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Forum Post: US Conquered the Philippines 100 years ago like Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan

Posted 9 years ago on Feb. 19, 2012, 8:07 a.m. EST by bklynsboy (834)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Driving the Spanish out, the US decided to do "democracy at gunpoint" for profit; they had tobacco and sugar cane. Then it all went bad. We decided to own them for profit. The liberated population soon hated Americans and fought guerrilla war. We lost lives and treasure. Here is an exerpt from the anti-imperialist senator from Massachusetts, George F. Hoar:

"You have sacrificed nearly ten thousand American lives—the flower of our youth. You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established reconcentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest bringing sheaves with them, in the shape of other thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of a numerous people the emblem of sacrilege in Christian churches, and of the burning of human dwellings, and of the horror of the water torture. Your practical statesmanship which disdains to take George Washington and Abraham Lincoln or the soldiers of the Revolution or of the Civil War as models, has looked in some cases to Spain for your example. I believe--nay, I know--that in general our officers and soldiers are humane. But in some cases they have carried on your warfare with a mixture of American ingenuity and Castilian cruelty. Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who thronged after your men when they landed on those islands with benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries can not eradicate."

— George Frisbie Hoar, May 1902 speech to the United States Senate

Sound familiar?



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[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 9 years ago

Comments on the Moro Massacre


Mark Twain (March 12, 1906)

This incident burst upon the world last Friday in an official cablegram from the commander of our forces in the Philippines to our Government at Washington. The substance of it was as follows: A tribe of Moros, dark-skinned savages, had fortified themselves in the bowl of an extinct crater not many miles from Jolo; and as they were hostiles, and bitter against us because we have been trying for eight years to take their liberties away from them, their presence in that position was a menace. Our commander, Gen. Leonard Wood, ordered a reconnaissance. It was found that the Moros numbered six hundred, counting women and children; that their crater bowl was in the summit of a peak or mountain twenty-two hundred feet above sea level, and very difficult of access for Christian troops and artillery. Then General Wood ordered a surprise, and went along himself to see the order carried out. Our troops climbed the heights by devious and difficult trails, and even took some artillery with them. The kind of artillery is not specified, but in one place it was hoisted up a sharp acclivity by tackle a distance of some three hundred feet. Arrived at the rim of the crater, the battle began. Our soldiers numbered five hundred and forty. They were assisted by auxiliaries consisting of a detachment of native constabulary in our pay -- their numbers not given -- and by a naval detachment, whose numbers are not stated. But apparently the contending parties were about equal as to number -- six hundred men on our side, on the edge of the bowl; six hundred men, women and children in the bottom of the bowl. Depth of the bowl, 50 feet.

Gen. Wood's order was, "Kill or capture the six hundred."

The battle began-it is officially called by that name-our forces firing down into the crater with their artillery and their deadly small arms of precision; the savages furiously returning the fire, probably with brickbats-though this is merely a surmise of mine, as the weapons used by the savages are not nominated in the cablegram. Heretofore the Moros have used knives and clubs mainly; also ineffectual trade-muskets when they had any.

The official report stated that the battle was fought with prodigious energy on both sides during a day and a half, and that it ended with a complete victory for the American arms. The completeness of the victory for the American arms. The completeness of the victory is established by this fact: that of the six hundred Moros not one was left alive. The brilliancy of the victory is established by this other fact, to wit: that of our six hundred heroes only fifteen lost their lives.

General Wood was present and looking on. His order had been. "Kill or capture those savages." Apparently our little army considered that the "or" left them authorized to kill or capture according to taste, and that their taste had remained what it has been for eight years, in our army out there - the taste of Christian butchers.

The official report quite properly extolled and magnified the "heroism" and "gallantry" of our troops; lamented the loss of the fifteen who perished, and elaborated the wounds of thirty-two of our men who suffered injury, and even minutely and faithfully described the nature of the wounds, in the interest of future historians of the United States. It mentioned that a private had one of his elbows scraped by a missile, and the private's name was mentioned. Another private had the end of his nose scraped by a missile. His name was also mentioned - by cable, at one dollar and fifty cents a word.

Next day's news confirmed the previous day's report and named our fifteen killed and thirty-two wounded again, and once more described the wounds and gilded them with the right adjectives.

Let us now consider two or three details of our military history. In one of the great battles of the Civil War ten per cent. Of the forces engaged on the two sides were killed and wounded. At Waterloo, where four hundred thousand men were present on the two sides, fifty thousand fell, killed and wounded, in five hours, leaving three hundred and fifty thousand sound and all right for further adventures. Eight years ago, when the pathetic comedy called the Cuban War was played, we summoned two hundred and fifty thousand men. We fought a number of showy battles, and when the war was over we had lost two hundred and sixty-eight men out of our two hundred and fifty thousand, in killed and wounded in the field, and just fourteen times as many by the gallantry of the army doctors in the hospitals and camps. We did not exterminate the Spaniards -- far from it. In each engagement we left an average of two per cent. of the enemy killed or crippled on the field.

