Infinity: The Views of a Dreamer
The Claws of the Screaming American Eagle Return Over The Philippines
Written by Aaron Peterson | 4/29/2014
Imperialism on behalf of the United States, slowly but surely is attempting to maintain and expand it’s presence in the Philippines. The Philippines, that has historically suffered from colonialism on behalf of the United States invasion following the Spanish-American war. In which at least 200,000 civilians were left dead in the aftermath of the ‘Filipino Rebellion’ in 1902. Which saw the Philippines held under shackles as an ‘unincorporated territory’ of the United States until 1939. With it suffering a brutal Japanese occupation from 1941-1945, in which between the fighting of the American military and the Japanese Empire; upwards of a million Filipino civilians were left either dead or disappeared in the crossfire. The government of the Philippines became in a sense independent legitimately in 1946 as a Republic following the occupation by both Japanese and American forces.
““With a very few exceptions, practically the entire population has been hostile to us at heart,” wrote Brigadier General J. Franklin Bell. “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.”
[Racist depictions of Filipinos in the Boston Globe following the aggression in the Philippines]
While in 1946, independence was declared; strings of puppetry were attached to the new Republic with the United States retaining dozens of military bases in the Philippines. In addition, rights to minerals and land resources of the Philippines as part of a quota were required by the United States congress through the Bell Trade Act for “US corporations and individuals to be given equal access to the rights to Filipino minerals, forestry and other natural resources. From 1946 to 1986, the Philippines was to see ruling factions who owed their allegiance to the United States, exploitation of their land by American companies. In addition to the foreign imposed and backed Marcos dictatorship which declared martial law in the Philippines from 1972 to 1981.
It was not until the People Power Revolution of 1986 until true ‘independence’ was to be restored in the Philippines. Through a revolution by the Filipino people, the Marcos regime which engaged in collaboration with the United States was brought to it’s knees and overthrown. Five years after the popular revolution, the Filipino people through popular action and revolution in 1991, ousted the majority of US troops from the Philippines which remained, when the Filipino Senate rejected the renewal of the United States bases treaties in the Philippines.
[First picture: People’s Power Revolution 1986] [Second picture: the popular demonstrations against US bases in 1991]
The newest betrayal in a long line of betrayals by the government of Philippines, through the signing by Filipino Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and US Ambassador Phillip Goldberg of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Act. The rationale is simple, it is to expand the presence of the United States government in the name of maintaining geopolitical hegemony in the Philippines. A land which has seen several traditional tradeoffs of occupation and puppet rulers appointed by the United States government. To further use the Philippines, as a base in the South China Sea in order to flame the fans of aggression against the People’s Republic of China and neighboring countries who are engaged currently in a dispute over territory in the South China Sea. Yet another act of imperialism is unfolding in the Philippines; the popular reaction of the Filipino people to this has yet to be seen yet. However, after nearly 102 years of a parasitic relationship with the United States government, one can only guess what it will be for the vast majority of Filipino people…
“I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Philippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.
I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.
But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.
We have also pledged the power of this country to maintain and protect the abominable system established in the Philippines by the Friars.
It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”
– Mark Twain, one of the greatest American writers, anti-imperialist and defiant member of the American Anti-Imperialist League
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