It really is amazing reading posts by people who agree that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki along with the fire bombings of other Japanese and German cities were war crimes, because they killed innocents, but then turn around and justify Lincoln’s war, because it ended slavery.
You can’t have it both ways. Do the ends justify the means, or do they not?
Christians usually say the ends do not justify the means, unless their self-righteous overcomes them (something the Pilgrims and Puritans and their descendants have long been known for).
Evidently if you have enough contempt for the victims (Germans, Japanese, or Southern Americans), the ends do justify the means and anything is permissible.
The sophisticates of today, no longer have contempt for Germans or Japanese and so correctly see the horror of the Allied crimes, but Southerners are still worthy of their contempt, making it so much easier to dismiss, ignore, or worse, cheer and celebrate the crimes of Lincoln, Sherman, and Sheridan.
I mean, who really cares about Billy Bob and Norma Jean?
For God’s sake, they drink beer, believe the Bible, go hunting, and live in trailer parks.
Over the years when I’ve stated my revulsion over the Allied bombings of cities in Germany and Japan, no one has accused me of being a Nazis or favoring the Japanese militarists. They may argue that it was justifiable, but they never accuse me of being in favor of the holocaust.
But oh how easy it is to dismiss anyone who challenges the moral purity and righteousness of Lincoln’s war. How easy it is to dismiss anyone as a racists for daring to say that the Southerners had a right to secede even as they had no right to enslave their fellow human beings.
So now the war has to be either about slavery or tariffs. If slavery, then Lincoln and his actions are moral. If tariffs, then the Southern cause was righteous and just. Maybe it was more complicated, maybe some fought to end slavery, even though Lincoln said he initiated the war for other reasons. Maybe some fought to keep slavery (even though it was dying – does anyone believe it would have lasted another generation?), but that was not why the typical Southern soldier fought.
Lincoln “saved the union” just like an abusive husband beats his wife into submission to “save the marriage”. Then he used slavery to claim the moral high ground.
So you progressives, you enlightened elites, if the war was only about slavery, if Lincoln and his generals were justified in crushing the South through all-out war, the destruction and pillaging of cities and non-combatants, then do not condemn the actions of the Allies. Do not condemn Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do not flaunt your moral high ground regarding the Atomic bomb, when you justify a war committed against a people you hold in contempt. Do not say such silly things as, “not everything is black and white,” when you hold that war to be black and white. Do not talk about innocents and non-combatants and loving your enemy when you justify an all out war against a people you so thoroughly despise.