Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cold War News; Why we could lose the next war.

2014; The world stood and watched in shock as the Russian military moved into the Ukraine region, massed troops into the Crimea and cut off diplomatic communications with the west.This aggressive action came just after Russia had hosted the 2014 winter Olympic's.

April 29th, 2014
Over the last few weeks, it has become very apparent that hostilities have been ramped up in the Ukraine and the reports  flowing in seem to indicate that forces are moving into the theater.
NATO has increased air patrols, the U.S. is sending troops to Poland and as of today's date Canada has deployed fighter jets to eastern Europe. http://news.yahoo.com/canada-deploys-fighter-jets-eastern-europe-patrols-153116631.html These series of actions clearly signal a deep concern by the western world for Russia's sudden and bizarre behavior. As of today's date (05/01/2014), The second command in charge of NATO has declared Russia an "enemy." This powerful statement comes as no surprise after several weeks of heavy military activity that has extended into other European areas.

When the invasion began, Russia's  movements in the region began as a covert operation. Early reports were very unclear as to true identity of of the troops on the ground and took on the appearance of an insurgency. Soldiers filtered into the region very slowly and began to show up in various towns in small groups. These soldiers were easily identified as cadre, because they were in possession of typical military weapons, were well equipped and well uniformed. However, all soldiers photographed entering the region wore no unit insignia and had their faces covered to conceal their identity. An action which gave the impression that insurgency was was underway. After weeks of denial by the Russians, it became necessary for them to admit that they had entered the Crimea under the guise of protecting Russian citizens. After time passed it had become apparent, (and was confirmed) that the Russian military under President Valdimir Putin was actively engaged in a military campaign.

Like so many other conflicts, the first hours of activity were heavily televised and transmitted via the internet. Initial observations made noted that Russian soldiers on the ground appeared to be well equipped, wearing newer multi-cam uniforms and carrying up-dated weapons. News sources later reported that the Russian army was also in possession of other newer hardware and vehicles. Reports have also been received that indicate that Russian bombers have conducted probes into other European areas, buzzed American warships and in recent days they have been observed running missions off the coast of the United States. In the past, these patrols were considered pretty standard "run of the mill" cold war missions. But now they hold deeper military significance.

During the 1970's the pentagon assumed that when the Russians (Soviets) entered the game and the "balloon went up" (cold war terminology for all out war). That the Russians (Soviets) would crash into Europe via East Germany in an all out armor attack. Though as time progressed. It became apparent that the former Soviets lacked the essential support, in the way of funding (material) to wage a long term conflict on a large scale. This comes as no surprise, as hard line communism by it's own doctrine rejects capitalism. And with out "capital" (cash flow), men and material are of little use on the battlefield.

1980's and 1990's

The 1980's and 90's proved to be a real game changer for the former both the Soviets and the Chinese. The communist model they tried to maintain became an untenable position to hold. This was due to new technologies that once on the world stage  financially connected (via the internet and other factors.) the world. First the Berlin wall fell. Then in 1997, the mega-port of Hong Kong was turned over to the China. This last fact made China a super power over night.

A Losing Battle; Business, Strategic Losses and Political Correctness;

Since the Berlin wall fell and China assumed sovereignty over Hong Kong, both communist nations ceased to be financial socialists. Though still under socialist / communist ideology, both nations have entered the financial world stage and both have become economic powerhouses. Along side the huge gain in financial wealth is the fact that both nations have begun to flex military muscle in the respective regions by instigating political turmoil with neighboring countries. What this has resulted in is a military backed expansion into areas that border their regions which have created strategic losses for NATO countries and U.S. Allies.

