View single post by naakke
 Posted: Mon Jul 17th, 2006 07:56 pm
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naakke
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Joined: Mon Jul 17th, 2006
Location: Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania USA
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As a budding historian, I have always tried to stay very objective when dealing with topics such as war crimes during various periods of history.  We cannot forget that everything written has a bias of some sort.  Some bias is more apparent than others, but it is always there.

Please note that as I write this, I am not a Union apologist.  My people rode with Morgan in '63 and sat out the war in Camp Douglas and Lookout Point.

It is a tricky minefield of emotion when we start pointing fingers of accusation about the assaults on civilians in war.  I have never yet had a conversation no matter how tame or heated about this that did not bend greatly on the matter of perspective.  Very, very few people would say that the Nazi political machine was not guilty of grotesque atrocities against mankind.  But how many civilians did the British bombers kill during WWII.  The US bombers with their attempt at precision bombing at least were trying to focus on industrial and military targets, but the Sir Arthur Harris set out to "dehouse" Germany.  This is fully supported by his own writings.

So, from one perspective, we can feel that Sherman was a monster for what he did to the South, but I cannot see how you can seperate the deeds and motives of Sherman from several other leaders in history that we may be more sympathetic to.  It bends on perspective.  While blatantly obvious and true that the Union soldiers committed personal acts of barbarism, I feel that it would be very very difficult to identify any army in history that did not have cases such as this.  I support our troops in Iraq to the core of my soul, but my dearest friend upon returning has confided in me that some of our soldiers over there are just plain mean and like to hurt people and break things. 

I think a responsible commentator needs to be able to honestly apply a standard across a wide spectrum of situations including ones that may darken the image of someone or some organization that they support.

 

Just my coppers.....

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