Friday, December 28, 2007

The Other MILF

The MILF is an army of Muslims that has been fighting the Philippine government for independence since the 1970s (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). Mindanao has long been a troubled place. Both Muslim and Communist insurgents have been fighting the government there for years. There have been kidnappings, church burnings, and countless terrorist grenade attacks both in the hinterlands and in relatively modern cities like Davao and Zamboanga. All of these attacks were dutifully documented by Philippine newspapers. Occasionally they received a wider audience through the foreign media.
 
The area was Communist-controlled, and in 1988 the insurgency movements in the Philippines were near their high-water mark. The country was still recovering from a serious coup attempt earlier in the year and would suffer an even more serious attack the following year. Several American servicemen were assassinated outside the US bases. There were daily Communist ambushes in the countryside. It was not considered safe to travel between towns at night. The sense of fear for many was real. This gives a totally different meaning to the hedonistic term we are accustomed to as MILF.
 
 

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