His march through Georgia has been gravely misunderstood ― as has Israel’s strategy in Gaza.
William Tecumseh Sherman 150 years ago took Atlanta before heading out on his infamous March to the Sea to make Georgia “howl.” He remains one of the most controversial and misunderstood figures in American military history. Sherman was an attritionist, not an annihilationist — a strategist who believed in attacking the sources that fuel and field an army rather than butting heads against the army itself. To review his career is to shed light on why the Israeli Defense Forces were both effective in Gaza and hated even more for being so effective.
Much of the South has hated William Tecumseh Sherman for over a century and a half, but not because his huge army killed thousands of young Confederate soldiers (it did not). Grant did that well enough in the horrific summer of 1864 outside Richmond. Rather, Sherman humiliated the plantationist class by staging three long marches during the last twelve months of the Civil War — from Tennessee to Atlanta, from Atlanta to Savannah, and from Savannah up through the Carolinas. In each of these brilliantly conducted invasions, Sherman, with a few notable exceptions, sought to avoid direct fighting with Confederate forces, either outflanking opposing armies that popped up in his way, or entrenching and letting aggressors wear themselves out against his fortified lines. He did enormous material damage, as he boasted that his enemies could do nothing to impede his progress — humiliation being central to his mission.
Instead of fighting pitched battles, Sherman was interested in three larger strategic agendas. War in his mind was not a struggle between militaries so much as between the willpower of entire peoples, distant though they be from the battlefield. One chief aim was iconic. Sherman sought to capture cities or traverse holy ground that might offer his forces symbolic lessons that transcended even strategic considerations. He wanted to capture the important rail center of Atlanta before the November 1864 election and thereby ensure that the war would continue under a reelected Lincoln rather than be negotiated into a meaningless armistice by George McClellan. By taking the South’s second-most-important city, Sherman reminded the Union that the northern strategy was working and that Lincoln, as the architect of it, deserved support.
Marching through the heart of Georgia to Savannah also reminded the Confederacy that it could not stop a Union army from going pretty much where it pleased — even into the heretofore untouched southern heartlands. The much-hyped March to the Sea took on an almost messianic character in dissecting the Confederacy, as Sherman torched plantations and freed slaves. His so-called bummers praised their “Uncle Billy” and sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as they tramped through Georgia. Sherman was interested in such theatrics as part of a larger moral lesson that “War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.” He was particularly keen on reminding those who start wars that they must bear the consequences of their ideologies.
Accordingly, Sherman was most eager to go into the Carolinas, despite the forbidding terrain and the ordeal of winter, in part to pull up behind Robert E. Lee’s army in Virginia, but also in part to humiliate the Confederacy by brazenly marching into the very birthplace of secession.
The Sherman way of war had another important symbolic aspect. Sherman often derided the mythography of the southern “Cavalier” class, by which he meant the notion that southern aristocratic manhood might offer such displays of martial prowess that the Confederacy’s disadvantages in matériel and manpower would be rendered irrelevant. As an antidote to the Rebel yell and the luster of a Wade Hampton or a Bobby Lee, Sherman formed the core of his forces not from high-born Yankees but from hardscrabble Midwestern farmboys. The latter enjoyed camping out and had the skills to live off the land far more than did southern cavalrymen. By entering the southern heartland with such rural regiments, Sherman was also signaling to the Confederacy that its pride in the martial supremacy of a rural South was a myth.
His point was to show them that farmboys from Illinois or Ohio were just as tough fighters as Tidewater horsemen or the impoverished rural folk of northern Georgia. Sherman felt that part of the appeal of the Confederacy had been the mythology about its landed gentry, and he felt it essential to expose this as hollow and superficial; after all, he was in Georgia, while Georgian units were not in Ohio: “My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
It is often alleged that Sherman was a terrorist, on the grounds that he favored collective punishment, or destroying the property of innocent civilians in order to make “war and individual ruin synonymous terms” both for those who had started the war and for those who supported it. Sherman certainly burned plantations, freed slaves, destroyed railways, tore down telegraph lines, and stripped the country bare of its post-harvest bounty. But the ruin he spread was not a Dresden or a Nagasaki. Instead, he made an effort to be selective, in that his two prime targets were Confederate government property — arsenals, public buildings, state factories — and the estates, businesses, and plantations of the very wealthy, who, as a tiny percentage of the southern population, owned the vast majority of its slaves. He was not so much a killer as an avatar of ruin and humiliation.
