Saving Private Ryan and playing your historical cards right

This short video clip of State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as to be seen to be disbelieved.

For the avoidance of doubt, that is some who has been employed to speak for the USA on the world stage.

In terms of full disclosure, I have family and friends in the US of A and I love them dearly.

There is much that I love about that amazing country and I’m heartbroken to watch what is happening there under the 45th President.

Ms Nauret’s toe-curling statement reminded me of a story related to me by the Big Fella a couple of years ago.

However, I wanted to be clear that I was remembering accurately.

Due to this amazing technology I was able to fact check with him via Messenger.

He told me that the reception was dodgy as he was on a train going in and out of tunnels.

He told me that he was heading back from a day on Nami Island.

I reminded him that he would soon be on “NAMA Island” and that I couldn’t wait to see him!

He has a buddy over there with him, another Irish lad, and my quip got a shout out on a train in Korea.

I was asking the Big Fella to remind me of the name of a card game that we had played here in Donegal.

He told me that it is called “Timeline”.

When we played it he said that he had played it with some friends in the USA.

So I messaged him today  to get the full scéal and here is what he sent me:


“Ah cool. There are many versions of the game. Some have the timelines of movie releases, album release, inventions etc. I had the historical dates one. The people I was playing with didn’t know the dates of the World wars or when they landed on the moon never mind anything else!

“There were even guesses that the crusades post-dated the renaissance!

“How you play is that you get cards with an event on one side and the year on the other.

“You had to place your cards in order on the timeline relative to other events and then flip them up.”


Now, in fairness, my Fella is usually the smartest person in the room.

He certainly is when I’m there with him.

However, when he had played that game in the USA he tapped into a rich vein of historical illiteracy.

I think he found it especially unsettling as the other young people there had all attended good universities at considerable expense to their families.

In fairness, I think I reared my three with an instinctive curiosity about history.

Yesterday the Big Fella messaged me to say that he and his buddy had visited the Comfort Women museum in Seoul.

He already knows a lot more of that war crime than the average Japanese person does.

On the other side of the world, another island people with a bad history is another centre of excellence in historical amnesia.

The Brits.

As a start, I would put Ian Cobain’s stunning book “Cruel Britannia” on the school curriculum.

So Ms Nauert appears to prove that this lack of even basic historical knowledge isn’t an obstacle to advancement in the Federal Government.

Even in the State Department…

Now that I know that the US forces and the Germans had “a strong relationship” on D-Day I’m starting to think that the movie “Saving Private Ryan” might not be entirely accurate.

Good grief…

18 thoughts on “Saving Private Ryan and playing your historical cards right”

  1. I admit I followed the link with only passing interest – just another example of an idiot Trump appointee lacking even the most basic qualifiations to do his/her job.

    But yeah, this one really takes the biscuit.

    I suppose, on similar grounds, the Mỹ Lai massacre would be an instance of their strong fraternal relationship with Vietnam?

  2. Well! There’s a can opened nice and wide.
    Phil/the blog.
    I astonished the people continue to be taken aback by the trump, look back at his history and its plain the guy has issues, lying pathology is the least, some on here suggest he is an ok guy because he is a plain speaker I disagree. The man is certifiable and has an uneasy freewheeling way of utilising other peoples money, sound familiar Mr DK?
    You pay heed to the comfort women, they are but one example of ALL nations involved in war, atrocities committed by men, let’s not gild this. While the large chap is on a wee jaunt get him to check into the rape of nanking, or more recently the killing fields.
    As for what passes for intellect in the current regime in the ol us of a? Just remember that people can be educated beyond their intelligence .

  3. I live in the USA,and yes, largely they are ignorant of history.
    Trump is a conman, liar, narcissist, fraudster & serial sexual abuser.
    He is also incompetent.
    He refuses to read briefing notes because they are too long & complicated & instead relies of Fox News for briefings. (Absolutely true)
    He will negatively impact every living soul on this planet before we are rid of him.
    He is an indictment of a broken system in the USA, but hey, let’s be honest, the UK has shown them how to elect idiots & incompetents too.
    May, Sturgeon, Garage, Johnson & Corbyn, and that’s before we get to the back benches.
    Trump is a criminal & has no intellectual prowess, governing ability, oratory or social skills.
    He will undoubtedly go down as THE worst (by any measure) POTUS in history.
    He has just signed for pre-existing conditions to be excluded from coverage AND for a reduction in Medicare/Medicaid.
    No surprise here when he hires someone from Fox News & they are thick like him.

