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samedi, 19 août 2017

The Austrian Empire and the Confederacy


The Austrian Empire and the Confederacy

Ex: http://madmonarchist.blogspot.com
The American Civil War was the bloodiest conflict ever fought in the western hemisphere of the world and, as such, attracted a great deal of attention from other powers. Previously, I have discussed on these pages how a war between two factions of republicans actually had a tremendous impact on the monarchist cause in the Americas. Most of the ‘Great Powers’ of Europe had an interest in the War Between the States. The British Empire had an economic interest with southern cotton feeding the textile mills of England while the industrial centers of the northern states were major competitors. Indeed, only a few decades after the war ended with the north victorious, the United States of America surpassed Great Britain as the world’s largest economy and has remained so ever since. The tentative steps of the Kingdom of Spain to rebuild the Spanish Empire in Latin America, the French-backed restoration of the Mexican Empire and the French plans for a “Kingdom of the Andes” in South America all depended on the Confederacy being victorious due to opposition to all such endeavors by the Union government in Washington DC.

The northern states were also home to large numbers of European immigrants who had fled their countries after failed revolutionary movements, so there were many Irish republicans in the north who detested the British Empire and many liberal Germans who had fled in the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848. The only ‘Great Power’ to be seen at least as supportive of the U.S. government was the Russian Empire and this was mostly due to the fact that Britain and France were seen as friendlier to the Confederacy and the Russians hoped to counter this such as when Russia sold Alaska to the United States in order to prevent it being added to Canada by the British in a potential future conflict. The Austrian Empire was not extremely concerned about events in America, having many pressing problems of their own to deal with at the time, but that is not to say that they were not interested at all. Although the Emperor of Austria, Francis Joseph, had opposed the whole adventure, his younger brother was Emperor of Mexico and thus his fate, and that of the Austrian volunteer corps sent to aid him in Mexico, also depended almost entirely on the Confederates winning their independence.


As also pointed out previously, the Confederacy was also greatly influenced by the style of the Austrian Empire. The uniforms of the Confederate army were inspired by those of the Austrian light infantry and the first Confederate national flag was inspired by the ensign of the Austrian Empire, both being designed by the Prussian artist Nicola Marschall. The Emperor of Austria also had his own “eyes on the ground” so to speak, in the person of Captain FitzGerald Ross, a British-born officer of the Sixth Austrian Hussar Regiment. He made quite a stir in the southern states with his waxed moustache and braided Hussar uniform, in fact he was almost mobbed by admirers after being persuaded by some Confederate officers to wear his full dress uniform, fur busby, dolman and all, for a ride with them. He witness the Battle of Gettysburg, then went to Richmond, Charleston and then Chattanooga, Tennessee where he observed the fight from the lines of the Confederate General Braxton Bragg. He also visited the Gulf coast, Mobile, Alabama and so on. Like many, he was very impressed by the Confederate military and, like many more, was also impressed by the southern ladies. He became an ardent Confederate sympathizer, even to the point of picking up a rifle and taking part in a battle during his long stay in the south. When Ross finally returned to Europe, no matter what bad news reached him, he remained confident that the south would ultimately win.

Such a thing would have, inadvertently, greatly expanded Austrian influence in the New World given that the establishment of a Habsburg monarchy in Mexico (or rather the ‘reestablishment’) would have given Austria a sort of foothold in the region. Confederate President Jefferson Davis was certainly aware of this and tried to enlist the Prussian observer, Captain Justus Scheibert, as an envoy to Emperor Napoleon III of France. He proposed a sort of Franco-Confederate alliance, pointing out that in the Mexican War (of which Davis was a noted veteran) the U.S. had defeated Mexico with only 12,000 men and that if Napoleon would lift the Union blockade of the southern coast, which Davis believed could be done with ‘the stroke of a pen’ and would ensure a Confederate victory, he would supply 20,000 Confederate troops to aid the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, explaining that southern troops were adjusted to the climate and familiar with the fighting style of the Mexicans.

However, this, as we know, did not come to pass. Although tempted, none of the European powers ultimately were bold enough to risk war with the United States by recognizing the Confederacy (though Pope Pius IX did address a letter to Jefferson Davis as President of the C.S.A.). When the Confederacy fell, the effort to spread monarchy in the Americas quickly fell apart. The U.S. government dispatched an army to the south Texas border and warned the French to withdraw or face war. Napoleon, not wishing to see the enterprise be for nothing, hoped that the Austrian Empire would take up the French cause of supporting the Mexican imperialists. A further 2,000 Austrian volunteers (roughly) were assembled at the port of Trieste, ready to embark for Mexico and fight for Emperor Maximilian. It was, though, at that point that the Union government stepped in by way of U.S. Minister to Vienna John Lothrop Motley who went to the Hofburg and informed the Austrian Emperor quite bluntly that the U.S. recognized only Benito Juarez as the leader of the legitimate Mexican government and that if the Austrian troops were allowed to leave, the U.S. would consider the Austrian Empire to be at war with the Mexican Republic and the U.S. Navy would take retaliatory action on behalf of Mexico.


The expedition was thus canceled, the Austrian soldiers disbanded and the Austrian Volunteer Corps already fighting in Mexico was promptly recalled. Many had already been slaughtered at the Battle of Santa Gertrudis where, seeing which way the winds were blowing, their comrades of the Mexican Imperial Army had deserted in the middle of the battle to join the republicans. The surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court House in 1865 had set the dominos to falling, the Austrians pulled out and shortly thereafter the Habsburg Emperor of Mexico was captured and shot, the Austrian Emperor then even having a difficult time retrieving the body of his slain younger brother. The Imperial House of Habsburg had had a presence in the Americas ever since Philip the Handsome and Charles V had held their Spanish crowns until the succession was taken up by the Bourbons of France. In 1864, however, another Habsburg returned to, he hoped, usher in a new era of monarchy in the Americas but with the fall of the Confederacy, it was inevitable that the Habsburgs would once again lose their place in the New World.

mercredi, 04 février 2015

Exporting Sherman’s March


Sherman statue anchors one southern corner of Central Park (with Columbus on a stick anchoring the other):
Exporting Sherman’s March



& http://www.lewrockwell.com

shermans_ghosts.jpgMatthew Carr’s new book, Sherman’s Ghosts: Soldiers, Civilians, and the American Way of War, is presented as “an antimilitarist military history” — that is, half of it is a history of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s conduct during the U.S. Civil War, and half of it is an attempt to trace echoes of Sherman through major U.S. wars up to the present, but without any romance or glorification of murder or any infatuation with technology or tactics. Just as histories of slavery are written nowadays without any particular love for slavery, histories of war ought to be written, like this one, from a perspective that has outgrown it, even if U.S. public policy is not conducted from that perspective yet.

What strikes me most about this history relies on a fact that goes unmentioned: the former South today provides the strongest popular support for U.S. wars. The South has long wanted and still wants done to foreign lands what was — in a much lesser degree — done to it by General Sherman.

