Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the General James Mattis category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘General James Mattis’ Category

The biggest thing that came through during President Trump’s speech on Afghanistan was that Gen. Obama’s (my term, not Trump’s) policies are history. President Trump couldn’t have state things more emphatically than when he said “First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win. Second, the consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11. And as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq.”

In those words, President Trump said that withdrawing from Iraq in 2011 was a mistake because it created “a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill.” Later, President Trump said “No one denies that we have inherited a challenging and troubling situation in Afghanistan and South Asia, but we do not have the luxury of going back in time and making different or better decisions.” I won’t be surprised if ‘Gen. Obama’, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Marie Harf deny that President Trump inherited “a challenging and troubling situation” in southwest Asia but that’s to be expected.

A key part of President Trump’s speech, at least for me, was when he explained his thinking for the strategy:

My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts. But all my life, I have heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the oval office. In other words, when you are president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy. I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan.

President Trump admitted what we all know: that he’s changed his mind on Afghanistan. He attributed his change of mind to sitting “behind the desk in the Oval Office.” I suspect most thoughtful people would accept that thinking.

The haters, though, won’t cut President Trump any slack. As the saying goes, haters gotta hate. It’s sad that too many people hate first, then think of the consequences later. In many ways, though, this was President Trump’s greatest speech. This riff was especially powerful and inspiring:

American patriots from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield – for our nation and for our freedom. Through their lives, and though their lives – were cut short, in their deeds they achieved total immortality. By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal and to remain one nation under God. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose.

They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed, and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They are all part of the same family. It’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag, and live according to the same law.

They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust, and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other. The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon on a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt.

And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we sent to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.

As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name, that when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.

If that part of President Trump’s speech doesn’t inspire you, then you need to re-examine yourself. It’s that simple.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , ,

The headline speaks for itself. North Korean leader Kim Jung Un displayed something approaching rational behavior. The opening paragraph of Fox News’ article said “Kim Jong Un appeared to blink first, with North Korean media reporting Tuesday the dictator had delayed a decision about whether to fire missiles toward Guam – a pronouncement that came hours after a particularly stark warning from Defense Secretary James Mattis promised further escalation would mean ‘game on.'”

More than a month ago, Gen. Mattis was asked what kept him up at night. His response was essentially that he keeps others awake at night. Now we see why. Gen. Mattis brings to the equation something that wasn’t there during the Obama administration: a credible threat of the use of military force.

Last week, Gen. Mattis said “The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.” Apparently, Kim Jung Un took that not-so-veiled-threat seriously. That’s one of Un’s first rational thoughts in ages.

Last week, Marie Harf got into it with Lisa Booth, asking “If this rhetoric leads to North Korea attacking Guam, are you ok with that?”

Booth replied “No offense, Marie, but I am so sick and tired of the criticism of the “sound and fury” comment. We have Secretary Mattis, who was confirmed by 98-1 in the Senate, who is a brilliant military scholar, who is a student of history, who is known for being deeply thoughtful, who essentially said the same thing yesterday…”

This morning, we found out that Kim Jung Un backed down, thereby eliminating all of Ms. Harf’s what ifs. During the Obama administration, they didn’t attempt to back Kim Jung Un down with a credible threat of the use of military force. The Obama’s policy of strategic patience was deployed. The Chinese and the Un administration didn’t have an incentive to blink.

As for the question that the media wing of the Democratic Party didn’t ask, Susan Rice answered it recently, saying that the US could live with a nuclear North Korea. The truth is that the Obama administration was filled with Carteresque pacifists. This time, Americans should be happy that Gen. Mattis was asked to clean up the Obama administration’s mess.