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A little late, General Mattis, but thanks.

General James Mattis

I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.

When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict—between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.
James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.
Mike Mullen: I cannot remain silent

We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Park. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.

Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.

Trump is an abject failure at everything he’s ever tried. And he gets worse every time he tries something new. I will be happy when he’s gone.

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Mattis Speaks 294 WhoWeird 03-Jun-20 22:21
Re: Mattis Speaks 99 Aine 03-Jun-20 23:57
Re: Mattis Speaks 93 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 00:23
Re: Mattis Speaks 100 Aine 04-Jun-20 00:38
Re: Mattis Speaks 94 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 00:48
Re: Mattis Speaks 94 Aine 04-Jun-20 00:53
Re: Mattis Speaks 88 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 01:16
Re: Mattis Speaks 93 Aine 04-Jun-20 01:19
Re: Mattis Speaks 123 Archaic 04-Jun-20 11:16
Very important 116 drrayeye 04-Jun-20 04:05
Re: Very important 127 Archaic 04-Jun-20 10:21
Of course, it will 87 drrayeye 04-Jun-20 17:18
Re: Mattis Speaks 113 Archaic 04-Jun-20 10:20
Re: Mattis Speaks 108 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 11:50
Re: Mattis Speaks 117 Archaic 04-Jun-20 12:00
Re: Mattis Speaks 129 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 12:05
Re: Mattis Speaks 111 Archaic 04-Jun-20 13:21
Re: Mattis Speaks 127 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 13:58
Re: Mattis Speaks 113 OCaptain 04-Jun-20 12:11
Re: Mattis Speaks 114 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 12:16
Re: Mattis Speaks 112 Aine 04-Jun-20 12:27
Re: Mattis Speaks 121 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 12:34
Re: Mattis Speaks 116 Aine 04-Jun-20 12:36
Re: Mattis Speaks 115 Archaic 04-Jun-20 13:26
Re: Mattis Speaks 110 Archaic 04-Jun-20 13:24
Re: Mattis Speaks 156 thirdpal 04-Jun-20 12:46
Re: Mattis Speaks 107 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 12:49
Re: Mattis Speaks 117 Aine 04-Jun-20 12:57
Re: Mattis Speaks 110 Archaic 04-Jun-20 13:28
Re: Mattis Speaks 95 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 15:31
Re: Mattis Speaks 104 Aine 04-Jun-20 15:38
Re: Mattis Speaks 107 Archaic 04-Jun-20 16:09
Re: Mattis Speaks 91 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 16:20
Re: Mattis Speaks 87 Aine 04-Jun-20 16:26
Re: Mattis Speaks 108 Archaic 04-Jun-20 17:20
Re: Mattis Speaks 93 Aine 04-Jun-20 16:26
Re: Mattis Speaks 91 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 17:17
Re: Mattis Speaks 89 Archaic 04-Jun-20 17:18
Re: Mattis Speaks 110 OCaptain 05-Jun-20 20:43
Re: Mattis Speaks; Another Loser 136 Barbelo 04-Jun-20 11:09
Re: Mattis Speaks; Another Loser 102 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 11:45
Re: Mattis Speaks 109 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 12:20
Re: Mattis Speaks 128 Archaic 04-Jun-20 13:30
Re: Mattis Speaks 107 WhoWeird 04-Jun-20 13:57

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