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Obama asked not to lay a wreath on the Confederate Veterans memorial.

Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
edited June 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Obama will lay a wreath.

On the one hand, the Civil War was about slavery (though more the political implications than the moral), and glorifying those who fought for slavery is kind of a bad thing; on the other hand, a small chunk of the Confederates were drafted, and it's not as if everybody in the South loved slavery and everyone in the North hated it. Was Obama right to deny the petition? Is it good politics? Good policy? Should maybe the next president stop doing it?

Note: I will cut the first person who compares the Confederates to the Nazis.

Captain Carrot on
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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    This is because people think they can just make things better by forgetting about the Confederacy.

    Those soldiers were still american citizens.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Your topic title is a little unclear. I read it and your post and thought Obama was asking people to not put a wreath on the memorial when it's nothing of the sort.

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  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I first read the OP as he did not honor them. Then I read the page and it said he did in fact honor them.

    The American Civil War was a terrible thing but I think it would be disingenuous to ignore any human life that was lost in the fighting.

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  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Sebesta, an editor of the book "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction," said the petition had 66 signatures when he sent it to the White House on Friday.

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  • DoxaDoxa Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Not according to them.

    But according to everyone else they were

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Both parties are being retarded here
    The scholars for ignoring the realities of the situation and regarding the Confederate soldiers as one huge slave-loving mass, and the Daughters of Confederacy (really? That's their name? Wtf) for even pretending the Civil War wasn't about slaves

  • TravanTravan ANOTHER one? Seriously?! Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I can accept Obama laying a wreath on the memorial for all the reasons presented here. They were still Americans, even if they didn't think so, fine, I get that. The Civil War was an American tragedy and we must remember the cost to both sides, that makes sense. But this just pisses me off:
    Jane Durden of the United Daughters of the Confederacy — the group that erected and maintains the monument — said the controversy reflects a misunderstanding that the Civil War was a defense of slavery rather than a patriotic call to arms.

    "This is a very controversial subject — we realize that," Durden said. "But all we ask is: I respect your views on things and I expect the same in return."

    The only problem I have is that it legitimizes this bullshit.

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  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    They will legitimize it with or without a memorial statue.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
  • ObsObs __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    The Civil War was not as simple as Slavery vs Anti-Slavery.

    The South had some legitimate reasons for wanting to break away.

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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    And encouraging them makes it worse.

    It's important we honor the people who died, especially on Memorial Day, regardless of who gets legitimized
    Some shit is more important than political practicality

  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Obs wrote: »
    The Civil War was not as simple as Slavery vs Anti-Slavery.

    The South had some legitimate reasons for wanting to break away.

    Such as?

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    And encouraging them makes it worse.

    Not really.

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  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Why am I not suprised that there are people willing to defend the Confederacy even today?

    I mean that a lot of confederate soldiers joined to defend their homes is a given. When large armies start tramping trough the neigborhood its only natural to want to fight them and there is no shame in respecting the dead.

    The Confederate cause however is moraly bankrupt and any attempt at a defense is pointless. People that do are not worth listening too.

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  • WinklebottomWinklebottom Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The daughters of the Confederacy is a pretty awful group, seeking to whitewash the slavery issues in the Civil War. I've had to do some layouts for some of their publications and they go so far as to imply slaves were treated nicely by slaveowner and that justifies the practice.

    But we shouldn't forget that the average confederate soldier was most likely not personally invested in slavery. Slaves were predominately owned by a select few wealthy landowners. Your average southern soldier was most likely about as racist as your northern soldier of the time. And while we shouldn't glorify or condone the reasons for the war, we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

  • KageraKagera Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Meh, let them have the damn wreath, the last thing Obama needs is for this to become a big issue that threatens his political clout.

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  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The daughters of the Confederacy is a pretty awful group, seeking to whitewash the slavery issues in the Civil War. I've had to do some layouts for some of their publications and they go so far as to imply slaves were treated nicely by slaveowner and that justifies the practice.

    But we shouldn't forget that the average confederate soldier was most likely not personally invested in slavery. Slaves were predominately owned by a select few wealthy landowners. Your average southern soldier was most likely about as racist as your northern soldier of the time. And while we shouldn't glorify or condone the reasons for the war, we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    The confederacy was a pile of poor people fighting against their own interests because a few rich white folks wanted to keep their workforce.

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  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2009
    The soldiers who fought and died for the Confederacy deserve to be remembered on Memorial Day.

    The politicians and statesmen who made the Confederacy necessary do not.

    There's no point in you getting both of yourselves all worked up and ready to chart the undiscovered country, then having her flush crimson red, run to the bathroom, and spend twenty minutes straining and grunting and stressing out because you're all ready to deliver your package but there's a three inch thick Sunday paper clogging up the mail slot.
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    Personally I wouldn't have a problem with this kind of approach.

