Use of ‘spy plane’, a lesson from procrastination
Procrastinating an early opportunity, which was part of my thesis here last June 24, 2012 (Goodbye, Procrastinators!) may now be a thing of the past for the Philippines after it has sensed that it is in the verge of losing a reef to China. Just this week, word had it that our country is inclined to fly spy planes furnished by the United States of America, at least “to monitor” – simply “monitor” the extreme boundaries of our archipelago. The move is not an incitation to any counter move from China. As the Palace in Manila has hinted, the Philippine government’s move is just meant to find out what is happening especially on our territorial sea boundaries. Yes, for that, anyway, is the simplest meaning of monitoring.
“Pagpasibaya” among Filipinos , in connection with the hotly contested Philippine territorial reef has threatened an unwanted bite of our boundary, and, consequently, our rich natural resources in and around that reef which is located less than 200 kilometers west of Luzon or more than 1,000 kilometers away from mainland China. Its harsh lessons undoubtedly awakened the good minds among our leaders. Now, we are going to fly a spy plane.
QN isn’t anticipating that something more concrete will follow after each monitoring flight, initiated as a matter of recourse by the Philippine government. For if the case will be so, then it will not simply be a monitoring activity, but an antecedent move to a next major step, one which could be anybody’s guess, like sending a troop (to be mild and moderate about a most likely military term) to guard a certain part of the contested territory. “Guard” will most likely include civil moves to ensure that no foreign crafts will cross the territorial line which could be interpreted as a first step at an invasion. But that may not come to pass at all, that guarding, if China will interpret the spy plane’s task as something that threatens its own interest, or integrity, in which case, counter moves may come in the form of forward military actions. Then, the reef area will next be a scene of two – or three?! – countries in a show of force. And the show of force can agitate each side of the forces. But the whole Christian Filipino community is fervently praying that this will not even reach this point. So, what’s the expected thing to happen after the forthcoming monitoring activity will yield positive results of intrusion into our own Philippine territory? What’s the point of using a spy plane without prepared anticipatory next major steps? This is no Russian poker where bluff intimidates to win. The Filipino nation deserves to know.
Well, if the Philippine Armed Forces is said to represent, in a way, that “Filipino nation” in us, then at least all the commanders are duly and properly informed of the logic behind using a spy plane and the next major moves (QN will not attempt at a conjecture conjuring up an “offensive”) that the government will keep close to as its most likely options. That will perforce guide their decisions that will most likely affect the constituents within their respective realm of authority and command. This job will, for the most part of it, be done discreetly, and maybe even clandestinely so as not to arouse unnecessary curiosity and interest as would thereby stir up wrong notions. Yet, very close coordination and synchronization of action will be necessary. While nobody should take chances, our decision makers should anticipate risks and effects so that readiness by a large part of our own population – if the entirety of it could not be had – will already be in sight. No, word war will do nothing good. This is a time for sobriety and calmness. Such a fortitude will spell success in our efforts at a peaceful solution to the rift at the reef.
The lessons from procrastination extend beyond undoing and mending a wrong or omission. The government, and every sector of society, for this matter, should start discovering what future holds for both anticipated and un-anticipated events to come as proceeding from international relations and compliance with international laws, particularly of the sea and of air space, and the consequences of both such events.
‘The most ridiculous person in the world is the “know all” who picks up a smattering of hearsay knowledge and proclaims himself “the world’s Number One authority”; this merely shows that he has not taken a proper measure of himself. Knowledge is a matter of science, and no dishonesty or conceit whatsoever is permissible. What is required is definitely the reverse–honesty and modesty. If you want knowledge, you must take part in the practice of changing reality. If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. If you want to know the structure and properties of the atom, you must make physical and chemical experiments to change the state of the atom. If you want to know the theory and methods of revolution, you must take part in revolution. All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience. But one cannot have direct experience of everything; as a matter of fact, most of our knowledge comes from indirect experience, for example, all knowledge from past times and foreign lands. To our ancestors and to foreigners, such knowledge was–or is–a matter of direct experience, and this knowledge is reliable if in the course of their direct experience the requirement of “scientific abstraction”, spoken of by Lenin, was–or is–fulfilled and objective reality scientifically reflected, otherwise it is not reliable. Hence a man’s knowledge consists only of two parts, that which comes from direct experience and that which comes from indirect experience. Moreover, what is indirect experience for me is direct experience for other people. Consequently, considered as a whole, knowledge of any kind is inseparable from direct experience.’ – Mao Tse Tung
By: Chito Dela Torre
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