opisyal ng pamahalaan?

Kung nabubuhay ngayon si Ka Amado ay ipagpapatuloy niya ang kaniyang misyon. Nagpapatuloy sa pagpapasasa sa kayamanan ng bayan ang mga buwaya sa pamahalaan. Hindi minsang nadawit sa iskandalo ang Bureau of Internal Revenue at Bureau of Customs ukol sa talamak na katiwalian at pagnanakaw. Paanong ang isang pangkaraniwang Direktor na sumasahod ng P25,000 kada buwan ay makabibili ng lupa sa Ayala at isang condominium unit? Nang lisanin ng mga Marcos ang Malacanang noong 1986, sila lamang ang napalayas at hindi ang kanilang mga alagad na ngayo’y muling bumubuo ng kanilang maluwalhating lugar sa burukrasya.

ALAGAD NG PILIPINISMO AT NASYONALISMO


“Kaya panahon nang magpanibagong-diwa at buhay ang bayang Pilipino.
Iwaksi ang panganganino sa iba at magtiwala sa
sarili…Itanghal nga natin ang nasyonalismong Pilipino.
Itambal ang diwang malay, ang sipag sa paggawa at taimtim na pagmamahal sa
mga likas na pag-unlad na pamana ng ating mga ninuno.”
-Pilipinismo: Susi ng Bayang Tagumpay

Ang Nasyonalismo bilang isang ideolohiyang mapagpalaya at reaksiyon sa mapagwasak na kolonyalismo ang isa mga pundasyon ng kaisipan ni Hernandez. Matitingala ang kaniyang mga sulating humahamon sa panganganino ng ilan sa mga dayuhang mananakop. Nakatulong nang malaki ang pagkahalal niya bilang bise-presidente ng "Aklatang Bayan," isa sa mga unang samahan ng mga manunulat na Pilipino, upang mapagyaman ang panitikang Pilipino na nakakabit sa kritisismong panlipunan. Naging bahagi siya ng pahayagang Watawat, nakilala bilang premyadong editor ng Pagkakaisa at pangkalahatang editor ng diyaryong Mabuhay.

Matapos himasin ang rehas na bakal sa loob ng anim na taon, tinanggap ni Ka Amado ang gawain bilang kritiko sa pahayagang Taliba. Nagbalik siya sa pagsusulat at pagtuturo ng nasyonalismo. Optimistiko ang kaniyang pananaw sa pagpapalaganap nito:

“Ating tandaan, na sa sandaling ang Pilipinismo’y maging kalangkap ng ating buhay na pang-araw-araw…mawawala na ang mga sawimpalad na kababayang namumulot sa mga basurahan upang makatawid sa gutom.”[21]

Kaakibat ng mga pananalitang ito ang paniniwalang kailangang isulong ang Pilipinismo. Pinatunayan ng mga akda ni Rizal, Bonifacio, Romulo, Recto at iba pa na hindi “inferior” ang lahing kayumanggi sa mga Kanluranin. May sarili tayong ideyolohiyang kayang yakapin ng mga Amerilkano, Europeo at Aprikano. Subalit ang mga iyon ay sinisiil sa pagtuturo ng mga ideyolohiya nina Locke, Rosseau at Hobbes na namuhay sa lipunang hindi umaayon sa ating kasaysayan at pamumuhay. Ang panitikan natin ay namumutiktik ng mga prosa ni Shakespeare at Edgar Allan Poe. Bunga nito, mas kilala ng mga musmos ang alphabet songs ng Sesame Street kaysa bigkasin ang mga itinuturo ng programang Batibot at Sine Eskwela.

Isa si Claro M. Recto sa mga naglaan ng kaniyang buhay para sa diwa ng nasyonalismo.[22] Para kay Recto, ang panlilimos sa mga dayuhan ay isang uri ng pagkunsinti sa kolonyalismo. Hindi maaring dayain ang isang sambayanan sa habang panahon. Hindi maaring palampasin ang pambubusabos ni Uncle Sam sa lipunang Pilipino. Sa krusadang ito, isang paanyaya ang ipinaaabot ni Ka Amado sa lahat:

“Kung tutuusi’y hindi natin kailangan ng isang Superman o isang Mesiyas. Ang kailangan ng Pilipinas ay ang bayan na rin--mga estudyante, manggagawa, magbubukid, mga tapat na intelektwal at mulat na karaniwang tao—na siyang magtitindig ng bagong bansa sa sinapupunan ng pagkakaisa…”[23]

