The Chris Hedges Report: The monstrous myth of Custer

There is a vast disparity between the mythic presentation of Custer and the reality of the so-called Indian wars. Nathaniel Philbrick, author of The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Big Horn, joins Chris to discuss this seminal moment in American history.

Studio: Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, Dwayne Gladden, Chris Arnone
Post-Production: Cameron Granadino

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Author: phillyfinest369


36 thoughts on “The Chris Hedges Report: The monstrous myth of Custer

  1. I must say as a European its somewhat surprising to hear two jewish men saying they can "only imagine" what its like to be the victims of racial bigotry.

  2. American History was taught wrong in my young classes of my youth. Thankfully, I had a papa who had a hand in educating me.
    The American Native Indians were always the bad guys, since I was part Cherokee, I knew they were lies. All the movies were wrong at that point in my area of growth.
    I would tell my teachers and friends the truth, even in the third grade, and sometimes I got in trouble, but I held my ground. American history on all sides.
    Thank you both for this discussion of the real Custer.

  3. Interesting to learn Custer's fame was largely due to his wife. Her publishing of his exploits gained the public notice. In the Battle of the Little Bighorn the irony was, to the loser went the spoils.

  4. mythic presentation? I'm 42 and what I learned in public school was that Custer was such a terrible/reckless commander that he was defeated by Indians (not, of course, that the Indians were good fighters or tactically superior). It was an anecdote to amuse us, and maybe to teach us that the conflict was not entirely one-sided

  5. Is Custer not the basis of childhood well in my day anyway…. Cowardy Cowardy Custer… I actually thought then it was custard which really confused me

  6. Chris Hedges & Nathaniel Philbrick. RE: American Psyche. You unfortunately create a Cult of 'personality' (a sense of identification) for George Custer & America without the counterpoint naming of 1st Nation individuals & national life, intelligence, personality & culture, such as Sitting-Bull. One sided stories, even well meaning, are iconic glorifications of a national sickness.
    CULTURAL CONTEXT Across Turtle-Island / N. America were some 110 1st Nations organized systematically into ~23 Confederacies of 5 to 7 nations. Before European invasion & genocide, 99% of 1st Nation 'indigenous' (Latin 'self-generating') peoples lived in permanent ecologically & elementally designed homes, with such as Tenochtitlan with 350,000 people on an artificial island in the middle of Lake Texcoco as the largest city in the world & a trade continent with the most advanced mathematics & science. The 'Sioux' ('people') of the plains were mostly refugees from colonial army & settler advanced-armament genocide. Lakota & Dakota Sioux as refugees from the east, Mississippi Mound cities, south & Great-Lakes regions had fled to the Great-Plains. Tipis are a super intelligent shelter for gathering massive quantities of nuts, seeds & fruit from the previously existing Polyculture orchards, but very few lived in these year round until they had no choice. I sewed canvas & lived in & travelled with a double-wall Sioux design tipi for over a year.
    3-D POLYCULTURE ORCHARDS 1st Nations here & all humanity's worldwide 'indigenous' ancestors, aligned with: a) Polyculture's 92-98% Photosynthesis compared with 2-D 'agriculture' (L 'ager' = 'field') 2-8% photosynthesis. Agriculture was all settlers & 1st Nations had left to 'farm' (French 'ferme' = 'contract of servitude by the peasant imposed by the armed aristocrat') after massive oligarch commanded cutting of rich Polyculture primarily for weapons of war, forts, ships etc. b) Deep 3-D Polyculture roots descendi many 10s of metres into the substrate mining minerals, pumping water, developing extensive nutrient colonies etc. being 100 times = 10,000% more productive than 2-D agriculture.
    Chris & Nathaniel are unfortunately miseducated by colonial anthropology & history, who consider 1st Nations, only post invasion & genocide, when they became refugees, fleeing as whole communities, for their families' very lives. People on the run (nomads) become the convenient historical narrative for our institutional & media broadcast Colonial Anthropology (typically taught in schools, colleges & universities today) in perpetual colonial exploitation, right up, including our present time.
    First Nation Medicine people with 1000s of years of Botanical Medicine Knowledge, very successfully countered European Diseases (mostly domestic animal abuse related) before the massive economic-ecological refugee influx from FAILED Europe. European rejects were shipped en mass in the many 10s of millions because of the failure of European fake 'money' (Greek 'mnemosis' = 'memory') Oligarch & aristocrat underlings mismanagement & faulty medical & other sciences. Unfortunately most immigrants in submission to Oligarch overlords only perpetuated the same failed system everywhere. Read 1491 by ethnohistorians Charles C. Mann or 'Their-Number-Become-Thinned' by Henry F. Dobyns. Europeans are even unaware of their own hugely productive, biosphere-aligned Celtic & Slavic indigenous heritage before the onslaught genocide & warfare imposed by destructive, inefficient, desert creating, Babylon, Assyria, Greece, Rome, Spain colonial empires. Do the stories or 'history' we tell affect our perception of ourselves & others?
    Cowardice towards regular dialogue by the bully armed typical of Custer & all soldiers in every war, particularly on our side. Buffy Ste-Marie UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
    Mohandas Gandhi stated, "Non-violence springs from love, cowardice from hate. Non-violence always suffers, cowardice would always inflict suffering. Non-violence & cowardice go ill together. I can imagine a fully armed man to be at heart a COWARD." Gandhi is speaking here to the intelligent mind of the soldier as an active contributor to his or her community, society & ultimately to the international conversation of war & peace such as Social Media might afford today if converted from Mono to Dialogue? as westerners failed in stimulating around our travesty in Libya?

