Of course, there are other arguments. Increase of trade and wealth, as the result of our appropriation of other peoples’ possessions, is freely predicted. It has always been the robber’s plea. That is what it is to-day, even when employed by a professed Christian nation. Nor is it improved by the fact that the grounds upon which it is predicated and urged are largely fallacious. The spoliation of the Philippines will never repay us for the blood—our own blood—and treasure it has cost us, apart from any moral or humanitarian consideration. There is not one aspect in this business that promises to redound to our benefit. No, I won’t say that; I would hardly be justified in going that far. In one particular the Philippine operation has profited a considerable part of our people. It has added materially to our Army and our Navy. The opportunity for enlargement in those quarters was, undoubtedly, the strongest inducement for our entering upon a colonial policy. For a great many people, and especially in official circles, we cannot have a standing army that is too large, nor too many ships of war. The more powerful those appendages of our authority the larger is the opening for the kinsmen and retainers of those in high places, who may be seeking profitable and agreeable employment, and the more liberal the contributions of contractors and jobbers to the sinews of partisan warfare. Our Army to-day is nearly three times what it was five years ago, although outside of the Philippines we are at peace with all mankind. Nor is that formidable advance at an end. The Far East is now certain to be the world’s great battle-ground for the near future, and since we have entered that field as the master of the Philippines, like a knight of the olden time who was ready to do battle with all comers, we must be constantly increasing our preparation. We may not only have to fight the Russians and the Japanese and the Chinese, one or all, but those foolish Filipinos may again take it into their silly heads that they can govern themselves as well or better than we can do it for them. That means rebellion, and, of course, chastisement must follow. As climatic conditions in that part of the world are such that it requires the presence of three men in the army to supply the active services of one, it is obvious that so long as we adhere to our present Asiatic policy, we shall never have an army and a navy large enough and strong enough to meet the requirements of our new condition.
On all questions affecting human liberty, no one can fail to observe that the attitude of the two great political parties of to-day, is practically that of the two principal parties at the time the Abolitionists began their operations. One of them may pass perfunctory resolutions against the Philippine crime, but dares to say nothing about the treatment visited upon the negro. The other may say a few compassionate, but meaningless, words for the negro, but cannot denounce the oppression of the Filipinos. Both are fatally handicapped by their connections and committals. Both are, in fact, pro-slavery, although the one in power, because of its responsibility for existing conditions, is the more criminal of the two.