“Mad Dog” Mattis Just Another Pussycat

Donald Trump pointedly drove to the Pentagon on Friday to close U.S. borders to refugees from around the world; to block families indefinitely fleeing the slaughter in Syria; and to suspend immigration from seven Muslim countries.  With Secretary of Defense James Mattis smiling over his shoulder, Trump established a religious test for refugees from Muslim countries and ordered that Christians and others from minority religions would be granted priority over Muslims.  During his confirmation hearings, General Mattis spoke with great feeling about his opposition to such moves and explained that the coalition to stop international terrorism would be weakened by any attempt to target and demonize Muslims.

 

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Meet Our New “Secretary Of State”…Nancy Pelosi

In any event, Pelosi’s travel to the world’s worst trouble spots creates significant confusion regarding official U.S. policies and politics.  In flexing the flabby diplomatic muscles of the U.S. Congress, Pelosi is engaging the international community without any obvious coordination with the White House or the Department of State. The notion that anyone from the House of Representatives could have an impact on U.S. foreign policy or diplomacy is particularly ludicrous.  Unfortunately, her trips seemingly amount to a last hurrah.

The Dangerous Civilian-Military Chasm In America

One of the greatest weaknesses of presidential leadership over the past 60 years has been the lack of presidential experience in the military and the inability to control the military.  Several weeks before his seminal Farewell Address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower told his senior advisers in the White House, “God help this country when someone sits in this chair who doesn’t know the military as well as I do.”  His successors have been deferential to the military and too many of them have used military force to bolster their credentials.  This has been a major factor in the expanded power of the military establishment.

Containing the National Security State

Containing the National Security State