The Volatilian™ View

From Manchester to Marawi

From Manchester to Marawi ISIS attacks
From Manchester to Marawi ISIS attacks

We’re living in violent times. Times of unbridled terror. Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, has placed the large southern island of Mindanao under martial law following the storming of a city there by Islamist forces on Tuesday. British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has put troops on Britain’s streets after a jihadi ripped away the lives of 22 people with a powerful nail bomb at a concert in Manchester on Monday night.

Marawi in Lanao del Sur province is now a warzone as tens of thousands of residents flee for their lives while the Armed Forces of the Philippines call in air-strikes and battle to regain control of the city from Islamic State-linked fighters of the Maute Group. Manchester in the northwest of England is now a city in mourning as it attempts to come to terms with the butchery unleashed by a man who’ll be known to those who adulate his handiwork as a “holy martyr”.

It’s time to get past the shock and horror and understand exactly what’s confronting the world. This is militant Islam; it’s focused and it’s dedicated. It doesn’t play by what the rest of humanity would regard as conventional rules; it doesn’t embrace humanity. It’s engaged in a “holy war”. It’s fighting and gladly dying for Allah to purge the world of evil; to cleanse the Earth. That cause is what makes it powerful. It has God on its side. That is the profound belief of those who rally to that cause.

So while the civil liberties groups and their ilk come up with touching and convenient theories about how poverty is the cause of this upheaval of evil, while progressive academics claim maginalisation and lack of “inclusiveness” are the seeds from which this abomination bloomed, the truth is very different. The enemy is an ideology that transcends all socio-economic boundaries.

It takes no account of wealth and social standing; it pays no heed to race or skin colour or language or country of birth or whether born into the Islamic faith. Many of those who ploughed the planes into the World Trade Center in New York on 9/11 2001 killing 2,996 people were from economically advantaged homes; the architect of that atrocity was the son of a billionaire industrialist. The mastermind behind the April 2002 truck-bomb attack at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia, which left 19 people dead was a German-Polish convert to Islam. The only common thread in all of this is an ideology which, according to those who believe in it, has been urged and blessed by God.

This is a virulent rogue strain of the Muslim faith. And it’s just about everywhere now. It’s on every continent except Antarctica. Across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa it’s deeply rooted. Elsewhere it’s taken root and spreading like kudzu or chickweed. And maritime Southeast Asia – from Mindanao in the southern Philippines, a region that’s grappled with a Muslim insurgency for more than 400 years, to the four southernmost provinces of Thailand where Muslim separatists have pursued their cause for 70 years – is now among the most receptive places on Earth for it to flourish. The soil and the climate are ripe.

The brand leader of this strain is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). For the new breed of jihadists and would-be jihadists this is the gold standard. Anything less than the ISIS creed is seen by them as impure. Fellow Muslims who don’t subscribe to it are regarded as no better than Christians and Jews – descendants of apes and pigs. And those who won’t convert are killed or subjugated; the women sold in slave auctions; the men to suffer undignified and brutal death.

This was never part of any mindset held by the Moro (Muslim) people who fought against the Spanish and later the Americans and then successive governments in Manila to establish an independent or at least an autonomous homeland in the Philippines’ south. But that’s changing as the new cult of Islamist groups write their own manifestos in the blood of the innocent; as a new radical creed with its mantra of ‘death to infidels’ increasingly takes hold.

The concert in Manchester, attended largely by girls aged eight to 18, might seem a strange target to the rest of us; but to those who scoped it out, planned the bombing and executed it, the Manchester Arena was a prime and perfect target. For them, the young female lives they snatched away in a horrific hail of nails and lumps of hot metal needed to be ended. To them, Western and Westernised girls of all ages are defiled; prostitutes. Worse; they’re regarded as sub-human, which is why those who annihilate them have no conscience. To the Manchester killer it meant little more than treading on a beetle.

