Tuesday, May 30, 2017

New York's pathetic war history.

Mr. Philbin took issue with me over yesterday's announcement that our home state, specifically my city of origin, sucks at war. He mentioned that our state has West Point, which turned out all those great generals that turned against us in the Civil War, and great New York warriors like the 125th out of Rensselaer County upstate. I noted that I was referring to New York City, really, and admitted that even many New York City natives have made fine fighters when they left the city. It's what happens within the confines of the five boroughs that prove we suck at war. For example:

Revolutionary War: The British land troops unopposed on Loyalist Staten Island while Washington splits his forces. Washington then gets defeated and chased all over town, where he is defeated again and again. It appears the indigenous population is little help. Howe, no military genius, still manages to make Washington look like an imbecile. Washington loses an entire army in the poorly named Fort Washington, northern Manhattan, and Washington flees to New Jersey. If Howe had been smarter he could have finished Washington off then, but he abandoned pursuit. New York City remains in British hands until the end of the war. Everyone Else: 1, New York: 0

War of 1812: New York does not get any fortifications built until it chucks some crap up in a panic in 1814. It would probably have been an easy target for the British, but for the fact (as the great William Bryk explained at length) the citizens of Stonington, Connecticut, were not war pansies, and its mob of farmers and shopkeepers with a few cannon and guts made of solid steel stopped the invading fleet in Long Island Sound. Everyone Else: 2, New York: 0

Civil War: While the rest of the nation was battling brother against brother, New York City decides to hold the worst riot in American history, the Draft Riots of 1863, with the cheerful sight of new Irish immigrants, being forced to go to a war in a country they just entered, fighting bloody through the streets and taking it out on blacks by lynching and beating them to death. No truth that the legend that military shelled the town; why bother? The citizens were doing a fine job of destroying it on their own. Everyone Else: 3, New York: 0

The last native warriors to win a war in Manhattan were
Native Americans, and you see what good that did them.

Spanish-American War: Although Teddy Roosevelt fought bravely (outside New York), his father (inside New York) had bought off a guy to take his place in the Civil War. N/A

World War I: New York sits this one out. N/A

World War II: New York doesn't get involved a lot in this little conflagration either, except to help light up the night for German U-boats during their "American Shooting Season," and to accidentally sink the Normandie through incompetence. But the Brooklyn Navy Yard turned out a hell of a lot of warships, so we'll give the Big Apple that one. Everyone Else: 3, New York: 1

Korean War, Vietnam War: N/A

War on Terror: New Yorkers behaved with unparalleled bravery during the attacks on the World Trade Center. Since then they have crept closer and closer to surrendering to the people who want them all dead. Although from the beginning, the "smart people" in New York were calling for embracing our bloodthirsty enemies with open arms rather than military arms, which is the kind of thing you have to be very well educated to be stupid enough to believe is a good idea. As a war issue, NYC loses again. Everyone Else: 4, New York: 1

Knowing how New York responds to organized aggression, it no longer seems like bizarre fantasy that the Duchy of Grand Fenwick could take over New York with a fighting staff of 20 bowmen and four officers. Of course, in The Mouse that Roared, the Fenwickians had it easy, since New Yorkers were hiding during a massive shelter drill when they arrived. In real life, New Yorkers would ignore the shelter drill and surrender anyway. The Times would be full of pieces about the benefits of living under Fenwickian rule, how much better small European nations are than the United States anyway. And we'd have come full circle.
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