Friday, November 17, 2006

The First Iraq

Although history never quite repeats itself, current events often resemble earlier occasions so closely there is a temptation to draw lessons from them. Imagine a time when America found itself in a war against a foreign foe whose strategy was to inflict a constant rate of loss on the army; invited US and British reporters to feed antiwar elements with atrocity stories; when US commanders who expected a quick war against a corrupt and oligarchic native elite found they had roused the countryside against them. Imagine a time when the issue of this war was central to an American Presidential election, caused a split in one of the major parties and planted the seeds for a world war. Not Iraq. The war was Philippine-American War and the election that of 1912.


According to the McKinley administration the enemy was not the Filipino population. It was the Spanish oppressor and later, the perfidious and parasitical indigenous landed elite. At the opposite end, "the goal, or end-state, sought by the Filipino Republic was a sovereign, independent, socially stable Philippines led by the illustrado oligarchy. ... The peasants, who provided the bulk of guerilla manpower, had interests different from their illustrado leaders." What flung the oligarchy and the peasants together momentarily was common opposition to the invading US Army. Far from being unsophisticated yokels, the strategic goal of Philippine Republic generals was to send home enough body bags to persuade the mainstream media of the day to electorally repudiate the Republican administration in Washington.

The Filipino general Francisco Makabulos described the Filipinos' war aim as, "not to vanquish the US Army but to inflict on them constant losses." They sought to initially use conventional (later guerilla) tactics and an increasing toll of US casualties to contribute to McKinley's defeat in the 1900 presidential election. Their hope was that as President the avowedly anti-imperialist William Jennings Bryan would withdraw from the Philippines.

Unfortunately for the insurrectos, the electorate of 1900 elected to "stay the course". McKinley's victory in 1900 convinced the Filipinos that the US would not soon embark upon a "responsible redeployment". Washington's stated aim was to remove the obscurantist and bloodthirsty Spanish regime from the backs of the downtrodden Islanders and give them a government better than could be provided by the landed illustrado elite. For a long time, however, the War Department publicly pursued this aim. But as armed resistance refused to end, newspapers charged the Department was in denial about the existence and scale of the insurgency against US forces, rejecting the belief that Philippine President Aguinaldo simply represented an elite faction which could never command the loyalty of the downtrodden peasantry. While General Otis maintained the problem consisted of remnants of the old regime, the mainstream media soon began to publish criticisms uttered by none other than Otis' own field commanders. General Arthur McArthur (Douglas' father) told a reporter:

When I first started in against these rebels, I believed that Aguinaldo’s troops represented only a faction. I did not like to believe that the whole population of Luzon—the native population that is—was opposed to us and our offers of aid and good government. But after having come this far, after having occupied several towns and cities in succession, and having been brought much into contact with both insurrectos and amigos, I have been reluctantly compelled to believe that the Filipino masses are loyal to Aguinaldo and the government which he heads.

Faced with a deepening quagmire in an archipelago larger than the State of California Washington agonized over which strategy to use against "a widening insurgency". Arthur McArthur believed in meeting force with ineluctable force. US forces began to take no prisoners, relocate whole towns into controllable areas and recruit indigenous troops. This met with some success and persistent efforts were crowned by a masterful operation in which the US Army captured the leader of the insurrectos in the "spider hole" of his day.

General Frederick Funston was able to use Aguinaldo's poor security against him, when Funston on March 23, 1901 in northern Luzon, faked capture with the help of some Macabebe Filipinos who had joined the Americans' side. Once Funston and his "captors" entered Aguinaldo's camp, they immediately fell upon the guards and quickly overwhelmed them and the weary Aguinaldo. On April 1, 1901, at the Malacañang palace in Manila Aguinaldo swore an oath accepting the authority of the United States over the Philippines and pledging his allegiance to the American government. Three weeks later he publicly called on his followers to lay down arms.

This slowed, but did not end the fighting, which spread south to involve Muslim fanatics whose ultimate weapon was the suicide kris charge. Worse, the insurgents had cleverly learned how to use the mainstream media to undermine McKinley's policy. Prior to his capture Emilio Aguinaldo had

managed to smuggle in four reporters—two English, one Canadian, and a Japanese into the Philippines. The correspondents returned to Manila to report that American captives were “treated more like guests than prisoners,” were “fed the best that the country affords, and everything is done to gain their favor.” The story went on to say that American prisoners were offered commissions in the Filipino army and that three had accepted. The four reporters were expelled from the Philippines as soon as their stories were printed.

The newspapers were full of allegations of the mistreatment of prisoners; of waterboarding -- the so-called water-cure -- and the cry was taken up by groups like the Anti-Imperialist League, which included politicians, media celebrities and billionaires like William Jennings Bryan, Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie. But unexpectedly, the tide turned. The real breakthrough came when William Howard Taft, who had been appointed by McKinley to take charge of the situation on the ground, persuaded Washington to return to the spirit of the original mission: to never forget that America had gone into to the Philippines to spread democracy. Taft, who later became Chief Justice after his Presidency engineered Arthur McArthur's removal. He argued that America could not treat the Filipinos so harshly because they were "our little brown brothers". Dean Bocobo at the Philippine Commentary blog has argued that no phrase in history has been so twisted from its original context. Taft's "little brown brother" phrase is portrayed as synonymous with condescending colonialism; what is never remembered is that it was uttered in opposition to Arthur McArthur's mailed-fist approach. Taft eased McArthur from command and replaced him with a powerful weapon in the shape of an Army troopship carrying American teachers: the USS Thomas.

The Thomasites are a group of about five hundred pioneer American teachers sent by the American government to the Philippines in August 1901 to establish a public school system, to teach basic education and to train Filipino teachers, with English as the medium of instruction. The name Thomasite was derived from the transport vessel, the USS Thomas (formerly Minnewaska), that brought them to the shores of Manila Bay. Although two groups of new American graduates arrived in the Philippines before the USS Thomas, the name Thomasite became the designation of all pioneer American teachers simply because the USS Thomas had the largest contingent. Later batches of American teachers were also dubbed as the Thomasites.

It proved the decisive weapon. How decisive was illustrated 40 years later, when Filipinos would fight side by side with the US Army against the Japanese. Taft could little have imagined in 1901 that another Chief Justice, Philippine Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, would choose in 1941 to be executed by the Japanese rather than renounce his allegiance to the American flag.

Abad Santos was captured by the Japanese near Carcar, Cebu. He was subjected to gruelling investigations for three weeks and was asked to contact General Manuel Roxas and to renounce his allegiance to the United States of America. He replied with dignity and courage: I cannot accede to the things you ask of me. To obey your commands is tantamount to being a traitor to the United States and my country. I would prefer to die rather than live in shame."

He was brought to Parang, Cotabato, and finally to Malabang, Lanao del Sur, where he was told of his impending execution. When his son learned of the verdict, he bust into tears, but Chief Justice Abad Santos confronted him, saying with sincere tenderness: "Do not cry Pepito. Show these people that you are brave. It is a rare opportunity far me to die for our country. Not everybody is given that chance."

Though Taft had won no one had realized it as yet. The attitudes engendered by the Philippine American War lingered in Washington. In 1912 Woodrow Wilson would win the Presidency with the minority of the vote against a divided Republican Party -- sundered by the schism between Taft and Theodore Roosevelt and decide to "cut and run" in a phased transition that would eventually deposit the Philippines in the hands of the illustrado elite.

Nationalist circles in the Philippines were elated over the election of Woodrow Wilson as President ... in 1912 ... Since 1900 the Democrats had voiced anti-imperialist sentiments ... To friends of insular independence, the Democratic victory raised great expectations for the success of their cause. ...

Wilson's views on the Philippine had undergone change over the years since 1898. First reportedly opposing annexation of the Islands, he later advocated a policy of American tutelage to prepare ... The 1912 Baltimore platform, although favoring retention of naval bases, had called for "an immediate declaration ... to recognize the independence of the Islands as soon as a stable government can be established."

