March 26, 2009

Commenting in a new book on Abraham Lincoln, former president Jimmy Carter observed “(Lincoln) ignores the fact that the tragic combat might have been avoided altogether, and that the leaders of both sides, overwhelmingly Christian, were violating a basic premise of their belief as followers of the Prince of Peace.”

Neoconservative Ira Stoll, wrote of Carter’s criticism of Lincoln in the New York Daily News this week “€œHow much patience should Lincoln have had with the immoral institution? How many more lashes should have fallen on the backs of American blacks during Carter’s hypothetical waiting period for slavery to terminate “€˜peacefully?”€

Whereas men like Carter, a Navy veteran, dare to consider the moral complexities, political intricacies and human cost of war, neoconservatives “€“ most of whom have never seen a day of service “€“ always whittle such questions down to a childlike framework of “€œgood vs. evil.”€ Stoll never brings up the fact that 600,000 men died in the War Between the States, which is the main point of Carter’s criticism. Likewise, when Iraq war critics bring up soldier deaths and casualties, neoconservatives always ignore them, instead declaring it all worth it to defeat the “€œevil”€ Saddam Hussein.

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