Monday, October 13, 2003


Booze time at the bar or a quiet evening at home paying homage to the artists. So many things American to celebrate on October 18.

Blues giant Chuck Berry was born on this day in 1926. The same birthday as jazz great Wynton Marsalis, who was born in 1961 in New Orleans.

Unfortunately, the Philippines won’t be commemorating the birthdays of these magical artists. The Philippine government prefers the music of imperial America -- a more suitable accompaniment to the famed multiple cartwheels of its cheerleading.

We can expect the garlands to be ready by October 18, when George W. Bush arrives in the Philippines to applaud the Arroyo administration’s Bambi-eyed support to America’s “War on Terror.”

One more Filipino government shamefully displaying its utter lack of historical memory.

“[W]e acted in Iraq . . . in one of the swiftest and most humane military campaigns in history,” said George Bush on September 7, in a speech that likely caused his ratings to further plunge.

What a funny thing to say after slaughtering thousands of Iraqi civilians.

Some things apparently never change.

Gen. Arthur MacArthur also called the Philippine-American War at the turn of the last century “the most legitimate and humane war ever conducted on the face of the earth.” A war where the estimated number of Filipinos who died as a result of America’s annexation went from 250,000 to one million.

No one knows the exact figures, of course. Only dead Americans were counted by the US Army then. A practice continued by the US Army in Iraq today.

Some things never do change.

“The boys go for the enemy as if they were chasing jack-rabbits,” said Colonel Funston of the 20th Kansas Volunteers as his men slaughtered Filipinos defending the fledgling Philippine republic against the American invaders.

“I, for one, hope that Uncle Sam will apply the chastening rod, good, hard and plenty, and lay it on until [the Filipinos] come into the reservation and promise to be good ‘Injuns.’”

Here is an American pilot talking about the joys of napalm while America was attempting to “liberate” Vietnam: “We sure are pleased with those backroom boys at Dow. The original product wasn’t so hot -- if the gooks were quick they could scrape it off. So the boys started adding polystyrene -- now it sticks like shit to a blanket. But then if the gooks jumped under water it stopped burning, so they added Willie Peter [white phosphorous] so’s to make it burn better. It’ll even burn under water now. And just one drop is enough, it’ll keep on burning right down to the bone so they die anyway from phosphorous poisoning.”

And here is US Gen. John Kelly articulating his desire to improve the plight of wretched Iraqis during America’s invasion of Iraq in April:

“They stand, they fight, sometimes they run when we engage them. But often they run into our machine guns and we shoot them down like the morons they are . . . They appear willing to die. We are trying our best to help them out in that endeavor.”

By such uncanny love does America inherit the world’s affections.

In 1899 the American Anti-Imperialist League crafted a platform that sought to steer the United States away from its desire to annex the Philippines. The manifesto, which opposed the annexation of the Philippines because it ran counter to America’s traditions, should be required reading today for all:

“We insist that the subjugation of any people is ‘criminal aggression’ and open disloyalty to the distinctive principles of our government . . . We demand the immediate cessation of the war . . . We propose to contribute to the defeat of any person or party that stands for the forcible subjugation of any people. We shall oppose for reelection all who in the White House or in Congress betray American liberty in pursuit of un-American ends . . . We hold with Abraham Lincoln, that “no man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent. When the white man governs himself, that is self-government, but when he governs himself and also governs another man, that is more than self-government -- that is despotism.”’

Funny that Emperor Bush is arriving in the Philippines on October 18 -- the exact same day 104 years ago that the League’s Platform was created.

Op-Ed TODAY and

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