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  • ProtoProto Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    Personally I wouldn't have a problem with this kind of approach.

    Really? Even knowing how soldiers are used and misused by politicians?

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  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Proto wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    Personally I wouldn't have a problem with this kind of approach.

    Really? Even knowing how soldiers are used and misused by politicians?

    Sherman's March to the Sea: Deserving of respect.
    Joe Bob's defending his home from a psychotic bastard that just torched Atlanta: Horrific beyond words.


    Glad we cleared that up.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2009
    Those fighting the war are different from those waging the war.

    So... Gobama?

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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    Read the fucking OP
    And in all honesty it's not that different, a comparative minority of German soldiers in WWII were responsible for the atrocities that occurred

  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The daughters of the Confederacy is a pretty awful group, seeking to whitewash the slavery issues in the Civil War. I've had to do some layouts for some of their publications and they go so far as to imply slaves were treated nicely by slaveowner and that justifies the practice.

    But we shouldn't forget that the average confederate soldier was most likely not personally invested in slavery. Slaves were predominately owned by a select few wealthy landowners. Your average southern soldier was most likely about as racist as your northern soldier of the time. And while we shouldn't glorify or condone the reasons for the war, we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    The confederacy was a pile of poor people fighting against their own interests because a few rich white folks wanted to keep their workforce.

    i have a feeling that the above concept (restated if necessary) is likely true for all wars.

    the civil war was fought over a particularly vile issue: slavery (and states' rights and shit like that too, but the most important issue was slavery). slavery is pretty much the worst possible thing i can think of, next to genocide.

    now, if we honor the soldiers who were, in effect, fighting on the side of slavery, regardless of how innocent or ignorant they personally were, then why don't we simply honor all soldiers, regardless of what cause they fight for? what would have happened if they won? what kind of world would we live in?

    i don't think every soldier is a victim. i don't think every soldier should be honored or memorialized. there are some soldiers who deserve to be forgotten and possibly even despised. does the confederate soldier deserve to be despised? i don't know. maybe, maybe not.

    but he certainly doesn't deserve to be honored.

  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The daughters of the Confederacy is a pretty awful group, seeking to whitewash the slavery issues in the Civil War. I've had to do some layouts for some of their publications and they go so far as to imply slaves were treated nicely by slaveowner and that justifies the practice.

    But we shouldn't forget that the average confederate soldier was most likely not personally invested in slavery. Slaves were predominately owned by a select few wealthy landowners. Your average southern soldier was most likely about as racist as your northern soldier of the time. And while we shouldn't glorify or condone the reasons for the war, we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    The confederacy was a pile of poor people fighting against their own interests because a few rich white folks wanted to keep their workforce.

    So the Republican party?

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    Read the fucking OP
    And in all honesty it's not that different, a comparative minority of German soldiers in WWII were responsible for the atrocities that occurred

    I did, it didn't answer my question.

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    You'd probably only be able to do this if the particular nature of the conflict guaranteed that all the soldiers fighting for it believed in it and thus they were fighting for it not because they had to but because they believe the things they were fighting for. And since this would give you, usually, a relatively small fighting force it doesn't come up that much in reality since most causes will just want as much manpower as possible.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    Read the fucking OP
    And in all honesty it's not that different, a comparative minority of German soldiers in WWII were responsible for the atrocities that occurred

    :|
    ...why is a comparison to Reagan at Bitburg out of bounds?

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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    Read the fucking OP
    And in all honesty it's not that different, a comparative minority of German soldiers in WWII were responsible for the atrocities that occurred

    I did, it didn't answer my question.
    Obviously you didn't read the whole thing, since I explicitly said I didn't want people Godwinning the thread.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    You'd probably only be able to do this if the particular nature of the conflict guaranteed that all the soldiers fighting for it believed in it and thus they were fighting for it not because they had to but because they believe the things they were fighting for. And since this would give you, usually, a relatively small fighting force it doesn't come up that much in reality since most causes will just want as much manpower as possible.

    Terrorists, for one.

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Given that some are espousing opinions whereby the soldiers of a conflict should be respected/not-respected based upon being on the wrong side of a conflict or the conflict fighting for terrible things, comparisons to how German soldiers were treated following WW2 are rather appropriate to the thread's discussion.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    Read the fucking OP
    And in all honesty it's not that different, a comparative minority of German soldiers in WWII were responsible for the atrocities that occurred

    I did, it didn't answer my question.
    Obviously you didn't read the whole thing, since I explicitly said I didn't want people Godwinning the thread.

    Yes, how dare people want to draw parallels between one of the few other controversies that arise from wreath laying and compare it with the issue presented in this thread. The contextually dependent bastards.

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  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    You'd probably only be able to do this if the particular nature of the conflict guaranteed that all the soldiers fighting for it believed in it and thus they were fighting for it not because they had to but because they believe the things they were fighting for. And since this would give you, usually, a relatively small fighting force it doesn't come up that much in reality since most causes will just want as much manpower as possible.

