Deanna Spingola
November 30, 2008
The power elite playbook, corporate generals (Part 18)
By Deanna Spingola

Coincidentally or not, at about the same time that the international bankers were promoting and funding Japan's war-hawk behavior under Emperor Meiji (Hirohito's grandfather) against Korea, China and Manchuria, banker-backed U.S. imperialists were looking for ways to seize productive land and control in Cuba (achieved by the Platt Amendment on March 2, 1901), banish the Spanish and expand into the resource-rich Philippines. William Howard Taft represented U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in a highly confidential meeting in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Katsura on July 27-29, 1905. They agreed that Japan would relinquish economic control of Hawaii and the Philippines to the U.S. while Japan targeted adjacent Asiatic countries. This insidious treaty sealed Korea's death warrant. It was approved by Britain, or rather the British financiers behind the throne who were also funding Japan's warfare. [1]

The Philippines (7,000 islands), a Spanish theocracy by 1575, were on the early trade routes. Chinese merchants had been trading there since the tenth century. Many merchants settled along the coast of Luzon, the largest island. In exchange for Chinese goods, Spanish traders received gold from the New World and silver from Mexico. The Spanish traders would return to Luzon's Manila Bay from Acapulco with ships loaded with precious metals. Thus, Manila became a very important Chinese financial center as early as the sixteenth century. The Chinese middlemen made a reasonable profit and sent the majority of the gold and silver to China to pay for goods. The Spanish, intimidated by Chinese capabilities, unique skills and economic access, denied them citizenship and prohibited them from direct ownership of land. Occasionally, the Chinese were massacred — sending a persuasive message while reducing a specific ethnic population. Inevitably, the ghetto-dwelling Chinese cohabited with Malay girls to produce a large number of illegitimate Chinese mestizo children. These children, still a minority, were raised as good Catholics. They often inherited their father's financial acuity, could buy land, and acted as moneylenders and middlemen. [2]

The Spanish mestizos, not as business-savvy as their Chinese counterparts, used the law to manipulate the native Malays into forfeiting their land. This ultimately resulted in the Katipunan Rebellion which began on August 23, 1896, an uprising against Spanish dominance. Emilio Aguinaldo, a member of the Chinese-mestizo minority, was a leader in that rebellion. [3] It failed, and Aguinaldo took refuge in Hong Kong where he purchased weapons to continue the battle.

American politicians, eager to assist the corporate moguls in their opportunistic business quests, intervened. President McKinley sent Admiral George Dewey who led the Hong Kong-based Asiatic Squadron* of the U.S. Navy. (One must ask why the U.S. had an Asiatic Squadron, inasmuch as our military was/is constituted to exclusively defend our "homeland.") On May 1, 1898, Admiral Dewey and his squadron defeated and sank the entire Spanish fleet in Manila Bay in six hours with the loss of one American life. If assistance to the Filipinos had been the actual agenda, they could then have departed, satisfied and victorious. Instead, on May 2, 1898, Congress voted a war emergency credit of $34,625,725. Two days later, the House, with McKinley's consent, approved the annexation of Hawaii. On June 11, McKinley reiterated: "We must have Hawaii to help us get our share of China." [4] In relation to the U.S., the Philippines are 7,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles from the Asian continent and more than 4,500 miles from Hawaii.

McKinley cabled Admiral Dewey and asked him to compile an account of the Philippines' natural resources, mining, farming and industry. An emissary from the State Department was sent to prepare a directory for the economic exploitation of the area. American companies quickly targeted the most fertile lands. A Del Monte subsidiary, restricted by law to 1,024 hectares, managed to have the U.S. Governor-General convert public land into a U.S. Navy preserve. Then the Navy subleased 20,000 hectares to Del Monte. [5]

