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Sunday, May 14, 2006

(I originally posted this in a slightly different form on the RiceBowlJournals Community Blog.)

Here's a question that occurred to me, oddly enough, while I was looking through some old digital photos I’ve taken.

Will the USA never learn?

Who am I fooling, of course not. I’m just constantly amazed how everything old always seems to end up being "new again." Case in point: I’m going to quote a dissent about American foreign policy in regard to a certain country, redacting certain bits.
There is the case of __________1. 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 __________2 — 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 __________3 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 __________4, a government according to __________5 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.
Think you know exactly who's being discussed? (Guess, then highlight the box.)

The redacted terms, in order, are:
1. The Philippines
2. the natives of those islands
3. Spanish
4. Filipinos
5. Filipino

This passage is a quote from Mark Twain talking about American intervention in the Philippines in 1900.

Hm, fighting the natives, "mess," "quagmire," the difficulty of getting out--seems to ring a bell, doesn't it? More than one, really.


Ms. Bizarro said...

Brilliant post. You should send it to PJC's political blog! ;D

There's a typo in the highlighted box - the capital "T" is missing in the first word.

Ms. Bizarro said...

Oops nevermind about the typo. For some reason it didn't look right the first time but now it's okay. I should know better. ;-)