Nation, world better because Union won
April 29, 2008
I am impressed by the narrowness of mind and estrangement from reality of the letter writer who expressed his affection for the Confederacy and the Confederate flag in contemporary America. It is well to hold in high regard those who honorably fought for a cause in which they believed a hundred years ago. The same could be said about the soldiers of Hitler.
It is not that there is an equivalence of the moral basis for the two regimes. It is that the sacrifices made by the adherents of either were: a.) futile causes and b.) causes the world is better off that were futile when viewed through the prism of history (at least for the Confederacy).
Hitler’s cause had no claim to honor in purpose whether he had won or not. The Confederacy at least was amoral, being merely a difference of opinion about how to organize and sustain representative republican government (leaving out slavery for the sake of the letter writer’s narrow mindset).
Had Hitler won, the world would have entered a new Dark Age. Had the Confederacy won, Hitler and Japan might have won, there being no super government of the North American continent to confront them. It is that prism through which we and history judge the Confederate cause.
Confederate soldiers were honorable men. Their cause was merely amoral if slavery is overlooked. It is a blessing that their cause succumbed to the greater industrial power of the North, despite the stumbling leadership of Union generals and a backwater hayseed lawyer in his first executive job.
The world is lucky that Northern endurance won out over astuteness of leadership. Is there any lesson for the contemporary trial of wills in politics, warfare or diplomacy?
ROBERT C. BRENZEL Sr.
Lt. Col. U.S.A.F. (Ret.)