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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


A mere 12 hours after news broke of multiple indictments in the Mueller probe, John Kelly appeared on Fox News to discuss, of all things, Confederate statues.

“Robert E. Lee was an honorable man who gave up his country to fight for his state,” the White House chief of staff told “The Ingraham Angle’s” Laura Ingraham. “Men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

Kelly later blamed the Civil War on a “lack of an ability to compromise,” a reactionary reading of American history that has been repeatedly debunked.

Since he accused Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) of “bragging” about securing funding for an FBI field office—an outright smear for which he has yet to apologize and claims he never will—mainstream media are slowly coming to the realization that the retired marine corps general is neither a moderating influence on Donald Trump nor the adult in the room they once proclaimed him. In truth, he never was. As long as he’s been a major public figure, Kelly has proven himself a “nightmare in a uniform“—xenophobic, militaristic and openly contemptuous of civilian life.

Just this week, the former commander of United States Southern Command called for a new investigation into Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One “deal,” the latest in a series of Clinton conspiracy theories the right has been peddling for the better part of three decades. The Washington Post’s editorial board put things bluntly:

Mr. Kelly should think about what this does to his credibility — and to the country’s. The party in power is demanding the investigation and possible prosecution of its defeated political rival on trumped-up claims of wrongdoing. This is what happens in banana republics, not the world’s greatest democracy.

Here are just a handful of quotes proving that John Kelly is every bit as authoritarian as the man he works for.

1. On Trump’s border wall

“Nothing’s been done in the past eight years to enforce the border rules and regulations, not to mention many of the immigration laws inside of the United States…Under the Obama administration they turned back a large number of individuals, but that’s because it was a very open border almost. Those that would come up here illegally have decided not to make that dangerous trek as we secure the border.”

2. On Trump’s Muslim ban

”Let’s just say, for instance, a person who is trying to get to the United States to do some harm, some terrorist attack, is coming in during this period that the courts put a stay on our enforcement, we don’t know that until an individual who’s a bad person, until they do something bad. But it’s entirely possible that someone that’s coming in, whether it’s during this stay court action or previous to this, they intend to do us harm.”

3. On America’s enemies abroad

“I don’t know why they hate us, and I don’t care. Our enemy is savage, offers absolutely no quarter, and has a single focus, and that is either to kill every one of us here at home or enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no god or purpose that decent men and women could ever grasp.”

4. On criticism of U.S. foreign policy

“If anyone thinks you can somehow thank [members of the military] for their service and not support the cause for which they fight — America’s survival — then they are lying to themselves and rationalizing away something in their lives, but more importantly, they are slighting our warriors and mocking their commitment to the nation.”

5. On America’s history of warfare

“[Our purpose has never been to] build empires, or enslave peoples, but to free those held in the grip of tyrants….The only territory we as a people have ever asked for from any nation we have fought alongside, or against, since our founding, the entire extent of our overseas empire, are a few hundred acres of land for the 24 American cemeteries scattered around the globe.”

H/T The Intercept


Jacob Sugarman is a managing editor at AlterNet.



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22 responses to “What John Kelly Said Proves He Is An Authoritarian Like Trump”

  1. dbtheonly says:

    Disappointment for those who thought that John Kelly was a closet moderate?

    This is Trumpville. There are only degrees of disaster.

    No one wanted the Civil War. It killed over 600,000 Americans. Its effects are still killing Americans. But if every drop of blood drawn by the lash of Slavery had to be repaid with blood drawn by the sword, we can only say that the judgments of the Lord are just and righteous all together.

    Kelly is right that compromise might have avoided the war. Regrettably the Southern hotheads were opposed to compromise. The solution they sought really didn’t offer the security they wanted, but since when has that stopped anyone? Iraq 2003?

    • idamag says:

      Lincoln met with some of them and it Kelly had studied history, he would know their answer to negotiating was to fire on the United States. Is Kelly from Mississippi, Alabama or Kansas?

      • dbtheonly says:

        It boiled down to the fact that cotton tends to use up land. The Slave States had expanded about as far as they could given the type of land necessary for a cotton economy. Lands conquered from Mexico had not allowed slavery under the Mexican Constitution and so, although south of 36-30, they were not prime slave territory, by both history and geology. The Slaveocracy needed more land. There simply wasn’t more land to be had. Then came Pierce and “popular sovereignty”. If any policy was guaranteed to start a Civil War; that was it.

        TZ has some sort of wild imaginings about what an 1860 compromise might have looked like. Could a Clay have found some grounds for compromise in 1860? I contend not, because as Clay himself lay dying, people in Kansas were trying to extend or prohibit slavery in Kansas at the point of a gun. Once the killing started in 1856, I submit there was no turning back. The pusillanimous Buchanan Administration actively hindered any response to the killings, and the Dredd Scott decision essentially made the entire US slave country.

