THE first battle has been fought, and the first blood shed, by the United States Government, in pursuance of a policy of foreign conquest.
Sixty American soldiers, and several thousands of Filipinos, have met death in armed conflict at Manila. This is the first fruits of imperialism, but not by any means the last that it will bear.
Upon whom rests the responsibility for this terrible affair? Does it rest upon that party in the Government which favored the recognition of the right of the Filipinos to govern themselves? or upon that party which refused to give to them any assurance that the purpose of the American forces in the Philippines was friendly to such a government as the natives desired?
Does the blame for this bloodshed rest with the party which counseled a peaceful attitude toward the Filipinos? or with that party which refused to modify an attitude of unmistakable hostility? Does a peaceful attitude provoke strife? or is strife provoked by menace?
There is no principle with which the Government’s action can be harmonized except such as has always been offered in justification of foreign conquest. It is genuine imperialism; and the pretense that it is anything else is so thin and illogical that we may expect such pretense to be shortly laid aside altogether.