A DARK lord rose to lead mankind along the iron road to destruction. A mortal lord, one with no powers save those belonging to mortal men.” – Helainesse [India Edghill, “Unleaving,” Bedlam’s Edge. NY: Baen Books, 2005, p. 31]
It was Adolf Hitler speaking on the 25th anniversary of the announcement of the National Socialist Party, February 24, 1945: “Providence shows no mercy to weak nations, but recognizes the right of existence-only of sound and strong nations. The fact that the National Socialist movement in 1933 succeeded after roughly thirteen years in gaining power by legal means was the result of a stubborn and hard struggle that often seemed to be hopeless.”
Who subscribes to Hitler’s equation? Is it true that there are only two choices for a middling republic like the Philippines? To apply for inclusion into Donald Trump’s MAGA versus absorption into Xi Jinping’s virus-plagued tributary system?
Individuals, clans, tribes, villages, cities, kingdoms and nations during the Second World War were compelled to choose: the Fascist International versus the original United Nations.
For Sergio Osmeña, the message on February 27, 1945: “This is an historic event in an historic city. From the time our Malay ancestors founded it more than eight centuries ago, colonial powers have fought for its conquest and domination. The Spaniards, the Dutch, the English, a Chinese pirate, our revolutionary fathers, have all vied with each other and shed blood for its possession; because its conquest has always meant the ultimate control of the entire archipelago.”
“The time has come when the world should know that when our forces surrendered in Bataan and Corregidor, resistance to the enemy was taken up by the people itself…The fight against the enemy was truly a people’s war because it counted with the wholehearted support of the masses. From the humble peasant to the barrio school teacher, from the volunteer guard to the women’s auxiliary service units, from the loyal local official to the barrio folk — each and every one of these contributed his share in the great crusade for liberation.”
“Our independence is a settled question. Our live decades of consistent struggles, in peace and war, have come to a definite, successful end. Our Government, when in exile, was considered as possessing the attributes of an independent nation. We are one of the United Nations.” [Address of President Osmeña on the occasion of the re-establishment of the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines in Manila]
For the Supreme Commander of the South West Pacific Area, the message on February 27, 1945: “These (American) soldiers have come here as an army of free men dedicated, with your people, to the cause of human liberty and committed to the task of destroying those evil forces that have sought to suppress it by brutality of the sword…Thus to millions of your now liberated people comes the opportunity to pledge themselves—their hearts, their minds, and their hands—to the task of building a new and stronger nation—a nation consecrated in the blood nobly shed that this day might be—a nation dedicated to making imperishable those sacred liberties for which we have fought and many have died.” [Speech of General MacArthur upon turning over to President Sergio Osmeña the full powers and responsibilities of the Commonwealth Government under the Constitution, Manila, February 27, 1945]
The Filipinos’ right to self-determination was mocked by the Japanese imperialists who raped the Pearl of the Orient. The Philippine capital was recovered by Allied initiative and this victory is being commemorated 75 years later with the photo exhibition “Allies for Freedom: Portraits of Filipino and American Courage in World War II” launched last March 3, 2020 at the American Barracks, Fort Santiago, Intramuros, curated by Bradford Smith (CEO, Merrion & Smith) and sponsored by the United States Embassy in the Philippines.
For the occasion, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana sent a message of collegiality (read by DND Usec. Ernesto Carolina), which began thus: “Filipino nationalist Claro M. Recto previously stated, ‘Nationalism is nourished by a sense of history’…Hence, it is indispensable that we promote love for our country among our people, especially the younger generation, so as not to be enslaved by tyranny and motivated by vested interests.”
“As we are confronted by various threats to peace and security in this modern age, we can apply one of the lessons our veterans had taught us, that is, about brotherhood among nations. It is the key in sustaining international order and fostering progress for humankind. This view was clearly espoused by Filipino veteran and outstanding leader General Carlos P. Romulo during his stint as President of the United Nations General Assembly.”
Similar lessons were advocated at a different forum (Tapatan sa the Aristocrat weekly press conference organized by veteran journalist Melo Acuna every Monday, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Aristocrat Restaurant in Malate, Manila) last March 2, 2020 that tackled the comfort women issue as well as tourism in the Philippines. Among the all-female panelists, Kareen S. Moncada (LLB-IV, Arellano University School of Law) discussed not only the legalities of Japan’s wartime military sexual slavery system but also prostitution and sex tourism. She located the issue within the broader context of Filipina warriors of WW2: “Maria Rosa Luna Henson (the first ‘comfort woman’ in the Philippines who went public in 1992 to share her stories) was a former guerrilla who fought the Japanese before she was caught and made to serve as a “comfort woman” in 1943. She was later on saved by guerrillas in 1944. She died in 1997 without having received a formal letter of apology from the Japanese Government.”
The Aristocrat breakfast forum and the US Embassy photo exhibit opened this year’s International Women’s Month, and, along with Kareen S. Moncada, we call the roll of WW2 heroines: Hedy Lamarr (aka Hedwig Kiesler, co-inventor of the concept of “frequency hopping,” recognized with the Electronic Frontier Foundation award in 1997), Claire Phillips, Margaret Utinsky, Goar Vartanyan, Maria Y. Orosa, Greta Friedman, Odette Sansom (Code Name: Lise), Josefa Llanes Escoda, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade (aka Hedgehog), Jeannie Rousseau, Virginia Hall, Jacqueline Jenkins-Nye, Agnès Humbert, Aleksandra Samusenko, Elvira Chaudoir, Hortense Clews, Fernande “Freddie” Davis, Simone Segouin, Yvonne Oddon, Blessed Sára Salkaházi, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (aka Edith Stein), Alicja Maria Jadwiga Kotowska, Ewa Noiszewska, Julia Rodzińska, Katarzyna Celestyna Faron, Maria Antonina Kratochwil, Maria Klemensa Staszewska, Marta Wołowska, Mieczysława Kowalska, Irena Sendlerowa.
They were all instrumental in fulfilling the original United Nations mission of eradicating Hitlerism. But in the 21st century a dark lord in the East is infecting Earth with the virus of hegemonism.