Marine General James Mattis who resigned as the Trump administration’s Secretary of Defense in December 2018 is one of our modern day military generals that I’ve had high levels of respect for, to me he’s right up there with other generals of my generation like General Schwarzkopf. The dedication these leaders have shown the United States of America is long term, effective and honorable.
After General Mattis resigned he stated, “When you leave an administration over clear policy differences, you need to give the people who are still there as much opportunity as possible to defend the country. They still have the responsibility of protecting this great big experiment of ours.” This is the ethical choice that all military leaders should make when they leave their position no matter how high ranking they are or the conditions of their separation. General Mattis recently flushed that ethical choice down the drain.
Here is General Mattis’ complete statement…
IN UNION THERE IS STRENGTHMarine General James Mattis – 2020
I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.
We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.
Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.
We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.
When General Mattis came out with his critique of President Trump he flushed his original ethical choice down the drain using the underlying rationalization #28. The Revolutionary’s Excuse: “These are not ordinary times.” which states in part “An argument for those who embrace the ends justify the means…'”. Mattis used the national influence he earned from his previous military and Trump administration positions to try to influence the populace with his opinions, this is pure partisan politics. I have to give credit where credit is due; Mattis didn’t say one specific word in his critique about his time working in President Trump’s administration; however, he is using the prominent position he once had to parrot political propaganda. Without his previous position his opinion would be useless to the American people but now he’s a Trump defector of sorts that will be trotted out as a tool of the anti-Trump resistance and his opinion will be plastered as fact across the airways ad nauseam. Mattis’ move at this time is a self-serving move to promote himself. I greatly respected General Mattis for his long service to the United States but like every person out there, he’s susceptible to his own bias and the propaganda of the day and this critique is evidence of that susceptibility. Mattis is welcome to his own opinion but he is not welcome to his own facts; Mattis has begun to peel off layers of respect.
There are a few things in Mattis’ statement that need to be addressed.
1. Mattis wrote, “We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers“. I’m not too sure how Mattis personally defines “a small number” but the burning, looting and open violence that’s happening in the streets across the United States is certainly NOT committed by a small number of lawbreakers. These wide spread crimes in our cities are created by roving MOBS of violent individuals creating anarchy and terrorizing the population. A small number of lawbreakers might be considered something manageable number like five or ten or maybe even up to twenty at a time but what we have are large mobs with hundreds of people in multiple cities across the United States destroying property, looting businesses, setting fires, attacking police, attacking business, attacking business owners, murdering people, beating anyone that opposes them, and ripping apart the livelihoods of many thousands of innocent people across the United States of America. No General Mattis, this is NOT a small number of lawbreakers as you so ignorantly professed, this is an insurrection which is literally defined as a violent uprising against an authority or government. These rioters are not protesters they are mobs with criminal intent physically attacking a civil society. No General Mattis, these are not “a small number of lawbreakers”; your argument is absurd! Mattis’ statement is a rough equivalent of a rationalization trying to diminish the importance of the open and brash violence in the streets across the United States. [EDIT: Read item #2 in this blog post]
2. Mattis wrote, “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens…”. As of today and to my knowledge, there has been absolutely no military troops that have violated the Constitutional rights of any of their fellow citizens – none! This statement from General Mattis is just as false as it is absurd; Mattis is welcome to his own opinion but not his own facts.
3. Mattis wrote, “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.“…”We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square.” This is a case where General Mattis has willingly fallen victim to popular propaganda likely due to his bias against President Trump. The authorities did not abuse their authority, they did not move the protesters back a block so the President could have a photo op, that false claim has been publicly debunked a number of times in the news and more recently in a news conference by the United States Attorney General and yet Mattis parrots this false information as if it is fact; why would a respected General do such a thing, bias.
First; the Constitutional rights of protesters were not violated when their protest was shifted a block further away from the White House by Police and National Guard; second, the Police informed the protesters multiple times that they needed to move, the protesters did not comply and some of the protesters started throwing things at the Police and National Guard; third, again the shift was NOT done so the President could have a photo op, it’s been stated very clearly that after the violence that set fire to the historical church the shift was to create a larger buffer zone that would encompass places like the historical church so the violent criminal mobs that are hiding within the peaceful protesters couldn’t wreck more in that area and get them farther away from the White House.