What disturbs me most about the way this history is presented is the fact that every cruelty inflicted on the South by Sherman was inflicted ten-fold before and after on the Native Americans. Carr falsely suggests that genocidal raids were a feature of Native American wars before the Europeans came, when in fact total war with total destruction was a colonial creation. Carr traces concentration camps to Spanish Cuba, not the U.S. Southwest, and he describes the war on the Philippines as the first U.S. war after the Civil War, following the convention that wars on Native Americans just don’t count (not to mention calling Antietam “the single most catastrophic day in all U.S. wars” in a book that includes Hiroshima). But it is, I think, the echo of that belief that natives don’t count that leads us to the focus on Sherman’s march to the sea, even as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gaza are destroyed with weapons named for Indian tribes. Sherman not only attacked the general population of Georgia and the Carolinas on his way to Goldsboro — a spot where the U.S. military would later drop nuclear bombs (that very fortunately didn’t explode) — but he provided articulate justifications in writing, something that had become expected of a general attacking white folks.

What intrigues me most is the possibility that the South today could come to oppose war by recognizing Sherman’s victims in the victims of U.S. wars and occupations. It was in the North’s occupation of the South that the U.S. military first sought to win hearts and minds, first faced IEDs in the form of mines buried in roads, first gave up on distinguishing combatants from noncombatants, first began widely and officially (in the Lieber Code) claiming that greater cruelty was actually kindness as it would end the war more quickly, and first defended itself against charges of war crimes using language that it (the North) found entirely convincing but its victims (the South) found depraved and sociopathic. Sherman employed collective punishment and the assaults on morale that we think of as “shock and awe.” Sherman’s assurances to the Mayor of Atlanta that he meant well and was justified in all he did convinced the North but not the South. U.S. explanations of the destruction of Iraq persuade Americans and nobody else.

sher4130-004-383D8192.jpgSherman believed that his nastiness would turn the South against war. “Thousands of people may perish,” he said, “but they now realize that war means something else than vain glory and boasting. If Peace ever falls to their lot they will never again invite War.” Some imagine this to be the impact the U.S. military is having on foreign nations today. But have Iraqis grown more peaceful? Does the U.S. South lead the way in peace activism? When Sherman raided homes and his troops employed “enhanced interrogations” — sometimes to the point of death, sometimes stopping short — the victims were people long gone from the earth, but people we may be able to “recognize” as people. Can that perhaps help us achieve the same mental feat with the current residents of Western Asia? The U.S. South remains full of monuments to Confederate soldiers. Is an Iraq that celebrates today’s resisters 150 years from now what anyone wants?

When the U.S. military was burning Japanese cities to the ground it was an editor of the Atlanta Constitution who, quoted by Carr, wrote “If it is necessary, however, that the cities of Japan are, one by one, burned to black ashes, that we can, and will, do.” Robert McNamara said that General Curtis LeMay thought about what he was doing in the same terms as Sherman. Sherman’s claim that war is simply hell and cannot be civilized was then and has been ever since used to justify greater cruelty, even while hiding within it a deep truth: that the civilized decision would be to abolish war.

The United States now kills with drones, including killing U.S. citizens, including killing children, including killing U.S. citizen children. It has not perhaps attacked its own citizens in this way since the days of Sherman. Is it time perhaps for the South to rise again, not in revenge but in understanding, to join the side of the victims and say no to any more attacks on families in their homes, and no therefore to any more of what war has become?

samedi, 11 octobre 2014

Northern Opposition to Lincoln’s War


Debunking the Myth of “National Unity”: Northern Opposition to Lincoln’s War

Of course, there is never “national unity” about anything, especially war, democratic politics being what it is.  When is the last time you heard of a unanimous vote expressing national unity in the U.S. Congress about anything?  Even the vote to declare war on Japan after Pearl Harbor was not unanimous.

The myth of national unity during the “Civil War” was invented and cultivated by the history profession, the Republican Party, and the New England clergy in the post-war era to “justify” the killing of hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens in the Southern states; the plundering of the South during “Reconstruction;” the destruction of the voluntary union of the states and the system of federalism that was created by the founding fathers; and the adoption of Hamiltonian mercantilism as America’s new economic system.

Any serious student of the “Civil War” knows that this is all absurd nonsense.  In addition to myriad draft riots, there were massive desertions from the Union Army from the very beginning of the war (see Ella Lonn, Desertion During the Civil War); Lincoln did shut down hundreds of opposition newspapers and imprison thousands of Northern political dissenters without due process.  He did deport the most outspoken Democratic Party critic in Congress, Clement L. Vallandigham of Dayton, Ohio.  He did rig elections by having soldiers intimidate Democratic Party voters.  And he did send some 15,000 federal troops to murder the New York City draft rioters by the hundreds in July of 1863. All of this has been discussed for decades in “mainstream” history scholarship such as Constitutional Problems Under Lincoln by James Randall and Freedom Under Lincoln by Dean Sprague.  The history profession has, however, done a meticulous job in seeing to it that such facts rarely, if ever, make it into the textbooks that are used in the public schools.

But times are changing in the era of the internet and of independent scholarship on the subject by scholars associated with such organizations as the Abbeville Institute.  The Institute’s latest publication is entitled Northern Opposition to Mr. Lincoln’s War, edited by D. Jonathan White.  It includes essays by White, Brion McClanahan, Marshall DeRosa, Arthur Trask, Joe Stromberg, Richard Valentine, Richard Gamble, John Chodes, and Allen Mendenhall.  These nine scholarly essays destroy the nationalist myth of “national unity” in the North during the War to Prevent Southern Independence.

Marshall DeRosa’s opening essay on “President Franklin Pierce and the War for Southern Independence” goes a long way in explaining why the nationalists in American politics believed that it was imperative to invent the myth of national unity.  President Franklin Pierce of New Hampshire was a Democrat who opposed the invasion of the Southern states.   He was a Jeffersonian, states-rights president, which is why he was mercilessly smeared by Lincoln’s hatchet man, William Seward, who accused him of treason (re-defined by the Lincoln administration as any criticism of it and its policies).  The real objects of Seward and Lincoln’s wrath towards Pierce, DeRosa explains, were the ideas that President Pierce stood for and was elected president on, as illustrated in the Democratic Party Platform of 1852.

The main ideas of this platform, upon which Pierce ran for president were: a federal government of limited powers, delegated to it by the states; opposition to the form of corporate welfare known as “internal improvements”; free trade and open immigration; gradual extinction of the national debt; opposition to a national bank; and realizing that the Constitution would have to be amended as a means of peacefully ending slavery.  This latter position was the position of the famous nineteenth-century libertarian abolitionist, Lysander Spooner, author of The Unconstitutionality of Slavery.

It was because of these ideas that Pierce was libeled and smeared by the Republican Party of his day, with subsequent generations of historians merely repeating the smears disguised as “scholarship.”  Lincoln’s claim to fame, on the other hand, writes DeRosa, “is not that he adhered to the rule of law [as Pierce did], but that he had the audacity to disregard it.”  Thanks to the history profession, moreover, “Americans continue to pay homage to the villains that laid the tracks to our present sorry state of affairs.”

