Michael Jackson : Oct 8 2:26 PM

 "Disagree - the last really cool Prez was Teddy Roosevelt."


 More cold-blooded than cool.

 Theodore Roosevelt – Imperialist, Racist and Promoter of a Devastating War of 
Genocide and War Crimes

 Rooseveltian Imperialism http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/histpoli/roosevelt.htm
 Rooseveltian Imperialism http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/histpoli/roosevelt.htm 
Home Back Rooseveltian Imperialism Daniel J. Castellano, M.A. (2007, rev. 2012) 
1. Background 2. The Desire for an American Empire 3. The Roosevelt Corollary 
to the Monroe Doctrine 
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 The imperialist ideology of Theodore Roosevelt was in no small part motivated 
by a belief in the superiority of the race and civilization of Anglo-Saxon 
peoples, as articulated in his Autobiography and other writings. Many of the 
tropes and prejudices articulated under this overtly racist theoretical 
framework have persisted today among American commentators when discussing 
“developing nations” as squabbling, “immature democracies,” full of 
unindustrious, corrupt, or cowardly leaders. Perhaps a recognition of the 
racist origins of these attitudes will give us pause in applying them 
instinctively in a neocolonialist context. Racism and nationalism are not as 
far apart as we would like to believe.
 The ascendant belief in the biological superiority of the Caucasian race, and 
of the Germanic peoples in particular, seemed to be vindicated by the rise of 
global colonial empires headed by European nations. Exposure to other cultures 
did not persuade the conquerors of their equality, but of the backwardness of 
other nations and their need for tutelage. This attitude of benign 
condescension was most famously expressed in Rudyard Kipling‘s “White Man’s 
Burden,” which may be taken as our point of departure for understanding 
 Roosevelt believed that his nation was greatest of all and he concluded from 
that belief that the United States most eminently ought to have an empire
 In his private correspondence, Roosevelt confessed to having a “taste for 
ethnic contests,” and he believed these were necessary so that the civilized 
nations should establish themselves over the barbaric nations. The great powers 
of the world had a twofold responsibility to suppress “savagery and barbarism” 
and “to help those who are struggling toward civilization.” In Roosevelt's 
view, the expansion of the “civilized” races was essential to world peace; 
otherwise “warlike barbarians” such as the Turks and Sudanese Mahdists would 
gain ground, causing “endless war.” The decrease in foreign wars at the turn of 
the century was “due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races which 
have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually 
bringing peace to the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of the world hold 
 In actuality, Roosevelt established several American colonies and 
protectorates, drawing justification from the ideology outlined above. The 
seizure of Panama from Colombia was defended on the economic necessity of 
American commerce across the isthmus, while Cuba and Puerto Rico were 
“liberated” from Spain only to become American colonies or protectorates, as 
would the Philippines, whose aspirations for independence were brutally 
suppressed by the American military. Asian peoples were for the most part not 
highly esteemed by Roosevelt (as he considered the presence of Chinese to be 
“ruinous to the white race”[16] 
http://www.arcaneknowledge.org/histpoli/roosevelt.htm#fn16), so they could not 
be trusted to govern themselves until they were educated in civic affairs.
 Spanish American War

 It is arguable that the Spanish-American War in 1898 was perhaps the most 
pointless war in the history of the United States. Although it was not known at 
the time, the war was not truly fought for territory, for markets, for 
principle, or even for honor. Rather, it began because William Randolph Hearst, 
editor of the popular New York Journal and future media tycoon, sought 
sensational material to print that would outsell his competition,The New York 
World. For years the two papers had battled over sales, each trying to find the 
most sensational piece of news to print. Hearst had heard rumors of atrocities 
committed by the Spanish Empire in their territories and began printing stories 
of Spanish abuses. The exposés quickly grabbed New Yorkers' attention, and soon 
all of America was reading Hearst's articles about the drama in Spain's Latin 
American territories. Hearst realized he had struck gold and continued printing 
stories. He sent his artist Frederic Remington to Cuba to capture the action on 
canvas. Remington soon requested to return to the U.S. when he realized that 
war would not erupt. Hearst replied with the now- famous words, "You furnish 
the pictures, and I'll furnish the war!" His sensationalistic style of 
journalism fueled American hearts with anger towards the Spanish for their acts 
of cruelty. In 1898 when the U.S. warship Maine mysteriously exploded and sank 
in Havana Harbor, killing 258 U.S. Navy crewmen, the American public assumed it 
had been attacked or sabotaged and demanded war. Thus, Congress was dragged 
into a war it did not particularly wish to fight.

