[Marxism] Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns, Rebuking Trump’s Worldview

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Dec 20 16:29:16 MST 2018


NY Times, Dec. 20, 2018
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis Resigns, Rebuking Trump’s Worldview
By Helene Cooper

WASHINGTON — Jim Mattis, the four-star Marine general turned defense 
secretary, resigned on Thursday in protest of President Trump’s decision 
to withdraw 2,000 American troops from Syria, where they have been 
fighting the Islamic State.

Mr. Trump announced the resignation in two tweets Thursday evening, and 
said Mr. Mattis will leave at the end of February.

Officials said Mr. Mattis went to the White House on Thursday afternoon 
in a last attempt to convince Mr. Trump to keep American troops in 
Syria. He was rebuffed, and told the president that he was resigning as 
a result.

Hours later, the Pentagon released Mr. Mattis’ resignation letter, in 
which he implicitly criticized his commander in chief. Mr. Mattis said 
in the letter that he believes that the president deserves a defense 
secretary who is more in tune with his worldview.

“One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is 
inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive 
system of alliances and partnerships,” Mr. Mattis wrote.

“Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views 
are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it 
is right for me to step down from my position,” he wrote.

His departure leaves the Trump administration without one of the few 
officials viewed as standing between a mercurial president and global 
tumult. The president said he would name Mr. Mattis’ replacement shortly.

Donald J. Trump
✔
@realDonaldTrump
  General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of 
February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense 
for the past two years. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has 
been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting....

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Donald J. Trump
✔
@realDonaldTrump
  · 1h
  General Jim Mattis will be retiring, with distinction, at the end of 
February, after having served my Administration as Secretary of Defense 
for the past two years. During Jim’s tenure, tremendous progress has 
been made, especially with respect to the purchase of new fighting....


Donald J. Trump
✔
@realDonaldTrump
....equipment. General Mattis was a great help to me in getting allies 
and other countries to pay their share of military obligations. A new 
Secretary of Defense will be named shortly. I greatly thank Jim for his 
service!

The president’s tweets announcing the departure of his defense secretary 
shocked officials at the Pentagon, who as recently as Thursday afternoon 
were insisting that Mr. Mattis had no intention of resigning his post, 
despite his anger at Mr. Trump’s decision, announced on Wednesday, to 
withdraw American troops from Syria.

Mr. Mattis had told close friends that he would continue in the job 
despite his deteriorating relationship with Mr. Trump, because he viewed 
his commitment to protecting the Defense Department and its 1.3 million 
active duty service members as paramount.

The widely accepted narrative that Mr. Mattis was the adult in the room 
when at the White House came to annoy Mr. Trump. In October, the 
president accused Mr. Mattis of being a Democrat — a charge akin to 
treason in the current Republican administration.

“This is scary,” Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on 
the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a tweet. He called Mr. Mattis 
“an island of stability amidst the chaos of the Trump administration.”

“As we’ve seen with the President’s haphazard approach to Syria, our 
national defense is too important to be subjected to the President’s 
erratic whims,” Mr. Warner wrote in the Twitter post.

As defense secretary, Mr. Mattis oversaw the world’s most powerful 
military, supervising active-duty troops based in the United States and 
deployed worldwide, including in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and on 
the Saudi border with Yemen. There are also around 25,000 American 
troops in South Korea, where they have served for generations as a 
deterrent against North Korea.

As with Mr. Trump’s abrupt firing of Jeff Sessions, the attorney 
general, the split with Mr. Mattis was a full turn in a relationship 
that once appeared strong.

In Mr. Mattis’s early days as defense secretary, he often ate dinner 
with Mr. Trump in the White House residence. Over hamburgers, and with 
the help of briefing folders, he explained to the president key points 
about America’s relationships with allies.

But Mr. Mattis also quietly slow-walked a number of Mr. Trump’s 
proposals, from banning transgender troops to starting  a Space Force to 
putting on a costly military parade. In each case, he went through the 
motions of acquiescing to the White House — and then buried the plans in 
Defense Department red tape.

Over the past six months, the president and the defense chief have also 
found themselves at odds over NATO policy, whether to resume large-scale 
military exercises with South Korea and, privately, whether Mr. Trump’s 
decision to withdraw the United States from the Iran nuclear deal has 
proved effective.



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