Friday, March 6, 2015


SEVENTY years ago, the United States Marines raised the Stars and Stripes on top of Mount Suribachi on the southern end of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, presaging the fall of Hitler’s Oriental cohort. In the same week, Marshal Zhukov’s troops captured the German Festung in Polish Poznan and a joint Filipino-American force (US 11th Airborne Division, Marking’s Guerrillas, Anderson’s USAFFE Bonn Military Area, President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas, Fil-Chinese 48th Detachment, Hukbalahap, with the Hunters-ROTC as the main assault unit) liberated the Nipponese prisoner-of-war camp in Laguna.

In the 23 February 2015 day-long Security Council debate, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed: “Sovereignty remains a bedrock of international order.”

Seven decades ago, Allied firebombers roasted Berlin and Tokyo, the 17th Indian Division with the 255th Indian Tank Brigade encircled enemy Major-General Kasuya’s 3,500 rear-echelon troops inside the Burmese temple-town of Meiktila, and three Arabic countries (Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia) belatedly declared war against Nazi Germany and Militarist Japan. The Canadian First Army launched Operation Blockbuster (penetrating the Hochwald Layback, winning the Battle of the Rhineland), Finland declared war against Hitler’s Germany, and the US Army 41st Division landed successfully on Palawan (just 800 miles from China, 250 miles from Sabah), freeing Puerto Princesa and securing a base to interdict enemy shipping between Japan and Indonesia (Dutch East Indies).

At the 7389th Meeting of the Security Council, the Chinese delegate presented a concept paper (document S/2015/87) lauding the opportunity for UN Member-States to “launch the commemoration of the Organization’s 70th anniversary and ‘the victory won in the war against fascism.’”

In March of 1945, Soviet Red Armymen advanced into East Prussia (Kolberg), the US First Army crossed the Rhine at Remagen, and Japanese stay-behind units were rooted out of the Philippine capital city, thus ending the Battle of Manila.

Elements of the Netherlands Resistance ambushed SS General Johann Baptist Albin Hanns Rauter, US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Red Cross B’nai B’rith surgical dressing unit at the Walsh Club House, and a Fu-Go death tool (Japanese balloon bomb) killed a pregnant Sunday school teacher and five American teenagers in rural Oregon.

Last week, Wang Yi (China’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Security Council President for the month), speaking in his national capacity, said that the UN’s 70th anniversary was an important opportunity to draw lessons from history, chart a course for the future, and renew good neighborliness, further paying tribute to all those who sacrificed to fight fascism.

On 21 February 1944, Turkish-born Armenian poet Missak Manouchian and 22 of his comrades (8 Poles, 5 Italians, 3 Frenchmen, 2 Hungarians, 2 Romanians, 1 Spaniard, 1 Armenian) were executed by the German occupiers at Mont Valerian in France. In a farewell letter to Melinée (Manouchian’s wife), Missak explained: “I joined the Army of Liberation as a volunteer, and I die within inches of Victory and the final goal. I wish for happiness for all those who will survive and taste the sweetness of the freedom and peace of tomorrow. I’m sure that the French people, and all those who fight for freedom, will know how to honor our memory with dignity. At the moment of death, I proclaim that I have no hatred for the German people, or for anyone at all; everyone will receive what he is due, as punishment and as reward. The German people, and all other people will leave in peace and brotherhood after the war.”

This year, 44 PNP SAF commandos, among others, sacrificed their lives in the global and domestic war against terrorists.

In the first quarter of 1945, the Hunters-ROTC guerrillas triumphantly combated Yamashita’s Shimbu Group (Shimbu Reserve, Kawashima Force, Kobayashi Force, Noguchi Force, Kogure Detachment), clearing the Laguna Lake area as one of its contributions to the Philippine Liberation Campaign. From 31 January 1945 (linking with the US 11th Airborne Division at the Nasugbu Landing) to 19 February (Battle of Mckinley-Nichols Field against the Japanese Imperial Marines) and up to the Liberation of Tayabas, the respective commands of guerrilla officers Vic Estacio and Honorio K. Guerrero sought and destroyed the Oriental Hitlerites in Southern Luzon. In the crusade, Lt. Col. Emmanuel V. de Ocampo, for instance, engaged the fascist Japanese at the Manila Post Office.

The armed struggle of the East Central Luzon Guerrilla Area, Bulacan Military Area, and Vinzon’s Guerrillas was not limited to a defense of the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Gustavo Ingles, Vic Novales, Terry Adevoso and the rest of the Hunters-ROTC were combatants for economic truths that have become accepted as self-evident: the rights to a useful and remunerative job, to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation, of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living, of every businessman (large and small) to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad, of every family to a decent home, to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health, to adequate protection from the economic fears (of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment), and to a good education.

The campaign to attain these liberties, known as the Second Bill of Rights, as explained by US President F.D. Roosevelt in his January 11, 1944 State of the Union address, was especially palpable in Europe, with the French Resistance having called it the battle for economic rebirth. The Partisans and patriotic militias struggled towards the return of commercial activity on a healthy foundation. Even as the Nazis and other fascists were being removed from the scene, the workers themselves re-established order and production.

The factory workers in parts of France went on strike when Management refused to succor the men who toiled through the night. (“For Free Meal Breaks,” La Vérité, May 26, 1944) The Worker’s Front and the Francs Tireurs et Partisans defied
Petain’s reactionary anti-worker government and fought for bread, freedom, and peace. When the Resistance called all of Paris to the barricades, the movement was against the brigands of the SS, the Gestapo and Darnand’s Milice and for civil freedoms (the right to unions, the recognition of the workers’ right to arm and organize themselves in worker’s militias). (“Hitler is Collapsing,” La Vérité, August 11, 1944) In the Philippines, collaborators were prosecuted for economic sabotage and anti-Filipino tradesmen were penalized for trying to sell coconut oil, cassava flour and other necessities on the black market. (G.R. No. L-1451, October 6, 1949)

Today, delegates of more than 100 countries gathered in New York are considering the UN Charter’s role in peace and security maintenance.
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