 As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt took immediate action. 
Because his boss, the Secretary of the Navy, was away from the office when war 
erupted, Roosevelt assumed the title of Acting Secretary of the Navy and sent a 
telegram to Admiral Dewey who commanded the U.S. fleet in the Asian Pacific. 
The telegram instructed the admiral that if war should erupt between Spain and 
the United States, he was to take offensive action against the Philippine 
Islands, which were then part of the Spanish Empire. Dewey followed his orders. 
Within days after war was declared, Dewey sailed silently from Hong Kong toward 
Manila, and on the morning of May 1, 1898, launched a surprise attack on the 
Spanish fleet anchored in the bay. Within mere hours, Dewey had simultaneously 
captured the Philippines and demonstrated the power of the United States Navy 
for the very first time.
 Meanwhile, President McKinley called for 100,000 volunteers to fight the 
Spanish in the Caribbean. The Secretary of War, General Russell Alger, offered 
the command of one of the three volunteer regiments to Roosevelt. Many of 
Roosevelt's friends begged him not to accept the offer, and to instead retain 
the prestigious political post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Roosevelt, 
however, did not listen. He resigned his position at the Navy Department and 
volunteered to fight as a soldier. He was granted the rank of Lieutenant 
Colonel in one of the most motley, if not most famous, Army divisions in 
history. Known as the Rough Riders, the 1,000 men in this battle group came 
from all walks of life from throughout America. Many were ranchers, cowboys, 
gamblers, and even outlaws. Others from the East had given up college and high 
society for a little excitement. All were adventurous to say the least, and all 
were willing to fight.
 Aside from a brief skirmish upon landing in Cuba, the Rough Rider's greatest 
challenge came on July 1, 1898, at San Juan Hill outside the city of Santiago, 
Cuba. A Spanish entrenchment at the top of the hill, which protected the city, 
had to be captured in order to take Santiago. In what he later described as the 
"greatest day of [his] life", Colonel Theodore Roosevelt charged forth on 
horseback to lead the Rough Riders up the hill. The battle was thick, and by 
the end, fifteen of Roosevelt's men were dead and seventy-three more were 
wounded. Over the course of the war, the Rough Riders suffered more casualties 
than any other unit. Santiago was taken, and the war eventually ended after 
another American fleet, under Admiral Sampson's command, defeated the Spanish 
Navy in Santiago Harbor. Similar to the attack in Manila, this battle was also 
over within a matter of hours.
 The results of the war were entirely ironic. First, the United States won the 
war only because the Spanish fought horribly, not because the American forces 
were superior to those of their enemy. The Spanish garrison on Cuba consisted 
of some 200,000 men, far outnumbering the American forces. Both Spanish fleets 
in Manila and in Santiago were unprepared as well. The Spanish military was 
poorly trained and incompetent, ensuring an easy victory for the Americans. 
Another point of sad irony was that more American troops died after the war was 
over than during the war. A wave of yellow fever hit the jungles of Cuba and 
killed thirteen times as many American men than the Spanish had killed in 
combat. This was partly because the U.S. forces were poorly equipped to handle 
a tropical war: the army had no khaki summer gear, so all of the soldiers wore 
heavy winter clothing. Food and supplies were low and the camps were filthy. 
Roosevelt, by now promoted to full Colonel for his bravery at San Juan, drafted 
a letter condemning the U.S. War Department for its incompetence and 
inefficiency, and sent it to the Associated Press to be published. Roosevelt 
also wrote the Round Robin letter, which many other high-ranking commanders 
signed, calling for the removal of U.S. troops from Cuba because of the 
horrible conditions. The letter was sent to the War Department, and when the 
troops were eventually withdrawn, the American people hailed Roosevelt as a 
national hero for bringing the soldiers home.
 1901–1909: Imperialism
 With the Philippines now annexed, the United States began seeking Asian 
markets to buy U.S. goods. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, China had been 
defeated in a series of wars and was consequently being divided by the victors, 
namely Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany, and Russia. To assert its 
newfound power in Asia, the United States, led by President McKinley and his 
imperialist Vice President Roosevelt and Secretary of State John Hay, 
instituted the Open Door Policy, which declared that all nations–not just the 
European powers–had the right to colonize China. Initially, most of the victors 
refused to acknowledge this policy until the United States sent troops to China 
to help France, Germany, and England quell the Chinese Boxer Rebellion against 
the colonial powers. Once the rebellion had been eliminated, Europe looked more 