U. S. Governor-Generals from 1898 to 1901 were: General Wesley Merritt who functioned from August 14, 1898 to August 28, 1898; General Elwell S. Otis who operated from August 28, 1898 to May 5, 1900 and General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. who implemented the U.S. program from May 25, 1900 to July 4, 1901, when the U.S. installed a civilian — William Howard Taft (1901 to 1903) whose father Alphonso Taft had co-founded Skull and Bones (The Brotherhood of Death) at Yale University in 1832. Taft became Secretary of War (1904–1908) and U.S. president (1909–1913). Additionally, he supported the unconstitutional 16th Amendment of February 3, 1913, which allows the privately owned IRS to collect income tax designed to pay interest on the fiat money that the Federal Reserve, also privately owned, prints. He also supported the 17th Amendment, ratified on April 8, 1913, which deprived state governments of the right to select U.S. senators in favor of direct, popular election of senators — popular election allows corporate giants to influence the result, and thus effectively to purchase federal legislation in their own favor.

Emilio Aguinaldo returned from his Hong Kong exile on May 19, 1898, at the invitation of the U.S. On May 25, 1898, the Philippine Expeditionary Force of 8,500 men (Eighth Army Corps) left San Francisco and arrived at Cavite, Philippine Islands. Surprise! Those U.S. soldiers were NOT there to help the Filipinos. Aguinaldo, naïve but hopeful, declared independence on June 12, 1898 and established the First Philippine Republic.

Aguinaldo stated in his 1899 work, True Version of the Philippine Revolution: "On the 4th of July (1898) the first United States military expedition arrived, under command of General Anderson, and it was quartered in Cavite Arsenal. This distinguished General called on me in the Filipino Government House at Cavite, an honour and courtesy which I promptly returned, as was right and proper, seeing that we were friends, of equal rank, and allies. In the course of official intercourse General Anderson solemnly and completely endorsed the promises made by Admiral Dewey to me, asserting on his word of honour that America had not come to the Philippines to wage war against the natives nor to conquer and retain territory, but only to liberate the people from the oppression of the Spanish Government." [6]

According to Aguinaldo, Admiral Dewey had said: "Documents are useless when there is no sense of honour...have faith in my word, and I assure you that the United States will recognize the independence of the country. I further ask you to have patience if any of our soldiers insult any Filipinos, for being Volunteers they are as yet undisciplined." [7]

On February 4, 1899, the official beginning of the American War in the Philippines, a Filipino was shot by an American sentry. This started the Battle of Manila led by General Arthur MacArthur Jr. (1845-1912). Between 50 and 60 Americans were killed while 2,000 Filipino corpses lay in the streets of Manila. Poorer, less experienced populations cannot compete with better artillery, warships, or superior marksmanship and firearms. McKinley claimed that "insurgents had attacked Manila." The administration further declared that Aguinaldo was an "outlaw bandit," the antiquated term for enemy combatant.

U.S. troops took Aguinaldo captive on March 25, 1901. General MacArthur convinced him to surrender and swear allegiance to America. European dominance was then replaced by U.S. imperialism. Vice President Teddy Roosevelt thought Manila should become an American Hong Kong. McKinley, feeling that the Filipinos were unfit to govern themselves, wanted all of the Philippines, not just Manila. [8] Some Filipinos were willing to employ guerrilla warfare to resist, despite their lack of armaments.

On December 20, 1900, General Arthur MacArthur had officially declared that Filipinos were an "inferior race" and further stated that because guerrilla warfare was contrary to "the customs and usages of war," that those who engaged in it "divest themselves of the character of soldiers, and if captured are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war." Thus, they were treated as criminals. The real war criminals, Jacob Smith and Littleton Waller, were later admonished and acquitted during a Senate white-wash investigation, headed by imperialist Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. The U.S. use of the water torture or waterboarding, frequently lethal, was divulged during the very revealing hearings. [9] [10] [11] Waller was, after all, just following orders, a defense not allowed to German defendants by the U.S. at Nuremburg. [12] California's Fort MacArthur, a U.S. Army installation in San Pedro, was named after the general.