This concert, then, wasn’t some moment of opportunity; it was carefully chosen; well planned. On stage was American pop star, Ariana Grande; for ISIS the embodiment of blasphemy – young, evocative, sexy – a ‘pied piper’ who threatens the morals of Muslim girls; a seductress capable of enchanting Muslim boys and fracturing the patriarchy; its raison d’être. An evil role model who parades in revealing outfits, champions feminist causes and supports gay marriage – the personification of all that is demonic; all that is abusive and offensive to Allah.

It’s difficult to comprehend all that, but unless we do we remain at a huge disadvantage of understanding this enemy. And so governments need to stop listening to social theory proffered by those who contort the facts to provide arguments that neatly fit their political predilections. ISIS makes no bones about its hate of Western women who openly express their sexuality and question male authority. To them they are a scourge and the enemies of Allah and as such must perish; whoever they are, whatever their faith, whatever their age.

Duterte is right not to minimise this threat posed to his country by the armed rebellion in Lanao del Sur – “I have a serious problem in Mindanao and the ISIS footprints are everywhere,” he said on Wednesday. He promised that there will be no half measures in dealing with the Islamists – whether in Mindanao, or the other island regions of the Visayas and Luzon. If he needs to extend martial law from the edge of the south to the tip of the north, he will. To protect his people he has no choice.

This is not a war for oil or other treasure; this is a fight to preserve a way of life that the vast majority of his people want. Duterte has promised the death cults it will be a “harsh” crackdown: “If I think that you should die, you will die … If you fight us, you will die. If there is open defiance, you will die. And if it means many people dying, so be it”.

Already his critics are claiming he’s overreacting as they call for him to reconsider his decision. “The recent incidents in Marawi do not justify the shotgun declaration of martial law; it is not the appropriate solution to the current conflict situation,” says the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) in a press release on Wednesday.

Of course, they have no clue what the “current conflict situation” is; they’re not privy to military intelligence – nor should they be. Yet, they charge Duterte with using a “sledgehammer” to quell the unrest; of a “knee-jerk reaction”. In fact, the knee-jerk reaction is from the politically progressive Liberal ideologues of the NUPL.

This press release was issued just hours after Duterte’s declaration of martial law which, given the inordinate amount of time it takes lawyers in the Philippines to deliberate on anything, is a clear enough indication that this was a top-of-the-head political statement – and, as such, an unhelpful one. Or could it in fact be that the lawyers are concerned about a loss of business if the writ of habeas corpus is lifted?

Their statement continued: “Placing the entire Mindanao under martial law will open the flood gates for unbridled human rights violations and abuses … It gives blanket power and authority to conduct military crackdowns and operations that would result in the further diminution of the people’s constitutional rights”.

You can find this same rhetoric in every self-serving Liberal enclave on the planet. And it’s actually part of what’s got us to where we are today. And just for the record, the people of Mindanao have been oppressed by Islamic extremism in its present form for decades. The NUPL didn’t help them then and it’s not helping them now.

And, here we go again with that same tired myth: according to this bunch of ‘human-rights defenders’, “the ultimate solution to the peace conflict in Mindanao is to address the basic problems of the Moro people such as poverty and landlessness”.

While those are problems that must be dealt with, they can only be so once the extremism has been eradicated; once the mounting ideology has been removed. Putting the cart before the horse in this situation will only inflame it further. It won’t stop kidnappings, beheadings and bombings; it will perpetuate them. And again, just for the record, ISIS and its affiliated groups in the Philippines don’t have much time for lawyers either, or the rule of law.

The best thing the NUPL can do for the people of Mindanao is to stay right out of this. Make a deal with the armed forces – the NUPL won’t provide military assessments and critiques of its campaign and the army won’t tell the lawyers how to run their courts.

Mindanaoans can’t have any “right to self-determination” while the black flags fly above their villages; nor any more social or cultural rights than the Yazidi girls and young women – made sex slaves of ISIS fighters in northern Iraq in 2014 – while foreign fighters increase their presence in this dark corner of existence. All that and more is to come unless the Islamists are vanquished.

