Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now. 4 of 6

By Carl Herman, National Board Certified Teacher in economics, government, and history, who blogs as the Nonpartisan Examiner at Examiner.com. Carl was one of the leaders who launched the microcredit movement, and is a tireless activist for peace and justice.

Occupy Wall Street (and nationwide) has three emerging objectives:

  1. Public recognition of the 1%’s crimes, centering on war and money.
  2. End war and money crimes that annually kill millions, injure billions, and loot trillions of our dollars.
  3. Build a brighter future for 100% of humanity, centering on full constructive employment and the creation of money that maximizes public good.

My Open proposal for US Revolution: end unlawful wars, parasitic economics explains and documents

  • war and money crimes so they are “emperor has no clothes” obvious,
  • Gandhi and Dr. King’s strategy for victory, with recommendation for a window of Truth and Reconciliation to encourage criminals’ peaceful surrender,
  • Historical consideration and today’s possibility of the US creating money to cause full employment and optimal infrastructure. This replaces the Orwellian “debt supply” the 1% creates and controls as their main weapon of dominance (more on economic solutions here).

This 6-article series documents the history of criminality of the 1%’s Wars of Aggression and War Crimes. The power of this history is to reveal that the 1% lies, kills, and loots as their usual business. We the People, the 99%, have historically been distracted by political and media rhetoric that propagandized the crimes.

For whatever reasons of greed never having “enough,” the 1% overplayed their hand. We the 99% have reached a critical mass stage of engaged attention. The criminals among the 1% have a rapidly closing window of opportunity to reclaim their humanity, have “Scrooge conversions,” and contribute to causing the above objectives.

The facts that the 1%’s war and money policies are massive and obvious crimes is important. The 99%’s recognition is a trigger for those of us with Oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Arrests will follow; the 1%’s houses of cards will collapse in tragic-comedy.

These six articles are taken from an assignment for my high school seniors to understand current events. The 11-part series will be available under the title,Teaching US History of empire/terrorism to recognize it today.

The 1%’s crimes will end because the 99% embrace the political, economic, and spiritual ideals of our Declaration of Independence (my emphasis added):

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.” 

These are the sections of this article series:

  1. A revealing current event of our United States: MCA
  2. Revealing current event: waterboarding and its reporting by corporate media (parts 2a and 2b)
  3. Past “current events”: Native American treaties, Mexican-American War
  4. Past “current events”: US overthrow of Hawaii, Spanish-American War
  5. Past “current events”: World War 1, CIA wars, Vietnam War
  6. King family’s civil trial for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Past “current events”: US overthrow of Hawaii, Spanish-American War

“‘Tis strange — but true; for truth is always strange; Stranger than fiction.”             – Don JuanCanto XIV.

The US overthrew the Hawaiian government in 1893 [43] and then annexed the territory against Hawaiian will in 1898. This was in clear violation of treaty, admitted as an unlawful war by US President Cleveland in 1893, and that the “provisional government” created by US oligarchs was both wrong and racist:

“By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the Government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair. The provisional government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power.”

Because Congress had the votes and approval of President McKinley in 1898, the US annexed Hawaii. One hundred years later, the US Congress and President Clinton passed Public Law 103-150 in full admittance that the US unlawfully overthrew Hawaii’s government:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
The Congress
– apologizes to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the people of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii on January 17, 1893

What was missing, of course, is the basis of democratic institutions: full communication of this admission to Hawaiians for their consideration and vote whether they prefer to remain within the US, or once again be an independent nation.

For a fun and informative extra credit project, watch and write a review on the Pinky Show’s 25 minute video on Hawaii vs. U.S. imperialism.

The Spanish-American War [44] in 1898 had US warfare in the Philippines and Cuba. Hawaii’s position as a naval base in the middle of the Pacific Ocean made the unlawful annexation of Hawaii a crime with apparent strong motivation.

The US unilaterally claimed sovereign military authority [45] in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Philippine leadership claimed the US promised independence on multiple occasions and reneged.Emilio Aguinaldo, [46] the Philippine’s first president and leader of their revolution against Spanish imperialism:

“In reply, the [US] Consul said he would telegraph about this matter to Admiral Dewey, who was, he said, Commander-in-Chief of the squadron which would invade the Philippines, and who had, he also stated, full powers conferred on him by President McKinley.

