THOLOS OF ATHENA

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Ring Any Bells?

"We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields; burned their villages, and turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors; furnished heartbreak by exile to some dozens of disagreeable patriots; subjugated the remaining ten millions by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket; we have acquired property in the three hundred concubines and other slaves of our business partner, the Sultan of Sulu, and hoisted our protecting flag over that swag.

"And so, by these Providences of God--and the phrase is the government's, not mine--we are a World Power."

--Mark Twain, commenting on the Philippine War, 1901.

"I bring you the stately matron named Christendom, returning bedraggled, besmirched, and dishonored from pirate raids in Kiao-Chou, Manchuria, South Africa, and the Philippines, with her soul full of meanness, her pocket full of boodle, and her mouth full of pious hypocrisies."

--Mark Twain, writing in the New York Herald, 1900.

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