But the downside of Wilson's policies, though well intentioned, were too subtle to be understood at the time. The effect of his Fourteen Points in raising, then dashing expectations in Germany is well known and laid the seeds for the rise of Fascism in the 1930s. Wilson's role in ending the Great War inadvertently concluded it in a way that set the stage for World War 2. Less well known are the effects of Wilson's policies in the Pacific. The effect of the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty was to destabilize the Pacific and put the Philippines behind a ring of Japanese-held islands. But its long term effect on Filipinos was to belatedly grant Aguinaldo's war aims. The illustrado elite inherited the colonial government structure while the mass of the inhabitants remained in economic, cultural and political subordination. And so it remained until the early part of the 21st century.

What finally weakened the Filipino elite was economic globalization. By the late 20th century the descendants of the illustrados had nearly run their patrimony into the ground. And to cover up their failures they resorted to the time-tested technique of scapegoating their enemies; first blaming the economic role of foreigners; then junking the American-era Constitution modeled largely after that of the US; finally in 1992 closing the last of the American bases that Wilson wanted retained. The one legacy they had not succeeded in completely dismantling was that of the Thomasites. English remained the official, though declining, medium of higher instruction until 2001 when it was finally replaced by Pilipino at all levels of education. The displacement was to last two whole years.

Even as the "nationalists" put the capstone on their decaying edifice the "peasants" were deserting their structure wholesale. By the early 21st century fully 11% of the entire Filipino population had fled to work abroad, though the percentage was probably higher. As a proportion of population it was a diaspora unprecedented in modern history. There are twelve million overseas Filipinos. By comparison there are only 35 million overseas Chinese. In 2003 the Philippine elite woke to the fact that overseas Filipinos were literally keeping their decaying kingdom afloat, providing 13.5% of total GDP, chiefly in sums sent to relatives. That year the Philippine Department of Education ordered English reinstated as the medium of instruction. Like some strange delayed explosion, the Thomasite weapon had detonated a hundred years into the future. But this time it was not the American teachers who crossed oceans to teach Philippine peasants. It was the Philippine peasants who went overseas to work and to learn.

Contemporary Manila is reeling under the impact of the Overseas Filipino revolution. Some of the changes are subtly cultural. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos of lower-class origin return for holidays or furlough between contracts with more money than the old social elite. They often return with more sophisticated consumer tastes and better foreign language skills then their social betters, who have never been to anything other than local finishing schools. In particular, many Filipinos of lower-class origin speak American or British standard English learned by immersion overseas unselfconsciously, at a stroke removing the class stigma that often attended the use of fluent English. The ultimate testimony to the return of English has been the widespread rise of that bizarre product of globalization, the Korean-run English academy for Filipinos, pitched at the those desperate to learn enough English to go abroad for a job. One of these unusual academies is shown below beside the another compelling reason to learn English: the Internet Cafe. If anything symbolizes the Overseas Filipino revolution, it is these English academies cheek by jowl with Internet portals.

But if some changes are subtle, others are glaringly obvious. Almost overnight, the ability to stand in line at a ticket booth or at a taxi stand has become a mainstream Filipino value in a country formerly renowned for jumping queues. At a business district in mid-Manila, thousands of call-center workers -- another incentive to learn English and hook into the wider world -- stop for fast-food meals at restaurants open on a 24 hour basis before manning workstations serving every corner of the globe. Perhaps most importantly, many Filipinos no longer expect the government to do anything for them. They simply go out and do it for themselves. A country in which telephones were until recently a comparative rarity has become a hive of cell phones and the text-messaging capital of the world. Nor does anybody rely on government mail when a private courier can be used. Coup rumors which until recently have set the country on its ears are now greeted with indifference. It is the elites who are treated with a amused condescenscion, as a source of entertainment. Dean Jorge Bocobo of Philippine Commentary, to whom I am indebted for much of the information on this post, said "You have all these millions of people coming back who know what works. And they want it. It's funny how in all this discussion over the Middle East everyone in America has forgotten the First Iraq." 

Update

Parenthetically, it was the Wahabi religious authorities which began its own "Thomasite" program in the 1970s as it flooded the southern Philippines and many other countries of the world with teachers and textbooks. This is now acknowledged to have greatly influenced the rise of Islamic extremism. A senior Southeast Asian official with whom I recently spoke said that Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) education officials were exploring ways to influence Imam training and texbook provision for the madrassas.

Because history never exactly repeats itself, it would be foolish to copy the Thomasite tactic of Taft. However, it reinforces the argument that the War on Terrorism is largely a war of ideas. Taft understood this. Does anyone now?

81 Comments:

Blogger desert rat said...

In Iraq, the US buffed the school floors, but did not send books and teachers.

In Korea, the US Army integrated Korean soldiers into its' own standing front line units.
The KATUSAs, over 50 years of partnership, became familar with US culture and mores. Most importantly, in their three or four years of military service, living with US troops, they learned to speak English.
Thus the Koreans can open English language schools servicing the the Filipino population.

In Iraq we abandoned the teachings of our own experience and history.

Imagine Iraqi troops that had been integrated into US Units from the beginning. Fortytwo months of US military experience and the acquired language skills those Iraqi would have gained. There could have been 200,000 Iraqi in some part of the integrated training cycle, by now.

I'm sure you'll all remember that Iraq is a "One Off". Never attempted before, nor to be again.
Not in the "Long War", anyway.

Imagine though, 100,000 militarily english fluent Iraqi, today, and the positive effect that would have had on the transition.
Instead at Camp Taji, home of the US counter insurgency program in Iraq, the Iraqi troops were segregated from the English speakers, being placed in second class accomadations.
Seperate and not equal.

These cause and effects were known at the time, and commented upon at length, to the discomfort of many, here. The truth of those arguments, though, shows through with time.

11/17/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Trippin dude..this is 2006 where imagine a time when we don't win no wars, we don't even kill the enemy in any numbers. We just polish the palaces and catch a big can o'whoop ass.
The US of A is prevented from winning wars using it's might. That must be used for a priori clean up. It's all very proper now ,non combatants covered under non existent sections of the Geneva Conventions and the Qu'ran handled with white gloves. An of course it's a piece of vile trash and Mohammad was a prototype Hitlerian..but hey..the Democrats have the answers, so just kick back until you get you back kicked.

11/17/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

Ah but Wretchard,

The "First Iraq" was successful because the Filipinos were ethnically homogenous, had a long cultural history of tolerance and liberal governance, welcomed us as liberators in a "cakewalk" war, that cost next to nothing in neither blood nor treasure. ;)

11/17/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Your discussion about how a large part of the population, primarily poor, left the Philippines and returned to transform the economy and the society reminds me of Ireland. For more than a century, the Irish traveled the world, many to America, to find economic opportunity. Only later did Ireland (the southern Republic of Ireland) apply the lessons of its lost children and find economic success. There is even a parallel with languages. Irish gaelic was forbidden by the British and abandoned by the Irish in order to gain economic advantage.

Even today the UK is trying to extricate itself from conflict in Northern Ireland. It's taken decades to work toward peace among the various religious factions. As much as the Dems would like to "cut and run" and the IRA fought to "get the Brits out of Ireland", patience may be only real answer.

11/17/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Your discussion about how a large part of the population, primarily poor, left the Philippines and returned to transform the economy and the society reminds me of Ireland. For more than a century, the Irish traveled the world, many to America, to find economic opportunity. Only later did Ireland (the southern Republic of Ireland) apply the lessons of its lost children and find economic success. There is even a parallel with languages. Irish gaelic was forbidden by the British and abandoned by the Irish in order to gain economic advantage.

Even today the UK is trying to extricate itself from conflict in Northern Ireland. It's taken decades to work toward peace among the various religious factions. As much as the Dems would like to "cut and run" and the IRA fought to "get the Brits out of Ireland", patience may be only real answer.

