The Smith Custody Battle, a Question of Power and Interests

Furthermore, Smith symbolizes US military power and aggression. For the US, the act of turning over one of its troops to the custody of local authorities is tantamount to yielding its position of power and dominance. The US would want to project that it is the policeman of the world and that it could transgress any domestic or international law to pursue its interests. That is why it has the temerity to act unilaterally – like what it did in Iraq- and to pressure other countries to dismantle their nuclear weapons program while maintaining the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in the world.

Its projection of power and dominance, and the aggressive assertion of its interests assumes much more importance now for the US since it, along with other capitalist countries competing with it, and the whole world are enmeshed in a deep economic crisis. As the economic crisis deepens, the world could expect the presence of more US troops in different regions, more US military exercises, and more wars instigated by the US in the name of its so-called “war on terror”.

Along with this, backward, as well as dependent countries could expect more pressure to further liberalize their economies to allow the dumping of more surplus products from the US, open up more sectors for foreign investments, and to allow foreign investors more leeway in exploiting the labor and natural resources of host countries. This would enable US companies to dispose of its stocks and resume production, recoup its losses and acquire more profitable or less costly fields of investments. This is one of the reasons why the Arroyo government is pushing for Charter Change to remove restrictions on foreign investments, along, of course, the removal of limitations on the tenure of pubic officials, including the president.

For the Filipino people, the battle for the custody of Smith symbolizes our struggle for sovereignty, our resistance to foreign oppression, and our quest for justice, freedom and democracy. If we allow the US to keep custody of Smith within the comforts of the US embassy, we are allowing him to get away with rape and the US to keep raping our sovereignty, and plundering our natural resources. If we allow Smith to get away with rape, we are allowing the US and Arroyo governments to run roughshod over our rights and justice system, continue interfering in our internal affairs, and oppress our people more.

Would we allow the US and Arroyo governments to keep us oppressed and exploited? (

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