4. Mattis wrote, “Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society.” I’m not too sure what Mattis is trying to say when he states “militarizing our response” but it sounds a little like he’s implying that there is some kind of martial law in effect where the military is in control of the streets, but no General Mattis there is no conflict being setup between military and civilian society, that is a false claim. It’s literally the job of our cities and states to keep our cities safe so we can have a civil society. Part of that responsibility is to keep people like the disrespectful and criminally violent rioters from destroying private and public property and to keep people as safe as reasonably possible whether those people are private individuals, civil servants or public officials. When the conditions police are faced with exceed their capabilities, which is clearly a fact right now, the use of other departments law enforcement forces and the National Guard is not only necessary to reinforce the police but it is fully warranted to protect the general public. If the police do not have the manpower to effectively deal with the conditions they are faced with and they don’t call in reinforcements from other departments and/or the National Guard then they are in direct violation of their duties.
The actual conflict that could be setup between civilian society and authorities is when the authorities are not capable of effectively performing their duties to maintain a civil society and the streets become unsafe due to violent mobs and the destruction of civil society is the result – this is exactly what the anarchists rioting in the streets want and General Mattis’ “logic” is enabling them with his absurd opposition to law and order. Mattis was a General in the Marine Corps, when exactly did Mattis become in opposition to respect and law and order?
The United States Constitution, the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The Constitution gives protesters the right to protest (“peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances“) to their hearts content but it does not give them carte blanche to do whatever they want where ever they want. They need to follow the law and respect the authority that is there to keep everyone safe.
5. Mattis wrote, “Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’ ” On this point I agree with General Mattis, unity is a huge strength; so maybe Mattis or someone else can explain why the political left and their propaganda machine media has been promoting division for over 10 years and kicked it into high gear in 2016? The political left and their propaganda machine have been dividing the population into every kind of tribe imaginable and they’ve been doing it for quite a while. A lot of how the political left is accomplishing this division is false accusations of oppression against individuals and entire swaths of the public based on the actions of a few. This false labeling of being oppressed has gone to absurd levels since 2016 with some of their Big Lies. One of the big lies that’s been concocted since 2013 is that police forces are racist and indiscriminately targeting and gunning down black citizens when this claim is verifiably false using actual statistics and yet they ignore you when you present the facts; don’t let real facts get in your way of smearing entire police departments of being racist you immoral hacks.
Here’s a graph…
6. Mattis wrote, “We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.“; on this point I agree with Mattis wholeheartedly. We have seen a lack of leadership across the board from the President’s office all the way down the line including Congress, Governors, Mayors, school boards, and the media – yes the media. Mattis blames everything on President Trump while completely ignoring the elephant in the room – this is the propaganda 101 narrative being parroted by anyone that’s a Trump hater.
The problem as I see it is hate, blind all-consuming anti-Trump hate. Those that hate President Trump have allowed themselves to rationalize anything that’s used to attack the President regardless of truth or facts, simple unsupportable innuendo and twisted allegations from the left’s spin factory are good enough for those that hate the President; the recent unconstitutional impeachment debacle is a great example. There are plenty more examples out there. A large swath of our population have become biased drones for social justice with no common sense, they’ve been destroyed by their own bias and loads of propaganda and society is now reaping the “benefits” of their irrational arguments.
Now don’t misunderstand me; I really don’t like Donald Trump the man (I don’t hate him) and there are plenty of valid complaints about President Trump; his terrible public communications skills, his unethical loose cannon mouth, the things he writes on Twitter, his unpresidential and unethical tendency to punch down against those he opposes, random opinions that he states off the cuff that turn out to be false, etc, etc. President Trump was a terrible candidate and really shouldn’t have been the nominee of the GOP much less elected President, I didn’t vote for the man and I also didn’t vote for that other terrible candidate Hillary Clinton; in my opinion, the presidential election of 2016 was a lose lose for the American people. What’s pretty clear from the election of President Trump is that a huge swath of the United States voting population was really sick and tired of what’s been happening in Washington DC and they wanted something entirely different – they got it.