11/17/2006 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

What? No hat-tip to DJB? ;-)

11/17/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

whoops, its there!

11/17/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

How soon we forget. Or were never taught. I always had a vague notion of some sort of rebellion occuring in the Phillipines after America took it over as the spoils from the Spanish-American War, and that putting down that rebellion cost lots of blood and treasure.

desert rat,
I know the media doesn't like to portray postivie stories about American efforts in Iraq, but one of the few that has been the US military's program to build and repair schools, and their are numerous stories about the military's efforts to help the children of Iraq. From the get go we have heard about this. Seems many in the military read the history Wretchard cites and learned its lessons. I have heard/read comments from the soldiers in Iraq that they are placing their faith and efforts in the children of Iraq as they believe the adults are too damaged, jaded, etc. to be "saved".
It might be the reason that children are often the target of the jihadists.

"a long cultural history of tolerance and liberal governance, welcomed us as liberators in a "cakewalk" war, that cost next to nothing in neither blood nor treasure"

sfrcook, you might want to crack open the history books, or at least do a little web browsing before making ill-informed comments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine-American_War

First, the Spanish were not known for their benevolent colonial governance. What little local governance was allowed by the Spanish would not qualify as "liberal". Second, Americans were greeted not as liberators, but as occupiers and conquerors. It wasn't the American Army that defeated the Spanish Army in the Phillipines, it was the rebel Filipino Army that did. American forces captured Manilla only after the Fillipino Army had conquered the rest of the Phillipines and lay siege to the city. The rebels claimed independence and installed their own President (Emilio Aguinaldo)and . The United States promptly sent in 126,000 troops to retake (conquer) the country. The resulting war lasted five years and cost the Americans nearly five thousand soldiers and left almost 100,000 Fillipinos dead. Like I said, "How soon we forget"

11/17/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

Tarnsman,

what wikipedia, didn't happen to mention that they were ethnically diverse as well? Hum?

Cracking open history book now. ;)

11/17/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Will's Dad said...

Social justice a result of globalization?!!!!

HERESY!!!!

11/17/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger luagha said...

I will mention as an additional supporting comment that to say there is a 'Filipino' language is not quite accurate. There are eight principal languages and countless dialects and mixtures between them, the three most common being Cebuano(25%), Tagalog(24%), and Ilocano (11%). 'Filipino' is used to refer to the dialect of Tagalog spoken around Manila and environs and is one of the three 'official' languages - the other two being English and Spanish.
This sort of langauge grouping and drift seems to be common in archipelagos - Cebu is one of the largest islands and has its own linguistic group, etc.
The more that travel and trade become easy between the islands, the more an outsider language that everyone speaks becomes acceptable or necessary.

11/17/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

What Wikipedia isn't is a difinitive source. I mean it wasn't until the last two months they added fact checkers.
Any smuck, like a flying nun Habu could go in, change a few things here and ther and presto it's quoted worldwide as fact.
The teo major parties both geared up in this last election.
The Reps had the old picture of Dukakis in the tank enlarged and the Democrats had a clear shot of GHW Bush on the grassy knoll.
But let's be serious for a minute....naw

11/17/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

tarnsman
Of course the military sees the importance of the schools. The Army opens buildings, but does not supply teachers or lesson plans. The locals do that.

Who are the locals that are the teachers, that develop the curriculums, not US allies, that's for sure.
The Iraqi Minister of Education just held a radio interview.
Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Kidnappers who seized more than 100 staff members and visitors from a Baghdad research institute tortured their victims and may have killed some of them, Iraqi Higher Education Minister Abed Dhiab al-Ujaili said.

Al-Ujaili, who suggested the police were involved in the Nov. 14 incident, said he is leaving his post until the lack of security is addressed.

About 40 of the Iraqis kidnapped are still missing, al- Ujaili said in an interview today with the BBC's Radio 4, adding that some of the 70 who have been returned were tortured.

``There are rumors and news that some of them have been killed,'' al-Ujaili said. ``Even those that have been freed have been treated very badly. Some of them broke their legs, some of them hands.''

Al-Ujaili called for an investigation into whether police officers were behind the kidnapping.

``When they attacked, they were wearing police uniforms,'' he said. ``They were using police cars, some of them.''


Now wikipedia says very little about the "substance" of the lesson plans, but with 300,000 Ministry of Educatin employees both administrative and teachers, they are not using English texts.

A Google search reveils that after '04 the Ministry fell off the "hit list" of published concern. The money quote of the search: "More than 8.7 million math and science textbooks have been edited, printed, and distributed throughout Iraq." , which is great. But how about those Social Studies and Civics books. No mention of them, anywhere to be found.

No US teachers arriving, enmass, to help establish a systematic "American Campus" in Iraq.

We've open around 3,000 buildings, where Islamo-fascists teach their young their version of History. As it should be, in a democratic Islamo-fascist republic.

What part that plays into a Victory for the US version of Freedom and Liberty, well I'm just not sure.

11/17/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

luagha said:

Cebuano(25%), Tagalog(24%), and Ilocano (11%). 'Filipino' is used to refer to the dialect of Tagalog spoken around Manila and environs and is one of the three 'official' languages - the other two being English and Spanish.

No one asks if you speak the constitutionally-mandated Filipino language, they want to know if you speak Tagalog. And if you're from Mindinao you call Cebuano "Bisayan" or "Visayan"

11/17/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wretchard: Like some strange delayed explosion, the Thomasite weapon had detonated a hundred years into the future.

Vividly presented, Wretchard. Thank you for another eye-opening post.

tarnsman I have heard/read comments from the soldiers in Iraq that they are placing their faith and efforts in the children of Iraq as they believe the adults are too damaged, jaded, etc. to be "saved".

Tarnsman's observation squares with some stats I see on the education front:
USAID - Education Assistance has helped Iraq move away from rote learning methodology in decrepit, unsanitary classrooms to interactive learning in rehabilitated buildings. Since 2003, USAID has rehabilitated nearly 3,000 schools. Over 20 million new textbooks have been supplied by USAID (8.6 million) and UNESCO (12 million). By mid-2006, more than 120,000 primary school teachers - nearly a third of Iraq's educators - will have received training and technical assistance.

Through the Higher Education and Development (HEAD) more than 1,500 Iraqi faculty and students have participated in workshops, trainings, conferences, and courses all over the world since January 2004. Program efforts have rehabilitated university facilities throughout the country.


Notice the emphasis on primary school teachers, rather than vocational or university teachers. 120,000. That's a lot. I'd say it's an intentional child-development policy along the lines of what tarnsman says, unless someone knows otherwise.

rat: ...the Iraqi troops were segregated from the English speakers, being placed in second class accomadations.

Um, Iraq has first-class accommodations? Did Halliburton build a chain of Hilton "Hanging Garden Select" Hotels with complimentary breakfast buffets and almond soap when I wasn't looking? Define "second-class" for me, would ya, rat?

Imagine Iraqi troops that had been integrated into US Units from the beginning. Fortytwo months of US military experience and the acquired language skills those Iraqi would have gained. There could have been 200,000 Iraqi in some part of the integrated training cycle, by now.

I'm all for friends-helping-friends, but you're not talking about joint sea patrols with the Mexican navy. You're talking about 200,000 Iraqi ex-Baathists and Shiite militia members inside the concertina wire. By my math, that would mean they'd presently outnumber the coalition troops sleeping next door.

In the dead of night.

Unguarded.

Eh, I don't know about that. Maybe better to just open more of those English schools rat mentioned, and let the graduates apply for "first-class accommodations", after.

rat: No US teachers [are] arriving, enmass, to help establish a systematic "American Campus" in Iraq.

