Then and Now

Republican members of Congress, having voted for the Iraq war, now want to retreat leaving our dead in vain. They share the moral deficiency of some of their predecessors.

The last time (my ellipsis):

The encounter…between Medill and Lincoln started when a delegation comprising Medill and two other Chicagoans had gone to the war department to try to get Secretary Stanton to back off from drafting more men from Cook County (Illinois).

“I shall never forget,” Medill said of Lincoln, “how he suddenly lifted his head and turned on us a black and frowning face.

‘Gentlemen,’ he said, in a voice full of bitterness, ‘after Boston, Chicago has been the chief instrument in bringing this war on the country. The Northwest has opposed the South as New England has opposed the South.

It is you who are largely responsible for making blood flow as it has.

You called for war until we had it. You called for Emancipation, and I have given it to you. … Now you come here begging to be let off from the call for men which I have made to carry out the war you have demanded.

You ought to be ashamed of yourselves… Go home, and raise your 6,000 extra men.”

For all wars worth fighting require great steadfastness, and men who lack that quality should not become legislators.


2 Responses to Then and Now

  1. dearieme says:

    “…dead in vain”: the dead, I am sorry to say, are a sunk cost. Virtually the whole American political class (except, I gather, Baghdad Osama) should be ashamed of themselves for backing this foolish, rash war. In a symmetry of bad judgement, no doubt they will funk the next war that ought to be fought. It comes of electing two dud presidents in a row. Will they make it three?

  2. gandalf says:


    Same reasoning applies to WW2 – if the Brits had avoided electing a warmonger, left Hitler to build his own EU, & sent the Spitfires to Singapore, life would have been much easier for the Brits.

    For a while…

    Now I come to think of it, wasn’t this the thesis of a revisionist historian a few years ago?

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