His brutal methods were aimed at instructing the civilian South that those who had precipitated the war surely deserved its harshest penalties. Only when the luminaries of the Confederacy saw that their bellicose rhetoric had brought them personal ruin would they be willing to curb their enthusiasm for secession: “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.”
Sherman envisioned his wave of unapologetic ruin as dividing the populace and sowing dissension, and thus encouraging tax delinquency, desertion at the front, and loss of confidence among the elite. In all of these aims, he was largely successful.
The brutal Sherman way of war did not spare civilians from the general misery. Yet another purpose was to remind the southern populace that because they had largely followed their privileged leaders into a hopeless war against a far larger, more industrial, and wealthier Union, they too could not escape the collateral damage that followed from the targeting of plantations and Confederate property.
Sherman accepted southern hatred, but he assumed that after he left the Deep South, civilians would start to see a logic to his devastation: The homes and property of the middle classes and poor were largely spared, the infrastructure of the wealthy and of the state were not. That ruthless selectivity would spawn endless arguments among southerners over who was to blame for such destruction — well beyond Sherman himself. Certainly, for all the popular hatred, Georgians and Carolinians were far more likely to be alive after Sherman left than Virginians were after Grant was finished.
The Israeli army was eerily Shermanesque when it went into Gaza. The IDF targeted the homes of the wealthy Hamas elite, the private sanctuaries of the tunnels, and the rocketry and other infrastructure of the Hamas terrorist state. The homes of civilians who did not have rockets in the backyard or tunnels in the basement were usually not hit, and that sent a telling Shermanesque lesson. Long after the international media’s cameras have left, Gazans will argue over why one man’s house was leveled and another’s was not, leading to the conclusion more often than not that one was being used by Hamas, either with or without its owner’s consent, while the other was not. But all Gazans suffered amid the selective targeting — as did all Georgians and Carolinians for their allegiance to a plantationist class whose own interests were not always the same as those of the non-slave-owning white poor. Fairly or not, the IDF was reminding the people of Gaza that while it tried to focus exclusively on Hamas, such selectivity was often impossible when Gazans followed such reckless leaders who deliberately shielded themselves among civilians.
The IDF taught the supposedly fearsome Islamic warriors of Hamas, who adopted the loud bells and whistles of primordial killers and who supposedly love death more than life, that nondescript Israeli conscripts, through hard training and with the help of sophisticated technology, were in fact far deadlier than a man in a suicide vest or an RPG-wielding masked bandit. The IDF, then, like Sherman, sought to dispel the romantic notion that a uniformed conscript army cannot fight a warrior culture, or that it becomes so baffled by insurgencies and asymmetrical warfare as to be rendered helpless. The IDF went into the heart of Gaza City and came out largely intact after defeating all those it encountered.
Sherman was obsessed with separating bellicose enemy rhetoric from facts on the ground. He believed that unless humiliation was a part of defeat, a tribal society of ranked hierarchies would always concoct myths to explain away failure. southern newspapers boasted that Sherman was a Napoleon trapped deep in a Russia-like Georgia and about to be cut apart by Confederate Cossacks. Yet when his Army of the West sliced through the center of the state, Sherman smiled that some southerners had suggested that he go instead over to South Carolina and attack those who “started” the war.
Again, once the IDF is out of Gaza, civilians will ask their leaders what the tunnels and rockets, the child tunnel-diggers, the use of human shields, and all the braggadocio were supposed to achieve. What will Hamas tell its donors, when it requests money for more cement and rebar? That it wishes to build schools and hotels and not more instruments of collective suicide?
Sherman welcomed the hatred he earned from the South. He understood well the dictum of Machiavelli that men hate far more those who destroy their patrimonies than those who kill their fathers. He accepted that humiliating the South was a far graver sin than destroying its manhood, as Grant had done from May to September 1864 in northern Virginia. Lee at least could say that brave southerners had killed thousands of Grant’s troops in defense of their homeland; Sherman’s opponents, like Generals Hardee, Hood, and Johnson, could not brag that very few northerners died marching through Georgia or the Carolinas.
Sherman’s rhetoric was bellicose, indeed uncouth — even as he avoided killing as many southerners as he could. He left civilians as mad at their own leaders as at him. For all that and more, he remains a “terrorist,” while the bloodbaths at Cold Harbor and the Crater are not considered barbaric — and just as the world hates what the IDF did in Gaza far more than the abject butchery of the Islamic State, which at the same time was spreading savagery throughout Syria and Iraq, or than the Russians’ indiscriminate killing in Ukraine, or than what passes for an average day in the Congo.
