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The Bud Dajo Massacre and the Savage Way of War - 5 October 2022

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Speaker: Professor Kim A Wagner, Professor of Global and Imperial History at Queen Mary, University of London

Professor Kim Wagner will examine the Bud Dajo Massacre which was carried out by US military forces in the southern parts of the Philippines in 1906. While the US forces suffered 21 dead and 73 wounded, there were no survivors among the Moros, as the local Muslim population was known – at least 1000 local men, women and children were killed.

The massacre at Bud Dajo rightfully belongs in the same category of historical atrocities as Wounded Knee in 1890 or the better-known My Lai Massacre of 1968. In terms of the numbers of victims, it is arguably the biggest massacre in American history. Yet while Wounded Knee and My Lai have become emblematic of American atrocities during the Indian Wars and Vietnam War, respectively, Bud Dajo has been largely forgotten.

Crucially, the Bud Dajo Massacre was not just an American atrocity but an event that reflected much broader patterns of mass violence at the intersection of settler-conflicts and colonial warfare – what Professor Wagner conceptualise as ‘The Savage Way of War’.

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