The United States as been a long time partner in NATO and has provided vast support for other countries since the close of world war two. However, since the withdraw from the middle east. The current administration has begun the process of gutting the U.S. military. They have changed long standing traditions and/or rules on how the military is managed, reduced the size of the military, cut funding and implemented policies of political correctness that makes it very difficult for unit Commanders to manage Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force personnel and Marines. Recent policy changes made to the military by the government may, on the surface look like the correct thing to do. (And that debate may rage on for many years to come). However, our enemies abroad DO NOT hold to the same types of convictions that the current administration has forced upon the armed forces of the United States. In fact a completely opposite model of our political correctness has taken hold in both Russia and North Korea. During the Olympic games in Sochi (2014), the Russian expressly forbid open displays of homosexuality during the games and promised that any type of display would be met with arrest, and they cited the "protection of children" as a reason. This may sound very much like propaganda to many in the U.S., but to others it may have sounded like the Russians were taking the moral high ground. Additionally, in recent days the North Koreans unleashed a racial tirade against President Obama, a fact that obviously cared nothing about, nor will they ever. These facts create a a serious problem in warfare. The problem is that deep political factions have arose in the United States, many of which are divided along racial lines. These deep political rifts seem to be fueled by ongoing propaganda within our own news media.

-SGT Shakespeare

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Case of Chris Mackney; How his death effects Service Members and Veterans.

Over the last few days the web has gone viral with the story of a middle aged divorced man by the name of Chris Mackney. Up until a few days ago, Chris was virtually unknown to the world. But thanks to the internet and resources like "A Voice for Men" (AFVM). Chris's story can be told. According to several online resources, including AVFM. Chris Mackney was a 45 year man with two children, and like so many other men, service members and veterans included.He was going through what amounted to a very bad divorce. The end result of what Chris was going through culminated with him taking his own life. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=christopher-mackney&pid=169166767
Whats unusual about this case is that Chris left behind a very detailed suicide note, and that note found it's way onto the internet. But that's not the clincher. What happened next is both disturbing and astounding. And it is something that the veterans groups and service member groups, such as the USO and Veterans Administration needs to come to terms with. Chris' ex-wife (who's name will be withheld in this article) retained a lawyer and began the process of having her lawyers threaten and intimidate any website owner or operator that reposted his suicide note. Her actions have now resulted in a cascade of news stories, web based attacks and video's. The blow back against Chris Mackney's ex-wife has been tremendous.


What happened to Chris is the same thing that has happened to millions of men world wide in families courts all over the western world. He lost his marriage, he lost his home, he lost what he worked for, but most of all he lost contact with his children. And this all played out in family court, with the court empowering his ex-wife to deprive him of the love of his children. When everything else is said and done, in the final analysis, and by his own words in the suicide note that he left behind. The loss of his children was the main reason that he committed suicide. So what crime did Chris Mackney commit? None that anyone is aware of. The only mistake that he seemed to had made was walking into the family court system.


As Service Members and returning Veterans, we now faced a challenging landscape. It seems that factions within the current administration have already built a wall of mistrust between the rank and file and the current administration. Many Veterans are returning home after serving in a military with a very high tempo of deployments. This rapid pace has left many Veterans and Service Members struggling with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), serious financial problems, an out of control suicide rate and an high rate of divorce.  This is a huge disadvantage in a family court system which caters to the whim of females automatically. If you can imagine, Chris Mackney walked into family court with absolutely no excess mental baggage and/or three tours in an Afghanistan killing zone under his belt. And the family court proceeded to destroy him without cause or justification  This type of case sets a terrible legal precedence for Service Members and Veterans, in that; If one sane successful business man (which Chris was) can walk into family court and his life torn to shreds and his children taken away and for doing absolutely nothing. How will a Service member or Veteran suffering from PTSD be treated in an American family court when his ex-wife makes allegations against *him?

A Voice For Men Article;

* In 90% of family law cases, men lose custody of their children.
Citation; After divorce, men lose custody of their children about ninety percent of the time and seldom receive child support when they win custody. A father who seeks custody often finds himself the target of numerous false accusations, an apparently routine feature of modern divorce. "No fault" divorce has become a disaster, mostly for men, since most break-ups are initiated by women. The economics of divorce is one reason why, according to the United States Census Bureau, female householders have a net worth 141% that of male householders. 

ref http://www.nationalcenterformen.org/page3.shtml

US Vets and military families;

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Civil War Reignites at Washington Lee University.

