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Mindanao, Duterte, and the Real History of the Philippines
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“US is responsible for at least a quarter of a million conflict deaths in the Philippines while the PRC has accounted for ze…” “Hey, look at that ship over there!”

The U.S. government and the Manila elite are pretty interested in hyping the naval confrontation with the PRC, while going all “bygones” on the bloody, corrupting, ongoing, and (for some elite Filipinos empowering and enriching) U.S. deep penetration of the Philippines’ political and security regimes.

Duterte upsets this script, because his political career has been spent on Mindanao and he’s been exposed to the pointy, crappy end of the U.S. military spear for over a decade.

I wrote about Duterte’s direct, unhappy experience with U.S. milsec shenanigans in the matter of bomb-building US spook Michael Meiring at Asia Times.

I also put up a long piece on China Matters that discussed the fact that Meiring is just one of many old and current skeletons ready to come clattering out of the closet if Duterte diverts the political discourse away from “US and Philippines: Shoulder to Shoulder Against China in the SCS!” to an examination of serial U.S. meddling in the Philippines in the name of security, counterinsurgency, and anti-terror over the last 115 years.

Duterte’s an interesting cat. Nicknamed The Punisher, he’s a horndog, bully, a bruiser, and an enthusiastic vigilante.

The US media seems to have pigeonholed him as “The Philippines’ Donald Trump with Death Squads,” an indication of instinctive unease with a populist political force that doesn’t declare allegiance to the modern liberal playbook—and who condoned death squads in his city.

He’s also a lawyer, albeit one who shot a fellow student and was therefore not allowed to march at his graduation.

Duterte won the presidential election despite the open opposition of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. He alleges he was abused by a Jesuit priest at school and has a combative relationship with the Catholic Church, as in “f*ck the Pope” combative.

His local political base is on Mindanao, which is about 20% Muslim. He was mayor of Davao City, whose population of 1.4 million makes it the biggest city on Mindanao and the fourth-largest in the Philippines.

map-regions-2 Mindanao has a lot of history–a lot of bad, bloody, history–involving the United States, history that has shaped Duterte’s attitude toward the U.S.

In many ways, Mindanao provides an alternate narrative to the largely Roman Catholic post-colonial Roman Catholic elite that dominates Philippines political discourse.

Spanish subjugation of the Philippines involved forced conversion to Catholicism in a chain of Muslim sultanates that once ran all the way up from the Straits of Malacca to modern Manila.

Mindanao, under the Sultan of Sulu, proved less tractable.


Much less tractable.

Moro warriors.45

I think the struggle to reduce Mindanao, first by the Spanish, then by the Americans, and now by the central government in Manila must rate as the lengthiest insurrection in world history, spanning 400 years. Resistance often included a significant Chinese component. I highly recommend the encyclopedic Wikipedia entry on the Spanish-Moro conflict to interested readers.

With the American victory in 1898, the Philippines became America’s stepping stone to empire (and China; the U.S. presence in the Philippines was seen as a key leverage point for the pivot, excuse me, the “Open Door” policy that would properly integrate China into the family of nations).


And the footprint lay heaviest in Mindanao, which bitterly resisted the United States in the Moro War of 1898-1902 (officially; President Roosevelt declared “Mission Accomplished” in 1902 but unrest and massacre continued well beyond that punctuation point).

Subjugating the Moro was the brutal colonial-racist yin that came with the triumphant yang of superseding Spain as a burgeoning imperial power.

The turn of the 20th Century was the Golden Age of American political cartooning–blatantly racist political cartooning, I might add–and provides a multitude of instructive images of Uncle Sam in the Philippines…

1) as godlike imperator;


2) benevolent savior (here he is rescuing the Philippines from the twin threats of mangy Spanish imperialism and Aguinaldo’s revolution, rather unkindly representing the Europeanized Philippine nationalist as a ravening wolf):


3) benevolent colonial patron (in this picture he’s demonstrating to the rebels in the Philippines the advantages enjoyed by more tractable Cuba);


4) long-suffering colonial (school) master;


And 5) the cockeyed optimist who got more fight (and less gratitude) than he bargained for.


Sometimes, you get it all at once.

Here, Uncle Sam is presented as laboring under the heaviest white man’s burden, the “primitive races”, as Great Britain forges ahead on the path to universal human uplift with the lighter load of colonial subjects of the ancient civilizations. The “uncivilized” character of the Philippines was essential to the U.S. colonial narrative, by the way. It enabled the U.S. to brush aside nascent Philippine national organs and concrete national aspirations in order to justify the unilateral imposition of U.S. rule over a “multi-tribal”congeries of “primitive savages”.


Okay, that’s enough imperial/colonialist/racist bullsh*t.

This whole period of American history merits, I think, its own Foucault to document the queasy, improvised formation of the “modern” consciousness that emerged in the 1890s and 1900s, midwived by technology, mass media, and an effort to process and comfortably pigeonhole the immense horrors people could commit, document,and propagate in the industrial age.

