COMMENTARY: Send the Mad Dog to the Corporate Kennel

“Mad Dog” Mattis was famous for quipping, “It’s fun to shoot some people.” It remains a supreme irony that Mattis was widely considered the only “adult in the room” in the Trump administration, argues Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

Outgoing Defense Secretary Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis was famous for quipping, “It’s fun to shoot some people.” It remains a supreme irony that Mattis was widely considered the only “adult in the room” in the Trump administration. Compared to whom? John Bolton, the rabid neocon serving as national security adviser? That would be the epitome of “condemning with faint praise.”

With his ramrod-straight image, not to mention his warrior/scholar reputation extolled in the media, Mattis was able to disguise the reality that he was, as Col. Andrew Bacevich put it on Democracy Now! this morning, “totally unimaginative.” Meaning that Mattis was simply incapable of acknowledging the self-destructive, mindless nature of U.S. “endless war” in the Middle East, which candidate-Trump had correctly called “stupid.” In his resignation letter, Mattis also peddled the usual cant about the indispensable nation’s aggression being good for the world.

Mattis: All dressed up.

Mattis was an obstacle to Trump’s desire to pull troops out of Syria and Afghanistan (and remains in position to spike Trump’s orders). Granted, the abrupt way Trump announced his apparently one-man decision was equally stupid. But withdrawal of ground troops is supremely sane, and Mattis was and is a large problem. And, for good or ill, Trump — not Mattis — was elected president.

Marine Wisdom

Historically, Marines are the last place to turn for sound advice. Marine Gen. Smedley Butler (1881-1940), twice winner of the Medal of Honor, was brutally candid about this, after he paused long enough to realize, and write, “War is a Racket”:

“I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of the higher- ups. …”

Shortly after another Marine general, former CENTCOM commander Anthony Zinni, retired, he stood by silently as he personally watched then-Vice President Dick Cheney give his most important speech ever (on August 26, 2002). Cheney blatantly lied about Iraq’s (non-existent) WMD, in order to grease the skids for the war of aggression against Iraq. Zinni had kept his clearances and was “back on contract.” He was well read-in on Iraq, and knew immediately that Cheney was lying.

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A few years later, Zinni admitted that he decided that his lips would be sealed. Far be it for a Marine to play skunk at the picnic.  And, after all, he was being honored that day at the same Veterans of Foreign Wars convention where Cheney spoke.  As seems clear now, Zinni was also lusting after the lucrative spoils of war given to erstwhile generals who offer themselves for membership on the corporate Boards of the arms makers/merchants that profiteer on war.

(For an earlier critique of senior Marines, see: “Attacking Syria: Thumbing Noses at Constitution and Law.” )

Butler: Said “No.”

Marine officer, now Sen. Pat Roberts, R, Kansas, merits “dishonorable mention” in this connection. He never rose to general, but did become Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee at an auspicious time for Cheney and Bush. Roberts kowtowed, like a “good Marine,” to their crass deceit, when a dollop of honesty on his part could have prevented the 2003 attack on Iraq and the killing, maiming, destruction, and chaos that continues to this day.  Roberts knew all about the fraudulent intelligence, and covered it up — together with other lies — for as long as he remained Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman

Scott Ritter on Pat Roberts

Roberts’s unconscionable dereliction of duty enraged one honest Marine, Maj. Scott Ritter, who believes “Semper Fi” includes an obligation to tell the truth on matters of war and peace.  Ritter, former UN chief weapons inspector for Iraq, wrote in April 2005 “Semper Fraud, Senator Roberts,” based partly on his own experience with that complicit Marine.

Needless to say, higher ranking, more malleable Marines aped Zinni in impersonating Uncle Remus’s Tar Baby — not saying nuttin’.

It is conceivable that yet another sharply-saluting Marine, departing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, may be tapped by Trump to take Mattis’s job. If that happens, it will add to President Trump’s bizarre penchant for picking advisers hell bent on frustrating the objectives he espoused when he was running for office, some of which — it is becoming quite clear — he genuinely wants to achieve.

Trump ought to unleash Mattis now, and make sure Mattis keeps his distance from the Pentagon and the Military-Industrial Complex, before he is asked to lead an insurrection against a highly vulnerable president — as Gen. Smedley Butler was asked to do back in the day. Butler said no.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer before working as a CIA analyst for the next 27 years. Ray admits to a modicum of bias against Marine officers, but not those with whom he worked back in the day. He is co-creator of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, which includes Marines who remember what Semper Fi means.

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147 comments for “COMMENTARY: Send the Mad Dog to the Corporate Kennel

  1. Hrabanus
    January 3, 2019 at 05:02

    Ray, how do you explain Brennan’s tweet of 20 Dec.?:

    “Okay, Republicans. How much longer are you going to let this farcical “presidency” continue? At a time of such political, economic, and geo-strategic turbulence — both nationally and globally — are you waiting for a catastrophe to happen before acting? Disaster looms!”

    Seems pretty extreme. Is it desperation? Is it just that he fears being exposed for his agency’s intervention in the 2016 election?

    Or is he intimating that Trump will lead us to war and/or economic meltdown? (By withdrawing from Syria(!), or decreasing corporate taxes?)

    Or is he intimating that he and his friends have plans to start a war and/or economic meltdown, if necessary, in order to remove Trump?

    Other possible explanations? It really is very odd for a former Director to say such a thing. It cries out for explanation.

    I’m sure many people would be interested in your answer.

  2. Brian James
    December 31, 2018 at 23:55

    Sep 11, 2011 General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

    “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!”

    July 23, 2006 Secret 2001 Pentagon Plan to Attack Lebanon

    Bush’s Plan for “Serial War” revealed by General Wesley Clark. “[The] Five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan” (Pentagon official quoted by General Wesley Clark) According to General Wesley Clark–the Pentagon, by late 2001.

  3. Unfettered Fire
    December 28, 2018 at 11:14

    Here are two installations of a four-part series on the decades of fraud in the MIC, anything to keep the now near trillion/yr gravy train going:

    • Brian James
      December 31, 2018 at 23:59

      This is just from 2013 alone. Dec 21, 2013 Black Budget: US govt clueless about missing Pentagon $trillions

      The Pentagon has secured a 630 billion dollar budget for next year, even though it’s failed to even account for the money it’s received since 1996. A whopping 8.5 trillion dollars of taxpayer cash have gone to defence programmes – none of which has been audited.

  4. bevin
    December 26, 2018 at 21:09

    It ought to be impossible to discuss Mattis without considering his greatest achievement, the signature campaign of his military career: the assault on Fallujah in 2005.
    An article in the Independent by Patrick Cockburn kooks at a recent study of the medium tern results of that massacre

    “….The study, entitled “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009”, is by Dr Busby, Malak Hamdan and Entesar Ariabi, and concludes that anecdotal evidence of a sharp rise in cancer and congenital birth defects is correct. Infant mortality was found to be 80 per 1,000 births compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan and 9.7 in Kuwait. The report says that the types of cancer are “similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionising radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout”.

    “Researchers found a 38-fold increase in leukaemia, a ten-fold increase in female breast cancer and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumours in adults. At Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukaemia, but in Fallujah Dr Busby says what is striking is not only the greater prevalence of cancer but the speed with which it was affecting people…”
    Mattis earned his Mad Dog nickname. In any decent society he would not be tolerated in society. The notion that his views on loyalty or even technical military matters are of interest any but psychiatric clinicians will puzzle, one hopes, our descendants.

  5. Mario
    December 26, 2018 at 14:22

    Just wondering why Susan Lindauer, cousin to Andrew Card, chief of staff to G W Bush, has been muffled for a long time about the War in Iraq and other related matters? Has anyone seen her videos as she speaks out and tells it all? You will not see it on the MSM.

    Click on link below to watch Susan Lindauer:

    • Skip Scott
      December 29, 2018 at 09:45

      Thank you Mario. Very interesting.

      • Mario
        December 29, 2018 at 19:28

        Glad that you had a chance to view it Skip! …. and just imagine if 15 – 20 million Americans got a chance to view and hear Susan Lindauer. Imagine what could happen!

  6. sam fetters
    December 26, 2018 at 12:09

    Longtime Trump ally, Erik Prince, founder of the former Blackwater, has been lobbying Mafia Don Trump to privatize the wars in Syria and Afghanistan.
    He penned an op-ed, titled “The MacArthur Model for Afghanistan”, outlining his plans here:

    This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil,” the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

    Blackwater, which Prince sold, has been renamed several times is now known as Academi since 2011.
    In 2014, Academi became a division of Constellis Holdings.
    Constellis Holdings is primarily owned by Apollo Global Management.

    Constellis is one of the more probable contractors to assume the privatization of the U.S. mission in the Syrian war.
    The largest institutional shareholders of Apollo Global Management include:
    Capital world Investors, Fidelity (FMR), JP Morgan, Deutsch Bank, Capital Research, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and other of the largest money-management and investment firms, whom operate collaboratively (even existing as the largest shareholders of each), forming virtual monopolies amongst the largest “competing” corporations, via large stock holdings, in most every single industry.