Washington Lee University in Lexington Virginia has become yet another flashpoint for the proponents of liberal militancy. Several news outlets have reported that a movement began on the W.L. campus as several students demanded that the Confederate battle flags be removed from the Lee Chapel. The Lee Chapel sits in the same area where the famed and revered Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his family are buried, along with his beloved horse Traveler. The small contingent of students made demands and threatened civil unrest in the community if their demands were not met by September 1st.
The poorly timed protest and subsequent threats also come on the heels of other serious national problems. Including but not limited to a failed economy, a failed presidential administration, the implementation of the universally unwanted affordable health care act and in recent weeks, the threat of open insurrection in the Nevada desert at the Bundy ranch. The small group of liberal law students have concluded that  they have been offended by the flags, and  that the flags must be removed to satisfy their own misguided agenda. A student by the name of Dominik Taylor, a third-year law student at Washington Lee, said the students decided to speak out after tolerating for years symbols and events they find offensive.  He stated;  “When things such as Lee-Jackson Day happen, you’re just sort of feeling left alone and isolated and alienated.” Though no one has made any claims of having been singled out, excluded and / or threatened by any type of racist groups or individuals. And absolutely no charges of institutional racism have been brought forward.  The other issue at hand is that the small group of students have formed a group called "the Committee". Though the names of these members have not been disclosed or published in the media (except for the one aforementioned student who chose to speak to the news media and he was not identified as a member of "The Committee") and no leadership has come forward to the media to clearly explain their position or to add any details as to just exactly why  the battle flags should be removed (besides  having been offended by their presence). Another claim made by mainstream media outlets claimed that "Neo-Confederates" were allowed march on campus during "Lee-Jackson" Day.
On 04/24/2014, I contacted the Communications Department at Washington Lee University to  answer some questions that I had. The person who I  spoke to chose not to be quoted because there was still a lack of clear information about the intentions of "The Committee". Though they were sure that the university would not release the names of the students for obvious reasons.  But despite the lack of available information, our conversation was fruitful.
What I did learn, was that the flags ( that the students are demanding the removal of) are in fact authentic battle flags of the civil war. They were carried by units who served in the Confederate army. They are not a product of post war animosity. They are historic artifacts of the time period. And they are on display in the same manner that you would see an artifact displayed in a museum. And the Lee Chapel is in fact a museum in it's own right. I know this because I had the honor of visiting there some years ago.
Another question had to do with the allegations of Neo-Confederates marching on the Washington -Lee campus. This statement begs to be clearly answered because there are in fact several types of groups that could be improperly labeled as such. Including Civil War Reenactors and Son's of Confederate Veterans. These type of groups can in no way be classified or labeled  "Neo- Confederate" and/or racist groups.  The connotation here is, that the alleged groups who marched at Washington-Lee have a racist political agenda. Even though this allegation has not been clearly explained or the groups clearly identified.
I also inquired about local people's reaction to the "Committee's" demands. The contact at Washington- Lee said that the Alumni were upset.  In reference to that reaction, She simply stated; " Can you imagine"? And rightfully so, Washington -Lee, like so many other colleges are heavily dependent upon the generous donations and support of Alumni. So it seems that the concerns of Alumni may have been dismissed  by the "Committee" as they moved forward with their threat.
There is also a public safety aspect involved with the threats made by the "Committee", in that campus crime and violence has been at the forefront of the news for several years now. And campus authorities are now paying much closer attention to any threats that may be made against persons and property under college / university campus ownership. To add to the anxiety, Washington -Lee is close neighbors with VMI (Virginia Military Institute). Though according to W.L. University there does not appear to be any concern from VMI being expressed. However, threats of civil unrest does have the inherent possibility of raising security concerns at VMI.
Coincidentally April is the same month in which Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army Of Northern Virginia to General Grant at Appomattox Court House. It was due to the good manners and outstanding negotiating skills of both Lee and Grant that many years of guerilla warfare was avoided. The terms of surrender were based upon simple respect. I am including a copy of Lee's farewell to his troops.