I wrote about this phenomenon in a U.S. domestic context, that of the Guldensuppe case, a rather ordinary crime passionel of 1897 that William Randolph Hearst concocted into a modern sensation, “The Crime of the Century” with the help of steam-powered presses, the bicycle, the telegraph, and the electric chair–and an audience agog at the realization that updates on murder and massacre could be delivered nearly instantaneously into its hands wrapped in the daily paper.

As I wrote at the end of the piece:

Relishing his victory over The World and Joseph Pulitzer in New York City, Hearst quickly moved on to leverage his talents, ambitions, and media assets on a truly global stage.

His chosen sensation: the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898. The objective: war between Spain and the United States.

The outcome: well, the rest is history. Modern history.

And modern war, represented by the first U.S. overseas counterinsurgency operation, against the Moro on Mindanao and other islands of the Philippines’ Islamic South.
The US Army, initially at sea in an Asian land and facing an enemy quite different from the professional, surrender-friendly units it had encountered during the Mexican and Civil Wars, adapted by bringing in the genocidal, total-war tactics practiced against the Native Americans inside the continental U.S. and developing a new set of best practices.

New ways to kill were needed. Famously, tales of Moro warriors not going down even when shot multiple times by .38 rounds occasioned the adoption of heavier rounds (after a grisly episode of testing on human cadavers and in the Chicago stockyards to find what would stop and kill consistently even if the head or heart were not struck) and eventually, development of the Colt .45 semi-automatic as the standard military sidearm.

New ideas about killing also emerged.

The Moro rebellion exploded the traditional U.S. idea of warfare, the roles of soldiers and noncombatants, and what could and should not be done; and a racial/genocidal narrative arose to replace it with invincible and startling speed.

Over at Japan Focus, Paul Kramer has a great piece documenting the birth of what one might term homo Americanus imperialisimus, with flummoxed good ol’ boys evolving into professional genocidaires within weeks of their arrival in “the boondocks”. Kramer, by the way, identifies the evocative wildlands term “boondocks” as the one neologism coined by the war. I think one should also add “running amok” an individual ecumenical murder/suicide spree (which, along with the socially moderated and ritualized martyrdom operation against the U.S. infidels, known as juramentado, appalled and terrified American soldiers) to the list.

The U.S. war in the Philippines flirts with genocide, especially in the wholesale indiscriminant slaughter ordered or condoned by some military commanders.

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos died during the thirty years it took the U.S. to crush the resistance. One figure goes as high as 1.4 million over the thirty-year duration of the conflict–more than Iraq and Syria combined, at least to date.

In the Philippines, the U.S. media was learning how to report a U.S. imperial action: what to report, how to report it, and what the reader was supposed to feel…

…even as the U.S. Army started to get a grip on the propaganda levers it needed to yank to sell or at least sustain a long, brutal, and not terribly popular overseas war of choice.

The press got involved in one of those new frontier challenges: how the military should go about extracting intelligence from uncooperative detainees.

It turns out that, based on claims of military necessity, by simultaneously stripping detainees of the protections afforded civilian prisoners and military detainees, and through a dose of callous racism, the answer was Torture!

Extracting information became a matter of considerable impatience and few scruples.

Interrogations employed various modes of physical abuse, including an early form of waterboarding called “the water cure”. I’m not up on the distinctions, but current waterboarding appears to be a refinement of the traditional technique. Today, the victim is placed on a slanted board and treated with a relatively limited amount of water to simulate drowning while introducing the same response of uncontrollable panic.

In the Philippines, it appears that the victims were simply laid flat and drowned for real by funneling large quantities of water down their throats. When their stomachs bloated from the water, I believe the boot was applied and the drowning sensation reproduced in reverse. Salt water was sometimes used. (There are even worse ways. The KMT secret police under Dai Li used liquefied feces instead of water).

Wikipedia states the U.S. adopted an ongoing Spanish practice in the Philippines, though it should be said that water torture was practiced inside the U.S earlier in the 19th century and is, apparently, one of those near-universal exercises in creating human misery.

The issue of waterboarding in the Philippines introduced a round of public debate, disquiet, and public wristlapping that will be familiar to students of the Guantanamo issue. An American officer was courtmartialed for waterboarding, given a one-month suspended sentence and a $50 fine.

Correspondents in the Philippines witnessed and reported these novel monstrosities.

Life Magazine depicted a session of the water cure applied to a stone-thrower on the cover of its May 22,1902 issue. Despite the realism of the scene, there seems to be some ethical commentary involved. The approving onlookers appear to be representatives of imperial/colonial militaries through history welcoming the U.S. into the fraternity of abusers.

1902.05.22 Life Magazine.preview

The practice was also photographed:


I get a sense of undiluted reportage here, a relatively unmediated glimpse of America’s new imperial order, together with a certain voyeuristic bewilderment: are we supposed to show this behavior? condemn it? excuse it? is it good? is it bad? does it work? should I be doing this?

Eventually, of course, the decision was made to “just hide it” rather than give the American public the opportunity to examine and reflect upon the consequences of U.S. imperial adventures. Today, the CIA destroyed the tapes of waterboarding and interrogation at Guantanamo, “lost” the CIA Inspector General’s copy of the Senate torture report, and the US government has gone to court to block photos of ill treatment, abuse, and perhaps torture committed at the Abu Grahib detention facility in Iraq.