    These firms operate collaboratively, much like a cartel, even existing as the largest shareholders of each other.
    As example, the largest shareholders of JP Morgan include:
    Vanguard, State Street, BlackRock, Fidelity (FMR), T Rowe Price, Bank of America, Wellington Management, Geode, Northern Trust, Capital Research, etc….

    These firms are among the primary architects of the neo-feudal American Planned Market Economy. That is, “capitalism” for only the .01 percent.

    Their held corporate assets profit no only by creating global and environmental conflict, but also by selling the “solutions” to those created problems.

    A newly formed Blackwater, again with involvement by Prince, may be another of the more probable contractors to assume the privatization of the U.S. mission in the Syrian war..

    Prince, brother of Mafia Don Trump’s U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, was not only part of Mafia Don’s transition team, but also is being investigated by the F.B.I. for arranging back-channels between Mafia Don Trump and Putin on January 11, 2017.
    Prince also attended a meeting in August 2016, with Mafia Don Trump Jr. and Mohammad bin Salman (along with other representatives from Saudi Arabia, whom offered help to the Trump presidential campaign.

    Prince currently heads the private equity firm Frontier Resource Group and is chairman of Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group Ltd.
    Frontier Services Group (FSG) own stated main corporate mission as helping Chinese businesses to work safely in Africa.
    Frontier Services Group (FSG) is a state-owned enterprise (SOE) of China, which means it is a business enterprise where the state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership.
    The parent company of FSG is Citic Group.
    CITIC Group Corporation Ltd., formerly the China International Trust Investment Corporation, is a state-owned investment company of the People’s Republic of China.

    Prince’s plan has the backing & support of Trump ally Steve Bannon.

    It has been reported that former Trump Advisors/staffers H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, and others have opposed this privatization plan.

    Their replacement has paved the way for Prince’s plan to move forward.

    Mafia Don Trump is a master Entertainer. He is a master of diversions & distractions.
    He keeps people busily distracted on other issues, as larger plans like this develop.

  7. Jon Dhoe
    December 26, 2018 at 11:27

    There’s a website of a “secret” group of 1%ers, which came out of plot to overthrow Roosevelt.

    • Deniz
      December 26, 2018 at 19:00

      Thanks for the link, great read.

  8. Trowbridge H. Ford
    December 26, 2018 at 09:19

    Nothing about his replacement Patrick Shanahan who is even worse, knowing everything about covert weapons while running Boeing, and using them now.

    • Sam Fetters
      December 26, 2018 at 12:07

      Longtime Trump ally, Erik Prince, founder of the former Blackwater, has been lobbying Mafia Don Trump to privatize the wars in Syria and Afghanistan.
      He penned an op-ed, titled “The MacArthur Model for Afghanistan”, outlining his plans here:

      It has been reported that former Trump Advisors/staffers H.R. McMaster, Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, and others have opposed this privatization plan.

      Their ouster/replacement has paved the way for Prince’s plan to move forward.

      This privatization plan has the support of folks like Steve Bannon, Erik Prince, and former Lt. Col. Oliver North, whom is currently the President of the N.R.A.

      Erik Prince once griped that “‘If it was not for the debacle of Charlottesville,’ [Charlottesville Unite the Right rally] he says, ‘and the lady ]Heather Heyer ] that got killed and all the political blowback that fell on the president… I’m almost sure he would not have made the decision [against it] today.'”

      So, now that 15 months have passed, Trump is strongly pursuing this mission of Prince.

      The U.S. has now most fully been hijacked by White Nationalists, criminals, mercenaries, and drug runners.

      The Military-Industrial Complex is back, BIG TIME!

      • Bob
        December 26, 2018 at 15:37

        I don’t subscribe to the WSJ. What is this privatization plan? Is the pullout of US troops part of it?

  9. Tom Spanne
    December 24, 2018 at 17:21

    Mad Dog must have hung out with Hunter S. Thompson. Both being severely disturbed individuals.

  10. fred
    December 24, 2018 at 13:07

    it is also possible that it is all an act

  11. December 24, 2018 at 11:37

    Cool. Thanks.

  12. Kim Lane
    December 24, 2018 at 10:42

    My prediction: trump will be assassinated followed by a military coup d’etat and declaration of martial law in the U.S. I.
    (the United States of Israel).

    • Virginia
      December 25, 2018 at 12:23

      My prediction is we will see a false flag, another 9/11 or other tragic event.

    • Not Sure
      December 26, 2018 at 12:18

      The deep state has learned it is riskier with video camera’s everywhere and on ever cell phone to succeed in doing actual assassination without implicating themselves. It is easier with their control of the editors and reporters at the major media outlets to do character assassinations and accuse, try and convict their opponents in the media. Drum up support for actual investigations which can be used to undermine any administration which doesn’t toe the line and than use those investigations to find reason for impeachment and removal from office.

  13. December 24, 2018 at 07:57

    The fact that Mattis is blindly loyal to Presidents who execute war, yet he draws the line at supporting a President who calls for the removal of US troops from a country who we unconstitutionally and illegally invaded, is quite revealing as to the character of old Mad Dog himself.

    The fact that “liberals” are singing the praises of Mattis as though he is some noble gentleman or a kindly grandfather figure is likewise revealing as to the degree of collective madness wrought by Russiagate and rag piece journalism in the era thereof.

    • Bob
      December 26, 2018 at 16:09

      It was only the last straw and it was not simply about leaving but about Trump not consulting anyone and just abruptly declaring quits via tweet. I’m betting Mattis wanted to leave by the time he was sent to lead troops to the US/Mexico border to defend against imaginary “invading” caravans. But his main gripes were regarding the trashing of all allies, cozying up to autocrats and destroying our institutions.

      Trump is simply not an adult — that is the main point people are making (liberals and conservatives alike btw). However, even toddlers dispense some new ideas at times because they know nothing and have no information to form hard positions. Not particularly great as a leader overall though I would submit and not someone fun to work under. Everyone leaves.

  14. Gregory Ghica
    December 24, 2018 at 00:17

    All graduates from Military Academies are trained to fight wars. As such they long to be leading the country in a war and become “heroes”. Unfortunately, with the help of our politicians in Washington their dreams always come true. However, what is very upsetting is their hypocrisy. All their careers they obey the orders and quietly take their pay check every month, without having the guts to tel the truth. And, after they retire the bash and criticize the government, write inflamatory books and give accusatory speeches, because they don’t have to obey orders anymore. They are disgusting. I don’t think Mattis will be different.

    Prof. Gregory Ghica

  15. December 23, 2018 at 20:32

    Just tweeted what follows (and, yes, I’m serious about possible Putsch; the stars are aligned.)

    Ray McGovern
    ? @raymcgovern

    It’s a first! Trump heeded my advice :)) in last paragraph of …, has told Mattis, Go Now!, before angry Establishment can enlist his help, as it tried with Gen. Smedley Butler, to mount Putsch. Butler had seen “War Is Racket,” rebuffed the overture. Mattis??? Secret Service should be on alert.

    • Realist
      December 24, 2018 at 05:29

      Secret Service failed to protect JFK, did it not?

      • David Otness
        December 25, 2018 at 04:55

        They were ordered to stand down from many basic and stringent security protocols in Dallas Nov 22, 1963.
        Refer to Colonel Fletcher Prouty (numerous videos on YouTube) for a trove of information regarding that date and those times in general, particularly regarding the CIA. Prouty is impeccable. He was in the Pentagon with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also liaised with the CIA from its inception. His book “The Secret Team” fills in any blanks about the CIA up until the early 70s. It came out relatively concurrent with the release of the Pentagon Papers.
        Another person of interest is Robert “Tosh” Plumlee, a FB friend who saw and did much flying for the CIA (for both Batista and Castro) depending on the Agency’s whims du jour. He also ran guns south and nose candy north in the Dias de los Contras.
        “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive….”

    • Sam F
      December 24, 2018 at 08:03

      Antiwar dot com notes that Mattis is to be replaced pro tem by the current deputy SecDef Shanahan. His replacement will show the extent of any reassertion of Trump’s campaign promise to get us out of foreign wars that benefit only the MIC/Israel/KSA/WallSt and the Congress they bribe.

    • elmerfudzie
      December 25, 2018 at 07:27

      Ray, speaking of a Putsch, it happened a long time ago and it occurred here in the good ‘ol U.S. of A. My (redacted) commentary was a response to that VIPS open letter dated October 9;

      Six months ago, Chief of Staff General Valeri Guerassimov telephoned General Dunford warning him directly, that should any US military intervention occur near Damascus, Russian forces would target fifty three U.S. ships (and aircraft carriers) currently stationed in the Mediterranean-gulf areas and further, that our POTUS be apprised of Russia’s new military weaponry and capabilities…. It’s important for CONSORTIUMNEWS readers to note; not a communique’ directly between Putin and Trump but between the Pentagon and those central offices of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Hummmm, go figure that one….

