WASHINGTON: Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a general who never led troops in a winning war, bravely threw out a picture of Robert E. Lee because his wife made him do so. In defense of the action, McChrystal says that he no longer considers Lee to be one of the great leaders.
Lee, he said was a great soldier only failing when he tried to destroy the country that George Washington led.
”CBS This Morning,” one of the outlets President Trump described as “the enemy of the people,” i.e., fake news –was McChrystal’s soapbox. To accept what that CBS panel and guest offered as ” news” would be no better than accepting a history lesson from most contemporary television historians
Gen. Stanley McChrystal Myth and Reality
McChrystal was hawking his book: Leaders: Myth and Reality, though he allegedly had help in writing it. In fact, in his list of great leaders, he includes fashionista Coco Chanel who was the lover of a Nazi officer.
Presumably, she was honing her “leadership” skills.
McChrystal even admitted that he knew not of Chanel’s background until the book. So is McChrystal is leadership uncovering leadership? He had known almost nothing of someone he called a great leader. However, he does know the character of Robert E. Lee.?
The concept that George Washington war attempted to “build a country” is spurious on its face. There was no single state of The United States or a country of such to be built. There were 13 sovereign states as stated in the Treaty of Paris who signed the treaty. Both sides agreeing that the 13 individual states were no longer a part of the British government.
The Colonial Culture
A single state of The United States would indicate that the 13 original colonies were of the same culture, background, and political persuasion. Even if one can get past the silly notion that “we are a nation of immigrants” and accept the history that most of the populations of the 13 colonies were from the British Isles, there hardly existed a single compatible community state of English, Scotch, Welsh and Irish.
The term Yankee comes from a derogatory term Pennsylvanians, and the New York Dutch applied to New Englanders. Hardly a unified “country.”
Gen. Stanley McChrystal said that Lee at the crucial juncture of his life decided to side with the South in destroying the country which his hero, George Washington led. Moreover, McChrystal claimed further that Lee did it in the cause of slavery.
H.L. Mencken, arguably the most influential American literary critic in the 1920s, had this, to say,
“That the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination — ‘that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth.’ It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i. e., of the people of the States?”
Slavery: North or South?
It is always curious to Southerners why the North is not the slave society. From the North, the first slave ships sailed. Including the Desire from Salem Massachusetts around 1630. Though, slave owners themselves, Northerners never freed their slaves but let themselves be paid for their slaves through the process of manumission. Then most of these states, notably Massachusetts and Illinois passed laws disfavoring blacks, which of course they called Negroes.
Nothing is more abhorrent to honest Southerners than for historical scholar wannabees to blather in mendacious expectorations advancing the idea that Southern slavery is a cause of Lincoln’s War. Or to denigrate the undaunted character and leadership of Robert E, Lee. Whether they are unhinged pretend-academics like Victor Davis Hanson, Douglas Brinkley or the newly minted and unread nonfiction authors such as Brian Kilmeade or Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
The question will never be whether some future general in some next generation will toss a painting of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The question is will anyone ever want one?