Roland Martin Says 'Confederates and Al-Qaida Are The Same: Terrorists'

April 11th, 2010 4:01 PM

CNN's Roland Martin continues to make a fool out of himself concerning Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R-Va.) decision to name April "Confederate History Month."

"After reading the hundreds of e-mails, Facebook comments and tweets in response to my denunciation of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's decision to honor Confederates for their involvement in the Civil War -- which was based on the desire to continue slavery -- the one consistent thing that supporters of the proclamation offer up as a defense is that these individuals were fighting for what they believed in and defending their homeland," Martin wrote Saturday.

After sharing some of the comments he received about his position on this subject, Martin disgustingly asked (h/t Weasel Zippers):

If you take all of these comments, don't they sound eerily familiar to what we hear today from Muslim extremists, who have pledged their lives to defend the honor of Allah and to defeat the infidels in the West?

When you make the argument that the South was angry with the North for "invading" their "homeland," Osama bin Laden has said the same about U.S. soldiers being on Arab soil. He has objected to our bases in Saudi Arabia, and that's one of the reasons he has launched his jihad against us. Is there really that much of a difference between him and the Confederates? Same language, same cause, same effect.

If a Confederate soldier was merely doing his job in defending his homeland, honor and heritage, what are we to say about young, Muslim radicals, who say the exact same thing as their rationale for strapping bombs on their bodies and blowing up cafes and buildings? They say they are defending the honor of their ancestors by trying to rid the world of evil Americans.

If the Sons of Confederate Veterans use the vicious nature in which people in the South were treated by the North as a talking point, doesn't that sound exactly like the Taliban saying they want to kill Americans for the slaughter of innocent folks in Afghanistan? Defenders of the Confederacy say that innocent people were killed in the war. Hasn't the same argument been presented by Muslim radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and other places where the U.S. has tangled with Muslim terrorists?

He concluded:

As a matter of conscience, I will not justify, understand or accept the atrocious view of Muslim terrorists who view their actions as representing a just war. They are reprehensible, and their actions are a sin against humanity.

And I will never, under any circumstances, cast Confederates as heroic figures who should be honored and revered. No, they have been, and forever will be, domestic terrorists. 

Makes you wonder what Martin thinks about Virginia senator Jim Webb (D) who according to an American Spectator piece published last Thursday said the following in a 1990 speech at the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetary:

I am not here to apologize for why they [Confederate soldiers] fought, although modern historians might contemplate that there truly were different perceptions in the North and South about those reasons, and that most Southern soldiers viewed the driving issue to be sovereignty rather than slavery.

In 1860 fewer than five percent of the people in the South owned slaves, and fewer than twenty percent were involved with slavery in any capacity.

Love of the Union was palpably stronger in the South than in the North before the war -- just as overt patriotism is today -- but it was tempered by a strong belief that state sovereignty existed prior to the Constitution, and that it had never been surrendered.

Nor had Abraham Lincoln ended slavery in Kentucky and Missouri when those border states did not secede.

Perhaps all of us might reread the writings of Alexander Stephens, a brilliant attorney who opposed secession but then became Vice President of the Confederacy, making a convincing legal argument that the constitutional compact was terminable.

And who wryly commented at the outset of the war that "the North today presents the spectacle of a free people having gone to war to make freemen of slaves, while all they have as yet attained is to make slaves of themselves."

As the Spectator also pointed out, Webb wrote in his 2004 book "Born Fighting":

[W]hat most historians miss -- and what those who react so strongly to seeing Confederate battle flags on car bumpers and in the yards of descendants of Confederate veterans do not understand -- is that slavery was emphatically not the reason that most individual Southerners fought so long and so hard, and at such overwhelming cost.

Slavery may have been the catalytic issue from a governmental perspective, and its moral dimensions may have motivated many Northerners, but other factors, some cultural and some historical, brought most of the Confederate soldiers to the battlefield...

It is impossible to believe that such men would have continued to fight against unnatural odds -- and take casualties beyond the level of virtually any other modern army -- simply so that the 5 percent of their population who owned slaves could keep them, or because they held to a form of racism so virulent that they would rather die than allow the slaves to leave the plantation. Something deeper was motivating them, something that appealed to their self-interest as well.

Webb continued as if almost speaking directly to Martin:

Recent years, however, have seen a new kind of nastiness emerge in these disputes. Even the venerable Robert E. Lee has taken some vicious hits, as dishonest or misinformed advocates among political interest groups and in academia attempt to twist yesterday's America into a fantasy that might better serve the political issues of today.

The greatest disservice on this count has been the attempt by these revisionist politicians and academics to defame the entire Confederate Army in a move that can only be termed the Nazification of the Confederacy.

Often cloaked in the argument over the public display of the Confederate battle flag, the syllogism goes something like this. Slavery was evil. The soldiers of the Confederacy fought for a system that wished to preserve it. Therefore they were evil as well, and any attempt to honor their service is a veiled effort to glorify the cause of slavery.

This blatant use of the "race card" in order to inflame their political and academic constituencies is a tired, seemingly endless game that is itself perhaps the greatest legacy of the Civil War's aftermath. But in this case it dishonors hundreds of thousands of men who can defend themselves only through the voices of their descendants.

It goes without saying -- but unfortunately it must be said -- that morality and decency were traits shared by both sides in this war, to an extent that was uncommon in almost any other war America has fought.

Would Martin ascribe morality and decency as traits common to terrorists?

If not, maybe he should rethink his position here.

If so, then maybe his view of anything should be completely ignored by those possessing more than a room temperature intelligence quotient.