|America teaches a class in civilization. From left to |
right in the front row: the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba.
In 1898 America went to war with Spain. It mainly wanted Cuba. But Spain also ruled the Philippines. There America destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. President McKinley said it was to protect Oregon and California.
America backed the Philippine Revolution, which overthrew Spanish rule in the countryside. America took Manila.
McKinley said he did not want the Philippines. But then one night in the White House, when he was down on his knees praying to God, it came to him:
- That we could not give them back to Spain – that would be cowardly and dishonorable;
- that we could not turn them over to France and Germany – our commercial rivals in the Orient – that would be bad business and discreditable;
- that we could not leave them to themselves – they were unfit for self-government – and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and
- that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died.
- In Samar, American soldiers were ordered to make it a “howling wilderness” and kill “everything over ten”.
- In Batangas province a third of the people, 100,000, died.
- In Caloocan all 17,000 people were killed, wounded or driven off, men, women and children, their houses set on fire. A common practice of the Americans.
- Thousands of ordinary Filipinos died in American “protection zones” (prison camps).
- One reporter saw Filipinos put up their hands up to surrender only to be taken to a bridge and shot down one by one, their bodies falling into the river.
The war in the Philippines has been conducted by the American army with scrupulous regard for the rules of civilized warfare, with self-restraint, and with humanity never surpassed.Black Americans, wanting to fight for their country, got there only to hear White American soldiers call the Filipinos “niggers” day after day. Many white officers called the war “nigger killing business”. One white soldier said:
Our fighting blood was up, and we wanted to kill niggers. This shooting human beings beats rabbit hunting all to pieces.Some black soldiers, like David Fagan of the 24th Infantry, deserted and fought for the Filipinos.
The Filipinos were outgunned, but they could keep going through guerrilla warfare so long as they had good generals. The last of these, Miguel Malvar, surrendered in 1902. Some fighting continued till 1913 but the war was over.
~ The Philippine-American War, from Abagond