Headquarters, Army of Northern Virginia, 10th April 1865.
General Order
 No. 9
 After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.
I need not tell the survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them.
But feeling that valour and devotion could accomplish nothing that could compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I have determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen.
By the terms of the agreement, officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection.
With an unceasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your Country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
— R. E. Lee, General, General Order No. 9 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Battle of Shiloh; Short Case Study

The Battle of Shiloh; A Case Study
Map  at The Civil War Trust

In April of 1862, Generals Grant and Sherman marched into Tennessee with the intention of moving into Mississippi to begin the campaign(s) in the west. The over all strategy of the north during the civil war was to disrupt the southern trade by taking the Mississippi river and splitting the western theater and trans-Mississippi theaters of war into separate sections. A plan which would in fact be executed and would prove to be extremely successful.

But at this point in time the union army would disembark at a place called "Pittsburg Landing" near a place called Shiloh Church (Shiloh is a Hebrew word which means place peace). They would establish camp there as the commanders (Grant and Sherman) awaited the arrival of more troops under the command of General Don Carlos Buell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Carlos_Buell.

Early on the morning of April 8th. The union troops were rising from sleep, mess cooks were preparing breakfast and soldiers were in the process of cleaning uniforms and shinning their muskets for an anticipated inspection. When suddenly Confederate forces under the command of the famed Albert Sidney Johnston http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Sidney_Johnston would come screaming the rebel yell out of the nearby woods in a full frontal attack on the center of the union lines. The rebels had achieved somewhat of a surprise, as union troops would scatter in total panic as the union officers would try to organize the troops into lines.  It would however prove to be difficult and union troops would fall back in disorder.

....and that is still commonly believed today is that the Federals had no idea that the enemy was so near. Nothing could be further from the truth. For days before April 6, minor skirmishing took place. Both sides routinely took prisoners in the days leading up to the battle. The rank and file in the Union army knew Confederates were out there — they just did not know in what strength.
-Civil War Trust

As the lines were pushed back, a stiff resistance was mounted under General Benjamin  Prentiss at a place called the hornets nest.http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/shiloh/shiloh-history-articles/battle-of-shiloh-shattering.html But the hornets nest was eventually overrun and Prentiss surrendered what remained of the troops under his command.

There is much debate what happened over the few hours of the battle. The popular story has union troops running tot he rear and cowering under the bluffs at Pittsburg Landing, though officers reports tell varying stories. One thing is clear, that Sherman's brief statement to Grant on the evening of the first days fight was a strong indicator of how things went;

“Well, Grant, we’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?” . “Yes, lick “em tomorrow, though,” Union General Ulysses S. Grant. Suffering through a rainstorm after the first day’s battle where almost everything went against him, Grant vowed to fight on the next day. Perhaps no other quote better symbolizes Grant’s dogged determination.

It is apparent that both armies were in contact with each other for sometime before the first Confederate assault. However, by many available sources, the magnitude of this battle was a completely new experience for both armies, whereas, there were seasoned officers (though few) on both sides. The ranks were filled with inexperienced soldiers and officers who did not understand their roles.

Intelligence and Situational Awareness;

Both armies (despite previous skirmishes) lacked the badly needed information to coordinate attacks and responses. The information at hand was immediate data and failed to take into account a larger overview or activity in the area. If the Confederate commanders were aware of Buell's pending arrival, then why commence an attack in which the enemy would gain additional superior numbers the following day? Grant most certainly held the upper hand on the second day, not due to new intelligence, but due to the fact that he already knew that reinforcements under Don Carlo Buell would soon be arriving.