Sa isa niyang sanaysay ay kaniyang nakanti ang sakit ng mapasailalim sa ibang bansa pagdating sa ekonomiya at negosyo.[24] Minsang sinambit ni Quezon na mas maaatim niyang magkaroon ng mala-impiyernong pamahalaan sa ilalim ng mga Pilipino kaysa maranasan ang makalangit na gobyerno sa ilalim ng mga Amerikano. Ang pambubusabos ng Amerika at Hapon ay hindi nagawakas noong 1946. Sa larangan ng kabuhayan wari’y “nakaipit sa dalawang bato ang bansa, sa Hapon sa mga negosyong galing sa labas at sa Intsik, sa mga bagay na yari sa Pilipinas. Ganundin, ang Imperyalismong Yankee ay nagpapatuloy dahil na rin sa mga “brown Americans” na taga-suporta nito sa bansa. Sa madaling salita, “nabago man ang kolyar ay naroon pa rin ang dating kadena”.[25]

Sa kasalukuyan, hindi lamang Amerika ang kumukordon sa interes ng bansa. Nakatali rin ang Pilipinas sa mga galamay ng “international financial institutions” tulad ng World Bank at International Monetary Fund. Kaya nilang baguhin ang sistema ng internal na pamamahala bunga ng kanilang mga pautang na salapi para sa mga proyekto ng gobyerno. Hindi dapat balewalain ang sistemang ito sapagkat ang porsyento ng pagbabayad ng utang panlabas ng bansa ay mas higit sa salaping nakalaan para paunlarin ang lokal na industriya. Nakalulungkot tanggapin na ang Pilipinas ay hawak sa leeg maging ng mga “transnational corporations” na nagsasamantala sa lakas-paggawa ng mga Pilipino. Inisip pa ng ilan na tayo ay nasa dulo ng pagkalugi nang pumasok ang Tsina sa World Trade Organization. Ngunit ano’ng pagkalugi ang hihigit pa sa pagiging robot ng maraming Pilipino?

Ang Masalimuot na Lipunang Pilipino

Hindi ikinatuwa ni Hernandez ang mga saliwang karakterisasyong ikinakapit sa mga lider manggawa, unyonista at estudyanteng aktibista. Laganap ang kabalintunaaan ng pagtingin sa kung sino ang ‘mabuti’ at ‘masamang’ Pilipino.[26] Aniya, ang itinuturing na mabubuti ay yaong nakahiga sa kayamanan at nakasandal sa kapangyarihan samantalang ang mga “bakya crowd”, mapanligalig, subersibo, peligroso at natatakang ‘komunista’, ay ang itinuturing na siyang “masasamang” Pilipino. Nagpapatuloy pa rin ang kalakarang ito sa kontemporaryong lipunan. Ang mga elitista ang siyang nagdidikta kung ano ang tama at wasto. Ang mga ‘masa’ ay itinuturing na walang pinag-aralan at ang kanilang mga saloobin ay hindi binibigyan ng pansin dahil sa sila’y “walang nalalaman” o kaya ay “kulang sa edukasyon”. Sa mas malalim na pagsusuri, ang polarisasyon ng bayan ay nagdudulot ng dalawang klasipikasyon sa lipunan: ang mga tulisan at ang mga pulubi.[27] Ano ang pagkakaiba ng EDSA I/EDSA 2 sa EDSA 3? Hindi ba mga lehitimong karaingan ang ipinaabot ng mga masa sa EDSA 3? Kailangan nating pansinin ang komposisyon ng mga pag-aaklas. Isang political analyst ang minsang nagpahayag na ang mga naunang EDSA Revolutions ay pinangunahan ng mga makapangyarihan mga Pilipino sa Kamaynilaan. Paano natin ngayon iuugnay ang mga kahilingan ng mga kababayan nating nasa ibang panig ng arkipelago sa mga pangyayaring ito? Paano ang mga grassroots communities na minsan lamang makadaupang-palad ang kanilang mga pinuno at kung madalaw man ay tuwing may eleksiyon. Paano pinakikinggan ng pamahalaan ang kanilang mga mithiin?

