“Precedents That May be ‘Catching’” American Sentinel 14, 34, pp. 531, 532.

THE Filipinos fought Spain for years to be freed from foreign control, and to have the government of their own. They had their purpose almost accomplished, when the United States, by the victories of Manila and Santiago, relieved them of any further opposition from Spain.

But the United States did not stop with that—she actually took the place of Spain; and now the Filipinos are fighting the United States for the same reasons and for the same things that they fought Spain. And a real substantial question is now, Will not the Filipinos fight the United States as long as they fought Spain?

It may be said that they can’t fight the United States as long as they fought Spain; because the United States is stronger than Spain was, and fights harder than Spain could. This may be true in substance; but will not fight the United States, if not actually as long as they fought Spain, yet as long as the predominance of strength and ability of the United States over Spain will allow? The United States began with 30,000 troops, and conducted one campaign. She proposes now to take sixty-two thousands and make another campaign will she win with sixty-two thousand and in only a second campaign? Spain, with many more than sixty-two thousand men in the Philippines [432] as well as in Cuba, was obliged to stand far more than a second campaign.

Now another question is, If the Filipinos should be able to compel the United States to drag along for considerable time unsuccessful; if they should be able for considerable time to maintain such an unsettled condition of affairs as they have so far caused, thus materially interfering with the commerce of the great nations; is there not a possibility of the intervention there, of some of those great nations after the example of the intervention of the United States between Spain and Cuba? Is there not a possibility that the example set by the United States in intervention, may prove to be “catching”?

By her victories over Spain the United States has won a standing among the great nations of the earth, and has forced their recognition of her in such standing. Yet for all this the United States has no more of the love of the nations than she had before. Rather she has far less. And those nations will be glad of a chance—the first chance or any chance that offers—at which they can surely distress, perplex, or humble her.

There is another matter in which the United States has taken the initiative, and in which she has been also insistent, which may yet be taken advantage of by the European nations to distress, perplex, and even humble her: that is, International Arbitration.

Even at the very threshold of the establishing of the international arbitration principle and tribunal, the United States found it necessary to close an opening that might give entrance to this very thing; and the detection of this possible opening, by the United States delegates, was instantly proclaimed and lauded as not only a decisive diplomatic victory, but as a plainly served notice upon the European nations that although the United States was new in international proceedings, she was not a novice.

However all that may be, the point worthy to be considered is that when such observance and critical watchfulness must be maintained at the very threshold, what will be called for further on? and will the United States be able to save herself always, as she did in this initial instance?

If the course upon which the United States has entered in the world’s affairs, does not end in her being humbled to the very best, it will not be because the European nations do not desire it, nor even because she herself has not given to them cues which can easily lead them to hope that they may accomplish it.

A. T. J.

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