October 2008

The Death March of Bataan

In Mariveles, which is on the southern tip of the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines, nearly 66,000 Filipino and 12,000 American soldiers surrendered to the Japanese in 1942 as part of World War II.

The Japanese had prepared to take only 25,000 prisoners of war, and their plans to transport them to the northern province of Tarlac fell apart under these larger numbers.

Mothering and the Military: How Do We Raise Our Children?

This essay by Sharon Doubiago explores the tension between the culture of individualism and mothering:
In the SF Chronicle last month a mother told of fighting two years as an attorney to annul her underage son's enlistment, but then the day came when, of age, he enlisted again. Her attitude now (as if she'd learned her lesson and was anxious to show this) was classic. "We fully support his decision. We realize he has his own life to live."

Torture Breaks Everyone, Including the Torturers

by John Davis

In the center of the empty concrete room squatted a single, ancient, wooden bathtub. The museum director who placed it there knew the power the tub conveyed. It was the actual tub used by the Gestapo in Den Haag, the Netherlands, as an interrogation device during World War II. The prisoner was strapped to a board, then held under the water until he thought he was going to drown. It was that simple.

Voices of Veterans: A Welcome Home Ceremony

On Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11th at the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon, Mosaic Multicultural Foundation presents a public gathering that brings together veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and community members in a ceremony of honoring, healing, and welcoming home. Such a welcoming involves a community conversation that moves beyond politics and goes deeper than the rhetoric of war; it requires courage and is too-often avoided.

Antonieta Villamil and Her Brother Pedro

In this video -- an excerpt from the documentary film Voices in Wartime -- Antonieta Villamil presents her poem "Pedro," about her brother's death in the civil war. Villamil is a Colombian poet, editor and translator. She won the International Poetry Award "Gastón Baquero 2001" with her book Los Acantilados del Sueño. Villamil's brother may well have been tortured before being murdered, as were so many other activists who disappeared into the chaos and horror of that war. Their families may never know what happened to them.