Posted at 8:47 am , on January 6, 2020
It seemed like a good idea to bring your attention to this piece of writing that Mark Twain wrote in response to the U.S. military intervention against the freedom fighters of the Philippines. It wasn’t published until long after he died. Now in the public domain, “The War Prayer” continues to resonate more than a hundred years after it was written. Also included below is a 2007 dramatization.
Posted at 8:22 pm , on October 30, 2017
First published: Sunday, October 7, 2007, in the Albany Times Union
As President Bush tries to shape his legacy in regards to the Iraq war, he should pick up David Silbey’s engaging history “A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902” (Hill and Wang; 272 pages; $26).
Though both were wars of choice, the details are quite different. Still, the generalizations that can be gleaned from Silbey’s account are eerily familiar: a quick and stunning conventional military victory turns into longer-than-expected guerrilla warfare; a failure by the United States to understand its enemy; a sense of racial superiority that enflames troops and politicians in Washington; and a native population whose loyalties seemed to change depending on the time of day.