      • Skip Scott
        December 25, 2018 at 09:01

        Very interesting. Do you have a link to support that conversation?

        • elmerfudzie
          December 26, 2018 at 18:48

          Reply to Skip Scott from ElmerFudzie: Reference link you requested posted here @ third paragraph down.

          • Skip Scott
            December 29, 2018 at 09:48


  16. Henk Middelraad
    December 23, 2018 at 17:52

    Ray : It evidently has not received in your mind that focused mental targeted efforts based on the receiving individual have massive results when based on astrological awareness of the targeted individual although communicated many times to you in the past.

    A complete review of any high elite comments on TV can be easily countered regardless of location in the world !!!

    Just keep snoozing in the stone age!!!!

  17. December 23, 2018 at 17:38

    Wouldn’t it be the most excellent development for humanity were the following oft-mentioned visionary concept to gain unstoppable momentum worldwide, until then becoming acknowledged and accepted as the #1, top-of-the-list New Year’s Resolution for Year 2019? Who on this 4th planet from the Sun could oppose such an immeasurably positive, healthy, worthwhile goal?

    The #1 Resolution for 2019: Establishment of true, permanent, universal peace on Earth – for the 1st time in human history.

    • Sam F
      December 24, 2018 at 08:17

      Yes, but as to “who on this [3rd] planet from the Sun could oppose” universal peace, I would suggest those trapped in the tribal narratives of the bully boy tyrants who rise to control business, military, religion, and mass media. Which is all those of insufficient education to see themselves. And those without the courage and moral strength to differ from their tribe, due to social and economic dependencies.

      • December 27, 2018 at 00:08

        Sam F,

        Thank you for the correction and thoughtful response. Darn Alzheimer’s … Edit: “Who on this 3rd planet from the Sun could oppose…?” Our guess is that if Martians on the 4th planet away from the Sun were ever discovered, they would also, like humanity on Earth, be unanimous in supporting the magnificent concept of establishing true peace on Earth.

        Thank you again. Peace.

    • sam2
      December 24, 2018 at 08:23

      A moderate friendly reply by Sam was put into “moderation” at 7:21 AM ET.
      It contained no words of race, ethnicity, impropriety, derogation, etc.

  18. Jeff Rudisill
    December 23, 2018 at 00:08

    As a (former?) Ssgt in the USMCR, I was “indoctrinated” early on in boot camp that the Corp wanted Marines who could think. My Sr. Drill Instructor exuded integrity and honor. Later experiences validated such integrity, as when I was the only Marine in the Company to refuse to donate to, for me, a questionable “cause”. The Sgt. Maj. acknowledged my principled position, and, though disappointed that the Company would not achieve 100% participation, recognized my dedication to principle.

    I was also exposed to the “gung-ho” attitude of devotion to higher authority, irrespective of principle, so I quite understand the point that Mr. McGovern is making. I’m pleased that he recognizes the perhaps rare exception, when US Marines stand for principle over “group think.”

  19. Leery in Lyon
    December 22, 2018 at 23:57

    Jeez. I’d forgotten all about the possibility of a military coup. I’m more concerned about one with the DeVos bunch, who are pushing Pence… the Christian Fascists at Council for National Policy.
    I wonder which would be worse? Probably the latter.

    • punkyboy
      December 23, 2018 at 10:56

      Americans ignore Pence, and the Christian Dominionists, at their peril. Another leg on that stool is the connection to Israel as a necessary stepping stone to the return of their “savior.” Too many powerful people in the military and our government espouse this crap. I fear they are not above helping that vision along.

      • Skip Scott
        December 23, 2018 at 12:46

        You go that right! I saw a bunch of them on Diego Garcia. The Air Force out of Colorado Springs was loaded with them.

      • December 24, 2018 at 16:29

        The global elite are inbred socio/psychopaths. They are the descendants of the ancient ruling orders. The Knights Templars were one of the first organized, institutionalized international banksters, and we’re the lead of many religious crusades. The Knights of Malta, were formerly, in the Crusades, known as the Knights Hospitalliers. When the Templars were crushed the Catholic, I.E., universal Church, awarded much of their property to the Knights Hospitalliers/Rhodes/Malta. At some point, perhaps culminating with the Kennedy assassination, the banksters reasserted their dominance as creators of debt money and now control the Malta military machine.

        To this day the largely Zionist Banksters, 33rd degree Freemasons are the old Templars who fled to Switzerland and continued ruling the world of finance, while the militant Knights of Malta were granted sanctuary by the Vatican and fill out the ranks of military and intelligence agencies.

        I say all this because if we have a people’s uprising it’s best to know who we are trying to overthrow so proper strategy can be devised.

        Has anyone noticed how the makeup of the Supreme Court has traditionally been a fairly even split between Catholics,
        Knights of Malta, and Zionists, Knights Templar?

  20. Colin Smith
    December 22, 2018 at 23:10

    And give us “Meathead” Malloy instead. He of the “We will beat you and beat you and beat you”. He’ll be much more entertaining.

  21. Antonio Costa
    December 22, 2018 at 19:30

    Secretary of Defense Chuck Hegel was the one and only person who looked to have what we needed. He wasn’t what the powers that be wanted and so he was quickly escorted out the door.

    In a nation so mad with war and domination, the fact that US the presence in Syria is illegal, in violation of a sovereign nation’s international rights, immoral and defies all codes of military conduct means nothing.

    Whether Trump knows what he’s doing or just reacting to constant haranguing is far from clear. He has no policy because he has no policy makers who comport with the tenants of his campaign. Instead he’s surrounding with neocons. Will “he” pick yet another?

  22. Yahweh
    December 22, 2018 at 18:39

    Nothing is going to change unless and until the common citizens are willing to give up their lives to make the change happen. There have been some real heroes who were willing to give up the ghost JFK, RFK, MLK….And the beat goes on….and the beat goes on…. unchallenged

  23. December 22, 2018 at 18:34

    Our institutions have become hollowed out shells without purposes congenial to the lives of our citizens. They are naught but pomp and circumstance and conduits for parasitism by those in charge.

    We need change, a renewal of real purpose for all of these institutions. They should exist to protect, defend and lighten the burdens of our people. Trump is not completely wrong, but he is a flawed instrument of change. He has been coopted by the Kochs who have NEVER had this country’s interest at heart only their own selfish objectives.

    If treason is to undermine the country and subverting the people’s will with propaganda, suborning perjury in the conduct of government, then the Kochs, the Mercers, the Coors and the Bushes are all traitors in the truest sense of that word. Collectively, they, their handlers and cronies have done nothing, but destroy the rule of law in this country since importing Gehlen and creating their vast octopus of “intelligence” agencies.

    • December 23, 2018 at 16:27

      You do understand the much maligned Koch brothers are opposed to wars of choice? Do you know the difference between a conservative and a libertarian?

      • Unfettered Fire
        December 28, 2018 at 10:59

        “If you’re not willing to kill everybody who has a different idea than yourself, you cannot have Frederick Hayek’s free market. You cannot have Alan Greenspan or the Chicago School, you cannot have the economic freedom that is freedom for the rentiers and the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) sector to reduce the rest of the economy to serfdom.” ~ Michael Hudson

        Neoliberalism, created and supported by libertarians, is a fictitious economic ideology founded upon financial myths and Orwellian doublespeak. MMT (modern monetary theory) has exposed all of its lies. It’s time to end this economic global fascism before libertarians realize their dream of replacing nations with charter cities.

        “In a libertarian society, there is no commons or public space. There are property lines, not borders. When it comes to real property and physical movement across such real property, there are owners, guests, licensees, business invitees and trespassers – not legal and illegal immigrants.” ~ Jeff Deist, president of the Mises Institute

        Former World Bank Staffer Explains How Neoliberalism Is Destroying The World

        More destructive than bombs, money has become the weapon of choice for the global elite, for the hidden hand of finance can plunder and conquer entire nations, assimilate whole cultures, exploit resources and rape the earth while forcing billions into poverty, all with the surprising stealth of pen-strokes and business contracts.
        Neoliberalism is the economic and political philosophic driving force in the world today. It suggests that human progress is the result of competition, best expressed by an extremist version of unfettered capitalism, where privatization of profits and socialization of losses are acceptable ethics, regardless of human and environmental costs incurred along the way.

        Neoliberalism is the killer plague of the 21st century. Neoliberalism is economic fascism. It is a criminal doctrine. Globalized neoliberalism privatizes public goods for private profit. Neoliberalism led by Washington with the shameful complicity of Europe has in the last fifteen years killed between 12 and 15 million people by wars, famine, deprived health services… forced refugees. Today a small world elite of corporate and Wall Street CEOs and selected politicians call the shots. ~Peter Koenig

    • Sam F
      December 24, 2018 at 23:07

      Good points and well stated. Treason is defined in the Constitution as (approx.) “making war upon these United States” but as economic war is now the norm, the oligarchy who bribe our politicians and judges, and own our mass media, are indeed traitors.

