Buencamino does foreign and political affairs analysis for Action for Economic Reforms. This piece was published in the newspaper Today, 14 August 2004 edition, page 9.

Once upon a time, Cowboy George bragged about the 80 COWs (Coalition of
the Willing) in his ranch. He and his Halliburton pals were whooping it
up so much they didn’t notice that a lot of COWs were jumping over the
fence and going home. Last week, he counted his COWs and discovered he
had only 32 left. Bush realized his Iraqi barbecue would end if all the
COWs went home so he decided to try a new way to herd them back into
his corral.

Everybody knows that pigs don’t fly so what would attract more curiosity than pigs sitting on a fence?

Iraqi sovereignty is one such pig on a fence. A recent cartoon
describes it best. The cartoon shows two men talking on the phone. One
man says “What the heck? They transferred sovereignty two days early?
Now I have to cancel my Iraqi Sovereignty party!”

The man on the other end of the line asks,” What happens at an Iraqi
Sovereignty party?” The first man replies, “You tell your guests
they’re in charge, but they can’t drink without your permission.”

Nevertheless, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) gave wings to
the pig. According to our Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), “The UN
Security Council passed resolution 1546 last month that restored Iraqi
sovereignty, pledged international assistance to the Iraqi
reconstruction, and delineated the role of the US-led multinational
force in keeping the peace in the embattled country.”

UN Security Council Resolution 1546 was proposed by the US, Britain and
Romania. In other words, the rancher, his ranch hand and a cow. It’s
not a bad resolution per se except for one thing, it forgets to mention
that there was a non-UN sanctioned, hence illegal, invasion and
occupation of Iraq that preceded it. So except for that tiny little
omission which absolves the criminals of any liability; recognizes
their newly appointed “sovereigns”; and legalizes all the business
deals entered into during the occupation and forever after, the
resolution is good.

One former COW was so intrigued by the pig sitting on a fence that she asked Cowboy George to allow her to go back in.

Her Foreign Secretary said, “Our future actions will now relate to how
we will be covered by UNSC resolution 1546 under which we can
participate to show that we are a responsible member of the U.N. and
part of the U.N. Security Council.”

Her military spokesman, Lt. Col. Daniel Lucero, added, “One of the aims
of the Armed Forces is to support our government in our commitment to
the United Nations-sponsored activities. With this commitment, the
Armed Forces of the Philippines has a unit prepared, trained and
equipped specifically to support any UN-sponsored mission.” And while
his unit is waiting to be called, maybe Lucero can keep them in shape
by sending them after the NPA or the bandits in Mindanao.

In addition to Lucero’s battalion, DFA Secretary Delia Albert said
there would be 6000 potential Angelo dela Cruz’s going to Iraq by next

Why call them “potential Angelo de la Cruzes?” Because the Iraqis are
Muslims and they do not like pigs, winged or otherwise. Besides,
they’ve been around long enough to know that pigs don’t fly.