Thursday, April 13, 2006

Remembering another lenten march long ago...

64 years ago this lenten season...

It happened on or near Good friday - my Dad told me... it was really sad Holy Week- I was not around but i do remember my dad as a young boy in manila telling me his feelings about the day he heard Bataan had fallen.

Most of those who had seen the fighting from the shores of manila bay remember only defiant words on the radio broadcast over the voice of freedom.

Ironically - from a tunnel also soon to be known for its fall - malinta in Corregedor.

The words- I wonder if any still live to have heard the elequent broadcast the Japanese tried to jam but the rock's ransmiter kept going along.

It confirmed the surrender of Gen King, the radio then was the way word came of the fall of Bataan - came to most- who knew the men of Corregidor would soon follow.

The transcript of the speech read slowly over the voice of freedom....
Indomitable Farewell

"Bataan has fallen. Fil-American troops in the ravaged and blood-stained peninsula have laid down their arms. With heads bloody but unbowed, They have yielded to the superior force and numbers of the enemy.

"The flesh must yield at last, for they are not made of impervious steel. They fought a brave and bitterly contested struggle, all the world will testify to the utmost superhuman which they stood up until the last face of overwhelming odds.

"Bataan fell, but the spirit that made it stood, a beacon to all liberty loving peoples of the world, did not fail."

As time passes many forget the sacrifices of men and boys - women and girls who fought or saw these events first hand.

Some look from the past for lessons for today.... I know decades have passed and time has moved on to the present where in todays world things have changed - but there is always a ned to look back remember and think of those times of the past and hope in future people do not forget.

there is more here - on this - perhaps better written than my words can be as I've heard the stories but these stories are people who lived those times...

Looking back to look forward

strange how history repeats....

History has many lessons...
The similarities of the past and present fascinate me- In Iraq where the current US counter insurgency fight is ongoing... If one were to look at it from the historical context of the Philippine insurrection - or - Philippine-American War one sees so many similar situations.

The first is troop straight - and years of fighting - according to an article in prologue the magazine of the US National Archives...

Where these photo's are found by the way...
all in the public domain....

" Approximately 125,000 troops served in the Philippines during the war. After more than three years of fighting, at a cost of 400 million dollars and approximately 4,200 American dead and 2,900 wounded, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed an end to the insurrection in the Philippines on July 4, 1902."

The numbers are nearly the same as Iraq - when one takes into consideration - "volunteers" and Philippine
scouts units also used by the US military in the conflict. Casualties were about
4,200 killed although the injured or wounded figure covered those who per records were "maimed or disfigured" also all figures were
only the
US forces - insurgent figures were much higher and civilian deaths and injuries now covered by the infamous "collateral damage"
term were not mentioned.

Beginning in July 2004, the United States began implementing the OIF 3 troop rotation. OIF-3 plans call for troops numbers to be reduced from 140,000 to roughly 130,000. The rotation was slated to take place until March 2005." Reports in its order of battle figures for US troop straight.

More on the reports of tactics used are strikingly similar:

Iraq; "sweeps, conducted in June and July 2003, rounded up hundreds of Iraqis, they angered residents who complained of mistreating, arbitrary arrests and humiliation at the hands of US soldiers." - operations Iraq.

Philippine American War; " wanton violence and slaughter. Villages were destroyed, civilians murdered, prisoners tortured and mutilated along with a host of other atrocities. Many American officers and non-coms had served in the Indian Wars, and thus applied the old belief that "the only good Indian was a dead Indian" to their relations with the Filipinos. This attitude of course was reciprocated by the native forces." - The history guy website...

The conflict however went far beyond the "End of hostilities declaration of president Teddy Roosevelt in 1902 - sounds like the Mission Accomplished statement in 2002! Stranger yet contingencies occur- but here was the scope and length of the conflict

look at the time frame covered by the US Military website listing the official duration of the conflict.


Streamers: Blue with two red stripes

Manila 4 February-17 March 1899
Iloilo 8-12 February 1899
Malolos 24 March-16 August 1899
Laguna de Bay 8-17 April 1899
San Isidro 21 April-30 May and 15 October-l9 November 1899
Zapote River 13 June 1899
Cavite 7-13 October 1899 and 4 January-9 February 1900
Tarlac 5-20 November 1899
San Fabian 6-19 November 1899
Mindanao 4 July 1902-31 December 1904 and 22 October 1905
Jolo 1-24 May 1905 and 6-8 March 1906 and 11-15 June 1913
fig. from

" After these campaigns only scattered insurrectionist elements remained active in north and south Luzon. Lawton (killed on 18 December 1899) drove up the Marikina in December to cut important insurgent communication lines, and Wheaton and Schwan completed pacification of Cavite in January - February 1900. Subsequently, insurgent remnants in the Visayans and Mindanao were dispersed.
The capture of Aguinaldo by Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston, on 23 March 1901, dealt the final blow to the insurgent cause. President Roosevelt announced official conclusion of the Insurrection on 4 July 1902." -

April 30, 2002 was the day the President made his statement
Now the funny part-

I tried to get the exact term and transcript used on the White House website for President Bush's mission accomplished statement....


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