Summery of Comments of Moro Massacre by Mark twain. On March 12th nineteen hundred and six (1906) Mark Twain, celebrated american writer made a work called comments of the Moro massacre. This work concerned the engagement of five hundred and forty (540) U. S Army men with auxiliaries and the Moro of the Philippines which where six hundred in number. The man leading the U. S armed force Major General Leonard Wood and the U. S soldiers were armed with the latest assault rifles and small fire arms of their time, and artillery.
The moro were villagers with clubs and other bludgeoning devices, machetes and crude muskets. The battle occurred in a crater. The moro were situated in the crater and american forces attacking, and the depth was fifty (50) feet. Before the battle began Major General Woods gave the command “Kill or capture the six hundred. ” The battle began with both sides exchanging fire and the americans adding artillery to the engagement while the moro throwing bricks as their projectiles. Mark Twain reintegrates Maj. Gen. Woods order to “kIll the savages. The battle was fought at a high pace and it ended in complete american victory. And Mark Twain remarks that the completeness of the victory was evident in that not one of the moro survived. The official report praised the troops with words like “heroism” and “gallantry” while morning the 15 soldiers lost and the thirty two men injured, but inadequately describing the nature of their injuries. The wounded were said to be scrapes on the elbow and nose. Mark Twain give comparisons of previous battles of the past in which there is only a small percentage of the two opposing forces losses.
The moro massacre on the other hand involved a considerable amount of women and children and all perished in the battle. Mark Twain called it “the greatest victory ever achieved by christian soldiers of the United States” What was more astonishing to Mark Twain was the lack of media coverage of the incident. Nothing is said of it until the following weekend when President Theodore Roosevelt, on march 10th, congratulated the soldiers for their success and keeping the honor of the american flag.
Mark Twain who was known to be familiar to presidents says that the president didn’t not speak from the heart and says there is nothing fantastic about killing men women and children from a safe place with artillery and modern weapons of warfare. News that confirms children were indeed involved is brought to america. Mark Twain calls it “splendid news” sarcastically. Mark Twain then says that there are emotions that surface with the mention of the word children. Despite that they are savages the children in any society represent the innocent and uncorrupted therefore they should not be subject to punishment.
The Moro rebellion was an of shoot of the Philippine-American war. The american armed forces had defeated the spanish in the naval Battle of Manila Bay. The spanish ceded the Philippines to the United States but never had control of the moro who lived in the Mindanao and surrounding islands. The U. s land about elven thousand troops and wanted to take the place of the spanish as colonial masters which brought about the phillipine-american war. During the war the main influence on the views of americans was the poem called “The White Man’s Burden” by Rudyard Kipling.
Kipling who was british but influenced americans by the latter taking his poem as a justification for imperialism. The poem also refers to non whites as “half devil and half child. ” It’s emphasis lay in the christianization and introduction of white or western values to non whites across the world. The moro where called that because it meant muslim in the Philippines. Not only were they non white but they were practicing a different religion. These conditions set up the attitude in which american armed forces conducted themselves.
This was epitomized in the moro massacre; the moro were inherently thought of as less than human and no quarter was given to them as those are rights human beings are given. This view was played out in the greater Philippines as there were numerous war crimes and atrocities committed against the Filipino people which include erection of concentration camps, “kill everyone over ten” orders, scorched earth tactics et. al. The rebels were also guilty of atrocities that they mated towards american soldiers. However the reason the moro massacre stands out is the resultant deaths of women and children.