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Were Confederate soldiers terrorists?


UFCCagerattler

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Good question.

 

Were Confederate soldiers terrorists?

By Roland S. Martin, CNN Political Analyst

 

 

(CNN) -- Based on the hundreds of e-mails, Facebook comments and Tweets I've read in response to my denunciation of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's decision to honor Confederates for their involvement in the Civil War -- which was based on the desire to continue slavery -- the one consistent thing that supporters of the proclamation offer up as a defense is that these individuals were fighting for what they believed in and defending their homeland.

 

In criticizing me for saying that celebrating the Confederates was akin to honoring Nazi soldiers for killing of Jews during the Holocaust, Rob Wagner said, "I am simply defending the honor and dignity of men who were given no choice other than to fight, some as young as thirteen."

 

Sherry Callahan said that supporting the Confederacy is "our history. Not hate; it's about heritage and history."

 

Javier Ramirez called slavery evil, but prefaced his remarks by saying that "Confederate soldiers were never seen as terrorists by [President Abraham] Lincoln or U.S. generals on the battlefield. They were accorded POW status, they were never tried for war crimes. Not once did Confederate soldiers do any damage to civilians or their property in their invasion of the north. The same is not true of Union soldiers."

 

Realskirkland sent me a Tweet saying, "Slavery is appalling, but was not the only reason for the CW [Civil War]. Those men, while misguided on some fronts stood up for what they felt was right. They embodied that American ideal that the states have a right to govern themselves. THAT is what a confederate soldier stood for."

 

If you take all of these comments, don't they sound eerily similar to what we hear today from Muslim extremists who have pledged their lives to defend the honor of Allah and to defeat the infidels in the West?

 

When you make the argument that the South was angry with the North for "invading" its "homeland," Osama bin Laden has said the same about U.S. soldiers being on Arab soil. He has objected to our bases in Saudi Arabia, and that's one of the reasons he has launched his jihad against us. Is there really that much of a difference between him and the Confederates? Same language; same cause; same effect.

 

If a Confederate soldier was merely doing his job in defending his homeland, honor and heritage, what are we to say about young Muslim radicals who say the exact same thing as their rationale for strapping bombs on their bodies and blowing up cafes and buildings?

 

If the Sons of Confederate Veterans use as a talking point the vicious manner in which people in the South were treated by the North, doesn't that sound exactly like the Taliban saying they want to kill Americans for the slaughter of innocent people in Afghanistan?

 

Defenders of the Confederacy say that innocent people were killed in the Civil War; hasn't the same argument been presented by Muslim radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places where the U.S. has tangled with terrorists?

 

We can't on the one hand justify the actions of Confederates as being their duty as valiant men of the South, and then condemn the Muslim extremists who want to see Americans die a brutal death. These men are held up as honorable by their brethren, so why do Americans see them as different from our homegrown terrorists?

 

The fundamental problem with extremism is that when you're on the side that is fanatical, all of your actions make sense to you, and you are fluent in trying to justify every action. Every position of those you oppose is a personal affront that calls for you to do what you think is necessary to protect yourself and your family.

 

Just as radical Muslims have a warped sense of religion, Confederate supporters have a delusional view of what is honorable. The terrorists are willing to kill their own to prove their point, and the Confederates were just as willing in the Civil War to take up arms against their fellow Americans to justify their point.

 

Even if you're a relative of one of the 9/11 hijackers, that man was an out-and-out terrorist, and nothing you can say will change that. And if your great-great-great-granddaddy was a Confederate who stood up for Southern ideals, he too was a terrorist.

 

They are the same.

 

As a matter of conscience, I will not justify, understand or accept the atrocious view of Muslim terrorists that their actions represent a just war. They are reprehensible, and their actions a sin against humanity.

 

And I will never, under any circumstances, cast Confederates as heroic figures who should be honored and revered. No -- they were, and forever will be, domestic terrorists.

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The South will rise again! :P seriously though good read,and no I don't think they were terrorist. They felt they where gona have somthing they lived for for years taken from them all though in every right slavery should have been abolished. In there eyes though it was gona be a major hit to their way of life, so they fought for it tooth and nail. thats what being Free is about IMO fighting for what you believe in.

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The South will rise again! :P seriously though good read' date='and no I don't think they were terrorist. They felt they where gona have somthing they lived for for years taken from them all though in every right slavery should have been abolished. In there eyes though it was gona be a major hit to their way of life, so they fought for it tooth and nail. thats what being Free is about IMO fighting for what you believe in.[/quote']

 

As true as this statement may be. Fighting for freedom by fighting for slavery is ironic don't you think?

 

I say you could regard them as terrorists as they were directly trying to ruin the lives of africans. If Osama took 300 Americans and used them as slaves that would be an act of terrorism right? I know it is a different context but at the end of the day it's the same deed.

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The south probably thought the north were terrorists.

 

Certainly the way the south was treated after the war was terrorism. Almost complete lawlessness and wanton destruction of people and property - all in the name of the slave I suppose.

