The US Invasion of the Philippines (1898-1902)

Invading US Army ‘Captures’ a Filipino Woman, Her Mother and Baby (1898)

Author’s Note: Whilst the British, Americans, Japanese and Czarist Russians were busy fighting an Army of ‘Boxers’ in China (i.e., the ‘Boxer Uprising’) – the US Army, Marines and Navy were busy invading and subjugating the indigenous (Asian) population of the Philippine Islands. I have read differing estimates of Filipino dead – anything from 250,000 – 500,000 or even more (sometimes in the millions when deaths from famine and drought are taken into account). The US military perceived its action as a ‘race war’ – which involved the ‘superior’ White race confronting and destroying the ‘inferior’ Asian Race of the Filipinos – who were originally under Spanish colonial domination. Although invaded and brutalised by the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII – it is today still dominated by the forces of US predatory capitalism and maintained in a state of perpetual abject poverty.

US Racial Profiling of Filipino People (1898)

Indeed, so poor are the inhabitants that the islands ae awash with various (militant) Revolutionary groups – each vying with one another for dominance – and collectively inadvertently joining the government in its opposition to the Islamo-fascist movement that has also taken root amongst some of the Muslim populations. The Philippines is also an area that attracts rich (perverted) Westerners seeking to sexually abuse children and young people- such is the poverty. What follows is an extract which briefly but succinctly explains the imperialist and colonial actions of the United States and the killing it carried-out in the region – no doubt mimicking its European counter-parts. US racist ideology has more in common with the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler than liberal democracy. I have researched the accompanying photographs from the Russian-language Yandex Search-Engine – as I find the Russian System more conducive to freedom of thought and expression than its US counterpart. ACW (10.12.2020) 

Filipino Miltary Unit – Bullock Cart and Captured Remington Rifle (1898)

‘The twenty-sixth president of the United States agreed. Before he became president, Theodore Roosevelt publicly identified himself as a supporter of the virtual extermination of the American Indian. “I suppose I should be ashamed to say that I take the Western view of the Indian,” he stated in a speech in 1886. “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn’t inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian” 

US Army 4th Infantry Regiment – Dead Filipino Warriors (1890)

With Theodore Roosevelt’s frank statement, we stand not only on the eve of the twentieth century, but also on the eve of America’s first war in Asia: the conquest of the Philippines, which began in 1898. And how did Americans characterize their enemy in this conflict, in which an estimated twenty thousand Filipino “insurgents” were killed and as many as two hundred thousand civilians may have died of hunger and disease that accompanied the destruction (with US combat deaths being slightly more than four thousand)? They were people who engaged in “base treachery, revolting cruelty,” in the words of the secretary of war. They were “gorillas” who hid in the bush, in the report of one general – “savages, habitually violating all the laws of war as known to civilised nations” in the words of another.

Some Americans ‘Joined’ the Filipino Resistance (1890)

A third US general, vexed by the difficulty of separating enemy soldiers from the native population as the war dragged on, wrote in 1901 that “the problem here is more difficult on account of the inbred treachery of these people, their great number, and the impossibility of recognising the actively bad from the only passively so” – words very similar to those used to justify the incarceration of Japanese-Americans in 1942.

Dead Filipino Soldiers Lie Where They Fell (1899)

Theodore Roosevelt expressed a popular sentiment when he characterised the US victory in the Philippines as a triumph of civilisation over “the black chaos of savagery and barbarism.” Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “The White Man’s Burden,” written in 1899 in response to the war in the Philippines, enshrined for all time the Western perception of the Filipinos and their fellow Asians as “fluttered folk and wild… sullen peoples, half devil and half child.” 

US Mass Grave of Dead Filipino Warriors (1981)

In the jargon of American troops, as Stuart Creighton Miller has documented in great detail, the Filipinos were “niggers,” “treacherous savages,” and “treacherous gugus” (or “goo-goos”) – the latter re-emerging in World War Two as “gook” – and the fighting was called “Injun warfare.” One American soldier told a reporter that “the country won’t be pacified until the niggers are killed off like the Indians”; another explained “the only good Filipino is a dead one. Take no prisoners, lead is cheaper than rice.”

Captured Filipino Warriors Await ‘Execution’ by US Army (1892)

In fact, there was a general policy of not taking prisoners in many areas, often justified on the grounds of enemy atrocities. “No more prisoners,” one participated declared; “They take none, and they torture our men, so we will kill wounded and all of them.” A US private reported on the “goo-goo hunt” as follows: “The old boys will say that no cruelty is too severe for these brainless monkeys, who can appreciate no sense of honour, kindness or justice… With an enemy like this to fight, it is not surprising that the boys should soon adopt “no quarter” as a motto, and fill the blacks full of lead before finding out whether they are friends or enemies.” When General Arthur MacArthur was asked by a congressional committee why fifteen Filipinos were reported killed for every one wounded, he replied that “inferior races” succumbed to wounds more easily than Anglo-Saxons. 

US Army 20th Kansas Infantry during thePhilippine-American War (1899)

For many Americans, the link between fighting Indians on the Western frontier and the Filipinos in Asia was anything but figurative or symbolic: they personally fought both enemies, moving to the Philippines from frontier posts in the western territories of the United States.’ 

White and Black US Soldiers ‘United’ in Imperialism (1899)

John W. Dower: War Without Mercy = Race & Power in the Pacific War, Pantheon, (1986), Pages 151-152 

Captured Filipinos at Pasay and Paranaque, Manila (1899)


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