Change of Command;
It's obvious that the death of Albert Sidney Johnson played a significant part in changing the course of the battle. When command fell to General Beauregard the change of command at this stage most certainly upset the continuity of command and it's a foregone conclusion that no contingency plan existed for such an event. It is highly probable that the loss of Johnston created confusion in the ranks.

Failure To Act;
After General Beauregard took command, he reported a complete victory and advised that he had Grant where he wanted him, though he planned to wait until the following day to complete the attack. Night battle during this time period were virtually unheard of. So it is easy to establish Beauregard's mind set. Though it is also obvious that the failure to follow through and attempt action despite the late hour was a tactical mistake. Even regrouping and harassing tactics may have better served the Confederates better than no action at all.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Cold War .... Lives On!

The Cold War, as it is known by title, was anything but cold. The conflict began just as WWII (world war two) closed and by the opinion of many, is still going on. At the end of WWII Germany that had begun as a great protagonist was confronted by a coalition of countries, who together pounded the Atlantic wall to dust and begun the push into Germany. In the meantime, Hitler's army had set their sites on the Soviets (current day Russia). A terrible strategic decision which cost Germany not only the war, but over a million of German Soldiers (combined forces).
As the allies entered Germany and occupation set in. Germans was divided into sectors and the Berlin wall was built. It was at this time that the Cold War as we know it began in earnest. But to say that the Cold War was a bloodless conflict in which not a single shot was fired, or a war in which no one died as a result, is simply incorrect.

The cold war conflict was (and still is) clash of the two concerned political systems. The democratic west and the various communist countries throughout the world. Socialism, a system which stands in direct conflict with western democratic philosophy. The ongoing conflict as brought the two systems together in many parts of the world and in many cases, failed diplomacy  resulted in open conflict. Two such hot conflicts were the Korean War and the Viet Nam war. Both conflicts share a common thread as both were classified as "police actions" though both wars (which is what the really were), were large scale attempts to contain the spread of communism. There were however many other lower level and high profile incidents which made up the cold war, including the rebellion in hungry which was put down by the former Soviets, the Cuban missile crisis, small conflicts in Central America and in recent times the small and swift invasion on Grenada. These are but a  small slice of proactive responses to the stop spread of communism in out world.

Then suddenly, without warning, the former Soviet Union seemed to dissolve overnight as the Berlin wall fell and internal strife seemed to change the way that the so-called former communists lived in the world. During this same time the British turned over control of Hong Kong (a major financial powerhouse) back to China. A change that seemed to change China as well. But despite these changes and the fact that these communist super powers suddenly found themselves going to the bank and experiencing capitalism at it's best, no one ever said that the Russia or China were no longer communist countries. On the contrary, both China and Russia are still communist countries, as are North Korea, Cuba, Viet Nam, Venezuela and Laos. 


 Since the fall of the former Soviet Union, many westerners assumed that relations had warmed between the west and other communist nations, with the "new Russia" being on the top of the nice guys list. Though those soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen know all to well that warming trend with the current and so-called former communist states is a matter of civilian perception and not supported by the evidence and/or observation.
Over the last few weeks we have observed as the former soviets (the Russians) have begun a military invasion of the Crimea and the Ukraine. The Russians have taken the liberty of massing a huge number of troops around Ukraine, and upon taking one look at these Russian Soldiers on TV, it becomes blatantly obvious that the russian military is wearing new uniforms, using new equipment and carrying new weapons. When the west went to sleep and had sweet dreams of a new Mother Russia being a great neighbor, they were actually re-equipping and realigning their military. All this while the other big communist powerhouse, China, transformed itself into a financial juggernaut. China just launched it's first aircraft carrier... a power projecting weapon.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Confederate We'll Never Know