But seriously, wouldn't you say that security would have to improve drastically to make such a massed influx of civvies even remotely feasible? Not that it wouldn't be desirable. Heck, I've done Peace Corps teaching myself, and personally I'd be glad to fire up a whiteboard at American Campus - Basra Hilton Annex. But Jeez, man, not if the almond soap is carved out of C4, ya know?

11/17/2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

sfrcook said:

The "First Iraq" was successful because the Filipinos were ethnically homogenous, had a long cultural history of tolerance and liberal governance, welcomed us as liberators in a "cakewalk" war, that cost next to nothing in neither blood nor treasure. ;)

The colonial history of the Philippines has been called "400 years in a convent followed by 50 years in Hollywood" In Iraq it's more like 400 years in a harem followed by 25 years in a torture chamber.

11/17/2006 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

tex

But Jeez, man, not if the almond soap is carved out of C4, ya know?

Don't drop that soap.

11/17/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, tex, General MacArthur insituted the KATUSA Program in the middle of a hot war.

Vet the recruits, and yes the guards are up every night, in the Barracks. It's a War Zone, you know.

The US troops got the best, the Iraqi the rest, at Camp Taji. Segregation never builds trust, amongst allies. I've trained and worked with foreign troops aplenty. In Asia and Central America.

11/17/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woman catholicIn Iraq it's more like 400 years in a harem followed by 25 years in a torture chamber.

Mm-hmm. Followed now by 3 years in a Mad Max movie.

"Meeee-thane!"

"Pig shit."

11/17/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

Nor does anybody rely on government mail when a private courier can be used.

Wretchard, not so long ago it used to be you could send a little money to the folks back home and it would actually get through, but lately it seems like someone is opening all of the mail, and someone is letting them do it. Now you have to use bank-to-bank or door-to-door remittances even for small amounts, and even then sometimes the door-to-door couriers run off with the loot. Send a balikbayan box and they now have to give you a picture of your sister standing over the box to prove it went through. This kind of short-sighted greed is part of what's happening to the general fabric of that culture. Integrity in small matters are the little bricks that build up an affluent society.

11/17/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In case you are "really" interested in the failures the US has had in training the Iraqi Army, read this reasoned dissertation:
Camp Taji by Westhawk just this past 20Jun06

11/17/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger jane said...

Desert Rat - Heres an article about what the U.S. has done about education in Iraq. To my way of thinking what has been done has a far more powerful long term potential that a boat load of new teachers. http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0212/p12s02-legn.html

11/17/2006 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rat: General MacArthur insituted the KATUSA Program...

But to be clear, that program is still very small. Dr. Wiki sez only 4,800 Koreans are active in it today. And they apply competitively to the program after completing language school - completing it outside the concertina wire, I gather.

Or outside the berm, or blast wall, or fire pit, whatever. I'm a civvy. I don't know such stuff. Eyes, I just do eyes. Tyrell, he design your brain. He big boss. I just do eyes.

Point being, those KATUSA numbers ballpark near the number of translators now serving the coalition forces in Iraq. I don't have recent numbers, but there were some 2,500 native translators at work in late 2003. Anyway, the question is: Where have colonial forces done rapid integration of the 200,000-scale naive troops you're sort-of suggesting?

11/17/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, that's great news, jane,
from the February 12, 2004 edition

As I said, after '04 nothing worth publishing has occurred. A Workshop on teaching technique, but not a word on CONTENT

What did aristide say, just the other day, but that we have to control the CONTENT.

Civics and History, control what is on their tests and you can control the outcomes of their Learning.
No where, not in '04 or today is there a claim to control the Civil Content of the lesson plans. That is left to the Locals.

The Government of Mr al-Sadr and Mr Malki, and of course the Minister of Education, Mr Abed Dhiab al-Ujaili. They write the story, for the children to learn.

11/17/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me: "naive troops"

Typo. I meant "native troops".

My apologies to any savvy, sophisticated Iraqi deathsquad members I may have offended with that typo.

11/17/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rat: ...content...

I don't get it. USAID counts "over 20 million new textbooks... USAID (8.6 million) and UNESCO (12 million)".

Is that not content? Are the teachers burning these books in giant trashpits and forcing kids to profess their love of martyrdom in civics class?

Specifics, please, rat. You say the US "did not send books and teachers", but that still sounds only half true. Teachers, no -- per the bit on C4 almond soap-on-a-rope above -- but the books are there and are being used.

Are they not?

11/17/2006 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well tex, while the hard number, 4,800 may equal that of the translators in Iraq, as a percentage of the Force...
There are aprox. 25,000 US troops in Korea. 4,800 Katusa = 19.2%
About 1 in 5.

Today there are aprox. 130,000 US troops in Iraq, 4,800 translators = 3.69% or 1 in 27.
Quite an Operational difference.

The Gurkha fielded 250,000 men during WWII. But the French Foreign Legion, comes primarily to mind, where a large force of foreign volunteers learned militarily effective French and integrated into the French Army, as units.
Without deleving into Roman history, either.

11/17/2006 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Math and science, amigo.
Not Civics and History

There in lays the rub.

11/17/2006 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

1 in 27 as compared to 1 in 5.

If in Iraq we'd taken on 19.2% of the Iraqi in a KATUSA Program, we'd have a cadre of 25,000 English speaking Iraqi that had four years of hand in glove experience working in and with US.
If had rotated those Iraqi after 24 months we'd have almost 50,000 men indoctrinated, today.

The core of a loyal indiginous force. A core that does not exist today.

11/17/2006 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rat: Not Civics and History

Not to denigrate our public education system -- whose product I am -- but, uh, the US even publishes textbooks on Middle East history? :-)

If we were a colonial power intent on re-molding Iraqis in our image, stealing their oil and converting the masses to Methodism, etc., maybe we would. But that's a different thread. Just wanted to correct the blanket assertion that books ain't there.

rat: the French Foreign Legion comes primarily to mind...

Now that might be an interesting example. Recommend a good history on that? (I didn't read about the FFL in high school history class. Per above.)

11/17/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Again, tex, exactly.
The history of Iraq, the ME and the Crusades, enlightenment, etc. are taught to Mohmmedan standards.

Do we really need more schools promoting Sharia Law in Civics Class? Or promoting the ideas of Mr Madison, expoused in the Federalist Papers.

Those books are not there. Science and math, those books are there. How to be an engineer, those books are there. How to build a civil society, those books were never printed and distributed, in Arabic.

11/17/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Start with wikipedia
Despite being thought of as outdated and an anachronism, the legion has remained an important part of the French Army. It has survived three republics, one empire, two World Wars, the rise and fall of mass conscript armies, the painful dismantlement of the French colonial empire and finally, the loss of its fatherland — Algeria.

The reason for its survival may be as John Elting says: "The French, being a thrifty and practical people, have always been eager to let any available foreigners assist them in any necessary bleeding and dying for la Patrie."[1]

right here and go from there.

11/17/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Desert Rat wrote: "If in Iraq we'd taken on 19.2% of the Iraqi in a KATUSA Program, we'd have a cadre of 25,000 English speaking Iraqi ..."

Good point -- but what is the value of continuously whining that things could have been done differently? Of course they could have! The only issue looking forward is -- what have we learned so expensively, and how do we apply it?

We have learned from Iraq so far a number of useful lessons:
- The US military is awesome, when even partially unleashed.
- The UN is worthless & corrupt.
- Major so-called "allies" are really enemies in drag.
- The US State Department is a very large part of the problem, definitely not part of the solution.

Those lessons are there for anyone who wants to use them. It is quite possible that when Democrats begin to realize that Islamic Terrorism is now THEIR problem, and Iraq is now THEIR war, we might see some of those lessons applied. Including the value of language training (for us, as well as them), and the necessity of treating the man with a camera the same as a man with an RPG.

11/17/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rat: An anachronism, [the FFL] has survived... the painful dismantlement of the French colonial empire and finally, the loss of its fatherland — Algeria.

