Tag Archives: James Mattis

US Finally Admits “No Evidence” Assad Used Sarin Gas, by Tyler Durden

The Syrian sarin gas stories in 2013 and 2017 were sketchy and not well-supported. It never made much sense that the Syrian government would gas its own people. Now Secretary of Defense James Matthis has admitted the US government has no real evidence to back up its claims. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Secretary of Defense James Mattis stated on or about February 2nd, 2018 that the United States has “no evidence” that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent Sarin against its own people in attacks in 2013 and 2017.

The most recent accusation provoked a massive Tomahawk strike ordered by President Trump that was quite provocative in the eyes of the Russian Federation and of course the Syrian government.

As TheDuran’s Seraphim Hanish details, Secretary Mattis’ assertion is in direct contradiction to the White House Memorandum which was rapidly written and declassified to justify the Americans’ strike.

However, the Secretary offered no specifics to his statement.  He did discuss the fact that there were aid groups and other people, including NGOs and other fighters operating in the area that had provided evidence and reports of what happened with the Sarin strike. Their information stopped short of naming President Assad as the culprit.

“I don’t have the evidence,” Mattis said. “What I am saying is that other groups on the ground – NGOs, fighters on the ground – have said that sarin has been used, so we are looking for evidence.”

The reporting on this is highly suspect, though.  Newsweek, Reuters and the Washington Post are three American publications that all have run pieces pointing out this contradictory matter.  At this time, FoxNews has nothing on its site about this matter, but ZeroHedge does.

General “Mad Dog” Mattis, is known for an uncompromising approach to dealing with America’s enemies:

Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.

He was an outspoken critic of President Obama’s Middle East policy, naming Iran as the single most serious threat to stability in the region. By all accounts, then, the General is faithful to the idea that projecting American power abroad is a good thing.

 Seen with this context, the general’s statement seems unusual, and the media outlets that have a less than favorable view of Donald Trump as the American President have been quick to jump on board the train to point out that the General disagrees with his CO, the President.

To continue reading: US Finally Admits “No Evidence” Assad Used Sarin Gas

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Compete, Deter, and Win With Big Guns and Better Chow in the Baltic States, by Brian Cloughley

The US is the biggest and meanest kid on the block, and it will show anyone who doesn’t believe it. From Brian Cloughley at antiwar.com:

The censored version of the 2018 US National Defense Strategy has a motto – and, absurdly, a bumper sticker – proclaiming that the United States must “Compete, Deter, and Win” which is an aggressive declaration of uncompromising military confrontation.

As observed by the Brookings Institution, the Strategy “unveiled a global operating model to help centrally manage posture and make it more ‘lethal, agile, and resilient,’ all in line with facilitating the emphasis on fighting and winning conflicts with China or Russia.”

Brookings just loves General Mattis, the Defense Secretary, and fawns that “The US military, according to the NDS, will sustain its presence in the Middle East, but will aim to focus on Asia and Europe despite it. This tension plagued the previous administration and will surely be difficult to implement short of Secretary Mattis’s personal and deft hand.”

The enemies have been selected and now General Mattis is going to deal with them. This is the the man who declared “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.”

Stand by, world, for the deft and manly hand of General Mattis who is going to ensure that the United States will devote its vastly expanding military might to achieving Competition, Deterrence and Victory.

The craving for military domination began before Mattis was appointed Top Dog in the Pentagon, and China and Russia have been in the sights of Washington for a long time, but it will be interesting to see how Mattis develops US military provocation from the Baltic to the South China Sea.

A headline in the US military magazine Stars and Stripes last September was eye-catching. It told readers that there were “Big guns, better chow for US soldiers on Russia deterrence mission” in Lithuania. The artillery and nourishing provisions were provided for the “500 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers that swooped into the Baltics this month on a mission to deter Russian aggression.”

To continue reading: Compete, Deter, and Win With Big Guns and Better Chow in the Baltic States

 

Trump Ups Defense Budget By 13% – “Can’t Have World’s Best Military On An Obama Budget”, by Tyler Durden

US military spending is almost three times that of China, and almost nine times that of Russia. They have now been declared our geopolitical rivals that we must best. So Trump is increasing the defense budget by 13 percent over the next two years. If he didn’t, the Chinese and Russians would probably be planning an invasion of the US this very minute. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

With Washington having seemingly turned its turret away from ‘terror’ and back to “revisionist, authoritarian” regimes like ‘Russia and China’, the Military-Industrial Complex is ‘gonna need a bigger budget’ – a 13% bigger $716 billion one by 2019.

US military spending already dwarfed the rest of the world…

But, while presenting the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS2018) of the United States on Friday at the Johns Hopkins University, Secretary of Defense James Mattis painted a picture of a dangerous world in which U.S. power – and all of the supposed “good” that it does around the world – is on the decline.

“Our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare – air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace,” he said. “And it is continually eroding.”