Between 10 or 12 in the forenoon of the next day the conference was renewed and Mr. Pratt then informed me that the Admiral had sent him a telegram in reply to the wish I had expressed for an agreement in writing. He said the Admiral’s reply was–That the United States would at least recognize the Independence of the Philippines under the protection of the United States Navy. The Consul added that there was no necessity for entering into a formal written agreement because the word of the Admiral and of the United States Consul were in fact equivalent to the most solemn pledge that their verbal promises and assurance would be fulfilled to the letter and were not to be classed with Spanish promises or Spanish ideas of a man’s word of honour. In conclusion the Consul said, “The Government of North America, is a very honest, just, and powerful government._” ”

Philippine requests for political independence were refused by the US, or any vote of the people to discover their will of who should govern. The resultant War for Independence caused civilian deaths ranging from 250,000 to 1.5 million, and over 4,000 American military deaths. This US foreign policy choice against democracy and freedom provoked Mark Twain’s razor-sharp literary attention: [47]

“I left these shores, at Vancouver, a red-hot imperialist. I wanted the American eagle to go screaming into the Pacific. It seemed tiresome and tame for it to content itself with the Rockies. Why not spread its wings over the Phillippines, I asked myself? And I thought it would be a real good thing to do.

I said to myself, here are a people who have suffered for three centuries. We can make them as free as ourselves, give them a government and country of their own, put a miniature of the American constitution afloat in the Pacific, start a brand new republic to take its place among the free nations of the world. It seemed to me a great task to which we had addressed ourselves.

But I have thought some more, since then, and I have read carefully the treaty of Paris, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Phillippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. . .

It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”

The US kept the Philippines as their imperial colony until after WW2.

The history after “independence” is poignantly understood with US military and economic support of dictator Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986. The World Bank estimates that Marcos embezzled up to $5 billion from this relationship. [48] Marcos’ dictatorship included the usual elements of a police state, corruption, assassinations of political enemies, and poverty for the majority of the public. George Washington University now archives confirming US government documentation of their support of this vicious government. [49]

The US also reneged on documented promise in the Teller Amendment for Cuban independence after the Spanish-American War:

“Resolved, First. That the people of the Island of Cuba are, of right ought to be, free and independent.

Second. That it is the duty of the United States to demand, and the Government of the United States does hereby demand, that the Government of Spain at once relinquish its authority and government in the Island of Cuba and withdraw its land and naval forces from Cuba and Cuban waters.

Third. That the President of the United States be, and he hereby is, directed and empowered to use the entire land and naval forces of the United States, and to call into the actual service of the United States the militia of the several States, to such extent as may be necessary to carry these resolutions into effect.

Fourth. That the United States hereby disclaims any disposition or intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control over said Island except for the pacification thereof, and asserts its determination, when that is accomplished, to leave the government and control of the Island to its people.”

The US violated the Teller Amendment by having the US military continue their occupation for five years after the war had ended. [50] This, obviously, is a violation of US law and an impeachable offense.

The US unilaterally rescinded their legal promise to the Cuban people in 1901 with the Platt Amendment. This allowed US intervention into Cuban affairs at will, as long as the US said it was for “the preservation of Cuban independence.” Again, this is government by dictatorship (literally what is said) and not limited government under the law.

Forwarding into modern history, the US supported a vicious dictator, Fulgencio Batista, who provided oligarchic profits to US corporations, and a police state with poverty for Cubans from 1933 until the peoples’ revolution in 1958 put Fidel Castro in power.

The Spanish-American War transferred imperial domination from the Spanish to the Americans in the Philippines, and to a new dictator in Cuba with US military support that killed tens of thousands of Cubans. The purpose was a friendly environment for US businesses at the expense of the Cuban people. Senator John F. Kennedy explains in chilling and revealing details: [51]

“Only a third of the homes in the island even had running water, and in the years which preceded the Castro revolution this abysmal standard of living was driven still lower as population expansion out-distanced economic growth.

Only 90 miles away stood the United States – their good neighbor – the richest nation on earth – its radios and newspapers and movies spreading the story of America’s material wealth and surplus crops.

But instead of holding out a helping hand of friendship to the desperate people of Cuba, nearly all our aid was in the form of weapons assistance – assistance, which merely strengthened the Batista dictatorship – assistance which completely failed to advance the economic welfare of the Cuban people – assistance, which enabled Castro and the Communists to encourage the growing belief that America was indifferent to Cuban aspirations for a decent life…

Secondly, in a manner certain to antagonize the Cuban people, we used the influence of our Government to advance the interests of and increase the profits of the private American companies, which dominated the island’s economy. At the beginning of 1959 United States companies owned about 40 percent of the Cuban sugar lands – almost all the cattle ranches – 90 percent of the mines and mineral concessions – 80 percent of the utilities – and practically all the oil industry – and supplied two-thirds of Cuba’s imports.

