The First Vietnam: The Philippine-American War
August 8, 2012
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Step 1: Americans “liberate” a people from a tyrannical power with a massive military occupation.
Step 2: The locals aren’t too happy with this state of affairs.
“Now the Americans found themselves harassed and attacked throughout the Islands by poorly trained and poorly organized but fanatically determined peasant irregulars. MacArthur observed: ” … all regular and systematic tactical operations ceased; but as hostile contact was established throughout the entire zone of activity…
A major problem for the Americans resulted from their inability to penetrate the guerrilla infrastructure. They soon began to realize, to their dismay, that a whole underground network of dual government loyal to the guerrillas existed, even in areas considered thoroughly ‘pacified.’…
As a rule the Filipinos allowed the Americans to capture and occupy any town they wished without opposition. Otis was so deceived by this that he once again declared flatly that the war was over…
Moreover, guerrilla activity was both increasing and becoming increasingly effective. Being incessantly ambushed, boloed and betrayed was nerve-wracking and the Americans began to exercise their mounting frustration on the population at large…
in April 1901 Aguinaldo was finally captured. The Americans had been so unsuccessful at trying to catch him that for a long period they simply gave up the effort…The Americans were delighted with the news…the Americans were dismayed to discover that his capture and surrender appeal made no perceptible difference in the fighting, which continued unabated…
In 1909, a decade after the first battle on the outskirts of Manila, Felipe Salvador was still fighting…”
*Al Gore sigh*
Deja vu, anyone?
This same sort of pointless quagmire conflict against “irregular” “insurgents” has been repeated over and over again for more than 100 years.