One of the Hotter Takes on How the Military Works, Courtesy of the New York Times


The Trumpification of national security.

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis may have led the 1st Marine Division during the invasion of Iraq and later oversaw the campaign for Falluja, but he now thinks the Iraq War was a mistake.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the president-elect’s choice to be secretary of defense told a conference in California, according to an audio tape obtained by The Intercept, “we will probably look back on the invasion of Iraq as a mistake — as a strategic mistake.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Mr. Trump — his boss, should he be confirmed by the Senate — had a similar change of views on the war, though the president-elect has famously insisted he always opposed the invasion.


NOTE: I consider the environmental/economic/social issue of global climate change to be of unequivocal importance. The following thoughts have no partisan leaning; they only concern what should be common sense. My take solely concerns an excerpt about General Mattis (Ret.) and does not address the topic of global climate change, the focus of the NYT article.

This may come as news to the four authors of this article: military commanders are not given the choice to follow orders. James Mattis did not “change his views” regarding the Iraq War, he carried out his assigned mission as best he could. The fact that Mattis judges the overall conflict to have been a mistake carries none of the “flip-flop” stigma that can be rightly attributed to president-elect Trump (and, if I may add, Mrs. Clinton). This description was a pathetic attempt to discredit the retired general simply because president-elect Trump nominated him to be the Secretary of Defense (“Trumpification of national security” as the sub-header? so pitifully transparent). This choice to blindly beat the leftist drum erodes the legitimacy of the overall argument: Trump must heed the undeniable warnings of the scientific community. I absolutely agree with this message; however, the liberal muezzins must stop trying to derail everything and anyone associated with Trump. I did not vote for Donald Trump, nor did I ever contemplate voting for him. I did not vote in the 2016 election because I was too lazy and assumed that Hilary would win (If I had voted, I would have voted for Clinton). I am tremendously ashamed of my fundamental failure to carry out my civic duty. All of this aside, Donald J. Trump will be our next president and we need to plan accordingly. Shamelessly, and incorrectly, lambasting everyone in Trump’s circle will only further drive our nation apart when we need to stand united. The mistake that these authors made is clear. I am calling them out not as a liberal, conservative, or moderate, but as an American citizen who wants fair news. The people of this nation, and across the globe, deserve untainted media. I hope that journalists who hold viewpoints from both sides of the aisle come to realize this obligation.

For what it’s worth, I find the pragmatic and straight forward approach of General Mattis (Ret.) to be refreshing:

However, whether or not the hawkish former general will be a good Secretary of Defense (assuming the nomination is upheld) remains to be seen. I like the nomination and am confident that Gen. Mattis (Ret.) can perform admirably in this role. However, I do have some reservations, not the least the which being that the Secretary of Defense is a civilian position for a reason.

Source (assuming that you haven’t sewered your NYT freebes):

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