D. Jonathan White surveys the Northern opponents of Lincoln’s war that were slandered by the administration and its media mouthpieces as “copperheads” (snakes in the grass).  Among the “copperheads” were many prominent citizens of the North who, like President Pierce, were passionate defenders of the rule of law and constitutionally-limited government.  Their main complaints were against Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus and the mass arrest of Northern political opponents without due process; the draft law, which they considered to be a form of slavery; the income tax imposed by the Lincoln administration – the first in American history; and protectionist tariffs (the cornerstone of the Republican Party platform of 1860).  Because of these beliefs, hundreds, if not thousands of “copperheads” were imprisoned without due process by the Lincoln administration.

Allen Mendenhall contributes a very interesting article about how the famous U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was wounded three times in the war, became a sharp critic of Lincoln, his “mystical” union, and the war during the rest of his life.  Brion McClanahan’s essay describes in scholarly detail the Jeffersonian Democrats in the state of Delaware who opposed the war (the state gave its three electoral votes and 46 percent of the popular vote to Southern Democrat John Breckenridge in the 1860 election).  R.T. Valentine does essentially the same thing in his chapter on opposition to Lincoln’s policies in Westchester County, New York and the greater Hudson Valley.  He describes in detail how the residents of these areas, many of whom had family history in the area going back to the time of the founding, deeply resented the pushy, imperialistic, arrogant “Yankees” who were the base of Lincoln’s support and who had been moving into New York state from New England in droves.

Arthur Trask demonstrates that there was also a great deal of opposition to Lincoln’s war in Philadelphia, where many residents had long-lasting business and personal relationships with Southerners, while John Chodes writes of the horrible wartime governor of Indiana, Oliver P. Morton, who apparently fancied himself as a mini-Lincoln with his imprisonment of dissenters and other dictatorial acts.

Joe Stromberg and Richard Gamble contribute chapters that explain the role of the Northern clergy in instigating the war.  Stromberg writes of the impulse of many Northern clergymen to use the coercive powers of the state to try to create some version of heaven on earth.  Worse yet,  “[T]he war of 1861-1865, as preached by the clergy surveyed here, became a permanent template for subsequent American crusades, whatever their origins.  From the Free Soil argument of the 1850s, through two World Wars, Cold War, and down to Iraq and beyond.  American leaders insist that their latest enemy [ISIS?] is both inherently expansionist and committed to some form of slavery.  It is therefore the duty of the new enemy to surrender ‘unconditionally’ and undergo reconstruction and reeducation for the good of all mankind . . .”

Richard Gamble traces the transformation of “Old School Presbyterianism” to where it embraced “political preaching.”  For example, upon Lincoln’s election a national assembly meeting in Philadelphia issued a proclamation that was “a turning point in the history of American Presbyterianism”:  “That in the judgment of this Assembly, it is the duty of the ministry and churches under its care to do all in their power to promote and perpetuate the integrity of the Unite States [government], and to strengthen, uphold, and encourage the Federal Government.”  The Old School Presbyterians, writes Gamble, “enlisted their church on the Union side,” which is to say, the side that would soon be invading, murdering, raping, and plundering its way through the Southern states.  This, Gamble argues, is how war and imperialism became the keystone of America’s “civil religion.”  This bogus “religion” is illustrated a thousand times over in the Laurence Vance archives on LewRockwell.com.

The Abbeville Institute is to be congratulated for publishing this latest correction of the historical record regarding Lincoln’s war.  Northern Opposition to Mr. Lincoln’s War should be a part of the library of every American who resents having been lied to by his teachers, professors, film makers, and authors, and who seeks the truth about his own country’s history.

The Best of Thomas DiLorenzo 

vendredi, 06 janvier 2012

John Brown, discutibile eroe abolizionista, perseguiva scientemente la guerra civile americana

John Brown, discutibile eroe abolizionista, perseguiva scientemente la guerra civile americana

di Francesco Lamendola

Fonte: Arianna Editrice [scheda fonte]

«John Brown giace nella tomba là nel pian,
dopo una lunga lotta contro l’oppressor;
John Brown giace nella tomba là nel pian
ma l’anima vive ancor…! […]
L’hanno impiccato come fosse un traditor,
ma traditore fu colui che lo impiccò;
John Brown giace nella tomba là nel pian,
ma l’anima vive ancor…!»

