Wars of choice

Once it starts, a nu­clear war will re­sult in the de­struc­tion of the en­tire planet.

Business World - - OPINION - LUIS V. TEODORO

He’s the com­man­der-inchief of the “war” on drugs and drops the word “kill” so of­ten some think that’s the limit of his English vo­cab­u­lary. He’s the last per­son in th­ese isles of vi­o­lence one would ex­pect to be a paci­fist. But he sounded like one last April 9.

Speak­ing at the Mount Sa­mat Na­tional Shrine in Bataan dur­ing the 75th an­niver­sary of the fall of that prov­ince to the Ja­panese in 1942, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte told his au­di­ence of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and for­eign dig­ni­taries that “no mat­ter the spoils, war is never worth it.” Al­though that sounded as if he was re­fer­ring to all wars, he was ap­par­ently think­ing only of wars of ag­gres­sion, a word he in­deed used in a sub­se­quent re­mark, and as sug­gested by his use of the word “spoils.”

Renamed “Araw ng Kag­itin­gan” (Day of Valor ), the sur­ren­der to in­vad­ing Ja­panese forces of the Filipino and Amer­i­can de­fend­ers of Bataan and their sub­se­quent in­car­cer­a­tion in in­tern­ment camps in Tar­lac to which they were forced to march in what has come to be known as the Bataan Death March helped as­sure the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion of the Philip­pines. The Ja­panese in­va­sion was a war for re­sources as well as for strate­gic pur­poses; the Philip­pines was part of the “spoils” of the war be­tween the United States and Ja­pan, and, as ev­ery school­boy should know, suf­fered hor­ri­bly for it.

De­spite Mr. Duterte’s state­ment, ag­gres­sion for the sake of re­sources, ter­ri­to­rial ag­gran­dize­ment, or as a step in achiev­ing strate­gic dom­i­nance, has al­ways been lu­cra­tive for the ag­gres­sors al­though dev­as­tat­ing to their victims. A re­source- poor coun­try, Ja­pan’s war of choice in the Pa­cific en­abled it to ac­cess the raw ma­te­ri­als it needed for its ar­ma­ments fac­to­ries, and in­ci­den­tally also en­riched its mil­i­tary con­trac­tors and the Zaibatsu rul­ing elite. Ger­many’s con­quest of much of Europe as­sured it es­sen­tially the same ac­cess to the re­sources, both

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