        But no, 600,000 dead is never the preferred solution. It was, perhaps, just the best available.

        The point of this, aside from putting you to sleep, is that I see the schisms in the US rivaling those of 1860. I do not see a way to reconcile Trumpism with the United States, or reconciling me with Trumpism. I only hope and pray that there is some sort of compromise available. The 600,000 of 1860 could easily be the 20,000,000 of 2020.

        • idamag says:

          Two things: My friends who are into horses tell me, “Never trust a horse whose eyes are closer together. Kelly’s eyes are awfully close together. The other is that I used to proofread for U.S.Genweb. Someone would copy a census onto the program’s forms. My job was to compare it for errors, using a copy of the original census. There were things that struck me about the south. Those plantation owners had 7 to 8 thousand acres. There was a column for whether or not they could read and write and most of them could not.

          • dbtheonly says:

            I knew illiteracy was rife bafore the war. And I knew that most Slave Owners owned just a few slaves.

            But the idea of plantations of over 10 sq. miles being owned by an illiterate is staggering. We’re not talking Texas here, right? 10 sq. miles is a lot of land to work and oversee without letters and figures.

          • idamag says:

            Georgia was one. All of Europe was trying to colonize lands in the new world. In order to get more people over here, England sent their prisoners over with the promise they would become rich. I would guess that literacy is still not a top priority in some of the deep south.

          • dbtheonly says:

            I recall a growth of literacy during the Revolutionary Era and the religious awakening following thereafter.

            Still “hay foot” “straw foot” was real.

            But we’re talking about the large plantation owners. Officers, both Confederate and Yankee had to be literate. If one wanted to be an Officer in the Colored Troops, one had to pass a fairly rigorous examination. (This last from my friend who thinks the USCT are under researched)

      • JPHALL says:

        Actually Boston, Mass.

    • TZToronto says:

      Hmmm . . . Compromise. Isn’t that what the “Freedom [sic] Caucus” is against?

      And let’s assume that a compromise could have been worked out in, say, 1861. The South would have kept their slaves, I suppose, but what would the compromise have consisted of? A path to freedom (5 or 10 years as a slave, then freedom and a life of discrimination) and maybe citizenship at some point. I can imagine the intricacies of such a plan. Let’s assume that the 5 or 10 years had been agreed on. I’ll bet that would have meant 5 or 10 years with the same owner. If a slave were sold to a new owner, the clock would start again. No, John, compromise was not an option with an evil such as slavery.

      A compromise might have avoided war, but only for a while–until the South was able to get repeating rifles instead of the single-shot relics they used.

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      I recently watched a very interesting historical documentary on the Civil War. The host used National Archives documents to prove that 900,000 died but not all because of battle injuries. In fact, if the Civil War documents in the National Archives prove anything, it proves that the south has grossly exaggerated their victim roles by at least 600,000 deaths which occurred not because of the war …but because of diseases that could have been prevented like Yellow Jack Fever from those soupy swamps they refused to drain. So, even a mosquito bite in the south could cause a hundred thousand deaths.

      • dbtheonly says:

        As I recall it was research done while digging the Panama Canal in the 20th Century that found the causes of Yellow Fever.

        Battle deaths were only a small part of the losses of the Civil War. 900,000 out of a combined population of what, 20 million?

        But you’re right, it’s how you count the deaths from disease, malnutrition, both enlisted and civilian, that make the casualty figures hard to determine. We need also be aware of any political agenda of anyone announcing a radical new approach.

        There are a few, really interesting, articles on whether owning slaves was more or less expensive than “free” labor. Owning slaves might just have cost more than hiring farm labor. Whether the huge plantations could have survived without slaves is unclear. Its unclear if there was sufficient labor available for hire. It’s certain the Owners never put it to the test.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          I was referring to Yellow Jack Fever. It was first diagnosed in the US in Philadelphia in 1793. There have been several outbreaks of Yellow Jack Fever in the US since that time. For example, Savannah Georgia in 1820 when it claimed the lives of 600 people.The 1853 outbreak claimed 7,849 residents of New Orleans.

          As you posted, the number who died in the Civil War was according to all National Archive records 620,000.

          • dbtheonly says:

            I was unaware that Yellow Jack and Yellow Fever were different diseases.

          • Eleanore Whitaker says:

            Like you, I also didn’t know there was a difference until I worked with a VP who came to our company through a former company in Brazil. He contracted what we all know as “Malaria.”

            I recall asking him what the symptoms were. He told me it caused a kind of recurring jaundice. He said that was why the older generation of Brazilians referred to it as “Yellow Fever” until doctors finally labeled it “Malaria.”