Its been 150 years since Robert E. Lee sat with U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court house and hammered out the the terms of surrender for the ragged remains of the Confederate Army. The American Civil war was a terrible and unforgiving war which took the countless lives of people from both the north and south. The physical numbers of dead and maimed have been repeated over and over in countless books and documentaries for the last 150 years. But it must be mentioned as part of this article to establish a baseline. Approximately 625,000 died in the war. And unknown number of soldiers were wounded, suffered the loss of limbs (by 1870 approx 30% of the state of Georgia's budget went towards purchasing prosthetic limbs for Georgia Soldiers who had been wounded during the conflict.) and suffered mental anguish caused by civil war. The total numbers of Soldiers who suffered from combat related mental illness during this time will never be completely known. Though evidence suggests that the southern Soldier bore the brunt of "battle fatigue" (PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in a post civil war territory, where military occupation by the north became a reality and the southern economy had been decimated by the war. It could be that perhaps the folklore of the half crazed southern cousin found it's roots in the thousands of returning Confederate Soldiers, who because of their war time experience had returned home with shattered mental health. Most Confederate soldiers, much like the soldiers of every war found themselves caught up in the rising tide and upheaval of a nation torn apart by severe partisan politics and the desires of special interest groups of the day. However, with that said, it is indeed very difficult (though so many try) to judge the people who lived during this time period (or any past time period for that mater). Especially from our time period. A time in which partisan opinion moves via the air waves and internet at light speed and personal character assassinations are given out like parking tickets. The civil war stands out in the opinion pool. The reasons for this are clear to some. Because as in every war, the victor write the history. But the reality is that the civil war was anything but black and white. It is in fact the greatest gray area that United States history has ever witnessed.

Enter Robert E. Lee. In southern culture, Lee is indeed bigger than life and has been raised to mythical status. He is not only revered by southerners, but also to many who study military history and the American Civil War. Lee has been referred to as the "marble man". Though  he earned the nick name during his time as a Cadet at West Point due to the fact that he had a squeaky clean reputation. This title stuck after the war. Though  Lee's upbringing also played a huge part in how he conducted himself in life. After all, he had been raised by aristocracy in a time when honor, dignity and decorum were adhered to as a matter of culture.

Robert E Lee's early career was nothing short of exemplary. Lee' advanced very quickly, fought in the war with Mexico, served with the prestigious Army Corps of Engineers and eventually became the superintendent of West Point Military Academy itself.

In October 1859 the enigmatic character John Brown led a band of 21 abolitionists who seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Browns hopes were to incite a slave rebellion. President James Buchanan gave Lee command of detachments of militia, soldiers, and United States Marines, to suppress the uprising and arrest its leaders. By the time Lee arrived that night, the militia on the site had surrounded Brown and his hostages. At dawn, Brown refused the demand for surrender. Lee attacked, and Brown and his followers were captured after three minutes of fighting. Lee's summary report of the episode shows Lee believed it "was the attempt of a fanatic or madman". Lee said Brown achieved "temporary success" by creating panic and confusion and by "magnifying" the number of participants involved in the raid. It was Brown's actions at Harpers Ferry Virginia and his activities in the west particularly the incident at Pottawatomie Creek Kansas, when he and his sons hacked several pro-slavery people to death with broad swords. The attack at Harper's Ferry Va, and Browns actions in the west were a direct cause of the militarization of the south. Acts of violence against not only slavery, but against the south itself and long before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter.  John Brown was by modern standards a terrorist. And the government must have understood this as well because the government moved swiftly and Brown was tried and hung. And just like the acts of modern terrorists, Brown caused panic throughout the south.