But back the 1900s, the Philippine “water cure” had entered the discourse to the extent that a left-wing cartoonist depicted the torture to mock Theodore Roosevelt for torturing the United States into a renunciation of the ideals of the Declaration of Independence in favor of imperialism (symbolized by the “Imps” assisting him. Identifying the imps would be an interesting parlor game. I think the imp in the lower left sitting on Uncle Sam’s arm is Chauncey Depew, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s attorney, president of the New York Central, and Senator from New York; Nelson Aldrich (Nelson Rockefeller’s grandpappy), sitting on the right leg; and maybe Henry Cabot Lodge leaning on the “Roosevelt Platform”.).

imperialism expansion1902-framed900

Note in the upper right corner the American flag has been replaced by a banner declaring “Slavery & Polygamy Protected by Sultan of Sulu Per Roosevelt”.

In 1898, the Sultan of Sulu had been commanded to support the U.S. takeover of the Philippines per the instruction of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul thanks to the diplomatic efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Hay, thereby making the U.S., in the eyes of the cartoonist, a partner in the sultan’s unchristian and undemocratic decadence.

Disquiet about the lengthy, brutal, and distant war entered into media and public attitudes.

One of the most infamous massacres was the so-called “First Battle of Bud Dajo” , better known as the “Moro Crater Massacre” in 1906. US forces pursuing Moro miscreants on Sulu Island cornered them in a community that had sheltered in the crater of the long-dormant Bud Dajo volcano, pulled Navy guns and a machine gun up to the lip of the crater, and blasted away, killing 800 to 1000 men, women, and children. Reportedly only six Moro survived. Fifteen American soldiers died.

The governor of the Moro Province, Major General Leonard Wood, tweeted the battle (actually, sent out a stream of cable dispatches celebrating the operation and the valor of his troops). However, the massacre was also extensively reported by a press corps that was insufficiently house-trained (“embedded” is the correct term, I guess) and excessively ambivalent about the war effort, especially since President Roosevelt had declared an end to the war four years earlier.

Despite excuses that will appear familiar to connoisseurs of military buckpassing today–Moro fighters were disguised as women, collateral damage resulted from men using women and children as human shields, and so on–the massacre was a public relations disaster for the Army.

Mark Twain was incensed at the massacre and wrote an interesting account of how the reports of the battle played out in the papers in the United States. Equally interestingly, he apparently shrank from publishing this account before his death (it was suppressed until it recently appeared in his posthumously published Autobiography), even though he had published a jeremiad against King Leopold’s crimes in the Congo the previous year.

Perhaps the one lasting consequence of the massacre in the U.S. was that it shadowed Wood’s subsequent career and is one reason why, despite the aggressive support of his patron, Theodore Roosevelt, we didn’t get President Leonard Wood.

Although the Moro Wars were considered over by 1913, continual unrest plagued the region through the US colonial period, the Japanese occupation, and independence.

Then, in 1969, dozens of Moro soldiers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines were killed at a base on Corregidor in the Jabidah Massacre, an incident that has been successfully hushed up to the point nobody knows what happened.

But the best guess is that problems arose with a group of ethnic-Moro soldiers organized by the Philippine government to try and detach Sabah Province in Malaysia (a part of the Sultan of Sulu’s domain that had ended up under Malaysian rule at decolonization) for incorporation in the Philippines.

If truth be told, Mindanao looks more like Malaysia than the Philippines, especially the Malaysian province of Sabah across the strait. “Bangsamoro”, the term used by Muslim autonomy/independence advocates, means “Moro people”. “Bangsa” is a Malay term.

In fact, there’s always a “Malaysia annex Mindanao” “Philippines annex Sabah” “Independence for Mindanao/Sabah” buzz going on, though the current Philippine government has apparently set its Sabah ambitions aside.

Even the Sultanate of Sulu is trying for a comeback:

Map of the Royal Sultanate of Sulu-750719

Nobody was prosecuted, no explanations were made, and the Philippine/Christian brutality and impunity toward Moro Muslims exhibited by the Jabidah Massacre is acknowledged as a key factor in the emergence of the modern Moro insurgency.

Interestingly, “Moro” is a synthetic ethnicity of relatively recent vintage.

When the Spanish set up their colony in the Philippines, they gave the name Moor to their opponents who resisted conversion to Catholicism, not because they were dusky but because they were Muslim, like the North African Arabs the Spanish armies had just defeated on the Iberian peninsula.

Here’s a map showing the distribution of Muslim peoples in Mindanao about the time the U.S. took over in 1900.

Moroland Map 9-1-09

“Moro” appears to be one of the modern ethnic identities that is evoked and strengthened by government oppression of stateless polities in a dynamic similar to that of the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Balochs, and the Kurds.

Another key factor, though one that doesn’t seem to get bruited about very much, was the support of Muammar Gaddafi for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

With that context, let’s take another look at Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte is not native to Mindanao. His family comes from a central Philippine island group, the Visayan Islands. Christians from Visayan Islands and other regions were settled in Mindanao by the U.S. and Philippine governments as part of a strategy to demographically submerge the Moro, distribute prime land and resources to settlers and corporations, and economically and politically marginalize the Moro and criminalize their resistance in a manner that will be familiar to observers of tactics in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Palestine.

