'The Fatherland' exposes ruthlessness of US conduct of Philippine War under Germany-critic Elihu Root

Published by carolyn on Thu, 2019-05-09 20:27

Elihu Root was the United States Secretary of War, and of State in the Republican Roosevelt administration, and a Senator from New York from 1909 to 1915. He was a major critic of Germany's alleged war crimes. 

vol. 5 no. 21    Dec. 27, 1916    Page 3


An Exposure of His Ruthless Conduct of the Philippine War Vouched for by Charles Francis Adams, Carl Schurz, Edwin Burritt Smith and Herbert Welsh, Committee—Belgium a Sham and Pretext—Root's Inhumanity Proven

By Frederick Franklin Schrader

THE PUBLIC SHOULD WELL UNDERSTAND that the meeting to protest against the deportation of Belgians, held in Carnegie Hall, New York, on the evening of December 15, was not prompted by sentiments of humanity, but by hatred of Germany on the part of a notorious clique of old offenders, headed by Elihu Root, James M. Beck, Roosevelt, Rev. Dr. Manning, Joseph H. Choate, George Haven Putnam, and others who, ever since the first gun was fired, have been the principal agitators for American intervention. [New York Times writeup of the meeting here] The majority of these men are long past middle age. They are not going to fight themselves, but they want others to fight for England.

Under the name of the American Rights Committee or some other disguise, the same men have used the same methods to stir up trouble. If they were actuated by considerations of humanity, they would long have protested against the Russian rule of Terror in East Prussia. Girls were outraged by drunken Cossacks, thousands of civilians, old men, women and children, were dragged into Siberia and abandoned to their fate. Wanton destruction was the rule. In the retreat the cowardly Russians burned everything in their path and left a trail of blood.

There was no Root to protest then; no pious eyes were uplifted to heaven and no appeal was made to the spirit of humanity of the American people. The Roots, Roosevelts, Becks and Putnams were busy about that time, under one pretext or other, in arousing public sentiment against Germany on the plea that the Belgian bushwhackers and franctireurs who were sniping German soldiers from hedges and barns were the victims of fanatical persecution and barbarian acts of retribution. It required more than a year, and the evidence of men like ex-Mayor McClellan, ex-Senator Beveridge, Sven Hedin and impartial American correspondents to check the campaign of libel and poisoned falsehood, to make the American people come to their senses and to appraise the malignant slanderers at their just value. The Putnams and Roots and Roosevelts were sorely put to it to find fuel to feed the resentment of the people. The Belgian atrocities had ceased to draw.

*     *     *

BUT the snake was only scotched. The ghost of the American Rights Committee, now transformed into a committee of protest, has found material for a new campaign of lie and libel in the Belgian deportations. What is a perfectly legitimate and legal process of government function under the Hague conventions, and a measure for the best interests of the Belgians themselves, is pictured to the popular mind as an act of violence in conflict with the laws of nations and the spirit of civilized warfare.

Let it be noted that the same names figure in all these violent public demonstrations staged at Carnegie Hall, and that in Elihu Root is personified the eloquence and invective and the spirit of war which distinguish these gatherings.

Let it be remembered that Root and his allies are seeking to carry out the terms of the secret treaty between this country and England which was entered into by John Hay while Ambassador to England and later as Secretary of State. Root and his confederates are trying to deliver the United States, bound hand and foot, into the keeping of England, and since their efforts “for the reclamation of the United States as an integral part of the British Empire” have failed by peaceful means, the attempt is now made to blind the American people to their danger by exciting their passions and arousing their hatred against a nation which is fighting with its back against the wall, four against England, Russia, France, Japan, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Africa, Servia, Montenegro, Roumania.

Speaking at Carnegie Hall, Root with pious unction exclaimed: “Poor Belgium! Peaceful, industrious, God-fearing, law-abiding Belgium!”

*     *     *

THE hypocrisy of this apostrophe is apparent from a perusal of Conan Doyle's story of the Congo atrocities and the official report on the Belgian crimes against the helpless Congo natives. The world was petrified with horror by the revelations of the official investigations into these acts of savage ferocity, studied cruelties and malignant brutality of “poor Belgium!” This alone proves that Mr. Root is a malevolent mischief maker who pays little heed to the truth.

But Mr. Root is on record as the man responsible for the atrocities in the Philippines, and to revive his memory of events that should make him hide his head in shame instead of uplifting it in the face of a multitude of people as the champion of humanity, we call his attention to the printed report contained in a pamphlet of 119 pages, entitled “'MARKED SEVERITIES.' ROOT'S RECORD IN PHILIPPINE WARFARE. AN ANALYSIS OF THE LAW AND FACTS BEARING ON THE ACTION AND UTTERANCES OF PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AND SECRETARY ROOT.”