favorably on the United States and allowed American access to Chinese markets.
 The United States also exerted its influence in Central America when President 
Roosevelt "took" Panama, at that time a rebellious province of Colombia. Since 
the 1850s, the United States had dreamed of building a canal in Central America 
to link the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Until Roosevelt's presidency, however, 
the only serious effort to build a canal had ended in failure. Determined to 
make those dreams a reality, Roosevelt initially offered the Colombian 
government an offer of ten million dollars for a 100-year lease on Panama. When 
Colombia refused, Roosevelt secretly sent money to hire Panamanian mercenaries 
to revolt and declare independence from Colombia. The bloodless rebellion took 
place in November 1903; only one person died. The rebels immediately declared 
themselves the government of the Republic of Panama and within days signed a 
treaty allowing the U.S. to begin construction of the canal. Colombia, a poor 
nation with little military might, could do nothing. In later years, Roosevelt 
was heavily criticized for his use of unethical methods in obtaining Panama.
 Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise 
and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream,” by Gregg Jones 
 The Spanish-American War helped make Theodore Roosevelt a national icon. The 
hero of San Juan Hill was placed on the Republican Party ticket as the vice 
presidential candidate in 1900. And when President William McKinley was 
assassinated, TR emerged as the youngest president in U.S. history. Ironically, 
much of his early days as president was spent dealing with the ugly aftermath 
of America’s imperial foray.
 In Honor in the Dust, former Dallas Morning Newsreporter Gregg Jones tells the 
unhappy story of Roosevelt’s handling of the insurrection in the Philippines. 
In the late 19th century while European empires competed in the “scramble for 
Africa,” America found itself fighting Spain for control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, 
Guam and the Philippines.
 After America’s triumph in the war, McKinley agonized over what to do with the 
Philippines. In the end, he decided to annex the islands and “educate the 
Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them …” Still, he did so with great 
 Not so his successor. Roosevelt viewed imperial responsibility as an honor to 
uphold, not a burden to carry. But occupations seldom end well. In the 
Philippines, a spirited resistance was waged by Filipinos who failed to see the 
benefit of trading Spanish occupiers for American ones.
 The guerrilla attacks sparked a fierce response from the American military. 
Soon, reports of atrocities committed by American troops began making news. And 
Roosevelt found himself performing damage control.
 The war crimes story dominated the news cycle and galvanized a national 
debate. No less a source than Mark Twain sarcastically tried to defend the 
president’s position by writing: “There have been lies, yes, but they were told 
in a good cause.”
 Initially, Roosevelt defended the acts as part of America’s colonial duty. 
Yes, the perpetrators should be punished, but “to withdraw from the contest for 
civilization because of the fact that there are attendant cruelties, is, in my 
opinion, utterly unworthy of a great people.”
 But Roosevelt soon learned the limits of damage control. The media soon 
reported on an order given by Gen. Jake Smith to “kill and burn” and make a 
particular Filipino city a “howling wilderness!” The public was outraged. TR 
began to shift slightly and condemned “the use of unnecessary harsh measures by 
Army officers in dealing with Filipinos.” Finally, as news reports of 
atrocities continued to mount, the president called for an investigation to 
“know in the fullest and most circumstantial manner all the facts.”
 Eventually, TR even fired Smith. The man who led the charge of the Rough 
Riders up San Juan Hill now found himself leading a retreat on the occupation 
of the Philippines.
 Though American rule would continue in the Philippines for another 40 years, 
the congressional investigations and media coverage of war crimes helped bring 
an end to America’s imperial thirst. The American people were made aware that 
expansion often brings abuse. And for most Americans, that was a price too high 
to pay. For the most part, American imperialism began and ended with the 
Spanish-American War and its aftermath.
 Philippine–American War 
 American operations into the countryside often included scorched earth 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scorched_earth campaigns[85] 
 in which entire villages were destroyed; the use of torture including the 
water cure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cure_(torture);[99] 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine%E2%80%93American_War#cite_note-100 and 
the concentration of civilians into "protected zones".[100] 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine%E2%80%93American_War#cite_note-101 In 
