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The "Greatest Generation" and WWII Rape: A Letter to Ken Burns

'The War,' Mr. Burns, is not your blind, masculine-centric vision of it, full of all these lies about valor and sacrifice and courage and nobility. There is little that is noble about the raping, war-making brute we call a soldier.
 http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/?p=332


"A Letter to Ken Burns about The War: An Intimate History"

By Dr. Suki Falconberg

9/28/07

'The War,' Mr. Burns, is the Yokosuka rape queues in August 1945, with GI's lined up for blocks, two abreast, to get at the Japanese girls enslaved in 'comfort stations' for them—with the full cooperation of the American and Japanese authorities. Destitute, vulnerable girls were raped into unconsciousness as the men joked and laughed and jostled in line, waiting their turn. Some girls bled to death. Some committed suicide—that is, the lucky ones who could escape. Not one 'comfort girl' has told her story—due to shame. Why did you not tell this particular 'intimate history' of 'The War,' Mr. Burns? Especially since 'usage' of the girls was almost 100%. Why has the small detail that almost every GI in Japan, 1945, was a rapist escaped you? Why his this big 'dirty secret' of war never been covered?

'The War,' Mr. Burns, is the men who lined up to use the prostitutes on Hotel Street in Honolulu: women were raped 100 times a day—a different man entered the girl every three minutes. Why should I mourn these rapists when they were killed in the attack at Pearl Harbor? They slaughtered the bodies of these women in a fashion far more brutal than any bombing could ever be.


'The War,' Mr. Burns, is the widespread rape of French girls by GI's after they 'liberated' Paris. Rape by American soldiers was so common that Eisenhower actually had to acknowledge it was happening, although he did nothing to stop it.

'The War' is the public parks in Palermo, where pimps considerately laid out mattresses so the GI's could fuck starving Italian girls comfortably, for a dollar or two a turn.

'The War' is homeless, prostituted girls in Berlin doing it in the rubble for a few cents and agreeing to 'share' a GI bed so they would simply have a place to sleep that night. This, after they had already had the insides raped out of them by the invading Russian army and then were labeled 'whores' since it was a convenient way for the authorities to deal with these 'ruined' women.

The War' is the village in Okinawa where GI's raped every woman, girl, and child—the victims were too sick and starving to even try to run from their attackers.

'The War,' Mr. Burns, is the starvation prostitution forced upon tens of thousands of European and Japanese girls (some barely into their teens) by the ridiculous conflicts men create to display their phallic brutality. It is also the brothel attached to a military base in Arizona stocked with 'worn-out whores' and reserved exclusively for black solders, so that the white GI's would not have to 'contaminate' their penises by raping the same prostitutes. Thousands of black GI's passed through this brothel daily, and who knows what insane, pathetic creatures they left dead of rape and misery.

'The War,' Mr. Burns, is not your blind, masculine-centric vision of it, full of all these lies about valor and sacrifice and courage and nobility. There is little that is noble about the raping, war-making brute we call a soldier.

I was raped and prostituted by the U.S. Military. Why don't you tell my story, Mr. Burns? It is far more 'colorful' than that of these soldiers who raped their way through Europe and Asia Don't you want to know what it's like to be mounted by a line of soldiers? It is a hell beyond any possible imagining. It has happened to me.

My PTSD, as it is so fashionably called, is far more intense than that of the men who raped the life and dignity and beauty out of me. The emotional damage to the soldier does not compare to the suffering he inflicts on the women he ravages.

War is never good for women. War sexually enslaves women. Men gain by war. They have the pleasure of rape: they mount starving women, 'cheap whores,' and take their pleasure, and the woman is silenced forever by her shame.

What a male abomination is not just your grandiose seven-part, tidy version of 'The War,' but PBS as well. You pretend to be enlightened but you are as blind and callous and cruel as the soldier rapists who destroyed the lives and bodies of so many women.

I looked at your so-called 'companion volume' to the series. The index carries not one reference to rape, prostitution, military brothels, or the sexual suffering of millions of woman. How can you overlook, ignore, dismiss a 'fact' so enormous? As if these women simply never existed.

What a betrayal of our raped bodies is your grand, masculine-centric version of 'The War.' Even your title indicates that you own this territory, this war, your war. It is, indeed, your war—since all wars are the product of your male phallic cruelty.

War never 'liberates' women. War sexually destroys us. It has never been otherwise. Briseis had no say in her fate as a 'captive' woman. No one asked her what she thought of the arrangement. No one has asked the Filipina women trafficked onto the fifty U.S. bases in Iraq what they think of their lot as the GI's line up for their five-minute shot inside them.

Men make war because they love war. Don't ask me to feel sorry for the way they 'suffer.'

Dr. Suki Falconberg, Rape/Prostitution Survivor

Your bravery 01.Oct.2007 17:48

juliana

Thank you for breaking the silence and for your courage!
I am not surprised that I am the only comment-maker so far; we rarely discuss rape in this country and almost never hold men accountable for it. To all of the 'progressive' or 'anarchist' men who read indymedia: what are you doing to end rape?!

yeah juliana 02.Oct.2007 04:16

it's all my fault, i admit it

> we rarely discuss rape in this country and almost never hold men accountable for it

perhaps juliana meant "almost never hold rapists accountable for it"

but maybe not

women remember where men forget 02.Oct.2007 12:03

Sam

Thank you for posting this harrowing account of men's willful blindness to the atrocities they heap on women as women simply because they are women.

It was not until 1999 that rape was successfully prosecuted as a crime of war for the first time ever. The woman who helped bring that about is the same woman credited with creating the first sexual harassment laws, and that great feminist's name and her accomplishments advancing women's human rights are largely unknown among modern librul men whose support of feminism stops at magnanimously championing every women's "right" to suck cocks for cash