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Knowing the Enemy

April 7th, 2005

The Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) has once again proven why military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. The ISAFP has produced a propaganda CD entitled “Knowing the Enemy”, which according to the AFP is used as an information/education material. In the CD the ISAFP categorically branded legitimate peoples organizations as either front organizations or are influenced by the Communist Party of the Philippines. Also implicated as “enemies” are the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

This is nothing new. The military has been doing this cheap black propaganda since the martial law years. Leftist organizations are the usual targets in Government’s anti-communist witch-hunt. In fact, since January this year there were already more than ten leftist activitists assasinated. Even the church and media were also targets of the military’s witch-hunting before. Ask the military today why they are targetting the church and the media and you get the exact same answer spewed out by Marcos’ Generals before. They would just say, there are a lot of priests and nuns actively participating in anti-government rallies, and a lot of Church and media people are sympathizers of the communists. As if only to give consolation, what the AFP is saying now is that they added the church and media organizations not because they are their (AFP) targets but because they are targets for influencing by the CPP.

In its long drawn battle against the CPP, the AFP and the Government has not learned its lessons well. The battle against the communist insurgents is a battle of winning the hearts and minds of the people. It is more a battle of deeds than empty rethorics and propaganda. It is more a battle of credibility than run-of-the-mill witch-hunting and red-baiting.

The anti-poor and anti-people policies of government do not inspire people to become pro-government, it gives them reason to join anti-government rallies. The unabated summary executions and human rights violations committed by the AFP and the PNP does not silence the voice of dissent, it gives people more reason to take up arms. Gagging and harassing the media does not hide the truth, it opens the floodgates of critical opinion. Implicating the Church as an enemy of the state and being communist sympathizers does not silence the pulpit, it gives nourishment to liberation theology. The blatant graft and corruption in government does not encourage sympathy, it gives reason to change the government.The militarist mentality of the government does not create a situation of peace, it engenders revolution.

Indeed, knowing your enemy is a key element in warfare and in intelligence work. This makes the ISAFP proud of its piece of work. But the ISAFP had missed the other element which makes Knowing your enemy to be strategically and tactically effective – that is Knowing yourself. Just like during the Marcos dictatorship, the AFP and the Government, by their own doing became the number one recruiter for the communist cause. The most famous adage of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, ” Know Your Enemy, Know Yourself, Fight A Hundred Battles, Win A Hundred Battles” is not that hard to understand. Perhaps it is fully understood by the insurgents, which is why they are gaining the upperhand in the battle for the hearts and minds of the people.

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  1. April 9th, 2005 at 02:38 | #1

    This campaign of the military to “identify” the so-called enemies of the state is somewhat bordering on the mindless and illogicity, for it would merely confirm the untenable paranoia of our military officials. I mean, lately, they had to announce to the “press” that the “press” are being monitored for possible communistic infection, I mean, this kind of threat comes from everywhere even from the ranks of lawyers, doctors, carpenters, students, laborers, jeepney drivers, busienessmen, and what not and why announce something that is a PR nightmare? This sort of thing tells me that some of our military officials are just watching too much movies and reading a lot of fiction.

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