  24. Ann Garrison
    December 22, 2018 at 17:36

    Some are arguing that this will simply make way for Blackwater mercenaries and/or a no-fly zone over Syria. I don’t know that either claim is true, but both seem plausible.

    • Jeff Rudisill
      December 23, 2018 at 00:14

      Eric Prince’s mercenaries is an outside possibility, but the US enforcing a ” no-fly zone” over Syria would be suicide.

      • michael
        December 23, 2018 at 18:45

        Agreed. The Civil War is over, the US- and Saudi- (and Israel?) backed rebels, mostly foreign mercenaries (including ISIS) have lost. Best to cut the losses and stop provoking the Russians (who were invited into that sovereign nation). We still have NAZI Ukraine to sort out.
        If no one that we are “protecting” by our bases and soldiers are willing to pay, might as well bring them home. The economic hit men are now a global enterprise, no longer in American interests. Would be best and cheaper to replace soldiers with diplomats, but decreasing our military adventures would bring both self respect and a new view of Americans world wide.

      • Garrett Connelly
        December 23, 2018 at 23:46

        The other side may have better anti aircraft and anti missile missile defenses. And maybe some interesting radar tricks.

        President Trump has some areas I disagree with. Pull out of Syria and Afghanistan is a good place to start balancing the budget like a good and reasonable thinking president should.

    • elmerfudzie
      December 27, 2018 at 10:36

      Ann Garrison, any relation to Jim Garrison, the District Attorney of Orleans Parish? He’s my hero, a man’s man. When I think of him, I think, hope.

  25. Jared
    December 22, 2018 at 15:53

    Yes it was odd that Trump selected Mattis or Bolton. I can only imagine he did it out of a need to surround himself with people approved by mic and aipac types.

    Is he secure enough now to try something different?

  26. Vera Gottlieb
    December 22, 2018 at 15:11

    And one of the very sane ones too. Somehow Trump reminds me of those magicians…working with 3 cups and making you guess under which cup you’ll find the nut.

  27. December 22, 2018 at 15:06

    Beware the vampires also:
    December 22, 2018
    “The War Vampires”

    There are those that live and feed off war
    Their profits and jobs come from blood and gore
    Their companies are listed on the stock exchanges
    Their shares are blood soaked and in rising price ranges

    Killings and death is the results of their products
    Destruction and decimation is in their code of conduct
    Missiles and bombs are part of their deadly arsenals
    They could be called today’s corporate cannibals

    Executives dressed in expensive pin striped suits
    Offices in office towers to count their war making loot
    Aided and abetted by governments and politicians
    They love to watch the war action in “coalitions of the willing”

    They don’t participate or fight in the bloody battles
    As people are slaughtered, and killed like cattle
    Instead they watch on TV, countries under attack
    But there is no doubt: “They are accessories after the fact”

    Anyone speaking and talking of peace on earth
    Drives them into a frenzy, and they fear a dearth
    They can’t stand the hunger that might come to them
    If all the wars stopped, they would be bloodless again

    They may not pull the triggers or launch the deadly missiles
    But, they are just as guilty for war crimes: but are in denial
    They live off violence and killing, and for wars conspire
    They are evil and dangerous they are: The War Vampires…

    [more info at link below]

  28. Idimalink
    December 22, 2018 at 15:00

    Trump can knock out the Democratic liberal adulation of Mattis by ordering an investigation of Mattis for war crimes committed in Fallujah. Public revelation of the deliberate use of white phosphorus bombs and snipers on the civilian population would expose the Democratic liberals vicious support for war against peasants.

  29. December 22, 2018 at 14:10

    This article by Ray McGovern should be published in the Washington Post and NYTimes Opinion column. But that will never happen! Neither will Ray be interviewed on any mainstream media networks, including progressive radio stations! Those of us who hope (and pray) for peace rejoice in Ray’s writings and works to bring “peace on earth, good-will to all”– which includes exposing the phoniness of our so-called journalists praising Mattis, and because of their hatred of Trump, condemning anything he does! Carl Jung called such psychological positions/actions: projection. Centuries ago it was called finding “the scape goat”….Thanks to Ray and Glenn Greenwald and Stephen F. Cohen for daring to consistently speak truth to those in power!

  30. mike k
    December 22, 2018 at 12:25

    Mattis holds the same views as most of our “leaders” –

    During the supposed dark age of the Cold War from 1945 to 1989, the recognition that the Soviet Union was at least as militarily powerful as the United States imposed the disciplines of realism and restraint on US policymakers. But since the Berlin Wall came down, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and the Soviet Union peacefully disassembled, that restraint has vanished.
    Every US president since then really believes that the United States is unique in history and fated to remake the entire world in its own image. History is over, American triumph over the whole world is ensured. And since that globalist vision is inevitable, flawless, perfect and virtuous, it follows that every bombing campaign, every war, every imposition of economic sanctions, the toppling of every government and the destruction of every society that dares to disagree is divinely approved.

    • Sam F
      December 24, 2018 at 23:17

      Perhaps the delusion and hubris is inevitable in a thoughtless and selfish society freed of competing powers, as it is for the right wing bullies who rise to power in business and politics in an unregulated market economy. Few if any presidents since 1991 have shown sufficient modesty, reflection, self-criticism, or interest in truth and justice, to lead a nation. Those at the top of even modest heaps receive nothing but praise, whether nations or individuals.

  31. mike k
    December 22, 2018 at 12:08

    Test. (Without this, comments already made fail to appear for my PC.)

    • mike k
      December 22, 2018 at 12:09

      Now the comments come up – like magic.

      • Skip Scott
        December 22, 2018 at 13:41

        mike k-

        If you want to clean up the comment section from your test comment, just reload the page after you make the test comment, select “edit comment”, and then choose “delete”.

  32. December 22, 2018 at 11:25

    Nothing unites our political parties like the threat of ending our never-ending war!

    We Know How Trump’s War Game Ends

  33. December 22, 2018 at 10:30

    Struck by the amount of land and resources belonging to Syria still not under its control. I hope that nation is successful in putting the country back together again. Not easy, of course, but needs to be done.

    The Kurds are an interesting group who have called for a Kurdistan at least since WWI. They have been used by us, the Israelis and possibly others to destabilize the countries where they reside. And of course they attempted to use us. Stabilizing the Kurd issue by agreement between the countries where they reside is an essential part of securing a solution. The Kurds need to accept that the best deal they can get is to secure their rights as a minority in each of those countries.

    Did I read correctly that part of the deal between Erdogan and our President was that Turkey would buy their missiles instead of Russia? Our President is a piece of work. Everything a business deal.

    Hope everyone has a great holiday season.

  34. mike k
    December 22, 2018 at 09:53

    This is an excerpt from a piece explaining America’s real role in the world today:

    “But what is this “international order” except a world order of brutality, war and bribes, in which the liberties of the people are smashed and aggression and coercion are the primary tools of control. The Americans speak of their attempt to dominate the world as if it is a sacred thing, a gift from the gods, and presume to act as if they themselves are gods and any nation or people that rejects their domination are anathema, to be excommunicated from the international order, the mighty church of US imperialism, until they fall in line or are destroyed. Anyone who does not fall in line is automatically “authoritarian” and a rebel against their mafia “world order.”

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 22, 2018 at 10:53

      That must be a great link mike k, because it’s blocked…

      • mike k
        December 22, 2018 at 12:13

        Bob, just go o the new eastern outlook site for the whole article.

    • Mild - ly Facetious
      December 22, 2018 at 21:08

      We’re in an era and a place
      where a ‘Supreme Court’
      decides for & Legalizes
      state’s right to Create & Enforce
      voting RESTRICTIONS against US citizens.

      does the lifting up of a \Bret Kava Naugh
      portend lesser freedom or greater equality?

      an increasing refugee status-0f-existance?
      fenced inside enclaves of military prisons/
      police killings, poor schools / fiscal terrorism

      This IS america “where the weak get diss’d
      every day” by means of targeted aggressions
      and methods of control/categorical separations
      upon the Darwinian biased structured hierarchy
      of power ‘naturally selects’ the keys-to-the kingdom?

      Trump making the next SCOTUS appointment
      meant more foreclosure/harsher stricture,
      less self-actualization based upon fake “equality”
      nor ‘kinder/gentler’ promises but the realization
      of Huxley’s vision and Orwell’s Animal Farm.

      (Animal Farm is the key… .)

      Merry Christmas and
      Joy To The World
      of all those whose
      Hearts are Cleansed by
      the Blood of the Lamb !

  35. mike k
    December 22, 2018 at 09:41

    Dear Site Monitor, My comment was not posted, in spite of the response to my attempt to repost it that “my comment has already been posted.” Please correct this, and post my comment?

