Abraham Lincoln is Killing His Own People

by Benjamin Studebaker

The way the administration has been swinging coverage of the recent chemical attack in Syria and surrounding fallout has gradually sickened me severely. In the interests of levity and biting satire, I thought of an interesting notion–what if, in European countries, politicians and journalists had discussed the American Civil War within the same ideological framework that is presently used when discussing the Syrian case? Elites in the British Empire actually did seriously consider intervening in that war on behalf of the confederacy in order to secure their cotton supply, which was endangered by the union blockade. Thankfully, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 1860’s did not share John Kerry’s temperament. But what if he did?

The Syrian Civil War has killed 100,000 Syrians, 0.5% of the Syrian population. The American Civil War killed 750,000 Americans, 2.4% of the US population at that time. The Battle of Gettysburg alone killed more than 150,000 Americans in a three-day period. The chemical attack Assad is presently being threatened with cruise missiles over killed between 300 and 1,300 people, depending on where you get your estimate. That’s between 115 and 500 times more casualties. If the administration calls for cruise missiles in response to this attack, what would a response that’s 115 to 500 times greater entail? Nukes? Thankfully, the British in the 1860’s didn’t have nukes, but they could have sicked the British navy on us and hailed redcoats down on us from Canada.

With that in mind, let’s take some quotes from advocates of Syrian intervention and imagine how they’d sound if they came from enraged British people. First, this bit from the Chicago Tribune:

“Abraham Lincoln is at war with his own people. He is at war with America. He is at war with Americans,” said Jeremiah Stephenson, executive director of the American British Council. “We are here to tell the world that we stand behind our brothers and sisters on the ground in America.”

Protesters lined the sidewalk holding signs that read “Stop Genocide” and “Lincoln = Napoleon.” Young children stood alongside parents and friends, proudly waving the American flag and chanting in Southern drawls.

“It’s not just an American cause, it’s a cause for everyone who seeks freedom and equality,” said Charles Thatherton, associate director of the Mormon Foundation. “It’s a Southern Spring, but it’s a righteous cause.”

From The Times of Malta:

Lincoln never wanted a negotiated settlement ever since peaceful secessionists erupted in South Carolina almost 18 months ago. His immediate reaction was to crack down savagely on confederates simply because they were demanding political reform…

There is a limit to how long the world can just watch in horror as atrocities are committed in America. We have to keep in mind that the Union Army and pro-Lincoln militias have been particularly brutal in this conflict.

From John McCain:

Intervening would save innocent lives, give the Confederates a better chance to succeed and eventually provide security and responsible governance in America after Lincoln. However, the longer we wait, the worse the situation gets, and the tougher it will be to confront.

For Britain, our interests are our values, and our values are our interests. Nearly two decades ago, I worked with Whigs and Tories to support Prime Minister Pitt as he led Britain to stop mass atrocities by Napoleon. The question for another Prime Minister today, and for all British citizens, is whether we will again answer the desperate pleas for rescue that are made uniquely to us, the British Empire.

From John Kerry:

Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by General Sherman is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.

From Tony Blair:

They have to be defeated. We should defeat them, however long it takes because otherwise they will not disappear. They will grow stronger until, at a later time, there will be another crossroads and this time there will be no choice…

People wince at the thought of intervention. But contemplate the future consequence of inaction and shudder: America mired in carnage between the brutality of Lincoln and various bushwhackers, a breeding ground of extremism infinitely more dangerous than France in the 1890s; America in chaos, with the West, however unfairly, looking as if it is giving succor to those who would turn it into a Protestant version of Napoleonic France…

I hear people talking as if there was nothing we could do: the Union defence systems are too powerful, the issues too complex, and in any event, why take sides since they’re all as bad as each other?…

But others are taking sides. They’re not terrified of the prospect of intervention. They’re intervening. To support an assault on civilians not seen since the dark days of Bonaparte.

From Samantha Power:

I don’t know that I can recall a leader who has, in a way, written a new playbook for brutality in terms of the range of grotesque tactics that the Lincoln regime has employed in response to a democratic uprising…

History shows that regimes that brutalize their own people in that manner, that totally force it, their legitimacy, that do not abide by even basic norms of human decency, they just do not have the support to sustain themselves,

From Susan Rice:

I particularly regret that Her Majesty’s government has failed to act decisively as more than 600,000 Americans have been killed and millions more displaced…

The government’s inaction on America is a moral and strategic disgrace that history will judge harshly.

From Francois Hollande:

France is ready to punish those who took the decision to cannonade the innocent.

Of course, the United States was not the only country to have a civil war–Britain and France famously had domestic conflict of their own in order to select new methods of governance. The English Civil War killed 868,000 people in the 17th century, out of a population of 6 million, or about 14.5% of the population.  No one intervened in that conflict, and Britain adopted roughly the constitutional framework it presently operates under as a result.  The French Revolution, of course, was heavily intervened in by a variety of countries, sparking the Napoleonic Wars, killing somewhere between 3.5 and 6.5 million people–it was so chaotic, we really have no consensus view of the estimate of the damage done there. The Napoleonic Wars also led to future conflicts, as the reinstatement of an old form of government that the French people were not compatible with (the Bourbons) led to future revolutions and conflicts. Sometimes, it’s best to let people work their differences out on their own, even when that means that they’re going to rough each other up quite a bit, isn’t it?