    Through 7000 years of 'exogenous' (L 'other-generated') Oligarch led colonial extractive & exploitive onslaught, indigenous peoples always called for the ancient formal COMMUNICATION such as COUNCIL PROCESS or Both-Sides-Now, Equal-time, Recorded & Published dialogues for reaching formal agreement together as well as conflict-resolution.

  7. Overlooked Custers letters where he speaks on behalf of the indians and lambasts the corruption of the indian agents who's criminality led to the starvation that was the root of most of the problems. Because Custer was a democrat, and the Grant administration (republican) was under one corruption scandal after another, Grant hung him out to dry. It was only Sherman's personal intervention that he was allowed to reassume command of the 7th just before they set out from Ft Lincoln. His sympathy for tribes was not unusual for military officers, especially the frontier officers who grew intimate with them in the 1850s. The civil war sent out a fresh crop of officers who hadn't had this exposure, but those who witnessed conditions on the reservations first hand, their letters reflect an understanding of the root of the problems.

    The contention that the goal was total anihalation is countered by the fact that the army escorted bands back to the Dakotas during the follow up actions of the 1876 campaign. It is also countered that the favored tactic was to get troops into the villages to get amongst the non-combatants in order to compell the men to stop fighting and thusly bring them in. If the object is genocide, no need for reservations.

    Was it a raw deal for western civilization to impose itself on the native tribes of north america? From our comfortable perch in the 21st century, of course we feel this way.

    At the same time we have no sense of understanding of people came here to flee from stagnation and persecution of Europe at the time. Refugees…religious, economic, and political. Coming here for "a better way of life." In doing that they encountered other cultures who didn't share their priorities. Settled, agrarian society with ever increasing command of metalurgy meets nomadics. It rarely ends well for the nomadics. This is an old theme in the history of the human race.

    And then, of course, none of us have been in that kind of situtation…cast onto the frontier and subjected to savage raids by a stone age warrior tribes we have no frame of referrence to understand. Few people in our modern world have felt that kind of visceral fear, day after day. The kind of fear that makes someone pretty hard nosed about those who bring it. Again, old human reaction.

    Shades of grey…all of it.

  8. Cannot recall the band name (MDC?0 or the song title, but a hardcore tune from the 1980s went something like: He died full of arrows with s**t in his pants. Custer, manifest destiny, ethnic cleansing: our history is littered with garbage.

