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Jewish World Review April 19, 1999 /3 Iyar 5759

Don Feder

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NATO would have favored the confederacy

(JWR) ---- (
TO JUSTIFY MR. CLINTON'S MERRY LITTLE WAR, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic -- who's unlikely to be mistaken for Father Christmas -- is depicted as a monster to rival the century's most notorious ideological killers. ("The Face of Evil,'' shrills the cover story in the April 19 Newsweek.)

Of what does Milosevic stand accused? Adopting brutal tactics to deal with a rebellion? Abraham Lincoln did as much.

Milosevic is fighting the Kosovo Liberation Army to keep his nation intact. Lincoln went to war with secessionists to preserve the Union, which was then less than 100 years old. Kosovo has been Serbian since the 12th century.

Lincoln didn't just make war on the Army of Northern Virginia. The Union Navy's blockade of Southern ports destroyed its trade and resulted in shortages and suffering.

If C-SPAN had broadcast from the South 135 years ago, it would have shown civilians in full flight, troops burning houses and crops, and widespread looting.

William Tecumseh Sherman said, "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it,'' then proceeded to prove his maxim. The Union general captured and burned Atlanta and Columbia, S.C., the latter out of pure spite.

On his march to the sea, Sherman cut a swath 60 miles wide. Fields were stripped clean, houses were pillaged, almost every structure was burned to the ground. Thousands were driven from their homes.

These terror tactics were designed to demoralize the Confederate home front and hasten the war's end.

The devastation wasn't confined to Sherman's march. The beautiful Shenandoah Valley, breadbasket of the Confederacy, was turned into a wasteland. Ulysses Grant boasted that the valley would be picked so clean that "crows flying over it for the balance of the season will have to carry their provender with them.''

By the war's end, Southern agriculture and industry were in ruins. It's estimated the South lost two-thirds of its total wealth.

Milosevic is said to be a tyrant who brutally suppresses dissent in Yugoslavia. Lincoln threw men into jail for voicing their opinions.

As Lincoln historian David Herbert Donald explains, Lincoln "suspended the privilege of the writ of habeus corpus throughout the country and authorized the arbitrary arrest of any person 'guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to the rebels against the authority of the United States.'"

This led to the imprisonment, without trial, of hundreds of Southern sympathizers and anti-war activists, including newspaper editors and, in one case, an ex-congressman. Our 16th president believed these extraordinary measures were necessary to deal with an unparalleled crisis.

Lincoln insisted on unconditional surrender of the Confederacy and spurned foreign offers to arbitrate. (No Rambouillet for him.) He knew Britain and France would sacrifice American unity for peace and trade.

Just as the Serbs could give up Kosovo, Lincoln could have let the South go its way. Instead, he plunged the nation into the bloodiest conflict in our history. On both sides, 620,000 soldiers were killed.

Throughout the South, 4 percent of the population (soldiers and civilians, free as well as slaves) died as a result of the war.

The analogy between the Civil War and the war in Kosovo breaks down, as analogies must. There were no mass graves in Dixie. Then again, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis weren't drug-smuggling terrorists.

The foregoing is meant neither as an indictment of the Great Emancipator nor an exoneration of Milosevic. Lincoln did what was necessary to preserve the Union. America, the greatest force for good in this century, would have been reduced to a basket case if the rebellion had succeeded.

Milosevic is unlikely to be mistaken for the man who urged "malice toward none and charity for all.''

Still, the Serbs are fighting what amounts to a secessionist movement. Assuming Milosevic is guilty of war crimes, his conduct doesn't negate the Serbs' right to territory that constitutes 10 percent of their country and contains one-third of its energy reserves.

Had NATO been around in the middle of the last century, to promote stability in the Western hemisphere, Lincoln would have been forced to grant the rebellious states autonomy for three years. Thereafter, Southerners would have been free to determine their future.

Instead, the Land of Cotton Liberation Army was defeated. But Dixie had its revenge. It gave us Clinton.