Ang eleksiyon sa Pilipinas ay maihahalintulad naman sa isang Magugol na Sirko-Bodabil”.[28] Para kay Hernandez, tinatakpan ng salapi at kapangyarihan ang tunay na diwa ng halalan. Sa isang halalang ang nagdidikta ng resulta ay ang maysalapi, hindi kailanman maaaninag ang kapangyarihan ng demokrasya. Salapi, bala ng baril, karahasan at lagim ang kalimitang naghahari, hindi ang balota at makabayang damdamin. Kakabit ng usaping ito ang maling paggasta ng pamahalaan. “Libro, hindi bala!”, ang kalimitang isinisigaw ng mga estudyante sa tuwing ang bansa ay nahaharap sa sangandaan kung lalahok sa anumang lokal o internasyunal na digmaan. Hinati ni Presidente Arroyo ang buong bansa nang magdesisyon itong suportahan ang Amerika sa misyon nitong pabagsakin ang rehimeng ni Saddam Hussein at lansagin ang Al-Qaeda terrorist network. Higit sa usaping pananalapi, ang pagtulong ng Pilipinas sa Washington ay muling nagpapakilala na hindi pa rin nalalagot ang Big Brother-Little Brother na relasyon ng dalawang bansa. Laging nakatuntong sa national interest at kagalingang pambayan ang mga desisyon ng Malacanang na sumuong sa digmaan.

Dating nawili ang panitikang Pilipino sa romantisismo at eskapismo. Ngunit walang saysay ang mga iyon kung hindi mauuwi sa “realismo” o paglalahad ng katotohanan. Magaganap lamang ito kung makikita sa mga mangangatha at artista ang tatlong mahahalagang katangian: kamulatang panlipunan, diwa ng pakikibaka at kaunlaran at pagkakaisa upang maging isang malakas na katipunan na maaring manindigan. Tinuran ni Ka Amado na magiging isang malubhang kahinaan ng lipunan ang kawalan ng pamumuna o kritisismo. Kaniyang nilinaw na ang pamumunang ito ay hindi pagpupuri o pagpintas kung hindi isang masusi at intelehenteng pagsusuri sa mga isyung panlipunan. Itinuring niyang isang mahusay na behikulo ang panitikang Pilipino sa layuning ito:

“Ang panitikan ay hindi kamanyang lamang sa kagandahan o likha ng mga artista’t mangangatha pang ialay sa kapakanan ng burgesya. Ang panitikan ay dapat na bumukal, lumusog at yumamam, na ang kalusugaaging salamin bumukal, lumusog at yumaman, na ang kalusuga’t kayamanan ay dapat maukol sa bayan. Maging salamin ng kaniyang mga pagtitiis, ng kaniyang mga pangarap, ng kaniyang mga hangarin, ng kaniyang mga pakikitunggali, ng kaniyang mga karanasan, ng kaniyang kabayanihan, ng kaniyang kadakilaan.”[29]

Pagbabagong-dangal ng Wikang Filipino

“Nauna ang bulaklak kaysa binhi.”[30] Malinaw na ipinapakita ng kasaysayan na ang pagtataguyod ng wikang Pilipino bilang Pambansang Wika ay sadyang nahuli sa kaakibat na resulta nito. Bago pa man ideklara ni Quezon ang pangangailangan sa isang pambansang wika ay ipinanganak na sa puso nina Balagtas, Rizal, Bonifacio at del Pilar ang matass na antas ng pagmamahal sa ating wika. Dangan lamang sa impluwensiya ng dilang Amerikano at ibang banyaga kung kaya’t natabunan ang anumang pagsisikap na linangin ang wikang Filipino. Inawit ni Ka Amado ang kadakilaan ng lahing Filipino sa kaniyang koleksiyon ng makabayang mga tula (Kayumanggi). Kaniyang binigyang-pugay sina Balagtas[31], Andres Bonifacio[32], Marcelo del Pilar[33] at Manuel L. Quezon[34] na kinikilala niyang mga Ama ng Wikang Filipino.

Sa mga parangal na sanaysay para kay Huseng Batute at sa kaniyang kabiyak na si Atang Dela Rama[35], isang panawagan ang kaniyang ipinahatid upang bigyang-dangal ang mga makata at artista ng bayan na siyang tinig ng bayan.[36]

