Philippines: Ideology Bordering on Insanity


September 20, 2007: The NPA violence has scored some significant victories. Attacks on electrical power systems has cut electricity to millions of people for hours, or days, over the last few years. Thousands of people have lost, or never gotten, jobs in mining because of the terror campaign against foreign mining companies. The NPA seeks to keep the companies out to prevent the workers from being exploited. These tactics have made the NPA unpopular among the people the communist rebels seek to serve, much to the consternation of some NPA members. There have been arguments within the NPA over tactics, especially the use of extortion and kidnapping to raise money. While communist ideology encourages the use of criminal scams to finance the revolution, many NPA dislike how most civilians don't recognize this distinction, and call the rebels criminals and thieves. NPA morale has not been well as a result.

In the south, the start of the month long Moslem Ramadan religious period has brought calm, as troops cut back their search for Abu Sayyaf terrorists. Many of the terrorist supporters, and terrorists themselves, have gone home to be with their families for Ramadan.

Other violence, however, continued. One of the many clan feuds in the south broke out into a gun battle, leaving nine dead and seven wounded. Since the police began keeping track of these clan wars 80 years ago, over 1,200 have been noted, and at least 5,000 deaths attributed to clan violence. The tradition of armed and combative clans in the Moslem areas made it easier to form separatist organizations, which then result in years of fighting with the government, until the organizations are crushed. But after a generation or two, clan gunmen try and again, and so it has been for centuries.

September 18, 2007: A bomb went off in a bus in the south, but there were no injuries. This was the third bus bombing in three months. The bombers belong to an al Qaeda affiliated gang that specializes in extorting money from bus companies, in return for not bombing or shooting at the buses. These gangs are more criminal than Islamic terrorist, and use the al Qaeda connection mainly for PR purposes.




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