Generally I don’t talk back to four-star generals, but since I’m out of uniform now and provoked, I’m going to make an exception for General John Kelly, our Dear Leader’s Chief of Staff. No, I’m not going to pile on General Kelly for the bogus charges he made against Congresswoman Fredericka Wilson. The utter falseness of his claims is readily accessible in the online video of the “empty barrel” making her dedication speech of the FBI building in Miami. His doubling down on those libels by not renouncing them leads me to believe that he has been corrupted by the sociopath he serves.
And yes, I’ve mustered enough courage to meet the challenge laid down by Sarah Huckabee Sanders; I do “want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general”—a debate she thinks “highly inappropriate.” I think it is more than appropriate. Necessary, in fact. My beef primarily centers on Kelly’s use of the word “sacred,” and the absurd conclusions he draws, as follows:
You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life—the dignity of life—is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.
Really? It is my turn to be stunned. I’ve been alive longer than you, General, and no woman I’ve talked to felt she was looked upon with “great honor.” Quite the contrary. Most think they have been treated like second-class citizens. Of course we can always get a second male opinion, say from Harvey Weinstein. Or better yet, let’s ask your boss, who openly brags about grabbing women by the genitals, and has been on the prowl for over four decades of groping. How sacred is that?
You also say that the dignity of life is sacred. Again I balk at the word “sacred,” variously defined in the dictionary as “spiritual,” “religious,” “hallowed, “untouchable,” et alia. (Personally, I prefer the anthropologists’ definition of the word: That which cannot be discussed rationally.) The problem is different religions consider different things and practices sacred, and find those differences reason for enslaving or slaughtering non-believers or heretics. No dignity there that I can see. That said, I will concede that human life has been cheapened some in recent years. I, however, attribute that to the rampant human overpopulation that poisons our once-balanced biosphere. The more of us that compete for space, the less we feel the loss of a few competitors.
Finally, you lament the passing of religion. I will resist the temptation to say good riddance, and only point to one of the most “sacred” societies we have on earth, Islamic Pakistan, where it is a capital offense to be an atheist. A violent country internally and externally, yet with Hindus to the east and Taliban to the west...what do you expect? Moving east to west with the “sacreds,” we have Shias, Sunnis, Jews, Copts, Christians and many other believers in constant clash all the way to Casablanca? No, I’m not cherry picking. Closer to home, we recently had “troubles” in the north of Ireland where Catholics and Protestants also shed sacred blood. Conclusion? Secular societies are best at preserving the dignity of life.
Sorry Sir, your sanctimony rings hollow.
NOTE: This is not the only time I’ve disrespected a four-star general and lived to tell the tale. That I’ll tell next week on this blog, Part II of Disrespecting Generals, with concluding thoughts on the danger of mixing politics and generals.