Calibrated repression

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Attacks against the media and journalists, including assassinations, have become so common in this archipelago of violence they no longer surprise many Filipinos. But the burning of Cagayan community radio station DWRC is doubly significant.

The facilities of DWRC Radyo Cagayano in Baggao, Cagayan, were torched in the early morning of July 2 by eight heavily-armed men wearing ski masks. They bound and gagged station manager Susan Mapa, and volunteer broadcasters Arnold Agraan, Joy Marcos, Richard Ayudan, Arlyn Arella, and Armalyn Baddua. The men then dragged them out of the station before setting fire to station and its transmitter. They took the cell phones and other belongings of Mapa and company. The damage to the station was estimated at P1.5 million. Continue reading

Tearing the nation apart

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In the late 1960s, when the outcome of the Vietnam War was still uncertain, some US sociologists warned that its social costs to the United States could be immense. Any major war has an impact on the society from where the combatants are drawn. The Vietnam War would be no exception. Vietnam itself emerged from the war in economic, political and social ruin, and is still on the road to recovery. In the US case the impact did not include the economic devastation that being a theater of conflict brings.

But the US had thrown 500,000 young men into a war whose justness was uncertain at least. At home, the uncertainty and even conviction that the war was immoral had spread. Continue reading