Picking a Fight

AARON FAVILA/AP

A U.S serviceman kicks his comrade as they practice self-defense inside the Southern Command military base in Zamboanga city, southern Philippines

The second front in the war on terror officially began last week when 660 U.S. soldiers got marching orders to accompany their Philippine counterparts into the jungles of miniscule Basilan Island on the fringe end of the Philippines. Their mission: to help take out the dreaded kidnap-extortionists known as Abu Sayyaf. What is not written in the "terms of reference" signed last week between Washington and Manila: let's turn a blind eye to the country's real terrorist threat to the north, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Manila's generals have known for years that the MILF...

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