The Worldview of General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense:
“It’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot” Taliban fighters
to Iraqi leaders: “If you f-ck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
Now to be fair to “Mad Dog”, some news outlets like VOX.com have described Mattis as a “serious strategic thinker who is widely respected inside and outside of the Pentagon for his intellect” and “Slate magazine described his nuanced approach to Iraq“. Then of course there is this piece of hagiography from Military 1, in a post titled: 5 reasons why General Mattis is immortal: “We know and love General Mattis. He is unapologetic in a time of political correctness. He is honest in a time of deceit. He maintains his martial values while our culture celebrates decrepit excess. Here’s to General Mattis. Long may he reign in our hearts.“
I write of General James “Mad Dog” Mattis because the Washington punditocracy, of purported strategic thinkers on Foreign Policy and Military issues, is confident that with “wise, strategic thinking counselors” in key posts in the Trump Administration, our inept and unbalanced President will be forced to maintain an even keel in the theater of global politics. The problem with that way of thinking about our country being led by someone I consider mentally unstable, is that since the end of World War II and thus the beginning of the “Cold War”, there has been a consensus of Bi-Partisan pundits who serve as authorities on all matters of Foreign Policy and Military/Intelligence issues. The assumption made about these self-proclaimed critical thinkers is that they ensure that our country maintains the adult and intelligent course in our dealings with the World and our nation’s enemies. In the arrogance of these pundits, who all derive their incomes from the United States Corporate/Military/Intelligence Complex (CMIC), there is the belief that as long as people like General Mattis are in strategic positions, when it comes to foreign policy, the President is merely a figurehead to be led by their collective strategic wisdom. Sadly, arrogance is always the gateway to hubris and by definition hubris always ends badly. the
One apt definition of insanity is to keep doing that which past experience has proven to be disastrous. By that definition, the Bi-Partisan Foreign Policy consensus of the CMIC that I speak of, is clinically insane and the proof is in their abject failures from their post WWII ascension onward. Here are just ten of the examples of this deadly arrogance and incompetence:
- Refused to recognize the government of China because it was Communist
- Fought the stalemated Korean War as a proxy with China because of our refusal to recognize its legitimate government
- Overthrew the Democratically Elected Government of Iran to install a Despotic Shah.
- Backed the despotic Egyptian government against our own Allies in their 1954 War.
- Sided with France against the Vietnamese seeking to overthrow their colonial status
- Backed the Cuban Dictator Batista against the 1959 revolution in that country
- Attacked Cuba in the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion, which directly led to the Cuban Missile Crisis and the possibility of nuclear war.
- Took over the French colonial war in Vietnam leading to more than a decade of war and innumerable deaths, shattered lives and destruction on both sides.
- Continued backing the despotic Shah in the wake of the Iranian revolution
- Responded to 9/11 by attacking the wrong enemy and ensuring more that 15 years (and counting) of unimaginable chaos in the Middle East into the future.
Some might think that my citing things like opposing the Chinese Revolution indicates that I make light of the threats posed by Communist despotism and they would be incorrect. Joseph Stalin was a murderous sociopath, with extreme paranoid tendencies. Stalin equaled, or surpassed Hitler in the mass murder of his own Slavic citizens. However, the Communism that Stalin championed, was made appealing to the masses of people who had suffered under the lash of capitalist colonialism. The American foreign policy establishment was either unwilling, or unable to recognize that the populations suffering under Colonial Rule were looking for something to free them from the yoke of their particular despots oppression. Our Bi-Partisan Wise-men, either backed horrendous dictators like the Shah in Iran, or Batista in Cuba because of the economic interest of American Corporations, or they bankrolled tinpot military Colonels in removing Left Leaning governments via coups. The coups occurred over and again in South America whenever U.S. Business interests were threatened by liberal elected governments.
These Bi-Partisan minions of the Corporate/Military/Intelligence Complex, thus in their arrogated wisdom, actually made Communism seem an appealing alternative to oppressed peoples around the world. By stupidly opposing the Communist threat by offering vulnerable people the unappealing alternative of military dictatorships that called themselves “democracies” and defenders of “freedom”, Bi-Partisan pundits who serve as American authorities on all matters of Foreign Policy and Military/Intelligence issues did unimaginable harm to U.S. credibility on the World scene.
So now we are led by Trump, who is in truth someone as mentally unstable as Stalin, without that dictators crafty intelligence. The pundits of the American foreign policy establishment pretty much recognize Trump’s instability and unfitness, but they rely on the familiar faces within the Trump administration like General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to keep things under control. Such is the delusion of these false prophets of “adult“ foreign policy that they were ecstatic with praise when over dessert in his Southern Palace, Trump ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles launched at an obscure Syrian airbase. That this rather pathetic gambit, wasting perhaps $100 million changed anything in Syria is the fantasy of fools.
Bashar al-Assad is literally fighting for his and his family’s lives. He saw the grim deaths of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, who were equivalent Dictators in their own wealthy countries at the hands of U.s. displeasure. Assad is backed by the nuclear might of Russia and by the oil might of Iran in his cause to retain his dictatorship. Why would Assad be frightened, or limit his activities, because of a plethora of missiles that did little damage to an obscure airbase and a scant few planes? This is especially true since the Russians and thus his troops had advanced warning to flee the area. The Trump missile strike, which is being fawned over as effective and Presidential, was in effect an expensively, meaningless gesture signifying nothing. It was the kind of Macho Theater that is so dear to those Americans, who have been propagandized into believing that violent aggression is good foreign policy. Sadly, the pundits of our media and the pundits who serve the Corporate/Military/Intelligence Complex have worked long and hard to convince my fellow Americans that they are the “adults” in the room. Unfortunately for us, their long history of failure, greed and incompetent judgments has made our country even more unsafe than we need to be.