"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Mark Twain, Imperialism, Christmas and Other Random Thoughts

Killing For Power and Profit

"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death."
Planet of the Apes (1968)

By Gary;

The great Rod Serling was never more dead on than when he wrote those words for Planet of the Apes.

Christmas is the season of peace. Jesus, Apes and other random thoughts merged with my reading of Mark Twain's views on the Imperialism of his time.

Back then we went out of our way to murder tens out thousands of people in the Philippines in the name of "freedom" and building an empire.

Nothing changes. Nothing ever will.

The Persians invaded Greece, Rome invaded Gaul . . . . spring forward to see Japan invade China or Iraq invade Iran or Obama bomb Syria and Yemen. It never ends.

Every generation tells themselves lies about the latest "just war". . . . a war that will rapidly be forgotten but will leave a trail of corpses, triple amputees and cities leveled to the ground.

The endless slaughter in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen are only the latest examples of man's insanity.  We send in the CIA to arm monsters and then scream "We must go to war" to stop the monsters we and our allies created.

Can The Donald break this cycle?

No way in Hell. Trump's instinct is to hold back and not be the policeman of the world. But Trump is just one 70 year old man who will soon be replaced on the world's stage by the usual warmongers.

I look forward to Christmas, family and this season of peace. At the same time I know that come December 26th the corpses will start to pile up yet again.

Mark Twain
(New York Herald - 10/15/1900)

I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.

I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.

We have also pledged the power of this country to maintain and protect the abominable system established in the Philippines by the Friars.

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.

 Battle of Manila (1899)
Killed by invading American troops. Filipino soldiers dead in
a trench defending their homeland. 
The people of the Philippines 
were under the impression they were the
allies of Americans who were there to liberate them from Spain. 
They were wrong.
In a war lasting over three years some 50,000 Filipino soldiers
and civilians were killed by Americans.
Battle of Manila (1899)

Killing Filipinos for Wanting Freedom
The battle before Caloocan, February 10, 1899 - View from the Chinese church. Maj. Gen. Arthur MacArthur on inner wall, to right of church, battery of Utah Artillery in the middle foreground, the 10th Pennsylvania Volunteers, of MacArthur's division, behind the wall.

(Harper's Pictorial History of the War with Spain, Vol. II, published by Harper and Brothers in 1899.)


Mark Twain
(New York World - London, 10/6/1900)

You ask me about what is called imperialism. Well, I have formed views about that question. I am at the disadvantage of not knowing whether our people are for or against spreading themselves over the face of the globe. I should be sorry if they are, for I don't think that it is wise or a necessary development. 

As to China, I quite approve of our Government's action in getting free of that complication. They are withdrawing, I understand, having done what they wanted. That is quite right. We have no more business in China than in any other country that is not ours. 

There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it -- perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands -- but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector -- not try to get them under our heel. 

We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. 

That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation.

Read More . . . .

1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry
The First Nebraska Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service on May 9 and 10, 1898 at Lincoln, Nebraska. At the time of muster-in, the unit consisted of fifty-one officers and 983 enlisted men.
On May 16, the regiment left Lincoln for San Francisco, where it arrived three days later. The 1st Nebraska was assigned to the Third Independent Brigade or the Philippine Expeditionary Force.

51st Iowa Volunteers at breakfast in San Fernando, Philippines.
PHOTO was taken in 1899.

The Filipino soldiers in dark uniforms were former members of the Spanish Army who had defected to the Philippine Republican Army.
Filipino American War.com

Filipino army officers under General Juan Cailles

Fallen Filipinos in a trench on the north bank of the Bagbag River
Filipino American War.com

20th Kansas Volunteers lining up for dinner at San Fernando, Philippines.
PHOTO was taken in May 1899.
Filipino American War.com


Anonymous said...

Things are thought diferent ways after time goes by .
Mark Twain words of wisdom sound reasonable , but as if nothing can be done , if we downsize all opinions as the same , as some history and social studies do , we cannot engage on anything if we may thought to act wrong after a while .Freeze out on afraid of doing wrong .
As so nobody will fight the nazis , or the huns of Atila , or the russians in finland , or the spanish in the philippines ...
Some thing must be aknowledge doh ... for our own safeguard .
Twain thing of an ideal world , where we all may live in peace , peoples side by side . But as inequality runs on all societies , happiness is perceived ofden as owning things ... so people fight to own things ... in all of our societies ... in the process they deshumanize themselfes ...
Example : as iphones are gadgets of luxury and plenty that all of us want to have , some exploiters in home made mining in third world countries , give miners a hard time and work conditions to find those strange and rare metals that are needed to make batteries for those gadgets ...
Greed are all over the world , and , unfortunly , thats are running the world ... all the countries , all the peoples ... is a shame , but in the process, theft , and plunder are been legitimized as something with a other name as freedom , or Independence ...
Must go down deep in our mind to find the right path . Twain thing forward , but that does bring him any solution .
If americans stain out of the philippines to help philippinos fight the colonial spain ,they say , the germans , the british , or the japanese will came to do the same .
Power runs deep in Humans . Sometimes in a shamefull way .

Gary said...

The Philippine solution was simple.

#1) Don't MURDER 50,000 of them to make the nation a U.S. colony against the will of their people.

#2) From day one we should have helped them become an independent nation under their own leaders and laws but under U.S. protection from Japan and Europe.

Everyone always brings up Hitler. But the fact of the matter is Hitler was a creation of British and French Imperialism looking to crush the German people into poverty after WWI.

Also the European Imperialists did not wait one second to steal German colonies in Africa and steal Turkish lands in the Middle East in order to set up their own colonies.

World War I was a massive clusterfuck of the corrupt Imperialist Elites and ruling dynasties. Their collective insanity gave us death on an industrial scale along with Fascism and Communism.

Anonymous said...

What was the way of those times ?
What country got Independence from major world powers ? Bulgaria , a ancient nation under foreign ocupation , or Greece years before ... they may have a change to rise up as a country ... but the Philippines ?
They are a european colony without economic sustainability ... but you right ... from day one ... as we now believe must be ...
Hitler not a creation of that ... is a creation of Versailles , the overburden of debt ... and foremost the depression in the US that push Weimar republic to an abiss ... if not so , he goes as a bafoon and those short pants nazi bunch of then ...
Sure they did grop those lands from the defeated powers in WWI ... who in that time could deliver that ? the natives ? do you see Lawrence ? the way tribes fought in damascus for power in the city , as he cannot deliver sense in then , as they got bore with that ... and run to the desert , ... for the pleasure of colonial allemby british general ...
Those natives in the pacific , or in africa west germany territories , or in the east africa ... who do you think in those days can run things ?
Colonial rule a unfortunate one , if a shame ...
WWI real a stupid thing that bring fascism and communism thats true .