  4. Can not see why all the Donald Trump hate ? He is the only only one who seems to get things done, look at the way he has got the north Korean despot changing his attitude, Trump knows how to deal with that sort of scumbag , not like Obama who was into appeasement and paying off these lowlifes to keep them quiet.
    Unemployment at a low, national dept being reduced, illegal immigration being now brought under control, the were the things he campaigned on and he is delivering .
    He may be a big mouth and say the wrong things but it’s refreshing to hear someone in power who does not just say what the PC brigade think he should say.
    Also the anti Amercian sentiment that so many of the liberal left have, is for me, wrong , I always think of the time when the French told the then President of the USA, Eisenhower, to remove all the USA military from French soil, he asked if that was one’s buried there as well.
    The Americans have made massive blunders and still do but without them we would all be living under communist rule and there would be no free speech blogs like this, But maybe some who visit this blog believe they would like that.
    God bless Ireland and the Glasgow Celtic

  5. Like you Phil…I too have close family who not only live in the U.S.A…they are born and bred Americans.
    So..Bad news first……Yes its true…Americans, by and large, are insular and don’t take much of an interest in the outside world…In fact they struggle to know what’s going on outside of their own State.
    And that’s the way they are in that respect.
    But now the good news…
    They are, in the main, very friendly and polite people and we could learn some lessons from them in that department.
    ‘Mon the Yanks….:0)
    PS: President Trump wants all Americans to buy hard cheese…so they make America grate again.

  6. While poor old Trump gets a relentlessly negative press on this side of the pond, he is probably unaware of it.
    After all no one here will be voting for or against him.
    And that is why he most likely will be reelected, because he speaks to those who can vote, however much we may sneer at their lack of intellectual acumen, in their own language and has backed up his rhetoric with real and visible economic improvement since his election a year and a half ago.
    If his opponents want to defeat him next time around they need to stop refighting the last election and start focusing on the next one.
    Or hope that he will not live long enough to contest it.

  7. And now a tale of enlightenment tinged with pathos.

    Little 6 year old Billy Gullibilly-son of King and Queen Gullibilly-is believed to be traumatised following being chastised by his teacher.
    The child was heard to refer to David Cunningham King as “a
    fu.king arsehole”.
    The teacher tutted and said “Rectum Billy”.
    “Sure did Miss” replied the infant Gullibilly.
    “He’s totally fucked the six year old club”.

  8. Wise men and conmen know people believe what they want to believe. Victors of war write history. Anyone who has an open mind and open heart should watch this video without prejudice. If you have a closed mind and respect everything you have been taught don’t bother watching it. The video is harrowing and controversial. Most people, due to their indoctrination can’t handle it.

  9. Feck……………….(pause is deliberate to help process the complete and utter absurdity of this muppets statement)…………………………………………………… !!!!!!

  10. I think you’re actually being kind to Americans. From any discussions and debates I’ve had with any of them they appear to be uneducated in a lot of areas. Just because we see lots of them at political rallies doesn’t actually mean they know what’s going on. Ffs they voted for Trump didn’t they? And as for Geography, only a small percentage of them hold passports because as far as they are concerned there is nowhere other than the good old U.S of A. How many of their Governors have we seen on T.V. who don’t even know which parts of the world are at war but they’ll send their troops there anyway. Thank God we don’t have their standards of education here. Just don’t mention Brexit ffs! HH

  11. I know an old man 86 years old born in the Caribbean islands… he has a couple of doctorates…. he was educated by Irish priests, they couldn’t get anyone to pass the then A level type exam, eventually it dawned on them that they were teaching from an Irish viewpoint. . But the exam papers were sent to England for marking by English viewpoint examiners.

    Viewpoint is everything the “Glorious Revolution” gave us King Billy…the Boyne…the slaughter at Glen Coe… the founding of the Bank of England and the birth of debt / slavery….and of course the Liquidation of a football team who’s supporters are modern day resurectionists…. it didn’t work for Burke and Hare.. and it won’t work for any amiunt of Silly Billies who are trying it now….

    Bring out your Dead….!!!

  12. 45th president reminds me of what I learned yesterday.The 10th president John Tyler who lived through the Civil War has grandchildren who are alive today.

  13. Phil,
    Peter’s opening paragraph sums up exactly a difficulty encountered in my early teens. I had been taught by Christian Brothers and am thankful that the history part of that education covered Irish and British history quite extensively.
    I moved school when 14 and my new school had people of other faiths, and girls.
    The thing I found most challenging was that my new student friends had zero knowledge of Irish history, and the part played by Britain in it.
    As I’ve grown older, it becomes ever more apparent that subjects of the German family are unaware or blind to Cruel Britannia and fail to grasp why anyone would refer to the Union Flag as the butchers apron.

  14. As one living in our presently-benighted US, I am reminded of that famous line “a fish always rots from the head.” We’re currently also enduring some embarrassment from Trump’s ignorance of the War of 1812 in the context of some remarks made to Canada’s Trudeau.

    Send help, Phil.

  15. It does not surprise me in the least Phil. By and large, Americans are taught very little about history, outside of their own, and place an even lower value on actually remembering it. Even when studying their own history, it is usually done in a sanitized and slanted view of the events in their almost 250 year history.

    History classes at the University level is viewed as simply useless “elective” classes that they are not even required to take unless they want to – and usually only 1 class in one semester from their 4 year degree programs is required (unless you are in History degree program).

    History classes are definitely treated much more important in Europe as it should be given the almost incessant warfare that has gone on throughout the Continent and its’ impact on the populace. As George Santayana stated, “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. That tells you all you need to know about American foreign policy since they moved onto the world stage in 1916.

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