chris hedges report Podcast

The Chris Hedges Report: Nathaniel Philbrick on How George Armstrong Custer Became a Martyr Used to Justify Genocide and US Imperialism

Custer became in death a martyr to the American empire. He was in popular mythology the last to die in the battle, a symbol of martial valor, although there is scant evidence for this assertion.

The video version of this interview is available here. Click here or the picture below to listen to the podcast:

Chris Hedges
Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times, where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief for the paper. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning NewsThe Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is the host of show The Chris Hedges Report.


  1. By all accounts, Gen. Custer was a vain, reckless idiot who disobeyed orders in the belief that his Exceptional Americans were invincible against the heathens, and who not only believed that his Exceptional Americans had a Divine Right to kill the Indians, but had such a blood-lust to do so that he couldn’t be held back by any stinking orders.

    In other words, the perfect American hero, and symbol of the nation.

  2. With the world spiraling ever closer to mutual annihilation, These types of pieces by Chris Hedges no longer have the impact they once had.

    You can tell by the lack of comments.

  3. This was a great interview. I have also thought that what the US did to the Indians after the Civil war is analogous to what we did in Vietnam after WWII. After the Civil War we fought this great war to end slavery, after WWII we fought this great war against fascist dictatorships and just over a decade later we are fighting indigenous peoples. There is a saying that history may not repeat itself, but it rhymes. I definitely want to read this book.

    1. Rick: I’d say it was a captivating story for those new to it but not a great interview, far from Hedges’ best, though I can see that Nathaniel and Chris have a rewarding camaraderie.

  4. This episode did not meet my expectations.
    Nathaniel Philbrick did not come across as informed.
    I’ve been aware of all these facts for 50 years.
    But the discussion did make me recall the Pat Tillman saga of 2004, in which a retired NFL star was shot 3 times in the head at close range in Afghanistan after having arranged an interview with Noam Chomsky in which he planned to reveal he’d become an opponent of post-911 invasions and of the War on Terror. His journal was burned by his unit on the battlefield and his body hidden. None of this stopped the Army from promoting him as a recruiting poster boy. Pat was not a stupid or thoughtless jock, but was a curious mind capable of critical thought and personal questioning. After two decades Pat’s story is an old one too. But I’m sure there remains hope many soldiers will come to their senses even in the midst of combat.

  5. For those interested in this subject on a wider scale I suggest reading the book by Robert Lee called Fort Meade and the Black Hills.

    I noticed that prior to Custer conducting his attack and subsequent massacre on Black Kettles band of southern Cheyenne in November of 1868 that he had been court marshaled and suspended from command for almost a year. General Sheridan apparently wanted to end the “Indian Wars” faster and gave Custer the assignment to quell Indian raids in Kansas and Oklahoma. Even though the post commander (Col William B Hazen) at Fort Cobb told the Cheyenne leader Black Kettle that he and his people would be safe, Custer surrounded the encampment by night and attacked early the next morning by surprise. At least 103 Cheyenne men, women and children were killed.

    History is one thing. It is easy to argue about what occurred so long ago. But what about in more recent times. Physical poverty is one thing but what about poverty of spirit. I have seen some of the young Lakota men who lived on Pine Ridge. I knew one when he was young, quiet and helpful. I saw him a few years later and he was covered in tattoos, had a pregnant girl friend and was probably doing drugs and felt that there was really no future left because of his heritage. Today he is in prison.

    Cannot the riches country in the world give our first Americans a better choice and a better opportunity for life.

    And as Albert Einstein once said, “What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice”.

  6. I would like to see Hedges run for president I’m not sure why in the hell he would run It’s not like he is doing to be on the presidential debates

    1. Let’s hypothesize that Chris could be elected. How long would it be before an intelligence agency plot would be mobilized to frame or assassinate him.
      I don’t want to see Eunice crawling out on the trunk lid of the limo to retrieve skull fragments.

  7. more nonsense from lib hedges—no excuse needed by Americans for any genocide, exploitation or imerialist invasion….”the American has no imagination…the american mind is technical crude mechanical brutal”. Antonio Gramsci

  8. Yes, the Euro-colonials are endlessly creative at their evil. They have countless rationalizations, tricks, lies, word salads, bribes, industries, religious delusions, and other human sociopathy they engage in to achieve evil ends. New day, new white guy, same story.

    The Native Americans don’t do that. They don’t endlessly analyze the monstrousness of the Euro-society and -culture. That’s just more impotent naval gazing on the part of the Euro-society. I know Dr. Hedges and people like him think they are “fighting” the evil “elites” (make me puke), but it’s part of the selfishness and self-absorption of the culture to analyze all its (for our purposes) infinite ways of doing wrong. It’s almost irrelevant how we were cruel and stupid and omnicidal – again – in 1670 versus 1730 versus 1876 versus 1960, and finally to today. Especially since we never change it. We’re just telling stories on a train that no one can or will stop, and no one is sure which it is is – can’t or won’t.

    But what a great job in life to be well paid to address the endless miseries, and be celebrated for doing it. If only . . .

    1. With Chris, I don’t think it’s so much about fighting evil elites as it is about shaming non-jewish white people.

  9. history can teach errors—it cannot inspire or provide a recipe or solutions. history has no forward progress. culture retains a continuity—values beliefs, attitudes. perspective and context is required…many have written that the Bible cannot be understood devoid of context—linguistic social historical. one passage will contradict another—if one is to shallow or lazy to believe this matters one merely rejects thinking; indeed this is also true for Marx Freud etc; only child is rigid –adults develop change transform

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