Monday, May 16, 2022


The Spirit of Lincoln Lachrymose at Luhansk

Lincoln's supreme rhetorical trick at Gettysburg was to honor the dead of both sides without appearing to honor the Confederate cause.  (The cemetery dedicated that day was, to be sure, reserved for the Union dead.)  He needed to do this in the interest of healing the country, in the spirit of holding "malice toward none."  But at the same time and at his command, his best generals, Grant and Sherman, poured Union men into the maw of death unflinchingly, with eyes open for the later, greater good.

Perhaps it's too late ever to welcome the Russian people back into the fold of normal nations.  They have not progressed, it seems, beyond the delusions that sustained them under communism, the pitiful falling back on «у нас лучше» -- "we have it better" -- despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.  But this does not mean that we should not join in mourning most of their dead, the 20,000 or so young men who were poured into the maw of death in an entirely pointless and criminal cause that was not even revealed to them until the day of the ill-fated invasion.

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