General Arthur MacArthur left the Philippines on July 5, 1901 and became Commander of the Department of the Pacific from January 1904 to April 1907. He was a Civil War veteran and had fought against America's native population for thirty years. He was stationed in the Dakota Territory when the Spanish-American War began in 1898. He was sent to Manchuria to observe the Japanese military from January to September 1905, towards the end of the Russo-Japanese War. He then did a short stint as military attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. [13] While in Japan, both the general and his son, Lt. Douglas MacArthur, met with Emperor Meiji who had collaborated with the British bankers in Japan's assault against Korea, China and Russia. Then the general, his wife and his son toured several Asian countries from November 1905 through June 1906 to assess their military strength. Who received that report? The MacArthurs visited Shanghai, Hong Kong, Ceylon, India, Burma, Bangkok, Batavia, Singapore, Rangoon and Saigon, and were possibly among the first U.S. officers to visit Vietnam. [14]

Douglas MacArthur graduated from West Point in 1903 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of engineers. His first assignment was in the Philippines, from 1903 to 1904, with the 7th Cavalry Regiment. During this Philippines assignment he befriended Manuel Quezon, one of two leaders of the Nationalista Party which would monopolize politics in the Philippines for the next forty years. He was promoted to first lieutenant in April 1904, and was an engineer officer and aide to the Commander of the Pacific Division (his father) from 1904 to 1906. [15]

As part of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, signed on December 10, 1898, America paid $20 million to Spain and then started fighting the ill-prepared Filipinos, who many of the ex-Civil War officers referred to as "Niggers" or "Goo-Goos." [16] President McKinley had been assassinated by a lone gunman and the U.S. military in the Philippines was holding a memorial service on September 28, 1901 in Balangiga on the island of Samar (600 square miles). Filipino guerillas who opposed the American occupation chose this opportunity to attack. They killed forty-eight and wounded twenty-two. [17]

To avenge this surprise attack, General Jacob Smith (previously a speculator in whiskey, gold, and diamonds who had stolen Civil War enlistment money from "colored" recruits) gave instructions regarding the inhabitants of Samar to Major Littleton Waller: "I want no prisoners. I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me. Kill everyone over the age of ten." Homes were burned; all animals were destroyed. Then they imposed sanctions to starve the remaining population into submission. Major Adna Chaffee advised reporters not to be sentimental over the deaths of "a few Goo-Goos." [18]

Littleton also sought to avenge the deaths of his military comrades who had died in North China. The Chicago Tribune reported that "We are the trustees of civilization and peace throughout the islands." In an effort to persuade the Filipinos of American generosity and good will, the U.S. established a few schools, reorganized city governments, and improved sanitation conditions. [19]

H. L. Wells, a correspondent for New York Evening Post stated that there had been no widespread outrageous acts committed by U.S. troops. However, he understood their savage contempt for the enemy: "There is no question that our men do 'shoot niggers' somewhat in the sporting spirit, but that is because war and their environments have rubbed off the thin veneer of civilization... Undoubtedly, they do not regard the shooting of Filipinos just as they would the shooting of white troops. This is partly because they are 'only niggers,' and partly because they despise them for their treacherous servility... The soldiers feel they are fighting with savages, not with soldiers..." [20]

General Order #100 was applied in the Philippines: Lincoln's order authorized the shooting on sight of all persons not in uniform or acting as soldiers and those committing, or seeking to commit, sabotage. The 7th Calvary Regiment, a part of the Regular Army, was originally organized on September 21, 1866 and is still viable today. [21] This regiment was in the Philippines from 1904 to 1907, and again from 1911 through 1915. It employed the very same scorched earth policies against the Filipinos that had proven so effective against the vulnerable Plains Indians. Entire villages were burned, and unarmed Filipinos, women and children, were killed. To the troopers, all Filipinos looked alike and similar to the "red savages." In fact, they called the Filipinos "Apaches" or "gooks. " [22]

Every member of America's "high command" in the Philippines had spent most of his career chasing Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas, and Sioux. Some of them, the 7th Cavalry Regiment, had taken part in the massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota on December 29, 1890, where 370 women and children were slaughtered, in revenge for Custer. In American-written text books, the Balangiga Massacre focuses on forty-eight dead Americans, without mentioning the slaughter of tens of thousands of Filipino civilians. [23] The men under the questionable "high command" expressed their biased views in letters they wrote home. (Read some of them here.)

