Yesterday, word escaped that Donald Trump’s Defense Secretary-to-be is retired Marine General James Mattis, who is an absolutely legendary figure within the American military. Mattis is credited with driving the Taliban out of Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, and during the Iraq War he pacified the city of Fallujah twice – the first time by negotiating a surrender of the militants holed up there, and the second time by a house-to-house victory that goes down as a textbook example of urban offensive warfare.
His troops gave him two nicknames during his exploits – the more famous being “Mad Dog,” but perhaps the more descriptive being “The Warrior Monk.” Mattis has been described as one of the most educated, urbane military leaders in modern times, carrying such classic works as Meditations of Marcus Aurelius with him to the battlefield.
And with Mattis as Secretary of Defense – to install him in that post Trump will have to get Congress to waive the statutory seven-year ban on ex-military figures serving in a cabinet defense role, but that isn’t seen as a problem – the entire persona of the military and Defense Department will have changed. No longer are social engineering and designed failure central pieces of DoD’s role in the federal government; under Mattis one can expect when the military is committed to a mission it will carry out that mission to its completion, period. If Mattis is asked to oversee a modernization and buildup of the military, you will get it, and it will be done decisively with a minimum of waste. If there is to be a war, it will be won – and what must be done to win it will be done.
Mattis is a happy warrior. He has a great sense of humor. He is brilliant. He crafts the “mad dog” persona because it suits him to operate under it as he acts with meticulous planning and precision.
Opposition to him will be based on a May 2004 incident in which Mattis ordered the bombing of an Al Qaeda safe house near the Syrian border which turned out to have been the site of a wedding, and 42 purported civilians were killed. There is still a good deal of question as to whether the bombing was unjustified; the American attackers took ground fire before retaliating with fire of their own and calling in an air strike. And the remote location of the safe house led Mattis to comment: “How many people go to the middle of the desert … to hold a wedding 80 miles (130km) from the nearest civilization? These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let’s not be naive.”
You can bet Democrats will attack Mattis for the “Mukaradeeb wedding party massacre,” and you can bet he will more than adequately defend himself.
He will also be attacked for a number of highly entertaining, Pattonesque quotes for which he has become famous…
“I don’t lose any sleep at night over the potential for failure. I cannot even spell the word.”
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f**k with me, I’ll kill you all.”
“Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”
“Marines don’t know how to spell the word defeat.”
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
“The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.”
“You are part of the world’s most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon.”
“There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”
“No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.”
“There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.”
“You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”
“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right up there with you. I like brawling.”
“I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.”
“Demonstrate to the world there is ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine.”
To paraphrase Patton’s reaction after being informed that Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, upon being demanded to surrender Bastogne to the Germans, responded “Nuts!”, a man this eloquent has to be confirmed.
– I wrote an American Spectator column this week on this insane recount Jill Stein is demanding in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, and discussing the fact Trump characterized it perfectly as a fundraising scam – and how absolutely stupid the Democrats are in actually giving this woman money for such a hopeless cause.
Fortune magazine diagnosed the statement and hit on the likely destination for that money — a political party, which would be permissible under FEC rules.
As Stein is the Green Party’s presidential candidate and has been for the past two cycles, you can guess which party is getting that excess.
And you can also guess just how much of the recount money is actually getting spent.
Probably not as much as advertised in Wisconsin, where on Wednesday a judge denied Stein’s request for a statewide hand recount — instead, it’ll be a machine recount. Gosh, that’s too bad.
And in Pennsylvania, to get a statewide recount essentially involves winning a lawsuit alleging fraud — and the one Stein filed on Monday, which is more or less a placeholder suit without any such allegations, has little chance of doing that. The chances of it being thrown out are quite good. Oh, well.
But irrespective of Baraka’s warning about water-carrying, nobody can really believe that the $2-4 million Stein will bank for the Green Party — if in fact that’s all it turns out to be, since she’s still raising money for this effort which Clinton has now legitimized and made mainstream — will be spent on things the Democrats will like. Quite the contrary — the problem with third parties is nobody will give them any money, because it’s wasted on candidates with no chance to win. Now, the Greens will have millions of dollars to spend on campaigns targeted in districts far-left enough to actually compete with Democrats.
