Jewish World Review April 19, 1999 /3 Iyar 5759
NATO would have favored the confederacy
(JWR) ---- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com)
TO JUSTIFY MR. CLINTON'S MERRY LITTLE WAR, Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic -- who's unlikely to be mistaken for Father Christmas -- is
depicted as a monster to rival the century's most notorious ideological
killers. ("The Face of Evil,'' shrills the cover story in the April 19
Of what does Milosevic stand accused? Adopting brutal tactics to deal with
a rebellion? Abraham Lincoln did as much.
Milosevic is fighting the Kosovo Liberation Army to keep his nation intact.
Lincoln went to war with secessionists to preserve the Union, which was then
less than 100 years old. Kosovo has been Serbian since the 12th century.
Lincoln didn't just make war on the Army of Northern Virginia. The Union
Navy's blockade of Southern ports destroyed its trade and resulted in
shortages and suffering.
If C-SPAN had broadcast from the South 135 years ago, it would have shown
civilians in full flight, troops burning houses and crops, and widespread
William Tecumseh Sherman said, "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it,''
then proceeded to prove his maxim. The Union general captured and burned
Atlanta and Columbia, S.C., the latter out of pure spite.
On his march to the sea, Sherman cut a swath 60 miles wide. Fields were
stripped clean, houses were pillaged, almost every structure was burned to
the ground. Thousands were driven from their homes.
These terror tactics were designed to demoralize the Confederate home front
and hasten the war's end.
The devastation wasn't confined to Sherman's march. The beautiful
Shenandoah Valley, breadbasket of the Confederacy, was turned into a
wasteland. Ulysses Grant boasted that the valley would be picked so clean
that "crows flying over it for the balance of the season will have to carry
their provender with them.''
By the war's end, Southern agriculture and industry were in ruins. It's
estimated the South lost two-thirds of its total wealth.
Milosevic is said to be a tyrant who brutally suppresses dissent in
Yugoslavia. Lincoln threw men into jail for voicing their opinions.
As Lincoln historian David Herbert Donald explains, Lincoln "suspended the
privilege of the writ of habeus corpus throughout the country and authorized
the arbitrary arrest of any person 'guilty of any disloyal practice,
affording aid and comfort to the rebels against the authority of the United
This led to the imprisonment, without trial, of hundreds of Southern
sympathizers and anti-war activists, including newspaper editors and, in one
case, an ex-congressman. Our 16th president believed these extraordinary
measures were necessary to deal with an unparalleled crisis.
Lincoln insisted on unconditional surrender of the Confederacy and spurned
foreign offers to arbitrate. (No Rambouillet for him.) He knew Britain and
France would sacrifice American unity for peace and trade.
Just as the Serbs could give up Kosovo, Lincoln could have let the South go
its way. Instead, he plunged the nation into the bloodiest conflict in our
history. On both sides, 620,000 soldiers were killed.
Throughout the South, 4 percent of the population (soldiers and civilians,
free as well as slaves) died as a result of the war.
The analogy between the Civil War and the war in Kosovo breaks down, as
analogies must. There were no mass graves in Dixie. Then again, Robert E.
Lee and Jefferson Davis weren't drug-smuggling terrorists.
The foregoing is meant neither as an indictment of the Great Emancipator
nor an exoneration of Milosevic. Lincoln did what was necessary to preserve
the Union. America, the greatest force for good in this century, would have
been reduced to a basket case if the rebellion had succeeded.
Milosevic is unlikely to be mistaken for the man who urged "malice toward
none and charity for all.''
Still, the Serbs are fighting what amounts to a secessionist movement.
Assuming Milosevic is guilty of war crimes, his conduct doesn't negate the
Serbs' right to territory that constitutes 10 percent of their country and
contains one-third of its energy reserves.
Had NATO been around in the middle of the last century, to promote
stability in the Western hemisphere, Lincoln would have been forced to grant
the rebellious states autonomy for three years. Thereafter, Southerners
would have been free to determine their future.
Instead, the Land of Cotton Liberation Army was defeated. But Dixie had its
revenge. It gave us
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©1999, Creators Syndicate