It appears to have been successful to the point that Moros are perhaps 17% of the population of Mindanao today, down from 90% in 1900.

A 2015 news article/puff piece provides a useful perspective on Dutarte and his attention to the Mindanao/security issue beyond the usual “murderous buffoon” framing. I’m quoting it at great length because I don’t think you’ll see a lot of this perspective in the Western press:

As the leader of a city which had its painful share of violence and terrorism believed perpetrated by Islamic extremists where 45 people were killed in three bombing incidents in 1993 and 2003, Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte still remains hopeful that a negotiated settlement would end the conflict in the Southern Philippines which has dragged on for generations.

“If there is anybody who wishes that this bloody problem would end soon, it is I because I am both Moro and Christian,” Duterte said.

“I feel the fear of the Christians and share the dreams of the Moro people who feel that they have been dispossessed of their land and identity,” the City Mayor said.

Duterte admits publicly for the first time that his maternal grandmother had a Moro lineage.

“There is a part of me which is Moro,” he said.

Duterte’s ties with the Muslims of the South were made even stronger because his eldest son, Paolo who is now Vice Mayor of the City, embraced Islam when he married a Muslim Tausug girl.

“I have grandchildren who are either Muslim or Christian. Would I want to see a situation in the future where even my own grandchildren would be dragged into this conflict?,” he asked.

Following the bombings, the national government approved the city’s recommendation to organize Task Force Davao, a military composite group which established check points all over the city to control the entry of bombs and guns.

When Duterte ordered that the City will no longer allow the entry of powerful firearms usually brought in by bodyguards of politicians mostly Muslims from the Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces, everybody followed.

“This city is open to everybody regardless of tribe or religion for as long as you abide by the law,” Duterte once declared when the issue of the presence in the city of members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was raised.

MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari has a wife who lives in Davao City.

Top ranking officials of the MILF are also believed to have homes in Davao City where their children live while studying in colleges and universities in the city.

Davao has thus become a model “peace city” today where members of warring groups – the Moro rebels, the New People’s Army (NPA), policemen and soldiers – live and abide by the strict rules of the city under the leadership of Rody Duterte.

It was also chosen as one of the Safest Cities in the World to Live In.

Muslim businessmen, mostly Maranaos, swear that they are never harassed in Davao City while selling their wares, unlike elsewhere in the country where they are the favorite prey of corrupt policemen who mulct them of their little earnings.

But Duterte’s dream of peace transcends the boundaries of his city.

“For as long as the misunderstanding between government and the Moro groups continue, we will always be unstable,” he said.

Duterte is aware that the problem is not simple.

He says the Moro people are largely misunderstood because they embrace a religion which is not known to many Filipinos in other parts of the country.

Feeling that they do not belong to the mainly Christian Filipino society and that they were never given much importance by the Central Government in its national policy formulation and decision making, the Muslims of the South have always struggled for independence and self determination.

“The danger here is that unless these legitimate issues are addressed, there is the grim scenario of the younger Moros gravitating towards radical Islamic organizations,” Duterte said.

“I will be the last person who will agree to the dismemberment of this nation,” he once declared.

Duterte maintains that while he understands the resentment of the Bangsamoro to being called Filipinos based on the belief that it is a Spanish imposed name, he believes that Christians and Muslims in this country belong to one race.

“We can call ourselves by any other name but the fact that we are brothers will always remain,” he said.

He said that while the Philippine peace negotiators have the noble intention of forging peace with the MILF in the Southern Philippines, they failed to consider some cultural realities involving the Moro tribes of the South.

“The Moros of the islands are distinct culturally from the Maguindanaos, Maranaos and Iranuns of mainland Mindanao. Offering a generic solution to their peculiar problems and concerns may not work at all,” Duterte explained.

The Tausugs will never be comfortable being under the leadership of the Maguindanaos or Maranaos, a situation which is also true inversely, Duterte explained adding that this could be the reason behind the failure of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) which was first headed by Misuari.

Duterte also said that while he hopes that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will pass Congress, his lawyer’s instincts tell him that the measure will be questioned before the Supreme Court because of some Constitutional infirmities.

It will be difficult to reconcile a parliamentary autonomous government with a Presidential central government, he said.

Duterte, a San Beda law graduate, said there must be a back up plan should the BBL fail to pass the Constitutionality test.

“We cannot afford to fail here,” adding that Federalism and a two Federal States set up for the South could prove to be the best solutions.

A Federal Parliamentary form of government in the Philippines would not only serve the interests of the neglected regions of the country but also accommodate the desires of the Bangsamoro of the South.

A Federal State for the Maguindanaos, Maranaos, Iranuns and other Moro tribes of the main island and another Federal State for the Tausugs, Sama, Yakan and other island tribes could address the cultural issues.

Duterte said that what happened in the past could not be undone but that there is a need for national reconciliation.

“All that we could do to our Muslim brothers and sisters now is to give them what is due them which includes respecting their unique identity and respecting their claim to what is rightfully theirs,’ he said.

