In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines Themes

Stanley Karnow
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Understanding and Learning from History

Harry Truman's quote "Those who do not read and understand history are doomed to repeat it" is very pertinent to this story. The similarities between the Philippines, Vietnam, and even Iraq cannot be ignored. The common traits are: a country being occupied where natives yearn for autonomous rule, not being able to fight conventionally, public opinion waning, and mounting atrocities.

Major conventional "battles" soon cease to take place, because the lesser-armed force will not just stand up and fight as in typical battle scenarios. They use trickery and duplicity to terrorize troops who more and more can't tell friend from foe. Seeing their buddies killed in senseless acts of violence, the troops become desensitized to the situation, and the atmosphere for atrocities becomes ripe. The atrocities often escalate, as they did in the Philippines, Vietnam and Iraq. In all three situations, American soldiers were...

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This section contains 669 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines Study Guide
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