Contrast these things with the great statistics which have arrived from [page 172] that Moro crater! There, with six hundred engaged on each side, we lost fifteen men killed outright, and we had thirty-two wounded-counting that nose and that elbow. The enemy numbered six hundred -- including women and children -- and we abolished them utterly, leaving not even a baby alive to cry for its dead mother. This is incomparably the greatest victory that was ever achieved by the Christian soldiers of the United States.

Now then, how has it been received? The splendid news appeared with splendid display-heads in every newspaper in this city of four million and thirteen thousand inhabitants, on Friday morning. But there was not a single reference to it in the editorial columns of any one of those newspapers. The news appeared again in all the evening papers of Friday, and again those papers were editorially silent upon our vast achievement. Next day's additional statistics and particulars appeared in all the morning papers, and still without a line of editorial rejoicing or a mention of the matter in any way. These additions appeared in the evening papers of that same day (Saturday) and again without a word of comment. In the columns devoted to correspondence, in the morning and evening papers of Friday and Saturday, nobody said a word about the "battle." Ordinarily those columns are teeming with the passions of the citizen; he lets no incident go by, whether it be large or small, without pouring out his praise or blame, his joy or his indignation about the matter in the correspondence column. But, as I have said, during those two days he was as silent as the editors themselves. So far as I can find out, there was only one person among our eighty millions who allowed himself the privilege of a public remark on this great occasion -- that was the President of the United States. All day Friday he was as studiously silent as the rest. But on Saturday he recognized that his duty required him to say something, and he took his pen and performed that duty. If I know President Roosevelt -- and I am sure I do -- this utterance cost him more pain and shame than any other that ever issued from his pen or his mouth. I am far from blaming him. If I had been in his place my official duty would have compelled me to say what he said. It was a convention, an old tradition, and he had to be loyal to it. There was no help for it. This is what he said:

Washington, March 10. Wood, Manila:- I congratulate you and the officers and men of your command upon the [page 173] brilliant feat of arms wherein you and they so well upheld the honor of the American flag. (Signed) Theodore Roosevelt.

His whole utterance is merely a convention. Not a word of what he said came out of his heart. He knew perfectly well that to pen six hundred helpless and weaponless savages in a hole like rats in a trap and massacre them in detail during a stretch of a day and a half, from a safe position on the heights above, was no brilliant feat of arms - and would not have been a brilliant feat of arms even if Christian America, represented by its salaried soldiers, had shot them down with Bibles and the Golden Rule instead of bullets. He knew perfectly well that our uniformed assassins had not upheld the honor of the American flag, but had done as they have been doing continuously for eight years in the Philippines - that is to say, they had dishonored it.

The next day, Sunday, -- which was yesterday -- the cable brought us additional news - still more splendid news -- still more honor for the flag. The first display-head shouts this information at us in the stentorian capitals: "WOMEN SLAIN MORO SLAUGHTER."

"Slaughter" is a good word. Certainly there is not a better one in the Unabridged Dictionary for this occasion

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 9 years ago

As far as I'm concerned, wars of occupation are generally a lose-lose prospect (with the Romans being the great exception, but I'm not really sure of the degree to which their model applies today). The occupied nation usually winds up with its people brutalized and its infrastructure destroyed or severely damaged, and the occupying nation winds up pouring money and manpower into a cause that's pretty much unwinnable. It was true for the Philippines, it was true in Vietnam, it was true in Iraq, and it's becoming more and more true in Afghanistan.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 9 years ago

agreed - we need to get control of the government - that will not be easy

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 9 years ago

Also of note...... It was these "wars" that gave us, what was to become the Gatling gun. A precursor was used at the crater.

scroll down to the bottom.


[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Wiping out women and children in 1903?

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

We need Twain today.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 9 years ago

right on!

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

The destruction of life and homeland for profit by the US continues today.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 9 years ago

again - right on!

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Founding Fathers: no foreign interventions.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 9 years ago

Lots of cultures have done what you just described- people suck get over it

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Yes they do but recognising it is the first step to correction.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 9 years ago

You are assuming it can be corrected

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

How's positively modified?

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 9 years ago


[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

It's a start.

[-] 1 points by Bullmooseparty (21) from West Orange, NJ 9 years ago

We did not conquer the Philippines. We attacked it as a Spanish colony because we were at war with the Spanish. During the entire campaign we lost one sailor in combat. It was then decided that if we were to leave then another European power would come in and take the Philippines. So we gave them all the rights of normal citizens but they could not govern themselves for we didn't think they were capable of it at the time. Then there was a revolt which we quickly put down with minimal causalities. Most died of disease. Eventually there was peace and prosperity. We then granted them complete freedom after it was no longer need for military purposes. There was no long standing hatred between us. So he was in fact wrong in the instance.