November 1901, the Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger wrote: "The 
present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_bouffe engagement; our men have been 
relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and 
captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea 
prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog..."[101] 
 The total number of Filipino who died remains a matter of debate. In 1908 
Manuel Arellano Remondo, in General Geography of the Philippine Islands, wrote: 
"The population decreased due to the wars, in the five-year period from 1895 to 
1900, since, at the start of the first insurrection, the population was 
estimated at 9,000,000, and at present (1908), the inhabitants of the 
Archipelago do not exceed 8,000,000 in number."[102] 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine%E2%80%93American_War#cite_note-103 John 
M. Gates estimates that at least 34,000 Filipino soldiers were killed, with up 
to an additional 200,000 civilian deaths, mostly from acholera 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera epidemic.[103] 
Filipino historian E. San Juan, Jr. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._San_Juan,_Jr. argues that 1.4 million Filipinos 
died during the war and that constitutes an act of genocide 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide on the part of the United States.[104] 
 American soldiers' letters and response[edit 
 Throughout the war American soldiers would write home about the atrocities 
committed by American forces. In these letters some would criticize General 
Otis and the U.S. military. When these letters reached anti-imperialist 
newspaper editors the letters would become national news which would force the 
War Department to investigate. Two such letters included:
 ·         A soldier from New York: "The town of Titatia was surrendered to us 
a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys 
was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from 
General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done 
to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am 
probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on 
some dark skin and pull the trigger."[105] 
 ·         Corporal Sam Gillis: "We make everyone get into his house by seven 
p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 
300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a 
shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot 
the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now."[105] 
 General Otis' investigation of the content of these letters consisted of 
sending a copy of them to the author’s superior and having him force the author 
to write a retraction. When a soldier refused to do so, as Private Charles 
Brenner of the Kansas regiment did, he was court-martialed.In the case of 
Private Brenner, the charge was "for writing and conniving at the publication 
of an article which...contains willful falsehoods concerning himself and a 
false charge against Captain Bishop."[59] 
 Not all such letters that discussed atrocities were intended to criticize 
General Otis or American actions. Many portrayed U.S. actions as the result of 
Filipino provocation and thus entirely justified.
 Concentration camps[edit 
 In some areas, Filipinos were forced into concentration camps 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_camp, called reconcentrados, which 
were surrounded by free-fire zones http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-fire_zone. 
These camps were overcrowded which led to disease and death. Between January 
and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps 
incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. "One camp was two miles by one mile 
(3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and 'home' to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up 
for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed."[106] 
 In Batangas Province, where General Franklin Bell was responsible for setting 
up a concentration camp, a correspondent described the operation as 
"relentless." General Bell ordered that by December 25, 1901, the entire 
population of both Batangas Province and Laguna Province had to gather into 
small areas within the "poblacion" of their respective towns. Barrio families 
had to bring everything they could carry because anything left behind—including 
houses, gardens, carts, poultry and animals—was to be burned by the U.S. Army. 
Anyone found outside the concentration camps was shot. General Bell insisted 
that he had built these camps to "protect friendly natives from the insurgents, 
assure them an adequate food supply" while teaching them "proper sanitary 
standards." The commandant of one of the camps referred to them as the "suburbs 
of Hell.

 "Philippine–American War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 
 Philippine–American War - Wikipedia, the free encycl... 
 The Philippine–American War (Filipino/Tagalog: Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano) 
(1899–1902)[12] was an armed conflict between the United Stat...
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