With little fanfare, the United States used their significant leverage to force the Phillipine government into forming a peace treaty with the Moros, a radical and militant Islamic force largely positioned on the island of Mindanao.
America’s first jungle war is largely unknown, except in the Philippines where it began in 1900. Moros are strong supporters of the Afghan Taliban.
Dating back to the 1800’s, the Spanish tried to subdue the fanatical Moros. Spanish soldiers had been captured by the Moros, dragged into the jungle and tortured for hours on end, finally dying in utter agony over a slow fire after being emasculated. The Moros practice polygamy, slavery and rape of infidels.
Americans under Theodore Roosevelt, outraged by the Moros’ atrocities, worked to nation build and did succeed in improving their education, services, and access to livelihoods. Fighting continued by the relentless Moros despite U.S. efforts.
At the beginning of the 21st century, 300 years after the Spanish assaults and 100 years after the American efforts, the Moros continue to fight, in the form of the Mindanao-based Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), formed in 1977.
The MILF has about 2,900 troops in its fight for a fundamentalist Islamic state. Its leader, Sheik Salamat Hashim, in an interview in Nida’ul Islam states his now too-familiar objectives: “To make supreme the Word of Allah and implement Shari’ah [Islamic law].” His promise to those who would support him in ridding the world of Christian, Jewish and other infidel oppressors echoes down from that chain of conflicts that began with the Crusades: “Allah will surely compensate and reward you here in this world and in the Hereafter.”
The Arab Spring worked so well for this administration that they felt the need to push for these Islamists to gain power in the Philippines through an officially-recognized government.
The Moros are terrorists and assassins. Price at any cost? Reminds me of Obama negotiating with the “good” Taliban in Afghanistan.
Moros have called for Jihad against their own people who are not Islamist. They have massacred countless government forces over the course of their centuries-long rebellion.
In March 2007, the Philippine government offered to recognize the right of self-determination for the Moro people which it had never done in three decades of conflict.
On July 12, 2007, Islamic militants in Basilan in the southern Philippines killed 14 marines, beheading 11 of them, while 9 other marines were wounded and about 4 rebels were allegedly killed. The fighting took place as the marines were searching for kidnapped Italian priest, Giancarlo Bossi on June 10, 2007.
On September 23, 2010, the MILF pursued a substate likened to a U.S. State instead of independence from the Philippines. The Muslim substate will not exercise power over national defense, foreign affairs, currency and coinage, and postal services, which the central government exercises. The substate will not have its own armed forces but instead will have troops for internal security.
On October 7, 2012, President Benigno Aquino III announced that a framework deal has been reached between the government and the rebel group giving Muslims the areas on Mindanao, an island rich in mineral and other natural resources.
The Notice from the State Department:
Finalization of the Philippines – Moro Islamic Liberation Front Framework Agreement
Secretary of State
The United States welcomes the announcement of the framework agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. This agreement is a testament to the commitment of all sides for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the southern Philippines. The next steps will be to ensure that the framework agreement is fully implemented. We encourage all parties to work together to build peace, prosperity and greater opportunities for all the people of the Philippines.
I hope this Islamic rising works out better than the others.