As I mentioned below there have been some very interesting posts and comments over on Gut Rumbles about the Civil War and slavery. One item pops up on occasion about the villainous William Tecumseh Sherman and his march to the sea. This plan was conceived by George Thomas, who if you read my archives, is one of my all time heroes. I named my oldest boy after him. He was a Southern Boy who believed that saving the Union was paramount to any consideration, but I digress.
The "rape" of Georgia and South Carolina by Union troops was a time-proven method of waging war. After four years, the North was sick of the waste of life and resources. The Confederate Government had become a joke, Jefferson Davis ruled with a totalitarian, socialist stranglehold on the States of the Confederacy. Conscription, taking of private property, the suspension of Rights were all done in the name of war. Many of the abuses heaped upon Lincoln happened right in the heart of the South as well. There was only one way to end the conflict sooner rather than later: the people of the South had to pay. The horrid butcher bill of the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Nashville so soured the Southern military that the order to surrender unconditionally was met by little resistance.
The destruction of property, farms, food, factories and the means of living so demoralized the general population of the deep South and Shenadoah Valley that they were only too happy to end the war. Fighting men concerned about the safety of their loved ones make poor soldiers. This method has proven effective against the South, the Indians in many wars, and to a lesser degree in Vietnam and Germany of WW II.
Right now many who decry Sherman's actions would like to see us put into place a similar policy in the Sunni Triangle and against terrorist strongholds in Afghanistan. As we celebrated the Anniversary of V-J day many of us wrote of the necessity of dropping the A bomb on Japan. We supported the decision as the right thing, saving US soldiers lives in the long run. Is there so much difference between the men of the Enola Gay and W.T. Sherman?
Grant, Sherman, Thomas, and Sheridan where are you? We must become willing to wage total war against our enemies. Let us go back to the Bush Doctrine after 9/11. Root out all terrorists. Destroy them root and stalk. We must be willing to destroy their food, the arms, their sustenance. We should turn their homes to dust. No longer can we turn a blind eye to Hamas, the Chechen Rebels, to Syria, Iran and North Korea. Terrorism and all who support it must be destroyed.
Rome had to fight Carthage repeatedly. Finally they had enough, the Carthaginian Solution. They destroyed the army of Carthage at Cannae, then they destroyed the city; plowed it under salt. Carthage was no more forever. It is time we adopted a Carthaginian solution for terrorists. History may not be kind, just ask Sherman. He was right, yet he is still somewhat vilified. It is time we recognized we are in a war of culture, of religion, of freedom. There is no compromise, no appeasement. It just may be time for the Carthaginian Solution.