Sunday, July 27, 2003

Philippines coup manque - a cry for my generation

Another two-tier fault line in society is exposed – this time, it’s in the Philippine military.

I am aware I’m about to draw a perhaps nutter-length long bow here, but here goes anyway.

Look at the exquisite paradoxes in this attempted coup by Gen X soldiers – “elite”, but “junior officers”; pressing a political point (anti-corruption – “We are the good guys . . . not the bad guys") but avowedly not interested in grabbing power; using violent action (almost certainly many are going to die, or if not, fry) to pursue what might be termed a wholesome cause, in which the junior officers only direct stake is their (presumably) frustrated careers. And then there’s this derr-Fred clanger of miscellaneous expert opinion:

Security analysts see scant support for a coup among senior officers or the public. (same URL)

So it’s all just a doomed youthful macabre frolic, then? Well, not quite – the same experts (I’m assuming) are also saying that the rebel officers are being puppet-stringed from above, and from the highest levels at that.

In other words (and here comes the long bow); it’s a replica both of the Al Qaida modus operandi, and of Australian and US universities’ academic labour policies. Put most simply, it’s all about baby boomers letting the young do their dirty work (to their deaths, if necessary), while – and here’s the really clever bit – letting them think they are on the side of the right and the good.

A cry for my generation – the first ever cohort of mercenaries who worked for nothing other than their ideals (hah!) and then ended up wearing the blame for flying into the fucking twin towers that they only ever wanted to work in, all along.

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