Didn’t find a good window to drop this earlier, but given recent news, there’s probably not a rigid freshness date for a little anti-RWNJ rant. In Pando, the War Nerd at his finest:
KUWAIT CITY, Nov. 20th — There are times when the sheer ignorance and ingratitude of the American public makes you sick.
This week marks the 150th anniversary of Sherman’s March from Atlanta to the Sea, which set off on November 16, 1864—the most remarkable military campaign on the 19th century, the campaign which got Lincoln reelected, broke the back of the Confederacy, and slapped most of Dixie’s insane diehards into the realization they were defeated.
You’d think our newspaper of record, the New York Times, would find an appropriate way to mark the occasion, but the best the old Confederate-gray lady could come up with was a churlish, venomous little screed by an obscure neo-Confederate diehard named Phil Leigh. Leigh poses a stupid question: “Who Burned Atlanta?” and comes up with a stupider answer: “Sherman, that bad, bad man!”
Leigh actually thinks he’s fixing blame—blame!—for Sherman’s perfectly sensible, conventional action, the burning of a major rail center in his rear before setting out unsupported across enemy territory.
What next? Will the NYT dig up some crusty tenth-generation Tory sulking in the suburbs of Toronto to ask, “Who Killed All Those Innocent Redcoats on Bunker Hill?” Or a sob story by the Imperial Japanese Navy’s last surviving sailor asking, “Who Sank All Our Carriers?”
Leigh’s silly article could only work on totally ignorant readers, or on his fellow tenth-generation sulkers brooding about what went wrong circa 1863. And the funny side of that is that Sherman, more than anyone else in U.S. history, devoted his life to trying to slap these Dixie dreamers into waking up and thinking like grown-ups…
What Southern romanticists like Leigh will never get—because it’s their very nature not to get it, just as a paranoid schizophrenic can never get that no one is persecuting him—is that Sherman’s whole military enterprise was an attempt to stop the slaughter by slapping the South into adulthood. From way before the war, when Sherman was a professor at a military academy in Louisiana, his attitude toward the South’s Planter culture was like a fond uncle watching his idiot nephew stumbling into a fast car, planning to drive drunk into the nearest tree.
Sherman tried to tell these idiots, over and over, that they were stupid and deluded. He wasn’t even going to debate the non-existent justice of their cause like Grant, who rightly called the Confederacy “the worst cause for which men ever fought.” Sherman, who was a much more analytical, intellectual man than Grant, focused on the fact that the South—the white, wealthy South, that is; the only one that mattered—was wrong. About everything. Every damn thing in the world. But most of all about its childishly romantic notions about war…