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John Kelly's Dangerous Ignorance of the Civil War Reflects the Views of His Boss


John Kelly's Dangerous Ignorance of the Civil War Reflects the Views of His Boss

Jeffery Robinson

Kelly's narrative is meant to avoid the ugly truth that Americans were willing to kill American soldiers and to die to preserve the right to own other humans.

Kelly’s claims about compromise, morality and the cause of the war are demonstrably false. His perspective is very forgiving of the slave owners and dismissive of the people who were enslaved. Sadly, that is completely consistent with the views of the administration he serves.


So much for adults in the administration. The media went all gushy over these fascist. Why. Didn’t they know what they were. Who knew that we had white supremacists in our military? I’m closely related to one. And these people are not changed by logic or reason. As a matter of fact, it just makes them more angry and violent. Thank you ANTIFA. Those of you that want to spout Gandhi, remember Hitler and Mussolini


Underlying many contentious, brutal issues through history, we see modern apologists defending the conformity of past leaders to the culture they lived in. Oddly, this defense rests on an ignorant and uncritical attitude towards societies that are well documented in their corruption. Claiming we should follow the norms of our culture and its traditions, regardless of their brutality and deception is like saying we must conform to Trumpism and corporate governance because they dominate our current culture.
This culture of blind conformity, of performative actions for profit and power (while against human rights, humanistic values and democracy), is the very basis of cultural corruptions throughout history, and, of our current system.
Time to stop pretending and accept responsibility for the herd-like, socialized mentality that coerces humanity and causes so much unnecessary suffering.
Challenge the status quo for it is this deception which creates the false necessity that coerces us all. Kelly does no more than to sign on and support human brutality and ignorance - that is why he is now one of our leaders - he serves the corruption with fancy badges and a special uniform while being paid a lot of money.
Sound familiar?


Thank you Jeffery Robinson. This is the best, most concise summation of this formative part of US history I have read yet. There can be no effective (or honest) rebuttal to what is stated here.

Similarly, the factors that made the US Civil War inevitable - moral outrage and certitude versus moral depravity in the service of greed and cruelty - need to be extended to the ongoing US aggression against everything non-white and non-“western.”

From the ranks of our “heroes” in uniform: dinks, slopes, gooks, sand-niggers, ragheads, camel-jockeys, etc. And our military personnel are brave heroes defending and preserving democracy and freedom for America and humanity. We all know how pervasive this heroic American exceptionalism tale is, but I have wondered for quite some time, just how completely my USA’n neighbors swallow this tripe.

Fuck John Kelly and all the other gutless, spineless, ball-less, and most especially CLUELESS, sycophant graduates of West Point, Annapolis, AF Academy, etc.

While I was composing this rant, Edmundo posted and I believe, of the two, his was more accurately to the point.


Republican leaders may call themselves the party of Lincoln, but back then, as today, they were the powerful wealthy minority within the party. Their intention for ending slavery was no more than adding industrial labor supply to reduce wages. It would be interesting to learn how industrialists then, like the Koch’s and Warren Buffett’s of today, dispensed manipulative propaganda to appear as socially conscientious, patriotic philanthropists.


“culture of blind conformity” After a lifelong career in the military should describe General Kelly perfectly. He was taught to blindly follow orders then rose high enough to demand others blindly follow his orders.


Methinks Mr. Kelly (as a veteran I refuse to use the title General for a man who refers to a traitor in such lofty tones), should revisit actual history and abandon his revisionist version.

The South was very clear that slavery, particular the enslavement of MY people, was not only their right to continue but should be expanded in the states joining the union and they were willing to go to war over the issue. The Continental Congress, Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights and everything we did as a nation up to the South’s secession and declaration of war on the United States was a compromise with the south over the issue of the enslavement of black folk.

“For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war.”

Gen. Robert E. Lee on the subject of statues and memorials to the confederate “heroes”:

“I think it wiser moreover not to keep open the sores of war, but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavoured to obliterate the marks of civil strife and to commit to oblivion the feelings it engendered…”

Indeed, Robert E. Lee himself even supported getting rid of the confederate flag and did not allow it to fly over Washington College where he was president after the war. It was also conspicuously absent at his funeral and as were confederate uniforms on former confederate soldiers marching in the procession.


I will never cease to be amazed at the depth of ignorance of Americans, both in terms of what is currently plain before their very noses, and past events that are well documented, for those with eyes to see. That I actually am living in a country in the 21st century that is debating - STILL - whether or not fascism and slavery and racism are good or bad, is proof of just how ignoble and ignorant so many Americans are. Statues to traitors who raised arms against the US Government in order to continue to own human beings are not a “tribute to our heroes” or some glorious past “heritage.” They are statues to traitors - full stop. In Germany, it is against the law to deny the holocaust happened, or to display the Swastika or the Nazi Salute. In Germany, there are no statues honoring Hitler, or Himmler, or Goering. Yet in America, we still have thousands of statues honoring men who committed treason against their country and killed hundreds of thousands of their fellow countrymen in order to continue to enslave human beings. And millions of Americans are proud of these statues, and this “heritage,” and are outraged at any attempt to remove these disgusting tributes to traitors.

This country is too far gone to save. The rot goes all the way down to the cellar, and there are too many millions of Americans who are filled with it. Get out while you still can.


The South would have peacefully given up slavery? Not a chance. They wrote slavery into there state constitutions, barring even voluntary manumission of slaves. Secession leaders were clear about the centrality of slavery as an issue.

5% slave owners. 3%. Where do you get that from? Slave owners were a minority, but not a small minority, and slavery was the very basis of economics and politics in the South. In South Carolina there were more Slaves than the total white population. In SC and Mississippi nearly half the white population owned slaves.


Wars are fought for economic reasons nearly exclusively. This one was no different and the economic situation is far more complex and less geographically uniform than you probably realize.

But let’s address the elephant in the room in that BOTH sides were fighting to preserve that “peculiar institution” for the larger portion of the war. Kentucky and Maryland fought with Union forces, yet both were solidly slave states which also means they were exempt from the conditions established by the “Emancipation Proclamation”.

And yes, morally craven behavior is the norm in any organized society. Rocking the boat puts one’s normal existence at risk of being damaged or destroyed. Being socially ostracized, economically attacked or even physically attacked are real threats and must be considered before doing the right thing. Few have the moral and physical courage to challenge the established order.

Is the author correct in his statement that societal norms are irrelevant when considering something immoral? You bet he is. But then again, you run into the conditions I noted in the previous paragraph.

Yet here we are 152 years after the end of hostilities in that conflict and we still suffer from rampant racism. The candidacy and election of Trump has undeniably unleashed the gates of hell from the political right and given them free reign to be hateful, abusive and as ignorant as they want to be.

The biggest enemy is the very economic and social system we have been incorporated into from birth. It places monetization of everything as the only true imperative. It trumps ethics, morals and even laws as they seem to be very malleable and temporally re-assignable.

Yes, the likes of John Kelly need to be sent to the dust bin of history. But the history that gave us those John Kellys’ is ours to own in perpetuity. We are the product of those events and are shaped and manipulated by the way history is recorded and taught. When we learn to accept that we are propagandized from birth to grave, we can begin to reject the message.


With all due respect, you have written a pompous load of crap.


Such and erudite reply. Does your mommy know you’re on the computer?