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Media Spent Months Lionizing General Who Defended Slaveholders’ Revolt

Media Spent Months Lionizing General Who Defended Slaveholders’ Revolt

Ben Norton

John Kelly is greatest hope to rein in President Donald?

Even many prominent figures in the anti-Trump self-declared Democratic “Resistance” have done the same, cheering on the far-right billionaire-in-chief when he is waging war, and praising the senior military officials he has appointed to the helm of the civilian government.

From the article:
“… a CNBC piece (8/4/17) explained “Why John Kelly’s Military Leadership Skills May Play a Critical Role in Trump’s Success.” In a borderline dystopian conflation of corporate and military authority, one article bullet point read, “Major multinational corporations, Wal-Mart as one example, have had CEOs who served in the military and applied military lessons to their company’s business.””

Actually the standard corporate management model is military hierarchy, with or without actual generals serving in the CEO position. Anti-democratic, obedience to the chain of command, public relations / propaganda control of information, etc.

It’s one of the main problems with the entire economy, which is based on exploitation of natural resources, control of markets, all built on the original foundation of war, colonization, enslavement, genocide, and grand theft continental.

That is what “the economy” is. It is war, and society and ecology are collapsing under the assault. We need to see the reality under the propaganda / advertising miasma, and demand an entirely different organizing model.


Excellent comment webwalk, as the corporate takeover of our government is almost absolute at this point. The ascendant culture, a manufactured by product of such a takeover, renders ignorance, cruelty, consumerism, militarism, yadda yadda yadda, as virtue.

On a lighter note, thanks for the new word, for this chicken…“miasma”.

Wonder if the miasma is triggering me asthma.



Senator J. William Fulbright’s important little book, The Pentagon Propaganda Machine, 1971, now part of the nation’s forgotten history, warned of the danger militarism posed. Of course since then it has gotten worse, so bad that a Press Secretary to the President of the United States was agog when someone had the temerity to question the opinion of a Four Star General. Senator Fulbright warned about the dangers of the “volunteer” army and the inappropriateness of military people determining policy.

“There is little in the education, training, or experience of most soldiers to equip them with the balance of judgment needed to play the political role they now hold in our society.”

“There seems to be a lack of concern among too many people about the state of the nation, and a too easy acceptance of policies and actions of a kind that a generation ago would have appalled the citizenry. The apparent broad acceptance of the “volunteer army” idea comes to mind- a concept completely at variance with our historic development. Up to now, a blessing of our system has been that those who go into the military service, whether by enlistment or through the draft, could hardly wait to get out. But today, because of the exigencies of the times, there is a chance that we may turn our back on this fundamental principle: a large, standing professional army has no place in this Republic.”…J. William Fulbright.


Yes, it is definitely bad for us to breathe it in!

Do they sell a “gas mask” that filters out military / corporate miasma?


Surely ye ole disaster capitalism has ejaculated such a corn-trap-tion on Amazon by now!

Fracking fucking up your water supply? Nestle to the rescue!

Corporate State miasma clucking up ye olfactory system? Serve up this chicken with that gas mask yesterday!

Damn, as I do my search on the internets, still frustrated that the advanced searches don’t allow chicken-centric filtering.

Do you know how clucking difficult it is to get fitted with such a corn-traption when you have a clucking beak sticking out of your clucking face?

Cluck cluck cluck!!!


Hail to the chief enabler

(And Lee spilled the blood of those he enslaved, as well)

There is one thing worse than a Trump Presidency: "a gradual military takeover of the civilian government".

The Founders would be aghast!


An extremely good post, webwalk!

Thank you for the J. William Fulbright quotes! He was right back then. His words are just as true today. He should be a role model for any Senator,

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Why thank you nighthawk!

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Remark on a few small things first…

A factory-farmer can fix that for you. Just cut that beak off.

The contradictions. At the time Pres. Eisenhower, a five star (!) general was still alive. Recall that Eisenhower warned us of the danger of the military industrial complex.

IIRC, Sen. Fulbright also recommended that we simply declare victory in Vietnam and pull out. [North Vietnam was expected to conquer the place after that…] Not many remember that Pres. Truman did just that with South Korea in 1949. Then North Korea invaded 1950 and Truman felt obliged to quick-reverse his decision and put us into the Korean War. Question: would South Koreans be better off today if we hadn’t?

About the first paragraph of the article, Gen. John Kelly (IMHO) spoke truth. Most of American governance before 1860 was at the state level. Slavery was evil, but fixing it was at the state level, which several states like Massachusetts had done. Gen. Lee made himself available in 1862 not to defend slavery, but to defend his beloved Virginia from defeat by Washington DC’s troops and the imposition of rule from Washington DC. I have read speculation that even if the CSA had preserved its independence that slavery would have ended within a few decades. … At the same time as the US Civil War South America was fighting the just as destructive ‘Lopez’ War, Argentina Brazil and Uruguay against Paraguay. I have read that the effects of that war caused an end to Brazilian slavery within two decades.

Those of you who say that secession is wrong, are you prepared to also say that California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Am. Samoa, can’t secede from, exit from, “imperialist” America?

Not such a nice job putting lipstick on that pig.

Oh I see, so Lee wasn’t defending slavery at all.


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Amazing ability to not understand or misunderstand what you have read.

