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The Year of Concentration Camps

Not really one year, but in reading history page I've been struck by a cluster of concentration camp tactics around 1899. The British are usually given invention 'credit', in the Second Boer War, rounding up Boer civilians. But Spanish General Weyler was doing it in Cuba in 1896, to fight Cuban rebels. Then in 1900 the USS responded to Filipino independence fighters with total war tactics and, guess what, concentration camps. Hundreds of thousands of civilians in both cases, many dying of disease or starvation. An official US line was "teaching hygiene", a soldier called them "the suburbs of Hell."

I suppose a common element is responding to guerrilla tactics.

The Philippines also saw mass torture and massacres by US troops, censored by General Otis, who also lied about Filipino tortures.

Problem with studying history is that much of it sucks.

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notthebuddha
Jul. 16th, 2013 09:09 am (UTC)
Problem with studying history is that much of it sucks.

yeah. I recall hearing a guy in NPR say that he and his colleagues referred to themselves as "atrocitologists", because so often the only reason in pre-modern history that quantitaive information was recorded was because it involved such incredible amounts of carnage that even the unenlightened ancients were impressed.
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