    • mike k
      December 22, 2018 at 09:42

      Thank you for posting my comment.

      • December 22, 2018 at 15:20

        Thank you for your wisdom.

  36. mike k
    December 22, 2018 at 09:13

    Going against the military, intelligence, propaganda, and crooked congress is not easy, and in fact it is proving impossible for Trump, however much his giant sized ego would like to make his word law. The Art of the Deal was written from the fantasy viewpoint of a mafia kingpin, but in the DC swamp Trump is just a tiny frog amongst some real monsters!

    • December 22, 2018 at 15:22

      See for the explanation.

    • Dunderhead
      December 22, 2018 at 15:22

      Mike thank you for that article, I was not familiar with that publication, it sounds like you are of the left which if you’re antiwar all the time I totally respect, anyway I hope you’re aware of, Strategic culture and Moon of Alabama, not to mention the various libertarian publications, anyway happy holidays, peace out.

  37. Tony
    December 22, 2018 at 08:56

    John Bolton has much in common with the neocons but he is not actually one.
    He has always been a Republican and was a supporter of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election.

    Goldwater’s views on nuclear weapons became gradually more moderate as time went on. I think he even advocated their elimination at one time.

    Sadly, Bolton has not made the same journey. He remains a very dangerous man.

  38. December 22, 2018 at 07:33

    Since Trump’s announcement was so ham handed can anyone give an example of a President Which has ended a war like these incursions and what they said? If the answer is no, then this is the gold standard of how it should be done since the act is unheard of.

  39. Robert Eversfield Manley Francis
    December 22, 2018 at 05:55

    Please tell me what Semper Fi means to a marine.

    • Claude Henry Smoot
      December 22, 2018 at 13:30

      Semper Fidelis. Latin for “always faithful”.

    • Brojo
      December 22, 2018 at 15:03

      Always a fifi.

    • Bart
      December 22, 2018 at 20:07

      Well, I was in during peacetime, but it ultimately means to be faithful to your squad, platoon, company, etc. You are taught in boot camp that they are all you may have to keep you alive.

    • Jeff Rudisill
      December 23, 2018 at 00:23

      For public consumption, Semper Fi has the traditional meaning of “Always Faithful”. For many in the Corp, it’s unspoken meaning is, “F*** you, Charlie. I got mine.”

  40. Realist
    December 22, 2018 at 05:51

    Thanks to our extremely bloated war budget and bellicose nature we have a plethora of dickheads to choose from for replacement of Mattis.

    • @ArielFornari
      December 23, 2018 at 02:19

      You’re more eloquent say, than Seneca, & in a streetwise fashion.

  41. Realist
    December 22, 2018 at 05:25

    I read Ray’s present article in I thought it was an insightful treatment of the symbiosis between American governance on the federal level and the American military, both elements plus the intel agencies usually working hand-in-glove for the primary benefit of the corporate elites. The welfare of the American people is not even an afterthought, they are treated more like a disposable resource than the targeted beneficiaries of anything.

    David Stockman also had an article published in the same issue of as Ray’s wonderful piece. Stockman, like Paul Craig Roberts, is part of a small but lasting wise residue of the Reagan administration, a rare component that operates beyond blind partisanship. I highly recommend reading Stockman’s current analysis (he revisits this constellation of issues regularly) of how Trump came to be elected, how he has survived the ongoing 2-year long coup attempt, why Russiagate and the ongoing hybrid war against Russia is totally bogus and self-destructive policy, and why Trump, with all his conspicuous flaws, is destined to fail (whether removed from office or not) leaving the country in a truly dire situation, but one it was fated to achieve no matter which of the candidates had been elected in 2016 and one which it arguably must endure to come out with a reclaimed functioning democracy and economy on the other side of the impending collapse.

    Personally, I think Stockman has the history pegged as completely and as competently as Robert Parry would have revealed it. I also think his cautions about the future are as credible as anyone’s who intends only truth-telling and avoiding partisan propaganda. After you’ve read Ray, go read this:

    • Bluffside
      December 22, 2018 at 11:22

      Thanks for your post, Realist.

      Not sure what the real point of this article is… Marines are “yes” people, first and foremost marching to orders, and there are few Marines truly capable of independent thinking?

      To say that Trump’s “one-man decision was equally stupid” is an understatement. Equally stupid decision-making doesn’t magically result in wise, skillful, or beneficial results.

      Yes, war is unhealthy for living beings, and the USA ‘s role in endlessly perpetuating it for profits is repugnant and evil. But that fact doesn’t undo the equally disturbing fact of the damage that the current President is unleashing on all of us as well. After all, his “yes-man” going along with that big ol’tax give away to the wealthy is surely the business equivalent of “Marine-think.”

      One fact doesn’t necessarily and automatically make another true. Both can be true at the same time. And that’s where Ray’s analysis is weak.

      Thanks again, Realist. I look forward to reading the articles you’ve cited.

      • Barry Baum
        December 22, 2018 at 13:36

        It’s a short article. Couldn’t possibly cover everything. In no way is Mr. McGovern apologising for Trump. I’ve heard him say several times that the Don is the worst president in US history. Which in itself is quite a feat.

        • @ArielFornari
          December 23, 2018 at 02:49

          From (neuron decompressed) overseas, we beg to differ with our kind MSM-bombarded Yankee counterparts. In our most humble opinion, we’re inclined to believe that Providence & Destiny, have divinely anointed the chosen caretaker of an empire in irrevesible decline. Having said that, us prodigal sons that have been scattered abroad for various & sundry reasons, do continually hope & pray, that upon our return to the decaying metropolis, there will be at least one 7-11 still standing after imperial collapse, so that at least we may indulge in the gluttonous sin of enjoying a Slurpee, accompanied by a chili hot dog.

      • Jeff Rudisill
        December 23, 2018 at 00:30

        Please don’t create the meme of “Marine-think”. I understand the parallel with Ray’s article, but a more correct reference is the widely accepted “Group Think.”

    • RnM
      December 22, 2018 at 16:38

      To “come out with a reclaimed functioning democracy and economy on the other side of the impending collapse.” There’s a river in Egypt that I would truly like to see again. De Nile. I just can’t bring myself to envision what sort of massive mass awakening would happen that could result in another Enlightement happening, and being followed by the ideas necessary to rescue the ideals of democracy being acknowledged and implemented by an elite of good will. Could we be seeing it in France, where the day-glo-green vests are hailing Trump and his nationalist populism, in reaction to the EU globalists? (Adolph Hitler was most likely not a Nationalist, but a runaway NWO stooge.)
      We may well be cooked, or at least still cooking, with the sous chef at the sherry.

    • Dave P.
      December 22, 2018 at 16:57

      An excellent article by Davis Stockman. Covers lot of ground and right on the mark. Thanks for the post, Realist.

  42. Alcuin
    December 22, 2018 at 04:18

    As a socially conservative Marine officer in the 80’s, I was shocked when I learned that the communist country I was hoping we were going to invade, Nicaragua, actually had much stricter abortion laws than the USA. That was the beginning of my questioning of the entire neoconservative imperialist paradigm. I gradually came to see the Neocons as modern-day Jacobins dedicated to world-wide revolution, which explains why so many on the Left covertly or overtly support them. Thank goodness for the many Marines and others who have seen through the propaganda and who support Veterans for Peace.

    • Hank Henry Himmler
      December 22, 2018 at 13:38

      Good to hear. Let’s hope many more active marines, sailors etc. wake up and defend your constitution from all enemies especially the corrupt domestic ones.

    • bardamu
      December 22, 2018 at 14:44

      Alcuin, I wonder whether you would accept the rephrasing “world-wide coup.”

      The difference, as I understand it, is that a revolution would involve the participation and input of a broad swath of common folk, however that might be betrayed later or even in the act. A coup d’etat would involve a small conspiracy placed centrally within a hierarchy that overthrows the hierarchy.

      It seems to me that the neocons’ ideas and practice favor the latter.

      • Alcuin
        December 23, 2018 at 07:08

        Bardamu, although I have more sympathy than most for Barruel’s interpretation of the French Revolution, and by implication most other revolutions, I would’t necessarily disagree with you. First send in the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy, and only if that fails send in the Marines.

    • dr. oliver clefairie
      December 27, 2018 at 12:43

      I dont know how you came up with your take on the Left but perhaps you should avoiding such sweeping statements? Try looking at the economic angle. Ask yourself what are the economic drivers in history? Did Reagans neocon advisors have an economic angle?

  43. Ingrid
    December 22, 2018 at 03:17

    Ray, who’s on your short list to replace Mattis?

    (Not asking who’s in the running, but who would make a good Sec. Def.?)

    • Realist
      December 22, 2018 at 05:43

      I’m not Ray, but I’ll say that anyone who OUGHT to get the job will never be considered for it by the War Party insiders who control the process.