Concerning the Moro disdain for the term “Filipino”, I have to say I did find it odd that an Asian nation decided to keep King Philip II of Spain as its namesake, but I guess naming America after some Italian sailor is just as weird.
All in all, a thoughtful perspective on coexistence and reconciliation in a difficult and complicated neighborhood–made more difficult and complicated by a century of massacre and meddling by the US and Manila– that Duterte has been governing for a couple decades with considerable success.

How ’bout that.

Having said that, I would not take that “Safest City in the World” designation to the bank. Apparently an on-line poll was successfully freep’d with 800 responses.

By now, it should be clear that there’s more to the Philippines than Manila, more to its politics and society than upper class Catholicism, and more to its security concerns than partnering with the United States to push back against the PRC in the South China Sea.

There’s Mindanao, there’s Moros, there’s separatism, there’s issues of justice that have been papered over by the Manila establishment to present a neat neo-liberal narrative that complements the US pivot to Asia.

And there’s Duterte.

(Republished from China Matters by permission of author or representative)
• Category: History • Tags: American Media, Duterte, Mindanao, Moro, Philippines 
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  1. 5371 says:

    The Meiring episode, like the occasion when two SAS operatives were captured in Basra in local dress, was one of the times when the mask slipped. They could not be explained away, so had to be simply ignored.

  2. Non-Muslim Filipinos/Filipinas living on Mindanao — as was my wife — do NOT share your absurd implication that things would better if the Spanish and US governments had not reduced the numbers and strength of the Moros et al.

    Nobody will be safe in the long term if the Filipino gov does not grow some balls, abolish the ARMM, and eliminate Muslims or expel them from Mindanao and the country.

    • Replies: @Rehmat
    , @Talha
    , @Anonymous
  3. It was absurd for the Bushites to suggest that Muslims who are just 5% of the Philippine population threatened the rest of the nation. Or to suggest that American military “experts” from the USA are needed to advise the competent Philippine military that spent decades in the region.

    The best history book on this nation is “In Our Image”, which is interesting even if you don’t care about Philippine history.

    This article implies that American counter-insurgency was all about fighting the Moros. That was a smaller part of the American invasion of the Philippines, where our GIs fought and killed almost every ethnic group there. The American fairly tale is that American troops arrived in the Philippines to defeat the evil Spanish and took control to civilize that nation. In fact, that nation had already established a working rebel government run by European college educated Filipinos with a large uniformed military that included cavalry and artillery. These forces had routed the Spanish over several years and Spanish survivors held out at a small fort in Manila and a naval base at Cavite, and were happy when the Americans arrived to rescue them.

    The Americans lingered at these small outposts for several weeks attempting to convince the Filipino government to allow American troops to take over the nation. When this failed, the Americans attacked and invaded the nation, which began with bloody conventional battles in Manila. American corporations clear cut all the valuable timber there, and when that was mostly gone there was little incentive to stay.

    The Philippines still suffers from the cultural corruption established during their long Spanish colonial occupation, and functions more like a Latin American nation than an Asian one. The short American colonial presence did do some good with schools and paved roads, but left mix feelings, best expressed in a Filipino joke:

    “Yankee go home, and take me with you!”

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Duterte is not native to Mindanao. His family comes from a central Philippine island group, the Visayan Islands. Christians from Visayan Islands and other regions were settled in Mindanao by the U.S. and Philippine governments as part of a strategy to demographically submerge the Moro, distribute prime land and resources to settlers and corporations, and economically and politically marginalize the Moro and criminalize their resistance in a manner that will be familiar to observers of tactics in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Palestine.

    Why is it that you seem to overlook the immediate neighbors of the Philippines, both Indonesia and Malaysia who employ these same tactics with their non-muslim areas? It doesn’t fit your your “sjw” worldview when it’s christians?! You make your SWPL “mentors” very proud!

    Phillipines is not perfect but to hold it to a different standard from the rest of the countries in that region reveals your heavy ideological bias and digusting fact cherry picking style.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @NPA_pato
  5. Rehmat says:

    Bangsamoro struggle for freedom and self-determination has been one of the longest in world history. Ever since the Spanish Crusaders’ colonization of Muslim Sultanates in Indo-China region in the mid-1500s – the Spanish, American and local Christian-governments in Manila have been carrying the policy of political domination and religious conversion of Muslims – mass settlement of Christians (similar to European Jewish settlements in Palestine) from other areas into Muslim-majority South. This changed the religious and ethnic balance in the South – from an overall Muslim majority in Mindanao and Sulu archipelago at the end of 19th century to less than 17 percent of population today – which precipitated bitter conflict over land distribution and ownership. Even in the tiny Basilan island, where Muslims constitute 71% of the population – Christians own 75% of land and ethnic Chinese controlling 75% of the trade.

    On July 4, 1946 – When American colonists decided to withdraw from Philippines – they gave Bangsamoro land to Manila (est. 1571 CE) against the wishes of Muslim majority.

