THE PHILIPPINES: Destiny's Child

One hundred and one years ago, as the U.S. approached the Mexican War of 1846, a Democratic editor found a defiant and memorable phrase: "Manifest Destiny." The phrase fitted the temper of the times, and salved the country's conscience: the U.S. was not really hijacking California from Mexico. It was destiny.

Destiny went west. It gathered in Alaska by peaceful purchase, and Hawaii by annexation. But the real diamond of the Pacific, the Philippine Archipelago, was not for sale. It belonged to Spain, a backward oppressor. With a deep breath and a fierce...

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