In an interview with Chris Matthew’s on October 18:
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you the question about – this is going to cause some trouble with people but as an historian now and studying the Revolutionary War as it was fought out in the South in those last years of the War, insurgency against a powerful British force. Do you see any parallels between the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?
CARTER: Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War more than any other war until recently has been the most bloody war we’ve fought. I think another parallel is that in some ways the Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war. Had the British Parliament been a little more sensitive to the colonial’s really legitimate complaints and requests the war could have been avoided completely and of course now we would have been a free country now as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a non-violent way. I think in many ways the British were very misled in going to war against America and in trying to enforce their will on people who were quite different from them at the time. [Emphasis mine]
When I first read this, I thought there had to be more context. Surely nobody would be that stupid to make such claims. So, I read the full transcript. That’s all of it. There’s no other context. Every Democrat should be embarrassed by this man.
Perhaps from the British point of view it was unnecessary because the King made stupid decisions. From our point of view, the Revolutionary War was necessary. We tried avoiding it. We extended olive branches just to have them brushed aside. One could make any war “unnecessary” using this logic. World War Two, the gold standards of just wars, wasn’t necessary because Hitler didn’t have to invade Poland.
Carter’s efforts to condemn this war seem to have left him bereft of all modern and historical perspective. The more I think about this the more disgusted I am. To draw beyond the most superficial of parallels between our Revolutionary War and these “insurgents” who are trying to derail democracy and kill our countrymen is repugnant.
Oh, and Carter, the historian, has this little nugget:
I don’t think it’s ever been proven to be accurate as a premise that you can go into an alien society with force of arms and destroying a major portion of that country and killing their people to make them adopt a new form of government and to accept new rulers.
I guess he forgot about Japan . . . and Germany.