In this editorial the war is seen as prompting a change
in the ethnic understanding of association and creating
a civic version of US ethnicity.
However, as an article on 28 March demonstrates, the position
of The Irish-American was becoming less inclined
to question the logic of the war and began to support
US involvement. Neither editor encouraged the involvement
but they attempted to convince their readers that their
duties as Catholics were related to the responsibilities
of US citizenship.
We avail ourselves of this opportunity; however, to
call to mind our Catholic brethren that should war break
out between our Republic and Spain, we are obliged in
our conscience to be loyal to the flag- the Stars and
Stripes. It is the teaching of Catholic theology that
the government has a right, binding on the conscience
of its subjects, for their money and their arms in the
war against their foe. We trust after God and the intercession
of the Blessed virgin in the well-known peaceable disposition
of the American government and the American people, that
war may be averted. But should it come - Catholics, you
know your duty…
The article displays a double speak that could be interpreted
as pro-Spanish or pro-War and it is unclear whether their
duty as Catholics is to the other Catholic nation or to
US interests. A new anti-Spain rhetoric replaces their
previous sympathy as they call Spain ‘the wreck of a once
great nation’ (25 April 1898).
The Irish World did not undergo such a transformation
and was much more restrained in its support of the war.
The journalists remained respectful to the Spanish people.
However, like The Irish-American, they paid homage
to the ‘Irish boys’ such as the well-known sixty-ninth
Infantry Regiment of New York and other regiments that
were volunteering to go to war. On 7 May they dedicated
an entire page to the history of the Sixty-Ninth 
and reports on the ovation the regiment received as they
departed for Florida. Both newspapers emphasised that
the Irish that were fighting for the United States and
ostensibly for Cuban/Puerto Rican independence.
The Irish-American also highlighted the Irish
presence in the War and emphasised ideas of race and blood
and contended that Admiral Dewey, who played an important
role in the Philippines conflicts, was an Irishman.
Irish Strain in the American Blood appears to be again
asserting itself as it did in the early naval combats
of the Republic. The name of Admiral Dewey, of our fighting
navy, may have an unfamiliar appearance to some people,
but it is only the anglicized form of the old Irish Sept-name
of ODuaghtaigh which was one of those described by penal
law in the Old Land. (7 May 1898).
This emphasis on the Irish presence in the US armed forces
redefines the War as a US endeavour and not an Anglo one.
Dunne parodies this way of promoting the Irish presence
in the military and Mr. Dooley makes a more ironic claim
about Dewey’s Irish ancestry in his column called On
War Preparations. He tells Hennessey that “Cousin
George is all r-right” and when his friend questions him
about his cousin George he says “Dewey or Dooley, ‘tis
all th’ same. We dhrop a letter here an’there, except
the haitches, - we niver dhrop thim, -but we’re th’ same
breed iv fighting men. Georgy has th’ traits iv th’ family’(Green
of Dunne’s satire on the battles was directed at US generals
and parodied the ideas of masculine bravery portrayed
in The New York Journal and The New York
World. Dunne’s column on the invasion of Puerto Rico,
entitled General Miles’s Moonlight Excursion,
ridicules the entire invasion of Puerto Rico and depicts
a party-like atmosphere. Mr. Dooley pontificates on his
own inadequacies compared to the “brave” soldiers fighting
the war, comments on the velocity of the surrender of
the Puerto Rican people, and implies that the real reason
that US invaded the island was for capitalistic gain -
not the promotion of democracy. In the column, Mr. Dooley
explains the valiant efforts of General Miles, who led
the Puerto Rican invasion, to his friend, Mr. Hennessey.
He tells ‘Hinnissy’ that he would have liked to participate
in the military incursion. He also comments that the biggest
decision that the General and his soldiers had to make
was deciding where to eat, play croquette and how to dodge
the bouquets of flowers being thrown at them.
oh, dear,” said Mr. Dooley, “I’d give five dollars-an’
I’d kill a man f’r three - if I was out iv this Sixth
Wa-ard tonight, an’ down with Gin’ral Miles; gran’ picnic
an’ moonlight excursion in Porther Ricky. ‘Tis no comfort
in being a cow’rd whin ye think iv thim br-rave la-ads
facin’ death be suffication in bokays an’ dyin’ iv waltzin’
with th’ pretty girls of Porther Ricky. (Filler 1962:
Miles was one of Dunne’s favourite objects of satire because
of his self-aggrandising behaviour. Puerto Rican resistance
to the invasion was nominal and in Dunne’s columns the
officials appear as welcoming hosts, who ask to be taken
into a ‘gloryous an’well-fed raypublic’ (Filler 1962:
57). As they arrive, the young women throw flowers at
the troops and arrange a party in their honour.
the end of the “Excursion” sketch, Mr. Dooley reminds
Hennessy that there are monetary advantages to be gained
by the integration of Puerto Rico. He once again downplays
any notion that the United States is a liberating force.
The bartender also explains his view on the real results
of war when he quotes his version of General Miles’s first
speech to the Puerto Rican people:
will get ye’er wur-kin-cards from the walkin’ diligate.’he
says; ‘an ye’ll be entitled,’ he says; ‘to pay your share
iv th’ taxes an’ to live awhile an’ die whin ye get r-ready,
’he says; ‘jus th’ same as if ye was bor-rn at home, ’I
don’ know th’ names iv ye; but I’ll call ye all Casey,
f’r short. (Filler 1962: 56).
this speech the United States is transformed from a liberating
force into an imperial one and General Miles tells the
crowd that they have nothing to worry about because they
will be able to work and pay taxes just like all other
US citizens. He goes on to negate their Spanish, African,
and Caribbean ancestry by calling them all by an Irish
force of Dunne’s satire is that he appears to support
the war, yet he is criticising the real motivations of
the Generals and the US government.
so th’ war is over?’asked Mr. Hennessy.
part iv it,’ said Mr. Dooley. “The part that ye see in
the pitcher pa-apers is over, but the tax collector will
continue his part iv th’ war with relentless fury. Cal’vry
charges are not th’ on ’y wans in a rale war.”(58)
to Dooley, the spectacle of the war is over, but the most
important part has just begun. He knows that the island
will be taken over by the US and they will be forced to
pay taxes to a government that will not grant them the
same rights as citizens.