“My belief is we have to stay focused on a military so lethal that on a battlefield it will be an enemy’s longest day and worst day when they run into that force. … My concern is with the readiness of the force.” Gen. James Mattis
Good Lord! When’s the last time you heard a general talk like that? Norman Schwarzkopf? Alexander Haig? William Westmoreland? Maybe George Patton. Gen. James Mattis faced his Senate inquisitors this week – and ran right over them.
Mattis is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for defence secretary. I can’t think of a better pick. Leave it to former defence secretary and one-time senator William Cohen, who opened the hearing on Thursday, to set the stage for that hearing. He said although “mad dog” might be a fine moniker for Mattis, a more accurate title might be “brave heart.” Praise indeed, sir.
The weedy lefties tried to make him look like a Neanderthal on women and homosexuality in the military. The answer at the top of this column was the best response I can think of.
This brief quotation says it all. You can just hear the musical strains of that classic D-Day flick, “The Longest Day,” in the background – a film that salutes American valor on the battlefield with a great song by Canadian singer/songwriter Paul Anka (just to remind us that Canada had its own beach to take on June 6, 1944).
But Mattis is stating so much more than his commitment to combat capability in the U.S. armed forces. He’s saying enough of the politically correct BS that has plagued the military throughout eight years of decline under President Barack Obama. During the Obama era the military has focused not on a military “so lethal” but one that is subject to such social re-engineering that West Point cadets are forced to march around in high heels and Annapolis midshipmen are encouraged to attend “Transgender 101.”
The military is a compliant if unwilling subject in the liberal laboratory of social policy. Its members cannot easily object to following the orders that their superiors receive from their political masters. So the Obama administration went wild with its agenda.
But that sort of political tinkering induces an even more odious practice. The military leadership, especially those wearing civilian clothes and not uniforms, decide to anticipate the government’s designs and begin promulgating their own programs designed to make the military a politically correct zone that has forgotten what its central purpose is.
I loved the questions about climate change at the hearing. You know there are actually dullards in the Senate who really believe – in their hearts and what is left of their minds – that America is primarily at war with climate change and not ISIS. Thank God we will soon have a defence secretary who can differentiate between military fact and political fantasy.
The age of political generals is over. There will be no more news conferences showcasing politically ingrained leaders mincing their words, slicing their sentences and muting their determination because it might offend someone’s sensitivities – a someone who has most likely never strayed far from a pristine office and never ventured onto a battlefield. Mattis can be assured that he works for a president who has clearly demonstrated that he has no time for leaders who can’t speak their minds but only parrot talking points.
You couldn’t hear it in the inner sanctum of the Senate – which can only be invaded by left-wing riff-raff and clowns who wander in from the streets to spit invectives at decent men like Sen. Jeff Sessions – but there was a collective cheer on Thursday. It came from the men and women of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard who sense that they have one of their own in charge now – really in charge.
There’s a winner about to be the next defence secretary and the affect on military morale is not just going to be “significant” as a good politician would inertly phrase it: it’s going to be explosive.
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