“Great Hope” General Kelly
Goes Full Fascist, On All Fronts

October 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Millions of liberals and progressive-minded people who detest Trump have been hoping, indeed counting on, Trump’s chief of staff, General John Kelly, along with other generals in the administration (McMaster and Mattis) to be “the adults in the room”— the decent, disciplined and (somehow!) war-averse military men who were going to restrain the fascist Trump and protect the world from his vicious white supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia and reckless nuclear warmongering.

On October 19, those hopes were exposed as illusion—and self-delusion—when Gen. Kelly stepped before the microphones at a White House press conference to try to squelch the uproar over Trump’s callous and flippant phone call to the family of La David Johnson, a Black soldier killed in a secret U.S. war in Niger.

Kelly eagerly and willingly went full-Trump fascist on all fronts. (Read the transcript here.)

He fully backed Trump’s actions, cynically invoked the death of his own son in combat as political capital, and launched into a racist, lie-filled attack on a Black congresswoman from Florida. Then Kelly, this so-called “man of integrity” dove into a grotesque and maudlin celebration of that era when he “was a kid growing up”—the 1950s and early ’60s—when “women,” “religion,” “dignity of life” and, of course, service in the U.S. military, were “sacred.”

You remember those “good old days,” don’t you? The days when the U.S. military leveled the whole of North Korea, killing millions. The days when young Black men like Emmett Till were brutally tortured and lynched for alleged violations of the racist code that governed the lives of all Black people, and the murderers were acquitted by all-white juries. The days when civil rights workers like Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner, and James Chaney were abducted, tortured and murdered by the KKK, with the aid of the police. (And these were just three among two dozen brutal racist murders carried out in Mississippi in that period.) The days when a woman wasn’t allowed to open a bank account without her husband’s permission and men were legally allowed to rape their wives. The days when anyone who wasn’t a heterosexual, god-fearing white Christian could have their “dignity of life” and maybe their life itself, snatched away at a moment’s notice by any asshole, mob, Klansman or cop that felt like “having a little fun.”

This is what Kelly yearns for. This (and much worse) is what the regime he willingly serves wants to violently reimpose, under even more barbaric fascist rule.

In service of this agenda, Kelly’s central theme was the worship, sanctity, and sanctification of the U.S. military—a core element of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. Kelly exalted military service as “sacred.” He praised the soldiers who carry out war crimes from one end of the earth to the other, as “the best 1 percent this country produces,” and “the best men on Earth.” Why? Because they are “doing their nation’s bidding all around the world.” “They go where we send them ... Sometimes they go in large numbers to invade Afghanistan and Iraq,” or to any of the dozens of other U.S. outposts—building and manning drone bases, training local reactionary forces, propping up brutal dictatorships, and other “missions” in service of the world’s greatest empire of enslavement and oppression. [Emphasis added]

This coming from the general who, as head of the U.S. Southern Command, carried out an “aggressive oversight” of detainees at the torture chamber known as Guantánamo, including “punitive force-feeding, solitary confinement, and rubber bullets,” according to the Center for Constitutional Rights.

And how do these “best men” on earth, treat women? With an epidemic of rape—of the women in the countries they occupy, as well as female GIs, who report being afraid to go to the bathroom at night lest they be attacked by their “brothers-in-arms.”

Kelly refused to take questions from any reporter unless they claimed a personal connection to a U.S. soldier killed in action, (and reporters felt compelled to preface their questions by thanking Kelly for his military service). White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders followed up a day later by warning reporters who pointed out Kelly’s lies that it was “highly inappropriate” to “debate ... a four-star Marine general.” 

In other words, this sacred military has the right to deny questioning by anyone who is not a veteran or family of someone killed in one of the U.S. invasions of the world—or questioned at all, even when caught in bald-faced lies! All reminiscent of open military juntas where “insulting” the military is a severely punished criminal offense. As Masha Gessen noted in The New Yorker, Kelly’s press briefing “could serve as a preview of what a military coup in this country would look like...”

So, dear liberals:

THIS is who you were hoping would restrain Trump? This pig who has more than once come to Trump’s rescue in just this fashion, and has now come fully out of his fascist bag? A “choice” between military dictatorship and fascist lunacy—when you’ll probably end up with both? The time for these hopes is long past. The time to actually face reality—that this is ONLY going to get worse, as it does in some egregious form or other seemingly every week or even every day—is long since past. And the time to do the ONLY thing that can be done—getting this regime out—is HERE. November 4: It begins.


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