It was On April 18, 1861, that Lee was met at the home of Francis Blair, Sr., a journalist, who told Lee that he was being offered command with the rank of Major General by Secretary of War Cameron and President Lincoln. Lee correctly anticipating that Virginia would join the Confederacy refused because it would mean that he would be leading an invasion of Virginia.  If we must judge Lee from the Present, it is important to reflect on these words from a modern President, Barrack Obama. On July 13, near the end of a campaign speech at a firehouse in Roanoke, Va., President Barack Obama told an audience that "if you've got a business - you didn't build that. Someone else made it happen." So who may have built Lee's life?  Surely the families and voters of Virginian did. His own family who a mere eighty years before had helped to found a nation. A nation that stepped up and stopped tyranny in it's tracks. And now Lee watched as a very strong federal entity was taking form. And Lee must have realized the cross roads at which he stood. If we must judge Lee from a modern perspective, a good choice may be to assess Lee's decisions by what lay before him and after affect, one such idea is put fourth by the Writer Stephen Covey in which he states;

Begin With The End In Mind

 ‘Begin With The End In Mind’.  This translates to understanding what is really important to you and work to achieve that, rather than a single destination.  Reflecting on who I am, some of the scripts I use to direct my day-to-day behavior I adopted from my parents. To an extent, I absorbed those scripts as I formed my Parent Ego State, therefore I have become what I am by default rather than by explicit design. To a greater or lesser extent our long term mission is shaped either by accepting scripts by default or by trying to shape how we behave and act. 

Lee certainly had a solid grip how he wanted things to unfold, what type of reputation he would have earned had he turned against his own state, his own people and his own family. And how that decision would have affected not only himself, but the well being of his family and Decendants.


From our perspective today many historians are trying to bury the memory of Robert E. Lee and to place the final label of "traitor" upon his breast. Many examples of this have appeared in recent years. For example;

Fox News (Dec 18th 2013)Reported that the US Army War college was contemplating removing the portraits of both Robert E Lee and Stone Wall Jackson from public view. And they questioned why men who fought against the United States should have a place in U.S, Military history. This is an astounding revision, considering the fact that both Lee and Jackson went to West Point and Lee eventually commanded there and Jackson worked diligently and graduated 17th out a class of 59 Cadets.

Another Example;
On July 31st 2011, a writer and self identified historian by the name of Glenn Lafantasie published the article; "The Confederate We Still Don't know" 150 years after Robert E. Lee took command of the South's army, his descendants are intent on keeping his secrets.
"http://www.salon.com/2011/07/31/lee_papers_lafantasie/  The article appeared online at salon.com.  And was in response to Dr. Lafantasie's efforts to secure the papers and letters belonging to Robert E. Lee and currently under the ownership and protection of his family. Lee's Decendent's  declined LaFantasies requests for access to Lee's personal papers and writings. A fact to which LaFantasie writes;
"Still, it would nice to know more about the man who decided to violate his solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution by taking up arms against the United States — the nation his idol George Washington and his father Light-Horse Harry Lee fought to sustain in the American Revolution. Robert E. Lee is important historically because he devoted himself to a cause that was, at its core, anti-American; yet he — among countless other Confederates — was convinced that he acted only as a paragon of patriotism. It’s the essential delusion of every traitor. The truth is, though, that we will never really know Robert E. Lee until his family allows researchers to have complete access to his papers."

Considering the plain fact, that revisionists have attempted, and will continue to attempt to erase history and to use personal information to defame Lee. Why would his decendants risk their own names and reputations and the reputation of their current families? Especially in a society that has learned how to make a quick buck on immoral thought and unethical behavior.

 For he will smile 
And give you, with unflinching courtesy, 
Prayers, trappings, letters, uniforms and orders,
Photographs, kindness, valor and advice, 
And do it with such grace and gentleness 
That you will know you have the whole of him 
Pinned down, mapped out, easy to understand-- 
And so you have.
 All things except the heart 
The heart he kept himself, that answers all. 
For here was someone who lived all his life 
In the most fierce and open light of the sun, 
Wrote letters freely, did not guard his speech, 
Listened and talked with every sort of man, 
And kept his heart a secret to the end 
From all the picklocks of biographers.

by Steven Vincent Benét


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