Saturday, June 6, 2020

Fact Checking James Mattis

Media intellectuals, who no longer even pretend to be the best and the brightest, are suddenly agog with admiration for the American military. You see, a certain number of present and past military officers have publicly rebuked President Donald Trump. If there is anything that sets an intellectual’s heart racing, it is trash talk about Donald Trump.

Even the Wall Street Journal editorial page offered up that the James Mattis retort to Trump was merely Trump’s chickens coming home to roost-- to coin a phrase. After all, Trump has treated the military disrespectfully, so he had it coming. For my own views on how we should parse blame, see my previous post: James Mattis on Leadership.

Better still, for those who still have a rational faculty, Deroy Murdock took to fact checking the Mattis screed. You will recall that the New York Times in flagellating itself for having sinned in printing an op-ed by a United States Senator of the wrong political persuasion, mumbled that the piece had not been sufficiently well fact-checked.

Anyway, Murdock does yeoman work in fact checking Mattis. One understands that Mattis might have gotten a few facts wrong. After all, and with all due respect, he strikes me as a man who sorely needs a good night’s sleep.

Anyway, Murdock begins by quoting Mattis:

He wrote: “We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.”

This is standard leftist PR. The protests are largely peaceful, but have attracted a few renegade lawmakers. When Mayor Bottoms of Atlanta said: "We are better than this," she was not responding to the fact that there were a small number of lawbreakers.

Murdock lays out the tally of violent action committed by a large number of lawbreakers across the country:

That’s just what I thought as riot-fueled smoke filled my Manhattan apartment last Saturday night. “Don’t cough too hard,” I told myself. “And don’t be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.”

Mattis’ words are almost touchingly na├»ve, as if the cause of justice for Floyd has been tarnished by a stolen police car hubcap here or a toppled trash can there.

Mattis may be right. Let’s stay cool and not be distracted by such lawbreaking as:

The defacement of the Lincoln Memorial (honoring the president who crushed slavery), the defilement of the anti-fascist World War II Memorial, and the desecration of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Los Angeles’ Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue, and other houses of worship.

The bricks, stones, and other projectiles that rioters have hurled into storefront windows and the skulls and faces of police officers. Palettes of bricks and boxes of rocks mysteriously have materialized along protest march routes. They have taken flight and damaged objects and people.

The widespread looting of retail establishments, from Target to Macy’s to Rolex. Some of these attacks are organized crimes, with choreographed mobs tearing down plywood, smashing the underlying windows, and then prying open metal security gates before slithering in to clean house. In Philadelphia, domestic terrorists have used dynamite to blast ATMs open and swipe the cash inside.

The arson that has turned buildings into ashes and piles of rubble, including minority-owned businesses. Minneapolis rioters incinerated a 190-unit low-income-housing complex, under construction. Rioters in Washington, D.C., ignited St. John’s Episcopal Church, where every president since James Madison has worshipped. Luckily, it was damaged, but not torched.

The plight of Minneapolis’ Third Precinct, which barbarians breached, occupied, and cremated, as police officers ran away. This signaled every criminal that civilization had surrendered, and it was open season on society. America still is paying the high price for this calamitous capitulation.

The scores of police officers who have been targeted from coast to coast. Thursday morning, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned law enforcement officers to inspect their vehicles for sabotage after a Brooklyn cop found that the lug nuts on his personal car’s tires had been loosened. Hours earlier, two NYPD officers were shot, and a third was stabbed in the neck. They are among roughly 350 law enforcement personnel wounded in the disorders so far. And retired St. Louis Police Capt. David Dorn, 77 – whose black life mattered as much as George Floyd’s – was shot fatally in the head while shielding a friend’s pawn shop.

Get the picture? Pretty soon it will all be erased from history because the protests were really peaceful and benign.

As the issue of whether or not President Trump has reached out to diverse communities in an effort to unite the nation, Murdock offers some facts. We will note that these also have been forgotten, because the prevailing media narrative has it that everything Trump does is the worst of the worst of the worst, the most awfully appalling thing that has ever happened in the course of human history. You can tell that the politicians and intellectuals who are mouthing this tripe have mastered the art of rhetorical hyperbole, if nothing else.

In his first month in office, President Trump welcomed some three dozen presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the Oval Office. He energetically has championed these schools, provided them a steady stream of federal funds, and found them corporate partners for student apprenticeships.

Trump signed and repeatedly promotes Opportunity Zones to bring economic vitality to low-income neighborhoods, many black and Hispanic.

Trump signed the First Step Act, making criminal justice reform a reality and reducing mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, something for which Black Lives Matter militated, and which the eight-year Obama-Biden administration failed to deliver.

The president has championed Israel, signed measures to fight anti-Semitism, and emceed two Hanukkah receptions at the White House last December. He also has hosted Iftar dinners with Muslim employees and diplomats to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Before COVID-19 torpedoed the economy, Trump trumpeted the record-high black and Hispanic employment that his pro-growth policies helped create.

“The memory of George Floyd is being dishonored by rioters, looters and anarchists,” Trump said in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday, in a soothing, unifying speech. “Healing, not hatred; justice, not chaos are the mission at hand…. Right now, America needs creation, not destruction; cooperation, not contempt; security, not anarchy.”

Apparently, Mattis and several other generals believe that no one should ever call in the military to tamp down on a domestic insurrection. Serious generals have been mouthing this thought, and demonstrate, Murdock points out, that they have forgotten history.

Mattis then slammed President Trump’s statement that Trump might instruct the military to restore order in Washington after rioters set blazes near the White House, injured at least 60 Secret Service members, and reportedly forced the commander-in-chief into a secure bunker.

“At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors,” (versus federal governors?) Mattis scolded.

Mattis should condemn the 12 previous presidents, from Thomas Jefferson to George H.W. Bush, who have invoked the Insurrection Act of 1807 on 19 separate occasions to quell unrest.

Only 19 occasions…  trust me, that is considerably higher than none:

Without consulting governors, Republican Ulysses S. Grant used this law in 1872, to dispatch soldiers to South Carolina to stymie the Ku Klux Klan. Democratic deity John F. Kennedy cited this statute to stop unrest in Mississippi in 1962. Democratic hero Lyndon Johnson mobilized troops under this authority in 1968. Why? To suppress riots in Washington, D.C.!


Sam L. said...

I presume most folks have heard the term, "Minnesota Nice". Right now, I'd say it's more like "Minnesota Stupid".

Mattis has shown us what he is, and we all know what THAT is.

UbuMaccabee said...

In case anyone was wondering, I made the rounds to three very well stocked gun stores right in the heart of Dixie. Packed. And every last gun except a .22 is selling as fast as they are put out on the shelf. All the guns are gone. All of them: pistols and rifles. Ammo, too. Lines at the range are 30 people deep (thankfully, I have a buddy with his own private range on his property). All the slings are gone and so are the scopes. I have never seen anything like this. While half of America is talking, the other half is arming to the hilt and past the hilt. Maybe decent America will buy so much ammo and so many guns there will be nothing left for the mob. Just an FYI from the front lines. Morale is good. People are friendly. They had a peaceful protest here; everyone well behaved.

Bought Ma Ubu a new AR-15, the last one. She's so excited. I'm more of a Mossberg 590M 12ga tactical with a 20 round magazine myself. Slugs only, big holes. And a new Sig Romeo5 red dot for my AR-15. Any more ammo and it would collapse the floor. We're ready for the zombie dance.