Sherman got under our skin, and so does the IDF. Today we call not losing very many soldiers “disproportionate” warfare, and leaving an enemy’s territory a mess and yet without thousands of casualties “terrorism.” The lectures from the IDF about the cynical culpability of Hamas make the world as livid as did Sherman’s sermonizing about the cowardly pretensions of the plantationist class.
We tend to hate most deeply in war those who despoil us of our romance, especially when they humiliate rather than kill us — and teach us the lesson that the louder and more bellicose often prove the more craven and weak.
39 thoughts on “Sherman in Gaza”
I just got a coy of Sherman’s Memoirs and only a bit into it he seems to have a grand sense of humor and a competent chronologist. I was disappointed to see that it only goes to just past the Civil War. I would like to read something objective about his whole career. Could you recommend something for the layman not the scholar?
A new biography of Sherman titled “Fierce Patriot” does a nice job of describing his postwar life. He was Army commander for 10 years and basically built the transcontinental railroad, surveying the route and fighting Indians in the path. General Dodge, his chief of engineering for his army, was the chief railroad engineer. Many of the railroad builders were veterans of his army.
Brilliant, once again.
I disagree about Sherman freeing slaves. He did everything in his power to avoid slaves as he had neither the resources or time to feed and care for them (or interest). He at one point pulled a bridge up to strand the groups of slaves following the Army. Raymond, try “Citizen Sherman”; I forget the author’s name but it should be on Amazon.
Such an incredibly well informed post in terms of civil war strategy appears to me uninformed about what actually happened in Gaza. Have you seen the bombing maps of Gaza? Very few parts of Gaza were untouched. I would caution against swallowing the Israeli account hook line and sinker, as they have a propaganda interest in portraying themselves a certain way.
The civil war is also an example of a war that was not entirely successful. The war was won militarily, but as anyone can tell from a quick glance at the fissures in American society that remained for generations and exist to this day, the extent of the victory remains an open question. Should IDF really be modeling its actions off such a “victory”?
Dr. Hanson’s take on the IDF’s actions in Gaza is correct. The fact that ” Very few parts of Gaza were untouched” does not contradict the fact that incredible care was taken to limit targeting to only those that could humiliate or degrade the Hamas. To prove the point, when the first sustained cease fire broke, the Israeli’s began to target high-ranking Hamas leadership, and high rise buildings (after residents were warned and left). Thus they upped the ante and another cease fire went into effect this evening.
None of the attacks were indiscriminate, for the targeting of non Hamas affiliated individuals would only hurt Israeli War aims, as Dr. Hanson so brilliantly analogizes with General Sherman’s ‘March to the Sea.
It must be noted that the “patrimonies” of the South referred to whose destruction or debunking so enraged Southerners can be mirrored to a factor of ten in the Arabic hatred of Israelis who have not once, but many times defeated Islamic Manhood on the Battlefield.
And Islamic Manhood is the very CORE of their Faith.
It should also be remembered that Sherman was one of the few generals who knew precisely how the war was going to go from its outset.
He had no illusions of the chivalry and romanticism promulgated in the South about the glories of battle and war even as their young men were rotting in fields far from home. And in considering whether those romantic notions extended any further than Southern propaganda, see how the South treated its prisoners of war. It is one thing to wave the hankies and sing Dixie as the boys march off to war, and another entirely to treat the sad fellows who’ve surrendered to your army honorably in a fight to mass starvation and absolute sanitary hell.
Perhaps most significantly, the official chronology has the city of Atlanta catching fire slowly and in an unplanned fashion, late in the day after Sherman’s men had marched out. The notion of Sherman’s burning the city intentionally is so much nonsense, a romantic propaganda sticker slapped over the reality of the looting and chaos in a city absent any authority hierarchy after the Union army moved on.
The intellect of Dr. Hanson, hits home again as he puts us in Sherman’s shoes and models us into Pattons. One should look at the forever slump in Gaza. In my latest work, I compare and contrast Sherman with Ambrose Burnside. Why is Sherman the better General? Let the critic decide as they have done here. Gaza is being overwhelmed by this modern day Sherman of necessity. I think Victor can see the Greek-style crisis any day now with “Citizen Sherman.” I have said it countless times over and over again, although not well known as a historian and a nobody that wishes he was a somebody, I have called Victor not only the Savior General of Americanism but also someone who knows the General’s and their ideologies.. Who call the shots better than the commanders. The Buffalo Soldier were an Antietam, they charged at Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, Sherman commanded and wrote his memoirs, but like Patton they never kneeled long as subordinates to conflict. “God was with the Generals who commanded and the boys who fail.” A General who gives the order to fix bayonets and knows that he will be killed with his troops shows much more cause for comrades…..