The topic is discussed at length in this weekend’s 11-4,5 Wall Street Journal, page A13 ‘What John Kelly Got Right About Robert E. Lee’, big text = “The Confederate General embodied in countless ways the poignancy and tragedy of the Civil War.”
… The article mentions several evidences that Robt. E. Lee was no fan of slavery. And he did one better than Thomas Jefferson by freeing his own* slaves.
… That said, Robt. E. Lee was luke-warm on the subject, and our more-woke age demands a hot condemnation of slavery. - And Robt. E. Lee put defending Virginia from invasion ahead of his feelings about slavery.
* = arguably not his own slaves. They had belonged to his father-in-law and he was administer of the estate. His father-in-law had directed that they be freed.

And this is a side topic of the article. The bulk of the article was about Gen. John Kelly, and getting the vapors about too much military ‘control’ of our executive branch.

John Kelly’s wonderful legacy is that he is a sociopath who rode in on his black horse to rescue a fucking fascist, racist, misogynist, war monger (that’s what really excites the sociopath JK), and just overall jerk.

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Lee led an army fighting for one state right, to keep people enslaved. As much as post-war revisionists tried to lionize him in the late 19th and early 20th century, Union soldiers and generals fighting during the war weren’t fooled. Montgomery Meigs buried dead soldiers on his property—Arlington Cemetery—as a fuck you to his traitorous fellow West Point graduate. Lee’s wife left the property prior to the Union soldiers arriving, leaving the bulk of their 196 slaves behind, who did not want go with her. The soldiers found them living in deplorable conditions. Of course the good General retained the bulk of his slaves by ignoring his father-in-law’s will, which asked that they be freed after five years.

As far as I’m concerned, however great a general Lee was on the battle field, what he fought for and how he behaved with respect to his slaves, says more to me than any stupid quotes in the Wall Street Journal. Many of his most equivocal quotes on slavery are Post-war anyway—self serving. Lee owned slaves, fought to keep them enslaved, and didn’t let them go—the Union did that for him.

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He fought for all the state’s rights. It speaks to our sentiment that so many slander him as only fighting for slavery.

Lee was well regarded during and after the war. U.S. Grant opposed the call from the most rabid post-war Republicans that Lee be put on trial for treason.

In the modern view Lee was certainly guilty of treason, but then you have to consider the Decl. of Independence, and whether there are times when it is right to fight against our nation’s government. Perhaps you KC2669 thought that during GW Bush’s presidency and his war against Iraq. It seems that Lee Harvey Oswald thought that about JFK and his war against Cuba.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Govt. had taken the property unlawfully and ordered it returned. A few years later Lee’s heir to that property sold it to the U.S. Govt. for $150,000. The rule of law prevailed.

Mrs. Lee still owned the property, and left a business manager behind as well. Possibly they tried to carry on the operation of the agricultural property.

Lee freed his father-in-law’s slaves at the five year mark, 1862. Coincidentally days after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. I have read an allegation that he tried to get out of it, but a court in Virginia said that he must. Another triumph for the rule of law, particularly unexpected by people who have such a black opinion of the Confederacy. [conscious of a double meaning in that choice of the word ‘black’] Lee upheld the letter of his father-in-law’s will, if not the spirit.

Lee was anti-war, but not to the extent of George Orwell’s statement “The fastest way to end a war is to lose it.” Orwell, for that matter, wasn’t willing to lose the Spanish Civil War or WWII. Are you, KC2669? Recall MLKJr’s statement of “What are you willing to fight for, and die for?”

On the main topic of the article …

Cite your evidences that Gen. Kelly is a sociopath.
It is evident after the fact that some people, such as Stephen Paddock and Devlin Patrick Kelley, were sociopaths. What are your evidences that Gen. Kelly is a sociopath?

And what was the “rule of law” in Virginia? Lee fought to keep people enslaved, that was the state “right” he defended. The slave confederacy loved the federal government when it was intent on enforcing the state’s rights of southern states. It didn’t love it when a new government came in that wasn’t interested in supporting its variation of state’s rights. I suspect you know this.

When Union soldiers were buried on Lee’s property, it was done because Lee was a traitor. Both press accounts and soldier diaries confirm the horrid living conditions for the slaves on his property, and they also confirm a great majority were happy Lee was gone. Lee split families up, which the Custis family avoided. Let’s be clear: had Lee gotten his way, he would’ve held onto his slaves. His after-the-fact equivocations after the war was lost and he had no volition are meaningless.


Seriously you jest, asking me what evidence there is that John Kelly fits the definition of being a sociopath, or rather psychopath.

The psychopath has directed the mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in his lovely star studded military career.

That’s not enough? Or are you also a suck-up to the military. Are you an apologist for State sanctioned terror i.e., most of US foreign policy, especially post WWII?

I’ll brace for your “conventional” response, your apologetics for those who aside from their military rank, would be considered serial killers.

Be gone war pigs.

As a modern American general Gen. Kelly could easily have ordered attacks that in total have killed hundreds or thousands of people on the other side, in support of U.S. military purposes that you call ‘state sanctioned terror’. …
… You claim the number was actually hundred-thousands of people. Present your evidence and citations of that.

We have pretty much said everything about the Lee subject. A person either respects Lee, or influenced by today’s condemnation culture condemns him.

Lee had some choices after the war, to sustain bitterness and rebellion or to promote ‘moving on’. The article I have already mentioned said that in 1865 after the war Lee attended a church service in Richmond. While communion was being given a well-dressed black man approached the rail to receive communion. Most everyone, including the priest, froze at this unexpected occurrence. Such things don’t happen in that day. Lee then knelt beside the black man, to receive communion and to indicate to the priest ‘just do it.’

Contrast with Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a founder and leader of the KKK in Tennessee.