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Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

I believe that congressmen, who are involved in ratifying treaties of the United States and charged with representing our country, should know history and diplomacy.  This is their job.  I hate needing to remind politicians of their job.  Nevertheless, I press on.  This is not to say that the situation in Georgia is our fault.  We did agree to admit Georgia as our ally, which Russia does not like (they being a selfish political power hoping to re-aquire the land of Georgia). 

 

Rather than the most recent war in Iraq, perhaps a better illustration of the need to proceed with wisdom in Georgia would be the conflict between Afghanistan and Russia, in which the US armed the Taliban in order to defeat the Soviets.  Certainly neither party needed us to be helping them.  However, Georgia has been advancing toward a democratic, “westernized” government and culture, despite serious economic and military opposition from its closest most powerful neighbor.  The US, because of the fundamental beliefs that make us a democracy: “endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights”, believes that these rights apply to all people, and wishes to aid the sovereign governments who share our concern to promote liberty in their own countries.  It is also strategic for us to have allies like Georgia, the Ukraine, and Poland, whence we can maintain vigil over the growing threat of Russia’s imperialism. 

 

Another good example would be World War II, which could actually have been prevented as a world war if the other superpowers in the world had stood against Hitler when he took over Austria and Czechoslavakia, citing similar reasons as Putin’s Russia now claims.  Because Hitler was undeterred in his conquest, he gained confidence and military positional advantage by which he launched his near-complete takeover of Europe.  Too much appeasement, and too many empty threats, are what allow world wars to come to fruition. 

 

Thus, the United States was acting in this prudent manner of putting out a spark rather than a raging forest fire, when we “preemptively” struck Iraq.  A little history (which it is good to know, before you judge a situation):  In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait in order to add its natural resources to the larger, but economically depleted, Iraq.  The US and a UN-supported coalition defended Kuwait.  Iraq was forced to surrender, on very favorable terms considering the nature of war.  They submitted at the time to the UN as enforcers of these terms.  When after several years Sadaam Hussein began to put his toe across the line, and found himself unchecked, he gained confidence and gradually became more and more blatant in disregarding the terms of his surrender over a decade prior.  As it became evident that he was committing atrocities and defying the UN resolutions (an act by all accounts punishable if the UN meant anything); harboring and aiding the professed terror-wielding enemies of the US and her allies; and moving towards if not already possessing the means of restarting his quest for more money and power at the cost of human lives at home and abroad, the US led the way in collecting the Coalition of the Willing and specific UN resolutions in order to redress the transgressions Sadaam Hussein’s Iraq made against international post-Gulf War agreements. 

 

The resulting war, Operation Iraqi Freedom, was so shocking and awe-ful to Sadaam that the real fighting was over in a few days.  What has taken so long in Iraq was the establishment of a democracy among a people used to oppression.  The South needed to be reconstructed, and the freed slaves equipped for life and industry after the Civil War in the United States.  Georgia needed the support and example of democracies to build its government on the true, God-fearing principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  In the case of Georgia, they have met insurgent opposition to democratic government, and have endured opposition sponsored by neighbors with ulterior motives – all very reminiscent of the situation in Iraq where Iran continued to supply and train the insurgency.  Interestingly, Putin and Ahmadinejad are themselves allies, who have no doubt consulted on tactics. 

 

Georgia, a sovereign nation, has the right to use force to suppress violent uprisings in its land.  That is what governments do.  If the government is being oppressive and abusive, that is another story, but then one wonders why most of Georgia is NOT in revolt.  (See Declaration of Independence).  I find it sad that Americans seem willing to accept ethnic differences as explanations for conflict and wanting one’s own country divided according to race all the while recognizing the great fact (which has been largely successful in its American implementation) that race has nothing to do with the value of a human life, with relationships, or with the principles of government by the people for the people.  Being of a different ethnicity than a portion of your country is no reason either to revolt against your government or to oppress your people.

 

When America broke away from the Crown, it was not a matter of race or even of disapproval of the laws so much as it was outcry against the king’s making rules and breaking them.  The charters by which America was colonized gave specific rights and powers to the colonists, which the king then usurped.  Since the Magna Carta, England had recognized that the king was not himself above the law, and Americans expected the present king to honor that.  However, when he did not, they declared their independence.  Unlike the implications some have made, the king did not immediately recognize his fault and repent, but invaded their land with violence.  By the providence of God, America was able to defeat the armies of the tyrant king, winning independence and teaching England a lesson on human rights and the nature of government that the Crown has yet to forget.  America is free not because of the benevolence of England, but because England surrendered their object in the colonies. 

 

My letters were addressed to my congressmen because, as the Constitution of the United States presently stands, they are my representatives to the world.  World leaders are not my concern beyond my own country.  I am not a globalist.  America is my nation, and her leaders are my focus. 

