For personal reasons I've been remiss not to post this sooner. Without further ado, here is Gary Brecher, aka the War Nerd, at his best. I admit it, I love his sentiments [emphasis mine]:
Sherman was trying, in everything he did, to wake these idiots from their delusion. That’s why they hate Sherman so much, 150 years after his campaign ended in total success: Because he interrupted their silly and sadistic dreams, humiliated them in the most vulnerable part of their weird anatomy, their sense of valorous superiority. Sherman didn’t wipe out the white South, though he could easily have done so; he was, in fact, very mild toward a treasonous population that regularly sniped at and ambushed his troops. But what he did was demonstrate the impotence of the South’s Planter males.
And here's what Sherman said of himself at the time in his "Letter to Atlanta," quoted by Gary:
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country…“The only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.“You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that live by falsehood and excitement; and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters, the better. I repeat then that, by the original compact of government, the United States had certain rights in Georgia, which have never been relinquished and never will be; that the South began the war by seizing forts, arsenals, mints, custom-houses, etc., etc., long before Mr. Lincoln was installed, and before the South had one jot or tittle of provocation. I myself have seen in Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, hundreds and thousands of women and children fleeing from your armies and desperadoes, hungry and with bleeding feet…But these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success.”
And then there's this golden nugget of truth from Gary, still apropos today, (I'm thinking of Ferguson, MO and many, many other places...):
Of course, this is all lost on the Phil Leighs of the world, who—for reasons that cut deep into the ideology of the American right wing—always take burnt houses too seriously, and dead people far too lightly. To them, burning a house is a crime, while shooting a Yankee soldier in the eye is just part of war’s rich tapestry.
Unlike most other "Northerners" today who don't give the Civil War a thought, I am so, so glad that we beat the Confederacy and preserved the Union, aka the United States of America, and sent those pompous Foghorn Leghorns home in caskets or with their traitorous tails between their legs. I tip my hat to Sherman, Grant, et al and the 300,000 truest American patriots who ever lived and kept the USA the USA by facing down and defeating the greatest existential threat we ever faced: our meaner, more prideful selves.
By Gary Brecher
November 20, 2014 | Pando Daily