Are we Anti-American?
Mark Twain, having been called a "traitor" for criticizing the U.S. invasion of the Philippines, derided what he called "monarchical patriotism." He said: "The gospel of the monarchical patriotism is: 'The King can do no wrong.' We have adoOpted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: 'Our country, right or wrong!' We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had--the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it, all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism."
An Oregon anti-terrorism
bill would jail street-blocking protesters
for at least 25 years
in a thinly veiled effortto discourage anti-war demonstrations
If patriotism in the best sense (not in the monarchical sense) is loyalty to the principles of democracy, then who was the true patriot, Theodore Roosevelt, who applauded a massacre by American soldiers of 600 Filipino men, women, and children on a remote Philippine island (Balangiga Massacre), or Mark Twain, who denounced it?
With the war in Iraq won, shall we revel in American military power and--against the history of modern empires--insist that the American empire will be beneficent?
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation....
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
. . . 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, General Leonard Wood, ordered a reconnaissance [sic]. 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. . .
Mark Twain, the novelist, called for reforms, and yet he was branded the traitor, the Anti-American...Our troops climbed the heights by devious and difficult trails, and even took some artillery with them. . . . [When they] 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.
General 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 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. . . .
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 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 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 that Moro crater! There, with six hundred engaged on each side, we lost fifteen men killed outright, and we had thirty-two wounded. . . . 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.
posted by Jdavies @ 7/29/2004,
Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.
About This Blog
This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.
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