Sa larangan ng edukasyon, kapansin-pansin na hindi nagpamalas ng interes ang mga naging presidente ng bansa mula sa Katagalugan, maliban kina Marcos at Magsaysay, upang paunlarin ang paggamit ng wikang Pilipino.[37] Ang pananakop ng Amerikano ang naging ugat upang magumon ang maraming estudyante sa mga katuruan at kaisipan nina Shakespeare, John Bunyan at Edgar Allan Poe. Dahil rito, hindi lamang nilang hirap intindihin ang mga asignatura kung hindi mas lubos pang nahiwalay ang kanilang kaugalian at kaalaman sa taal na pagpapahalaga ng kanilang bayan. Ang katotohanan, ang paggamit ng wikang bernakular ang susi sa madaling pagkatuto ng maraming estudyante sa mga lalawigan. Para kay Hernandez, “walang malayang bansa sa mundo na gumamit ng dayuhang wika na saligan ng pagtuturo sa kaniyang mga paaralan.”[38] Kinakailangan ang paggamit ng isang wikang bubuo sa identidad ng buong arkipelago. Magagawa lamang ito kung ang bayan ang magkukusa na paunlarin ang kaniyang wika.

Binuksan ni Pangulong Arroyo ang isang “Pandora’s Box” nang kaniyang ideklara ang pagbabalik sa wikang Ingles bilang pangunahing medium of instruction sa mga paaralan. Bumalikwas ang mga nasyonalista at maging ang mga kawani ng DepEd. Ipinahayag ni Teresita Inciong, Direktor ng Bureau of Elementary Education, na ang wikang Filipino ay mas epektibong wikang gamitin lalo na sa una at pangalawang antas.[39] Ganito rin ang pahayag ng Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACTs) na naniniwalang ang wikang Filipino ang nagbubuklod sa diwa ng bayan. Naghain si Senador Aquilino Pimentel ng isang “flexible implementation” ukol ng proklamasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagpapanatili ng Filipino bilang wikang panturo mula sa una hanggang pangatlong antas ng elementarya lalo na sa asignaturang Mathematics, English at Kasaysayan.

Maging ang pop culture ay hindi dapat ipagsawalang-bahala ng mga akademiko. Ang literatura ng komiks ay isang epektibong pansupil sa kalungkutan ng maraming Pilipino.[40] Sa kabilang banda, marami ang nagsasabing walang naidudulot na mabuti ang pagbabasa nito dahil sa lalo nitong ibinubuyo ang maraming kabataan sa masasamang asal at gawi. Pinabulaanan nito ni Hernandez at Mars Ravelo sa kanilang pagtataguyod ng Pilipino Komiks na siyang tagapagbigay ng kasiyahang pumapawi sa hinagpis ng kanilang panahon. Para sa kanila, “ang tuwa na dulot ng komiks ay bulaklak ng hapis at ang tawa ay nanggagaling sa luha.”[41]

May kakayahang gumawa ng isang libro ng balarila si Hernandez. Ipinakilala niya sa mambabasa ang kahusayan niyang yumari ng mga termino at bigyan ng bagong-bihis ang mga salitang banyaga---ang mga singkit na mananakop na pon-jap nagpahirap sa atin; isang karangalan ang ikaw ay makabungung-balikat; lahat ay magkakaisa sa guhit-tagpuan; masarap ang tulyang isinuwam sa luya; isang sirko-bodabil ang eleksiyong Pilipino kung kaya’t kailangan itong i-boykoteo; isang penomenal na kaganapan ang pag-unlad ng Filipino; at marami pang iba.

TAGAPAGTAGUYOD NG DEMOKRASYA AT KATARUNGANG PANLIPUNAN

Repleksiyon ang kaniyang mga nobela at maikling kuwento sa marubdob na pagnanasa ni Hernandez na makamtan ang katarungang panlipunan. Isang malawak na testimonya ang kaniyang mga nobelang Mga Ibong Mandaragit at Luha ng Buwaya sa kaniyang pangarap na makatarungang reporma sa lupa. Hindi niya binitawan ang temang ito hanggang sa kaniyang pinakahuling maikling kuwento na tumalakay sa kung paanong ang isang pamilyang walang pinanghahawakang papel Torrens ng lupa ay sikilin ng mga naghaharing uri sa lipunan.[42]

Tagapagtanggol ng mga Obrero

Isang bentahe ni Ka Amado sa kaniyang mga kontemporero ay ang kaniyang karanasan bilang lider-manggagawa. Nagawa niyang pagsamahin ang teorya, praktika at retorika sa pagbalanse ng kaniyang pananaw. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit binansagan ang kaniyang panitikan bilang pinaghalong “bala at rosas”. Nang sakupin ng hukbong Hapones ang Maynila sa mga unang taon ng dekada ’40, sumanib si Ka Amado sa hukbong gerilya. Matapos ang digmaan ay inilaan niya ang kaniyang panahon upang ipagtanggol ang mga manggagawa. Nang ipagkaloob kaniya ni Presidente Osmena ang posisyon bilang konsehal ng lungsod ng Maynila, ibinaling niya ang kaniyang panulat sa pakikipaglaban para sa mga naaapi at naghihirap niyang mga kababayan. Ang kaniyang impluwensiya bilang pinuno ng Congress of Labor Organizations (CLO) ang nagbigay-daan sa pinakamalaking kilos protesta ng mga manggawa sa Maynila noong Mayo 1, 1948.

