October 29, 2009

From the Dept. of Poorly Chosen Historical Analogies

I interrupt my blogging hiatus to bring you the following report.

Christopher Buckley, one of my favorite authors, read Matthew Hoh's letter and is now calling for us to withdraw from Afghanistan. All fine and good. But he chooses an unfortunate historical analogy:

Reading [Matthew Hoh's] letter, I thought of the famous exchange between the Confederate soldier and his Yankee captor.


Why do you hate us so, Johnny Reb?


Because this is our land, and you’re on it.

Ah, yes, I remember the Great Southern War for Independence. How the Union Army, fearing quagmire, realized its errors and so wisely withdrew from the newly declared Confederate States of America... uh, hold on... what?! Maybe Christopher Buckley has read different histories of the U.S. Civil War than I have, but I think the Union Army ended up sacrificing a couple hundred thousand dead to affirm federal supremacy, preserve the union and end slavery. I'm not saying Afghanistan is in the same ballpark or even in the same sport in terms of importance, but we can all agree Buckley would have been wiser to have stuck with the tried-and-true Vietnam analogies on this one.