I find fault with Sherman in some ways. What I have read about Sherman shows that he was opposed to commanding African American troops, Grant’s Total War ideology butted heads with Sherman. Sherman mind is nevertheless extremely interesting as are your writing on him. I like to compare and contrast Burnside with Sherman. Why? Burnside was a hard-luck commander out of favor with his superiors, Fort Pegram was the closets point on the Confederate line defending Petersburg the last defense of Richmond by tunneling forward from the Union position beneath the fort to explode its defenses. Burnside need the USCT’s for one desperate rush. Burnside was all guts and not glory. The comparison was that Sherman too little risks in harm’s way. Lincoln knew the difference. What was an honest account of the frontal war during the Civil War? Comparing and contrasting the Generals of the Civil War is a broad and interesting topic, but cowardly Generals lived to see the Wars end. Frontal assaults in themselves are the reasons why Civil Wars show the stupidity of those who march into conflict. Had he not meet his demise perhaps Burnside would have out shadowed Sherman who refused to command African-American troops.
We know VDH knows that Sherman did not care for the Buffalo Soldiers and commanding them, but being a General of the North mean’t that he was in favor of freeing the slaves. 600,000 dead and 400,000 wounded Sherman and all involved would agree at the end of the war that whatever measures were needed must be taken into account to stop the evils of the Civil War. Slavery was not just the cause or common defense of war in the North or the South, but it was the emotions that ran through the vines of the northerner and the southerner that pitted brother against brother. The Cain vs. Abel of Cause and effect. VDH, as always makes an interesting case for the First Stormin Norman of American Generalship…….
I am afraid that killing a lot of young Islamists will be neccessary in the future for the war against this new form of facism to be won. At the same time that Israel is destroying the property of Hamas henchmen in Gaza it is deliverying trucksloads of food, water and energy to its enemies. Billions of Dollars are given annually by well meaning and fearsome westeners to the failed states of the middle east, to Pakistan and Afghanistan. If a western army is fighting against mass murdering Islamists it always does it with at least one arm tied behind the back. That way a lot of Muslim “youths” do no need to get up and go to work to live or wory too much to be killed if they act aggressively and warlike, but can dream the dream of glorious Jihad and the Khalifat instead. I do not see why we should enable and pamper these new barbarians any more than Southern slave owners or German Nazis. It would be a blessing for the whole world to reduce their numbers drastically.
Your post is spot on. Can one imagine how much less violence coming from Gaza there would be if Hamas actually had to spend money and be responsible for feeding, providing electricity to, and educating the people of Gaza? They wouldn’t be able to afford paying their militants, building tunnels, and producing rockets. If it weren’t for the U.N and western countries picking up the tab for much of the basic necessities in Gaza, Hamas would think twice about attacking Israel.
I think that VDH is correct that some residents of Gaza will question their leaders after the war is over. However, I do not think the war will change the strategic picture without destroying more civilian infrastructure to the point at which the willpower of the civilian population to support Hamas will end.
What a great, riveting read that wasn’t too far over my head. All of this comports with my personal observations of human nature and with my (meager, but growing thanks to VDH) knowledge of history. I also love Sherman’s sly reference to Proverbs and elsewhere in Scripture – “fear is the beginning of wisdom…” – as Martin Luther would say: This is most certainly true.
Thank you for all that you continually do, VDH. Love your Wednesday chats with Greg Garrison and occasional spots on Batchelor. Your abilty and genuine desire to commune with mere earthlings contending with the deadly toxic culture/media/academic complex is dearly appreciated and inspiring. I am certain I speak for many 100s of thousands. Please don’t ever lose your pen or your phone ; ) Take up bowling instead of biking will you please? ~signed, Mom
Have we come full circle since the Civil War? It is my understanding that Lee would not tolerate war against civilians, except to forage to support his army. Sherman’s march was seen as an unprecedented action against civilians that, in the minds of southern civilians, was an atrocity. In World War II, we were attempting to avoid bombing civilians until a German bomber pilot mistakenly dropped his load on London, and the British unloaded on Berlin. By the end of the war, allied air power laid waste to German cities and civilians, and we more or less ruined several of Japan’s most populous cities with incendiary bombing, culminating with the use of nuclear weapons on two Japanese cities that killed far less civilians than the incendiary bombings. We call the folks that made this happen the Greatest Generation. Today, such an action by the US would be condemned by friend and foe. By the time of the most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, it had become, in the eyes of the world, a despicable act to even accidently kill any significant number of civilians, particularly if the US or Israel was responsible for these deaths. Where will the pendulum swing next.
