It’s always hard to sift through news reports, which tend to be “Ain’t it awful” and “if it bleeds it leads”.

We saw this last week in the Philippines, where both CNN and BBC covered a “hostage crisis” as if it was a horror…but the reality is that it was a publicity stunt, the kids were in no danger, the crowds looking on were not too upset, and the fact that two politicians just strolled onto the bus to “resolve the crisis” made half of the Philippines laugh. We’re at the start of congressional elections, and politics in the Philippines makes Chicago elections look like child’s play.

So the question is did Iran blink? Even the Washington Post allows someone to mention that the “hostage” crisis of the British sailors did not create a bump in the popularity of the government. The mullahs realized that they won rhetorically but lost foreign investments. Then there was the defection of a former Iranian Defense minister, and the capture of Iranians who were suspected as directing the Shiite Militias (Iran now says they were “diplomats”, but some suspect the idea was to get them back in exchange for the sailors)
The government is a limited tyranny and a limited democracy, with large non Farsi population and a lot of economic problems. Don’t hold your breath waiting for peace, but just remember that Persia invented chess…and they just lost a pawn.

Another report are two on the success of the increase in security in Iraq. Yup. Lots of car bombs, but now one of the bomb factories was hit, and people are starting to go outside. ABC FILM HERE.

No one expects a win in two months, but there might be a cooling down of things.
Even Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria may have warmed a few hearts, but her faux pas in wearing a scarf has probably not won her many votes in the US. One suspects Nancy doesn’t know much about history. But Tom Lantos was in the delegation, and according to the article he was quoted as saying:

“..Assad should be given a final opportunity to disengage from the “axis of evil.” Lantos said that in a few years, Sunni Muslims and not Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in control in the region, and it is to the advantage of Damascus to know which side to be on.

New York Times stroy about the meeting is HERE.

The connection between Alqaeda and terror cells in both the Philippines and in Indonesia is often overlooked. And after a fight, the war against these groups is getting results.

Indonesian troops found a large amount explosives hidden by local terror groups, probably preventing another Bali type bombing. There have been lots of arrests but no major bombings for two years in Indonesia. The Aussie special forces are helping the Indos like the US Special forces are helping our military here in the Philippines.

And when the BBC reports the war on Jolo Island and in the Southern Philippines is going fairly well, you know someone must be doing something right.

Right now, with millions of Filipinos going home for the Easter Holidays, security is high to prevent terrorist attacks. So far, except for a joker being arrested for a false bomb threat, things are quiet.

For those who see all wars in the prism of Viet Nam, perhaps they should instead view it through the eyes of the Philippines.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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