Of course our private investment did much to help Cuba. But our actions too often have the impression that this country was more interested in taking money from the Cuban people than in helping them build a strong and diversified economy of their own.

The symbol of this shortsighted attitude is now on display in a Havana museum. It is a solid gold telephone presented to Batista by the American-owned Cuban telephone company. It is an expression of gratitude for the excessive telephone rate increase which the Cuban Dictator had granted at the urging of our Government. But visitors to the museum are reminded that America made no expression at all over the other events which occurred on the same day this burdensome rate increase was granted, when forty Cubans lost their lives in an assault on Batista’s Palace.

The third, and perhaps most disastrous of our failures, was the decision to give stature and support to one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression. Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years – a greater proportion of the Cuban population than the proportion of Americans who died in both World Wars, and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state – destroying every individual liberty.

Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror.

Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista – hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend – at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.

In October 1958 – just a few days before Batista held a rigged and fraudulent election – Secretary of State Dulles was the guest of honor at a reception held by the Batista Embassy in Washington. The reception made only the social pages in Washington; but it made Havana  headlines- and it was used by Batista to show how America favored his rule.

We stepped up a constant stream of weapons and munitions to Batista – justified in the name of hemispheric defense, when in fact, their only real use was to crush the dictator’s opposition…”

The pattern of early 20th Century US military invasions of developing countries for the economic benefits of controlling resources and profits of US corporations was explained in the testimony of the most decorated general in US Marine Corps history, Smedley Butler. Congress later invested the most damning of his charges and found them factually accurate: [52]

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes…

 

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

endnotes:

43 Hawaii Nation. The overthrow of the monarchy. Pitzer, P. May, 1994.

44 Library of Congress. The world of 1898: The Spanish-American War: http://www.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/1898/

45 Filipino.biz.ph. McKinley’s benevolent assimilation proclamation. Dec. 21, 1898.

46 True version of the Philippine Revolution. Aguinaldo, E. Chapter III: Negotiations.

47 Library of Congress. The world of 1898: Mark Twain. From the New York Herald: Oct. 15, 1900

48 The World Bank. The costs of corruption. April 8, 2004: http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20190187~menuPK:34457~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

49 George Washington University. The Philippines: the Marcos years: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/nsa/publications/philippines/philippines.html

50 Fordham University. Modern History Sourcebook: The Platt Amendment, 1901.

51 The Cuban Revolution of 1958 led to Congressional investigation and reports of the damning facts. Among many sources for details, Senator John Kennedy in a speech on Oct. 6, 1960: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Research/Ready-Reference/JFK-Speeches/Remarks-of-Senator-John-F-Kennedy-at-Democratic-Dinner-Cincinnati-Ohio-October-6-1960.aspx

52 From General Butler’s book and speeches on “War is a Racket”: http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/major_general_smedley_butler_usm.htm . For additional information: Examiner.com. Most decorated US Marine General: “War is a racket; profits in dollars. losses in lives”. Herman, C. March 6, 2010: http://www.examiner.com/nonpartisan-in-national/most-decorated-us-marine-general-war-is-a-racket-profits-dollars-losses-lives . For a two-minute video that includes General Butler’s filmed public statement from his Congressional testimony: Smedley Butler excerpt from the movie “The Corporation”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQoBAc95tnw

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, Nonpartisan Examiner

October 21, 2011 – Like this? Subscribe to get instant updates.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now. 4 of 6 – National Nonpartisan | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/nonpartisan-in-national/occupy-this-us-history-exposes-the-1-s-crimes-then-and-now-4-of-6#ixzz1bQXcbM4g

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  • Hey, give the 1% a break dude …

    They have decided not to drill in offshore deep water any more.

  • Carl Herman

    I have, dude. These are just the textbook highlights familiar to most Americans.

    And the neo-colonialism murders in Africa of today just continue the pattern of this article of overthrowing Hawaii, replacing the hapless Spanish to dominate the Philippines and Cuba after the Spanish American War, and the less-known looting General Smedley Butler discusses.

  • I was being sarcastic Carl (my link is proof).

    Officer Michael Daragjati had no idea that the FBI was listening to his phone calls. Otherwise he would probably not havehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/22/police-brutality-charges-us described his arrest and detention of an innocent black New Yorker in the manner he did.

    Daragjati boasted to a woman friend that, while on patrol in Staten Island, he had “fried another nigger”. It was “no big deal”, he added. The FBI, which had been investigating another matter, then tried to work out what had happened.

    (Guardian Link).