Not the analogy he wanted, I'm sure
The good Victor Davis "Refuses To Learn From History" Hanson has an article up at National Review, and pleads with us to support the new general in Iraq in probably the worst analogy I've seen from a wingnut lately:
After the bleak summer of 1864, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman saved the Union cause, and with it the Lincoln presidency, by taking Atlanta. By winter, we will see whether David Petraeus can likewise do the unexpected in Baghdad.
Oh, good, Mr. Hanson, and do you remember how General Sherman got there? Why, he just left a trail of destruction across the South that left cities like Columbia, SC (where I now sit) smoking ruins, not to mention a resentment that still burns in the hearts and minds of Southerners almost 150 years after the fact.
What General Sherman did may have been defensible on strictly military terms, but it did nothing for the North's reputation down here. I'm sure Mr. Hanson didn't mean the analogy directly (or at least I HOPE he didn't), but it's a bad one neverthless and you think a military historian would have thought twice before making it.
CORRECTION: Damn my crappy American high-school education and my faulty memory. Upon reading James L. Stokesbury's A Short History of The Civil War (excellent book, BTW), I come to realize Sherman's campaign of destruction was carried out AFTER he took Atlanta. No matter; it's still a bad analogy. Sherman did indeed leave a smaller trail of destruction behind him on the trip from Chattanooga to Atlanta, Stokesbury argues that the taking of Atlanta actually had little effect on the election in the first place, and we're evidently supposed to believe that the American occupation troops in Baghdad who can barely leave the Green Zone for the mortar attacks and IEDs and snipers are somehow equivalent to the Union Army in late 1864 which could maneuver through Confederate territory almost with impunity.