Thursday, May 12, 1898

Yankees

I have met all sorts of Yankees and have seen how they work. One should not expect justice, prudence, or any kind of moderation or generosity from America. They have the same answer to everything: We have the dollar!, without suspecting the utter distaste this brings to the more noble and proud. And now, they will add: we have guns! With these two pronouncements, they will demand their right to everything that they covet. These Americans are as aggressive as the Germans! The Germans have always found a justification for their violent deeds, and the Yankees explain that their God on Capitol Hill expects obedience from a people whom he does not consider his equal. The South American republics will be their first victims, and then Europe could follow their destiny by relinquishing its responsibilities and allowing the United States a foothold on these islands.

The Cavite affair was a violent artillery war, all the cannons on one side aimed at their counterparts on the other side. The Americans fired almost 3,000 cannon shots, thus depleting their ammunition, a reckless strategy which showed very little skill. Yet, a reckless aim like theirs has a frightful effect on a weaker adversary which lacks the means to defend itself.

Before departing from Hongkong, the Americans hired English gunmen who had deserted their warships. This explains their accuracy in the Cavite affair. Their guns were manned by the “blue jackets.” Each deserted had been enticed by a monthly pay of $500, which is equal to an admiral’s salary. I still cannot accept this aggressive Anglo-Saxon behavior, if there is any truth to this incredible story. The English are to the Americans what the Prussians are to the Bavarians. Being a member of the same family, they can be envious of each other, but as soon as there is an adversary, they join forces immediately.

I must, however, verify this story. England will not exculpate itself as long as the United States prevails upon it. To state that the foreign office is not responsible for sailors who desert is absurd. An English gunman who wished to join the Spanish side would have been hanged rather than be allowed to leave Hongkong.

I believe it was Consul Williams who had full control of American trade reactions in the China Sea. Statues are erected in his honor, and indirectly, in honor of the navy, since the consul was a former officer of the fleet. Three dozen men of the same rank are spread out in different countries. Consul Williams, as well as the English consul, like a Roman publican, can be a dangerous tool.

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