Immagino che a molti bambini che hanno frequentato le elementari negli anni Sessanta, come me, sia stata insegnata, nell’ora di musica, questa canzone dalle note squillanti e dal ritmo maestoso, quasi solenne, magari da una maestra di canto che s’infervorava come se stesse celebrando una solenne liturgia profana.
L’altra canzone preferita di quella maestra  era «Bella ciao», che ci faceva cantare ogni settimana, immancabilmente, e sempre con pari trasporto: mentre pestava sui tasti del pianoforte, ci guardava con occhio di falco, per scoprire se qualcuno faceva solo finta di cantare, muovendo in silenzio le labbra; si vedeva che, per lei, quella musica e quelle parole rappresentavano una dichiarazione di guerra a tutto ciò che considerava politicamente e moralmente riprovevole: lo schiavismo degli Stati Uniti del Sud e il fascismo, affastellati nella stessa, inesorabile condanna.
Ogni nuova religione ha le sue precise liturgie, come e più della vecchia, ch’essa pretende di soppiantare; il marxismo, che è stato la nuova religione dell’Occidente fin quasi alla vigilia del crollo del sistema sovietico, aveva le sue; e questa era una di quelle, dove la maestra comunista poteva contrapporre il suo giovane e trionfante credo laico, portatore di luce e di giustizia fra i popoli, a quello del prete che, in oratorio, somministrava ai bambini le preesistenti certezze, vetuste d’anni e perciò affascinanti, ma verosimilmente - così sembrava allora, quasi a tutti - destinate alla sconfitta, per disseccamento e consunzione.
John Brown, dunque, nella mitologia progressista e libertaria degli ani Sessanta, era una sacra icona di quella nuova religione laica, che era resa sempre più autorevole e suggestiva dai trionfi della “sua” scienza (i primi viaggi nello spazio e i primi sbarchi sulla Luna, sia pure con astronavi senza equipaggio, da parte dei Sovietici); egli aveva lottato, come un nobile cavaliere dell’ideale, per l’idea di giustizia sociale più evidente e d’immediata comprensione: il diritto di ciascun essere umano di nascere e rimanere libero da qualsiasi padrone.
E lasciamo perdere se, nel sistema della politica e dell’economia moderne, la tanto celebrata “libertà” dell’individuo sia davvero tutelata come quei sacerdoti della nuova fede, così come i loro irriducibili avversari capitalisti - nell’esaltazione dell’antischiavismo erano tutti d’accordo, così come nella esecrazione del fascismo e nell’azzeramento di vent’anni della storia italiana recentissima - andavano trionfalisticamente sostenendo; lasciamo perdere, perché ciò meriterebbe un discorso a parte.
Nella canzoncina, universalmente nota, dedicata alla celebrazione della figura di John Brown, vi sono molti tratti di derivazione religiosa: in effetti, più che una celebrazione laica, sembra un martirologio in piena regola; vi è, inoltre, un tacito parallelismo (e tutto a suo favore) con l’immagine del Cristo crocifisso, perché, se l’anima di entrambi vive ancora, John Brown è sceso nella tomba dopo aver lottato lungamente contro l’oppressore, mentre Cristo non ha saputo fare altro che amare tutti gli uomini, anche i nemici, e perdonare i suoi stessi carnefici…
Ma i bambini crescono e capita che vengano presi da strane curiosità; per esempio, da quella di verificare sino a che punto l‘agiografia di quei “santi” laici del Progresso, della Libertà e della Giustizia corrisponda, non diciamo alla palese idealizzazione che ne è stata fatta a scopo ideologico, ma, almeno un poco, a quella che gli storici hanno ancora il vizio incorreggibile di chiamare “la verità dei fatti”.
John Brown, dunque, è stato un profeta armato: questo è il primo dato di fatto che, sfrondato l’alone della leggenda, emerge incontrovertibile; nessuno scandalo in questo, la storia è letteralmente piena di profeti armati, più numerosi, senza dubbio, di quelli disarmati e specialmente sul terreno politico e sociale: per un Gandhi che pratica, e predica, la lotta nonviolenta, se ne trovano almeno dieci che danno senz’altro la parola al fucile, sia pure, beninteso, anzi specialmente, per affermare i sacrosanto principi dell’89: libertà, fraternità, uguaglianza.
Benissimo; risulta un po’ più difficile conciliare questa attitudine all’azione violenta con la Bibbia, la grande sorgente d’ispirazione di John Brown; ma anche questa apparente difficoltà scompare, o si riduce di molto, se si considera che, per il puritanesimo della Nuova Inghilterra, di cui egli era profondamente imbevuto, l’Antico Testamento, col suo Yahweh giusto, ma terribile e sovente poco misericordioso, sembra pesare assai più del Nuovo, tutto pervaso dalla lieta novella di Cristo sull’amore e sul perdono. Brown può aver visto benissimo gli schiavisti del Sud con lo stesso occhio col quale i Giudici dell’Antico Testamento guardavano ai Filistei, agli Amaleciti e agli altri popoli “idolatri” che avevano l’imperdonabile presunzione di abitare la terra che Yahweh aveva promesso a loro e solamente a loro, ossia come pagani da sterminare, contro i quali qualunque azione diventava lecita e santa.
Tutti sanno che John Brown fu catturato dopo aver dato l’assalto all’arsenale federale di Harper’s Ferry, le cui armi intendeva distribuire ai negri per provocare una insurrezione generale; che in quella azione caddero, combattendo, sia alcuni dei suoi seguaci, sia alcuni soldati; e che affrontò virilmente il processo per cospirazione, omicidio e insurrezione armata e la conseguente impiccagione, il 2 dicembre 1859, appena quattro mesi prima che gli Stati del Sud proclamassero la secessione dal Nord e avesse principio la Guerra civile americana.
Sono un po’ meno numerosi, nel grosso pubblico, coloro i quali sanno che, prima dell’azione di Harper’s Ferry, Brown aveva scorrazzato in lungo e in largo con le truculente milizie volontarie del Kansas, i cosiddetti “freesolilers”, e che, il 24 maggio 1856, a Pottawatomie Creek, aveva guidato una spedizione che si era conclusa con l’assassinio a freddo di cinque sudisti: episodio che incomincia già a gettare una luce un po’ diversa sulla sua figura, così come l’hanno divulgata e mitizzata, prima e soprattutto dopo la sua more, con tanto successo, i suoi estimatori.
La realtà è che egli fu l’artefice principale della propria leggenda: durante il processo, infatti, si rese conto di avere in mano uno strumento formidabile per presentare se stesso come il puro idealista senza macchia e senza paura e per guadagnare alla causa antischiavista larghi settori dell’opinione pubblica; un po’ come aveva fatto, solo un anno prima, Felice Orsini con la causa nazionale italiana, allorché era stato processato per aver tentato di assassinare l’imperatore francese Napoleone III (e chissà se Brown ne era a conoscenza e ne aveva tratto ispirazione).
Quello che, però, rivela pienamente la mentalità dell’uomo e la sua concezione dell’etica, in nome della quale pretendeva di combattere gli orrori dello schiavismo, è un altro fatto: e cioè la convinzione, ormai raggiunta pressoché unanimemente dagli storici, che egli già da tempo si fosse posto l’obiettivo preciso di scatenare, mediante una azione di tipo insurrezionale altamente spettacolare, una reazione tale da parte degli Stati schiavisti, da spingerli a rompere con l’Unione e, di conseguenza, da provocare una guerra civile fra il Sud e il Nord, dalla quale soltanto si aspettava l’abolizione della schiavitù.
Aveva osservato un acuto biografo italiano di John Brown, Giulio Schenone, nel suo libro «John Brown, l’apostolo degli schiavi» (Mursia, Milano, 1984, pp. 150-54):

«John Brown, sin dall’infanzia,si inserì pienamente nella realtà del suo tempo: nella formazione della sua personalità, infatti, entrarono in gioco due delle forze più permeanti del carattere americano di sempre, il puritanesimo della Nuova Inghilterra e la “frontiera”. Ne venne fuori un uomo tutto d’un pezzo, forte nell’animo quanto nel corpo, e deciso a vivere la sua vita ispirandosi ai sacri principi che la sua religione gli aveva inculcato: la sua visione  della vita fu però, per un certo tempo, deformata in parte per questo suo rigorismo biblico, in parte per l’incrollabile fiducia nelle sue capacità che lo condussero ad una considerazione delle cose troppo approssimativa e superficiale.  […]
Probabilmente fu una più attenta lettura  del vecchio testamento che lo convinse definitivamente ad imboccare la strada della violenza, ma non si deve per questo pensare che l’abolizionismo violento di Brown non avesse radici nella realtà del tempo.  Fu, al contrario, la realtà che lo aveva più volte sconfitto, la realtà di quegli anni, che esplodeva di tanto in tanto in lampi di violenza (culminati nel 1857 con l’assassinio di Lovejoy) a spingerlo a ripudiare l’abolizionismo fatto di parole dei suoi amici; gli esempi, poi, di Mosè, Giosuè, Gedeone, che anche con la violenza avevano liberato il loro popolo dal servaggio, fecero il resto e gli indicarono perentoriamente la via da seguire. Nacque così nella sua mente il “piano virginiano”, che la maggior parte degli studiosi ha definito impietosamente, ma anche ingiustamente, pazzesco o per lo meno utopistico; Sanborn, invece, accosta lo schema di Brown all’impresa dei Mille di Garibaldi, e il paragone è significativamente ripreso da Luraghi, che attribuisce il fallimento pratico del piano non alla sua presunta inattuabilità, ma all’idea sbagliata che Brown si era fatto della schiavitù.
Ma quella visione astratta e irreale del Sud non era frutto dell’immaginazione del solo Brown; era comune infatti ad una intera generazione di abolizionisti che anzi, con la loro letteratura, avevano indotto il Vecchio a credere ciecamente nella collaborazione attiva degli schiavi al suo piano. Questa fu l’unica utopia nella quale credette un uomo che era diventato invece, col passare degli anni, estremamente lucido e consapevole di quello che stava avvenendo nel suo Paese e soprattutto di quello che sarebbe potuto avvenire a determinate condizioni. Di fronte allo scoppio del conflitto civile nel Kansas e alle violente diatribe dei congressisti, che rendevano oltremodo chiara l’enorme distanza che separava ormai irrimediabilmente le due parti del Paese, Brown intravide forse la possibilità di costringere il Sud alla secessione e quindi il Nord al conflitto armato:; la testimonianza di Salmon Brown riguardo alle reali intenzioni del padre, CI PUÒ PORTARE ALLA CONCLUSIONE CHE GIÀ NEL 1854 BROWN AVEVA PREVISTO E SI ERA POSTO COME OBIETTIVO LA GUERRA CIVILE [il corsivo è nostro]. Questa è lungimiranza, non utopia, e del resto la susseguente attività del capitano nel Kansas testimonia la sua lucida e consapevole presenza nella realtà del tempo: appena giunto nel Territorio, si rese conto del terrore che immobilizzava i coloni “freesoilers”, e sferrò con l’eccidio del Pottawatomie un colpo così tremendo che cambiò immediatamente le carte in tavola e volse le sorti del conflitto a favore dei “freesoilers. […]
Ci voleva un’ulteriore provocazione perché le minoranze estremiste, che da tempo agitavano gli stendardi della secessione e della guerra, acquistassero una forza tale da impadronirsi definitivamente dell’opinione pubblica e da trascinare al conflitto anche la maggioranza riluttante.
Di fronte a questo John Brown umano e pietoso [durante il processo] sarebbe presto svanita nel Nord l’immagine truculenta del “giustiziere del Pottawatomie”, tanto più che al processo quello stesso John Brown recitò, con perizia e abilità da attore consumato, la parte del martire solo e indifeso di fronte ai suoi carnefici, così crudeli da non sentire pietà nemmeno per le sue precarie condizioni di salute [era rimasto ferito nello scontro di Harper’s Ferry, per cui presenziava alle udienze disteso in barella]. Il Nord fu letteralmente conquistato da questo nuovo personaggio che perorava così bene la sua causa di fronte alla Corte di Charlestown, e non si accorse minimamente delle palesi inesattezze presenti nell’ultimo discorso di Brown che, ponendo un suggello così splendido a tutta la recita precedente, riuscì ad ingannare l’America intera.»

