Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, May 25, 2020
Over Memorial Day Weekend, the once respected The New York Times published an editorial that criticized naming military bases after Confederate leaders. After celebrating the way government and military officials have marginalized the Confederate flag in recent years, it declared the campaign hasn’t gone far enough.
“[T]he [Confederate] base names were part of a broad federal sellout to white supremacy that poisoned the whole of the United States,” the Times claims. The paper especially hates General George Pickett, calling him “incompetent,” “self-regarding,” and “accused of cowardice.” It blasts Ulysses S. Grant for not having him arrested and charged with war crimes. This was, it says, a “classic act of old-boy cronyism.”
The New York Times also says that the federal campaign to rehabilitate the Confederacy inspired Nazis. “Adolf Hitler himself took notice,” says the Times, “praising the United States as the near epitome of the racist state.”
The New York Times says that preserving these names on the grounds of history is not a good argument. The men were “traitors” and the base names were “part of a broader accommodation in which the military embraced stringent segregation so as not to offend Southerners by treating African-Americans as equals.” Now, it is “long past time for those bases to be renamed” and remove artifacts of a “time when the military itself embraced anti-American values.”
What anti-American values exactly? Egalitarianism? White guilt? Celebration of central authority? The Founders would not have recognized these values.
Throughout the editorial, there are two mutually contradictory arguments. The first is that the Confederates were traitors to the United States. However, at the same time, the Times is also criticizing federal policy and saying racism was deeply ingrained in the national government. Was the Confederacy a uniquely racist and “anti-American” enemy or was it (as Lincoln contended throughout the war) simply a rebellion from states that legally never left the Union? If the federal government and leaders like Ulysses S. Grant were complicit in all this evil racism, why is the Confederacy so bad?
One could argue that the Confederates were “traitors,” but traitors to what? State conventions organized by lawful state authorities voted for secession. The Confederacy had a stronger legal basis than a “Continental Congress” which broke oaths of allegiance to the king and usurped the functions of a national government. If it’s treason to oppose legitimate governing authority, this country was founded on treason against the Crown.
The Founding Fathers were traitors, but successful ones. What separates Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin was that the latter won. The former were defeated, largely through means far more authoritarian than those exercised by George III. It’s amusing that some “conservatives” who are opposed to Donald Trump call their effort The Lincoln Project. If President Trump used Lincolnite tactics such as arresting hostile journalists, deporting political enemies, and using federal troops to occupy and intimidate state legislatures, he’d have far fewer problems.
Speaking of Abraham Lincoln, The New York Times forgets that Hitler specifically praised the United States for having crushed state sovereignty, essentially adopting Lincoln’s view of the Union. “Originally these [American] states did not and could not possess sovereign rights of their own,” he said. “[I]t was the Union that created most of the so-called states.” Hitler compared his own efforts to unite the squabbling German states and principalities into a powerful Reich to America’s effort to forge a united state.
What about Confederate tactics and war crimes? If these are reprehensible, we should talk about General Sherman and other Northern generals who deliberately waged war on Southern civilians. Abraham Lincoln himself would also be culpable. There’s no question that the Union won by using tactics that would today be considered war crimes, including burning houses, colleges, and even entire cities.
Lincoln waged a cruel, total war against the Southern Confederacy. Still, he did not think of himself as a conqueror. He thought he was preserving the Union. He didn’t want a postwar government that hunted down and killed former Confederate leaders or disfranchised former Confederate soldiers. The point of the war, in his mind, was to ensure that America remained one nation and that the “mystic chords of memory” would bind North and South together once again.
Perhaps this was sincere belief or perhaps he simply didn’t want to provoke a guerilla war. Either way, part of reconciliation means honoring foes. The United States military doesn’t extend this only to Southerners. Several ships have been named after Tecumseh, one of the greatest American Indian leaders our country ever fought – and a fierce enemy. The Apache helicopter is a byword for American military power. When NAVY Seals avenged September 11 and killed Osama Bin Laden, the code word for success was “Geronimo.” The Defense Department says Indian names are used to evoke “spirit, confidence, agility, endurance, and [a] warrior ethos.”
Still, we can’t be surprised because journalists are once again defending a double standard. There is just one standard. Any positive representation of whites is evil. Renaming bases once dedicated to Confederate heroes would be another step in the nonwhite state conquest of what used to be a Western country.
There can be little doubt that the Founding Fathers will be next. Why should blacks, Hispanics, or Asians suffer the emotional trauma of serving at a base named after slaveholders? Even if they didn’t own slaves, almost every American leader until a generation ago considered America a white, Western country. Why not remove all of them? Even Union generals would not be exempt. General Sherman (whose middle name was “Tecumseh” in another example of honoring foes) spent his postwar years waging total war against the Indians. Following a massacre of Sioux, he wrote to Ulysses S. Grant, “We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children.” Biographer Robert Broadwater explicitly compares his campaigns against the American Indians to those he waged against the South.
What about Marine legends such as Lewis “Chesty” Puller? Much of his career was spent fighting nonwhite insurgents in Haiti and Nicaragua. Will the USMC meekly dispense with him the same way it has with Confederate soldiers? If current trends continue, it will.
Ultimately, America was founded by whites, defended by whites, and created for whites. You can say this is a bad thing, but you can’t say it was a bad thing and claim America’s historic identity. What The New York Times deems “anti-American values” would seem utterly bizarre to almost every American leader until after 1965. If whites are to be written out of the history of our own country, what stake do we have in it? What possible connection does the regime in Washington have to the American Republic created by the Founding Fathers? Aside from a geographic expression, “America” is meaningless unless it refers to the nation created by European-Americans.
That nation is being unmade by demographic change. If mass immigration continues, every battle won, sacrifice made, or duty fulfilled by American soldiers, will have been pointless. They will have died to secure the future not of their posterity, but of their foes’. We may live to see the verdict of the Mexican War reversed.
“In war, the real enemy is always behind the lines,” wrote Jean Raspail in The Camp of the Saints. “Never in front of you, never among you. Always at your back.” The New York Times proved him right again.