 

My position maintains that we were not so utterly wrong in Iraq or in Afghanistan as is popularly argued.  Weapons of Mass Destruction have been found, and there is some evidence that more may have been shipped to likeminded countries.  Good has been accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan.  No further terrorist attacks have been perpetrated on America.  Lives have been lost, tragically, but most American lives were willingly laid on the line in service of country.  Alongside wars of history, the human toll has been remarkably small.  Peace reigns over the Middle East more than ever.  There is still violence, but there is violence in New York City, in San Francisco, and in my city, Denver.  To quote Tolkien, “It takes but one foe to breed a war…” 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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 January 12 I attended a Civil War Ball put on by a homeschool group in our area. The dress I designed and made myself. So accepting some, as they say in the bus – irregularities, considering the feat, I’m satisfied. Mom had to have pictures. My brother went crazy with the camera (thus the views from the top). And I’m only uploading the good ones!
 
We learned a lot of dances, whose steps I tried to recall the week after the dance.  If I got any of the steps wrong, omitted some, or confused the steps between dances, you’ll have to forgive me.  I can’t even find any websites that have instructions I can check.  Whenever I say “arms around,” it’s a dance step, not a position.  Elbows link and the couple swings a full circle. 
Virginia Reel: Line of gentlemen, line of partners facing.  Head lady meets food gentleman in center, curtsy and bow.  Head gentleman and foot lady do the same.  Head lady, foot gentleman meet right arms around.  Foot.  Left arms around.  Two hands around.  Dosie-do.  Head couple sachets down and back, right arms around.  Separate.  Gentleman reels with ladies line.  Lady reels with gentleman’s line.  Return to the middle to reel right arms around with partner between each outside partner (left arms).  Once down to the end of the line, right arm reel one more time and make a arch.  Other couples file through, lady, gentleman, lady, gentleman, inside and under the arch, out and around to reform line.  Begin again at the top. 
You do have to think about being graceful to move in a hoopskirt. It’s a good mental exercise.  Some dances were almost impossible.  I intentionally left out the dance that shouldn’t have been in a Civil War ball, because the dresses are too prohibitive. 
One of my favorite dances was:
Military Two-Step: Promenade position (crossed hands held, side by side, girl on gentleman’s right).  Point toe outside, cross in front and touch heels.  Point toe outside, cross in back and touch heels.  Face each other, step, right kick, step, left kick.  Right arm reel, switch partners (ladies move left, gentlemen stay)
From the back… I love the lacing! At the last minute I decided to gather the extra fabric of the skirt in swags instead of hemming. Once dancing in it I learned the skirt was too long, since I and everyone else kept stepping on it. However, I only made it to barely cover the hoopskirt, so that is what was too long. In between dances I found a discreet corner in which to lower myself into repair position and replace safety pins.

My other favorite dance was:

Yankee Reel: Lady on gentleman’s right, take hands in circle, six steps to center, turn around & go back.  Right arm around first partner.  Left arm around next partner (ladies move clockwise, gentlemen counterclockwise).  Two hands around next partner.  Dosie-do next partner.  Swing around next partner (waltz position, once around), turn under (lady do a spin under gentleman’s left arm toward center, come right back) and curtsy/gentleman bow.  Face center, take hands, start over. 

With a little more work on the gown, the lacey overlay would have gone all the way around. No one expressed criticism for this point. I am my own severest critic.
The sleeves were something I fought with, and didn’t figure out until I was making a shirt for my sister (half-making; it still isn’t finished). I needed the sleeve to be basically a rounded trapezoid, and I had a fixed length for the two sides, and for the top. But I needed the bottom to be longer than the rounded top. If you’re a math whiz you know that’s impossible… unless you round the bottom edge too! That makes poofy sleeves. So I ended up doing that, gathering the top, and tucking the hem. My only problem was that the right and left sleeve were identically cut, so they didn’t fit into the armholes the same. Oops!
Rebel Stomp: Lady on outside, moves to her right.  Two steps right, stomp.  Two steps left, stomp.  Two steps right, stomp.  Two steps left, turn (face counterclockwise in promenade position.  Point outside toe out, then bring it back together with the other foot, step outside foot back, forward sweep, and two steps.  Turn around and repeat.  Back up three steps.  Come together three steps with new partner.  (Ladies move left.) 
In the end my favorite part was the ribbon, which I found in abundance among my craft supplies. The eyelets are in backwards, but you really can’t tell.
Patty-cake Polka: Ladies on outside of circle.  Gentlemen mirror ladies.  Hold hands.  Ladies right heel out, cross over left leg and point toe.  Left heel out, cross over right leg and point toe.  Step back three.  Come together three.  Right hands clap three times.  Left hands three claps.  Both hands three claps.  Knees three claps.  Lady spins under gentleman’s right arm and on to her left. 
I did my hair in rag curls without rags (used little claw clips instead) and left it up for dance practice. After I bought hairspray and got the dress on I took the hair down to make the ringlets.

Hat Dance: Line of ladies, line of gentleman.  Three chairs.  One hat.  Hat in middle seat.  Begin two ladies in outside chairs, one gentleman in middle.  He chooses which lady not to dance with by giving her the hat.  Sachets down line with other lady, gets back in line.  Lady with hat moves to center seat.  Two gentlemen fill in.  She chooses the same way.  Repeat.  

The highlight of the day was actually the culture involved in a ball.  Ladies were expected to be ladies, and men were gentlemen. 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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