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What are US Special Forces doing in the Philippines? Killing Filipinos.

At a recent party, I ran into a friend who mentioned her son was in the Philippines. "He's in the Special Forces," she explained tentatively in view of her audience, adding disarmingly "who knows what they are doing there." I couldn't help but snap back "They're killing Filipinos is what they're doing."   I instantly regretted my cheap shot but spent the ensuing days rationalizing why the Philippines in particular should not have to abide American shoulder-shrugging. What right has civil society to insulate itself from the unpleasant details about how it maintains order? If her soldier had been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, I would have held my tongue, in the context of unrelated festivity at least. Whether you support the current occupations or not, the violent facts about who's doing what are not disputed, generally. I've no business facing off with a lone mother who more than likely has mixed feelings about the wars, although put on parade it's a different story. Perhaps too, other US interventions prompt only vague comprehension of their nature, of the true evil which our country is perpetrating. But we can say the same thing about commercial enterprises which comprise the capitalist global onslaught. None of it party talk. Few examples match the longevity of US imperial atrocities in the Philippines. There our public ignorance has no right to be ambivalent. US military activities in the Philippines may as well be the Indian Wars for all the American public understands them, as racist and despotic, and ongoing. Our specialists have been exterminating Filipino insurgents for over a century. When we are not committing the atrocities ourselves, our military advisers are directing them for what has never risen above a client state. The rebels of Mindanao have been trying to fight off foreign occupation since the original Spanish invaders. They are the Philippines' indigenous Taliban, and we keep trying to put them down. The insignia of the 4rth Cavalry still commemorates what we call the "Battle of Bud Dajo" but what was in reality a massacre. where US Marines scaled an extinct crater to mount machine guns to fire into a Moro village and exterminate thousands of men, women and children. The antiwar, anti-imperialist movement of the early 1900s knew the barbarity which our boys were visiting on the Filipinos. It was US soldiers who popularized "waterboarding" there. But since the facade of granting the islands their independence after WWII, Americans have absolved themselves of what is an ongoing occupation. Will this be the future of Afghanistan's puppet regime? Continued suppression of the Afghan's efforts to fight for their liberty?

LTE, 1899: May the thunderbolt which is to fall from heaven upon this nation

For Independence day we might ask: is it more patriotic to support illegal wars than to oppose them? I'd like to revisit a century-old letter to the editor submitted to the Springfield Republican on April 21, 1899, by Caroline Hollingsworth Pemberton a few days after tax day. She wrote to defend another letter writer, critic of America's imperial expansion into the Philippines, accused of "treason" for suggesting that his taxes should not be funding a war of aggression. The number of persons who share, without expressing, the sentiments of the young single taxer, F. Stevens, is doubtless increasing daily. It may be a wise economical policy for the government executives to decide that his utterances do not constitute "treason," for the reason that there are not, and probably never will be, enough prisons in his land to contain all the "traitors" that now reside in it. Alas! we are all of us made traitors (and against our wills in many cases) by the deliberate acts of those whom we have chosen to represent us. We are already traitors to the high ideals of a free people: traitors to our constitution and to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Whether we want to or not, we "treacherously" support a policy of "criminal aggression" whenever we lick a revenue stamp and stick it on a check or receipt, and help pay the cost of sacrificing our principles before the world. My soul loathes this Filipino slaughter, yet I am actively supporting it out of my own pocket every day of my life. I count myself the worst kind of a traitor, --yet it is well that our government has decided to look leniently on traitors, for there are thousands and millions like me, some willingly and many most unwillingly made traitors like myself! One can choose between two kinds of treason. Mr. Stevens chooses what he takes to be the lesser kind. We have that much choice and that is all that is left to us. For my part, I pray that the thunderbolt which is to fall from heaven upon this nation for its career of crime in the Pacific ocean may fall quickly and end the iniquities for which in the sight of God we are all individually responsible. If this is "treason" of the peculiar brand that newspapers do not approve, it is to be remembered as an "extenuating circumstance" that my education in treason has not progressed far enough yet for me to distinguish with certainty the various brands, --accidentally, as it were, I have picked up the wrong kind-- for which I ask their kindly indulgence. C. H. Pemberton Springfield Republican, April 21, 1899 Quoted in The Anti-Imperialist Reader, Volume I, Philip S. Foner, ed., p. 404

US allied Philippine government goes berserk in Mindanao

Yes, everywhere the US is spreading violence throughout the world, and much of it is poorly reported by the US corporate media. Such is the case in Mindanao Island now controlled by the US puppet regime of the Philippines HQed in Manila. The US-Philippine troops have now created yet another world refugee nightmare as their war has uprooted close to 400,000 people there. See the Reuters report More than 180 killed in Philippine fighting-army You probably haven't given this fighting much thought with the Carnival season in full blast inside our United States of antiAmerica, but YES, this fighting is yet another war zone with the government label on it of --MADE IN US--

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