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Feb 04th
Home Sections MiscellaNEWS Iraq Is "Not Worth Dying For" (Ninoy Aquino Copied the Phrase from H. Fish)
Iraq Is "Not Worth Dying For" (Ninoy Aquino Copied the Phrase from H. Fish) PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 27 April 2007 17:10


was Hamilton Fish (1808-1893), an American statesman, who said: “If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.” He was a former Secretary of State, aside from being a representative and senator from New York. The Philippines' Ninoy Aquino apparently copied the first half of Mr. Fish's slogan and gave up his life (in) proving it.

Benigno (Ninoy) S. Aquino, Jr., told his friends on his way from Boston to Manila in August 1983 that he was returning to the Philippines despite threats to his life. Ninoy said then that "the Philippines is worth dying for." True to his words, Mr. Aquino was shot dead on the tarmac of the Manila International Airport on Aug. 21, 1983, the day that he returned from exile in Boston.

Perhaps the American people and their leaders, policymakers and decision makers have to paraphrase Hamilton Fish and Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., and ask themselves if Iraq is worth dying for in time of war? Perhaps Americans have to ask the Iraqis if they have their own versions of Ninoy Aquino, who was willing to go back to fight for the homeland? 

Apparently Americans of Iraqi descent do not find their homeland worth dying for and very few of them have volunteered to join the United States military. Apparently neither do Americans of Arab descent, as it appears that not too many of them have enlisted voluntarily to become some of the few of the proud United States Marines.

Apparently our American-Arab brethren do not share the new Domino Theory that says that once the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, the entire Middle East will be plunged in ethnic strife and sectarian violence.

Another Domino Theory did not become a reality after American soldiers pulled out of Vietnam in 1975, after more than 55,000 of them died, after more than 500,000 of them suffered injuries meddling in a civil war. In fact, Vietnam now is a respected member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  American businessmen are now some of the biggest investors in Vietnam.

Today there is universal belief that American soldiers suffered and/or died in vain in Vietnam.

Now more-than 3,832 American soldiers have died (as of Oct. 18, 2007, according to the website) and more-than 27,753 of them have been wounded in Iraq (with a lot of the wounded losing an arm and/or a leg and/or an eye and/or part of their brain). Will it require Vietnam-like numbers of wounded and dead soldiers to persuade the American leaders to order their pullout from the quagmire? Will history have to repeat itself and its predictable tragic consequences?

How much more American blood will have to be shed to reach the inevitable conclusion that Iraq is not worth dying for? Especially so when millions of the Iraqi people are fleeing their homeland and seeking asylum elsewhere. If Iraqis do not fight for their country, why should American and British soldiers and their third-country allies fight and die for Iraq? # # #

PS (Post Script)

By Bobby M. Reyes, editor, MabuhayRadio 

I am still an admirer of Benigno S. (Ninoy) Aquino, Jr. I have always admired his talents, even his gift of the written word. In fact in January 1973 (at the height of martial law) I named my son, Jose Benigno Lawrenco (JBL), not only to honor Justice JBL Reyes but also Ninoy Aquino and some other Filipinos (named Jose and Lorenzo) that I considered as heroes.

Remember Ninoy Aquino's famous words, "The Philippines is worth dying for," and how the then opposition forces used his words as a slogan?

I have always wondered how Ninoy came up with that slogan. Perhaps now I know. I think that Ninoy Aquino lifted those words from Hamilton Fish's.

Mr. Fish said: "If our country is worth dying for in times of war, let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace."

To learn more about Hamilton Fish, please go to:

I am not saying that Ninoy Aquino was guilty of plagiarism. I just want to let my journalism professors in San Beda College know how right they were. They said that all ideas have been written before and, therefore, no writer could do an original piece. One can only come up with innovations, with few changes here and there and presto, one may write what could be apparently viewed as original in thought and in meaning.

Perhaps we should now complete the message that probably Ninoy Aquino wanted to tell us, as inspired by Hamilton Fish. Perhaps we should make NOW a vow to "resolve that the Philippines is truly worth living for in time of peace." Of course, after Filipinos have resolved the Muslim and communist rebellions that are actually acts of war.

What say you, dear readers? # # #

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Last Updated on Thursday, 20 August 2015 18:43

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626