Early this year the matter of converting Subic-Clark into a Disneyland-style theme park came out. I’m not sure which came out first – this or the row with China over the Spratlys. But regardless, it seems that with the new drive to sell the country for its touristy spots the nation is being made to give up or forget an equally-vital aspect of its well-being – security. The Subic-Clark was once an American military base. Same with Camp John Hay in Baguio City. But, after their departure, these “reservations” were and still are being converted into the opposite of the serious business of national defense. These places are in the promotion language of the current tourism theme why tourists would want to be in the country, because of the fun these now offer. I’m not against tourism (or development of economic zones) for the country but my point is, in the process of promoting fun (and planning for economic zones) as a strategy to bring in business for the country to what extent is national defense and security being sacrificed, as we’re seeing in the irrational conversion of military reservations? We have ports and things but no national naval strength to secure these vital economic gates. History 101 tells us that great nations came to be because of their naval (and military) strength. These nations didn’t become great on the fruits of industrialization alone but also by firming up their defense and security. Securing the country’s assets – human and natural resources, etc. – is a basic tenet in running a country and building the nation.
Now that this country is actually being challenged over its territorial claim, it’s embarrassing to watch its elect in view of the country’s lack of basic defense running across the globe to big brother whom it (let’s ponder on this) evicted on the grounds that this country can already defend itself. Well, can it?
Having fun on supposedly military reservations (the US didn’t choose these strategic locations for nothing) and doing nothing for national security believing we’re in forever fairy land is naive and foolish. This country needs to secure itself and its people, first thing. And then we can have all the fun we want. Genuine fun.