One trooper wrote home: "I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger." His squad killed more than one thousand "dark-skinned" Filipinos in just one village. General Arthur MacArthur defended his army's civilian massacres as "carrying out the civilizing mission of its Aryan ancestors." [24]

War generates famine; wealthy landowners finally acquiesced. Americans passed a law stating that resisters would be ineligible for civil service employment. The desperate people gave up, and the war ended. One million (out of six million) Filipinos died: 16,000 guerrillas and 984,000 civilians. [25] The war officially ended July 4, 1902, but hostilities and the work of death continued for almost a decade.

*Cruisers: U.S.S. Olympia (flag ship), U.S.S. Raleigh, U.S.S. Boston, U.S.S. Baltimore, U.S.S. Concord and U.S.S. Petrel; the Revenue Cutter USRC Hugh McCulloch (commissioned 12 December 1897; under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury). After the Battle of Manila Bay, the monitors U.S.S. Monadnock and the U.S.S. Monterey provided heavy-gun support for ongoing warfare against the Filipinos. The U.S.S. Charleston, on the way to Manila on May 10, 1898 captured Guam, as instructed by Secretary of the Navy John D. Long. [26]

NOTES:


[2]  The Marcos Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave, Harper and Row, New York, 1988, pgs. 8-9



[5]  The Marcos Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave, Harper and Row, New York, 1988, pgs. 30

[6]  True Version of the Philippine Revolution by Don Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy, Chapter X. The Proclamation of Independence, Tarlak, 23rd September, 1899


[8]  The Marcos Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave, Harper and Row, New York, 1988, pgs. 10-11

[9]  Nation Master Encyclopedia, Lodge Committee, January 1902

[10]  The Lodge Committee, Testimonies

[11]  Secretary Root's Record: "Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare, Report of the Philippine Investigating Committee formed in April of 1902 to investigate and publicize U.S. military atrocities in the Philippines.

[12]  The Balangiga Massacre: Getting Even by Victor Nebrida in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series, June 15, 1997

[13]  Arlington National Cemetery, Arthur MacArthur, Jr., Lieutenant General, United States Army

[14]  Lt. Gen. Arthur MacArthur (1845-1912) by James M. Gallen


[16]  The Marcos Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave, Harper and Row, New York, 1988, pgs. 12-13

[17]  The Balangiga Massacre: Getting Even by Victor Nebrida in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series, June 15, 1997

[18]  The Marcos Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave, Harper and Row, New York, 1988, pgs. 12-13

[19]  The Balangiga Massacre: Getting Even by Victor Nebrida in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series, June 15, 1997

[20]  The Balangiga Massacre: Getting Even by Victor Nebrida in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series, June 15, 1997

[21]  7th Cavalry Regiment (United States)

[22]  The Bridge at No Gun Ri, A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean War By Charles J. Hanley, San-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza, Reviewed by: Lee Wha Rang

[23]  The Balangiga Massacre: Getting Even by Victor Nebrida in Hector Santos, ed., Philippine Centennial Series, June 15, 1997

[24]  The Bridge at No Gun Ri, A Hidden Nightmare from the Korean War By Charles J. Hanley, San-Hun Choe and Martha Mendoza, Reviewed by: Lee Wha Rang

[25]  The Marcos Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave, Harper and Row, New York, 1988, pgs. 12-13


© Deanna Spingola

 

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Deanna Spingola

Deanna Spingola has been a quilt designer and is the author of two books... (more)

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