This pamphlet was not a sporadic attack on a politician to gratify a personal spite, but was issued as a protest against the inhumanity of certain phases of the Philippine war while Root was Secretary of War. The introduction bears date of August 29, 1902, and is addressed to Moorfield Storey and Julian Codman AND SIGNED BY CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS, CARL SCHURZ, EDWIN BURRITT SMITH and HERBERT WELSH, COMMITTEE.

These men ask for a report on the truth of Root's official communication, that “the war in the Philippines has been conducted by the American army with scrupulous regard for the rules of civilized warfare, with careful and genuine consideration for the prisoners and non-combatants, with self-restraint and with humanity never surpassed.”

The Committee says: “We ask you to advise us, in so far as can be ascertained, whether satisfactory or complete revelations could have been elicited by any investigations conducted under the conditions imposed thereon by the order issued by the War Department and the instructions therein contained.”

*     *     *

THE answer to this quesiton makes up the bulk of the pamphlet. The publication is crowded with war orders and details, and the whole is too long to be entered into circumstantially. It is one appalling record of violence and savage brutality seldom equalled except by “poor Belgium” in the Congo. There is nothing in our history that confronts us with a more scathing record of brutality and bestial depravity than this report of Messrs. Storey and Codman. It is the gathered evidence of two Americans to a committee of Americans. Let us print here only a part of the findings of the investigators under the caption of their “Conclusions”:

“1. That the destruction of Filipino life during the war has been so frightful that it cannot be explained as the result of ordinary civilized warfare. Gen. Bell's statement that one-sixth of the natives of Luzon—that is, some six hundred thousand persons—had been killed or died of dengue fever in the first two years of the war is evidence enough on this point, especially when coupled with this further statement:

“ 'That loss of life by killing has been very great, but I think that not one man has been slain except where his death served the legitimate purpose of war. It has been thought necessary to adopt what in other countries would be thought harsh measures,' but which Secretary Root calls 'a marked humanity and magnanimity.'

“2. That at the very outset of the war there was a strong reason to believe that our troops were ordered by some officer to give no quarter and that no investigation was had because it was reported by Lt. Col. Crowder that the evidence 'would implicate many others,' General Otis saying that the charge was 'not very grievous under the circumstances.'

“3. That from that time on, as is shown by the reports of killed and wounded and by direct testimony, the practice continued.

“4. That the War Department has never made any earnest effort to investigate the charges of this offense or to stop the practice.

“5. That from the beginning of the war the practice of burning native towns and villages and laying waste the country has continued. The special correspondent of the Boston Transcript, as early as April 14, 1899, wrote from Marilao:

“ 'Just watch our smoke' is what the Minnesota and Oregon regiments have adopted for a motto since their experiences of the last few days. THEIR TRAIL WAS EIGHT MILES LONG; AND THE SMOKE OF BURNING BUILDINGS AND RICE HEAPS ROSE INTO THE HEAVEN THE ENTIRE DISTANCE, and obscured the face of the landscape for many hours. 'They started at datlight this morning, driving the rebels before them and setting the torch to everything burnable in their course.'

“This was in retaliation for a night attack.

“It was the inception of a policy that was pursued till Samar was made 'a howling wilderness.'

The 20th Kansas Volunteers march through Caloacan at night.

“6. That the Secretary of War never made any attempt to check this or punish this method of war.


“8. That no one has ever been seriously punished for this, and that since the first officers were reprimanded for hanging up prisoners no one has been punished at all until Major Glenn, in obedience to an imperative public sentiment, was tried for one of many offenses and received a farcical sentence.

“9. That the Secretary of War never made any attempt to stop this barbarous practice while the war was in progress.

“10. That from the time when Gen. Otis advised a court martial of Brenner for giving information which led to an investigation until the Secretary proposed that Gen. Miles be retired for giving the clue which led to the publication of Major Gardener's report, and Major Gardener is harried for making it, the zeal of the War Department and of Mr. Root has been displayed against the accusers, and not against the criminals.

“11. That the statement of Mr. Root, whether as to the origin of the war, its progress or the methods by which it has been prosecuted, have been untrue.

“12. That he has shown a desire not to investigate, and, on the other hand, to conceal the truth touching the war, and to shield the guilty, and by censorship and otherwise has largely succeeded.


