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Lessons From the People of the Philippines

March 07, 1986

Almost 90 years ago, U.S. troops occupied the Philippines. The Philippine people were derisively referred to as "our little children." One of our objectives was to teach these "children" democracy. During World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines promising freedom and democracy. After the war, the United States established a democratic government before withdrawing.

When Ferdinand Marcos usurped and corrupted the democratic process in the Philippines, the United States turned a blind eye. America flouted its own democratic principles by ignoring the growing unrest against the Marcos regime.

But, thankfully, in 1986 the Philippine people taught the U.S. government a few things about democracy. Chief among them was the government's responsibility too, and dependence on, the people. It is a wonderful thing to see "our children" all grown up, and able to teach us the fundamental principles of democratic government.

DAN HAZELWOOD

Redlands

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