      Obama obviously made a big mistake by appointing the RIGHT guy in conflict-averse Chuck Hagel, which meant they had to extract him from the office and replace him with war-mongering Ash Carter. You knew the president was not in charge of all war powers on the basis of that evidence. That and the fact the U.S. military always sabotaged any cease fire negotiated by Obama and Kerry with Russia in Syria.

      Trump SHOULD appoint someone intelligent, competent and restrained like Scott Ritter, but we will probably end up with someone more rash and belligerent than Donald Rumsfeld.

      • Bob Van Noy
        December 22, 2018 at 09:49

        Realist, thanks for pointing out the Chuck Hagel scenario under President Obama. Exactly, Mr. Hagel was the right appointment, I would have loved to have had access to that entire dynamic. I suspect that President Obama was aware that it was a good choice but was overruled.

  44. Pft
    December 22, 2018 at 01:46

    Trump hired Mattis and the rest of his swamp. If he cant manage his people he has no business being President

    US does not need boots on the ground to cause mischief in Syria. Large base right on Syrian border in Iraq, and you can bet special forces and private military will be at work to protect key assets. Blowback from the Kurds real possible as they move to align with Damascus for protection from Turkey. I imagine Erdogan plans to utilize those Al Nusra fighters he is protecting in Idlib against the Kurds, and Russia and Syria will be happy to see go even if it is to the NE as they would be replacing the US.

    US seeking a no fly zone in the NE after the pullout to prevent Russia from intervening. In the end Al Nusra/Al qaeda will give the US an excuse to rengage on the pretense of protecting the Kurds and fighting AlNusra /Al Qaeda, or whatever name is given to them at the time

    Meanwhile Bolton has announced an African and Latin American strategy to counter BRICS that could mean the ME will be given a breather from our mischief.

    Given Bolton and Trump are Bibi puppets they are likely up to no good in the ME, so dont be fooled.

  45. J Garbo
    December 22, 2018 at 01:38

    I still find it hard to believe that anyone thinks Trump chooses these lunatics. He was installed by DS handlers and does, ultimately, after his juvenile tantrums, what he’s told. He must take the idiots foisted on him by his controllers. Perhaps his only defense is the crazy incoherence of his rants, his best hope of driving away those sent to steer him.

    • AnneR
      December 22, 2018 at 09:39

      I have wondered this all along, too – not that all of his appointees are forced on him, but that those, like Mattis, Pompeo, Bolton – and the VP – were to ensure that he didn’t withdraw from Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq. Of course, I doubt that he has anything approaching a coherent foreign policy beyond keeping on side with Saudia, Israel (for both familial and personal financial reasons).

      The best foreign policy would be for this country to mind its own business, close all its bases around the world, reduce the standing military to small numbers, stop bolstering the profits of military materiel manufacturers, reduce if not eliminate the nuclear stockpile, close down the Pentagon, forget the “border wall” (an environmental disaster if built). Turn instead, for instance, to rebuilding this country’s infrastructure – lots of real jobs and improved lives for those who’ve lost manufacturing and mining employment. Fully fund medicare for all; construct plenty of social housing – which would have a knock-on effect of reducing rents across the private sector…

      In other words – cut down to peanuts the Offense Budget and use those monies to the real benefit of all Americans, rather than is the case at present where only the 1-10% reap any.

      (As a sidebar, there should be time limits on Congressional people. No one should be able to milk the public purse – while denying the poorest housing, medical care, decent incomes and so on – for decades.)

      Anyway, as ever a good piece by Mr McGovern. (Mattis is getting hagiographies before he dies!)

      • Skip Scott
        December 22, 2018 at 13:34

        As for Congress, I believe their pension is %80 of their paycheck for life after only 5 years service. Plus a platinum health care package, and a cushy job from whoever they were carrying water for while in office. Term limits is a red herring without addressing these issues as well.

      • Sam F
        December 23, 2018 at 00:18

        Well said, Annie.

    • Bluffside
      December 22, 2018 at 11:26

      J Garbo: he** yes!

  46. F. G. Sanford
    December 22, 2018 at 01:29

    There was apparently a phone conversation between Erdogan and The President in which Erdogan asked, “Why are you still in Syria if ISIS has been defeated?” The President turned to Bolton and Pompeo, and asked, “Is that true?” Finding themselves backed into a corner by two world leaders, and without sufficient time or imagination to come up with a convoluted neocon obfuscation to cloud reality, they said, “Well…yes.” President Trump thereby made an evidence-based decision which, for the first time in about fifty years, reimposed the Constitutionally mandated civilian-military “chain of command”. Mattis is no doubt miffed. It’s what one might expect from a “warrior monk”…whatever that implies. But hey, Semper…Fido! If President Trump sticks to his proverbial guns, this event will one day be regarded as a profile in courage the likes of which the world has not seen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Hail to the Chief!

    • December 22, 2018 at 07:44

      My thoughts as well

    • Bob Van Noy
      December 22, 2018 at 09:36

      As always F.G. Sanford you’re on to it. I’m linking an article from Defend Democracy Press that explains more of the dynamic. Of note, this is one of my go to sites for a more diverse perspective, one of the more appealing aspects of the site is the placing of prior reporting within the piece and all appropriate reporting by them at the end of the article. By visiting the articles at the end one can get a quick overview of that particular issue…

      Thank you Ray McGovern especially for highlighting Smedley Butler.

      • Bob Van Noy
        December 22, 2018 at 09:40

        Here is a link to Smedley Butler for those who don’t know about him:

      • Skip Scott
        December 25, 2018 at 09:12

        Thanks Bob. Interesting link.

        • Bob Van Noy
          December 26, 2018 at 09:29

          Thanks Skip…

    • @ArielFornari
      December 23, 2018 at 00:43

      You do have a point friend-As in cigar-chomping LeMay (didn’t he invent the defensive box formation for B-17s/B-24s for carpet bombing Germany in WWII?) advising Kennedy to bomb Cuba, to which Kennedy said nay, & wasn’t Kennedy killed about a year after that? And as to psychopath killer Mattis’s metamorphosis into “warrior monk”, wouldn’t he be more of the rogue Shaolin faction, preferring the tiger vs. monkey stance against mild mannered Caine, in one of those dusty Southern California studio sets?

    • oc
      December 27, 2018 at 12:52

      it would be interesting even useful to be present at these oval office meetings if only to clear up any lingering doubts about the incompetence and conniving of these so called ‘managers’ of power- the next best thing is to read a good critical history, see eg the Untold History by Kuznick and Stone. Google the Kennan Memo from ~1948.

  47. Joe Tedesky
    December 21, 2018 at 23:57

    In this not very exciting too read article Reuter’s mentions Senator Tom Cotton as a possible candidate for Secretary of Defense. Candidates to replace Mathias with a ‘Zionist pedigree’ is what you should expect to be ‘Mad Dogs’ new replacement.

    I’m questioning to if Trump is reacting to threats from Erodogan over the Khashoggi murder is what prompted Trump to remove U.S. troops from Syria. If so then is Trump being blackmailed? And what about Gulen? What is driving Trump’s decision that he even ignores Israel? Now that Erdogan has free reign over the fate of the Kurds, will his alliance with Putin remain secure? So many moving parts …. geez what a puzzle to contemplate an outcome.

    No matter what it appears that Trump has embarked upon a lonely journey up against his entire government, as agendas collide into a frenzy to reach each parties goals. This is not a good sign for anyone who sits in the infamous Oval Office… good luck to whoever needs it.

    And Ray there are plenty smart Marines… go easy Sir.

  48. Sam F
    December 21, 2018 at 23:37

    Trump’s mistakes of “picking advisers hell bent on frustrating the objectives he espoused” seems likely due to naivete and insecurity when surrounded by the 2400-strong NSC mind-control machine. If we had a National Council of diplomacy, humanity, benevolence, or progress instead of “security”, we would have had no wars since WWII, far better security, and would have rescued half the world from poverty. But the MIC never gave up their WWII ascent to political power.

    Mr. Trump is weakened by lack of experience in policy areas, sufficient to overcome the entrenched-groupthink agencies, and lack of a party that could supply experienced agency heads able to implement a platform. His appointees have been utterly disgraceful Hollywood buffoons.

    Yet he could actually rescue his reputation by using executive overreach to get money out of elections and mass media, by simply declaring a national emergency until the reforms are enacted, which is certainly true. Then he could demand that a truly representative Congress take back its power from himself, the executive, by giving it back to them on that condition. Perhaps he will advisors altogether.

    • Sam F
      December 21, 2018 at 23:43

      That is, perhaps he has the strength to change advisors altogether.

    • Silly Me
      December 22, 2018 at 08:02

      Sounds like presidential suicide.

      • Sam F
        December 22, 2018 at 15:56

        Not sure in what sense you mean that.

