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Culture & Religion

Mark Twain on Counterinsurgency

In his memoirs, Mark Twain criticized counterinsurgency tactics used by the U.S. during the Philippine-American war and called the foreign engagement a ‘quagmire’.

Mark Twain on the deployment of troops against Philippine natives: There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it—perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands—but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector—not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial.


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