Very interesting comparison. I am curious to know more of Billy Shernan and the IDF .
The UN more than Hamas represents the “plantationist class” within Gaza. Their “romantic” claim is they constitute a moral authority and can do no wrong. My view is that the UN by means of funding supports Hamas’ war effort regardless of intententions labelled as humanitarian. How can Israel confront the UN?
I’ve often wondered about the Arab cultural self-identification as fearsome warriors. Recently, I’ve been wondering whether ISIS’s brutality and savagery isn’t, in some sense, a reaction to the humiliating deficiencies and defeats at the hands of the West. An effort to recover, in some sense, the crown of fearsome warrior.
I agree that a more thorough and prolonged defeat would be more effective at disabusing the Arabs of this misguided self-assessment and, hopefully, aid in helping them reconsider aspects of their culture that leave them on the outside looking in, in the 21st C.
I find it sad and ironic that the Progressive view on war actually sustains conflict and increases casualties by denying the West the strategies and tactics necessary to bring finality to a conflict.
Interesting but culture is crucial to this argument.
Can we draw inferences from the response of one culture to another?
There is a very stark difference between General Sherman, the Generals of the IDF and the Arabs: Sherman wasn’t fighting a foe inspired by a religious premise, only an interfamilial war based on a premise of liberty. The IDF, rooted in a non to irreligious foundation refuses to accept the religious premise that inspires its Muslim Arab foe, and so fights as if it is Sherman come back to life.
The Arabs were humiliated by their loss in 1948 and 1956. They were horribly humiliated and embarrassed by their pummeling in 1967. But the Arab populations never lost their bellicose rhetoric calling for the eradication of Jews and destruction of the Zionist state. No amount of personal property loss has kept the Muslim population from attempting to attain this goal. In this quest they are sustained by foreign money. Not Arab oil money, per se, which feeds the basic needs of the Arab population, but European and North American donations, that enable the fighting capacity of the Muslim holy warriors. In this the Christian West hopes to finalize the nearly attained goals that a thousand years of Anti-Semitism in Europe wrought: The Final Solution. The failure of the Holocaust has kept Europeans from actively acknowledging the underlying reason for funding Gaza. It has not eradicated the ant-Semitism inbred for a thousand years.
Only the religiously oriented Jews in Israel and around the world know this to be fact and not paranoia.
Alan, you confuse freeing the slaves and taking responsibility for them afterwards. They are not the same concepts. The armies of the day had camp followers in the form of families. Those followers were fed by the army. The army was responsible for their safety. By freeing the slaves to do whatever they wanted – and not taking on responsibility to feed – care – protect them – was to place additionalsignificant burdens on the South as a whole, a burden he did not want (nor could) take on.
HAMAS recently shoot some of their people as “spies” or “collaborators”. It could be these were the first civilians to ask why they were suffering, and used as human shields. If the non HAMAS Palestinians noted that the Israelis were restricting their attacks to the leaders of HAMAS, then the best thing to do is to tell the Israelis were the HAMAS leadership was located. These executions were an attempt to head that off. Let’s see how well it works.
Very interesting. Particularly, “We tend to hate most deeply in war those who despoil us of our romance, especially when they humiliate rather than kill us — and teach us the lesson that the louder and more bellicose often prove the more craven and weak.”
Do you think this has any application to our experiences in the Middle East and what we are doing right now? If so, how can we apply those principles?
Hi, Mr Hanson!
I found your brief essay about Sherman and the IDF to be fascinating and brilliantly illuminating. It speaks to what B. H. Liddell Hart ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._H._Liddell_Hart ) would have called the “upper grand strategy” to be found in both instances. He and J.F.C. Fuller laid the intellectual foundations that the Germans used for their doctrine of Blitzkrieg in WWII.
