The battle at Manila last Saturday night and Sunday was not unexpected. In fact it was the long looked for which happened. It was a grave error on the part of the Filipinos. They had much to gain and nothing to lose by remaining quiet. Very few of our people even dreamed that they would have sufficient foresight, or that they were under such control as would lead to an appreciation of the advantage which would accrue to them by remaining peaceful. Events have shown that they not only had no appreciation of this but that their leaders actually counseled an outbreak.
Up to the present time our forces in the Philippines, so far as the Filipinos are concerned at least, have been acting simply as guardians of the peace. And although suffering great provocation, this purpose has been steadily adhered to. But while acting strictly as conservators of the peace, our forces have been deliberately and savagely attacked.
All has now been changed by the uncalled for outbreak of Saturday and Sunday. There will be no more parlying until the Filipinos have been taught the lesson which they must learn before they will be amenable to any other influences. There will be no running away from the responsibilities of the situation. The Filipinos will be whipped to a standstill. We have no option in the matter now. The leaders who have counseled the fight policy will be given all of it they want. Having had experience in hunting Indians, our forces know how to pursue the same tactics in the Philippines if need be. When the Filipinos have been convinced in this manner of the power of the United States, they will probably be in a more teachable mood.
They do not now understand that the United States will give them a better government than they can maintain for themselves and a higher degree of liberty. This they must be taught by dear experience.
Whatever the future policy of our government may be toward these islands, there will be no withdrawing now. The immediate task on hand of bringing about a settled condition of affairs by subduing the insurrection and setting up a stable authority to insure protection to life and property will require some time. No matter what the obstacles, we owe it to ourselves, to other nations and to the Filipinos to do this thoroughly and well. That our people possess the genius, the sense of right and justice and the power to do it none will doubt.