It’s largely forgotten now, especially in history texts in high schools. After the Spanish-American War, a war of choice and regime change, when the U.S. wrested several territories from Spain, including Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, the U.S. quickly got mired in one of the original guerrilla wars in the Philippines. It took 15 years, but the U.S. finally put down the rebellion — 15 brutal, bloody years. The conduct of that war shocked many people, including Mark Twain.
This piece was written partly in response to that war.
Many Americans, like Twain, who questioned the war, in turn had their patriotism questioned. Why wouldn’t they get on board with the war? the critics asked. If your not with us then your on the side of our enemy. My, how things do repeat.
Here’s the stunning production by Markos Kounalakis; go to the film’s website for a copy of the text.