[*archieval images courtesy of Wikipedia, and the University of Wisconsin]

Women begging for food from Americans during the Phil-Am War.

Women begging for food from Americans during the Phil-Am War.

[*I will be co-instructing an upcoming series of Philippine history workshops at KPC from September to November, so I thought I’d write a preview about the Fil-Am War…]

Today’s North American news has daily reports of the debacle in Iraq. It’s just the latest in a string of US invasions into sovereign lands, but the grand-daddy of it all was in the Philippines. (more…)

1) a physical war of man against man, religion vs religion. This battle of arms was meant as a final resort, only to be undertaken in self-defence. (The West and the Extremists dwell on this. Moreover they pervert it by dropping the reference to self-defence). 2) an internal spiritual struggle. A battle against hate, and towards God (towards love). A fight to submit life to Allah, and not to human whims and desires (esp against the desire to dominate over man).

The term "jihad"; often poorly translated as "Holy War" can mean: 1) a physical war of man against man, religion vs religion. This battle of arms was meant as a final resort, only to be undertaken in self-defence. (The West and extremists dwell on this. Moreover they pervert it by dropping the reference to "self-defence"). 2) an internal spiritual struggle. A battle against hate, and towards God (towards love). A fight to submit life to Allah, and not to human whims and desires (esp against the desire to dominate over man).

So Suharto is dead.

For this I will take a break from Philippine issues and wade into those of a sister nation to which I have some affinity and attachment (I lived there for over a year in 2001).

Here’s some quotes from some papers in Canada:

“World leaders on Sunday praised the late Indonesian president Suharto for the stability and growth he brought to the region…” – The National Post

“…Suharto is credited with stimulating economic growth…” – The Toronto Star

”Suharto is credited with developing the economy…” – 24 Hours

Then, almost in the same breath they write:

“The former general, 86 when he died on Sunday, ruled with an iron fist for 32 years… his time in power, which ended in 1998 after mass protests, also witnessed corruption, massacres and human rights abuses, particularly in separatist hot spots such as Papua and East Timor.” – The National Post

“The estimates of the number of people killed by Suharto’s regime “vary from 300,000 to 2 million, but the exact number nobody knows,” said Asmara Nababan, former secretary general of Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission.”

(more…)