 

shermans march to the sea could be judged as terrorism :

 

wiki-alert :

Sherman's March to the Sea is the name commonly given to the Savannah Campaign conducted across Georgia during November-December 1864 by Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman of the Union Army in the American Civil War. The campaign began with Sherman's troops leaving the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia on November 15 and ended with the capture of the port of Savannah on December 21. It inflicted significant damage, particularly to industry and infrastructure (as per the doctrine of total war), and also to civilian property. A military historian wrote that Sherman "defied military principles by operating deep within enemy territory and without lines of supply or communication. He destroyed much of the South's potential and psychology to wage war."

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Some people in the Middle East probably think that all Americans are terrorists.

 

MusicizaD0uchebag is a prime example of those types of people. It's all a matter of opinion. I used to be a soldier, and even though my military career was dedicated to being selfless and helping wherever help was needed, I'm sure someone would twist it out to make me some devil worshiping, oppressive, immoral criminal.

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It's certainly an interesting viewpoint.

 

However, the actions of the Confederacy when compared to Muslim extremists are completely different.

 

The Confederacy had no intention of starting a war with the Union. All they wanted was to be able to govern themselves and live in a manner that they understood. Yes, this did include slavery.

 

Muslim extremists, although wanting the same, are actually violent. The Confederacy never actually attacked the Union. Historically, the only time they attacked was during the battle at Gettysburg. Before that, the Confederacy was defending itself from attacks by the Union army. Whereas Muslim extremists don't play defensively. They find the first crowed civilian area and cause as much death and destruction as possible.

 

The Confederates weren't exactly terrorists. They were, in a sense, Southern Freedom Fighters who only wanted a way of life that could be governed by them. Had Lincoln not gotten all worked up and declared war, it might have been avoided entirely. But the Confederates wouldn't directly attack civilians just to get what they want. The only fighting they did was against the Union armies.

 

I'm not saying slavery is okay. It is wrong. But when you kinda look at it a little deeper, comparing the Confederates to Muslim terrorists doesn't seem an apt comparison.

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Being from Alabama i know my civil war/civil rights movement stuff(or so i think at least lol)

 

Theres a few misconceptions about the Civil War as well as a few theories.

 

The Civil war wasnt not enitrely started because of slavery, it had alot to do with Southern States being denied their constitutional rights(beleieve it or not) to run their home state as they pleased(which slavery was the major sub-category)

 

The freeing of slaves did not end the exploitment of african-americans. They were paid very minimal amounts of money for their work, and many ended up as tenenants who lived in the former slave baracks and worked for food(or legal slavery). They were also treated more harshly because whites didnt like the whole freedom thing to say the least.

 

The reason the war started was actually the Norths fault. Alot of Southern Officals were willing to phase out slavery gradually so the economy of the South wouldnt be destroyed. However the North decided the immediate abolishment of slavery was the best course of action, which in turn ended in the destruction of the Souths economy. Also the North was trying to scheme around an agreement between free and slave states with newly established states being considered a slave or free state(Missouri was a major one).

 

 

Imo What they did was a way to harsh a punishment because afterall the South is part of the US...

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They were paid very minimal amounts of money for their work' date=' and many ended up as tenenants who lived and worked for food(or legal slavery). [/quote']

 

yes they lived very equal to the white trash that was brain washed into fighting for the south, 99% of those who fought for the south didnt even own slaves, coulkd barely afford to put food on their tables, and lived only better than slaves in the sense that they didnt get whipped every day by some ****** bag old white guy. The very ****** bags that they were fighting for were also holding them down, wow! big surprise! just like today! lol! There is a new name for this white trash they are called t-baggers and conservatives, and they believe every dumb piece of crap they here off of the FOX entertainment news channel, they are just as ignorant, blind, and taken advantage of as their granddaddies of a hundred years ago, **** the confederacy they tried to break up this country! Its great that they fought and died the failures that they were, but unfortunately we still have to live w their bigotry...

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I don't really get how one group can call another "terrorists", when the very group they support are/were terrorists in a sense. The Union Soldiers during the civil war were terrorists, they raped southern women and burned down peoples homes.To Iraqis, American soldiers could be terrorists. Gang members are terrorists, too.

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To the original poster:

 

If I remember my history correctly, the Civil War was not fought to end slavery. In order for Linclon to recruit more African Americans to aid in the war, he pledged to abolish slavery if the war was won. The Civil War broke out because southern states refused to abide by a centralized government (Federal). They wanted there own freedom.

 

The message of the OP, no matter how sincere and heroic the confederates may seemed, I thank the heavens the North prevailed. The South believed in their freedom to self-govern themselves, but at the same time, they believed in slavery and oppression, which is the very reason why Europeans fled to the new world and became Americans, to escape oppression and tyranny.