Second we did not conquer Vietnam we were fighting the spread of Communism, which was a truly just cause for the time. We tried to stop an invasion. Defending those who could not defend themselves, a extremely American idea. We could have easily won Vietnam but I will not waste your time with military strategy.

We have never truly conquered any country, we don't have any colonies, most of the territory outside of the U.S. we came upon through a series of events with the original intent never on conquest.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Bully Teddy, you're in the wrong century with empires to form, natives to exterminate and resources to plunder, under the "democracy at gunpoint" guise.

[-] 1 points by Chugwunka (89) from Willows, CA 9 years ago

Read some of Smedley Butler.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

We need his words today.

[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

At that time Mark Twain was strongly against this policy, because he thought it was colonial, and therefore against America's founding values, and thus also hypocritical. He was right. Unfortunately, the process has been going on, more or less aggressively, ever since.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago

Is the religion of America -

all have killed millions

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 9 years ago

Too true! All three of those things are absolute evil and the world will be much better off when they are destroyed! And when they are replace with...um...replaced with....what? Islam


Africanism (pick your ism)




[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 9 years ago

"A man is thrown down on his back and three or four men sit or stand on his arms and legs and hold him down; and either a gun barrel or a rifle barrel or a carbine barrel or a stick as big as a belaying pin, -- that is, with an inch circumference, -- is simply thrust into his jaws and his jaws are thrust back, and, if possible, a wooden log or stone is put under his head or neck, so he can be held more firmly. In the case of very old men I have seen their teeth fall out, -- I mean when it was done a little roughly. He is simply held down and then water is poured onto his face down his throat and nose from a jar; and that is kept up until the man gives some sign or becomes unconscious. And, when he becomes unconscious, he is simply rolled aside and he is allowed to come to. In almost every case the men have been a little roughly handled. They were rolled aside rudely, so that water was expelled. A man suffers tremendously, there is no doubt about it. His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown. ..." — Lieutenant Grover Flint during the Philippine-American War, quoted in Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, Stuart Creighton Miller (1982)

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Also genocide against Native Americans.

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 9 years ago

Food for thought

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 9 years ago

I find the history of Manilla interesting in that it represents one of the very first incidents of the displacement of local industry by Chinese imports: the Spanish were in Manilla as of the early 16th century; there they would meet the Chinese to exchange silver from Bolivian mines for Chinese silk. Profits to both the Chinese merchants and the Spanish trader were tremendous; much of the silver circumvented the legal limits of the Spanish crown which wanted the silver for its armies; and the silk cloth, and Chinese manufactured copies of European silk clothing, gained in exchange for this Bolivian silver at Manilla, imported to Spain, arrived so inexpensively that it actually displaced Spanish industry.

Under Wood... slavery was outlawed in the Philippines, individual property ownership and public education were introduced; do we then get this sense of an impending "good" through elimination of the native Muslim "savage"?

My great grandfather served at Manilla under Pershing, who incidentally, appears to have been rather liberal minded respecting the local relationship.

Roosevelt declared a cessation of hostilities in 1902, "except in the country inhabited by the Moro tribes, to which this proclamation does not apply."

Interesting: the Chinese wanted silver because they used it as currency - they had far too little, and it had a tendency to wear thin; the Spanish Crown wanted the Bolivian silver to support its military expansion; the Spanish trader turned smuggler wanted to capitalize through its exchange for silk... from Bolivia to Manilla to Spain, an amazing journey for profit... here we have capitalism and cheap imports, supported on all sides by slave populations.

The conflict had its origins in our antagonism; we wanted the Spanish out of Cuba.

As the World turns, it's all rather interesting.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Fascinating. Those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 9 years ago

Obviously, you have not learned from it, have you?

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

You and your ancestors were cogs in imperialism for profit. Democracy at gunpoint. You still haven't learned it costs lives and treasure in the meat grinder of military adventurism wars. It continues as we build bases in Asia, spend more trillions as the country crumbles, serving only to feed the insatiable military industrial complex. You have not learned. Humanity suffers.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 9 years ago

Imperialism, are you kidding me? The word itself trivializes. Look South, do you see anybody that speaks a language other than Spanish? Do you see anyone that is not today "Hispanic"? The Spanish were very, very, thorough in their "imperialism." This isn't colonization; it's world domination through military occupation and everything it entails - genocide, miscegenation, slavery... the economic rape of an entire continent. It was naval domination; the control of all world trade, all economics.

