Sunday, December 23, 2007


This Day in the History of Hard Fought, Successful Wars Against Muslims

On this day in 1902, an exceptionally brutal three-year war waged by the U.S. Army and others against Filipino Muslims, whom we called the Moro 'pirates,' ended (for a while) with the signing of an armistice by the rebels, which left the U.S. in possession of the archipelago of 7,100 islands. General Arthur MacArthur (father of Douglas) conducted this part of the war. The war, which started about as soon as we occupied Manila, after our slaughter of the Spanish fleet on May 1, 1898, resumed in the Sulu Archipelago and on Mindinao and continued until almost the First World War. The best thing to come out of this conflict was John Browning's Colt 1911 in .45 caliber, which was developed because the .38 caliber Army revolver wasn't knocking the Moros down in time to save the Army officer from edged weapon attack.

UPDATE: Missed the date of the Manila Bay battle by a hundred years, but all corrected now, thanks to Eric's sharp eyes


Holy crap! We fought the Spanish navy 9 years ago and nobody told me? ;-)

Anyway, I wonder what our military and government leaders thought of the Moro pirates 105 years ago. Did the fact that they were Muslims factor into anyone's thinking at the time? I'm guessing not.

Incidentally, if you've never been to the Philippines, it's a beautiful place. Well, it is once you get outside the cities, at least. I managed to spend a few days there on business earlier this year. Quite an experience.
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