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Thread: LTC Bob Batemen's EXCELLENT series on Gettysburg in Esquire

  1. #46
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Our President is.He said so.

    Really,US is ok.It is,or at least it was, the second finest country in the world.After Switzerland
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

  2. #47
    Officer of Engineers
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    The US is the best country in the world. She makes our lives in other countries so much better. I mean, who else would take Celine Dion off our hands?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    The US is the best country in the world. She makes our lives in other countries so much better. I mean, who else would take Celine Dion off our hands?

    Sir, that is only because North Korea won the coin toss.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Blademaster

    My "preaching" is reserved for home grown outrage. Even my occasional tirades against Japan is grounded of their treatment of other nations of Asia during WW 2.

    And their treatment of Allied POWs.
    I know all about Japan's treatment of POWs and the Asian nations. I can understand the homegrown outrage of these things just as I expect the homegrown outrage at the western powers' actions and even India's.

    It is a two way street. But the problem I see is that I think I have seen too much of victor's justice and sense of right going around these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    It is still better then vast majority of the countries out there.
    Hey, nobody's perfect.
    That I completely agree with. In fact, of all the countries right now, I think America is the best one, even better than my birth country, India just because of the system set up that allows for individualistic excellence and opportunity and the rule of law and order (even though I think the law enforcement is kinda getting out of hand and control, bordering on the excessive leading to a beginning of a police state). There are other qualities that I admire about America and its people but that doesn't make me blind to the unsavory parts of America in the same way I am not blind to India's unsavory parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    The US is the best country in the world. She makes our lives in other countries so much better. I mean, who else would take Celine Dion off our hands?

    And give us Big Mac, Baywatch, Coke, NFL football, Star trek, Star wars, porn, and one of the best of all, King Ralph!!

    Attachment 33613

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    And give us Big Mac, Baywatch, Coke, NFL football, Star trek, Star wars, porn, and one of the best of all, King Ralph!!
    ...iMac, NHL Hockey (with Canadians), Fred Flinstone
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    My favorite scene in King Ralph is when he throws the frisbee to the corgis (while sporting a kilt) and says, "Okay guys...one last time!"
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    I read most of the Bateman essays. Thanks for turning us on to his unique view of the key moments of the war and the main actors in it. Although I don't agree with everything he says, I love his terse writing style and masterful use of tenses.

    His essay on Thomas was spot on, although I hardly agree that having a circle in DC named after oneself is paltry recognition. Sheridan has one, but Sherman doesn't.

    In the same essay he lambastes Lee as a traitor. His reasoning is understandable, but on shaky ground IMO.

    I thought his explanation of why Virginia's welcome centers are so far from its northern border was a stretch, if not a bit of conspiracy mongering.

    But otherwise, he make for good reading. His vivid essay on the pivotal role Custer played on day 3 of the Battkle of Gettysburg throws new light into understanding what Lee planned for that day, not to mention it puts some luster back on Custer's reputation.

    Also, his essay on the charge of the Iron Brigade was equally vivid and informative.

    I also read most of the readers comments. I must say he draws some pretty savvy posters, historians among them. And he's not above responding to their comments.
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

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    JAD,

    Yeah, I did call him in an e-mail on the Welcome centers...come on...They catch the US 17 traffic as it merges with I-95...and he overlooks the one at Exit 155 Dale City.

    But I do enjoy what he writes.

    I'll be sorry when he retires....unless he is given a greater soapbax to yell from.

    He always makes me think.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    "Victor writes the history" or "Victor writes the rules".
    Not the case with the American Civil War. The South wrote the history and ended up writing the rules as well. That's the reason why for 100 or so years the Lost Cause was the dominant view and why it took 100 more years to settle the question of the integration of black Americans into society.

    Attachment 33675

    Attachment 33676
    Last edited by Shek; 26 Aug 13, at 07:47.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    On an unrelated note:

    What, in your opinion, caused the ascendance of Lost Cause historiography in American history after the Civil War? The need for promoting national unity during a period of economic integration? Reaction to black immigration from the South? The rise of New South's political and economic stature?
    All those who are merciful with the cruel will come to be cruel to the merciful.
    -Talmud Kohelet Rabbah, 7:16.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    On an unrelated note:

    What, in your opinion, caused the ascendance of Lost Cause historiography in American history after the Civil War? The need for promoting national unity during a period of economic integration? Reaction to black immigration from the South? The rise of New South's political and economic stature?
    The Lost Causers did it to protect their own legacies and in reaction to Reconstruction. I think that the reason that it didn't see huge push back was a desire by white America to put the past behind them. The failure and ending of Radical Reconstruction meant that it wasn't a politically profitable enterprise for the majority of northerners, and so I'd choose what you put behind door #1. However, this is an area where I'm less read in.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Not the case with the American Civil War. The South wrote the history and ended up writing the rules as well. That's the reason why for 100 or so years the Lost Cause was the dominant view and why it took 100 more years to settle the question of the integration of black Americans into society.
    that happened because of Andrew Johnson. He was a closeted CSA sympathizer and hence the call for impeachment. He allowed the southern states to get off scot free and the northern states were furious about it.

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    Well, there are a couple of reasons, Triple C.

    For starters the study of history was not a formal part of the higher education system in the US outside of military academies. In fact Woodrow Wilson, I believe, was the first PhD in History in the US. So there was not a large body of folks giving a critical eye on the events.

    There was tons of material published in the decades after the ACW but it was all written by the participants. For the former Confederates, particularly in the Eastern Theater, The Lost Cause became a way to ennoble their cause and deify their heroes, particularly Lee. It was also an opportunity for some to grind long standing axes (Early v Longstreet) and portray as betrayers any former Confederate who served the “enemy”, i.e., Federal government after the war. Also if you were not a Virginian and had served in the ANV you were considered by some to be not as good. (See Gordon). Of course Longstreet didn’t help himself with his horrible autobiography. And to read Gordon’s autobiography you’d think he was the greater tactical warrior since Harry Flashman!

    Douglas Southall Freeman’s hagiography of Lee and the officers of the ANV also fed into this.

    The wiki is actually pretty good on this: Lost Cause of the Confederacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And frankly this view of the war existed up through the centennial in the early 1960s with one surge of the Union view in the early 1950s breaking through.

    So you may ask why did the Union forces cede the battlefield so to speak? Because they didn’t care! They had won, wrote their histories for themselves and moved on. The war was used as a plank of any political platform when folks ran for office (I served and did X, my opponent did not serve or did Y) and was known as waving the bloody shirt. This was a standard for the next 30 years of political life.

    While the economy of the antebellum South had been wrecked by the war and the resulting 13th Amendment the Northern economy had expanded dramatically. It was estimated that 400 millionaires were created by the war economy. Much of this money poured into the West. And the various Homestead Acts encouraged expansion westward. With this 10 new states were added between OCT 64 and 1895. That is a LOT of new political power vested in the new states…which had no antebellum axes to grind.

    Northern interest in the ACW really didn’t start until post WW 2 when veterans reinterpreted a LOT of American history looking through the lens of their wartime experiences….and the GI bill paid for it all.

    So it hasn’t been “The Victors writing the story.”

    And the ACW is very different because of that.
    "The genius of you Americans is that you make no clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing." - Gamal Abdel Nasser

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