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:: In My Not-So-Humble Opinion... ::
For some reason, I feel like I have to put in my 2 cents worth on the pullout of Philippine troops from Iraq. My problem is, I'm not sure where I stand on the issue. The only thing I seem to be sure about is the fact that I'm confused.

** note: at first, I didn't know where I stood. After writing the rest of this entry, I figured it out.

On one hand, I think it's a stupid move. A government spokesperson had this to say on the pullout, "let us give the government enough time and our trust. With your support and unity, we will be able to resolve this problem with dignity as a nation." Dignity? Sure... We're being bullied, and we're backing down... no, we're slinking away and cowering in a corner. I wonder what message that sends to the international community. That's a dignified resolution to the problem? I can see that.

"The Foreign Affairs Ministry is coordinating the pullout of the humanitarian contingent with the Ministry of National Defense," says our Foreign Affairs Secretary. I'd like to emphasize... humanitarian contingent. I guess I could understand giving in to the demands of kidnappers if our troops were there for some other less phlanthropic reasons. The problem is the fact that we're being threatened because we're trying to help. "There is a proper time for debate," says the government. I wonder when that time is. Since our troops are not involved in fighting, since our forces are a "humanitarian contingent," shouldn't we be able to defend our presence there?

On the other hand, I think it's a good thing that our government has finally made a decision on an international issue. My next few statement might not be entirely accurate, but anyway... it seems that our government usually adopts U.S. policy as its own. This is probably the first time that MalacaƱang has actually made up its own mind.

I could comment on the specific issue of dela Cruz (the hostage) and his family, but I'm even more confused about this. Pragmatism, the common good, the greater good... there are so many ideas floating around in my head - most of them familiar to any philosophy student. I'm afraid starting on this topic might be similar to opening up Pandora's Box, so I guess I'll leave this issue alone.

I'm not sure if what I've put in is worth 2 cents. I do know I've pretty much said my piece. On a final note, I'm no expert on the issue. Like most of you reading this, I just have this strange compulsion to pour out my thoughts onto paper, or in this case, online. I'm just sharing my opinion, which, though not quite so humbly offered now, is still prone to error. What I'm wondering about now is... what do others think? Does anybody care to enlighten me?

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