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Thursday, August 12, 2004 

A dying Colonialism?

Today marks the 106th anniversary for the armistice that ended the Spanish-American War. Historically speaking this war had massive importance. The war was the death blow to the ebbing Spanish empire and elevated America to semi-core status with imperial holdings in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.

A very decent article on the connections between the inane rhetoric to justify US military adventures during the 1890s and in Iraq can be found here. This conflict proved without a doubt that the US ruling class has no qualms with committing genocide if it means securing opportunities for capital accumulation, and this is a lesson that should not be forgotten as Occupation forces move to crush the insurgency in Najaf and Kufa. But perhaps a more important lesson to be gleamed from the US occupation of the Philippines concerns the anti-imperialist response here in America. This historical example becomes increasingly important as reformist elements of the "left" echo the liberal arguments made against the Viet Cong a generation ago, while beefing up their criticism concerning "how the war is being waged" rather than "how the occupation will be ended."

"Conventional wisdom would have one believe that it is insane to resist this, the mightiest of empires... but what history really shows is that today's empire is tomorrow's ashes, that nothing lasts forever, and that to not resist is to acquiesce in you own oppression. The greatest form of sanity that anyone can experience is to resist that force that is trying to repress, oppress, and fight down the human spirit" -Mumia Abu-Jamal

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