Good news this is.
EILEEN NG, Associated Press, JIM GOMEZ, Associated Press | Sunday, October 7, 2012 | Updated: Sunday, October 7, 2012 8:44pm
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government and the country’s largest Muslim rebel group have reached a preliminary peace deal that is a major breakthrough toward ending a decades-long insurgency that killed tens of thousands and held back development in the south.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said the “framework agreement” calling for an autonomous region for minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation was an assurance the Moro Islamic Liberation Front insurgents will no longer aim to secede.
The agreement, announced Sunday and to be signed Oct. 15 in Manila, spells out principles on major issues, including the extent of power, revenues and territory of the Muslim region. If all goes well, a final peace deal could be reached by 2016, when Aquino’s six-year term ends, officials said.
“This framework agreement paves the way for final and enduring peace in Mindanao,” Aquino said, referring to the southern Philippine region and homeland of the country’s Muslims. “This means that the hands that once held rifles will be put to use tilling land, selling produce, manning work stations and opening doorways of opportunity.”
He cautioned that “the work does not end here” and that details of the accord still need to be worked out. Those talks are expected to be tough but doable, officials and rebels said.
Rebel vice chairman Ghadzali Jaafar said the agreement provides a huge relief to people who have long suffered from war and are “now hoping the day would come when there will be no need to bear arms.”
The deal marks the most significant progress in 15 years of on-and-off negotiations with the 11,000-strong Moro group on ending an uprising that has left more than 120,000 people dead, displaced about 2 million others and held back development in the south. Western governments have long worried that rebel strongholds could become breeding grounds for al-Qaida-affiliated extremists.
“The parties agree that the status quo is unacceptable,” the 13-page agreement says. It calls for the creation of a new Muslim autonomous region called “Bangsamoro” to replace an existing one created in 1989 which Aquino characterized as a “failed experiment,” where poverty and corruption have forced many “to articulate their grievances through the barrel of a gun.”
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Good news, this is.
Phi Beta Iota: Almost no one in any government is truly expert on the subject of revolution — its preconditions and its precipitants. Special interests and unethical covert operators are all too quick to create false flag terror for profit. The agreement in the Philippines is a model for the other 4,999 secessionist movements. People want — demand — authenticity, clarity, dignity, integrity, justice, and legitimacy. Malaysia has played a signal role here, one that Turkey has not been able to match in the conflict between the Arabs and the Persians. At root Islam is synonymous with poverty and aging dictatorships, a few exceptional countries notwithstanding. The path to a sustainable, affordable, righteous foreign policy is the path of intelligence with integrity — evidence-based decision making. For those countries plagued by “terrorism,” the first priority should be to kick all foreign intelligence and covert operations elements out of the country, eliminate false flag incidents, and honestly catalogue the socio-economic, ideo-cultural, and techno-demographic grievances and expectations of the dissident elements–and then address those legitimate grievances.
Max Manwaring (ed), The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century (Praeger, 2003)
Jonathan Nashel, Edward Lansdale’s Cold War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005)
Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold (Verso, 2005)