Pianificare e perseguire scientemente, a mente fredda, la massima sciagura che possa colpire la propria nazione: lo scoppio di una guerra civile, con tutto l’immancabile bagaglio di odio, di sete di vendetta e di violenza belluina che essa porta con sé, e che è destinata a trascinarsi per generazioni dopo la sua conclusione: questo, dunque, il disegno politico di John Brown; questa la sua utopia nera, la sua implacabile volontà di distruzione.
E la cosa è tanto più sconcertante, allorché si consideri che tale disegno nasceva da non tanto da un pensiero, quanto da un sentimento, che si ispirava direttamente alla Bibbia: la stessa Bibbia che i teorici dello schiavismo invocavano per giustificare l’istituto della schiavitù (la maledizione dei discendenti di Cam), a Brown serviva per pianificare, in nome di un’altissima istanza morale di giustizia, la deliberata preparazione non solo di una guerra, ma di una guerra civile: la più distruttiva, la più devastante fra tutti i tipi di guerra.
I carnai di Bull Run, di Fredericksburg, di Chancellorsville, di Gettysburg; le stragi seminate dalle nuovi armi, in particolare dalla mitragliatrice; gli incendi, i saccheggi, gli stupri, la fame, le devastazioni che prostrarono per sempre gli Stati sudisti: tutto questo ebbe inizio nella lucida follia di questo sinistro personaggio, che, la Bibbia in una mano e il fucile nell’altra, chiamava a raccolta i demoni dell’odio e della guerra e, incurante delle conseguenze, pensava soltanto al raggiungimento del suo scopo; non tralasciando di presentare un’immagine leggendaria di se stesso, tale da poter essere venerata nei tempi a venire, come quella di un santo laico.
Come, difatti, è avvenuto.

Tante altre notizie su www.ariannaeditrice.it

dimanche, 17 janvier 2010

Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were Anti-Slavery


Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson Were Anti-Slavery



By Chuck Baldwin / http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

Praise For Lee And Jackson

January is often referred to as "Generals Month" since no less than four famous Confederate Generals claimed January as their birth month: James Longstreet (Jan. 8, 1821), Robert E. Lee (Jan. 19, 1807), Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (Jan. 21, 1824), and George Pickett (Jan. 28, 1825). Two of these men, Lee and Jackson, are particularly noteworthy.

Without question, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were two of the greatest military leaders of all time. Even more, many military historians regard the Lee and Jackson tandem as perhaps the greatest battlefield duo in the history of warfare. If Jackson had survived the battle of Chancellorsville, it is very possible that the South would have prevailed at Gettysburg and perhaps would even have won the War Between the States.

In fact, it was Lord Roberts, commander-in-chief of the British armies in the early twentieth century, who said, "In my opinion, Stonewall Jackson was one of the greatest natural military geniuses the world ever saw. I will go even further than that--as a campaigner in the field, he never had a superior. In some respects, I doubt whether he ever had an equal."

While the strategies and circumstances of the War of Northern Aggression can (and will) be debated by professionals and laymen alike, one fact is undeniable: Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson were two of the finest Christian gentlemen this country has ever produced. Both their character and their conduct were beyond reproach.

Unlike his northern counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant, General Lee never sanctioned or condoned slavery. Upon inheriting slaves from his deceased father-in-law, Lee freed them. And according to historians, Jackson enjoyed a familial relationship with those few slaves that were in his home. In addition, unlike Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Grant, there is no record of either Lee or Jackson ever speaking disparagingly of the black race.

As those who are familiar with history know, General Grant and his wife held personal slaves before and during the War Between the States, and, contrary to popular opinion, even Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves of the North. They were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed after the conclusion of the war. Grant's excuse for not freeing his slaves was that "good help is so hard to come by these days."

Furthermore, it is well established that Jackson regularly conducted a Sunday School class for black children. This was a ministry he took very seriously. As a result, he was dearly loved and appreciated by the children and their parents.

In addition, both Jackson and Lee emphatically supported the abolition of slavery. In fact, Lee called slavery "a moral and political evil." He also said "the best men in the South" opposed it and welcomed its demise. Jackson said he wished to see "the shackles struck from every slave."

To think that Lee and Jackson (and the vast majority of Confederate soldiers) would fight and die to preserve an institution they considered evil and abhorrent--and that they were already working to dismantle--is the height of absurdity. It is equally repugnant to impugn and denigrate the memory of these remarkable Christian gentlemen.

In fact, after refusing Abraham Lincoln's offer to command the Union Army in 1861, Robert E. Lee wrote to his sister on April 20 of that year to explain his decision. In the letter he wrote, "With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the army and save in defense of my native state, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed . . ."

Lee's decision to resign his commission with the Union Army must have been the most difficult decision of his life. Remember that Lee's direct ancestors had fought in America's War For Independence. His father, "Light Horse Harry" Henry Lee, was a Revolutionary War hero, Governor of Virginia, and member of Congress. In addition, members of his family were signatories to the Declaration of Independence.

Remember, too, that not only did Robert E. Lee graduate from West Point "at the head of his class" (according to Benjamin Hallowell), he is yet today one of only six cadets to graduate from that prestigious academy without a single demerit.

