Once again, it appears that I have been blinded by the heroism, service, and reputation of what seemed to be an accomplished and honorable military officer and leader of combat troops. Until now, my respect and admiration for General James Mattis were unqualified. What changed my mind was his statement to the media suggesting wrongdoing on the part of President Trump when he crossed the distance from the White House to a Church in a symbolic gesture that said we are not going to allow thugs, hoodlums, and criminals to terrorize our neighborhoods in the guise of a legitimate and peaceful protest.
What triggered General Mattis?
It has been suggested that President Trump might invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 that empowers President Trump to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard troops within the United States under circumstances where there is a need to suppress civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion.
The Act was invoked several times in the past, in modern history by Lyndon Johnson in 1967-68 to quell riots in Detroit, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; and Chicago, Illinois, and George H. W. Bush to quell the riots in Los Angeles, California. All situations which spun rapidly out of control, but do not approach the type of rioting that is currently taking place.
This transfer of control to the President is the last thing that the mostly progressive socialist democrat mayors and governors want as it supersedes their situational control before a presidential election.
In the General’s own words…
IN UNION THERE IS STRENGTH
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.
I do not see any unity among local, county, and state elected officials as they pander to the radical progressive socialist democrats. This is not Baghdad, where a police station is surrendered to the mob, looted, and burned -- and police officers are ordered to run away. This is a well-coordinated civil insurrection and needs to stop now. If local and state officials and law enforcement are inadequate to restore order, then the President of the United States has a sworn constitutional duty – regardless of General Mattis’ pronouncement, to protect American citizens.
I just hope that General Mattis will analyze the situation as he has done many times before and suggest alternatives rather than attack the President who accepted his resignation when the President failed to accept the General’s recommendations. Of course, his resignation was the honorable thing to do.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell