Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare Secretary Root Approved this Policy
Yet Secretary Root approved all this. In his letter of May 7, 1902, to the president of the Senate,
he says that the orders of General Bell of December 8, December 9, and December 13, were
received by the department on January 17, 1902.
He says that these orders were "based upon," and
were in strict conformity both with the letter and spirit of these instructions,
the War Department saw no reason to doubt that the policy embodied in the above-mentioned
orders was at once the most effective and the most humane which could possibly be followed;
and so, indeed, it has proved,
since, as he says, the
guerilla warfare in Batangas and Laguna and the adjacent regions has been ended, the authority
of the United States has been asserted and acquiesced in, and the people who had been collected
and protected in the camps of concentration have been permitted to return to their homes and
resume their customary pursuits in peace.
Surely, an amazing sentence, when we remember that outside the camps their homes had been
burned, and their food and other property destroyed or carried away in great part, if not wholly.
Can such "devastation" as General Bell describes in his letter to General Wheaton be carried out
and any home worth having be left? Literally, history repeats itself; and the American Secretary
of War "makes a solitude, and calls it peace."
Secretary Root continues:
The War Department has not disapproved or interfered in any way with the orders giving effect
to this policy; but has aided in their enforcement by directing an increase of food supply to the
Philippines for the purpose of caring for the natives in the concentration camps.