This upper grand strategy you outline by Sherman and the IDF prompts me to ask what about upper grand strategy can be applied to our current political situation. You see, if war is the extension of policy by other means, then a strong case can be made that politics can be an extension of war by other means. Can we as advocates for America against Progressives mount our own Sherman’s March to the Sea against the intellectual hinterland of Progressivism? I suspect we can, but you thoughts on this should be very valuable.
Thank you for your work and your attention to my email! 🙂
How is “freeing slaves” synonymous with feeding and caring for them?
Would that I could write so well. Brilliant article that shows just how blind we are to the civilized, albeit necessary and brutal actions of the IDF. There is no textbook on how to fight stateless terrorism. Be it Israel with Hamas, or the western world against ISIS, these entities must be destroyed, for the just to prevail.
Deeply illuminating. Thank you.
Simply superb. You’ve outdone yourself with this one, and that is a hard thing to do.
Later in his career Sherman led many battles, as I recall, against Indians. He is reputedly the originator of the statement that “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
Actually that quote was allegedly made by Gen. Phil Sheridan… and is a misquote anyway. One story goes, when asked by a reporter if he ever met any good indians he replied, “The only good one was the last one, and he was dead.”
Like the comparison.
Hamas’ purpose and leadership even worse than the South’s. Hope they shrivel and die.
The difference is Islam is the cause and it is not going away. Slavery and its plantation class ended.
This will be a long, long war.
Charles Bracelen Flood wrote a dual biography of Grant and Sherman. I don’t remember the title but it should be easy to find. It covers the post-Civil War years as well as the war, and is wonderfully well written.
If anyone is interested in getting a fuller understanding of Sherman I would point out his own correspondance with family, friends, associates. It’s a wonderful read of this complex human being. Very lengthy, often redundant, but man, he brings all aspects of the civil war to life.
Sherman’s Civil War : selected correspondence of William T. Sherman, 1860-1865 / edited by Brooks D. Simpson and Jean V. Berlin. pub. 1999.
Such a wonderful article. But if VDH is right, should Israel not be finding a way to target Qatar? It would seem to me that they and their oil fields are the equivalent to the rich plantations of the south.
Great article describing the new strategy of the IDF – but nobody notice this shift from targeting only military objects to targeting the sources of the so called asymmetric warfare. The IDA is systematically destroying houses und other civil installations making the the arabs in Gaza feel the punishment of their decision to support the Hamas. But the civilians are the center piece of the asymmetric warfare. If they suffer to much, they will refuse fighting any longer. The other point is: Five times Israel accepted a ceasefire proposed by Cairo on conditions the Hamas would obviously not accept. Again and again the IDF stopped their attacks only to continue the bombing and shelling immediately after the Hamas sent more mortar shells and rockets. So the Hamas was as the result of a nice timing the aggressor even for the public in the west. But probably the most important point of this stop and go warfare was: The 50 days of war showed no real peak of the fightings but and endless repetition, so the public in the west lost its interest. In a way it was a war of attrition in the age of asymmetric warfare. Well executed, Mister Netanjahu.
What a powerful and riveting read! Now think of George Will’s comment re if Lincoln, Grant and Sheridab had to fight the Civil War with today’s media coverage and the concept of “proportionate” responses to moves by Lee & Co.0-we would still have slavery.
Americans, especially those educated in the post Vietnam Wat years, and the liberal media-are grossly ignorant of their own history and the tactics used in the Civil War and World war II. Lincoln ordered a blockade of all southern ports, Aside from Sherman’s march thru Georgia and South Carolina, Sheridan destroyed the Shenandoah Valley-which was a breadbasket for Lee’s forces. In WW2, the US bombed Germany and engaged in unconditional submarine war as well dropped two nuclear weapons on Japanese cities-whch saved hundreds of thousands of American lives and broke the will of Japan to engage in kamikaze attacks. War is both an extension of a nation’s foreign policy, and is hell.
Very interesting ideas-I was unaware of the motives behind Gen. Sherman’s march. And, perhaps the IDF strategy involved some of this. But there are some very sobering facts: the tunnels still exist, hamas has plenty of rockets, and the fear that caused some tens of thousands of Israeli residents to flee their homes in the south is still existent. It’s as if Israel will just go from round to round, only hamas will get stronger and more accurate rockets-it’s a pretty unbearable situation. So, Dr. Hanson, how does this figure in (I don’t mean to be snide, but I have family in Israel and am very concerned about the safety of the country).
A neo-con flak (Victor David Hanson) supporting a war criminal (Sherman whose crimes also extended to the Native Americans) and a criminal regime. All goes together nicely.