The Bastard Child

Re: my "opinion" ? -- Loquitur
Posted by CPMariner , Fri, Dec 29, 2017, 19:53:46 Post ReplyTop of ThreadReviews by CPMarinerFirst Amendment Message BoardMain site

I read your original post about the treatment of PR and responded with a (probably overlong) essay about it. Unfortunately, I hit the "mystery key" on the right side of this PC and it disappeared into cyberspace just when I was ready to post it. I was too lazy to try to rewrite it.

The essence of it, though, was agreement. Recapping just a couple of points...

Around the turn of the 19th/20th century, "empire" was in the air. The British empire was near its zenith, the French were rummaging around in N. Africa, and even the Germans were eyeballing parts of S. America.

My grandfather (a child of the 19th century) once told me that cracker barrel talk in the U.S. often came down to "We oughta get us an empire too!" It was a time when we were feeling our oats, and our "tails were up" (as the Brits would put it).

The notion of empire became popular in the U.S., and Spain - the "98 lb weakling of Europe" - looked ripe for the picking. The result was the Spanish-American War of 1898, from which we grabbed Puerto Rico, the Philippines ("You may fire when ready, Gridley") and... Guam. (Guam?? Yes, Guam.)

But there was no Colin Powell around in this days to caution us: "You break it, you own it," and when the smoke cleared we didn't really know what to do next. The appearance of empire was there, but the substance... not so much.

Following the Russo-Japanese War a few years later, it was clear that "ownership" of the Philippines didn't seem like such a bad idea as it became clear that Japan was the real McCoy in the Pacific. Same with Guam. But Puerto Rico? Hell, it's in the Caribbean, and already own the Caribbean. Just ask my Monroe.

So ever mind. Just set up a replacement government, treat it like a "sorta state" with "open borders" (with the mainland) for commercial purposes, and go on about our business.

We're good at that stuff. We fought a Civil War to (in part) free the slaves, freed the slaves, then said "Well, that's that" and didn't think much about it again for 100 years or so. Same with PR. After all, we freed the Puerto Ricans from the heavy hand of Spain, so... that was that. One and done.

And why should we worry about natural disaster troubles down there? After all, Trump clarified the situation beautifully. It's an island. It's got water all around it!

(Make a note of that ;-)


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