Monday, March 08, 2010

Mark Twain furious at US massacre of 600 Asian poor folks

On this day in 1906, US troops performed one of modern history's most flagrant and still barely discussed massacres. Mark Twain, who was prominent in the anti-US-imperialism movement, was appalled, and wrote scathingly about it. Read on ...

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 Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag. And so, by the Providences of God – and the phrase is the government's, not mine – we are a World Power.
Mark Twain on the March 8, 1906 Moro massacre of 600 natives

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1906 USA troops occupying the Philippines attacked the stronghold of an "unruly" band of hill Moros, mowing the stubborn tribes people down with a combination of artillery fire and infantry assaults.

Eight years previously, in 1898, philosopher William James and other prominent US intellectuals had formed the Anti-Imperialist League to educate the public on the horrors of US policy in the Philippines. Despite the group's efforts, however, there was no great public outcry, and US destruction and domination of the Philippines continued.

Major Littletown Waller (accused of killing 11 defenceless Filipinos) 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 "Everything over ten" ...

Every one of 600 men, women, and children were killed. This was the Moro Massacre, which drew an angry response from Mark Twain and other anti-imperialist Americans. Twain was a leader of the Anti-Imperialist League which opposed the annexation of the Philippines by the United States ...

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