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Our ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ at work

THIS coming April 11, 2024, it has been confirmed that Pres. Marcos Jr., would be flying yet again to the United States—his 4th visit since becoming president—for the ‘Ttrilateral Summit’ between the Philippines and its two former oppressors, the United States and Japan.

No matter how some quarters frame it or describe it, every description such as “a trilateral partnership built on deep historical ties of friendship…” (according to White Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre) or that the meeting is based on “shared values, shared interests, and shared respect of the three parties for the rules-based international order, whose partnership rests upon a solid foundation of trust, mutual respect, and understanding” (according to the DFA’s Usec. Maria Theresa Lazaro), they are all a farce as they do not conform to the historical facts and events that bind the three countries of which the common thread is that both imperialists exploited and brutalized the Philippines.

And yes, the only correct adjective used for this meeting is that it would be “historic,” as indeed it would be.

For is it not historic that after suffering armed invasion, massacres, exploitation, and unequal partnership that continue to run to this day, we are probably the only human race in the world who have forgotten our brutal fate in the hands of these two imperialists?

That we are even willing to put history on its head just to ingratiate ourselves to them by calling them as “friends” and the blood of our ancestors they so willingly spilled we now described, in a positive spin, as part of our “deep historical ties of friendship?”

Added to our character defect as a people owing to the persistence of colonial mentality deepened by our miseducation, the looming trilateral summit should add another problem to our deeply flawed national psyche. And that should be the ‘Stockholm Syndrome.’

My perusal of the Internet defines the Stockholm Syndrome thus:

“Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response to being held captive. People with Stockholm syndrome form a psychological connection with their captors and begin sympathizing with them.

In addition to the original kidnapper-hostage situation, Stockholm syndrome now includes other types of trauma in which there’s a bond between the abuser and the person being abused.

“Many medical professionals consider the victim’s positive feelings toward their abuser a psychological response — a coping mechanism — that they use to survive the days, weeks or even years of trauma or abuse. Other closely linked psychological conditions include:

Trauma bonding, Learned helplessness, and Battered person syndrome.

Any way one looks at our situation and despite our pretenses at ‘national sovereignty’ or that we are (already) a free and independent state, the truth of the matter is, we remain a “captive” nation, a continuing “hostage” of US Imperialism.

Unfortunately, while the majority of Filipinos resist and resent this situation and truly long to live in a free and independent country where they can chart their own destiny, majority of our leaders have long ago resigned themselves to this reality, that we cannot free our country from the crooked clutches of US Imperialism. And this is to the common Filipinos’ woe as they are the ones leading our country.

After having been battered and abused for more than a century by US Imperialism and brutalized in every manner by Japanese Imperialism during their nearly 5 years of occupation, we ended up being a deeply traumatized race that instead of finding hope and courage thru our own effort and entertaining the idea that, we too, can be a truly great nation by and on our own effort, we chose the easiest way out—a coping mechanism that made us not only “sympathized” with, but even more, “admire” our oppressors.

Far from enhancing the country’s quest for global recognition as a free and independent state, this Trilateral Summit can only earn us scorn, ridicule, and disrespect especially from our fellow countries in the Global South.

Africans, for example would find it hard to understand as to why we are doing our darndest best to return to the arms of our oppressors while they are doing their darndest best to kick out of Africa their own Western colonial and imperialist oppressors.

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