    In 1968 America’s puppet Ferdinand Marcos executed 70 Muslim commando recruits to keep secret an aborted planto invade Sabah, in Malaysia’s Borneo. When Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972 – Bansamoro took-up their guns after a 25 year period of military resistance – establishing Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), which fought US-armed Manila regime for the next 25 years, at the cost of 100,000 Moros dead and 250,000 driven from their homes. In 1996, MNLF signed a peace deal with Manila.

    USrael Muslim hatred is quite obvious from the fact while both the US and Israel is helping Manila government to fight 800-strong Abu Sayyaf’s militia – they were overlooking the New People’s Army – a force of over 12,000 well-equipped communist fighters – responsible for the death of 40,000 people

    Philippine Star (April 21, 2002) – quoted president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that Israeli military personnel – based on their expertise in terrorism, kidnapping and assassination – were training Philippine military and police personnel in “counter-terrorism”.

    Salah Jubair describes the history of his people in his book Bangsamoro: a Nation Under Endless Tyrany.

  6. Interrogations employed various modes of physical abuse, including an early form of waterboarding called “the water cure”. I’m not up on the distinctions, but current waterboarding appears to be a refinement of the traditional technique. Today, the victim is placed on a slanted board and treated with a relatively limited amount of water to simulate drowning while introducing the same response of uncontrollable panic.

    Waterboarding as described above is not a “refinement” but a very mild version of the original water torture, described in the following paragraph:

    In the Philippines, it appears that the victims were simply laid flat and drowned for real by funneling large quantities of water down their throats. When their stomachs bloated from the water, I believe the boot was applied and the drowning sensation reproduced in reverse.

    The practice was probably used in the Philippines by the Spanish before the U.S. presence there. Roman law criminal procedure historically not only allowed but in some cases mandated torture during interrogation. The water torture was an old French practice, to which François Villon refers in his Grand Testament:

    Dieu mercy et Tacque Thibault,
    Qui tant d’eaue froid m’a fait boire,
    Mis en bas lieu, non pas en hault,
    Mengier d’angoisse maints poire,
    Enferré. Quant j’en ay memoire,
    Je prie pour luy et reliqua,
    Que Dieu luy doint, et voire, voire!
    Ce que je pense . . . et cetera.

    “Tacque Thibault” was Thibault d’Auxigny, the bishop of Orléans, who held Villon in his prison; “Qui tant d’eaue froid m’a fait boire” (who made me drink so much cold water), a reference to the water torture.

    • Replies: @5371
  7. Jefferson says:

    It is crazy that some Western European countries have a higher percentage of Muslims than The Philippines.

    There are more mosques in Paris & London than there are in Quezon City and Manila.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  8. 5371 says:

    Is it, though? It could be just a reference to prison diet.

    • Replies: @Crawfurdmuir
  9. @5371

    The lines quoted are thought by Villon’s biographers, e.g., D.B. Wyndham Lewis, to refer to torture. The water torture was a well-established part of “putting to the question” both the accused and in some cases witnesses in the criminal procedure of the ancien régime. It was extensively used on suspects in the “affair of the poisons” during the reign of Louis XIV.

    The fourth line, “Mengier d’angoisse maints poire” refers to another method of torture – the poire d’angoisse was a pear-shaped iron gag, studded with spikes, that could be forced into a prisoner’s mouth and caused to expand by means of a screw.

  10. I really do wish we Americans would stay the hell out of these third world hellholes. Let the low iq savages live as they wish.

    • Replies: @Jacques Sheete
  11. syonredux says:

    Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos died during the thirty years it took the U.S. to crush the resistance. One figure goes as high as 1.4 million over the thirty-year duration of the conflict–more than Iraq and Syria combined, at least to date.

    Dunno. Those estimates sound quite high. At least when compared to the standard estimates for the main phase of the fighting:

    John Gates (“War-Related Deaths in the Philippines, 1898-1902”, Pacific Historical Review 53:367 (1983)) estimates a demographic shortfall between 127,593 and 362,659. A 1902 cholera epidemic killed a recorded 137,505, so the absolute most that could have died in the war would be 225,154

    Leon Wolff Little Brown Brother (1961) p.360
    US, battle: 4,234
    Filipino, battle: 16,000 (“actually counted”) to >20,000 (“true total”)
    Filipino civilians: 200,000 of disease

    US: 4,234 d, incl. 1,073 in combat
    Filipino battle: 16,000
    Filipino civilians: 200,000

    These estimates don’t take into account the post-1902 Moro phase, but nothing that I’ve read suggests that hundreds of thousands died during that phase of the conflict.


    adapted by bringing in the genocidal, total-war tactics practiced against the Native Americans inside the continental U.S. and developing a new set of best practices.

    MMM, wonder how they match up to what was done under the Qing dynasty to the Dzungar?Usual estimates run from a low of 480,000 to a high 600,000 deaths during the period 1755-57.

    In terms of numbers, that trumps what happened to the Amerinds:

    Overall population decline:

    Russel Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival (1987)
    Overall decline
    From 600,000 (in 1800) to 250,000 (in 1890s)

    Deaths due to violence, 1775-1890:
    Individual conflicts:
    Whites: 5,000
    Indians: 8,500

    Wars under the gov’t:
    Whites: 14,000
    Indians: 30-45,000

    Whites: 19,000
    Indians: 38,500 to 53,500

  12. @Mis(ter)Anthrope

    Mr Lee has written a good article here and it’s well worth reading.

