Calm as storm approaches


In recent weeks, Guam has seen a beehive of activities from joint military exercises with allied countries like Australia, Philippines, Japan, and others.

Guam would eventually become a stationary carrier loaded with military weaponry to handle the growing regional tension in the South China Sea. China has built vital military equipment on islands outside her economic zone including the Spratlys that sets it up for eventual regional hegemony.

While I still have confidence in the firepower of the U.S. Navy, we can’t ignore the fact that China has begun modernizing her warfare weaponry too. I read somewhere concerns that the radar she has installed could knock down communications satellites over the region rendering a total blackout.

Japan recently decided to begin supplying the Philippines with war equipment in what’s known as “collective self-defense.” The weaponry deal isn’t targeted at any particular country. The U.S.-South Korea exercise presumably on how to invade NK’s weaponry base was met with ferocious response from up north.

As the tension in the South China Sea escalates, I often quiz what’s behind Obama’s agenda on global security and of our country. He does everything else that is so far removed from stabilizing the deepening global tension between the Middle East and the Asian regions. U.S. denunciation of Chinese activities reflects the “business as usual” attitude.

Allied countries most likely to adversely suffer economic losses from interference in the most vital sea lane in the South China Sea ought to accommodate more of U.S. needs on land like the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and others. This should further lessen the need for Marianas land so far away from the sea-lane route. In brief, you can’t put off fire from a distance.

Covenant—A Beginning: Some may be disenchanted by the heavy decline of the local economy over the last 20 years. But there’s no one else to blame but us for using our outmoded Black and White Television over vision or foresight.

Recalled a plan prepared by the firm Arthur D. Little we tossed out the window complaining there’s too much study already. I’m sure too nobody ever read the plan to see what it envisions in economic development to shore up new sources of revenue. Today disoriented and frustrated we complain unsure of our own misgivings as the big bosses engage junketing near and far when the NMI house is burning!

Now, a certain study says the economy has inched some 3 percent upwards. Thanks for the less than encouraging news. But if you really break it down did it improve the wellbeing of our people who have had to endure over 20 years of economic stagnancy?

Reminds me of Mark Twain’s famous observation about the three kinds of lies: “Lies, damned lies and statistics.” Lest we forget, people could easily digest what figures say quizzing how has it helped their situation!

Remedy of Relationship: Control of immigration was a unique feature of the agreement that should have been guarded Full Square. In fact, it is the most important provision given its direct relationship with efforts to push economic growth and development forward.

It’s an issue the elected elite can’t afford leaving to apathy and indifference. It must seek to figure out a way to secure practical alternatives that grants the NMI ample room for growth. After all, the federal government has never had a stellar record as a colonial power other than a shift in the way of life emasculating the host from its workable traditional ways to the vicious challenges of modernity. The NMI ignoring it isn’t the answer either!

The combined legislative committees on federal relations needs to get on the ball on this issue before the NMI sinks permanently. You need help flexing your muscles?

Trump Phenomenon: Pundits have probed the phenomenon behind Donald Trump’s meteoric ascendancy in the GOP’s presidential race. I think Editor Emeritus Wesley Prudent of the Washington Times nailed it accurately when he said:

“It’s about the rage of the little guy, who has worked faithfully in election after election for men who talk bravely with boast and bombast before the election only to slink away like a dog with his tail between his legs when it was time to redeem the talk.

“This time the little guy hears something that sounds authentic. He may be fooled again, but he’s got nothing to lose, and he gets a kick out of the discomfort of the elites who never had it so good and thought the good times would roll forever.” It’s the elite versus the grassroots, no ideology. The diabolical incoherence and looming disintegration in both parties isn’t about Trump but the loss of their true north!

Anaguan Excavation: The controversy on the Anaguan excavation started with indecisions by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs (Historic Preservation) on the disposition of two sets of ancestral bones. If anything, it goes to show the lack of competency in the decision-making process that in turn stirred more negative reactions from the indigenous people.

It’s the same issue—ancestral bones—so why the two differing decisions that ignores the earlier excavation? I’ll salute BSI if it simply steps in and say let’s pay for everything and find a place for a combined burial so we do it with dignity followed by a mass of intention. It should wipe out the controversy including bad karma forever more.  In turn, it’s a full closure!

DCCA/HP’s indecisions unjustifiably dragged BSI into the fray. Its only role is to share its findings, period! The explosive expressions from participants were out of place that should have been directed at DCCA/HP. Did the government agencies intervene to quell the anger of the crowd? Perhaps they too were stunned at the explosive reaction the net result of impotence as decision makers!

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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