            Yellow Jack fever in the US has disappeared due to the US EPA requiring swamps where these mosquitos breed to be drained.

            Malaria, however, is still rampant in remote parts of South America. I suspect, however, as a microbiologist friend of mine said, that some of these older breeds of disease carrying insects have evolved as environmental issues evolve.

            Working with environmental engineers, I saw the huge link between pollution of the environment and evolution of newer and far more dangerous breeds of disease carrying insects.

  2. bobnstuff says:

    Why would anyone believe that Trump would have someone around that wasn’t like him. Kelly has some good points but he is a supporting actor in the farce that is the Trump Presidency.

    • idamag says:

      Where did this jerkwater to to school and who paid for his grades? We studied the Civil War in the fourth grade and knew more than he does, now, at that time.

  3. idamag says:

    I seen that the posters, on these boards, had a name for Kelly that I had never heard before and I am sure they had a few names that are unprintable. At his remarks, that unearthed his stupidity, I was thinking, “OMG, this is what is protecting our country?”

    • Eleanore Whitaker says:

      The military have a name for Kelly, “The Blue Falcon.” It is a derogatory label given to military who are traitors.

      I attended school with a girl whose father was a high ranking lifetime career military Navy man. Her life was one ruled by him and only him. She was relocated so often by the military that we first met in grade school and then she was gone until sophmore year of high school.

      One thing she said about her father has always stuck in my mind, “Men in the military in the upper ranks are all authoritarians even when they don’t try to be.”

      Kelly is no longer in the military. But, the danger for Americans is that Trump NEEDS these high ranking military around him to enforce his policies. And let’s not pretend that now that they are civilians, they won’t.

      Everything Trump says and does only supports his ideas that this is HIS country or as he said just yesterday. “The only thing that matters is me.”

      Now, he plans to meet once more with Putin. He is doing the very thing Nixon did when Nixon knew the end was near…take off out of the country for two weeks in the hope that the worst Constitutional Crisis won’t hit him in the face.

      But, you can bet when he does meet with Putin, NO ONE will be allowed in that meeting. I am sure Trump will try to exact a promise from Putin of protection from US laws on obstruction of justice which as the ultimate authoritarian he is, is already trying to put Hillary in prison without due process of the law and Trump’s dangling Session’s jobs in Session’s face. How very CEO BS of Trump.

      So now, he pays Brazile to try and make the case that Hillary was favored by the DNC…Well DUH….and what do the Sanders sore losers do? They try to make the case that the DNC campaign was rigged.

      Meanwhile, neither Sanders nor his supporters dare ask who else got part of that $100 million Trump so publicly admitted “I donated to MY campaign,” as he taunted Hillary.

      Wow…a candidate who donates to their own campaign…have unicorns returned? I’d be wanting to know how much Brazile was paid to slander Hillary and who did the paying.

      Come hell or high water, Sanders was determined he was going to win the 2016 election. When Hillary beat him by over 4 million votes, now his supporters say we were all too stupid not to see that Hillary’s donations to HER campaign cheated Sanders out of his dream of being president.

      Sanders has now gone into 2 states and bashed Dem candidates for governor, NJ and VA. Not such a very good idea. Then, the weak kneed Sanders supporters like to say that Hillary won caucus states using a totally faked mapped. Hey! Numbnuts! NJ, NY, IL and CT caucus states. Next excuse for your boy’s failure to win an election? It only took Sanders 7 attempts to be mayor of Burlington such was his lack of voter popularity.

      • idamag says:

        Trump is an amoral psychopath who has no loyalty to anyone or anything, including this country. It is just something else to steal from.

        • Eleanore Whitaker says:

          Trump is doing precisely what Nixon did during WaterGate…maing himself scarce. Reagan did the same when the 2nd term Recession realities hit the fan for him.

          The difference is that neither Nixon nor Reagan had ties to a foreign adversary. There is a reason Trump has still not enforced the bipartisan legislation to punish Russia for interfering in a US election: He can’t.

          If he dared punish Putin for his help, that would be like biting the hand that handed him the White House.

          So now, he will meet a 2nd time with Putin so he has a possible escape plan in place.

          He knows he won’t ever be safe in public streets in the US for his flagrant obstruction and lawless attitudes. Women would be the first to rip him to shreds for his paying his way out of sexual molestations.

          He will no doubt find some excuse like a new business project in Russia that will take him as far from the US as he and his gang of grifters in his family can manage.

          There is NO way Trump will ever get out of his collusion with Putin now. Not after Pappadopoulis and others are spilling their guts to avoid prison. Trump’s grand plan will be to flee the US like all cowards always do.

  4. PatrickHenry says:

    An inside look at Bernie Sanders’s role in the Democratic Party primaries. LMAO…..

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