Isang hungkag na pangako ang binitiwan ni Presidente Roxas sa mga mangagawa nang kaniyang ikampanya na ang Bell Trade Act ang “messiah” ng lahat ng Pilipino. Kapansin-pansin na lalong tumaas ang desempleo at sinesanteng mga obrero. Ang tanging isinagot ng presidente sa mga karaingan ng mga manggagawa: “Ano ang aking gagawin? Ako ba ay isang magician?”[43] Ang pananalitang iyon ang naging mitsa ng pagbulusok ng administrasyong Roxas na pinadali pa ng hindi inaasahang kamatayan ng pangulo. Walang nabago sa panahon ng panunungkulan ni Quirino. Pinatunayan ito ng Bell Mission na ipinadala ng Washington na nagsabing mas higit na bumaba ang kalagayang ekonomiko ng bansa kaysa noong nakaraang panahon. Kabi-kabila ang mga mga isinagawang piket at demonstrasyon ng mga manggagawa.

Nalalaman ni Hernandez na ang yaman ng sambayanan ay nakasandig sa lakas-paggawa. Samakatwid, ito ang dapat na maging basehan sa paghahati ng kayamanan sa lipunan. Ang katarungang panlipunan ay tumutukoy sa wastong pasahod at mabubuting pakikitungo ng mga kapitalista sa mga manggagawa sa pagkakaloob ng lupa sa maliliit na magsasaka. Ito ang takbo ng isipan nina Andres at Bandong (Luha ng Buwaya), Mando, Magat at Dr. Sabio (Mga Ibong Mandaragit) . Ang pagpapahalagang sosyalista-utopyan ng mga tauhang ito ay isang reaksiyon sa malawak na impluwensiya ng Wall Street at ng matataas na opisyal ng CIA sa paghubog sa patakarang pampulitika at pang-ekonomiya ng Pilipinas.

Ang Bayang Malaya ay isang maliwanag na pagtanggap sa isang marahas na pakikipaglaban kung patuloy na nabibigo ang parliyamentaryong pakikipaglaban. Ito ang pinakamapangahas na obra ni Ka Amado na sinangkapan niya ng kaniyang karanasan sa kabundukan. Ang sambayanan ay hindi mahirap pagkaisahin sa isang digmaang bayan kung hinog na ang panahon. Sa kaniyang marubdob na panulat kaniyang idineklara sa kaniyang Inang Bayan:

“May araw ding ang luha mo’y masasaid, matutuyo, may araw ding di na luha sa mata mong namumugto ang dadaloy, kundi apoy, at apoy na kulay dugo…sisigaw kang buong giting na liyab ng libong sulo at ang lumang tanikala’y lalalgutin mo ng punlo!”[44]

Ang diwa ng bilanggong-pulitikal

Sa loob ng anim na taon ay nagpapalipat-lipat si Ka Amado sa limang piitan—sa Camp Murphy, Camp Crame, Muntinlupa, Fort McKinley at Panopio Compound. Dahil sa mainit niyang pakikipagtunggali sa administrasyong Quirino, sinampahan siya ng kasong subersiyon subalit napatunayang walang kasalanan at pinalaya noong Araw ng Manggawa ng 1964. Ang kaniyang karanasan bilang bilanggo ay isinalarawan nina Lantay (Bayang Malaya), Pastor at Mang Tumas (Mga Ibong Mandaragit) at Noel (Panata ng Isang Lider).

Buhay na buhay sa kaniyang dulang “Muntinlupa” ang palahaw ng mga bilanggo ukol sa bulok na sistema ng hustisya. Inilahad nito kung paano ang mga maimpluwensiya ay madaling nakakalasap ng kalayaan samantalang ang mga dukha’y nabubulok sa bilangguan nang walang kasalanan. Ang bilibid ay para sa maliliit lamang ngunit walang nabibilanggo dahil sa graft and corruption at iba pang katiwalian sa pamahalaan. Hindi kayang ipabilanggo ng mga nasa poder ang kanilang mga sarili. Sa isang usapan ni Doro at Daniel sa dulang Muntinlupa, pinalutang ni Hernandez ang nagtatagisang pananaw ukol sa wastong paraan upang baguhin ang lipunan. Pinandigan ni Daniel na ang kasamaa’y hindi malulunasan ng ibang kasamaan. Ang paggamit ng dahas ay hindi solusyon upang baguhin ang kalagayan ng bansa:

Doro: Gusto mo bang sabihin na ang baya’y hindi nagkakamali?

