November 26, 2011
I love to read American history because (a) I learn things that I was not taught in school and (b) I am often startled anew by the capacity of our government for duplicity. I am reading two books right now, one entitled Overthrow and the other entitled Instruments of Statecraft, both of which are about the United States’ practice of “unconventional warfare” or the “covert variety” in various places in the world. Without boring you with two much detail, here is an example of what I have learned.
This example is from the book, Instruments of Statecraft, by Michael McClintock.
Basically, what startled me was our government’s policy in the Philippines after the Japanese had occupied those islands at the start of World War II. Of course, resistance movements arose among the Filipino people and there were even “stay behinds” – that is, American soldiers who stayed behind after the Japanese took over – who were involved with these resistance fighters. However, what was startling was that the American government refused to support those resistance groups, especially those called the Huks, who were most eager to fight the Japanese. The government, that is, the American government limited its support to those groups which did not threaten the “elite,” that is, the wealthy land owners, among the Filipinos even though this elite was, generally and broadly speaking, cooperating with the Japanese in the suppression of their fellow countrymen. This elite had the status of collaborators but was, nonetheless, protected by the policy of the American government, a policy that included a prohibition on attacking those Filipinos who were collaborating with the Japs. Of course, such a policy protected the Japanese as well as the elite Filipinos. And after the war was over, it was the collaborators who were rewarded with positions of power and not the Huk. Why not the Huk? Because it was feared that they were “communists.” In fact, some of the Huk were massacred with the approval and assistance of the United States.
Now, think about it. American policy, geared to protecting the elite of the Philippines because of the fear of communism, protected the Japanese who had occupied these islands as part of their war against the United States. And these same Japanese would be the ones killing Americans who were going to retake the Philippines! So, in essence, American policy was willing to sacrifice the lives of its own soldiers in order to protect the established order, both social and economic, in the Philippines! This strikes me as duplicitous. In fact, it strikes me as criminal. And you never read about this in your history books.