        Executive overreach could restore democracy by investigating Congress and the judiciary, tossing out the bribed and influenced, appointing new judges and holding new elections, demanding the constitutional amendments and throwing out Congress repeatedly until they are passed. With due preparation the mass media can be run by the state universities until Congress legislates regulated and popularly-funded mass media corporations. A nonconforming president like Trump could restore democracy that way, of course taking great risks as you suggest.

        • Bob Van Noy
          December 23, 2018 at 09:12

          Excellent Sam F., I’m always surprised by your ability to imagine new approaches to possible restoration, following deep trouble.

          • Sam F
            December 24, 2018 at 19:04

            Thanks, Bob, your spirit and comments are valued here at CN. The article you linked above is very sensible.

  49. December 21, 2018 at 23:27

    Who would be a good choice? Love to know your ideas, and tweet them to our ‘twitter-in-chief’.

    • December 23, 2018 at 16:46

      I can think of several. Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Scott Ridder, Bill Binney, heck even Michael Flynn. Problem is none of these choices would be confirmed by the Congress.

  50. elmerfudzie
    December 21, 2018 at 23:01

    Speaking of mad dogs, would a warehouse for precious metals maintain a pack of long haired collies to guard the fence? No, more than likely, trained dobermans or German shepherds would be the preferred choice . Point being, that military academies tend to attract, elect then groom, a specific type of solder such as “mad dog” Mattis. As a nation, we got what we paid for, a popular commander, personage and high brow, a trained, intelligent killer. He’s not to blame in any way, we are!..for letting our government do whatever it wanted to do. CONSORTIUMNEWS readers shouldn’t be surprised that Cain’s progeny gravitate towards the armed forces, military academies and West Point.

    As I have previously commented (in October), our nations’ top brass, usually retired military, find their way through the revolving door policy and new employment opportunities within corporate entities like the Carlyle Group, or that is to say, Henry Kravis’ KKR, who currently employs former General, David Petraeus.

    The more important question, the more relevant focus, for our readerships attentions should begin by looking back into recent American history. There’s one damn good way to avert the rise of these mad dog types, that is to reduce the “endless war for endless peace” economy we now have and at the same time, close our ears to their associated MSM propaganda machine.

    The Indochina War and it’s financial support was severely weakened by a War Tax resistance popular movement. By 1965 the rise of the “No Tax for War in Vietnam Committee,” managed to bring the national consciousness so as to beg the question, why war bonds were not being issued?, why no corporate tax for the war effort? but most importantly, why did this financial support for endless war evolve into a continuous bleeding of hard earned monies? For example; borrowing against, funds within the Social Security Administration? Those funds accumulated from the labors of our citizenry at large, subtracted from their weekly pay checks, stashed into the “so called Locked Funds” and into an interest bearing social security reserve account. The war mongers and their bought and paid for stooges in the legislative branch our government have NO intention of replenishing or replacing in kind (the buying power of monies taken from the 1970’s and 1980’s), what in essence they stole, in order to support a projected and well planned global military expansion and associated war effort(s). Visit Dr Henry Gaffney Jr. and the CNA corporation (Pentagon new map of the world)

    Let’s return to 1965 again, what happened? We all now know or can provide, a few good guesses. The CFR, beltway leaders, manufactures and POTUS Johnson had a series of closed door meetings, where the moguls in production said in effect, we’re pulling out of the USA, no use taxing us for future wars. The legislators said among themselves, we’ll need to pilfer it from somewhere else and the representatives of the MIC, found within the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) gave an approving nod to dropping the gold standard, began western Occident fictionalization by bankers, abused the reserve currency status of the USD, promote consumerism not finished product production. Thus eventually, they conspired to gather up the fictive and fiat dollars necessary to create a new global order, at the expense, in terms of blood and treasure, of every western citizen, except themselves.

    “Let them eat cake”, is their last, big mistake. Sound familiar? Listening Macron? Listening MIC? MSM? and CFR? Not yellow vests folks, we’re not lounging about in smokers weskits, not Yellow vests, more like, Yellow Jackets, each with a stinger, and each with an ominous bright yellow stripe! It’s only just begun!

    • Sam F
      December 23, 2018 at 00:35

      I like that spirit, although there may be too much public confusion and amorality to organize any backlash even in a major depression. The opposition would be fragmented and pursuing disparate wild visions of the enemy and the goal. Surveillance technology and opportunists would betray them. They will try to make revolution on their iPads and just ignore the lack of results.

  51. Don Bacon
    December 21, 2018 at 22:44

    Thank you, Ray McGovern, especially for the Smedley Butler reference. I started the Smedley Butler Society back about 15 years ago, naively thinking that we could stop these terrible wars. I was wrong, because of people like Mattis (also a Marine general).
    Five unforgettable quotes by James Mattis (He will be missed?):

    >1. ‘It’s quite fun to shoot them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.’
    >2. ‘There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.’
    >3. ‘I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.’
    >4. ‘Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.’
    >5. ‘There are some people who think you have to hate them in order to shoot them. I don’t think you do.’. . .here

    Some unforgettable actions by the Mad Dog:

    Gen. James Mattis earned the nickname“Mad Dog” for leading U.S. Marines into battle in Fallujah, Iraq, in April 2004. In that assault, members of the Marine Corps, under Mattis’ command, shot at ambulances and aid workers. They cordoned off the city, preventing civilians from escaping. They posed for trophy photos with the people they killed.
    Each of these offenses has put other military commanders and members of the rank and file in front of international war crimes tribunals. The doctrine that landed them there dates back to World War II, when an American military tribunal held Japanese Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita accountable for war crimes in the Philippines. His execution later was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.? . .here

    Don’t let the door hit ya, Jimbo.

    • Alcuin
      December 22, 2018 at 11:05

      Many thanks for the links. I heard similar things about Mattis from a former Blackwater contractor who was in Fallujah.

    • elmerfudzie
      December 23, 2018 at 10:07

      Don Bacon, Mattis is not the first or will he be the last callous and extremely violent general. We can’t count on a heavenly blessing such as the personage of general IKE (Eisenhower) He was brought forth at a time when our nation was much more prayerful and religious. Today, we cannot depend on the general public, their civic duty to be vigilant, so naturally the wars just go on and on. Congress did nothing to stop his appointment because their re-election (s) depend on monies from the MIC. In fact the congress had to go out of it’s way to appoint him (skirting some statute)

      I suppose we can begin, with honest campaign finance reform, an overhaul of the Judicial branch of our government. Public outcry is a necessary component here, to initiate the prosecution of government officials against cabinet members or Pentagon officialdom, where evidence shows that war crimes may have been promoted or committed.

      Frankly, the western Occident citizenry at large are now completely preoccupied with paying the rent, filling their bellies and finding a decent job(s) . To wit, the French Yellow Vests and Hungary riots about “slave laws”. As I’ve commented herein, it’s only just begun. In my view, this was a deliberate strategy by the war mongers; to bust union organizing in the west, transfer wealth up to the whole machinery of war making. Thus, the rise of an evil empire is a direct result of moving the manufacture of low tech items (microwaves, dishwashers, even automobiles and the like) to the Asian pacific which in turn left the door wide open in the USA to focusing our economy on very high tech drones, jets, bombs and advanced weaponry of every kind…no solution in sight

  52. Darby
    December 21, 2018 at 21:41

    Again informative and to the point. I’m hoping we manage to get out of the war business for a while.

  53. Jeff Harrison
    December 21, 2018 at 20:51

    There’s a reason why you don’t have military officers populating the upper reaches of government. The military doesn’t know how to make peace. They only know how to make war.

    • Realist
      December 22, 2018 at 06:09

      I’m still waiting for that “peace dividend” that the late President Bushdaddy promised us after Cold War 1.0 ended.

      The founding fathers never intended for the United States to keep a standing army in peace time. How often have we seen an actual peace time in the whole history of this country? We’ve fought wars nearly continuously, though most were never formally declared by the Congress as required under the Constitution.

      Actually, starting with George Washington, a LOT of U.S. presidents have been military officers and even the very top five-star generals. Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, Pierce, Grant, TR, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Tricky Dick, Ford, Carter, and Bushdaddy all served, usually in major wars. Many were top generals. Even Bushbaby was nominally in the National Guard, though he went AWOL. Clinton broke the long streak of former WWII veterans inhabiting the White House. Lately it’s been occupied by boomers who have never served and seem to take orders from the military rather than giving them.

    • Eddie
      December 22, 2018 at 12:49

      Exactly JH! Militaries are ultimately setup as physical-force entities meant to interact with other people and countries in a physical manner, including the possible use of lethal force. They’re NOT political, diplomatic or moral/ethical organizations, and that’s NOT what their function is. They’re meant to deal with parties who are being physically aggressive, and are a necessity, like police forces are domestically.

      That being said, we don’t have police chiefs in high positions in our local government because that’s not their area of expertise or interest, and similarly we shouldn’t have military leaders in government positions nationally. It’s like having a burst water pipe in your house and calling an electrician to fix it… he may or may-not be a good electrician, but either way he shouldn’t be doing plumbing work!