These then are the realities which Duterte and his generals are up against. This is why the decision – an extremely tough one – to impose martial law was taken. Mindanao is in a state of emergency right now; in Britain the threat level has been raised to “critical”; the top of the scale. In both places these decisions reflect each government’s will to protect their people. The enemy is a common one and one that would gladly kill and maim until Kingdom come.

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  • You have a point but that does not solve the problem. Ours is still manageable by addressing poverty and neglect of Mindanao. Duterte has not made a dent in Mindanao except to look at Mindanao as just Davao. The neglect is very apparent compared to his campaign promises.

    • He is just one year into office. A problem that existed for how many decades can not be solved in a year. He is from Mindanao, he knows what is going on down there. We just need to give him time and all the support he needs. At least we have someone as a President who is trying to do something for Mindanao.

    • Be informed that the roads now in Sulu is better because of Digong… hala. Many of the infrastractures are now in place. I am here in mindanao and I can attest to that. You should be informed. Balibasa


    • BUSINESSMAN Ramon S. Ang is investing around $300 million to build a NEW CEMENT MANUFACTURING PLANT in Davao City through his privately-held Eagle Cement Corp., boosting production capacity in anticipation of higher infrastructure spending in the country.
      Bullish on Mindanao’s growth prospects, Ang announced on Wednesday that Eagle Cement would break ground for the cement project in Davao City this OCTOBER 20, 2016.

    • Thats the point. Davao is a peaceful city thats why investors are flocking in. Businessmen can not invest in cities that have insurgencies and terrorist attacks. The Duterte governtment has initiated talks with all the different factions in Mindanao. Peace process is not something that you could settle in just one time sitting at the negotiating table. It is a very long process. I support PRRD for declaring martial to stabilize the situation in mindanao.

    • Alma Fe Garcia Javelosa i presume that you are not updated on the ground. You only rely on the news of the bias media which does not report the real project already been accomplished by this administration which had not been accomplished by the previous presidents in a span of a year as of today. One example is sulu. You better make a research on how was sulu before Duterte and During Duterte administration. There are others not only in sulu. What happened in Marawi, why it happened and how it happened the people knows. Because of social media there is no secret that can’t be uncover in just a matter of seconds. Just what you had posted giving a wrong picture about mindanao you are immediately being disputed. It is all because of social media. Without it you may mislead other people. Again Poverty is not the real reason.

    • Who has disputed the downpour of investments in Davao compared to Sulu and other poor areas? Anyway, here’s an active NGO based in Iligan City which has a better perspective of the situation than what you are trying to project. (Do not rely on your own knowledge, please. Rely on those who really know. Those on the ground and are professional in their approaches to the problem/s.) “The complexity of the Bangsamoro question has been emphasized anew with the eruption of the crisis in the Islamic City of Marawi, Lanao del Sur. The MILF had warned of the “radicalization” of Moro groups due to the Aquino government’s failure to ensure the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

      Militaries and governments in Europe and the United States are facing the specter of terrorism because these armed groups are the Frankensteins they have unleashed in their proxy wars for oil and resources.

      Imposing Martial Law is a simplistic, militaristic, and an ahistorical approach to the persistence of the Bangsamoro problem. This Martial Law engineered by the triumvirate of Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, and AFP chief of staff Eduardo Ano are burning the haystack to find the needle. They purposely blur the lines between the Maute and Abu Sayaf groups from the rest of the Bangsamoro people to justify their continuing fascism in Moroland. They also put to waste the social investments of the legitimate Bangsamoro groups in the peace process.”

    • Alma Fe Garcia Javelosa is showing us statistics. Pseudo – intellect on the loose. There is war, Miss-know-it-all. Stop using the poor as an excuse. There is war on ideology. There is a world wide war against the fanatics, against the terrorists who aims to claim the world. Parang encyclopedia ka, as if..

    • But no ISIS?

      AFP spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Padilla said that this (of the 31 alleged Maute Group members killed in clashes with government troops, 6 had been identified as foreigners) does not equate to ISIS presence in the country. “Again, on the matter of ISIS President Duterte emphasized that there’s ISIS footprint but that does not confirm the clear presence of ISIS itself yet,” he told media in a chance interview.