  9. As an Aussie conscript in 1961 .Forget your job! You must give 2 years of your life to be trained to kill Vietnamese people in their land.
    that's why we Aussies labelled American soldiers we were being forced to train with, Seppos! (short for septic tanks) yanks.

  10. Does anyone still believe this Marxist bullshit anymore? Sorry guys, you shit the bed with the Trump charges in Georgia. A bridge too far for the normies.

  11. Our guide at Little Bighorn Battlefield was a Cheyenne woman who made it clear that this battle was not a battle between two military powers but an unprovoked sneak attack by a military power on a large gathering of native men, women, children and elderly going about their daily lives…..butchery, extermination averted, delayed. Custer got what he deserved.

  12. The bottom line is you get to keep what you can defend. If you can't defend the land and your way of life you will be conquered and your land an way of life taken. The U.S. conquered the west because the natives couldn't defend it. That is the brutal truth. One thing we should note is that nothing about our lack of humanity to each other has changed and if we think that we're free from the same brutal Attack on us and our way of life, we're mistaken. As our nation weakens, we could be susceptible to the same behavior that we unleashed on the native Americans. Maybe karma?

  13. Through all I’ve read about Custer & the times in which he lived & died, I’ve formed the opinion that he was neither hero nor villain. He was a soldier in a campaign to subjugate or exterminate the natives. He didn’t make the policy. He made huge mistakes at the Greasy Grass, but they didn’t cause his defeat. The Sioux and their allies simply outgunned & outfought the cavalry.

  14. they weren'r wars, so much as extermination.
    but that's homer sap, for you. usa not unique, merely just as bad.
    i suspect the american character was partly formed by having such weak neighbors. if god hadn't meant for you to have their lands, he wouldn't have put repeating rifles into your hands. although rapid reload carbines were adequate demonstration of god's will in the early expansion.
    slavery too, was god's will. clearly he meant white men to prosper by trade in black bodies.
    and nowadays, that eroding group of americans that pay any attention to god support the extention of the evil empire, while the agnostics prosper directly. or try to. irag and afghanistan did provide some loot, but at the cost of any remaining delusion that usg was anything but bandits with soft hands and expensive suits.
    usa is not uniquely evil, but as the national power grew beyond all others, they had rare opportunities to release the degenerate monsters created by slavery, ethnic murder, and casual looting.
    when you look at modern usa politicians, it is much like a catalogue of heinous sins from some old illustrated bible.
    alas, hell has lost all power to frighten these creatures.

  15. Thank you for this. Everything I've read that's true history about Custer points toward extreme megalomania. All the massacres that he had done he finally he got his fitting comeuppance. We can only be glad that he was there to defeat the slaveholding South. We cannot be glad that he decided to take even worse tactics toward native Americans who never imported one single person as a slave.

  16. Custer initiated the attack which got him killed. There's a moral lesson in that which applies in many common areas of life. Thank you Custer!

  17. As a non-American/US, non-colonizer European, I merely ask – what is the difference between white men killing natives, and various native tribes doing the same? Why is the mass murder (which it was) perpetrated by US denounced in a much stricter (retrospective moralizing) way compared to the Apache-Comanche wars?

  18. All you custer haters are full of bullshit any of you americans who hate him should leave america your relatives and government were to blame for taking there land by force he was just one man your all bloody hypocrites

  19. The rape and murders of my sisters continue to this day, not only in the US, but up here in Canada as well. Your police forces are corrupt and dirtier than they portray themselves.
    Check out gunboats justice here in British Columbia Canada.

  20. pile of BS,REASON Custer orders were to stop the murder of civilians by tribes,who even burned children alive,put people on anthills, so called native americans( not really natives,ancestors of indians came over the land bridge and slaughtered the real native people, aka 'THE MOUND PEOPLE") killed each other long before whites ver came here,very zenophobic, tribes were not tolerant of immigrants coming to america,so mush as the wiped out entire wagons trains,burned cabins,murdering families except those they took to become slaves,indian tribes were last to give up black slaves in 1866

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