Friday, October 02, 2009

“the emblem of sacrilege”

Back in May 1902 George Frisbie Hoar, the Republican Senator from Massachusetts, delivered a speech in the Senate denouncing the U.S. invasion of the Philippines. Some of it sounds awfully contemporary. Hoar addresses himself to “my imperialistic friends”:

“You have devastated provinces. You have slain uncounted thousands of the people you desire to benefit. You have established concentration camps. Your generals are coming home from their harvest, bringing their sheaves with them, in the shape of thousands of sick and wounded and insane to drag out their miserable lives, wrecked in body and mind. You make the American flag in the eyes of numerous people the emblem of sacrilege … and of the horror of water torture … Your practical statesmanship has succeeded in converting a people who three years ago were ready to kiss the hem of the garment of the American and to welcome him as a liberator, who thronged after your men when they landed … with benediction and gratitude, into sullen and irreconcilable enemies, possessed of a hatred which centuries cannot eradicate …”

source: The American Reader, edited by Diane Ravitch

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