Ewell T. Otis

Bob Connelly
Language: English

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Album “Yankee Go Home: Songs of Protest Against American Imperialism”, Folkways Records.


Filippine, 1900. Massacro ad opera delle truppe statunitensi

Spazzati via i vecchi dominatori spagnoli, il presidente statunitense McKinley proclamò la “Benevolent Assimilation” delle Filippine… “Benevolent” una cippa! I filippini indipendentisti, riuniti nell’organizzazione segreta Katipunan e guidati dal leader Emilio Aguinaldo, avevano già combattuto gli spagnoli e si misero, giustamente, a combattere i nuovi padroni… I “benevolenti” americani li fecero letteralmente a pezzi e proprio nella guerra di “contrainsurgencia” nelle Filippine i generali americani, come Ewell Otis, perfezionarono strategie come il “search & destroy”, cioè l’annientamento di interi villaggi e della relativa popolazione civile, poi divenute note all’opinione pubblica durante la guerra in Vietnam e i conflitti in America Latina negli anni 60 e 70… Ma ai primi del 900 chi sapeva negli States e nel mondo che in tre anni i soldati yankee avevano ammazzato 16.000 filippini e 200.000 erano morti come conseguenza della fame e delle malattie portate dalla guerra?
Nel 1901 un altro generale, J. Franklin Bell, dichiarò al New York Times che un sesto degli abitanti dell’isola di Luzón (la più importante delle Filippine, quella della capitale Manila) era stato ucciso o era morto di fame o malattia a causa della guerra, ma che ciò era stato necessario perché “quella filippina è gente difficile ed astuta che va combattuta con le sue stesse armi”…

“By the terms of the treaty of peace with Spain, the United States purchased the Philippine Islands for $20,000,000. The Filipino people however, led by Emelio Aquinaldo, did not welcome the idea of becoming part of che United States. They had been fighting for years against their Spanish rulers so they just switched their hatred from Spain to the United States, and began to fight their American rulers.

By rising up against their American masters, the Filipino people brought down upon themselves more men, arms and destruction then had been used during the Spanish-American War. To combat the Filipino guerillas, the American forces, led by a series of generals - among them Generals Arthur MacArthur (the father or Douglas MacArthur} and Ewell T. Otis - instituted the first “search & destroy” missions of American foreign policy. Whole Filipino villages were razed to the ground on suspicion that they were harboring patriots, and two hundred thousand Filipino men, women and children were slaughtered in a three year war to install the United States as ruler of the Philippine Islands. In short, the American "liberators" took on all of the brutality and grotesqueness of the spanish "oppressors" - and all this was done in the name of freedom, democracy and peace.”

(nota introduttiva al brano dal libretto che accompagna l’album)
Let us not forget the name,
The dirty, filthy, shameful name,
Ewell T. Otis is the name,
That blots our Nation's history.

For Otis and his infantry,
Maimed and slaughtered savagely,
Two hundred thousand peasants dead,
Attest to Ewe1l’s bravery.

For all across the Philippines,
In crimson flowing sticky streams,
The blood of helpless human beings
Irrigate his memory.

McKinley honors Ewell's name,
And Teddy says he's not to blame,
My God!, he only killed some blacks,
And Hell! they're not the same!

These blacks they had the gall, you see,
To ask us for their liberty,
To ask us to their master's face,
But Otis put them in their place.

For all across the Philippines,
In crimson flowing sticky streams,
The blood of helpless human beings
Irrigate his memory.

We can't undo the evil done,
By Otis and his Springfield guns,
And yet we can repent, O Lord,
The horrors of this evil horde.

But let us make a solemn vow,
No matter what, no matter how,
Otis and his cursed name,
Shall not escape its hard earned fame.

Contributed by Alessandro - 2010/4/1 - 10:57

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