Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Someone got it horribly wrong

For several reasons, including generally lousy schooling and "news" coverage, most people today see Abraham Lincoln as some kind of saint and forget he was a politician. (For a very different view, see
"Mrs. Sheehan's protest," an editorial in the Free Press, edition of Tuesday, 16 August, quotes a letter over Lincoln's signature, dated 1864, to a widow, Mrs. Lydia Bixby, saying in part, "... you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle."
The editorial writer treads gently, mentioning that apparently there were actually two sons who "died gloriously" and one or possibly two who had deserted, although one of them might have died as a prisoner of war. The fifth was honorably discharged.
He also mentions that Mrs. Bixby "was a Confederate sympathizer who disliked President Lincoln."
There is a lot of irony in the story of the letter, but the editorial tries to make this point: "But sadness over the loss of life has never justified surrender of American purpose to the enemies who have killed them."
Perhaps it should, though.
More, what is the "American purpose" of the invasion of Iraq?
During the Clinton years and earlier, Republicans and conservatives continuously shrieked, "The United States cannot be the world's policeman!"
The invasion of Iraq has been rationalized by several proffered reasons, one succeeding another as one after another has been shown to be not true. Knee-jerk supporters of President Bush and/or the Republican Party have dutifully swallowed and regurgitated each, no matter that one contradicts another.
The editorial's last sentence, "But there is no cause for surrender in any degree to our terrorist enemies," is one example.
The "terrorist enemies" who now are attacking U.S. military people, as well as Iraqi police and, worst of all, Iraqi civilians, including children, weren't doing so until the U.S. invasion.
A secular Saddam Hussein, called "an infidel" by Osama bin Laden, might have given various kinds of support to terrorists, but I haven't seen any proof of it.
It's awfully easy to sit in plush offices in Washington, D.C., suffering no other hardships than traffic jams, miffed constituents, and slow waiters at the expensive air conditioned eateries, or in the more austere editorial offices in various "news"papers around the country, and urge on to "glory" young American men and women sweltering in the Iraqi desert.
But there is no "glory" in death.
There is no "glory" in war.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:20 PM

    You are right: There is no "glory," there is only death and destruction.
    Politicians seem to lie as a matter of course, but why so many others accept the lies and why they repeat them and, worse, amplify them is something I don't understand.
    Please keep up the good work.
    Sarah Jane Moffett