Daniel: Madalas, pagkat dapat nating aminin na sa kabuuan ng isang baya’y marami ang hangal kesa matino. Ngunit naniniwala pa rin akong ang balota’y mabisa kesa punglo.

Namumutiktik ang napakaraming kabalintunaan nang tukuyin ni Hernandez sa tulang “Walong Salarin” ang mabigat na kasalanan ng lipunan sa mga pagdurusa ng mga bilanggo. Ganundin ang paghihirap na idineklara ng tulang “Tinapay” kung saan nagtitiis ang isang biktima sa loob ng rehas na bakal bunga ng pagnanakaw sa isang latang biskwit para sa kaniyang nagutom na anak. Sinabing nang banggitin ni Hernandez ang kaniyang “Huling Dalaw ng Aking Ina” at “Bawal” ay hindi niya napigilang iluha ang sakit ng kaniyang kalooban:

“Gayon pa man, hindi ako sawimpalad, pagka’t mayroong nagmamahal; ang ina kong karamay ko sa lahat ng kasawian; noo’y araw ng pagdalaw, siya’y aking hinintay; tatlong taong di nagkulang ang ina kong tila kawal ng larangan…kabukasan ay sumapit sa ulilang bilangguan ang balitang anong lupit; ang ina ko ay namatay!…nilupig ng kaniyang sakit na galling din sa labis na pagtitiis…sa sawi kong pagkapiit…”

Sa kabila ng lahat ng ito, lalong tumibay ang pag-asa ni Hernandez. Ginamit niya ang “Bartolina” upang kaniyang ibulalas ang kaniyang naisin na magpatuloy sa kaniyang misyon:

“…A! habang sa daigidig may buhay at pag-ibig at may kalayaan pa ang puso’t pananalig, ilang bilangguan ma’y di ako malulupig…Ang ilaw ng aking pag-asa’y haliling manlaho’t magningas at may gabing anong haba ng magdamag, ngunit walang sawang pananatiling buhay ang liwanag…”

Pinanday si Hernandez ng kaniyang karanasan sa loob ng piitan. Ito ang naging daan upang siya ay itanghal bilang isang “world-class human rights advocate.” Nakibahagi siya sa pagtataguyod ng pagbabagong lipunan sa Asya at Aprika sa kaniyang pagdalo sa isang kumperensiya sa Yenan, Tsina noong 1966. Naihananay ang kaniyang pangalan sa mga iginagalang na tagapagtanggol ng karapatang pantao sa buong daigdig tulad nina Lord Bertrand Russel, Jean Paul-Sartre at Chris Farley nang siya ay maging miyembro ng International War Crimes Tribunal. Ipinagtanggol niya ang Pilipinas laban sa mga paratang na bahagi ang bansa sa paglaganap ng digmaan sa Indotsina sa pamamagitan ng pagpapadala ng PHILCAG. Lubos na mauunawaan ang kaniyang malalim na obserbasyon ukol sa paksa sa isang niyang personal na ulat.[45]

Mataas ang pagtingin ni Hernandez sa pagkakaisa ng relihiyon at siyensiya. Sa usapin ng matuling pagdami ng tao ay binalangkas niya ang isang diskurso upang magkaroon ng “guhit-tagpuan” ang simbahan at ang karaniwang mamamayan.[46] Maraming pagkakataon na hinahati ng pananampalataya at karunungang pang-agham ang buong bansa ukol sa maraming usapin. Hindi ito ang naisin ni Hernandez kung hindi ang pag-uugpong ng dalawang daigdig sa lalong ikababangon ng maraming Pilipino.