    • The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy urged the national government to go back to the roots of the armed conflict – by “improving the socio-economic and political conditions of our people, and the delivery of basic services long denied in the Bangsamoro.”
      “More than ever, preventing violent extremism is needed, so we are urging all sectors to immediately address the worsening issue at its roots,” the PCID said.

    • with all due respect mam, and i understand that you are a decent person… thus im sure you’re not gonna lie… i would just like to know if you even voted for du30… are you aware of what he’s been doing in visayas and mindanao?

    • almafegarciajavelosa, wala pa pong isang taon si PRESIDENT DUTERTE!! magbigay ka kaya sa kanya ng suggestion kung paano lulutasin ang problema sa kahirapan sa loob ng sampung buwan!! maybe he will hire you as DSWD Secretary if you can present a “brilliant solution” to the problem, think about it😜

    • Excuse me po Ms. Know it all… If you have a better solution of the situation in mindanao… Why dont you present it to the government… Second, the current government is doing all its best to rebuild the nation… Lastly, the president is from mindanao… He knows the situation in mindanao… Wala pang 1 year si PRRD pero madami nang nagawa… Kaha imbes na komontra at magpahayag ng mga nagatibo.. Pwede bang tumulong nalang…

    • Tyrone R Basubas, Duterte saw the construction of the Mactan Intl. Airport, a project from the past admin. Other ambitious projects are on the drawing board pending sources of funds (from China). There are other over-ambitious projects elsewhere. Those are easily researched. Am not so much interested in Visayas because his promises for Mindanao weigh heavily than other promises.

    • Elvira Mateo Pfleider and Glenn Bert Diaz Coca, didn’t you read the articles posted above. If you are just keyboard warriors who do not read, am not interested in exchanging ideas with you. Thanks.

    • At the grass roots levels are the corrupt Muslim leaders like Nur Misuari, the Ampatuan clans etc., which the foreign imperialists easily manipulate to make it hard for the Philippine government to introduce sound development projects. The best thing you can do is to request the US to pull out their spec forces in Mindanao because their primary objective is giving training and logistical support to terrorists instead of helping minimize terror.

    • Joseph Castro, corrupt governance for the first statement – valid. The second statement, while I’ve heard about it, I can not categorically say right or wrong. Other modes of improving the lives of the people in Mindanao, are as suggested by the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, the NGO Rmp-Nmr, as well digging into NEDA and other studies.

    • yes kahit isang taon o anim na taon di pa ma so solve ang problema sa mindanao…pero kailangan ng aksyon na mabilis bago kumalat at kontrolin ng mga terorista ang lugar….ang gusto ng mga pinoy eh peace…hanggat may mga ganid mahihirapan yan sugpuin…pero ano ba ang ipinaglalaban ng maute o abu sayaf…yung mga kapatid na muslim siguro na hindi nila member maaring may pinaglalaban pero ang abu at maute wala…kase ganid sila sa pera….mayayaman na nga sila eh..

    • bullshit with ur reasoning of poverty…this Maute and Asg were all millioners their members are influencial people narco-politicians drug lords, police and ,military scalawags.who brainwashed young men and boys of Islam…its ideology my friend

    • your comment is only based on what you heard on biased media…i work in the government and i can show you proof that Pres. Duterte is not making mindanao look just like davao.the administration never neglected their promises…its just that you watch too much tv esp ang probinsyano…hahaha! we just finished our “Project Approval Committee meeting together with the different gov’t agencies and approved all infra projects here in mindanao including marawi city…i hope the next time you post ur rants,make sure you get hold of ur facts,make it straight and not just base it on what u hear and see on tv…

    • Dondie Montero Macas, you are a presumptuous guy. Am not a TV addict. I only watch news on local channels and other foreign channels. I also have newspaper subscriptions. Ok, then, you just have the list of approved projects. Mind posting them here?

