Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Cost of Freeing Others

I was just thinking about the sacrifices of the American Civil War. These sacrifices were made by one people, ostensibly for another people. The question is, were the Northern losses worth the goal of freeing Southerners, black and white, from the vicious system that locked them both into a hopeless future? There were many Northerners who did not think so, with some justification. I'll let you guess how many died in that effort. Suffice it to say that there were mass burials of just amputated arms and legs.

It has been pointed out by many that more Americans soldiers died in a single day during the invasion at Normandy than have died in Iraq since the Invasion of Iraq commenced. There were also many Americans that doubted the need for World War II, but the doubts of most were swept away by the revelations of Auschwitz.

I think the Civil War comparison, though, is more apt, because of the temptation we all have to say that "those people" were just as happy with the system "they" had. "We" were happy before. Why did "we" have to interfere in "their" affairs? No one today says that about the Civil War, automatically thinking it was a good thing without reckoning the cost.

Tigerhawk has a very good and very thorough reassessment of the reasons and history behind the invasion of Iraq.

12/11/2005 11:30 PM

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2 Comments:

At Monday, December 12, 2005 2:35:00 PM, Blogger mal said...

should I make the argument for States rights and how the ability of a people to determine their own future was sadly over run in the war of Northern Agression?

Not likely. In the case of the civil war, it really was the failure of the constitutional convention to find equality before the law for all citizens that eventually led to the civil war. Slavery just happened to be the popular cause. It makes it no less worthy, it just was not the root.

I hope the Iraqi are able to learn from our mistake in their own constitution

 
At Friday, December 16, 2005 12:18:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

Union would have been impossible without that terrible compromise. In addition to that, people have only very slowly begun to recognize humanity in those who are different.

 

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