However, Lee knew that Lincoln's decision to invade the South in order to prevent its secession was both immoral and unconstitutional. As a man of honor and integrity, the only thing Lee could do was that which his father had done: fight for freedom and independence. And that is exactly what he did.

Instead of allowing a politically correct culture to sully the memory of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson, all Americans should hold them in a place of highest honor and respect. Anything less is a disservice to history and a disgrace to the principles of truth and integrity.

Accordingly, it was more than appropriate that the late President Gerald Ford, on August 5, 1975, signed Senate Joint Resolution 23, "restoring posthumously the long overdue, full rights of citizenship to General Robert E. Lee." According to President Ford, "This legislation corrects a 110-year oversight of American history." He further said, "General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations . . ."

The significance of the lives of Generals Lee and Jackson cannot be overvalued. While the character and influence of most of us will barely be remembered two hundred days after our departure, the sterling character of these men has endured for two hundred years. What a shame that so many of America's youth are being robbed of knowing and studying the virtue and integrity of the great General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

Furthermore, it is no hyperbole to say that the confederated, constitutional republic so ably declared by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence of 1776 and codified into statute by the U.S. Constitution of 1787 was, for the most part, expunged at the Appomattox Court House in 1865. After all, it was (and is) the responsibility of the states to be the ultimate vanguard of liberty. Without a tenacious, unrelenting defense of liberty by the sovereign states, we are reduced to ever-burgeoning oppression--which is exactly what we see happening today.

Thankfully, freedom's heartbeat is still felt among at least a few states. State sovereignty resolutions (proposed in over 30 states), Firearms Freedom acts (passed in 2 states--Montana and Tennessee--and being proposed in at least 12 other states), and official letters (Montana), statements (Texas Governor Rick Perry), and resolutions (Georgia and Montana) threatening secession have already taken place.

Yes, freedom-loving Americans in this generation may need to awaken to the prospect that--in order for freedom to survive--secession may, once again, be in order. One thing is for sure: any State that will not protect and defend their citizens' right to keep and bear arms cannot be counted on to do diddlysquat to maintain essential freedom. It is time for people to start deciding whether they want to live free or not--and if they do, to seriously consider relocating to states that yet have a heartbeat for liberty.

I will say it straight out: any State that will not protect your right to keep and bear arms is a tyrannical State! And if it is obvious that the freedom-loving citizens of that State are powerless to change it via the ballot box, they should leave the State to its slaves and seek a land of liberty.

I, for one, am thankful for the example and legacy of men such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. They were the spiritual soul mates of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They were men that loved freedom; they were men that loved federalism and constitutional government; and they were men of courage and understanding. They understood that, sometimes, political separation is the only way that freedom can survive. Long live the spirit of Washington, Jefferson, Lee, and Jackson!

Copyright © 2010 Chuck Baldwin

dimanche, 11 octobre 2009

L'Amiral Raphael Semmes, héros sudiste

semmeslast.jpgKlaus GRÖBIG:

L’Amiral Raphael Semmes, héros sudiste


Il y a 200 ans naissait celui qui devriendra le “Requin de la Confédération”


Raphael Semmes est né le 27 septembre 1809 à Charles County dans le Maryland, l’Etat de l’Union dont le Parlement, par l’intervention musclée et autoritaire de Lincoln, n’a pas pu décider seul s’il allait ou non rejoindre la Confédération. En 1826, Raphael Semmes s’engage comme matelot dans l’US Navy et, plus tard, lors de la guerre contre le Mexique, il commandera le brick “USS Somers”. En avril 1861, Semmes met un bâtiment en service, pour le compte de la Confédération, le “CSS Sumter”. Il fut l’un des rares officiers de marine expérimentés qui s’engagea pour la cause sudiste. Il devint donc d’abord le capitaine de ce vapeur de commerce, transformé en croiseur, et emporta, avec lui, ses premiers succès, en coulant de nombreux navires de commerce du camp yankee. Finalement, le “CSS Sumter” mobilisa contre lui de nombreux bâtiments de guerre de l’Union, chargés de le repérer; ainsi, Semmes contribua à alléger le blocus des ports de la Confédération. Dans les Caraïbes, devant les côtes du Brésil et à proximité des Açores, Semmes lançait ses opérations avec son croiseur. En avril 1862, il dut voguer vers Gibraltar pour y parfaire des réparations; pendant le trajet, il avait rencontré trois navires de guerre de l’Union, qui entendaient bien couler le “CSS Sumter”. Ils l’attendent devant Gibraltar. En un trourne-main, Semmes vend alors le “CSS Sumter”, fort abîmé, à un armateur anglais, quitte le port de Gibraltar avec tout son équipage et se rend en Angleterre.


Là-bas, le croiseur auxiliaire “CSS Alabama” venait d’être achevé dans un chantier naval: Semmes le met en service le 24 août 1862 à proximité des Açores. L’équipage du nouveau croiseur était constitué d’un mélange bigarré d’Américains et d’Européens. Parmi les vingt-huit officiers du croiseur, il y avait deux sujets prussiens, un Irlandais, trois Britanniques et trois ressortissants d’Etats de l’Union. Les autres officiers venaient tous d’Etats de la Confédération. Dans l’équipage, on comptait également un homme de couleur, ce qui est difficile à faire comprendre aujourd’hui, à tous ceux qui sont prisonniers des schémas inamovibles et intangibles du “politiquement correct”. Les qualités de chef de Semmes étaient hors du commun, de même son charisme personnel. Le 5 septembre 1862, le “CSS Alabama” emporte sa première victoire. Il en remportera au total quatre-vingt contre les bâtiments ennemis (certaines sources disent qu’il n’en a remporté “que” soixante). Le 10 janvier 1863, Semmes est devant la côte du Texas pour tenter d’entamer le blocus yankee: il y rencontre le croiseur “Hatteras” de l’Union et le coule à coups de canon, en tout six coups au-dessus de la ligne de flottaison. Il sauve 118 marins de l’Hatteras, les prend à son bord et met le cap sur la Jamaïque, pour y faire réparer les dégâts encaissés lors du combat. Ensuite, partout, Semmes a laissé sa “carte de visite”: dans l’Atlantique Nord comme dans l’Atlantique Sud, au cap de Bonne Espérance et dans l’Océan Indien. Au printemps 1863, dans l’Atlantique Sud, il forme équipe avec deux croiseurs auxiliaires, les “CSS Florida” et “CSS Georgia”.


Le 11 juin 1864, le “Requin de la Confédération” mouille dans le port normand de Cherbourg. A l’arsenal bien équipé de la marine de guerre française, Semmes espère pouvoir faire exécuter tous les travaux  de réparation nécessaires. Il estime que cela durera deux mois. Le sort de la guerre était à ce moment-là très défavorable pour les Sudistes. En Europe, tous escomptaient désormais la victoire de l’Union. Le Président Lincoln adressait des menaces aux Européens qui oseraient encore soutenir la Confédération. Les Français se révélèrent maîtres en matière de diplomatie. Le commandant du port de Cherbourg expliqua à Semmes que les installations du chantier naval étaient la propriété de la marine française et, de ce fait, réservées exclusivement aux navires de guerre français. Mais, ajouta-t-il, au Havre, il y avait un chantier naval privé, avec cale sèche, où il pouvait faire exécuter les travaux nécessaires. En attendant, le Capitaine John A. Winslows, du croiseur “USS Kearsarge”, venait d’arriver devant les côtes françaises. Le dimanche 19 juin 1864, très tôt le matin, le “CSS Alabama” quitte Cherbourg à toute vapeur. Le combat se termina  en faveur des Nordistes et le “CSS Alabama” fut coulé. Au grand dam des Yankees, un yacht privé britannique, le “Deerhound”, prit à son bord Semmes, blessé, et quelques-uns de ses officiers. Entre-temps, le blocus yankee se faisait de plus en plus hermétique; pour rentrer au pays, Semmes dut faire le détour par un port mexicain.