    As for the imbecilic, ignorant, and low IQ claim that the Philippines is some kind of “hellhole” that the US should stay out of, the hellhole is largely a creation of US meddling, which happens to be a key point of the article. As for the Pinoys being low IQ, I’m betting that most of them would not fail to understand a key point of the article, since most are quite literate, in excellent English, no less. Furthermore, the oldest university in Asia (the University of Santo Tomas) is also older than the US itself.

    Low IQ? Is that why the US has for decades been draining veritable legions of superb quality medical personnel from the Philippines?

    I do agree, however, that the US could do most of the world’s “hellholes” a favor and stay the hell out!

    PS: To anyone with a minimally functioning cerebrum, the US in fact is its own special kind of hellhole.

  13. @Rehmat

    You and the savages in the ARMM should be resettled together in Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, or Saudi – your choice of Muslim paradises. Leave the Filipinos alone.

    • Replies: @Karl
  14. Rehmat says:

    To achieve such miracle, Moshe – you have to annexed Philippines into Israel. Ops! I forgot, to tell you, Israeli Jews hate you Christians more than they hate Muslims.

  15. Talha says:

    Indeed…I had Filipino neighbors (before they moved) – nice family (our sons played together and went to the same BJJ dojo). When they first invited us over to a party, they were careful to point out what was halal or not. I was surprised, but then they explained that they were from Mindanao and about 30% of their family is Muslim and any family get-togethers involve everyone juggling things to accommodate everyone so they knew all about the rules of food. No big loss though since much of what they served was wonderfully prepared fish anyway – :). Perhaps your version of Christianity sees no problem in these people turning on their uncles and siblings in collusion with invading Filipino Marines to force them out of their homes.

    So, even after an article basically outlining how the native Moros have been shafted for a good part of 4 centuries, I guess your ‘solution’ is to expel all Muslims from their ancestral homelands irrespective of whether or not they are insurrectionists. And how does that differ from the ‘moral’ calculus of Daesh who wants the exact same ‘solution’ for the Christians in the Middle East just because some Christian nation attacked Iraq for no legitimate reason? Again, exactly what ‘brand’ of Christianity do you espouse?

    And perhaps Manila will give that a shot and throw away all the progress made by ASEAN, in which case I can only hope the Javanese remember their customary role in that region. The Kopassus have generally been sitting idle ever since the Aceh insurrection died down. Though I would not like Kopassus to be deployed anywhere near a hostile civilian populace (they are one of those forces that neither gives nor expects quarter), I would not mind a couple of divisions being deployed to put the fear of God into Filipino Marines bent on genocide and send them packing. Malaysian GGK should be sent an invitation to participate in some impromptu live fire exercises. Maybe Jakarta (always looking to expand territory) could hold those islands in trusteeship until a time when Manila learns its responsibility to act according to the international norms of which it is a signatory.

    May God grant a solution for those people to resolve these long-standing conflicts with justice and wisdom.


  16. @Jefferson

    It would seem crazy but the figures i find for the Phillipines are, variously, 5.6 per cent and 11 per cent. And yes, following that up I find France 7 per cent, UK 4.2, Germany 4.1, Holland 5 and Belgium 5.5 [from memory]. It is the relative fertility rates as much as anything else which makes it worrying.

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  17. @Jacques Sheete

    What’s the point of your rant? Or, for that matter, Lee’s article? “Me hate American long time…” Duerte has two choices: to be an American satrap or a Chinese one. There is no Switzerland option available. It would be preferable for the both of you to be honest and admit your preference in this regard. By the way, when the Chinese rack up some casualties in the Phillipines in pursuit of their own economic interests, as they have in Africa in clashes associated with mines under their control, don’t look to them to be guilt tripped by articles of this ilk.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @denk
  18. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Diversity is strength.

    It’s weird how every foreign conflict seems to revolve around different races, ethnicities and religions living on the same turf and yet globalists promote it at every turn – it’s almost like what they really want is conflict for divide and rule purposes.

    as part of a strategy to demographically submerge the Moro, distribute prime land and resources to settlers and corporations, and economically and politically marginalize the Moro and criminalize their resistance in a manner that will be familiar to observers of tactics in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Palestine.

    and locally Papua, Malaysia, Burma

    or Europe, Australia, US, Canada, New Zealand.

  19. anon • Disclaimer says:

    The USA should never have gotten involved in the Philippines. The Spanish-American war was a senseless war that gained America nothing. Puerto Rico should also be given its independence, whether it wants it or not.

  20. Rehmat says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    I really pity barren Jewish women who have almost ZERO fertility. No wonder, even after 3,500 year – Jews make only 13 million of world population. It’s day by day because more and more born-Jews are leaving their religion as result of being disgusted by the water-down Judaism….

    According to Israeli daily ‘YNet’, July 13, 2006 – “The conversion of Israeli Jews to Islam is on the increase due to deepening their knowledge of Islam and being disappointed in Judaism.”