City council races. Mayoral races. State legislative races. Maybe even a congressional race or two. Perhaps this is the start of a legitimate third party on the Left that siphons enough votes away from the Democrats to turn a lot of purple states red and some blue states purple.
After all, it now has a donor base of some 137,000 people, and a list it can rent to every far-left outfit with enough money to pay for it. And that’s a hell of a good list, too — because if you’re dumb enough to donate to a cause as hopeless as Stein’s recount, you’ll stroke a check to save the capybaras or keep corporate America from killing black children with chemtrails, or whatever else some “entrepreneur” might concoct to separate you from your fashionable-leftist wallet.
And Hillary Clinton is participating in creating this monster, as though she hasn’t done enough damage to the Democrats already.
It’s almost enough to be a good idea for Republicans to contribute to Stein’s recount gambit and bankroll the Green Party as a viable competitor to the Democrats. Except if you do, you then get bombarded with the cacophony of leftist causes she’ll rent that list out to. If you can stand getting e-mails from scam artists trying to raise money to decriminalize bestiality or stop the killing of bol weevils in the name of animal rights, you may be doing a good civic turn by assisting in destroying the Democrats by giving lefties another party to join.
In any event, the recount is a joke and it shows how completely unserious these people are.
As a matter of public relations, the deal Trump cut with Carrier is a stupendous victory – particularly given this…
Obama looks like a dunce for having made that statement, as Trump managed to save 800 jobs by negotiating a deal whereby Carrier keeps some of their manufacturing in Indiana in return for about $7 million in tax breaks that state will offer. And making Obama look like a dunce has its own redemptive properties.
Having said this, once you get past the PR the Carrier deal has some problems. For one thing, Carrier is giving up $65 million in savings from moving those jobs to Mexico in order to pick up $7 million in tax breaks, and the only reason they’re doing it is that Carrier’s parent company United Technologies has lots of government contracts, and Trump is threatening to pull them – which on one level is fine, as if you want to do work for the federal government you should probably not make for problems the people running the government then have to solve. On another level, it smacks of crony capitalism and strongman politics to have a president make those kinds of demands on private companies. Better to create a welcoming environment for business and then get out of the way; some companies will create jobs for your economy and others won’t, and on the whole the wills are going to outweigh the won’ts and you’ll be more prosperous for the bargain.
But the other problem is a lot of these jobs are not going away because the Mexicans are doing them. A lot of them are going away because a robot can do them better and cheaper than a person can. And there is nothing the government can do to stop that.
Allahpundit had a very good discussion of the Carrier deal yesterday, which included this…
You can bring back some of the jobs taken by Mexicans. You’re not going to bring back the jobs taken by robots, and more and more of those jobs will be going away soon. One of the best uses to which Trump could put his communication skills over the next few years is preparing the public for further tectonic labor changes driven by automation, starting with the transportation industry. Instead, the point of the Carrier deal is to signal to low-information voters that keeping Americans employed is a straightforward matter of an ass-kicking can-do making-America-great-again president wielding the right carrots and sticks. The Carrier deal, in the end, is a small Potemkin village designed to distract from the truly wrenching labor upheaval ahead. But it’s great politics. Any incoming president with a lick of retail sense would have done the same thing.
Our main character is a busy little beaver who went Christmas shopping. But it appears he wasn’t satisfied with the local Dollar General’s selection of Christmas trees…
In St. Mary’s County, Md., at least one badly behaved beaver is ready for holiday shopping.
The beaver was apprehended at a dollar store in Charlotte Hall, Md., the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, apparently after browsing the selection of artificial Christmas trees and trashing the place.
The beaver tweet may go viral! All joking aside, the beaver was safely rescued by animal control & was released to a wildlife rehabilitator. pic.twitter.com/0VyLXJPjxh
— St. Mary's Sheriff (@firstsheriff) November 30, 2016
We have no idea what a “wildlife rehabilitator” is, but it sounds like a fun job if you get to pet beavers all day.
And no, that’s not a double entendre. Get your mind out of the gutter, for crying out loud.