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Our First Foreign Entanglement

Students of history will know the US fought a three-year war with the Philippines at the turn of the 20th Century. The war was the result of the Spanish-American War. The US went to the Philippines because the country was under Spain’s rule and the US ended that. The US stayed after the war and kept the country like a possession but also to introduce democracy to the multi island nation that interestingly enough has a Moslem minority. It all sounded well and good, except for the fact that many Filipinos didn’t like the US anymore than they liked Spain governing them. This led to the 3-year war that cost the lives of 4000 American soldiers.

Now there is a movie out about the conflict and I doubt many will see it since the conflict is not well-known and that’s too bad. The movie is titled Amigo and this link leads to a pretty good review of the film.

Our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, going on ten years now, is often compared to our involvement in Vietnam while our involvement in the Philippines might be the better comparison.

It seems to me that America has always taken on foreign entanglements with a high measure of reluctance. Perhaps the Philippine intervention is a reason why. Nation building is not without cost and it raises the question of whether or not it is worth it in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Philippines gained its independence on July 4th, 1946 after the War with the Japan in which the Philippines were a brave and loyal ally of the US. The country is a democracy today and still a loyal US ally so maybe in that case it was worth it.

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