Friday, July 13, 2007

Philippine-American War

The rise of the Republic worsened relations with America. The Filipinos resented the American treachery in depriving them of entering Manila after its capture. For their part, the Americans used another incident to hasten their annexation of the Philippines.
On Saturday night , February 4. 1899, an American soldier named Private Robert W. Grayson shot and killed a Filipino soldier who was crossing San Juan bridge. By firing the first, unprovoked shot, the Americans ignited the War of Philippine Independence. To add insult to injury, the Americans called the war a Filipino "insurrection"
News of the outbreak of hostilities was telegraphed to President Aguinaldo in Malolos. Immediately he declared was on America, whose forces had drawn the first blood. page 124

The result of the war
The superior arms of Uncle Sam crushed the short-lived First Philippine Republic, the same arms which, strangely enough, helped to establish the Cuban Republic. In forcing her sovereignty upon Filipino people, the United States crossed 7000 miles of ocean, using 126,468 men, of whom 4,234 died she spent vast sum of $600,000,000 and engaged in 2,811 recorded fights. On the other hand, the Filipinos, in the defense of their independence, suffered great loss 16,000 died in action, 2000,000 civilians perished from famine and pestilence, and untold millions of person worth of property were destroyed.....
In their desperation, the American soldiers turned arsonists burning whole town in order to force the guerrillas to the open. One such infamous case of extreme barbarity occurred in the town of Balangiga, Samar, in 1901-1902. Balangiga was a peaceful little port off the southern tip of Samar, but, it was garrisoned by Americans who could not pinpoint the nerve-center of guerrilla activities in the town. ...The American soldiers were busy one morning, taking their breakfast when suddenly they were attacked by Filipinos in their employ. The Church bells rang, and soon about 180 Filipinos fell upon the Americans, many of whom were killed instantly. ...The news of the guerrilla attack gave rise to pained cried throughout the United States and so president Roosevelt gave orders to pacify Samar Assigned to the task was General "Jake" Smith. "I want no prisoners," he said firmly. "I wish you to kill and burn; the more you burn and kill the better it will please me."Forthwith he ordered that Samar by transformed into "howling wilderness" Orders were also issued to shoot down anybody capable of carrying arms. By "capable of carrying arms, "General Smith meant to include even boys ten years old, for the latter could carry rifles and swing bolos. In six months, Balangiga became "a howling wilderness"....Smith was court-martialed and retired from the service.

The U.S. is lucky that she has not been demanded to issue several apologies after apologies as Japan apologized and compensated to Korea. She is also lucky that the representative of the the third party country does not demand apology from her, blaming that the U.S. has not apologized .

But at least do American people remember it?

Viewed as pivotal historical event in most Filipino textbooks, this war is hardly mentioned in U.S. history textbooks. According to U.S. texts, the Philippine insurrection as it was previously known , lasted from 1899 to 1902, when President Theodore Roosevelt declared an end to the fighting. Filipino texts, in contrast, argue that the war actually endured for months, if not years, after the formal declaration from Roosevelt, owing to Filipino resistance in the southern islands.( History lessons Dana Lindaman and Hyle Ward page 123)

[High school American history textbooks] see our policies as part of a morality play in which the United State typically acts on behalf of human rights, democracy, and "the American way". When Americans have done wrong , according to this view, it has been because others misunderstood us, or perhaps because we misunderstood the situation. But always our motives were good. This approach might be called the "international good guy" view. (page 217 Lies my teacher told me" James W. Loewen.)

The U.S is also lucky that she has such critics as Loewen.
As a Japanese I can not feel happier that Japan has also such critics in Japan and abroad and some some malice propagandists in China, Korea and some ethnic groups in the U.S. who constantly tell Japan to learn from the past.

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