Humanity cares nothing about "humanity." In fact, it could be argued that everything "humane" flows through us, through our strength of influence, and this ability developed not as an act of aggression but as an act of defense in light of our oh-so-humane human history.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

At present your statement is correct. In order to achieve that we used the Monroe Doctrine and overthrew democratically elected governments, sent in Marines, and in general wiped out nationalism and sovereign identities to remake the Western Hemisphere and other countries to our liking. Countries like Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Philippines. Democracy at gunpoint. Our way or the Hiway. Imperialism, colonialism. Like Sparta: independently governed states but under the US umbrella, as we made it.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 9 years ago

If you can't join them, beat them, right? Isn't that essentially what you are doing?

Review your above statement... many of these places were preoccupied by an invader far more brutal than we were.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

World history is riddled with brutal governments and crimes against humanity, and will continue this way. The Founding Fathers and others including Eisenhower warned against foreign entanglements. When we focused on growing America, we had over 100 years of prosperity and productivity, for the most part. We are now in record debt, an international terrorist target, and losing thousands of our soldiers' lives because we abandoned the early wisdom. Our endless wars and interventions are destroying our core and we weaken and crumble with record unemployment, taxes and home foreclosures. You have the perfect policy for our downfall: increase and continue world policing and interventions., instead of focusing on building America.

[-] 1 points by betuadollar (-313) 9 years ago

Well, I can't argue with that. What I'm saying is this: in the early 1500s there were 100,000 Chinese living in Mexico City. They became artisans - goldsmiths, barbers (i.e., medical professionals), etc.; they did better work, worked longer hours, and were less expensive... and they entirely displaced the local population. The point is, world trade was in existence long before the birth of America; it was economics. All of our foreign involvement is economic at its core; it's the way of nations. What's unfortunate is that many of us end up the pawn in someone else's game.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Yes, I agree.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 9 years ago

No it isn't familiar. What is your point?

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Smedley Darlington Butler[1] (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. see wiki

[-] -1 points by JanitorInaDrum (134) 9 years ago

Well, of course the US needs to continue war efforts with as many nations as it possibly can. Don't believe it? Well DC keeps supporting and committing to it, so it must be true.

[-] 3 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

War for profit of oil and contractors that buy congress.

[-] -1 points by JanitorInaDrum (134) 9 years ago

Of course, it MUST be this way! After all, Americans now fully expect those they elect to be wildly successful in the financial arena, and in a very short period of time.

[-] 3 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

They do?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 9 years ago

Somebody should put the top back on that drum.

[-] -2 points by JanitorInaDrum (134) 9 years ago

It sure seems that way as the masses do not seem to question the elected millionaires club or how they get the money once in office.

Do you see it some other way?

[-] 2 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

Well, since both cantidates are usually millionaires it's difficult to prevent one of them from winning.

[-] 0 points by JanitorInaDrum (134) 9 years ago

Find the supreme court ruling about both forms of governance still existing although all the seats of our original one are vacant.

Book III -"But the citizen whom we are seeking to define is a citizen in the strictest sense, against whom no such exception can be taken, and his special characteristic is that he shares in the administration of justice, and in offices. He who has the power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any state is said by us to be a citizens of that state; and, speaking generally, a state is a body of citizens sufficing for the purposes of life. ...

For tyranny is a kind of monarchy which has in view the interest of the monarch only; oligarchy has in view the interest of the wealthy; democracy, of the needy: none of them the common good of all. Tyranny, as I was saying, is monarchy exercising the rule of a master over the political society; oligarchy is when men of property have the government in their hands; democracy, the opposite, when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers."

Book VII "The citizens must not lead the life of mechanics or tradesmen, for such a life is ignoble, and inimical to virtue. Neither must they be farmers, since leisure is necessary both for the development of virtue and the performance of political duties."


[-] 1 points by GypsyKing (8708) 9 years ago

Interesting. This is something that would be worth researching, but I'm sorry, that's just not one of my strengths.

[-] -2 points by tomahawk99 (-26) 9 years ago

the philipinos liked americans. The U.S. only conquered? (or better went to war with and beat their gd butts) Afghanistan because the gd towel heads that live there attacked us. Viet Nam wasn't ever conquered.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

They destroyed UK, Russia, Rome, Greece, Turks, every nation that tried. Including mighty US to a stalemate. All the while costing lives and treasure. The game ended with Osama.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 9 years ago

All the while stoning women to death, raping little boys and forcing little girls to stop going to school. Very admirable.

[-] 2 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Almost as bad as the Army exterminating American Indian men, women, children while they defended against invaders. Also read Mark Twain's description of how we eliminated Philippean civilian villages, near the top.

[-] -1 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 9 years ago

In a pastthat can't be changed. Muslims still do those things as a matter of course.

[-] 2 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Humans throughout history act savagely. Our problem is not listening to the founding fathers and Eisenhower and getting involved with other countries. We brought on 9/11 by interfering in the middle east for years in the past.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 9 years ago

Never thought I would agree with a commie.

[-] 1 points by bklynsboy (834) 9 years ago

Truth is indisputable.