That's not exactly a glowing tribute to the FFL's success as a victorious colonial force, but thanks anyway. Actually, I was hoping for more funner FFL history -- you know, with soap stories and strategic imperial victories.

But I guess we do have to go to the Romans (or Alexander the Macedonian, maybe) for the relevant stories of successful, strategic imperial integration... I recall the Romans took the sons of warlords under wing in the Roman gymnasiums; to teach them Roman civics -- and hold them hostage as loyalty guarantees upon their fathers.

Not that I recommend that.

kinu: We have learned from Iraq so far a number of useful lessons:
- The US military is awesome, when even partially unleashed.
- The UN is worthless & corrupt.
- Major so-called "allies" are really enemies in drag.
- The US State Department is a very large part of the problem, definitely not part of the solution.


Good educable points there, kinu. I do wonder sometimes if the Administration goes through its very public, frustrating efforts at diplomacy and coalition-building primarily to drive this point home to the public. "Now do you see what total s***s these guys are? Now do you see? So can we just get on with the war already, Prince Prufrock?"

kinu: "allies" are really enemies in drag

Don't you know they're bad.

11/17/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Of sure, let's send hundreds, if not thousands, of unarmed American civilians into Iraq to teach the kids. I can see the headlines now: "American teacher kidnapped in broad daylight in Anbar" "American teacher gunned down in front of pupils" American teacher beheaded on video" No thanks. Maybe ten-twenty years from now when sanity finally, if ever, comes to that country.

Also reading the history of the Phillipine-American war is very instructive. Should give you an idea of what might be needed to pacify Iraq. Hopefully we won't resort to the tactics employed in the Phillipines. Not exactly a shining moment in US history.

11/17/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger jane said...

Mr. Rat,
I don't care to argue with you about education issues, but my own opinion is that when students are encouraged to think and discuss what books the students are required to read becomes less important.

I am still hopeful about Iraq. I think many good seeds have been planted and it may take time to see them grow. Change isn't easy nor does it come overnight. Change has steps to it similar to the steps in grieving. There is a honeymoon period, a belligerent, power play and finger-pointing period mixed with a longing to go back to the old ways. With fortitude and a smattering of good luck the vision begins to shine through and the change begins to take hold. You can investigate the stresses of change for yourself by relocating your socks or toothbrush.

When I switch my mind set away from watching the individual players and the daily battles to one of a bigger picture, I can see some movement towards the goal. Like everyone else, I would like to see change moving faster but I am not giving up yet.

11/17/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

People people,

All we need to do is distribute about 400,000 copies of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.

You know to show 'em how it's done.
Made in America.

11/17/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Jane,
Don't ever give up! Here's a famous quote from Winston Churchill

"Don't ever give up!"

11/17/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

War or retreat.

Those are the choices.
If tarnsman the US "... tactics employed in the Phillipines. Not exactly a shining moment in US history. ..."
Are not to be duplicated, replicated or improved upon, now after 42 months of learning curve, bring the boys home.

The General says 4 to 6 months more, Iraq will be secure, or not.

Mr Maliki wants control of his Army and the Security mission in Iraq by November '07. Bet he gets his wish.
Watch the UN reauthorization of Occuppation, due 31DEC06, that'll lay out the future course.

11/17/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well we all know it is not what is taught, but how it is taught, that is important to childrens self-esteem.

We shan't debate Education, when that is what the Administration hangs it's hat upon. The Schools, in Iraq.

Nothing published since '04.
Why would that be, if the product and not the buildings were especially stellar or if the buildings even were producing product?

11/17/2006 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

habu: All we need to do is distribute about 400,000 copies of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.

Nice. Or how about we issue 400,000 vouchers for prostitution service at some new off-base brothels? Turn Baghdad into the Bangkok of the Middle East.

"Bag, dad?"

Beats highschool civics, is all I'm sayin'.

11/17/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

That 1912 election was Tuesday week ago. What's up next? Oh, yes, 1914, then some other stuff, then the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, that finally sorted everything out to our great benefit. Senator Smoot now calls himself "Schumer" but nevermind, buy Raytheon, General Dynamics. Northrop/Grumman, Lockheed/Martin, and Boeing, and you'll be just fine.

11/17/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/17/2006 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Tex,
Those vouchers yur tak'n 'bout..they be same species sex vouchers?
I means da gotz camel,goats, and da woman iz all cuvered up.
jeez a fella could git a goat flu ur sump'n.

11/17/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Hell Tex all we be do'in is teech', "Snivl'in Obeisance" by Pee Wee Herman

11/17/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

DR,
That dar new avatar already gotz da thousand yard stare ..all he be need'n is an m-79

11/17/2006 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, habu, decided to do a gut check and sign in, as a teacher

11/17/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rat, i want in to the first school board meeting after habu starts teaching. I don't think the language problem will be any difficulty. I just want the video.

11/17/2006 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Sorry to nitpick a tangental point, but to sfrcook:

"Filipinos were ethnically homogenous..."

Ummm.... that's sort of debatable. On the one hand, nearly everyone is ultimately of Malay ancestry, if you go back far enough. And I mean far, as in millenia. But really... there are real differences between many of the inhabitants of the Philippines. A northern Ilocano, as one example, is quite different from a Moro in Mindanao in many aspects. I guess your statement could be true if you accepted a broad genetic definition of ethnicity, or if you simply classified most everyone as "Malay", since that's the dominant group that migrated to the archipelago 6 or 7 millenia ago. But in other aspects, that's not so. For example, different areas speak different dialects. Visayan is distinct from Tagalog, which itself is distinct from, say, Ilocano. And I myself hold language differences to be an indicator of ethnic differences.

To make a long story short, I'd have to say that calling the Philippines "ethnically homogenous" is not really correct. Simply taking into account the variety of dialects argues to the contrary. That's before looking at cultural differences, etc.

Of course, the question of "what is an ethnic group" is a valid one. Again, going back 6 or 7 millenia, you see that nearly everyone's of Malay descendent. On top of that, I'm not trying to say the ethnic diversity of the Philippines is anywhere near that of, say, the US. But my point is that it's not so simple and straightforward to call the country "ethnically homogenous".

Anyway... Wretchard - who is himself Pinoy - and Woman Catholic - who's demonstrated knowledge of the Philippines, and may be a Filipina herself (are you??) - should feel free to chime in, add to, and/or correct my info here.

At any rate, tangent ended, my 2 cents now spent... We now return to our regular scheduled topic.

11/17/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

elmondohummus

Anyway... Wretchard - who is himself Pinoy - and Woman Catholic - who's demonstrated knowledge of the Philippines, and may be a Filipina herself (are you??)

Possibly in a past life. As soon as this tomboy found out that that Elephant Barflies were more about using information for personal attack and not the general defense, she took a page from Sun Tzu, who said, "Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate."

11/17/2006 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For some, reincarnation and habits are more about saying you're all fascists and I'm outta here, but not really about that last part.

11/17/2006 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It is fascinating to explore the effects of globalization and market forces on terrorism. For example, one might conjecture that economic competition is actually inversely related to terrorism. Could it be it is no coincidence that some of the most virulent forms of Islamic extremism are to be found in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and France and the least in the United States?

The Overseas Filipino revolution is interesting as a case study of how a population self-educates and transforms itself in the face of government failure using market forces. But if nearly half of Overseas Filipinos went to the Anglosphere, what of those who went to say, Yemen? Clearly many of those who returned did not always learn just work skills.

11/17/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger PossumTater said...

Plus


Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga,
Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga,
Oh, the monkeys have no tails,
They were bitten off by whales,
Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga.

Oh, the carabao have no hair in Mindanao,
Oh, the carabao have no hair in Mindanao,
Oh, the carabao have no hair,
Holy smoke! But they are bare,
Oh, the carabao have no hair in Mindanao.

Oh, the birdies have no feet in Mariveles,
Oh, the birdies have no feet in Mariveles,
Oh, the birdies have no feet,
They were burned off by the heat,
Oh, the birdies have no feet in Mariveles

11/17/2006 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

The Dutch are waking up?