    Terrorists, for one.

    Sure, if you ignore the fact that the recruiting of terrorists or for rebel groups is done forcibly, typically to child soldiers (for the latter group) but not entirely restricted to children, where if you don't join you or your family is killed.

  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Obviously you didn't read the whole thing, since I explicitly said I didn't want people Godwinning the thread.

    Because you don't have an answer and it's a question you don't want to face? Because I see precisely zero differences between the two.

    Edit: What Moniker said.

  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Rent wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    So honest question, how does this differ from doing the same for say the Nazis? Is there a certain cut off when we go 'alright, that is just too fucked up a cause'? I mean it's not like the average german soldier at the time fought because they god damn hated those filthy jews, or were even aware of the camps.

    Read the fucking OP
    And in all honesty it's not that different, a comparative minority of German soldiers in WWII were responsible for the atrocities that occurred

    I did, it didn't answer my question.

    the way i see it, there is no legitimate method of making a distinction between the soldier on the ground and the commander or administration that directs that soldier.

    the only soldiers that i think are worthy of distinction are those that actually disobey orders to obey their conscience (and likely end up with dishonorable discharge, court martial, imprisonment, etc., etc.) this is the only time i can really consider a soldier a person and not a weapon.

    were there confederate soldiers who defected to the north because they disagreed with slavery? if so, i would have no problems honoring them. the others? not so much.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Ketherial wrote: »
    The daughters of the Confederacy is a pretty awful group, seeking to whitewash the slavery issues in the Civil War. I've had to do some layouts for some of their publications and they go so far as to imply slaves were treated nicely by slaveowner and that justifies the practice.

    But we shouldn't forget that the average confederate soldier was most likely not personally invested in slavery. Slaves were predominately owned by a select few wealthy landowners. Your average southern soldier was most likely about as racist as your northern soldier of the time. And while we shouldn't glorify or condone the reasons for the war, we shouldn't just say "oh well you fought for the wrong side, your a horrible person and deserve no respect".

    The confederacy was a pile of poor people fighting against their own interests because a few rich white folks wanted to keep their workforce.

    i have a feeling that the above concept (restated if necessary) is likely true for all wars.

    the civil war was fought over a particularly vile issue: slavery (and states' rights and shit like that too, but the most important issue was slavery). slavery is pretty much the worst possible thing i can think of, next to genocide.

    now, if we honor the soldiers who were, in effect, fighting on the side of slavery, regardless of how innocent or ignorant they personally were, then why don't we simply honor all soldiers, regardless of what cause they fight for? what would have happened if they won? what kind of world would we live in?

    i don't think every soldier is a victim. i don't think every soldier should be honored or memorialized. there are some soldiers who deserve to be forgotten and possibly even despised. does the confederate soldier deserve to be despised? i don't know. maybe, maybe not.

    but he certainly doesn't deserve to be honored.

    Talk to some veterans. Soldiers, on the whole, don't fight for a cause. They fight for their friends, their family, and, most of all, the other soldier next to him. If he was from New York instead of Virginia he'd probably have been wearing blue instead of grey.

    Also, please enlighten me how atrocities made for the right side of a fight deserves to be honored while the valour on the wrong side deserves to be forgotten?

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  • SarksusSarksus Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Captain Carrot, don't be such a thread nazi.

    I'm fine with Obama sending a wreath to a Confederate memorial for reasons already pretty well laid out by others. Depending on the circumstances I might also support a similar gesture for those who fought on the German side of WW2. Towards the end of the war they started using the very young and the very old, yes?

    It's not so black and white. Regardless of the side a soldier fought on they could not necessarily be held responsible for the actions of the commanding officers. Obviously there is a point where one's actions are one's own responsibility but there were a lot of soldiers who were simply victims of circumstances who had little choice in the matter.

  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Ketherial wrote: »
    the way i see it, there is no legitimate method of making a distinction between the soldier on the ground and the commander or administration that directs that soldier.

    the only soldiers that i think are worthy of distinction are those that actually disobey orders to obey their conscience (and likely end up with dishonorable discharge, court martial, imprisonment, etc., etc.) this is the only time i can really consider a soldier a person and not a weapon.

    were there confederate soldiers who defected to the north because they disagreed with slavery? if so, i would have no problems honoring them. the others? not so much.

    This arguement is ludicrous

    You really think most Confederate soldiers knew what they were fighting for? I guarantee a whole shitload of it was politician fearmongering about how the "government" was "going to take away state's rights" and it was their "duty as a person to defend their home". And you think the Union soldiers were white knights of peace? Give me a break. I'm sure a majority of them joined due to draft/ a sense of fear for their home, the same as the Confederates

    Saying people shouldn't be honored because they were born south of the Mason-Dixon is both reductionary and ignorant

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