Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prattville Dragoons Commander's Column for April 2014

Was the Confederacy simply ahead of it’s time and would it have survived or at least had international endorsement had the states seceded in the 21st century?  We know the cause of secession was an economic one caused by the imposition of oppressive tariffs which disproportionately penalized the agricultural trade of the Southern region, the proceeds of which were disproportionately allocated to Northern regional infrastructure and industrial projects.  An eerily similar parallel can be observed in the recent Ukrainian crisis.  The Ukrainian people toppled their president after he refused under Russian pressure to sign a trade deal with Europe, which provided the pretext for Putin to send in troops.  Putin wants Russian control of the Crimean Black Sea ports and of the region’s natural gas fields, to prevent western control of these vast energy resources.  The international response?   Secretary of State John Kerry said, "It is not appropriate to invade a country, and at the end of a barrel of a gun dictate what you are trying to achieve, so we don’t see a nation unilaterally invade another nation," Kerry said. "You just don't, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped up pretext." 

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a war measure disguised as an adoption of the abolitionist position of alleged moral superiority.  Putin characterized Russia's actions as "humanitarian” protecting the rights of the Crimean people, claiming they were fighting Nazis, maintaining the student demonstrators and insurgents were using anti-Russian and anti-Semitic slogans.   US President Obama responded, "Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties, and a military facility in Crimea, but any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.” Obama further said the Ukrainian people are “a sovereign people, an independent people (and ought to) be able to make decisions about their own lives.”  The result, general international condemnation and economic sanctions against the tyrannical Putin government and invading Russian forces.  Similarly, the Confederate States of America were a sovereign state and the citizens and government sought to be left alone, to make decisions about their own lives. But Lincoln could not allow the Southern states to leave the Union and with their departure the control of the natural resources and wealth of the South and the countless trading ports (from where he ceased to collect the aforementioned tariffs).   

In Libya, the brutal dictatorship of Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by internal factions and the United States response to this self-determination and the Arab spring?  US President Obama said, “The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.”  Obama demanded that the tyrant “relinquish power once and for all” adding that the Transitional National Council was recognized by the United States as the “legitimate governing authority in Libya.”  Nation building international diplomacy.  Regarding the crisis in Syria, Obama encouraged the rebel insurgents, "It does not solve the broader political situation. I would say to Mr. Assad, we need a political settlement so that you're not slaughtering your own people.”  Oh if the dictator Lincoln was so sternly rebuked.

The American public stands astoundingly ignorant of the parallels between the recent international developments to the issues 150 years ago which led to the secession and establishment of the Confederacy and interestingly showed narcissistic outrage when the demonstrators who ousted the Russian-backed Ukrainian President flew the Confederate Battle flag as a symbol of defiance to the Putin administration tyranny.  A news article observed, “Many African-Americans in the United States are furious to see the symbol of the Confederate States of America displayed in the capital  city of Ukraine. The flag of the Confederacy, nicknamed the "Stars and  Bars" is one of the most controversial symbols in the United States.  <http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/03/07/353575/antirussians-display-controversial-us-confederate-flag-in-kiev/>  Philosopher George Santayana foretold, “"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  With the stark sectional differences in the United States today, a culture of entitlements, government overreach and burdensome redistributive taxation and a progressive theology and moral relativism, is the United States far removed? 

April has been proclaimed Confederate History and Heritage Month in Alabama by Governor Bentley.  In this Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence, we have the opportunity to proclaim the truth and perpetuity of the Cause and the relevance today of the Confederate soldier’s brave struggle for freedom and sovereignty and states rights.  There are many events planned for this month to commemorate our Confederate ancestor’s heroic and legendary fight against the tyrannical Northern aggressors including our enjoyable annual picnic and the Living History at Confederate Memorial Park the first weekend of April thru the Confederate Memorial Day programs at the state capitol and the Prattville Dragoons Monument the final Monday.  Hope to see you at many of these events as we carry forth the Charge.

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