*     *     *

BUT little space is available to quote from reports which show the wretched character of this expounder of German atrocities in Belgium while Secretary of War in full charge of the operations of the troops and responsible to mankind for their behavior. We will insert here, however, General Bell's report of his operations in Batangas:

“For the next six days all station commanders will be employed hunting insurgents and their hidden food supplies within their respective jurisdictions. POPULATION OF EACH TOWN WILL BE TURNED OUT, and all transportation that can be found impressed to bring into government storehouses all food that is found, if it be possible to transport it. If not, it will be destroyed. I am now assembling in the neighborhood of 2,500 men, who will be used in columns of about fifty men each. I take so large a command for the purpose of thoroughly searching each ravine, valley and mountain peak for insurgents and for food, expecting to destroy everything. ALL ABLE-BLDIED MEN WILL BE KILLED OR CAPTURED. OLD MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN TO BE SENT TO TOWNS. This movement begins January 1, by which time I hope to have nearly all the food supply in the towns. These people need a thrashing to teach them some good common sense, and they should have it for the good of all concerned.”

Under the authority of Mr. Root, then, villages were burned, all able-bodied men killed or captured, and old men, women and children taken from their homes and sent away. Root is outraged by what is happening in Belgium in a perfectly legal and legitimate as well as humane manner, but he has forgotten that there is such a report as that asked for by Charles Francis Adams, Carl Schurz and Messrs. Smith and Welsh to convict him personally of officially countenancing the most violent outrages on record against a people who were only defending their homes and country against foreign invaders.

One more instance of what Mr. Root has tearfully described as barbarism in the Germans, bu which under his own official eyes he permitted to stain forever the reputation of the American army. Riley, a sergeant in the 26th Regiment, “the son and brother of reputable men well known in Northamption,” wrote home on Nov. 25, 1900, as follows:

“Arriving at Igbaras at daybreak we found everything peaceful, but it shortly developed that we were really treading on a volcano. The president, the priest and another leading man were assembled and put on the rack of inquiry. The president evaded some questions and was soon bound and given 'the water cure.' This was done by throwing him on his back beneath a tank of water and running a stream into his mouth, a man kneading his stomach meanwhile to prevent his drowning. The ordeal proved a tongue-loosener, and the crafty old fellow soon begged for mercy and made full confession. . . . The president was asked for more information and had to take a second water cure before he would divulge.”

Riley also stated that the town was burned.

Life magazine cover in 1902 depicts the U.S. Army water curing treatment being given to a Filipino.

Take another of thirteen cases. Private Jones of Company G, 11th Volunteer Cavalry, wrote a letter which described how a body of our troops, in an attempt to capture a Filipino officer, heard the sound of laughter, and discovering through the woods a house where a large party of Filipinos was attending a wedding, opened fire upon them and killed the bride and some of the guests.

The investigation showed that a detachment under a native guide toward sunset heard “loud voices and laughter.” An investigation disclosed a large number of natives in the house, and the guide said they were insurgents. The troops undertook to surround the house and without command opened fire and continued to fire until the commander threatened to shoot the next man who fired at the house. “a few, probably three, armed natives were seen.” It was found that the house was new, that in it were “many women and children,” that “a number of women and children wre found outside, sheltered by the bank of a stream, where they had taken refuge when the firing opened,” that “the gathering in the house was no doubt that of a celebration or feast of some kind, most probably a wedding,” and that “the casualties were two men and one woman dead, one woman and two children wounded, all natives, and found in the building. The house was destroyed, and after caring for the wounded as much as circumstances permitted, the command returned to their station.”

The report says that “the charge was true.” Had it been done by Filipinos it “would have been denounced by Secretary Root as a savage crime; and so it doubtless appeared to the victims.”

Such is the righteous Mr. Root in the eyes of a committee of men distinguished for their service to the country. In this pamphlet the mask is completely stripped from the face of this reactionary, who has never raised his voice in a cause save as the paid attorney for the rich and corrupt, Boss Tweed and the criminally wealthy.

The blackest page of our history of murder, deportations and torture is that which covers the period of Elihu Root's term as Secretary of War. The alleged cruelties of the Germans in Belgium are trumped up by the paid agents of England, but Root's record for savagery bears the signature of American citizens.


