EDITORIAL - We need our boys home

The Freeman

Unless the purpose is to allow Filipino soldiers and policemen to earn extra income, there ought to be no reason why they are being sent overseas to keep the peace in other people's quarrels and in the process put their own lives in harm's way.

And even then, that is as flimsy a reason as any. No matter how much a Filipino soldier or policeman gets to earn in extra income trying to stop the citizens of a foreign country from annihilating one another, that still cannot compensate their families if they die in the process.

True, our soldiers and policemen have volunteered their services for the great honor of preserving world peace under the flag of the United Nations. But the sad truth is that honor has long departed many of the conflicts we have chosen to be involved in.

There is hardly any honor left in most of the conflicts gripping the Middle East and some parts of Africa. Many of these conflicts have long gone beyond conventions civilized nations had illusions of trying to govern.

Why, even the great superpowers have started downsizing their involvement, making it hard to understand why a country like the Philippines, which has long simmering domestic conflicts of its own and emerging foreign provocations to face, would not recall our boys home.

There is a great and urgent need for soldiers and policemen right within our shores. Our country is being beset by rebellions on two fronts and a runaway criminality. If we cannot face up to our own problems, why should we face up to those of others.

If it is the pay, then why don't we just upgrade the salaries of our boys. If pay is all that can make them do a good job, then make them do a good job right here at home. Patriotism is far more valuable than foreign service anytime.

This is not to denigrate and undermine the meaningful task of the United Nations. But the job of the UN is best served by those with greater capability to carry them out with success. Our boys have better things to do at home.

Besides, if all that our good neighborliness amounts to is getting our boys captured and paraded ignominiously in public by their foreign captors, then clearly humiliation is not the return we seek and deserve.

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