11/17/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wretchard But if nearly half of Overseas Filipinos went to the Anglosphere, what of those who went to say, Yemen? Clearly many of those who returned did not always learn just work skills.

Don't know. You're talking about Filipino Muslim returnee trouble? Seen any stats on the # of Filipino Muslims who made trouble only after indoctrination in the Middle East?

Just a guess, but I'd think radical Islamic teachings would take root more easily in the Philippines, where tales of Arabian exotica sound more plausible than they do in the gritty desert itself. "A prophet is not welcome in his own home," as they say. Just a guess. But that's not taking Saudi money into consideration. Money could bend things hard.

Anyway, you've seen some numbers on Filipino radical conversion, or regional studies?

11/17/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger LifeoftheMind said...

My enthusiastic agreement that we should change the culture through primary education; If only to crowd out the fascists. The Israelis never shut down the UNRWA hate academies and everything else they tried has come to naught as a result. The US should have made clear that the Iraqis would need a tutelage at least as long as Germany or Japan had after the end of the war. Turning those essential services over to our enemies while the war was still going on was ridiculous. And as the previous topic noted, while Iran is still involved the war is definitely not over, the mission is not accomplished.

11/17/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

One question would be, if the US had left the Philippines early instead of staying, would we have had the same end result, that the islands eventually came to peace? Or what if the US stayed, but moved to the sidelines and let the Philippine people fight their own battles, would they still have come to peace?

The history is very interesting, but I don't think any two wars are ever the same.

As far as Iraq goes, I agree with General Abizaid's recent testimony (below). We do need to stay in Iraq with present troop levels for awhile, but the main task now is shifting defense to the Iraqis. They are clearly dragging their feet, and letting us do the fighting for them, as his remarks indicate.

On Wednesday, Gen. John P. Abizaid, who leads the U.S. Central Command, testified on Capitol Hill that he believes sending in a large contingent of infantry troops would be a mistake, in part because it could dissuade Iraqi troops from taking the lead in security operations. Abizaid said he plans over coming months to introduce a more robust training effort -- involving additional U.S. trainers and advisers to help boost the numbers and capabilities of Iraqi forces -- so Iraq can defend its homeland and thus transition toward a U.S. exit.

"It's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon us to do this work," Abizaid said. "I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future."

11/17/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Tex,

BTW, even the Lancet "Iraqi deaths" meme has its counterpart in the Third World. For example, the Philippine Left has artfully constructed a list of people executed by the "US imperialist sponsored" government by assidiously writing up the deaths of every labor lawyer and leader in the past three or four years. Some have no doubt been killed by government or strike-breaking hit men, but the list apparently contains people who have died of disease, accident or even old age. If you think about it, lawyers like anyone else, die at a certain rate and if you write the obituaries in a certain way you will soon enough have the list of 800 which the Left has now submitted to European Human Rights groups for a "war crimes trial". Of course the list studiously omits the labor leaders the Left itself has killed, but that is only natural.

The same process was followed in Iraq. Whether people were killed by al-Qaeda, Sadr's militias, plain crime, food poisoning, traffic accidents, heart attacks or anything else it was described as America's fault. The term is "surplus deaths". Recently the Lancet claimed surplus deaths amounted to 650,000. It is considerably bigger than the pitiful 800 names the Philippine Left has constructed, but the principle is the same. Soon enough it becomes fact and nobody questions it. I guess the point is that many of the tactics used in Iraq are repeated all over the world. The wonder is why we never wise up to them.

11/17/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Whether people were killed by al-Qaeda, Sadr's militias, ... or anything else it was described as America's fault.

I think that is the key point, to avoid that blaming, by scoping the war such that we don't accept blame for every Iraqi on Iraqi killing. We are committed to helping stabilize them in the long term, but it shouldn't be a stain on the US if some sunni and shiite Iraqis decide to shoot at each other.

11/17/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

Two weeks ago I discussed other fascinating parallels between Iraq and the Philippine War of 1898-1913 here.

Mark Twain at the time even called it a QUAGMIRE!

Victory was achieved and history shows the way.

11/17/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

rds,

The difference between the Philippine campaign and Iraq is the former did not involve either the vital interests of America or the world but the latter is arguably central to the greatest crisis of the age.

For many the greatest lesson drawn from the Philippine campaign was the efficacy of sheer and unrelenting coercive power. But this hides a much more important point. Maybe the real killer weapon was ideas and economics. Philip Bobbitt described Globalization as the winning strategy of the Cold War. All the military did was hold them in place and Globalization did the rest. One was the shield, but the other the sword.

Military performance against the terrorist foe has been superb by historical standards. However, Rumsfeld himself often bemoaned how it was not matched by other facets of American power. There are never exact parallels in history, but there's a lesson here I think.

One last story which may bear on the subject. Today there are LDS missionaries in their 20s plying the back roads of the Philippines speaking perfect, accentless vernacular Pilipino. Even to each other, for practice. Maybe it's the same in other countries. Anyone who claims Americans can never be more than monolingual should see these guys. Their language instructors are geniuses. If the LDS can achieve this level of fluency there is no reason in principle why the feat can't be duplicated in Arabic.

11/17/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wretchard: many of the tactics used in Iraq are repeated all over the world. The wonder is why we never wise up to them.

I enjoyed, mordantly, all the parallels you've drawn in the article. You pulled up some unexpected ones.

Why don't we wise up? Or rather, why don't people who are ostensibly paid and sworn to wise up on behalf of the republic, wise up? Yes, it is a wonder. The US is now the all-purpose whipping boy, castigated and self-castigated for many sins, whether committed or not. And western elites echo and amplify the charges, eager to make dirt.

The scapegoating is almost understandable in a truly foreign country like Iraq, which the US is presently semi-occupying. But what did the US ever do to, say, Britain, except save its hide, twice?

Search "abu ghraib":

Results from all the BBC:
720 articles, plus 52 audio and video files

Results from Google:
1,570,000 pages


That's messed up. The emotion behind those charges -- it's a psychological barrier. But what is the barrier protecting?

In the Middle East, the emotion protects rotting regimes, yes? It's a fascist tool.

In Europe, I think the emotion protects a regime-in-waiting, the nascent EU Socialist superbureaucracy that was once a mere free-trade pact, but is now become a nature refuge for endangered commies.

--

It's been argued (Abazid?) that by keeping coalition troop levels low in Iraq and threatening to leave ala Vietnam, we increase the Iraqis' fear sufficiently to sober them up and get them to take more responsibility than they otherwise would. And that's not a crazy argument, though its high cost in blood probably prevents the Administration from making the argument directly.

I wonder, tangentially, if this reality-fear-pressure keeps the Baghdad papers on a more even, responsible keel -- a more even keel than, say, the BBC's. It's hard to compare...

Maybe it's high time for gummint to apply the same pressure to western elites. Threaten Europe with total troop and weapons redeployment if NATO GWOT participation is not supercharged with financial and troop levels comparable to the US contribution, for example.

Give them a reason to sober up.

"Nothing so clarifies the mind as the prospect of being hanged in the morning."

11/17/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rat: If the LDS can achieve this level of fluency there is no reason in principle why the feat can't be duplicated in Arabic.

We have the technology:

[in John's voice] Hey Janelle, what's wrong with Wolfie? I can hear him barking. Is he all right?

[in Janelle's voice] Wolfie's fine, honey. Wolfie's just fine. Where are you?

[hangs up] Your foster parents are dead.

11/17/2006 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Kumusta po kayo?

Anyway, it seems all the reading I have done is the people of the Philippines are, malays. Yes, they are essentially derived from the same group, with Spanish and Chinese blood mixed in. However, as is pointed out there is much more to the story than that.

