Stephan Thernstrom: Kerry's Phony Test for WarRoundup: Historians' Take
Robert Kagan offered a thoughtful critique of the "Kerry Doctrine" -- that the United States goes to war only "because we have to." I suggest another example he failed to mention.
Did President Abraham Lincoln really have to use force to preserve the Union in 1861? After all, the people of several Southern states were only asserting a right that had been spelled out in the Declaration of Independence long before. These people reached their decision through democratic political processes.
No serious historian would contend that the Confederacy had any designs on Northern territory. Had Lincoln been willing to abandon Fort Sumter instead of resupplying it, 600,000 American deaths could have been avoided.
I believe that Lincoln was un- questionably right to act as he did, but I wonder how supporters of the Kerry Doctrine could reach the same conclusion.
comments powered by Disqus
- The six-day war: why Israel is still divided over its legacy 50 years on
- "Space archaeology" transforms how ancient sites are discovered
- A military cemetery whose African American history is hidden in plain sight in Philadelphia
- Texas Senate increases education board's textbook veto power
- The Secret Transcripts of the Six-Day War
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools
- Mark Moyar explains why he came to believe the Vietnam War was winnable
- How should Texas high schoolers learn history?
- What's the 'greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history’?