Friday, February 24, 2006

Putsch, Coups and Gen Lim

ANOTHER ONE?/EUPHEMISMS I was taking a respite from posting this week; I am preparing for some changes in the blog and blogs I work on. When it struck. This morning watching the news on GMA 7 it was announced that the AFP had stopped an attempted withdrawal of support from the Aroyyo government. According to news reports from the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the PCIJ, the plan was to join those involved in the attempted withdrawal of support to join the rally, the one in Makati or the one near Mendiola?, while carrying their side arms. Attempted withdrawal of support? Golly, Is that not a grand euphemism for a coup, a putsch and a golpe. BRIG GEN DANNY LIM and RAM The highest ranking officer involved is Brig Gen Danny Lim of the 1st Scout Ranger Battallion stationed at Bulacan. The Scout Rangers is one of the elite units of the AFP and known for wearing black fatigues. Gen Ileto, one of the few Generals who did not join Marcos during the declaration of Martial Law, was one of the founders of the unit. The rangers are battle hardened unit that goes toe to toe with its enemies. The Scout Rangers also figured prominently in history because during one of the attempted coups against Cory Aquino they took hold of the Makati Central Business District for several days. The Magdalo group took control of Oakwood but the Scout Rangers took control of the whole district. Forcing the Cory Aquino government to negotiate. By the way this coup was the bloodiest coup in history and Aquino survived it because of US intervention. In the end the Scout Rangers agreed to return to barracks. They marched along Ayala Avenue straight to Bonifacio carrying their arms and bringing with them their Armored Personnel Carriers. The Rangers in Makati were commanded by Col Raffy Galvez and among his junior officers were Captain Danny Lim and Major (?) Puruganan. Cap Danny Lim is the same Gen Lim who is now the central figure in what is called an attempted withdrawal of support. Lim is a highly intelligent officer, studied at West Point and topped several military courses. Puruganan is now attached to the Department of National Defense. How the paths of fate twist and turn. Col Galvez has retired from military service. What prompted Lim to allegedly do this? I do not know. Would it bear fruit, only time will tell, the day has not yet finished. Lets see. The radio stations, tv shows, blogs are all reporting the same thing. If there is anything else that might be worth a look at would be the rallies today and the government response. The government will of course go into bunker mode. Those in the rally will probably take advantage of whatever opportunity is left, seeing that Lim has been exposed and their plot laid bare. PUTSCHS AND PUTCHISTS An attempted withdrawal of support or a putsch to succeed has to have the element of surprise. And it usually comes from the person you least expect.In Chile President Allende was worried about the other generals when the death blow came fom his appointee Gen Pinochet. In Edsa One, Honasan et al were not really discreet their plan discovered they elected to make a last stand at Edsa. This was then taken advantage of individually by Ramos, Enrile and Cardinal Sin to whip up support that led to Edsa. Cardinal Sin was the most significant player in this episode and heralded the return of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy into the affairs of state.One can argue they, the temporal representatives and leaders of the different faith, have always been there inside the circle of power, but Edsa I strengthened their hold. So Cardinal Sin, probably the most saviest political leader in the Philippines alongside Marcos and Quezon, saved Enrile, Ramos, Cory, Honasan and the Ram's backside. The present Princes of the Church seemed to be a mixed bunch of political neophytes, useful fools and genuine Christians so despite how much respected their opinion is it is just opinion. Another aside, it is for this reason that I think Enrile and Honasan's claim that they should not have given Cory is tripe. If it were not for Sin and the people he rallied they would been mince meat to General Ver. Other succesful coups was that of Suharto, actually a countercoup, in Indonesia and the Russian Communist Party. Oh, Of course several other coups in Latin America. Again, in most cases the death blow was delivered by someone close and trusted. The problem with Philippine Putsch is that nearly all of it are discovered and in the end they opt to make a last stand - from Camp Crame, Manila Hotel, the Makati Financial District and even GMA 7, the TV station. Its become predictable. Still the allure might be as great, from the novel Shogun by James Clavell it is said "it is only treason if it fails." A LESSON FROM THE MOST FAMOUS FAILED PUTSCH Adolf Hitler also conducted a Putsch in a Beer Hall in Munich. By supreme stupidity and lack of support from the Army the putsch turned sour. Hitler and company were jailed. While he was incarcerated he wrote Mein Kampf and he opted to get power legally. Several years later the National Socialist steadily win Reichstag seats and fought a dynamic campaign for president against Hindenburg. He does eventually become Chancellor and ultimately Fuerher. While coups and uprisings maybe the more seductive way of doing change it is risky and unstable. Being in the political opposition means you only have to wait for your opponent to fail and provide a better alternative, key word here is a better alternative. So how will things fare today. Most probably it will end with the detention of Gen Lim and the present political opposition - the disenfranchised politicians, coryistas not in power, disgruntled businessmen, leftist still longing for power and other self-appointed messiahs - calling for change. Lets see or in Tagalog ABANGAN ANG SUSUNOD NA KABANATA One lesson from EDSA - remember that your leader/"liberator" is but human.


Post a Comment

<< Home