Posts Tagged 'pilipinos'

Imperialist History and Muslim Mindanao

AFP in Lanao del Sur, Mindanao

Michael Hawkins writes about U.S. imperialist history of Muslim Mindanao in the southern region of the Philippines.  He wrote that the Americans:

‘believed they could explore and conquer this space through translation: establishing correspondence could make the unknown and the strange knowable’. (Hawkins, 413)

In order to subjectify the Muslim regions the U.S. took part in an imperialist history for itself to justify its actions and also negotiated with area leaders and split up the region into different administrations and also classified the peoples among “biological” lines.

Many liberals in the United States also used Moro slavery as an excuse to invade and “civilize” Muslim Mindanao:

The problem, however, was that ‘slavery’ in the Philippines failed to conform to many of the Americans’ contemporary or historic notions of the institution.  (420)

But, at the same time, a complex servitude system in Mindanao:

risked compromising the Moros’ ‘primitiveness’ and the indefinite nature of the colonial project…(422)

Overall, this complex American imperialist history of Muslim Mindanao postulated:

imperialism as a necessary evil…address[ing] all of the inherently disruptive and disturbing aspects of imperial rule while simultaneously maintaining the accepted inevitability of historicist transition that legitimated colonial possession.  It was here, somewhere between the ‘ends’ and the ‘means’, that American imperialists in Mindanao and Sulu wrestled with their imperial subjects, and with themselves, over the meaning and consequences of imperial historicism. (428)

One can see a parallel with this and many liberals and conservatives in America wrestling with the issues of Iraq.  There are competing histories of the invasion, it was for oil, it was for power, it was did get rid of a tyrant, to empower the Shi’as, to spread democracy, etc.  One of the consequences is that even opponents of the war no see “a need” for America to stay in Iraq in order for the “inevitable historicist transition” of a freer Iraq to take place.

Oh, and by the way, the U.S. military is still occupying Mindanao after all these years.

Protestors

Source

Hawkins, Michael.  “Imperial historicism and American military rule in the Philippines’ Muslim south.”  Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 39, no. 3 (October, 2008): 411-29.


Archives

My Tweet Ramblings

  • RT @jfagone: Good news: San Francisco just announced they’re ramping up testing for the city’s healthcare workers and will open drive-thru… 2 days ago
  • RT @RadReflections: On this day in 1871, the Paris Commune first opened for official business. A brief blossoming of proletarian state pow… 1 week ago
  • Under capitalism, if your poor, you don't get access to water. "Almost 90 cities and states across the US have sus… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 2 weeks ago
  • RT @prwc_info: This is Macario Sakay. He fought alongside Andres Bonifacio against Spanish colonization and led the Philippine-American w… 4 weeks ago

My Internet Ramblings