      • Miss Know-it-all, di lahat ng bagay ay alam mo, oo nga napakahirap ng pilipinas, pero di ito yung rason kung bakit nagkakagulo ngayon sa mindanao, kundi ito ay dahil sa ideolohiyan meron ang maute, ideolohiya na taliwas sa kung ano man ang tunay na tinuturo ng Islam, ginagamit lang nila yung relehiyong ito para maghasik ng kaguluhan, kaya miss know-it-all, wag masyadong magmagaling, hindi ka encyclopedia o kaya eh google para malaman ang lahat, kung meron kang magandang solusyon sa problemang ito, iharap mo yan sa gobyerno baka sakaling maka tulong ka pa di yung puro dakdak ka lang, ano bang utak meron ka, sa halip na tumulong na lang eh lagi na lang puna ng puna.. Naging presidente si duterte dahil pinagkatiwalaan sya ng sambayang pilipino, at pinagkatiwalaan sya dahil alam ngmga bumoto sa kanya na kaya nyang tuparin lahat ng kanyang sinabi, di tulad ng ibang pulitiko jan na nagiging mabait lang nagiging mapagmalasakit lang pag malapit na ulit ang eleksyon, pero pag naupo naman eh puro ngawa lang ang ginagawa.. Kaya miss know-it-all, itigil mo na yang pinagsasabi mo, kasi nagmumuka ka lang ewan, matalino ka pa naman, tsk. Tsk.

    • Alma Fe Garcia Javelosa, its easy for you say this, because you have no idea on how to deal with this Islamic Extremist, what they only have in their mind is spread their so-called jihadi way which is basically the opposite of what Islam is, they kill innocent people as they glorifying their so-called God, yeah in our country, poverty is the main factor why there were crimes, because some people are despirate to make their lives easy, but in this kind of situation, poverty is not the real reason why this group of terrorist(maute) did this, and as for the President, he has to act tough just to prevent this spread all over the country, he has to use his power to regain the peace and order in marawi even if means putting the entire mindanao under martial law, and with that we still support him because we trust him,

    • Being poor does not give you the right to steal, kill, rape and sell drugs. If a blind, deaf, mute or amputated man can still work as hard as a normal man then what the hell is this terrorist excuse for not having a honest job and keep defying the law?

    • Manageable??? This already involves threat to national security. Terrorists, destabilizers and drugtraders seems to join and consolidate forces to topple the the duly-elected govt..

    • Alma Fe Garcia Javelosa, Joseph Castro, Tyrone R Basubas, Charito Murillo Bioneda — These are the kinds of discussion I want to hear and entertain. A pure exchange of ideas and opinions based on experience and knowledge!

    • You will remain poor if you keep yourself inside a square room, sit there and do nothing…. Developing Mindanao is always the priority of president duterte that is why he want to establish a peaceful mindanao so that business can thrive.. Who would want to have a business in a troubled place specially where people want you to feel that you are not welcome??

    • Efren Go De Austria , is this crisis worse than the Zamboanga City siege? The Zamboanga City crisis or Zamboanga Siege was an armed conflict in Zamboanga City, Philippines between the forces of the Republic of the Philippines and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front, generally known by other factions as the Rogue MNLF Elements (RME) under the Sulu State Revolutionary Command (SSRC) led by Ustadz Habier Malik and Khaid Ajibon, whose group continues to recognize Nur Misuari as MNLF Chairman. The crisis erupted on September 9, 2013 when this MNLF faction attempted to raise the flag of the self-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik at Zamboanga City Hall, which had earlier declared its independence on August 12, 2013 in Talipao, Sulu.This armed incursion, which has been variously described a “crisis”, a “standoff”, a “siege”, and a “humanitarian crisis”, was met by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), which sought to free the hostages and expel the MNLF from the city. The standoff degenerated into urban warfare, and brought parts of the city into a standstill for days.120 rebels were killed.

      The clashes caused the displacement of more than 100,000 people, the occupation of several barangays (villages) by the MNLF, the deaths of several civilians, the closure of the Zamboanga International Airport, and a reduction of economic activity in the city.

      On September 28, the government declared an end of military operations in Zamboanga City. Commander Malik, reportedly the leader of the MNLF forces, remains at large, and several skirmishes are still being regularly reported.

