By Bernie Lopez email@example.com
CAN PEACE TALKS INDUCE WARS? As soon as the Philippine Government forged a peace agreement with Muslim rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), hailed by the international press as a milestone, a bloody encounter between government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a minor splinter among many, sparked the day after the agreement. Although the BIFF conflict spans many years, and some claim the recent encounter is not related to the peace talks, the MILF reported they tried to get the BIFF into the peace talks in vain. The other major faction, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which staged an even bloodier confrontation a few weeks ago, also had separate dialogues with the government. There is a dilemma in forging peace with many factions who do not talk to each other. An agreement with one faction makes the others jealous. That is how peace talks induce wars. The key to peace is co-existence and dialogue. The key to war is separatism, which discourages Muslim-Christian co-existence. SAUDI MONOPOLY ON LABOR RECRUITMENT The Saudi government passed a law centralizing all labor recruitment to a handful of selected Saudi-based Mega-Recruitment Agencies (MRAs), which are close to the government, if not owned by government bureaucrats. Most of these monstrous MRAs have notorious track records in recruitment. A delegation of Philippine government and placement agencies representatives went to Riyadh for a ‘dialogue’ to air their complaints. But it is hardly a dialogue because the Saudis are not asking them but telling them. Although many feel there is room for negotiations, any appeal for amendment of the law is a tall order. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) says the law is vague in many areas, which can induce abuse and confusion. The monopoly is also predicted to reduce worker salaries by 20% to 40%. If one MRA handling 5,000 placements has a typographical error, the effect could be massive. Philippine placement agencies will also be selected to the detriment of thousands of others. The law can easily trigger havoc on a massive scale and will open the further exploitation of the already-exploited Filipino workers. The Philippines is the largest source of Saudi foreign labor, at present 1.2 million workers earning $800 million to $1 billion a year for the Philippine economy. Monopoly corrupts and absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
TOWARDS A SPLIT – THE UKRAINE DILEMMA The Ukrainians in the west have progressed economically through ties with the US-UK-EU bloc. They want to retain this and will die for it. The Ukrainians in the east prefer to keep ties with Russia, source of valuable income from the pipeline that brings Russian oil and gas to Europe. They want to retain this and will die for it. The coalition government recently agreed upon will not solve but exacerbate the problem. It merely postpones future hostilities. Ironically, the US-UK-EU bloc is on the side of the Ukrainians in the west, but badly needs Russian fuel, especially in the harsh winters. There have been accusations that the bloc has been financing the violent protests. But there is a limit in rocking the boat because the Russians could sell their fuel somewhere else. Global demand is high. Are we headed for a partition? What happens to the pipeline in a partition? Without partition, Ukraine will have a protracted and bloody civil war with international support to both sides, just like in Lybia, Syria, and Egypt. Civil wars are no longer internal in an ever shrinking planet, that is why they are more bloody and leave civilians as ultimate victims. Can nations stop dipping their fingers everywhere?
Bernie Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org THE SEVEN COSMIC PRINCIPLES http://www.sisterraquel.com/2014/02/eastwind-journals-93 amdg