Pour défendre Richmond, la capitale sudiste, on mit sur pied une flotille fluviale. Semmes fut promu amiral et obtint le commandement du “James River Squadron”. Après la chute de Richmond, Semmes fut contraint de couler ses bateaux. Ses matelots sont alors versés dans l’infanterie et Semmes, avec le grade de général de brigade, reçoit la mission de commander ses propres hommes devenus fantassins. Même après la capitulation de l’armée de Virginie du Nord, qui avait été commandée par le Général Lee, Semmes ne déposa pas les armes. Le 30 août 1865, l’armée du Général Joseph E. Johnston doit capituler à Raleigh.


Gideon Wells, le ministre de la marine de l’Union, qui ruminait vengeance, fit arrêter Semmes en décembre 1865. Quelques avocats marron, sous la houlette du Colonel US J. A. Bolles,  furent chargés de collationner des faits ou des ragots pour construire de toutes pièces une accusation de “crime de guerre”. Mais rien de ce genre ne pouvait être reproché à Semmes. La volonté de fabriquer de tels “procès” démontre que la guerre civile américaine était, sur ce chapitre, une guerre bien “moderne”, car les crimes flagrants des Yankees, comme par exemple la marche en avant de Sherman, qui ravagea tout en Géorgie, n’a jamais fait l’objet d’une “enquête” similaire. Semmes eut toutefois plus de chance que d’autres généraux de la Confédération. Il fut libéré assez rapidement, devint professeur et connut le succès économique comme éditeur de journaux.


Semmes meurt le 30 août 1877. Il venait de rendre visite à sa fille, chez qui il avait mangé des scampis gâtés. Les médecins sont arrivés trop tard pour enrayer l’intoxication alimentaire. Semmes fut enterré dans le cimetière catholique de Mobile en Alabama, situé dans la Government Street, à côté de son épouse. On peut encore se recueillir sur sa tombe aujourd’hui. 



(article paru dans “zur Zeit”, Vienne, n°40/2009; trad. franç. : Robert Steuckers).


Pour en savoir plus:

Lire le cahier n°146 de la série “Schiffe – Menschen – Schicksale” (= “Navire – Hommes – Destins”) qui paraît chez  l’éditeur Rudolf Stade, à Kiel.

(ndt) : Ajoutons aussi l’excellente notive biographique sur Raphael Semmes dans Helmut Pemsel, “Biographisches Lexikon zur Seekriegsgeschichte”, Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz, 1985.


En français:

Se référer à l’ouvrage d’Indro Montanelli et Mario Cervi, “Les guerres américaines – la Sécession”, Ed. Atlas, Paris, 1985 (traduction française: Philippe Conrad); cf. le chapitre intitulé “Corsaires et sous-marins”, pp. 123 et ss.; lire également, Dominique Venner, “Gettysburg”, Ed. du Rocher, Paris, 1995; plus  particulièrement: le chapitre intitulé “Une armée et une marine surgies de rien”, pp. 93 à 111.


samedi, 16 mai 2009

"The Civil War": un documentaire sur la Guerre de Sécession

The civil war : un documentaire orienté sur les facteurs de la guerre de Sécession

Le documentaire de Ken Burns, The civil war, sur la guerre de Sécession, vient de sortir en DVD chez ARTE Editions. Ces neuf épisodes font revivre les grands moments de ce conflit qui ensanglanta l’Amérique de 1861 à 1865. Mais ils passent sous silence la complexité de l’origine du conflit.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us La guerre de Sécession, qui fit 620 000 morts, fut le conflit le plus sanglant de toute l’histoire des Etats-Unis : les pertes furent supérieures d’un tiers à celles de l’Amérique durant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, pour une population pourtant sept fois moins nombreuse (31 millions d’habitants à la veille des hostilités).

La monumentale fresque de Ken Burns (11 heures de film) offre un récit captivant à l’aide de citations et photographies d’archives souvent pertinentes. Mais ce documentaire réalisé en 1990 développe une analyse malheureusement très manichéenne des enjeux et facteurs de la guerre de Sécession. Le titre de la série, déjà, est une indication. « Civil war » (guerre civile) est l’appellation retenue par le camp nordiste. Alors que les confédérés (sudistes), eux, parlent de « War between the States » (guerre entre les Etats). Cette différence sémantique n’est pas un détail mais une réalité cruciale. Quand le 9 février 1861, sept Etats américains décident de faire sécession et fondent une Confédération, il s’agit pour le Sud de défendre sa civilisation contre les Etats du Nord. Deux visions du monde vont s’affronter. Le premier épisode du documentaire est très révélateur du parti pris de l’auteur. Il s’appelle « La cause ». Le message est clair… Pour Ken Burns, le conflit n’a qu’une seule cause : la question de l’esclavage.

Dans un numéro remarquable de la Nouvelle Revue d’Histoire de mars-avril 2005, un dossier consacré à L’Amérique divisée met en perspective les racines du conflit. Economiques d’abord, entre le Nord reposant sur un système industriel et financier, et le Sud, essentiellement agricole, en état de dépendance. « Grâce au coton, les Etats du Sud fournissent les trois quarts des exportations de l’Union. Logiquement, ils devraient en tirer une richesse confortable. Pourtant, c’est le Nord qui fait les plus gros bénéfices, parce qu’il contrôle les importations et les exportations », souligne Dominique Venner. Diminués économiquement et politiquement par rapport au Nord, les Etats du Sud le sont également démographiquement : les immigrants venus d’Europe affluent vers le Nord affairiste mais se détournent du Sud.

Une réalité civilisationnelle beaucoup plus complexe que l’unique argument passionnel de l’esclavage. On notera enfin que The civil war dresse parfois des portraits caricaturaux des principaux protagonistes. Un peu comme Barack Obama aujourd’hui, Abraham Lincoln, dans le camp nordiste, prend des allures de messie. Le président des Etats-Unis élu en 1860 est décrit comme un homme au regard pénétrant et profondément humain… tandis que Jefferson Davis, président de la Confédération des Etats sudistes, est présenté sous un angle tyrannique, « insomniaque » et « froid comme un lézard ». Bref, si The civil war fait revivre avec talent la chronologie des évènements, le téléspectateur devra faire preuve de perspicacité pour s’affranchir d’un récit ne faisant pas preuve toujours de la « rigueur historique », vantée pourtant sur le coffret de ces quatre DVD.

