Reading "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii To Iraq" by Stephen Kinzer. It's amazing to see how everything old is new again--namely, we torture prisoners and go to war for business interests but say it's for liberation. According to Kinzer, it's what we did the early 1900s in the Philippines and it's what we're doing now in Iraq.
Here's a passage that proves the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same (substitute "Iraq" for "Philippines" and maybe "Washington Times" and "Weekly Standard" for the two newspaper names):
A second theme that echoed through the press was that any atrocities committed in the Philippines had been aberrations. They were 'deplorable,' the St. Paul Pioneer Press conceded, but had "no bearing on fundamental questions of national policy." The New York Tribune said only a few soldiers were guilty and "the penalty must fall not upon the policy, but upon those men."(p. 54)
This is fascinating and tragic in and of itself, but it resonates with me on a whole other level given that I recently found out that my great-grandfather served in the Philippines during that time--circa 1903 or so. I always remember my parents and grandparents telling me that the round, spyglass-looking objects on display were "Moro cannons" and that they were from the Philippines, but they never elaborated any further.
I guess now I know why...
Treaty Of Tripoli
Also heard about this for the first time (or the first time in a long time) from a caller to the Al Franken show (Sam Seder subbing). It's as good an argument as any that the U.S. was never intended to be a "Christian nation," and was passed by the Senate with many of the Founding Fathers serving in the Senate at that time. The relevant quote:
"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."