Stephan Thernstrom: Kerry's Phony Test for War
Stephan Thernstrom, in a letter to the Wash Post (Aug. 12, 2004):
Robert Kagan offered a thoughtful critique of the "Kerry Doctrine" -- that the United States goes to war only "because we have to." I suggest another example he failed to mention.
Did President Abraham Lincoln really have to use force to preserve the Union in 1861? After all, the people of several Southern states were only asserting a right that had been spelled out in the Declaration of Independence long before. These people reached their decision through democratic political processes.
No serious historian would contend that the Confederacy had any designs on Northern territory. Had Lincoln been willing to abandon Fort Sumter instead of resupplying it, 600,000 American deaths could have been avoided.
I believe that Lincoln was un- questionably right to act as he did, but I wonder how supporters of the Kerry Doctrine could reach the same conclusion.
comments powered by Disqus
- Is it a reminder of Nazis or a historical object worthy of saving?
- Supreme Court reveals that the docket books of many justices survive -- and are being made available
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- Jesse Lemisch’s up-from-below history is still strikingly original
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies