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Jun 02nd
Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako A Short Take on Moammar Gadhafi ... and Comments on "Moses and the Presidency"
A Short Take on Moammar Gadhafi ... and Comments on "Moses and the Presidency" PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Thursday, 24 February 2011 20:33


By Jesse Jose

A Cup O' Kapeng Barako 


I t's bizarre, I think.



I was going to write about my take on Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, another Middle-Eastern despot, whose butt is now getting kicked out of his country by his own people. 


Hey, do y'all know that this guy is a Harvard graduate? 


Yeah, that's right. That same Ivy League school, where George "Dubya" Bush and BHO and several other leaders of the world, graduated from. Yeah, I was gonna write about him. I like the way he delivered his speech. Full of theatrics and rhetoric just like a BHO speech.


Garbed in his usual brown robes and bombay turban, he delivered his speech from the ruins of his former Tripoli residence as backdrop.  That's right, that same old building which was bombed by American warplanes in 1986 and left the way it is as a "monument" kuno of his heroic defiance of America.


In this speech, Gadhafi said those Libyan protesters are "drunkards, terrorists and drug-fueled mice" and "followers of Osama Bin Laden" who should be disposed of, well, like rats.


"I am not going to leave this land," he said. "It is not possible ... I will die as a martyr at the end." Then, he described himself as " fighter and a revolutionary from tents" daw.


Well, at least this guy has balls, unlike Huni Mubarak of Egypt.  But ... a "revolutionary from tents"?  What da heck does that mean?  


After that speech, he ordered his country's armed forces "to shoot at will," using planes, tanks and mercenaries to disperse those demonstrations against his despotic regime.


As I write this, the violence perpetrated by both sides, on both sides, had escalated. Whether he will leave Libya or not, I dunno.  He should, I suppose. But after 42 years of ruling Libya, it will be kind of hard ... to just drop everything, pack your bags and run. 


And run where, anyway? To America?  To sell Persian rugs and carpets, with his three sons, in shopping malls?  Would Gadhafi and his sons do that? I don't think so.  


So, I think, he'll fight to the very end.  He's no pushover, you see. 


Years ago, when I was still in the Navy, I remember this guy riding in a tank, wearing a Libyan Armed Forces colonel uniform, leading a charge in the desert against the "invading" American troops ... and  a photo of that made headlines in every newspaper all over the world.  And because of that show of bravura and fearlessness, he became a hero to his people ... and, of course, dubbed as a crackpot in America and in other countries who were America's allies then. 


This was the time, when Reagan was America's President, and Gadhafi then was Reagan's number-one nemesis. Just like Saddam Hussein then was the nemesis of Bush, the First and Bush, the Second. 


Well, times have changed ... Power corrupts. Forty-two years in power can surely corrupt a former hero of ones' country. Yeah, I was gonna write about that. But I've already written it. So there, that's my take na ... bizzare or not.


RAMON MAGSAYSAY, THE "MOSES" OF THE PHILIPPINES: What I initially intended to write about was my comment to LOLO Bobby Reyes' recent story, titled "Moses and the Presidency."  In this story, LOLO Bobby said that according to former Philippine Senator Nene Pimentel, the then-Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay is the "Moses" of the Philippines. I found the story interesting and thought-provoking, and so as to generate an intelligent and informative discussion, I made this comment, cc'd some of colleagues and my good friend, Gerry Garrison, a fellow Knight and former Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus of our Holy Family Church, here in Auburn, Washington:


LOLO Bobby ... Moses failed in bringing his people to the Promised Land. From my erratic and limited reading and understanding of the Bible, Moses "doubted" God -- that was the reason why he never reached the Promised Land. So God gave the "helm" to a warrior named, Joshua, to lead their people to the Promised Land ... as Moses looked on from the mountains.


Ramon Magsaysay might be the Moses of the Filipino people.  But, I wonder who would be the Joshua, who would successfully lead the Filipinos to their Promised Land?  Surely, not Pee-Noy.  True, he likes to hang out in gun ranges and shoot at paper targets to appear "macho."  But, he's no warrior. He's merely a gun nut, and like all gun nuts, a pea-brained, as well....  (Signed) Jesse. 


