As has been the case in the Trump era, the Washington “establishment” — politicians, the media, and the commentariat — are in a tizzy over recent personnel changes undertaken by the president, up to and including the two most recent changes.
Earlier this month the White House announced that Chief of Staff John Kelly would be leaving early next year. Kelly’s announced departure has now been followed up this week with news that Defense Secretary James Mattis has either been fired or has resigned, though it seems more likely it was the latter, given the lengthy letter he wrote to POTUS.
The former four-star Marine generals were seen as stabilizers for that “chaotic,” “impulsive” maniac president of ours, and now that they’re both gone, the downfall of our country isn’t far behind.
Or something like that.
“I think I speak for all national security reporters tonight when I say I’m about ready to jump off a cliff. But at least I already wrote the ‘who will replace Mattis’ story two months (only two months?????) ago
@ForeignPolicy,” tweeted Foreign Policy national security correspondent Lara Seligman, in a shameless bout of self-promotion.
FP should be renamed “Alt-Left FP” because it is a magazine by and for Ivy League liberals who believe in open borders, endless foreign engagements, and an America-last agenda.
There were similar reactions among the Leftist establishment media and political class as well. Some, like that #neverTrump clown Erick Erickson, actually suggested that the military overthrow the president because he dared to let Mattis go while making decisions to pull American forces out of Syria and Afghanistan, the latter of which, at 17 years, has become America’s longest war.
“If we lived in a lesser country than our great nation, today is the day we really would be talking about a military coup. Soldiers down to the enlisted ranks are raising hell about the President’s Syria decision,” he irresponsibly wrote.
If we lived in a lesser country than our great nation, today is the day we really would be talking about a military coup. Soldiers down to the enlisted ranks are raising hell about the President's Syria decision.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) December 21, 2018
These people don’t have any credibility a) because they’ve never had any respect or love for the president; and b) they didn’t whimper and whine and predict doom and gloom when President Obama unceremoniously fired then-Gen. Mattis without so much as a phone call.
Of all publications, the soon-to-close Weekly Standard, another #nevertrump organ, reported the firing:
President Barack Obama fired General James Mattis, the head of Central Command, without even calling the general to let him know he was being replaced.
“I am told that General Mattis was traveling and in a meeting when an aide passed him a note telling him that the Pentagon had announced his replacement as head of Central Command. It was news to him — he hadn’t received a phone call or a heads-up from anyone at the Pentagon or the White House,” Thomas E. Ricks reports.
In a separate post, Ricks explained the firing:
Pentagon insiders say that he rubbed civilian officials the wrong way — not because he went all “mad dog,” which is his public image, and the view at the White House, but rather because he pushed the civilians so hard on considering the second- and third-order consequences of military action against Iran. Some of those questions apparently were uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with Iran once the nuclear issue is resolved and it remains a foe? What do you do if Iran then develops conventional capabilities that could make it hazardous for U.S. Navy ships to operate in the Persian Gulf? He kept saying, “And then what?”
The WS noted further:
There is also a belief that Mattis and Obama differed on Iran. “A particular point of disagreement was what to do about mischief Iran is exporting to other countries. Mattis is indeed more hawkish on this than the White House was,” writes Ricks in yet another post.
Oh, and this:
“National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, in particular, was irked by Mattis’s insistence on being heard. I cringe when I hear about civilians shutting down strategic discussions. That is exactly what the Bush administration did in late 2002 when generals persisted in questioning whether it was wise to invade Iraq. That led to what some might call a fiasco.”
One of the DC establishment’s points of contention in POTUS letting Mattis go/resign is that the president wants American troops out of these never-ending brushfire wars — in Syria, in Iraq, and In Afghanistan.
POTUS Trump repeatedly criticized those never-ending conflicts and engagements on the 2016 campaign trail; why the “panic” now?
The president and Mad Dog have been privately disagreeing over a number of issues for months, according to various reports. It was only a matter of time that his departure would come, and he suggested as much in his letter to the president in which he said POTUS deserves a defense secretary who shares his views.
Official’ Washington calls whatever it doesn’t want or advocate a “crisis.” That’s why this president is so reviled in the nation’s capital; he is not one of them and he doesn’t want to be. And he will do things his way because that’s why we elected him.
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