There is a tension between Bisayans and Tagalogs. This kinda plays into current politics in that PGMA has much more support from the Bisayas than from the region around Manila.

Also, it was an important factor in the Philippine-American war. The Filipino leaders fighting against the Americans were all (for the most part) Tagalogs and according to Brian Limm (IIRC) in his book The Philippine War 1899-1902 this was a serious weakness on the Filipino side. The war effort was too narrowly based. While there was resistance to the Americans in the Bisayas and in Mindanao it was not widespread nor coordinated with the main fighting on Luzon. Nor did the Tagalog leaders make serious efforts to unite the rest of the Archipelago to their efforts.

Interestingly enough I saw major differences between Arabs in the UAE and while I wasn't keen enough to always note where one was from I could usually tell if an Arab was from the UAE, Oman, Saudi, Kuwait etc.

Well enough for now. If I don't get unpacked and a few things done around a Bisayan will make war on me! :-)

'Ingat kayo!

11/17/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Desert Rat wrote: "War or retreat. Those are the choices."

Winston Churchill once said: "You could have chosen cowardice, or war. You chose cowardice, and so now you shall have war anyway."

I like Churchill's version better. Because the real choice facing the West today is War Now or War Later.

All kinds of unexpected things could happen -- will happen! Who knows where the next terrorist stike will take place, or what will happen between Russia and the EU? At some point, Democrats will realize that retreat is a tactic, not a strategy. Don't forget that only one human being in recorded history has ever given the order to use nuclear weapons against human beings -- and that person was a Democrat.

11/17/2006 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

Elmondohummus,
(regarding Filipino diversity and my original post)

Sheesh, is there no one left on the BC who can appreciate a little sarcasm? Thanks for the primer on Filipino ethnography though. :)

11/17/2006 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

I guess it will be just five party talks since North and South Korea are one party again. S. Korea Won't Back Bush on Inspections. Seems that those nasty old inspections aren't sufficiently sunny for the Sunshine Policy.

11/17/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

SFCROOK,

FWIW, my sarcasm meter tweeked when I read your post. However, voice tone, and facial expressions don't transmit very well over the Internet.

As far as the notion on how the OFW experience is benefitting the Philippines in more and deeper ways that the remittances.

I wonder about the OFW thing, though. Is the conjecture backwards? I.e. do OFWs learn when they go overseas and bring knowledge and go-getterism back, or were they just smart and go-getters to begin with? I suspect the later.

I found many Filipinos who were OFWs at one point or another, for the most part had something going in the Philippines prior to leaving, they just needed to leave and earn some capital.

11/17/2006 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

marcus aurelius

I found many Filipinos who were OFWs at one point or another, for the most part had something going in the Philippines prior to leaving, they just needed to leave and earn some capital.

Generally, it has to do with the fact that many Filipinos would have to work all day just to afford a Big Mac combo that Americans could pay for with a handful of spare quarters from their car's ash tray. Buying power is very low in the P.I., but they pay roughly the same rates for fuel that everyone else in the world does. And very puzzling to me, consumer electronics is actually somewhat more expensive there. Possibly because they don't have the dynamic of large volumes. There isn't anything like Wal-Mart there.

11/17/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Tarnsman - I know the media doesn't like to portray postivie stories about American efforts in Iraq, but one of the few that has been the US military's program to build and repair schools, and their are numerous stories about the military's efforts to help the children of Iraq.

The media doesn't focus on the stories of soldiers painting schools, buffing school floors, in Fallujah or handing out candy to kids because they know that the kids hate the Americans and teachers will be preaching radical Islam and the glory of Jihad to them as soon as the paint dries, the floor buffers leave, and the kids munch their infidel candy.

It would be like Americans spiffing up Nazi schools and giving gifts out to Hitler Youth before they were defeated. It would be seen as dumb enemy Yankee propaganda money blown in stupid gestures of no consequence. Sure, the Nazis would thank the Americans - then get back to the proper fascist education of the kids who were told anyways to hate the racially mongrel, Jew-loving riff raff Aryans had encouraged to emigrate across the Atlantic to make Europe a better place.

BTW - The Filipinos didn't defeat the Spanish. America did by destroting their Navy and getting the Spaniards to reliquish their colonies. The native insurrection was just what we inherited from the Spanish and dealt with.
****************************

Desert Rat - We've open around 3,000 (school) buildings, where Islamo-fascists teach their young their version of History. As it should be, in a democratic Islamo-fascist republic.

Yep, and it would be amusing if we weren't the ones so badly out-thought and outfought on the intellectual side of war. There is some truth to the snooty Euros claims that Americans were morons utterly ignorant of a well-established culture, unable to speak their language, lacking any Humint, lacking any postwar plan - thinking their high tech wonder toys, improvising soldiers, cash bribes, and crazy neocon theories of democracy would make up for that...
**************

Rat - Again, tex, exactly.
The history of Iraq, the ME and the Crusades, enlightenment, etc. are taught to Mohmmedan standards (US did not provide any civics or historyv books).......Science and math, those books are there. How to be an engineer, those books are ther


Which is a wonderful development if a little Islamofascist kiddie wishes to grow up to be an engineer like Binnie or be as steeped in Math or science as pediatrician Uncle Ayman Zawahiri is. Or just has the same aspirations as any other noble Iraqi son of noble purple fingered freedom-lovers -- how to construct remotely activated electronic circuits or the trig needed to understand mortar firing adjustments for Allah's sake.
*****************************
The Philippines example neglects America quickly gaining widespread support in most of the Philippines areas outside the Moro rebellion locale. Not saying overjoyed welcome was exactly the reception, but for the most part, Americans were safe walking around, interacting, doing business with Filipinos as soon as we came in - outside the rebellion areas - and the pervasive hatred of the infidel was not the Filipino way outside...surprise surprise...the Muslim Moro areas.

11/17/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

WC,

Yeah, I understand the buying power of the average Pinoy is less than the average Kano, so they have to scratch harder. Still, for the most part I think this means the big-mac pack which you refer to is out of reach but rice and tuyo is still within means.

I really think those who have a go-getter attitude are more likely to be OFWs than those without the proper pre-requisite attitudes and skills.

When in Manila last JA it seemed whenever I was with a family that had one or more close OFWs there was something different about the family that went beyond the remittances.

11/17/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger gdude said...

sfrcook -
Glad you fessed up to funnin' the BC, 'cause I was gettin' scared I didn't know how to read no more. Everyone was takin' you so serious ...

rat -
Geez, Louise! The Federalist Papers!?! Hell, I wish they'd teach those in the civics classes in THIS country! Maybe even in law schools, or the USSC ...

wretchard: Could it be it is no coincidence that some of the most virulent forms of Islamic extremism are to be found in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and France and the least in the United States?

Or, is that a function of their numerical ascendancy in those places? Where will we first see homegrown Muslim action (post 911) in the US? Dearborn? Minneapolis?

11/17/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger Elmondohummus said...

sfrcook,

T'whooops! I'm so sorry, I didn't catch the sarcasm. I just remember reading the post and thinking "Huh? No way... gotta correct that". A long day at work makes you rather literal at 5 o'clock; it's a function of being all pooped-out. Anyway... you're welcome, and I hope I didn't come off as condescending or pendantic.

Woman Catholic,

"And very puzzling to me, consumer electronics is actually somewhat more expensive there."

I noticed that too! That was my big "What da heck??" moment when I visited last March. But food, thankfully, is affordable. And you just gotta love the idea of a $10 (US) Sweedish massage.

Marcus Aurelius,

"Kumusta po kayo?"

Mabuti naman, salamat po.

"I wonder about the OFW thing, though. Is the conjecture backwards? I.e. do OFWs learn when they go overseas and bring knowledge and go-getterism back, or were they just smart and go-getters to begin with? I suspect the later."

