The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, March 02, 1899, Page 5, Image 5

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to distrust the purpose of the American
people by the executive officer at the
head of the nation.
In his manifesto , or by whatever
name a document may bo called which
wns without authority of law , Riving
instructions to our troops to take pos
session of these islands , not as against
Spain but as against the inhabitants
themselves , even before their session
had been accepted by the senate , is the
cause of this distrust which rightly led
the inhabitants under their chosen lead
ers to take measures for holding the
American troops within the narrow
lines around the city of Manila , as they
had previously held the Spanish troops
which oppressed them. They hold them
there today , and having bravely met
them in the open field when attacked
with maxim guns and repeating rifles ,
oven though in part armed only with
bows and arrows , they have retired a
few miles into the jungle , where our
troops cannot follow them.
We are told by advices received today
that "a more difficult problem than that
with which the governor of the Philip
pines is confronted at the present mo
ment it would be difficult to imagine ,
for unless the natives recede from their
position the situation in a nutshell
amounts to this : The Americans must
either fight and subdue the rebels or
withdraw from the archipelago. "
Now , what does that Jight mean ? It
means this : In the effort to prevent the
establishment of a stable Philippine gov
ernment by the consent of the governed
our troops must enter upon a campaign
in more unhealthy places than were met
in the French campaign for the conquest
of Madagascar , where there was little erne
no resistance to their march from the sea
to the capital of the island. They
lauded from the army and navy 12,800
men , of whom 2,000 were acclimated
colonials. Yet in a campaign of ten
months 4,200 of that number died while
nearly all the rest were disabled. One
regiment leaving the ships with full
ranks lost GO per cent of this number by
death , and not one single man reached
the objective point of the march.
Why this useless sacrifice ? Why this
immolation of our young men to disease
and death ? Why this slaughter of men
who have already established a govern
ment ?
But President McKiuley asks :
"If in the j'ears of the future they
are established in government under
law and liberty , who will regret our
perils and sacrifices ? "
I loply all will regret the perils and sac
rifices incurred when according to all the
evidence before us the man who was aidec
by us to return to the Philippine islands
in order to lead his people and to estab
lish a government under law and liberty
has already established it upon a consti
tution unequalled in its terms , supported
by state papers , of which the declara
tion of Aguinaldo , printed in The Trans-
' * ;
cript of the 16th , might have rightly
represented the claims of the rebels of
N"ow England when they protested
against the unlawful acts of George III.
These Filipinos , who are termed rebels ,
are resisting the same wrongs that the
rebels of Now England resisted at Lex
ington and Bunker Hill. Who brought
on the collision with these forces ?
Their loader says in his protest that it
was the president of the United States.
Read his solemn words in resistance to
the proclamation of President McKiu
ley through General Otis instructing
him to assume the government of the
Philippine islands throughout the whole
area :
"I solemnly protest , in the name of
God , the root and fountain of all justice
and of all right , and who has given to
me the power to direct my dear brothers
in the difficult work of regeneration ,
against this intrusion of the govern
ment of the United States in the sovereignty
eignty of these islands. Equally I pro
test in the name of all the Philippine
people against this intrusion , because
when they gave me their vote of confi
dence , electing me , through unworthy ,
as president of the nation when they
did this they imposed on me the duty
to sustain to death their liberty and in
dependence. "
President William McKinley says the
Philippines have become entrusted to
our hands and to that great trust we
are committed. "Congress can declare
war , but a higher power decrees its
bounds and fixes its relations and respon
sibilities. The president can direct the
movements of soldiers on the field , and
the fleets upon the sea , but ho cannot
foresee the close of such movements or
prescribe their limits. " Not foresee ?
Why not ? Not prescribe the limit ?
Why not ? Was it not in the power oi
the commauder-iu-chiof of the forces ol
the United States to refrain from inciting
resistance , by not assuming powers
which had not been conferred upon him
to forbid slaughtering thousands bul
poorly armed with bows and arrows in
part and mowing them down with re
peating rifles and maxim guns ? Was il
necessary to establish peace and ordei
and respect for property among the Fil
ipinos , to shell and burn their villages
without giving women and children the
opportunity to escape ? Is it true thai
the head of a great nation and the
commander-in-chief of its forces ' 'can
not anticipate or avoid the ( such ) consequences
quences , but he must meet them ? " As
well might Herod have said that ho
could not avoid danger to the Roman
rule without slaughtering the innocents
Perhaps that was his excuse.
The president says that the second al
ternative was that these islands should
"bo loft to the anarchy and chaos of no
protectorate at all. " Then why did wo
take Aguinaldo back to the islands , en
abling him to become the chosen leader
and then desert him. after ho had estab-
ished a protectorate over the lives and
liberty and property of his fellow coun
trymen ? The president asks , could wo
"havo loft them without government
and without power to protect life or
property ? " Surely not , whoever pro
posed such a dastardly act ? They had
established a government ; they had
power to protect life and property.
They have proved it at Iloilo and
throughout the great part of their do
main , and they had attempted "to per
form international obligations essential
to an independent state" by submitting
to the executive of this country and to
the military officers in command at
Manila the forms of a constitution , their
protest and their declared intention to
maintain peace and order by their own
consent in documents unequalled , in the
judgment of those who are entitled to
judge , in the history of such transac
In this singular address , the head of
the nation after having taken the most
aggressive action without authority of
congress , now throws upon congress the
whole responsibility. He himself de
clares that , "Every present obligation
has been met and fulfilled in the expul
sion of Spanish sovereignty from their
islands. " But ho further declares , "We
are doing our duty by them with the
consent of our own consciences and
with 'the approval of civilization. " Is
that true ? Is there a man in this com
munity who can claim , to possess a con
science who has not been shocked by
the slaughter of thousands of men ar
rayed in defense of the same rights of
self-government for which our ancestors
arrayed themselves against the despotic
rule of George III ?
The president says , "While the war
that destroyed it ( that is , the Spanish
rule ) was in progress wo could not ask
their views. " The war had ended , and
yet we did not ask their views. He fur
ther declares , "Nor can we now ask
their consent ? " The consent of whom ,
the inhabitants of the Philippine Islands ?
What is the alternative if wo may not
now ask their consent ? The alternative
is the policy of criminal aggression in
which we are now engaged in forcing a
government upon them without the con
sent of the governed at the point of the
bayonet and under the withering
slaughter of the maxim guns.
The president says , "It is not a good
time for the liberator to submit import
ant questions concerning liberty and
government to the liberated while they
are engaged in shooting down their
rescuers. " Rescuers forsooth 1 Are we
rescuers when we are forbidding thorn
to establish liberty and self-government
and when wo are liberating them by
death in slaughter of thousands under
the name of rescuers ?
The president says that ho is sure that
it is the purpose of this people "to do
what in good morals is right and just
and humane for these peoples -in distant *