Sunday, November 8, 2015

Russian Metrojet Flight 9268 Crash: Another Post 9/11 Geopolitical Game Changer?

Given that this means another draconian ratcheting up of airport security, does the October 31, 2015 Metrojet Flight 9268 crash become another post 9/11 geopolitical game changer? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The incident is not only tragic, but also conspiracy theory laden as well. Before the European investigators point to the cause of the crash with 99-percent certainty as a smuggled explosive device based on the recovered flight data recorders / black boxes, Russian publications loyal to the strongman Vladimir Putin already published articles pointing the blame on MI-5, CIA agents and even a handful of Ukrainians currently fighting for Islamic State / Daesh, and this was a few hours before Islamic State / Daesh claimed responsibility for successfully smuggling an explosive device onboard Metrojet Flight 9268. But will this tragic incident change the geopolitical tempo on how Vladimir Putin’s Russia deals with Islamic State / Daesh Syrian home-base? 

The aircraft was an Airbus A321-231 operated by the Russian airline company Kogalymavia – branded as Metrojet to non native Russian speakers that exploded in mid air over northern Sinai back in October 31, 2015 was carrying 217 passengers and 7 crew members. A majority of them were Russian and the flight was en route from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. Russian conspiracy theorists loyal to Vladimir Putin were quick to point the blame at Russia’s “Western enemies” as a supposed payback for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that was “allegedly” shot down by a BUK surface-to-air missile last year by Russian loyalists over the contested Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. 

Stranger still, before the flight data recorders / black boxes were recovered by investigators, a Pentagon reconnaissance satellite that was scheduled to overfly the Sinai region managed to “see” the midair explosion of the Metrojet Flight 9268 in real time but was shelved by the analysts who were manning the satellite at the time because they thought that it could just be a car-sized meteorite exploding high over the northern Sinai region. Whatever the powers-that-be decide to do with the facts currently on the table with regards to the tragic crash of Metrojet Flight 9268, it would still be us civilians who will bear the brunt of increased and very intrusive airport security checks.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Hagiographical Conspiracy Against General Inocencio Junquera?

Even though he is famed for being the first “liberal” governor general of Cebu, Is General Inocencio Junquera a victim of his own “hagiography”? 

By: Ringo Bones

Given that his name is now synonymous with the Red Light District of a street named after him, General Inocencio Junquera who served as a civil and political governor of Cebu, Philippines from 1893 to 1895 was used to be famed for establishing the first cultural live theatre house in Cebu during his tenure. As a patron of the arts, General Junquera single-handedly uplifted the cultural landscape of Cebu by establishing a venue for the local talented dramaturges to perform their craft. Sadly, in the recent post Colonial environment of Cebu near the end of the 19th Century, the still pro Spanish Inquisition Catholic Priests of the time (and even now) are still miserly of praise and even vehemently critical of the achievements of General Inocencio Junquera during his tenure as post Colonial governor general of Cebu.   

Largely because General Junquera was staunchly for the separation of Church and state – especially at the time where there was a large “Protestant Swedish Diaspora” in Cebu at the time. Unfortunately, the protests by the pro Spanish friars at the time outlasted Junquera’s “cultural legacy” and accusations of General Junquera turning a blind eye on the growing prostitution in Cebu got him compared to U.S. Civil War era General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker because, like General Hooker, General Junquera’s post theatrical performance parties are usually frequented by Cebu’s high-end prostitutes at the time. Maybe it was just a coincidence that the plays staged by Gen. Junquera before the time of movie theatres are often frequented by affluent, heterosexual gentlemen?    
Was General Inocencio Junquera just a victim of his own hagiography given that the street named after him is now synonymous with Cebu City’s Red Light District? Maybe, but I do find it a bit disconcerting that it is only in Wikipedia that his “cultural legacy” can be found and Cebu’s “oral history” got him compared to the “pimp U.S. Civil War General” General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker. Maybe the powers-that-be in the Cebu City Hall should consider rebuilding his “Teatro Junquera” as a venue for Cebu’s live theatre dramaturges.