Friday, August 25, 2006

The Second Impeachment Complaint...part two

As far as the majority in the House is concerned, the second impeachment complaint was doomed from the start. If compared to a boxing match, it was a fight not to be decided on how good the fighter fights, but on whose side the referee and the judges are on.

I do not think even Manny Pacquiao would enter the ring if he knew that even if he landed all his punches, the judges will not give him points but instead award it to his opponent. Or even if he knocks down the opponent the referee will not count. Most likely he will just choose not to fight and wait for the next match.

The obvious result of the failed second impeachment is the further weakening of the opposition. The administration now has the bragging rights to claim a second victory over a threat to the presidency of PGMA, further strengthening her hold especially among the players in the political field. This is most especially true considering the forthcoming elections in 2007. Having emerged the victor in this latest political skirmish, candidates in the coming elections will have second thoughts going against a now-deeply entrenched president whose use of resources to gain political allies has already been mastered as a science.

It would have been a different scenario if, like the first impeachment, the prospects of convincing members of Congress to support the impeachment were real and greater. But long before the second impeachment complaint was filed, it was already clear that the previous number of 51 was not going to be reached. And neither were there any of the pro-GMA congressmen who even indicated a change of heart.

On hindsight, the wisdom of pursuing the second impeachment complaint now comes to test. With the knowledge of the eventual fate of the complaint, was it to the benefit of the over-all cause of the opposition for it to be led to its pre-determined death?

There is always a reward of glory in making a desperate, last stand against all odds. That’s the appeal of Custer’s last stand. The Alamo. Gregorio Del Pilar’s Tirad Pass. But in the pursuit of victory in a war, do all battles need to be won?

General Douglas MacArthur was humbled by his retreat from the Philippines, decimated by the advancing Japanese troops. He scampered away without the pomp and circumstance worthy of the general that he was. He slipped out the back door, in a submarine that took him to the rear lines where he planned for his return.

And return he did, with a fresh plan, forged determination and clear objective. If he had chosen to make a last stand in the face of the Japanese advance, he would most likely had inspired his men to fight to the death. HE would have either been captured or killed along with his men. If that had happened, there is no doubt that he would have been lionized as a hero.

A dead hero. One who can never fight again.

A military saying goes, “better to retreat today and live to fight another day”. Another says, “a living soldier is better than a dead hero.”

Sun Tzu, in his much acclaimed writings of military doctrine, The Art of War, said, “Victory goes to the one who knows when to fight and when not to fight.”

Choosing the battles you fight is one of the accepted military tactics and strategies. It also holds true even in the stock market or foreign exchange trading…you have to know when to sell and when not to sell. It especially holds true in politics. Even in Impeachment.

And so it goes back tot eh impeachment complaint…was it beneficial to bring the opposition to an eventual political loss? What are the gains of the exercise? Did it add to the number of the opposition or did it just make the opposition angrier? Frustrated? Discouraged?

Did it add to the number of idealists or did it contribute to the ranks of pragmatists?

These are questions that I hope the opposition will ponder on now, in the period going into the 2007 elections. It is during this lull in the battle that plans should now be made to ensure victory in next year’s elections. Lessons from the past will serve the opposition well during this period, as well as the visions for the future.

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