GERRY'S COMMENT: None of my colleagues bothered to respond.  Perhaps, they didn't care what I had to say. Oh, well ...  But, my good friend, Gerry did. Here's his response, which I think is also thought-provoking and informative, as well.


Kuya Jesse:
I wanted to respond to you, with another take on your email.  Barack Obama might think he is the savior of the U.S. Just ask him.  But who is going to save the American people from him. My son who is stationed in
Yokosuka, aboard the flag ship of COMSEVENTHFLT, had orders to Bremerton Naval Hospital. They got canceled.  Want to know why? There is no money for transfers this year. The Navy's budget has been cut by this administration.  
It reminds you of another President who did the same, who wanted be the "Moses" of
America. Does Jimmy Carter come to mind? This was the man who couldn't even rescue our hostages in our Embassy in Iran.
Why I bring Carter up and comparing Obama with him, is because it brings back sad memories of my time in the Navy during the Carter presidency.  When Jimmy Carter started cutting the military's budget to "save money" (as Obama is doing now), I was stationed in
San Diego, aboard the USS Cook. I had many shipmates stationed on various ships in San Diego, whose ships couldn't get underway, due to lack of money for fuel. Some could not get underway due to lack of training funds for officers and enlisted's to qualify in "basics" of getting a ship underway to sea. 


Most of these were ships have just got out of dry dock and needed the Training Command to come aboard to certify ship personnel their readiness to get underway. The money dried up to the point they could only do one or two ships a quarter, when they were doing one or two a month previously. This was the most depressing time of my naval service. I came very close to getting out. If I wasn't engaged to be married at the time, I would have. 
This was also the time of an extreme lack of discipline. And the time when drugs were being used by a lot of sailors. Many used them knowing that if they got caught, all that would happen to them was maybe a bust in rank and 30-day restriction aboard their ships.  Sailors were also going to "lunch" and getting drunk. Little or nothing was done to put a stop to this. I know. I had to put up with this. I got little or no support at all to discipline the sailors who worked for me that came back to work from "lunch" in drunken state.
It had gotten so bad, that when we got underway to sea for refresher training, we ended up in a collision with another ship that crossed our bow, which violated all of the Navy's Rules of Navigation. Our commanding officer (CO) had us doing 10 knots in the fog, when we should have been doing 5 knots, as we hadn't cleared the harbor yet. 


The board of inquiry concluded that if the CO had restricted the ship to 5 knots, the collision may have been prevented. Numerous sailors in engineering and on the mess decks were injured, as this happened just before lunch. Some of the sailors getting ready to serve lunch had received 2nd degree burns on their arms from the boiling water splashing on them from pans filled with boiling water to be placed over the serving counter. There were many other examples of accidents happening on other ships in the Navy because of the lack of training and discipline. 
Who was our Joshua then?  President Reagan! 


Right after he was sworn into office, the hostages were returned.  Shortly after that, he declared a zero policy for any military personnel doing drugs. This caused a drastic, positive change in the discipline of all personnel in the military. Reagan moved to raise the military budgets, which increased the training budgets of all commands,  More ships were able to get underway to accomplish the Navy's continuing mission to sail the seas in defense of our country. Reagan also gave the military the highest pay increases, ever.
Who knows who will be our Joshua now? 


After what has been happening in the world and in this country in the last month, and the fact that this country is in more debt than we ever have, I am not sure who is going to step up to the "helm" to be our warrior and lead us out of this mess and bring this country back to being governed in accordance with the principles of our Constitution. 


There are many good candidates out there, especially those of the "Tea Party".  I believe this country is in for some hard times.  What is going on now is just the beginning.  But what do I know?   Just saying.......

(Signed) Gerry Garrison

Life is short. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.


So, Dear Readers, what do y'all think of Gerry's comments to my comments on LOLO Bobby's recent story, "Moses and the Presidency"? Is it bizarre? I think it makes a lot of sense.  JJ





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