4/14/99: Before we march into Kosovo
4/12/99: Taiwan more worthy of U.S. support
4/09/99: Bauer and Forbes --- Main Street vs. Wall Street
4/05/99: Bubba and Maddy lit Kosovo's fire
3/29/99: At Passover, Egypt is a state of mind
3/29/99: Could the GOP stand Pat in 2000?
3/17/99: Hollywood's party line in 1999
3/15/99: All bow, the court is in session
3/11/99: In praise of negative campaigning
3/09/99: Day-care study defies common sense
3/04/99: Starship Clinton orbits Kosovo
3/01/99: Public will blot out Broaddrick's accusation
2/25/99: Slick Hillie for Senate would be fun
2/23/99: Fascism in the name of fighting fascism
2/16/99: Was anything learned from the impeachment trial?
2/12/99: Educating the democratic voters of tomorrow
2/10/99: First Amendment doesn't apply to pro-life cause
2/08/99: Dems' triumph over Constitution complete
2/03/99: Blood of victims will drown out breakfast prayers
2/01/99: Without a home the heart knows no rest
1/29/99: Poster boy for term-limits
1/27/99: The 'so-what' defense in the City of Saints
1/25/99: Whose choice?
1/21/99: Censure worse than nothing
1/18/99: Words can`t dignify a dishonored presidency
1/13/99: Conservatism "with a heart" is conservatism without a head
1/11/99: If he isn't removed, watch out for Bill!
1/07/99: We can learn a lot from Teddy
1/05/99: Monica and a call to modesty
12/30/98: Will Bubba get away with it again?
12/28/98: Zionist dream alive and well on West Bank
12/18/98: Impeach or abandon the Rule of Law
12/16/98: Clinton moves Middle East closer to war
12/14/98: Why we lost interest in the homeless
12/10/98: No place at table for conservatives
12/07/98: The day America lost its innocence
12/02/98: Pilgrims Pilloried in streets of Plymouth
11/30/98: Caribbean dogpatch not a good candidate for statehood
11/25/98: Will Vermont force gay marriage on the nation?
11/23/98: The ACLU wants your kids to get a love life
11/18/98: Why liberals hate tobacco and guns more than drugs and crime
11/16/98: "Pleasantville" a countercultural morality play
11/13/98: Ads are a tough sell for abortion
11/09/98: Why gutless Republicans lost
11/06/98: Historians against the Constitution
11/02/98: Loving response to a hateful conference
10/28/98: Professor Death will fit right in at Princeton
10/26/98: Plymouth caves to Pilgrim foes
10/21/98: On '98 election, keep a critical eye on polls
10/19/98: Clinton could yet be 'prosperity president'
10/16/98: Working families -- Dems love 'em (stuffed)
10/09/98: Majoring in 'weirdness'
10/07/98: Friends of Billy Clinton
9/29/98: Letter from ex-soldier highlights defense peril
9/28/98: Answering arguments against impeachment
9/18/98: The nation that doesn't exist
9/14/98: Bubba isn't the only one who should be ashamed
9/11/98: Resolution of Clinton crisis will define national character
9/09/98: We're still just wild about Harry
9/07/98: Mexican banditry didn't end with Pancho Villa
9/02/98: Clinton forgives us!
8/31/98: Ashcroft's plain talking touches responsive chord
8/26/98: Public opinion be damned
8/24/98: Why liberals condone Clinton's lies
8/20/98: Time to move on -- to impeachment
8/12/98: With Bubba in the sexual privacy zone
8/10/98: The truth won't set Clinton free
8/06/98: Truth about Hiroshima is incontrovertible
8/04/98: Clinton not the first hollow president
7/30/98: "Small Soldiers" -- a fractured Vietnam allegory
7/27/98: Crime wave hits hometown
7/22/98: Love in an Internet fishbowl
7/20/98: Ads bring ex-gay movement out of closet
7/15/98: Brian and Amy -- the children of Roe
7/13/98: Why are we scared of obnoxious 'activists?'
7/6/98: Fonda still resists reality
7/1/98: New York blesses domestic partnerships
6/29/98: Teddy and Calvin stood for virtue
6/24/98: Will Clinton betray Taiwan?
6/22/98: Big tobacco? What about big casinos?
6/15/98: Religion -- God for what ails you
6/10/98: Planning Clinton's China itinery
6/8/98: Republicans' Custer offers advice
6/4/98: Oh, Dems Christian-bashers!
6/2/98: Goldwater did conservatives more harm than good
5/27/98: A Clinton-hater confesses
5/15/98: Giuliani's assault on marriage
5/13/98: Hillary knows what's best for everyone
5/11/98: To honor her would not be honorable
5/6/98: Conservative chasm: pragmatism vs. worship of marketplace
5/4/98: Anglo-saxon me
4/29/98: Needle exchange programs are assisted-suicide
4/27/98: Chretien's mission of mercy to Fidel
4/22/98: School-choice is a religious freedom issue
4/20/98: Corporate execs deliver body parts to Beijing
4/14/98: National sales tax --- looks better all the time
4/13/98: The U.N. sinister? Hey, where did that idea come from?
4/8/98: Unions fight workers rights in 226 campaign
3/30/98: Africa's leaders should apologize
3/25/98: GOP shouldn't look to media for advice
3/22/98: You should care about Clinton's 'private life'
3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1999, Creators Syndicate