And now, as The Washington Post reports, President Trump is expected to ask for $716 billion in defense spending when he unveils his 2019 budget next month, a major increase that signals a shift away from concerns about rising deficits, U.S. officials said.

The proposed budget is a victory for Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who recently unveiled a strategy that proposes retooling the military to deter and, if necessary, fight a potential conflict with major powers such as China and Russia.

And it represents a setback for deficit hawks such as Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, who last year pressed for an increase in defense spending that could be offset by cuts to domestic programs.

The $716 billion figure for 2019 would cover the Pentagon’s annual budget as well as spending on ongoing wars and the maintenance of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It would increase Pentagon spending by more than 7 percent over the 2018 budget, which still has not passed through Congress.

The proposed budget would be a 13 percent increase over 2017 when the United States spent about $634 billion on defense. In the absence of a budget, spending continues at 2017 levels.

To continue reading: Trump Ups Defense Budget By 13% – “Can’t Have World’s Best Military On An Obama Budget”

Empire Destroying Wars Are Coming to America Under Trump – Part 1, by Michael Krieger

Unfortunately, President Trump is cozying up to people who never met a war they didn’t like. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

There are a variety of reasons Trump supporters voted the way they did in November, but one clear message many found attractive was the idea his administration would be driven by an “America First” doctrine. America first meant a lot of things to a lot of different people, running the gamut from economic populism and immigration, to an avoidance of barbaric and costly overseas wars. The economic populism part was the biggest ruse from day one, a betrayal which (as we had seen under Obama) became undeniable as soon as he started appointing lifelong swamp-dwelling billionaires and Goldman Sachs partners to run his administration. Irrespective of who you elect, Wall Street runs the empire, as Trump proved once again.

The coming massive pivot when it comes to destructive wars abroad will take a little longer, but the writing’s been on the wall for months. I’ve published several posts on the topic, with the most popular one titled, Prepare for Impact – This is the Beginning of the End for U.S. Empire.  Here’s an excerpt:

This is not the sort of thing you see in a confident, brave, and civilized nation, it’s the sort of stuff you’d expect to see toward the end. It’s the stuff of craven war-mongers, of dishonest cowards, of a totally deranged and very dangerous media. The signs are everywhere; imperial decline is set to accelerate rapidly in the coming years…

Expect more of all the above as the U.S. empire enters its most devastating phase of collapse. Think about what it might mean for you and your family and prepare accordingly.

When I compare who Trump currently has advising him and who he’s getting closer to, the future looks increasingly ominous. This is especially true when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal. Irrespective of what you think of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis, these two look like a couple of the most sane humans on earth compared to some of the others Trump’s cozying up to. I alluded to this earlier today on Twitter.

To continue reading: Empire Destroying Wars Are Coming to America Under Trump – Part 1

‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and the Spirit of Trumpism, by Justin Raimondo

There is probably more uncertainty about both Trump’s policies and personnel heading into his inauguration than there has been for any president since FDR. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

When it comes to foreign policy, the incoming Trump administration displays a split personality. This was readily apparent during the campaign, when, on the one hand, Donald Trump told us we were lied into the Iraq war, that NATO is “obsolete,” and that we have no business supporting regime change in Syria – and, on the other hand, he declared that he would crush ISIS, that it was a mistake to leave Iraq, and that we have to “rebuild our military,” as if we don’t already spend as much as the top ten defense spenders. It was a combination of “isolationist” rhetoric and belligerent bombast – surely an odd combination (albeit not one without precedent in our history, but we’ll get to that later).

We are seeing this ambiguity play out in the process of the Trump transition, as national security slots are slowly filled. Mike Flynn, a three-star general and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, exemplifies this Janus-faced persona: in Flynn’s interview with Al Jazeera, interviewer Mehdi Hasan remarked “There’s a dove General Flynn and there’s a hawk General Flynn,” and this applies not only to Trump himself but also to his latest appointee, Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, chosen for Secretary of Defense.

A retired four-star Marine Corps general, former commander of CENTCOM, Mattis commanded the Marines during the invasion of Iraq, and also served as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (2007-09). Mattis is idolized by many and feared by some. The Cato Institute’s Christopher Preble, a staunch anti-interventionist, sees him as a restraining influence on our new commander-in-chief: “[W]ithin the Trump administration he could be a critical voice of caution with respect to the wisdom or folly of the use of force going forward.” Preble cites Mattis as saying:

“As I look back over these wars since World War II – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, dare I say Afghanistan, stick Somalia in there somewhere, other expeditions – when America goes to war with murky political end states, then you end up in a situation where you are trying to do something right, but you’re not sure if it’s the right thing. And suddenly you end up with a situation where the American people say ‘what are we doing here?’ And ‘what kind of people are we that we do this sort of thing?’

“If you don’t know what it is that you’re going to achieve, then don’t be surprised that eventually you’ve wasted treasure, lives, and the moral authority of the United States.”

According to several reports, Gen.Mattis’s favorite reprise to those who advocate some form of military intervention is “And then what?”

To continue reading: ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and the Spirit of Trumpism