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  21. @Jacques Sheete

    An average iq of 86 is pretty low. Not Sub-Saharan Africa low, but still pretty damn low. Around the same as blacks in the U.S. Think Detroit as an example of the type of society created by those with that iq level.

  22. Karl says:

    author seems to have done his research at the library of UC Berkeley.

    In the REAL world…. well, go investigate the origins of the annual fiesta of Cebu City. It started as a celebration of the first time the (pre-Spanish-era) locals were able to repel a Moro slaver raid.

    I have met Duterte, in Davao City face-to-face, twice. While living there for years. In real life, he’s a fairly mellow guy.

    In real life, there’s MAYBE one dead drug dealer showing up on the streets of Davao City per six months. And the Davao cops I’ve spoken with, say that the MOST common way for that to happen, is when some young-blood wants to grab a dealer’s territory.

    Duterte has quite a bit of his OWN medical care done in California.

  23. Karl says:

    >> You and the savages in the ARMM

    the ARMM actually has the ==lowest== rate of property crime in the country.

    There is armed clan conflict (“rido”) fairly frequently

    Cousin marriage is still frequent in ARMM. That’s the glass ceiling on their ability to run a country of their own.

    Also popular in Rehmat’s Pakistan, of course.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Carlton Meyer

    Great write up.

    Thank you.

    I find it interesting that Vietnam has also opened up relations with America even with all of the war crimes we committed against them.

    What is the world coming to?

  25. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Lol. Whats wrong? The yellow guy get under your skin?

    The Phillipines are in the same scenario the rest of the world is in. It is not a choice between who is going to be your colonial master. It is about whether you want to live in a unipolar world ruled by America or a multipolar world where other countries can have their own say.

    No surprise that Duterte and other Phillipinos do not want to stay in the same system that has killed so many of their people.

    You sound like some white loser who relies on keeping the Philippines poor as the only way to get laid.

  26. denk says:

    *What’s the point of your rant? Or, for that matter, Lee’s article? *

    hey kid,

    since u cant read i’ll do u a favor,
    this article is about murkkan terrorism in ph.
    its also open secret that washington committed ff in africa to drive out chinese investments.

    high time the usaf drop one of this on langley, another one on pentagon !
    wot, mission accomplished !

  27. @Rehmat

    The Rehmat supervising editor has let the young dimmies loose again. “Barren” women have “almost” zero fertility!!!

    Actually Israeli Jewish fertility is quite high by contemporary First World standards as was pointed out to me by a rabbi when I suggested that Israel had a fertility problem comparable to that of Europe even without counting on the huge families of the Ultra Orthodox (or whatever generic term one should use for the Jewish outliers). Apparently the prospect of losing a child during IDF service has tended to encourage the production of a “spare”. So often three children rather than one or two.

  28. @Rehmat

    Just a little help with the English language. Native English speakers don’t describe the expansion overseas of the Christian kingdoms originating in Castile and Aragon to form the Spanish empire from about 1490 onwards as Crusades (or crusades). The Crusades were much earlier and, apart from what are sometimes called the Northern Crusades, expeditions blessed by the Pope to take back formerly Christian lands in the Near or Middle East.

    Trying to convert or enforce conformity has no necessary connection to Crusades.

    But I do understand your use of the term as cheap propaganda. Is it necessary to stoop to George W. Bush’s level of literacy in your efforts?

    • Replies: @Talha
  29. Talha says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Doh! Now you did it. I would duck; you know what’s coming your way…


  30. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The method of torture by repeatedly filling/deflating someone with water (and or liquefied feces) has a long history. My ancestors were, apparently, famous for administering this unpleasant treatment to uncooperative germans during the Thirty Year’s War.

    (Sorry, Hansel)

    • Replies: @Talha
  31. Talha says:

    Yeah, but everyone’s got some skeletons in the closet. The Swedes (as a people) have more than made up for those nasty episodes. They turned that franchise around a long time ago.

    For a country of such a small population, I’m always impressed at the Swedish influence in so many positive things around the world.

    Tack så mycket!

  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    And that attitude right there is the reason why there is so much violence and war in this world.
    I hope your kids grow up smarter than you

  33. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    So if Saudi-Arabia sucks monkey balls others should get a free pass?
    This was an article about Duterte and the Philippines.

    So you’re mad he didn’t include even more examples from more countries?
    Well state those facts then without implying he’s a “muslim lover” using tactics to
    make christianity look bad or holding somebody your country to a different standard or whatever.

    This is a typical emotional response by people who like to whitewash their own country and religion. I got news for you: They ALL SUCK! Now get your head out of your ass

  34. NPA_pato says:

    Muslims were not first here. The Negrito and Christian Chinese were. In fact every tribe of the Muslims who came up from Sulu and Jolo under Spanish Influences and direction and who willfully stole lands belonging to the Negrito’s in Mindanao are perverse in their ideology and should be removed from our lands. Marawi is further proof that God does not and will never grant Moro’s land based on Blood and killing. My Chinese ancestors were tortured at the hands of those bloody Moro’s near present day Bukidnon. As well as many Negrito being tortured as slaves for Moro.

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