The Enduring Value of Arlington’s Endangered Monument to Reconciliation

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(Donald Smith, Bacon’s Rebellion) – Jim Webb, former U.S. Senator from Virginia, former Navy Secretary, and certified badass (Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts from his service as a Marine officer in Vietnam) grabbed quite a bit of attention last week. On August 18 he called for the Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery to be spared. You can read his commentary here, if you have a Wall Street Journal subscription (or have some free articles left.) Here’s a link to a no-paywall article on Webb’s piece. Here’s a link to the most prominent criticism I’ve seen of Webb’s piece, from Civil War historian Kevin Levin.

Webb’s commentary points out an important and, until now, mostly ignored repercussion of Congress’ blanket approval of the Naming Commission’s recommendations: it diminishes our nation’s soft power. That makes it harder for our military and diplomats to achieve our nation’s goals overseas without having to resort to coercion or violence.

From Secretary Webb’s…

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