Auguste Kurtz pour Novopress France

[cc] Novopress.info, 2009, Dépêches libres de copie et diffusion sous réserve de mention de la source d’origine


Article printed from :: Novopress.info France: http://fr.novopress.info

URL to article: http://fr.novopress.info/?p=16680

samedi, 25 avril 2009

Le tyran qui sert de modèle à Obama


Le tyran qui sert de modèle à Obama


par Jan von FLOCKEN


Au début de cette année, quand Barack Obama a été officiellement intronisé Président des Etats-Unis, un souffle chargé de symboles flottait sur la cérémonie. La figure d’Abraham Lincoln, président assassiné en 1865, semblait omniprésente. On évoquera en cette année 2009 le 200ème anniversaire de la naissance de ce Lincoln, devenu en quelque sorte l’un des saints patrons de la démocratie occidentale.  Obama ne s’est pas contenté de reproduire le trajet en chemin de fer que fit Lincoln au printemps 1861, partant de Philadelphie, passant par Baltimore pour arriver à Washinghton D.C., à la Maison Blanche. Obama a également insisté pour poser la main, lors de  sa prestation de serment, sur la Bible reliée et recouverte de velours, vieille de 156 ans, que feu “Old Abe”, alias Lincoln, avait utilisée. A la suite de ce serment, Obama a juré, comme le veut la tradition, de “maintenir la Constitution américaine, de la protéger et de la défendre”.


Personne n’a autant violé la Constitution que Lincoln...


Toute cette démonstration qui cherche à établir un parallèle entre l’homme d’Etat devenu légendaire et le jeune Président, nouvel espoir de l’Amérique, éveille cependant des souvenirs dérangeants voire compromettants, bien que non voulus. En effet, aucun président des Etats-Unis, au cours de ces 220 dernières années, n’a autant violé la Constitution et jugulé les droits fondamentaux des citoyens que Lincoln. Son mandat s’est déployé sous le signe sanglant d’une guerre civile entre Etats du Nord et Etats du Sud. Ces derniers s’étaient séparés de l’Union en 1860-61 et avaient fondé un Etat propre, la Confédération. La Constitution américaine n’interdisait nullement une sécession de ce type car ce n’est qu’en 1868 que la Cour Suprême a énoncé un verdict contraire. Dans un premier temps, les deux parties ont accepté la Sécession. Indice de cette acceptation: Horace Greeley, l’éditeur influent de la “New York Tribune” et ami politique de Lincoln, écrivit dans son journal, en date du 9 novembre 1860: “Nous ne vivrons jamais, espérons-le, au sein d’une République où nous serions contraints de rester à tout jamais par la force des baïonnettes”. 


Or ce sont justement les baïonnettes qu’a fait jouer Lincoln peu après son entrée en fonction. Il a saisi rapidement la première occasion venue: en l’occurrence, un échange de coups de feu aux abords de Fort Sumter, appartenant à la Confédération. Cet incident, qui ne fit que quelques blessés légers, servit de prétexte pour une déclaration de guerre de facto contre les Etats du Sud qui prit la forme d’un appel à 75.000 volontaires le 15 avril 1861. Dans la foulée, Lincoln ordonne en plus qu’un embargo commercial soit décrété contre la Confédération esclavagiste. Cet appel et cet embargo constituent deux fautes politiques graves car, immédiatement après leur mise en oeuvre, quatre Etats demeurés neutres, la Virginie, l’Arkansas, la Caroline du Nord et le Tennessee, quittent à leur tour l’Union pour rejoindre la Confédération.


Dans l’Etat du Maryland, qui, par tradition, penchait pour la Confédération, mais qui devait rester dans l’Union vu qu’il était proche de la capitale fédérale Washington, la population proteste en masse contre la politique belliciste de Lincoln. Le Président met aussitôt l’Article I/9 de la Constitution hors jeu, alors qu’il est cardinal en tant qu’ “Habeas Corpus Act” qui protège le citoyen contre toute arrestation arbitraire et lui garantit le droit d’être entendu par un juge dans des délais rapides. La capitale du Maryland, Annapolis, et la ville de Baltimore, celle où Barack Obama s’est rendu en voulant suivre les traces de Lincoln, ont été placées à l’époque sous la loi martiale. Le 13 mai 1861, le maire de Baltimore, George W. Brown, le chef de sa police et tous les membres du conseil municipal, ont été arrêtés,  sans qu’il n’y ait justification en droit, et emprisonnés jusqu’à la fin des hostilités en 1865. Parmi ces embastillés, il y avait, ô ironie, le petit-fils de Francis Scott Key, le poète qui avait composé l’hymne national américain, lequel chante les louanges de “ce pays des hommes libres et de ce foyer des braves”.


Lorsque le Parlement de l’Etat du Maryland condamna cette incoyable mesure et fustigea l’action illégale et tyrannique du Président des Etats-Unis, Lincoln fit immédiatement arrêter 31  députés qui furent incarcérés pendant trois à six mois sans jugement. Cette action musclée  enfreint clairement l’article additionnel VI de la Constitution, selon lequel tout accusé a droit à un procès immédiat et public devant un jury indépendant. Le président de la Cour Suprême, Roger B. Taney, l’homme devant lequel Lincoln avait officiellement prêté serment sur la Bible, exigea que le Président rende caduques ces arrestations car elles heurtaient trop manifestement les principes de la Constitution. Le Président s’était ainsi arrogé des compétences qui ne sont que du seul ressort du Parlement. A la suite des admonestations de Roger B. Taney, Lincoln lança une directive incitant toutes les autorités publiques à ignorer purement et simplement le jugement rendu par la Cour Suprême, ce qui constitue, bien évidemment, une entorse manifeste à la Constitution (Art. III/1). Un observateur, pourtant favorable à Lincoln, le démocrate allemand Otto von Corvin, correspondant du “Times”, nota, à l’époque, que les gesticulations de Lincoln lui rappellait celles d’un “instituteur de village”.


Pendant la guerre civile,  d’autres entorses à la Constitution eurent lieu; ainsi, en juin 1863, lorsque la Virginie fut partiellement occupée par les militaires nordistes, on proclama la naissance d’un Etat fédéral artificiel, la “Virginie occidentale” (“West Virginia”), alors que l’article IV/3 de la Constitution prescrit sans ambiguïté qu’aucun nouvel Etat fédéral ne peut être créé ou établi au départ du territoire d’un autre Etat fédéral. Toutes ces violations anti-démocratiques de la Constitution sont aujourd’hui relativisées sous prétexte que Lincoln a été le libérateur des esclaves  noirs. Or, à l’été 1862, une demie année avant la proclamation officielle de leur libération, le Président avait encore déclaré: “Si je pouvais sauver l’Union, sans avoir à affranchir un seul esclave, je le ferais”. Le maintien de l’Union a finalement coûté la vie à 600.000 personnes. Il reste aux Américains à espérer qu’Obama, à l’avenir, se contentera d’imiter Lincoln dans des cérémonies purement festives. Car n’oublions pas qu’Obama a dit, peu après son entrée en fonction en janvier: “Ma politique consiste à ne pas avoir de politique”. 


Jan von FLOCKEN.

(article paru dans “Junge Freiheit”, Berlin, n°16/2009, trad.  franç.: Robert Steuckers).