I've wondered that myself, and I sorta suspect the latter too. In thinking of my own family, most of the cousins who're out and about in other countries are the ones who didn't give up easily in getting out. For those who don't know about the Filipino overseas working experience: It is a bit hard, it's silly expensive, the lists for Visas to the States is stupidly long, and for certain fields - like some of my cousins who're in medical fields like nursing, physical therapy, etc. - the US certifications tests for their professions are not held in the Philippines (too big a probability of buying passing grades through bribes, according to those cousins) but rather overseas (Hong Kong for the nursing certs). Which just adds to the difficulties.

Wretchard,

"It is fascinating to explore the effects of globalization and market forces on terrorism. For example, one might conjecture that economic competition is actually inversely related to terrorism. Could it be it is no coincidence that some of the most virulent forms of Islamic extremism are to be found in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and France and the least in the United States?"

Hehe... at the risk of once again taking a light post too seriously: I think it's nothing more than a correlation, not a causative factor. I've always thought that the permissiveness of those societies was the cause of that particular virulence. Thugs run free and flourish in too easygoing a society, after all, and societies that are too easygoing socially also tend to have dim views of economic competition. So there's a relation, but they're sort of disparate destinations eminating from the same cause.

Back to Marcus & Woman Catholic,

Just how much is a Big Mac combo in the Philippines? I flatly refused to go to a Golden Arches while I was there. What's the point in flying 20 hours to eat at a place that has a franchise within walking distance of my home here in the States?

End of topic digression.

11/18/2006 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Am I missing something or is it every other commenter here that's missing the obvious.

Those teachers brought something to the young Philipinos that they had heard about from the Spanish but had not seen manifest. It wasn't until the teachers put it into practice for their benifit that they saw.

The answer for Iraq and for Islam is simple in theory but nigh impossible in practice. It is the thing that Islam and the secular left fear most and will not tolerate. Even the US military will not take it on as the necessary fix for the problems there.

It is conversion.

Digest.

11/18/2006 05:13:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

cedarford wrote:

It would be like Americans spiffing up Nazi schools and giving gifts out to Hitler Youth before they were defeated.

Not a perfect analogy. Here's a better one: The Wehrmacht sheds their uniforms and fades away in the face of Patton's thrust. Truman declares "Mission Accomplished" in his Colonel Hogan B-17 bomber jacket. Hitler is caught hiding in his spinnebohrung and put on trial in a Nazi court. A Mr. Bremer of German ancestry is put in charge of administrating the American sector, and his primary goal is to bring "healing" to the German people, so he refuses to arrest Admiral Donetz, head of one of the Nazi militias. Despite billions of dollars in Marshall Plan aid, the dueling militias are blowing up power and water infrastructure as fast as US companies can fix them. Jeeps are blown up every day by surplus landmines planted in the streets, and GIs mutter "FUBAR". Life magazine is accused of only printing photos that show the grim realities of post-war Berlin and not the Potemkin basketball programs and other successes. General Eisenhower says the war is being dragged out to benefit the "Military Industrial Complex" and he is called a Cut & Run Republican by the Truman campaign in the 1948 elections.

11/18/2006 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

gdude

Where will we first see homegrown Muslim action (post 911) in the US? Dearborn? Minneapolis?

Never here. The melting pot idea was a stroke of genius. It is places like France where the liberal tendency to leave the door open for immigrants has run up against the equally liberal tendency to create artificial restrictions protecting their cushy jobs. The resulting contradiction plays out as car-B-ques all across the blighted suburbs.

11/18/2006 07:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Never here"? Our traditional melting pot is full of unassimilated chunks, some of which are not wishing to ever blend with the other flavors, such as our immigrant fundamentalist Muslims who, given their growing numbers and cultural/political antipathy towards the US, constitute a future threat to this country in a way and on a scale that the self-segregating Hassidic or Mennonite communities could never do.

Give it a few years before we start having a real Islamist problem in America, many thanks to the PC re-education of America and our worship of multicultural integrity over national social cohesion. But if the Islamist enemy is really smart, they will stay to making babies, keep insinuating themselves into business, both legit and underground, and to running for office with an eye on the prize. Burning cars here would be too stupid by far and invite a backlash.

I can see more jihadist Johnny killings happening and some incidents of planned terror, though-- easily-- as CAIR the Muslim/Islamist special interest group works tirelessly to secure American Muslim "rights" and enshrine their good-as-gold victim status.

11/18/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

In the last two years both the Phillipines and Mexico have received Hernando de Soto's ILD to investigate how to regularize their property laws such that the property of both countries can be bought sold borrowed against and taxed.

The idea of rationalizing their property laws (so as to bring their informal economies into their formal economies) may have come from the elites being embarrassed by the money power & promise of their expatriates sending money home from overseas.

11/19/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Success 100 years delayed linked back to a particular policy is a very long bow to draw.

11/19/2006 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody happened to mention that the English schools referred to in the above article are for KOREANS!!! All the students are flown down from South Korea, and the English teachers are hired from the local population of college graduates. These language centers bring foriegn currency into the Philippines, provide jobs for Filipinos, and they give the young Koreans a chance to experience life in a foreign country learning English before they go into college or do their mandatory military service.

And by the way, McDonald's is jam-packed with Filipinos, but instead of a Big Mac (which is about $2.00 including fries and Coke) Filipinos prefer chicken with rice, sweet spaghetti (with cut up hot dogs mixed into the sauce), or the McRice Burger (a hamburger patty with buns made from pressed cooked rice). No kidding.

1/21/2007 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger plaridel said...

The differences between the Philippine-American War and the conflict in Iraq are far greater than the similarities. The first was a war fought during the high tide of western Imperialism, when the United States acquired --- for a short while --- a real pukka sahib empire, complete with pith helmets, swagger sticks, and whites only entertainment. On the other hand, Iraq really was a war to spread liberty gone so tragically awry. After the Spanish-American War, the Philippines was annexed (polite word for conquered) as a US colony after pacification (polite word for war). Filipinos had to swear allegience to a distant government that they did not elect and that did not represent them. Filipinos did point this quaint matter out to the Americans during their conflict, but no matter. Furthermore, the worst the Americans did in the Philippines was no better than the worst that the European did in their colonies. No difference between Americans masssacring Filipinos, or Britishers the Indians, or the French the Algerians, and so forth (and also, admittedly, vice versa). Besides the violence, there was rascism, paternalism, the patriarchy (and other terrible evils that I don't know of --- been out of school a long time). 'nuff said on this. The big difference --- and this really was the key --- is that the best the Americans did in the Philippines was so much better than the best done by the other colonials. Those Americans who wanted to keep the Philippines forever (yes, there were some) were always a minority. Once the shooting stopped, the politics began, and Filipinos were very quick understudies of the Americans in this department. Things were a bit dicey after the fledgeling First Philippine Republic and its little army were destroyed. The Americans even banned the flying of the Philippine flag for more than a decade lest its mere sight should rekindle the flames of Filipino nationlaism (did Uncle Sam do this to the Stars and Bars?) But for the most part, the struggle for Philippine independence simply shifted from the battlefield to the polling station. In 1907, the Philippine Nationalists swept the pro-American parties away and the project for empire ended with the elections that year. (Of course, since it was clear by then that the Americans would never allow the Philippines to become a state, what was the point of staying with Uncle Sam?). From that date onward, more and more Americans were quite happy to be co-conspirators in events that would eventually lead to their departure as colonial masters. On the question of Philippine independence, it was said (by my grand dad) that the Republicans were afraid to say what they would do, while the Democrats were afraid to do what they had said. Some things never change. Anyway, this is why though any Filipino who knows his/her history will always look on Mabini, Luna, del Pilar, Ricarte, Sakay and many others in our long list of freedom fighters (yes, against both Spain and the United States) as national heroes, we will also remain good allies with the United States in the great endeavors to defend liberty, because of World War II, etc. (Sort of like the Canadians, eh?)

Cheers,

PLARIDEL

2/19/2007 02:52:00 AM  

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