James Mattis has been engaged in the world of national security for 40 years.
In the run up to the 2016 election, “Chaos” had quite a bit to say on defense (through offense), regardless of the winner.
In a speech in Washington, Mattis said, “The Iranian regime, in my mind, is the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”
He went on, “For all the talk of ISIS and Al Qaida everywhere right now… they’re a very serious threat. But nothing is as serious in the long term enduring ramifications, in terms of stability and prosperity and some hope for a better future for the young people out there, than Iran.”
Consider the children, he says.
With nearly two decades of the global war on terror behind us, it may be easy to forget that al Qaeda was the original justification for military action in the first place. You know, because those were the guys who hijacked and flew planes into three buildings and crashed a fourth killing nearly 3,000 people.
Interestingly, al Qaeda are ideological counters, religiously speaking, to the Shiite Iranians and more in line with our major regional ally and country of origin for most of the aforementioned hijackers, Saudi Arabia.
In 2003 in Iraq, Mattis commanded the 1 Marine Division in the invasion, overseeing the first Battle of Fallujah and subsequent ‘stability’ operations. At that time, as documented in 2007 by Seymour Hersh, we were fighting that war on the side of the Iranians, installing a Shiite government with Iranian ties under Maliki, and ultimately bolstering their regional power significantly.
This isn’t finger wagging with the benefit of hindsight. The intelligence community warned the Bush administration of the risks of siding with the Shiite majority in Iraq. Though they were hoping to be their white knight, the oppressed “damsel” Shiites once under Saddam fled not to our arms but to the Ayatollah’s as predicted.
Jim presided over the major combat operations on behalf of Iran, ironically. According to General McChrystal and common sense, the killings in Fallujah and throughout the global war on terror does far more to benefit the ideological movement than it does to weaken it. Obviously, the rank and file cannon fodder suffer, but they nor their leadership care a great deal about their earthly fates. Regardless then, of the cowboy persona and famed quips about having a plan to kill everyone you meet, the actions he oversaw and advocated for do more harm than any possible ‘good’. Radical Islamist’s are in a far better strategic position today than they were in 2001.
That insight is crucial to understanding the friction between Trump’s unilateral decision to cease combat operations in Syria and the chorus from the national security establishment and their useful idiots. The tangible results of a given policy are completely divorced from the opining and intentions of Washington’s foreign policy think tanks.
Mattis is deeply entrenched in the Washington machinations and the talking points are clear. A global American military hegemon is the only way to keep American’s safe at home, no matter the costs. As the corporate media laments his resignation, mainly as opportunists to further damage Trump, a curious theme arises. James Mattis is the ‘sober’, adult voice in the room. The wails and gnashing of teeth say that losing him puts us all at risk; even more of an interesting evolution when contrasted with the 2016 warnings that a Trump victory would mean certain death by nuclear hellfire.
The current face of the larger national security apparatus, CHAOS’s entire worldview prescribes the insertion of an American M16 compensator into every conversation. The failures of three Iraq wars, a counterproductive and bloody campaign in Afghanistan, the creation of the conditions that led to the rise of ISIS and radicals of all stripes across the region, and the haunting of drones in sovereign nations across the globe, all credited to our “adults in the room”. Yet unironically the gray-faced NPC’s from Mia Farrow and Noam Chomsky to Lindsay Graham all parrot the same thing, that the hill Mattis is choosing to die on is a noble one; that Syrian occupation is necessary for the continued safety of the American people and the preservation of American global credibility.
In the era of Trump, the least drunk drive. I can’t wait to see who Mattis throws the keys to.