Ang simbahang Katoliko ay matatag sa kaniyang paniniwala na ang mga mag-asawa ay kailangang umiwas sa mga “artificial contraceptive methods”. Malaki ang papel ng simbahan sa bagay na ito. Sinukat ng sambayanang Katoliko ang mga kandidato ng mga nakaraang mga eleksiyon batay sa kanilang pananaw ukol sa family planning. Nakaugat ang lahat ng ito sa prinsipyo ng Vatican II (1962-1965) na nagsasabing hindi maaaring paghiwalayin ang “sekular” at ang “banal”. Hindi kailanman dapat ipagsawalang-bahala ng simbahan ang kaniyang papel bilang “konsensiya ng lipunan”. Ibig sabihin, may karapatang tuligsain ng Papa ng Roma ang anumang desisyon ng mga pangulu ng maraming bansa kung kaligtasang panlipunan ng mga mananampalataya ang nakataya.

Ang kahuli-hulihang tulang isinulat ni Hernandes ay patotoo sa pagbabago ng kaniyang pananaw ukol sa kabutihan at kasamaan ng teknolohiya. Kung dati’y inilagak niya sa moralistikong batayan ang pag-unlad ng agham, sa pagkakataong ito’y binatikos niya ang saliwang paggamit ng agham bilang instrumento ng dominasyon.[47] Wari’y nakita ni Hernandez na kung nagawa ng Amerika na sakupin ang buwan sa pamamagitan ng kaniyang mga Apollo Missions, magagawa nitong sakupin ang buong daigdig. Isang halimbawa ay ang “imperial Microsoft business” ng bilyonaryong si Bill Gates. Hawak ni Gates ang buhay at kamatayan ng mga computer systems sa buong daigdig dahil 9 sa 10 computers ay pinatatakbo ng kaniyang Windows system. Ang mga kasong anti-trust na isinasampa laban sa Microsoft ay hindi magbabago sa katotohanang mananatili ang impluwensiya ni Gates.

ISAPUSO AT PAGTIBAYIN ANG MGA MITHIIN NI HERNANDEZ

Hindi natatapos sa mga pagkilala ang ideyolohiyang pinaglaban ni Ka Amado. Hindi sapat na malaman ang kaniyang abang pinagmulan bilang estudyante ng stenography sa Gregg Business School. Kulang ang maunawaan na dalawang beses niyang naiuwi ang unang gantimpala ng Commonwealth Literary Contest, apat na beses na karangalan sa pagsali sa Palanca Literary Memorial Awards; at ang rekognisyon sa kaniya bilang “Hari ng Balagtasan”. Mas higit pa rito ang hinihingi ng kaniyang mga akda.

Ang pagiging alagad ng pakikisangkot ay isang mabigat na bokasyon. Niyakap ni Hernandez ang tungkulin na maging budhi ng lipunan. Isinapuso niyang ang makata’t manunulat ay ‘hindi lamang tagamasid sa mga tunggalian sa pusod ng demokrasya’. Higit kailanman, nangangailangan ang ating bayan ng mga manunulat na may paninindigan at hindi napapagod na protektahan ang karapatan ng mga pangkaraniwang mamamayan. Sila ang mga taong maghahain sa dambana ng ng kanser ng lipunan.

Isang tauhan sa nobela ni Lualhati Bautista, ang Dekada ’70, ang nagpahayag na ang isang tao’y kailangang handang mamatay para sa isang simulain - “that a man should have something to die for.” Nabuhay at namatay si Ka Amado sa ganitong kaisipan. Siya ay naging makata ng sambayanang naghihirap, naging alagad ng parliamentaryo sa lansangan at naging tagapagtaguyod ng wikang Filipino.

Isang kampanang patuloy na kakalembang ang kaniyang panawagan sa lahat ---tigilan ang panganganino sa ibang bansa at matutong tumayo sa sariling paa. Kailangang iwaksi ang kaugalian na kung walang dayuhang sasandigan ay hindi matatamo ang kaunlaran. Mahalin ang kababayan nang higit sa sarili. Ibigay ang nararapat sa mga nagdarahop at manggagawa. Tulad ng dinaliri ni Ka Amado, muli’t muli nating isabuhay: “Magsama-sama tayo sa paghahatid ng ‘Pilipinismo’, ‘Demokrasya’ at ‘Hustisya Sosyal’ sa lahat ng pinto at sa bawat puso sa ating bansa!”[48]

TALA HULI


[1] Mga Ibong Mandaragit

[2] Kulang sa Dilig (Maikling Kuwento)

[3] Ang Mga Kagalang-Galang

[4] Bayang Malaya

[5] Ibong Mandaragit

[6] Agaw Dilim (Maikling Kuwento)

[7] Ang Kampilan at ang Anghel (Maikiling Kuwento)

[8]Torres-Yu, Rose (ed.) 1996. Isang Basong Gatas at iba pang kuwento ni Amado V. Hernandez. Pp.37

[9] Edukasyon (Sanaysay)

[10] Bautistra. Cirilio. 2003. Bullets and Roses: The Poetry of Amado V. Hernandez, A Bilingual Edition (Translated into English and with a Critical Introduction). De La Salle University Press, Manila.