    • It’s just a year PRRD sits as president & you’re now complaining give him more time to fulfill his promise that’s why he want Federalism in order it’s state be independent in the development of their designated state by their designated leaders

    • Mga magagaling kayo lahat…..ang problema sa atin mga pilipino puro reklamo…imbes na sumunod sa batas ang kahirapan hindi lang sa mindanao kundi sa buong pilipinas…dahil mga pulitiko na binubusog lang ang mga bulsa nilA at ang kanilang mga pamilya…manood na lang ng mga documentary …

    • Ang problema ng Pilipinas ay dahil sa mga matatalino na naka upo sa gobyerno..sila ung mga nagsipagtapos sa UP,LA SALLE,ATENEO at iba pa 2lad ng WestPoint etc talino nila kya ang bansang pilipinas ay nagdurusa,hikahos at laganap ang karalitaan..MATATALINO SILA SA PANDARAMBONG SA KABAN NG BAYAN..:-

  • Only a sitting President has all the inputs that can convince a leader to declare martial law. Dissenting opinions against such declaration could only come from self serving politically motivated people armed with misplaced apprehensions. What’s the problem then in letting a democratically elected President to declare martial law as he sees fit to preserve the security of the nation which he had sworn to? Noise makers simply don’t carry the President’s responsibilities to his people.

  • Did the British PM declared martial law in Manchester?
    Did the Phil.Pres get the approval of Congress and the SC.
    Is martial law needed for the PNP/AFP to quash terrorsm!
    Why do the citizen have to give up their rights in those areas..are they supporters/sympathizers?
    If so ,no arguments from me. Great intel work!

    • As far I know, martial law can be declare without even the approval first of the congress thought the latter can revoke or cut short such proclamations.

    • 4, mindanaoan know much better what is needed than those in the visayas and luzon, maybe thats y they support martial law, they know atleast how to cooperate with the government, law abiding citizens.

    • They do.?
      They should wait for the warrantless arrests before deciding,
      hope it never come to that,
      do you really think martial law is needed?
      3/4 of the people there are suspects?

    • And I think the government knows what they doing and what is best to solve this problem immediately. Lets just give our support and pray, now is not the time for our pseudo-intellectual advises or comments.

    • Hindi? Rebellion at invasion ng 50 maute,sapat na buong mindanao! Things could be done without martisl law ,
      Our politician cannot be trusted
      Look at the broken csmpaign promises,

    • Are they complaining about the declaration?fuck you….!!
      You dont even know what it feels like living in a place with no are not even from mindanao.

    • Maaring out of topic but ngayon ko lang nalaman na si Ispilon Hapilon ay engring graduate din pala sa UP. Alumni nyo yan but hindi mo yayaing sumuko.

    • Bakit pasudukoin ay dapat patayin,
      Intindihin ninyo kung kaya ninyo
      Hindi ba kayang gawin ng hindi under martial law,
      Hindi ba makakakalaban ang AFP?
      .hindi makapaglalagay ng check points?

    • Mgtanong kau ky sen.enrile kng kylan pwdi mg declara ang martial law pra malaman nyo at hndi n kau mgsatsat ng hndi u alam lalo n un taga luzon.

  • My Father George B Padilla spent his childhood and graduated at Mindanao State University in Marawi. He lived together with our muslim countrymen without conflicts. It was just when the Maute group attempted to control the area in which chaos began. Outstanding students both Christian and Muslim used to thrive here in unity.
    I myself from (Luzon) lived temporarily in Mindanao every oportune summer of my preteen and teenage life with my cousins from Iligan and CDO. Mostly because my father who is an engineer had projects in Mindanao.
    We understand that there are threats and how to deal with confrotations and terrorist attacks for as far as we could remember. This situation calls for the maximum inforcement of military rule. We also experienced martial law back in the 70’s way different from today’s. We are in support of the President’s decision to persue of the terrorist and save the civilian life in restoration of peace and order of Mindanao. Gerick Padilla