 

I understand many of these soldiers were kids in their teens, just doing what their fathers had told them to do; but the same conditions exist in almost every war. I am sure there were Germans who fought for Hitler but did not believe in the cause. I am sure there were soldiers who fought for the Khmer Rouge (Cambodian Communist Regime) who probably had the slightest idea of what the war was about. I am sure there are US soldiers who have fought in Iraq but did not believe in the cause.

 

I guess my whole point is, there will always be the innocents on both sides no matter which side is good and which side is bad.

 

Let me ask the OP, "Will you honor the soldiers of the Khmer Rouge?"

 

Will you honor the soldiers of Hitler?

 

Will you honor the members of Osama Bin Laden?

 

I realized too that these Confederate soldiers are part of our very own history. And I realized too that many present day Americans are descendants of Confederate Activists.

 

To be polite and respectful, let us just thank the heavens the North prevailed.

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To the original poster:

 

If I remember my history correctly' date=' the Civil War was not fought to end slavery. In order for Linclon to recruit more African Americans to aid in the war, he pledged to abolish slavery if the war was won. The Civil War broke out because southern states refused to abide by a centralized government (Federal). They wanted there own freedom.

 

The message of the OP, no matter how sincere and heroic the confederates may seemed, I thank the heavens the North prevailed. The South believed in their freedom to self-govern themselves, but at the same time, they believed in slavery and oppression, which is the very reason why Europeans fled to the new world and became Americans, to escape oppression and tyranny.

 

I understand many of these soldiers were kids in their teens, just doing what their fathers had told them to do; but the same conditions exist in almost every war. I am sure there were Germans who fought for Hitler but did not believe in the cause. I am sure there were soldiers who fought for the Khmer Rouge (Cambodian Communist Regime) who probably had the slightest idea of what the war was about. I am sure there are US soldiers who have fought in Iraq but did not believe in the cause.

 

I guess my whole point is, there will always be the innocents on both sides no matter which side is good and which side is bad.

 

Let me ask the OP, "Will you honor the soldiers of the Khmer Rouge?"

 

Will you honor the soldiers of Hitler?

 

Will you honor the members of Osama Bin Laden?

 

I realized too that these Confederate soldiers are part of our very own history. And I realized too that many present day Americans are descendants of Confederate Activists.

 

To be polite and respectful, let us just thank the heavens the North prevailed.[/quote']

 

good post

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As a teacher I think I can add a few things that some others may have missed. The powers that be, the political elite of the southern region was so economically tied up in slavery that they couldn't possibly accept an arrangement which cost them so much in terms of property and labor. So ideology aside, the prospective end of slavery was economically disastrous to the political elite.

 

Keep in mind as well, there were a tremendous amount of white Southerners who did not possess slaves. They did however possess pride in knowing that however poor they were they were still better in every possible way than slaves. Don't think the elite didn't take advantage of this at every opportunity to retain the support of the greater South.

 

As the US continued to add new states into the Union, the tensions escalated between the Slavers and Abolitionists. All branches of government knew that once the point was reached to where a balance in Congress leaned towards the Abolitionists due to the newest states outlawing slavery, the South was all but guaranteed to walk away from the Union and defend their way of life.

 

The US could not let the Confederacy stand. Lincoln would never have allowed the nation to fragment itself and would devote every resource to reuniting the states. The end of slavery as a US goal of the war came much later.

 

To answer the question about terrorism: The Confederates were in no way terrorists. They were seeking their right to self-govern and declared themselves independent with an active government (as any revolutionary state would). You could say that Sherman employed terrorist tactics on his burning of this south, but comparing Islamic terrorists to the participants of the CW was truly apples and oranges.

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I stopped reading at "Bob McDonnell's decision to honor Confederates for their involvement in the Civil War -- which was based on the desire to continue slavery -- the one consistent thing that supporters of the proclamation offer up as a defense is that these individuals were fighting for what they believed in and defending their homeland."

That isn't the main reason the war was faught.

 

EDIT: Oh well, I decided to continue reading and luckily somebody pointed this out already.

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"Freedom Fighter", "Revolutionary", "Guerrilla", "Terrorist", "Rebel", "Insurgent", all depends on your own perspective. And there are so many things which factor into a person's personal perspective.

 

But under the guidelines set out by W, Chaney, and the rest of their ilk, yes, The Confederate States of America was in fact a terrorist organization.

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"Freedom Fighter"' date=' "Revolutionary", "Guerrilla", "Terrorist", "Rebel", "Insurgent", all depends on your own perspective. And there are so many things which factor into a person's personal perspective.

 

But under the guidelines set out by W, Chaney, and the rest of their ilk, yes, The Confederate States of America was in fact a terrorist organization.[/quote']

I do not know what the legal definition of "Terrorist" is according to government officials, but to say the Confederates were terrorist is a bit of a stretch for me. They were trying to protect their way of life which, in my opinion, is inhumane and does not reflect the almighty cause of the Revolutionary War.

 

I will not say it openly, but in my previous response, my implications are clear how I feel about the Confederates.

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