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|If You Liked Saddam... You'll Love Lincoln! |
by The Southern Avenger
10 April 2006
It was on April 9, 1865 that Confederate General Robert E. Lee finally surrendered, thus ending the bloodiest war in American history. Less than a century after the Founding Fathers had rebelled against their British oppressors, the American government had become the new oppressor, squashing an army of Southern rebels whose only crime was taking the Constitution of their forefathers seriously. 141 years later, we stand today as a nation whose remembrance of this period is both simplistic and complex. On one hand we are to believe that Abraham Lincoln "saved" America, ended slavery and now has a special place in heaven second only to Jesus Christ Himself. On the other hand, we are supposed to ignore what a horrible person Lincoln was, the modern equivalent of which would be like giving Saddam Hussein a pass for successfully preserving a "unified" Iraq. In fact, the more I think about it, there's a pretty good case to be made that both men might end up as bunkmates in hell.
Like Hussein, Lincoln went to great lengths to suppress the opposition. While modern Americans have always been accustomed to having the first amendment, Lincoln had little use for any law protecting the right of the people to criticize their government. Writes author Thomas Dilorenzo "In May 1861 the New York Journal of Commerce published a list of 100 Northern newspapers that opposed the Lincoln administration. Lincoln ordered the army to shut them all down." Or as Lincoln said in his own words, in an order issued to General John Dix: "You will take possession by military force, of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce . . . and prohibit any further publication thereof . . . you are therefore commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison . . . the editors, proprietors and publishers of (those) newspapers." But where were all the lawyers and politicians who might have defended free speech, you might ask? Thousands of them found themselves in jail right along with their journalist friends for daring to criticize the Lincoln administration.
Although he never freed a single slave and held not-so-flattering views of blacks, many justify Lincoln's behavior because they believe his actions eventually helped free the slaves. While Saddam might have had a few politically-incorrect views himself, not to mention his sons' affection for raping young girls, Hussein also proved himself to be quite the progressive when his government gave women added freedoms and offered them high-level government and industry jobs.
In 1982, as retaliation for an assassination attempt, Saddam's security forces attacked the Iraqi city of Dujail, killing and executing up to 137 of its inhabitants, torturing or imprisoning 1500 more and burning 250,000 acres of farmland to a crisp. In 1862, as retaliation against troublesome Confederate sharpshooters, Lincoln's "main man" General Sherman began attacking innocent civilians. Sherman not only burned the entire town of Randolph, Tennessee, to the ground, but also began taking innocent civilians hostage who he would either trade for federal prisoners of war or execute them. Both Hussein's and Lincoln's war tactic of attacking innocent civilians remained constant throughout their reign of power. Author Jeffrey Hummel has estimated that in addition to the more than 600,000 American soldiers killed, upwards of 50,000 women, children, old men and other non-combatants were murdered by Lincoln's henchmen. Just last April, Hussein was charged with genocide against the Kurds, whose deaths are also estimated to be around 50,000.
That Saddam could be charged with genocide and Lincoln could be charged with greatness for doing essentially the same thing is perhaps the most poignant proof of the cliché that "history is written by the winners." The only real difference between Hussein and Lincoln was their choice of facial hair and that Lincoln never made it to trial. And while Saddam's ongoing trial is likely just a formality before he is executed, at least we can take heart that in the end, Abraham Lincoln got the punishment he deserved.