Iraq and The USA,circa 1863

I was watching the movie called, "The Blue and The Gray" a few days ago and it finally came to the part where Lincoln began to give his Gettysburg Address. As it began, I wasn't paying too much attention, but then he came too the end of the second paragraph, and then the third paragraph, both copied below. Read it closely and imagine it applying to Iraq. Lincoln was dedicating a cemetary. []are my additions. ()are used to delete his words.

"For those who here gave their lives [so] that (the)[this] nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground [called Iraq]. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought so nobly advanced. It is for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God shall have a new birth of freedom; and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
So with this post I am sure to have pissed off a lot of people for daring to equate our Civil War with a country where we are trying to avoid one from beginning. Read it again sentence by sentence and I can't believe that anyone could be "put out" by it. It is striking to me that seven score and two years ago, what someone said applies EXACTLY to what is going on today. TIFN


Sam said...

I don't think anyone would be "pissed" about that, Everett. It was a little awkward but heck, the feeling was genuine and it was there.

To me, an interesting parallel would be the Battle of Tripoli (1801-1805). This was the first "unconventional" international war. If you remember, the US Navy and US Marines eventually whupped some major butt against the Barbary Pirates that insisted on thousands of dollars in tributes and bribes.

During the battle (not a war), Thomas Jefferson suffered some humiliating losses, such as the capture of the frigate Philadelphia. Sound familar now?

But our nation triumphed and there are some memorable quotes there, too. The Europeans continued to pay the Barbary tributes and bribes until 1830. Um, sounding familiar again, Everett? Things don't really change much over time, do they?

Ex-Manissean said...

The election of 1864 was similar in many ways to 2004. The anti-war democrats and press were doing their best to convince the North that the war was a 'quagmire' which in some ways by 1864 it was. Tens of thousands of coffins coming home with no major territorial gains, a vocal and sometimes violent anti-war faction of the democrats, nicknamed the 'copperheads' caused Abe to suspend habeas corpus so that the more treasonous of the copperheads could be thrown in prison without charges for the duration. (makes the patriot act look like a walk in the park). The draft was started about this time which ignited very bloody rioting (the New York draft riots are covered in some detail in the movie 'Gangs of New York'). Also a good point about the Barbary Pirates Sam.

Sam said...

Hey Ex-Manissean, you mentioned "Democrats" and that caught my attention. My understanding is that much of the North was solidly Republican and that the democratic influences were from the South. More to the point, northerners were more on the Federalist ticket and the southerners were on the "state's rights" ticket. That's why Jefferson Davis, President of the South and a democrat, defended state's rights against the aggression from the North.

It is interesting that in the Gingrich "Republican Revolution" now the South is almost solidly Republican and the North is equally Democratic.

A little irony there is you see it.