I’m going to turn to contemporary events in this post, and talk about politicians rather than historians.  Historians have a challenging enough job revising history as new information emerges. Increasingly they have a tough time doing that in the face of the establishment political structures which are in place to some extent at University level but much more in regard to American High Schools – where history textbooks have become a primary tool of creating a history that is palatable to the power structures that manage to control appointments to the school book committees (Texas being a huge influence in that regard but more recently Colorado being an example of how bad things can get in that regard).  If you think I’m exaggerating just check into how many bills have been introduced in State legislatures to do away with advanced history in high schools because teachers might just be opening up to0 many doors for some people’s comfort.  My own state, Oklahoma is a prime example.

I’ve blogged on all that before here so instead let me turn to contemporary politicians  and select as an example the recently elected President of the Philippines. At the moment he is demanding that all American advisory forces depart the southern islands in his nation because they are responsible for the fundamentalist Muslim insurgency there – well actually he goes a bit further and blames that on the American occupation after the Spanish American war. If the American’s would just stop interfering in his country there would be no  problem.  Check the following link if you are not aware of this story:


Now while attitude may be true in more than one instance, it just so happens that the Muslim insurgencies throughout the western Pacific go back decades, and indeed centuries – provably traceable to locals attending and being trained in Saudi fundamentalist madrassahs.  I’ve blogged on that before, citing sources tracing insurgencies and waves of terror back into the seventeen and eighteen hundreds.

The thing is, President Duterte should well remember that the insurgency on those islands in modern times predated the arrival of any American advisors…in fact the insurgents were taking prisoners, and either raising a large war chest though hostage payoffs or just beheading them. Perhaps Duterte also has forgotten that the first major al Qaeda terror attack (the Bojinka plot) against America was organized in the Philippines; if it had not been interdicted the attack would have killed as many Americans as that of 2001 – and Bojinka came out of Manila, not the southern islands.

The Philippines requested American assistance in the years following the attacks of 2001 and the U.S. complied – sending in a small JSOC force in 2002; it maintained a very low profile and in working with the local military carried out one of the most effective programs to date against fundamentalist terror groups. I discuss that in Chapter 27 of Shadow Warfare.

Perhaps the most difficult thing about all of this is that its hard to tell if Duterte just doesn’t know all this and is not interested in finding out or if he is simply and effectively playing demagogue, telling people what they want to hear…?    What I do know is that when any politician shows no sense of understanding history, and tells the crowds just what they want to hear whether its true or not…. any nation is entering very dangerous waters with them in charge.  The other thing I know is that when those making national security decisions don’t know history, they will make mistakes and the rest of us will suffer the consequences. Been there, seen that.


About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

4 responses »

  1. Carter Dary says:

    Hi Larry,

    For my M.Div. I had to write a paper on Mohammad and the Muslim faith. It was NOT a non violent religion from the start. His brother road throughout the region demanding people convert or he would “smite” them as infidels. Meaning, he’d cut their heads off—it worked and he converted many Tribesmen. It should be remembered that the region was largely tribal then and had Mideast roots where in Women had rules of life which were unforgiving. The OT is a great source for the rules of that region. And yes, there was much violence then and now. I am fed up with the excuses put forth by modernists visa-vie Muslim religion.

    Sorry, but fed-up, Carter

    • Carter, I’m making no statement about the religion in general, my remarks were entirely in regard to the teachings of the Saudi schools I noted and their long term impact on the Philippines. On the other hand, and in concurrence with you, I’m afraid that anyone who is not familiar with the violent evangelical practices advocated by those schools needs to do some education for themselves. As I developed in Shadow Warfare, it was our enabling of them along with the Pakistani’s and Saudi’s as part of our funding and organization of the insurgency against the Soviets in Afghanistan that got us into the horrible situation we find ourselves in now.

      I should also add this is why Stu and I decided to use the term “jihadi warfare” since it very specifically refers to individuals who act as a part of a violent religious crusade against the the west and western culture in general, which is the jihad that bin laden and his associates declared.

  2. Greg Kooyman says:

    Saudi Arabia is also behind printing grade school books that promote hatred of Christians and, these books are also exported around the world for the muslim faith. there is an excellent British documentary on Netflix that shows what life is really like in Saudi Arabia.
    Very eye opening and worth a look.

  3. Anthony Mugan says:

    Thanks for another interesting article.
    Over here in the UK we hear a lot of attempts by various groups to censor science education in the USA but I hadn’t realised the same thing was going on in terms of history as well.
    Sure, this sort of thing has been done and continues to be done by totalitarian regimes but this sort of thing is a fundamental threat to a democratic and open society, which depends upon an informed citizenry.
    I think it was after the Great Reform Act in 1868 that one peer over here in the UK commented ‘now we must educate our masters’ in response to the extension of the franchise. Recent developments on both sides of the Atlantic highlight that that issue remains a major issue, and this censorship is insidious and dangerous.

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