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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Landing at Leyte -- After Fifty Years


For one who would like to see U.S. relations with the Philippines democratic in form and content, the landing of General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte in October 1944 inspires feelings that are decidedly ambivalent. On the one hand the landing signifies the defeat of Japanese rule in the Philippines, and so can be seen as an important link in the global victory over the fascist axis. So much is positive. But in moving from a consideration of the general and global meaning of the event to its more particular and local significance for the Philippine people, the picture becomes darker, more negative. Viewed from this standpoint the MacArthur landing bears a striking resemblance to an earlier U.S. military incursion in Philippine affairs, Admiral George Dewey’s entry into Manila Bay in 1898.

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