  54. KiwiAntz
    December 21, 2018 at 20:33

    Good riddance to the Mad dog! Now all that’s left is to get rid of the Mad Secretary of State Pompeo & that other Mad clown prince, John Bolton! Then it will be mission accomplished in getting rid of the nutters & psychos? But Trump is playing a dangerous game of chicken, reining in the murderous Deepstate & out of control MIC by withdrawing from the Middle East quagmire?? The last President who tried to get out of a CIA War was JFK & we all know what happened to him? I can just see these warmongering MIC Generals mouthing off obscenities at Trump, like what was shown in Oliver Stones JFK Movie saying “ he f••Jed us in Afghanistan & now he’s going to f••k us in goddamn Syria? Why don’t Americans ever learn from their disastrous & stupid foreign adventure Catastrophe’s?

    • RnM
      December 22, 2018 at 16:51


  55. Tom Kath
    December 21, 2018 at 20:07

    A lot of innuendo in this article, especially for some of us who are not actually brought up on US political affairs for breakfast. In regard to Mattis, Bolton, Pompeo etc., I keep recalling that previous POTUS quote, “I don’t like the bastard, but I prefer to have him inside pissing out, than have him outside pissing in.”

    • anon42
      December 23, 2018 at 00:45

      Then put them in Club Fed Guantanamo.

  56. Tom
    December 21, 2018 at 19:17

    Corporate media and their “retired military pundits” ramble on about what a genius Mattis is. Well actually no, he’s not.

    What makes a competent military leader?

    ?????? ??????? ???? ?????? ??????????.- It’s good to study the ways of one’s adversary.

    They surround themselves with competent advisers who provide recommendations based on actual facts.
    If it works for Captain Picard, it can work in real life.

    They know when to admit they’re wrong and set aside their ego.

    In the real world, if you spend 17 years training someone to do a job and they can’t, you’d be fired for gross incompetence. But in the military, reality goes out the window. All that matters is getting govt. funding, troops and getting those stars so you look good. Mattis believes that Syria is a winnable war? No it’s not. Afghanistan? No it’s not. Mattis is an idiot.

    • Realist
      December 22, 2018 at 06:57

      The U.S. military thinks that it is omnipotent because it has the nuclear arsenal with every imaginable type of delivery system to defeat the other major powers (now only Russia and China) on the planet. It also has nearly a thousand bases in over 100 countries, presumably to use as staging areas for major wars or to serve as “speed bumps” to slow down a Russian or Chinese campaign against us, our allies or our perceived interests.

      The thing they don’t seem to appreciate is that those capabilities are of no use in invading and especially in occupying even small countries remote from our “homeland” and its resources and personnel. We can start these small-scale wars, bomb the hell out of 3rd world countries, kill and displace millions of their citizens but we cannot DEFEAT them, we cannot occupy them without never-ending attacks against and attrition of our own forces. To wit, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen… Who’s next? What more need be said?

      We certainly cannot use our capabilities to invade Russia or China in a conventional war. Our agency of power projection against small weak countries (i.e., aircraft carrier groups) would be taken out within the first hour of an all-out conventional war against either of those adversaries by their ship-killer missiles. Try to cross the Russian frontier or land on the Chinese coast with ground troops and both our troops plus those of our allies will be ground up by entrenched tanks, artillery and intermediate range missiles (especially now since the INF treaty has been haughtily torn up by Washington!).

      Start flinging nukes at Russia or China out of desperation when we start losing a conventional invasion and life on earth will come to an end when the other side reciprocates. As for the alternate scenario of an attack on the United States, do the analysis: neither Russia nor China have the capacity to invade the United States or its allies in Europe or East Asia. They do not have the military assets nor the economic base from which to build the necessary assets–especially not Russia. If the U.S. lacks the capacity for power projection to conquer these countries half a world away, their prospects are even worse, and they are not fools: they know very well their own limitations. Both have said (Russia repeatedly) that they have no intention of invading the U.S. or even attacking its allies and have cited the reasons. But the U.S. persists in misrepresenting reality and making braggadocious threats. The important thing that both Russia and China have is the nuclear and missile arsenal to counterattack this country if it foolhardily attacks them. They may tolerate attacks on their foreign proxies, as we have repeatedly done to them, but they will not stand for our killing their citizens on their own territory. Mark that down and underline it, Donald, or whomever they may replace you with.

      Our bellicose hijinks in all the shite holes of the world should have been a lesson apparently the military and the saber rattlers in Washington have never been able to fully grok. Must be a sign of a mental defect, since Einstein’s definition of insanity was supposedly repeatedly doing the same thing expecting a different result. When will they learn that all these wars have simply cost us money, lives, credibility, prestige and respect and gained us nothing? Nothing but cash for the war profiteers and a widening chasm in our national budget which the rest of us are expected to make up.

      • KiwiAntz
        December 23, 2018 at 16:40

        Realist, unfortunately Einstein’s quote of repetition of mistakes expecting different results doesn’t take into account American stupidity & ignorance? The mental defect you speak of is called the “Exceptional” mindset delusion which every American is taught from birth, that their Country is superior than any other so called shithole Countries & that it’s the indispensable Nation on Earth, that shining City on the Hill as a beacon of light & hope in a dark World? Obviously it’s complete BS & this veil of hypocrisy & invincibility is now being shattered by the rise of Russia & China who are only acting in a defensive manner contrary to the American Empires desire to dominate the World & have other Nations as vassals to serve this evil Empire!

      • Sam F
        December 24, 2018 at 09:00

        “When will they ever learn” is the right question for readers learning to question, but we both know that “the military and the saber rattlers” are getting the cash they expect, by endless repetition of their “bellicose hijinks.” The greatest corruption is found where budgeting is easiest, hence the MIC/MSM/Israel/KSA/WallSt fearmongering. Despite or because of our information and communication technology, never has humanity fought such invisible forces under such vague rationales.

      • Sam F
        December 24, 2018 at 11:59

        “When will they ever learn” is the right question for readers learning to question, but we both know that “the military and the saber rattlers” are getting the cash they expect, by endless repetition of their “bellicose hijinks.” The greatest corruption is found where budgeting is easiest, hence the MIC/MSM/Israel/KSA/WallSt fearmongering. Despite or because of our information and communication technology, never has humanity fought such invisible forces under such vague and contradictory rationales.

        • sam fetters
          December 26, 2018 at 12:21

          What do defense contractors like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics and others have in common?
          What do government AI contractors like Amazon, IBM and Alphabet have in common?
          What do msm from both the “left” and “right”, including Fox, CNN, MSNBC, and others have in common?
          What do private security/military/intelligence firms have in common?
          What do the largest banks have in common?

          The answer to each is the same…….

          They all share the same largest groups of institutional shareholders.
          Firms like Vanguard, BlackRock, State Street, Fidelity (FMR), Invesco, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wellington Management, Geode, Northern Trust, Bank of America, Deutsch Bank, etc.

          These firms operate collaboratively, much like a cartel, even existing as the largest shareholders of each other.

          One simply has to use a resource like to search the largest institutional shareholders to see the common ownership.

          These firms are among the main architects of the neo-feudal American Planned Market Economy.
          That is, “capitalism” for only the .01 percent.

          They own the largest “competing” corporations, via large stock holdings, in most every single industry.

          This is one of the constructs of the new, growing Military-Industrial Complex.

  57. December 21, 2018 at 17:44

    Mattis is representative of the “common wisdom,” which is to use propaganda on every media outlet from the NYTimes to FoxNews to befuddle American minds into a Pavlovian conditioned knee jerk response of support our troops – OOOPS! – I mean support our ‘Merican death machine.

    Americans Enjoy Bombing Syria and are Rather Upset by the Idea of Not Bombing Syria Any Longer

    • sam fetters
      December 26, 2018 at 12:31

      I’m not gonna argue, but Trump is even better.

      Mafia Don Trump is first and foremost an Entertainer.
      He exists to engage in the propagandist methodology of Diversion & Distraction.

      He keeps people busily distracted on his antics, while much more in going on, behind the scenes.

      He was PLACED into office instead of Hillary because he happened to be better at entertainment and manipulation than she.

      Regardless whether “Dem” or “GOP”, the same ultra-wealthy and ultra-powerful continue to gain ever more wealth & power.
      Meanwhile, the rest of us, the mere SERFS, continue to lose out to highly under-reported inflation, as we continue to lose ever more rights, freedoms, liberties and justice.

      There are the .01 percent neo-feudal Lords….with everyone else relegated as their serfs.
      Those most obedient and loyal to those Lords, are granted the most subservient wealth and power themselves.

      This is the true hierarchy of wealth & power, and nature of the true trickle-down functions of our economy.

      While Mafia Don Trump continues his “show”, the country sinks deeper in the grasps of white nationalists, crooks, mercenaries, and drug runners.
      Steve Bannon, Erik Prince, Ollie North, and others remain Mafia Don’s true army.

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