December 26, 2002
When the term "Republican" meant more than just a party affiliation...
The U.S. Historical Society wants to put a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederate States of America. And the Sons of Confederate Veterans are mad.
And, in other news, water is still wet.
But, on a serious note: It has always struck me as the highest form of revisionist history when modern-day Confederate sympathizers depict the North as a morally bankrupt agressor. After all, didn't the Confederacy shoot at Ft. Sumter first? More importantly, wasn't the entire foundation of the Confederacy predicated on the Southern states' desire to maintain their slave labor force? What's there to be proud of, when your ancestors made an immoral stand and then received a resounding ass-kicking for it? I look forward to the day when some prominent Southern politician publicly rebukes and renounces the heritage of the Confederacy.
Moreover, I'm curious to see if the upcoming Warner Bros. film, Gods and Generals, will have any commentary on the ethics of the Confederacy, or simply take the revisionists' favorite route of depicting the "War Between The States" as a mere philosophical disagreement that escalated out of anyone's control? We shall see.....
"Press The Button..."
You Presidential history buffs out there should know who Daniel Ellsberg is, even if you don't. In the late '60's, Ellsberg worked in the Pentagon under Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense for Lyndon Johnson and remained through the earliest days of Richard Nixon's administration. Ellsberg conducted reams of research on the impact & overall effectiveness of the Vietnam War, both from his desk and while dodging bullets in Indo-China. The end result of his research? The war is unwinnable, and the Presidents involved, going all the way back to Eisenhower, know it. When Ellsberg heard that Nixon planned on escalating the war to possibly thermonuclear levels, he resigned his post and, in a blatant violation of the law, published the contents of his research in the New York Times. The so-called "Pentagon Papers" were the first set of documents to illustrate in graphic detail that Presidents can make mistakes that cost the lives of American citizens, largely in the interests of "maintaining the prestige of the United States of America" (i.e. their own ego and self-image). Needless to say, in this snippet from The Atlantic Monthly, he has a few choice words of advice for our current commander-in-chief. As of two weeks ago, Ellsberg was sitting in a New York City jail after he and a few hundred religious leaders were arrested for protesting the pending war with Iraq in front of the American mission to the U.N.