As the Morally Elite purge purportedly sinful symbols and statuary -- surely prepatory for the upcoming main "live" event (please don't say I didn't warn you) -- I suggest they widen their scope of destruction.
Having moved on from the purge of the Confederate battle flag -- that was soooo easy -- the Morally Elite have turned their sights to the more concretely monumental problems of statuary, schools, streets, etc., that commemorate, for example, the heroic life of Robert E. Lee.
As many have reminded us, including the NYT's David Brooks, Lee held slaves -- 196 human beings that he "inherited" from his father-in-law. Lee abhored slavery but defended the institution -- for reasons of historical interest made moot by the Civil War cataclysm out of which came the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." (Emphasis added.)
Brooks, for one, devised his own Great Compromise, suggesting that Lee (1807-1870) continue to be honored for his post-war deeds -- just not the first five-plus decades of his life. This would leave Lee's historical presence intact at Washington & Lee University, for example, where Lee served as president after the Civil War. No word on whether war horse Traveller is similarly amnestied.
To be sure, the flag and Lee stuff is so much skirmishing. The main assault on our Founding Fathers and their crummy Constitution lies just ahead.
But what if we kept the focus on the slavery issue? What if, for example, we were to train a gimlet eye on the 2014 State Dinner that the President and First Lady held to honor heads of African nations, including 13 of the top 25 slavery-nations in the world today?
What if we were to examine the corrupting lawlessness whereby borders, sovereignty and nationhood are erased by illegal aliens crossing (voluntarily, yes) by the millions, lured by the giant honey pot of US-taxpayer-funded-lifestyles? Democrats get votes and Everyone who is Anyone Morally Elite gets "affordable help" -- but it's curtains for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
For purposes of comparison to Lee, however, it would be better to look for someone else on a pedestal.
If Lee envisioned a day when slavery would be no more, what would he have thought about a 20th-century-American president, who, 80 years after the end of the Civil War, revived the practice of forced labor (i.e., slavery) in the aftermath of another cataclysmic war -- World War II?
I am referring, of course, to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the man with a halo so huge it overhangs rational, fact-based assessments of his four presidential terms. In his unprededented epoch in office, FDR presided over the greatest national security disaster in American history -- the stealth infiltration and subversion of the federal government and related institutions by more than five hundred (likely more) secret agents of the Kremlin. (This Soviet intelligence army "occupation" and its link to our current unravelling is much discussed in American Betrayal.)
One of FDR's little-known legacies is the brisk, state-to-state trade in human beings that flourished after World War II. I refer to the period in which victorious Allies "repurposed" many of their POWs -- hundreds of thousands of Germans, some Japanese, also nearly one million anti-Communist Russians -- as "human reparations," or slave laborers (or firing squad targets), mainly for the Soviet Union, but also for France, Britain and other allies. The US Army put half a million to work in Europe by July 1945, as John Dietrich notes in his book, The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet Influence on American Foreign Policy.
In the American camp, the idea of using "forced labor" gained traction in the Morgenthau Plan, the 1944 blueprint to destroy Germany after war's end that came out of the Soviet-agent-riddled-Treasury Department under the guidance of top Soviet agent/Treasury official Harry Dexter White.
Dietrich notes that the issue begins to show up, via the memoirs of Secretary of State Cordell Hull, as early as October 1943 when FDR said "he thought that reparations should be exacted in manpower and machinery."
In Stalin's Secret Agents: The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government, M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein follow this same ugly prospect threading its way through the wartime conferences, from Tehran in late 1943 to Quebec in September 1944 to Yalta in February 1945. What was discussed as "forced German labor outside Germany" at Quebec, for example, would be euphemized, slightly, as "use of German labour" at Yalta.
Evans and Romerstein report that Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, soon to become the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crime trials, objected.
Encountering the issue of slave labor in the Treasury proposals, Jackson thought he spotted a war crime in the making and he pulled no punches in voicing his disapproval.
In denouncing the Treasury labor proviso, Jackson stated: "The plan is to impress great numbers of laborers into foreign service, which means herding them into concentration camps." Pursuing such a course, he charged, "will largely destroy the position of the United States in this war ... What the world needs is not to turn one crowd out of concentration camps and put another crowd in, but to end the concentration camp idea."
Jackson did not prevail, but, as is usually the case, what the world doesn't know -- or doesn't want to know -- doesn't hurt its tyrants.
Evans and Romerstein examine the Allies' "variations on the theme of slavery." These included Allied approval of "forced labor," plus the forcible, often violent, repatriation of at least two million Soviet-claimed nations. These included those nearly one million Soviet prisoners of war (mentioned above), who, having formed an anti-Communist army in their Nazi captivity, surrendered their arms to US and British forces in exchange for promises, quickly broken, that they would not be returned to certain death in the Soviet Union. Even those who had fled before the Russian Revolution and thus never lived under Soviet rule were forcibly returned by British and US forces to Gulag slavery or death. (See Chapter 8, American Betrayal.) And, as Jackson feared, the Allies warehoused these helpless masses in the same Nazi concentration camps that the Allies had just liberated.
Evans and Romerstein characterize such measures as "an update on the fugitive slave law."
In light of all the recent attention to slavery in 19th-century-America, it is worth underscoring that this Allied postwar policy was a 20th-century update. As president, the responsible American updater-in-chief was FDR, widely regarded as a demi-god on the Left and most of what passes for the Right. As prime minister, Churchill was FDR's counterpart. As blood-drenched dictator, Stalin was FDR and Churchill's ... "Uncle Joe." (To the uninitiated, I apologize for the sudden occurrence of heavy static over "Good War" clarity. Here's help.)
So, about Lee -- what do we do with the FDR Memorial to forced labor & repatriation?