April 8, 2006

War Nerd on analogies of Iraq to the American Civil War:

Gary Brecher writes:

The most common stupid parallel is to the US Civil War, especially the gloom Northern voters felt just before the 1864 election, which is supposed to remind us that there are always quitters who lose their nerve just when victory is about to dawn...

People won't face the fact that guerrilla war is dirty by design. That's the whole idea: making the occupier so sick of you, so disgusted with what you do to him, and what he has to do to you, that he'll just go home. That's what happened to the French in Algeria, the Israelis in South Lebanon, and us in Nam. The idea of guerrilla war is as simple and horrible as eye-gouging: the locals care more about the place than the occupier, so they'll outlast him, out-atrocity him....

You know, that's what keeps shocking me: how these bastards, who are supposedly so American and patriotic, don't think twice about smearing the magnificent soldiers who manned both sides from 1861-1865 with these dirty kid-killing militias in Iraq. It just confirms what I've thought from day one: these people don't care about America, never did.

I grew up studying the Civil War, dreaming of all the great battles, staring at those great paintings of Gettysburg for hours. It was maybe the only war in history where the noble ideal of soldiering actually worked: those men fought like demons on the battlefield but were almost always decently behaved, even polite, with civilians.

Federal commanders who treated locals as the enemy, like Fremont in Missouri, were relieved of their commands, fast. And when Lee marched into Pennsylvania, his soldiers showed the same decency to their fellow Americans, even though the poor bastards were starving. They hit Gettysburg hoping to scrounge up some shoes, but as far as they could, they tried to pay for what they commandeered.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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