Not much in there except he calls 19% of Democrats traitors - I think. He's not the usual clear concise Kelly we've grown to know and love.
But he's spinning, nonetheless.
He begins with one famous American traitor, Benedict Arnold, and ends with a less famous one, Major General Charles Lee. On Arnold, J-Kel mentions the Battle of Saratoga (and Arnold's heroics there) and the 20,000 pounds sterling offered for a bribe, but never gets around to mentioning West Point or the date this all happened.
And as we know with Jack, it's all about what he says and what he doesn't say.
Next he gives us some details on Lee:
This was the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778. Lee is actually Court-Martial for failing to follow Washington's orders, by the way. He said the Revolutionary War could have been won in 1778 were it not for Lee's treason.
Once an officer in the British army, Lee was the second ranking general in the Continental Army after Washington. He was captured by the British in December 1776 after carelessly dallying at an inn. His captors offered him a choice. He could be sent to Britain to be hanged as a traitor, or he could turn his coat. Lee (understandably) chose collaboration.
Lee's task (after he had been exchanged for a British general captured in Rhode Island) was to keep Washington from attacking the British when they retreated from Philadelphia. The British had been weakened by the detachment of a large number of troops to guard the West Indies from the French, and were saddled with 3,000 loyalist refugees. They were very vulnerable.
Lee first argued against an attack on the British, and when Washington insisted on a scaled down one, demanded that he rather than Lafayette lead it. He kept the best units under his command from participating in the battle, and his confusing orders would have led to a rout had not Washington arrived on the scene in time to stem it. But a great opportunity was lost.
But what of Arnold's treason? He offered to switch sides for the 20,000 pounds sterling and a commission in the British Army. He was commander at West Point at the time and that fort was part of the deal. Had he succeeded and handed over West Point, the colonies could have been sliced in two.
The plot was discovered and Arnold escaped to the British side. He only recieved 6,000 pounds sterling, but did get the military commission. He died, in England, in 1801.
But this was late summer of 1780. Two years AFTER the battle of Monmouth. And a little more than a year before Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
So if Lee's treachery didn't happen, Arnold's probably wouldn't have either.
I'm just not sure what all this has to do with the war in Iraq. Here's how Jack frosts the cake at the end of his column on those two American traitors:
Those were complex times, as now, and those 19 percent of Democrats who said in a recent poll that the world would be better off if the United States loses in Iraq ought not to judge Arnold or Lee too harshly.Is he saying that those 19% are traitors? I think so.
But let's take a closer look at the poll, shall we? It's described in this story from Fox "News."
Again, with Jack Kelly it's what he doesn't say that's almost always as important as what he does say. The next paragraph of the article (and this one carefully ignored) says this:
Nearly one out of every five Democrats thinks the world will be better off if America loses the war in Iraq, according to the FOX News Opinion Dynamics Poll released Thursday.
The percentage of Democrats (19 percent) who believe that is nearly four times the number of Republicans (5 percent) who gave the same answer. Seven percent of independents said the world would be better off if the U.S. lost the war.
Overall, 11 percent of Americans think the world would be "better off" if the U.S. lost the war, and 73 percent disagree.Gee, I wonder why Jack didn't say that one-out-of-ten Americans think the world would be better off if "the U.S. lost the war."
Doesn't fit the larger point he's trying to make: being against the war is committing treason and Democrats are the ones committing treason, just like Arnold and Lee.
No mention, of course of the other results from that poll. 62% of Democrats (that's a little more than 3 times the 19% Jack mentioned) think that the world wouldn't be a better place if the US "lost" the war. Nor does he mention the 5% of Republicans who also think the world would be a better place if the US "lost" the war.
I put the word in quotation marks because I am unsure how different "losing" would look to what's going on now.
All-in-all, not one of Jack's better columns.