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How would you characterise modern American history? - Islamiqate Other History,secularism,region: americas,capitalism,consumerism,country: america,american history
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In a Nutshell:
The US has exhibited brutality against every nation it has encountered over its short history, usually followed by cover-ups, silencing of criticism and the rewriting of history to conceal its crimes.

Introduction

US colonial history covers the past two centuries, a long history of brutality, violation of rights and crimes against humanity along with efforts to not only conceal such crimes, but to rewrite history to prevent them tarnishing the country's image.

These crimes include:

  • The Philippines Genocide 1899-1902


The Philippines Genocide

The Americans were in the Philippines to acquire the rich islands and keep out other colonial powers, even if they had to kill the entire population just as they had killed the native Indians the previous century.

President McKinley claimed he could not give the Philippines back to Spain as that would be cowardly. Letting France and Germany have it would be bad for business and the Filipinos could not rule themselves as they were apparently incapable. So he decided the US America should take it all rather than just Manila which is all they had at the time. So in 1899 the US declared war on the Philippines as a way to educate, Christianise and civilise the people and the Philippines Genocide began.

It was American policy to kill as many Filipinos as possible, as Brigadier General James Bell noted:

"With a very few exceptions, practically the entire population has been hostile to us at best. In order to combat such a population it is necessary to make the state of war as insupportable as possible and there is no more efficacious way of accomplishing this than by keeping the minds of the people in such a state of anxiety and apprehension that living under such conditions will soon become intolerable...."

The Philippines Genocide is rarely mentioned in history books that document the Filipino-American War of 1899-1902 as part of a systematic omission. History texts usually claim between 200,000 to 300,000 Fhillipinos died during that period, from a population of less than 9 million, whereas the facts suggest a figure far higher, as part of the genocidal policy.

Howard Zinn's book "A People's History of the United States" claims 300,000 Filipinos were killed in Batangas alone, whilst William Pomeroy's book "American Neocolonialism" argues 600,000 Filipinos died in Luzon by 1902. Filipina historian Luzviminda Francisco thoroughly investigated the genocide, from 1899-1905 (excluding the following two decades where the killing slowed down) concluding 1.4 million Filipinos were killed in her book "The End of An Illusion" whilst Ahmed's article stated:

"The bloodiest colonial war (in proportion to population) ever fought by a white power in Asia; it cost the lives of 3,000,000 Filipinos." ("The Theory and Fallacies of Counter-Insurgency", The Nation, August 2 1971)

And Brigadier General James Bell, an officer in the United States military, himself stated:

"One-sixth of the natives of Luzon have either been killed or have died of the dengue fever in the last two years... (some 600,000 people)" May 2, 1901 Times

A Manila correspondent wrote at the time:

"The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog…

Our soldiers have pumped salt water into men to make them talk, and have taken prisoners people who held up their hands and peacefully surrendered, and an hour later, without an atom of evidence to show that they were even insurrectos, stood them on a bridge and shot them down one by one, to drop into the water below and float down, as examples to those who found their bullet-loaded corpses." (The Philadelphia Ledger November 1901)

Whilst Major Littletown Waller, a U.S. Marine accused of shooting unarmed Filipinos on Samar was described in a testimony:

The major said that General Smith instructed him to kill and burn, and said that the more he killed and burned the better pleased he would be; that it was no time to take prisoners, and that he was to make Samar a howling wilderness. Major Waller asked General Smith to define the age limit for killing, and he replied "everyone over ten."

Mark Twain noted the almost universal racism of the white American troops and politicians, deeply disturbed by the sadistic war crimes committed by American troops, suggesting the stars and stripes on the American flag should be replaced by a skull and cross bone. He wrote:

"We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner, the Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag. And so, by these providences of god - and the phrase is the government's, not mine - we are a World Power." (The New York Times, 15th of October 1900)

The USA carried out a scorched earth campaign in burning and destroying villages, they also tuned villages into concentration camps where they burnt the land around them and built watch towers that looked over the free-fire zones, anyone trying to leave the village was shot. The concentration camps were full of disease causing very high death rates upto 20%. Men were often rounded up to be questioned using torture if they gave the Americans the information they wanted or not did not matter as they were still shot.

A soldier from New York wrote

"The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger"

A British eye witness in the Philippines said:

"This is not war; it is simply massacre and murderous butchery."


The final figure is estimated to be between 1.4 and 3 million according to historians between 1899 to 1905. It is unlikely the killings just suddenly stopped, and continued until 1942 when the Japanese arrived.


Conclusion

The US has exhibited brutality against every nation it has encountered over its short history, usually followed by cover-ups, silencing of criticism and the rewriting of history to conceal its crimes.

References

Galloway and Johnson, West Point

Moorfield Storey, Conquest of the Philippines

Luzviminda Francisco, The End of An Illusion


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