One may say what they like about George W. Bush and his policies, but our military members loved him. Having served, I can testify that our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines (Coasties too) know who actually cares about them and who does not. President Bush regularly visited military hospitals and other installations with no press notice or presence and no fanfare. He was there to do what he could to encourage and thank our wounded warriors, and those still bearing the battle. Having been a military fighter pilot no doubt partially informed his caring.
Contrast this with Barack Obama, who used our military as photo props, whose press flacks distributed cheap digital cameras to military personnel at Obama press opportunities so they would seem to be snapping personal photos of Obama, and it might appear to the public the military loved him. This was a man, and a political party, with no idea of leadership. Having been a life-long socialist/communist with no military experience and a fundamental hatred of the American warrior and military no doubt informed his lack of caring.
It is only fitting, therefore, that Democrats are savaging General James Mattis (USMC, Ret.), who is a likely choice for President-elect Trump’s Secretary of Defense. In fact, more than likely, according to Fox News:
President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his post-election ‘Thank You’ tour Thursday by announcing that he would nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense.
At a rally in Cincinnati, Trump described Mattis as ‘one of our great, great generals’ and added that a formal announcement would be made Monday, ‘so don’t tell anybody.’
‘They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have,’ Trump told the crowd, ‘and it’s about time. It’s about time.’
A source close to Trump told Fox News that the president-elect’s decision to divulge the Mattis pick at the rally was a surprise. Transition sources had repeatedly described Mattis as the favorite for the defense secretary position, but stressed the choice had not been formally made. Just prior to Thursday night’s event, Trump himself played down the possibility that any announcement was imminent.
Not only did Mattis have a distinguished career, he is a warrior’s warrior, a man more than willing to rebuild the American Military as a force focused on destroying America’s enemies, rather than a wimpish social/environmental laboratory. Mattis, known among Marines as “Mad Dog”—a handle that absolutely horrifies leftists—has always demonstrated the character of a real leader, as this, from the U.S, Naval Institute, reveals:
A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, ‘Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story.’ General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.
Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.
He asked, ‘Who’s the officer of the day?’ The lance corporal said, ‘Sir, it’s Brigadier General Mattis.’ And General Krulak said, ‘No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who’s the officer of the day today, Christmas day?’ The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, ‘Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis.’
General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed. He said, ‘No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?’ The lance corporal said, ‘Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis.’
About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, ‘Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?’ General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.
General Krulak said, ‘That’s the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is.’
The story above was told by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, the Director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at The United States Naval Academy. He was introducing General James Mattis who gave a lecture on Ethical Challenges in Contemporary Conflict in the spring of 2006. This was taken from the transcript of that lecture.
I’m lucky enough to know General James Mattis slightly. Just well enough to trust him unreservedly with our military and our nation’s security.
The president-elect could not choose a better man to be our next Secretary of Defense. Not just because Mattis is a battle-hardened Marine with a remarkable combat record. And not just because he has a mind of remarkable clarity and is, without question, the best-read general of his generation.
I trust Jim Mattis because he’s a man of character, that most un-Washingtonian quality. His public image is of one rough-and-tough Marine, but the man I’ve encountered is, above all, one of integrity. His code of honor is so out of fashion that one has to reach back to a Victorian vocabulary: He has a noble spirit.
And he’s a genuine patriot, not a shouter with his eye on the next chance. He will do what’s right, not what’s expedient. And he will never go along with anything he believes might harm our country.
Donald Trump is indeed selecting the very best people, if his choice of General Mattis is any indicator. Go here for another story that will not only reinforce any negative impressions one might have about Barack Obama, but equally reinforce one’s hopes for a true warrior and patriot in the office of Secretary of Defense. If Barack Obama wanted to get rid of him, he’s exactly what America needs.
That President-Elect Trump recognizes that bodes well for our future.