In a recent conversation with a friend I stated, “Just because I dislike many things about someone, like Donald Trump, does not mean that I won’t question accusations about that person that I think may not be true.”… “I will forever question that which does not appear to me to be supported with facts regardless of what someone believes down deep in their gut. Accusations need to be supported with facts; if someone accuses you, me, the President of the United States, or some Joe Blow on the street of being a racist then those accusations NEED to be supported with real facts not opinion and propaganda. I deal with facts and I do not believe that the ends justify the means, in other words just because I dislike someone, like President Trump, does not in any way mean I will condone or justify false accusations – I’m a real stickler on that point.” I’m going to think logically and critically about what’s going on around me and I refuse to get sucked into the mental chaos of allowing emotions to control my thoughts by overruling logic and critical thinking; this leads to conflicting ethics , morals and ultimately hysteria.
Truth be spoken; the political left has been, and is, piling on smears and anti-Trump propaganda absolutely every day with every action or inaction of President Trump. It makes absolutely no difference what the President does or doesn’t do, he’s damned for it by those that hate him in the political left, the left leaning media and the general public. Those that hate President Trump refuse to listen to reason, it’s cult-like emotional hysteria.
7. Anyone, and I really do mean anyone, that invokes comparisons between President Trump and Nazi’s cannot be taken seriously. It’s very clear that these people have been completely consumed by their hate. This kind of irrational nonsense is unsupportable hate propaganda and comparisons as such are immoral. General Mattis should be ashamed of himself.
I really do like General Mattis but he has allowed his bias and propaganda to corrupt his thoughts. General Mattis, bias makes you stupid and propaganda fills the void that bias created when it beheaded critical thinking. Mattis should consider taking my Test for Acute Propaganda-Induced Anti-Trump Hysteria Syndrome.
This blog post would not be complete without my opinion about what’s happening in the United States right now as a result of the George Floyd killing;
• I called it right as soon as I saw the very first video; the police officer kneeling on the Floyd’s neck should be charged with 2nd Degree Murder and the other three officers involved should get charged as accomplices. Justice for George Floyd IS being served, maybe the protesters should consider that fact and head home so they no longer give cover to the terrorist militias in their midst that are rioting. (Addition: the chance that any of these four officers is going to get a fair trial with an unbiased jury anywhere in the United States is zero, they should plea bargain or just plead guilty. Also, I’m really wondering if their police union will back these officers to the hilt like they do other abusive officers forcing police departments all over the United Stares to keep abusive officers on the force.)
• I support the protesters right to peaceably assemble to protest regardless of their arguments.
• I support the protesters argument that something needs to be done to stop similar abusive killings like what happened to George Floyd and others. There is absolutely no place in our society for police brutality, it should be swiftly crushed by our legal system.
• I do not support the absolutely absurd argument from protesters demanding to defund police departments. This is illogical and very dangerous to society as a whole.
• I do not support the argument from protesters demanding community control over the police. At the core of this argument is to figuratively tie the hands of police officers by stripping them of their authority.
• I do not support the absolutely absurd argument from protesters demanding the release of all black persons in jail. This argument is delusional.
• I do not support any of the protesters that turn to violence and rioting, these criminals belong behind bars, no exceptions.
• Any organization that in any way condones, and therefore promotes, the violence and riots that we’re seeing across the United States should immediately be removed from all taxpayer based funding; these groups are inciting riot and should be considered domestic terror groups.
Honestly folks; after the public has seen what social justice warriors and their terrorist militias are allowed to do to in our streets across the United States I think we should expect a LOT more blatant virtue signaling towards social justice warriors. People are in fear of these violent intimidating thugs. If anyone thinks these social justice warriors and their terrorist militias are going to relinquish their new found nationwide power to intimidate and destroy, you better think again. We’re rapidly approaching the brink.
Feel free to peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances all you want but once you prove that your common sense is dead by choosing to start intimidation and violence your message quickly becomes lost in your own unethical and immoral actions.
Featured Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE