-- Ross Douthat, “The War We’d Like to Forget”, in the NYTimes
After the Battle of Mount Dajo, March 9, 1906. [Source]
“The 'McKinley-era counterinsurgency' wasn't a counterinsurgency so much as a war of conquest. The U.S. was fighting for control of the islands after promising them their freedom from the Spanish. It was extremely bloody, accomplished with great and indiscriminate violence. If we're to take counterinsurgency as a war among the people to win their allegiance through providing for their welfare and aspirations, this was the opposite. We just killed a lot of Filipinos until they quit fighting, particularly after the leader of the insurgent band, Emilio Aguinaldo, was captured. The U.S. turned the Philippines over to a form of 'self-government' that was really a different form of domination at the hands of the military and private American corporations. It did, however, work, in the sense that the U.S. was not militarily challenged in any significant way for decades.”
-- Spencer Ackerman, “Why’d The Philippines Work Out So Well For Us?”
While we're at this, hand over those Balangiga bells now, will you?