Lt. Gen. John Kelly: ‘I don’t know why they hate us, and I don’t care’

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Lt. Gen. John Kelly addresses the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis on Tuesday. (YouTube screen grab)

Lt. Gen. John Kelly will soon become the new four-star commander at U.S. Southern Command, a post that will require him to oversee the fight against drug trafficking, natural disasters, humanitarian crises and cyber warfare in central and South America.

As the Long War Journal points out, Kelly delivered a powerful 30-minute speech on Tuesday to the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis. He addresses the extremist nature of the threat the U.S. faces from terrorists and how difficult it is for a family to deal with the loss of a loved one in a war zone — something he knows all to well after his son, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan’s Sangin district in 2010.

“We didn’t start this fight. It came to us with a visceral loathing of everything we are,” Kelly said. “It will not end until our adversaries and their allies around the world — state and non-state alike — understand that we will never lose our faith or courage as a people. Our enemy is savage. He offers absolutely no quarter. He has a single focus, and that is to either kill every one of us here at home, or to enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no god or no purpose that any decent man or woman could ever understand. I don’t know why they hate us, and I don’t care. But we are America, and we must prevail because we remain mankind’s best hope for the future. Not them.”

The speech is delivered somberly, respectfully and forcefully — and it’s well worth watching. Check it out here:

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About Author

I’m a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

3 Comments

  1. TOM AND KAY FAUST on

    WE’RE VERY PROUD OF OUR GRANDSON WHO WS THE 1% OF THE YOUNG WHO JOINED THE MILITARY . WE ARE JUST AS PROUD THAT HE SERVED UNDER GENERAL KELLY’ AND GENERAL KELLY’S SON. WE HOPE HE WILL BE AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE TO UPHOLD THE PRICIPLES OF OUR NATION.

  2. Pingback: Things are as bad (or possibly worse) than they’ve ever been in Afghanistan. | Stan R. Mitchell — Action fiction writer

  3. On 6 Mar 2008, Lt. Gen. John Kelly escorted Gold Star father John Wroblewski and I to the site of the 6 Apr 2004 ambush in Ramadi, Iraq which claimed the life of 2Lt. J.T. “Ski” Wroblewski and 11 other men of 2/4 Marines. My military embed mission was simple: perform a memorial service at the ambush site to honor the fallen of 2/4 Marines “Echo” Company. My photographs and USMC Cpl. Angel’s video of this historic 1st and only visit to an actual combat site by a Gold Star parent was aired on Fox News on Memorial Day 2008. Thank you, Lt. Gen John Kelly, and the Marines of PSD Co for making our 2nd visit to Iraq a successful one to honor the fallen heroes of 2/4 Marines.

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