Interested readers should note that the Philippines war stands as a textbook example of counter-insurgency, and the only successful one that the US fought - see 'Jungle of Snakes: A Century of Counterinsurgency Warfare from the Philippines to Iraq' (2009). Had the American army studied the Philippines experience and applied the lessons learned, they'd be winning in Afghanistan. But as it is....
I found the story of the British ship refusing to rescue the drowning Zeppelin air crew poignant and moving - and symbolic. Is the shoe now on the other foot, and is it the Germans refusing to rescue the drowning Anglos? These past few months, I've become infected by Fatherland-ism and Yeagerism, I'm afraid, and I felt little sympathy for Paul Joseph Watson and the others when the Facebook ban was announced: none of these people supported German nationalism or Holocaust Revisionism, and have shown themselves to be fringe critics of the Anglo establishment, nothing more. It has struck me that these Dissident Right people don't really want political power, because if they did, they would seriously challenge the Anglo-Jewishpower structure - which they won't do. I get the impression that they (along with the writers at VDare, American Renaissance and elsewhere) are satisfied with the existing system as it is, they only want to make a tweak here and there.
But underlying that is a sense of despair, I think, regarding the UK's failure at Brexit and the USA's failure to control the border (and legal immigration). They recognise (at least in their subconscious) that the Anglo project hasn't worked, and that no amount of populist conservatism can save it, either. I read the VDare Twitter feed every day, which is one long litany of woe - 'We wuz robbed'. 

Ah, David, you write the best comments. Thanks for following these Fatherland posts faithfully, and for your term Yeagerism. Smile

While the English will never sacrifice a dime to 'save the Germans', the Germans will always offer to save the English. While they are supposed to be kissing cousins, that certainly appears to be the ugly truth about and between them. The Germans generously value the English, no matter what; the English enviously devalue the Germans, no matter what.

Even the exceptions among the English can't bring themselves to condemn their own country for its evil influence on Europe, out of their nationalistic loyalties. These German-friendly British can go only so far, and then no farther. Yet all European nations seem to be infected with the idea that they need Britain. This is personified in the stupid Donald Tusk, who is publicly praying and hoping Britain will stay and Europe can remain in its status quo condition.

So I hope that Brexit takes place, a complete Brexit, and Britain can openly join in league with the strongly pro-Anglo United States, and let Europe find its own way and voice. Then it will come into focus exactly where the weaknesses in Europe are and which Europeans can rise to the occasion and give Europe a direction. And an identity. Europeans may not have it in them, but they deserve an opportunity.

European Parliamentary elections are coming right up. Unfortunately, Britain will still be taking part.

Everything that America ever accused Germany of doing, it had already committed itself years and decades before; that and more, and by a larger degree.  I guess it was okay since we did it first?

Just read this from the American Free Press, April 14, 2019:

Before the dissent of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes a hundred years ago (on the bench 1902-1932) in several cases relating to criminal sentences for persons protesting America’s entry into World War I, the First Amendment was basically a dead letter, toothless and rarely invoked. Holmes breathed life into it with his metaphor of the marketplace of ideas and his contention that the First Amendment protects, above all, the views we hate.

He set our courts on a free speech path unlike any other in the world. ... Glen K. Allen, plaintiff in lawsuit against the SPLC

Thank you for bringing the Philipino American war to light. In America, of course, it is unknown but in the Philippines it is common knowledge that at least a million Philipinos were slaughtered. Contrary to common belief it was there that Pershing got his nickname, Black Jack. On a similar note, I remember an elderly Philipina telling me that, though she liked Americans because we were "Christians," the Japanese were, in fact, much better behaved during the occupation than the Americans. Today this does not surprise me but 30 years ago it shocked me.

I appreciate your comment.

US has been hiding atrocities going as far as the civil war when the Union leaders were told to slaughter women and children until the Condeferate surrendered. But, that was one of many atrocities, during the WWII, they ravaged through towns in Germany, raping, looting, and slaughtering the evil Nazis, because that's the story they were told. We cannot blame entirely our leaders, as soldiers have chosen to commit such crimes. Free will, we all choose the light or the darkness.
Enlgand is not a blessed land and it will perish under the ocean with its much desired mulattos and refugees. I cannot forget the crimes they have caused the Boers in South Africa, and England's creation of the concentration camps of the Boer people. Brititsh Emily Hobhouse wrote about what she had witnessed against the Boer women/elderly/chidlren and when she returned to England she was called a traitor.
British motto's echos the ones jewish proclaim, "Never forgive, never forget." England will betray the US, reveal secret information to Russia, a very communist country who binds itself in BRICS, other communist countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. These countries only wish to spread communism.
We cannot worry about the past and only fight for our present.

Thanks Geli. I agree that too many soldiers do evil things on their own when they get the chance.