[11] Torres-Yu, 1986:297.

[12] Isang Daigdig (Tula), Torres-Yu, 1986:384.

[13] Magpinsan, Liham na Lihim, Kaysaklap, Kasal sa Pastor, Nasawing Bulaklak, at Sa Oras ng Panganib

[14] Ang Kanaryo at ang Pusa (Maikling Kuwento)

[15] Nagsilbi si Pastor (Maikling Kuwento)

[16] Magpinsan (Maikling Kuwento)

[17] Kalansay ng Maynila sa Ilalim ng Hapon Noong Disyembre 1944 (Sanaysay)

[18] Takas (Maikling Kuwento)

[19] Lupaing Mayaman, Bayang Nagugutom-Saan ka Patutungo? (Sanaysay)

[20] Austerity:Ukol Kanino (Sanaysay)

[21] Pilipinismo: Susi ng Bayang Tagumpay (Sanaysay)

[22] Pinarangalan ni Hernandez ang Senador ng isang tulang pinamagatang, “Recto, ang Dakila”, isinulat niya sa Manila Chronicle noong 11 Oktubre 1960.

[23] Dalawang Uri ng Pilipino. (Sanaysay),

[24] Kontrolado nila ng Intsik ang Negosyo (Sanaysay)

[25] Laban sa Status Quo ang Pagbabalikwas ng Estudyante (Sanaysay)

[26] Dalawang Uri ng Pilipino (Sanaysay)

[27] Laban sa Status Quo ang Pagbabalikwas ng mga Estudyante

[28] Halalan: Magugol naSirko-Bodabil ng mga Pilipino (Sanaysay).

[29] Ang Pilipino sa Panitikan (Sanaysay).

[30] Ang Pilipino sa Panitikan (Sanaysay)

[31] Balagtas (Tula)

[32] Bonifacio (Tula)

[33] Plaridel (Tula)

[34] Quezon (Tula)

[35] Si Atang at ang Dulaan (Sanaysay)

[36] Si Jose Corazon Hesus at ang ating Panulaan (Sanaysay)

[37] Itinuring ni Hernandez na bukas ang pinto ng Pilipino bilang pambansang wika, Sinabi niya sa kaniyang akda, “Ang Pilipino sa Panitikan”: na bukas itong mapapaunlad sa pamamagitan ng pagsasama ng mga kapatid na diyalekto sa bansa, gayon din naman sa mga wikang banyaga na makapagaambag sa kalawakan at kayamanan nito.

[38] Gamitin sa Paaralan ang Pilipino (Sanaysay).

[39] Teachers: What For English?, Manila Standard, Feb. 2, 2003 

[40] Pro-Komiks at Anti-Komiks (Sanaysay)

[41] Pro-Komiks at Anti-Komiks (Sanaysay)

[42] Langaw sa Isang Basong Gatas (Maikling Kuwento)

[43] Lu[paing Mayaman, Bayang Nagugutom—Saan Ka Patutungo? (Sanaysay)

[44] Kung Tuyo na ang Luha Mo, Aking Bayan (Tula)

[45] Isang Pilipino sa International War Crimes Tribunal (Sanaysay).

[46] Matuling Pagdami ng Tao sa Mundo, Sandatang Nukleyar at Birth Control (Sanaysay)

[47] Tulang Isinulat sa Tayog na 35,000 Talampakan (Tula)

[48] Kalatas sa mga Kapuwa Pilipino (Sanaysay)

MGA PANGUNAHING SANGGUNIAN

Bautistra. Cirilio. 2003. Bullets and Roses: The Poetry of Amado V. Hernandez, A Bilingual Edition (Translated into English and with a Critical Introduction). De La Salle University Press, Manila.

Torres-Yu, R.1986.Amado V. Hernandez: Tudla at Tudling.UP Press: Quezon City.

_________.1996. Langaw sa Isang Basong Gatas at iba pang Kuwento ni Amado V. Hernandez.UP Press:Quezon City.

_________.1997.Magkabilang Mukha ng Isang Bagol at iba pang akda ni Amado V. Hernandez.UP Press:Quezon City.

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