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Ex Pentagon Chief blasts Trump for trying to divide US and failing to provide “mature leadership”

Thursday, June 4th 2020 - 18:27 UTC
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Mattis, who resigned in December 2018, voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country. Mattis, who resigned in December 2018, voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country.

Former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday accusing the president of trying to “divide” America and failing to provide “mature leadership” as the country reels from days of protests.

Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 over Trump's ordering of a full troop withdrawal from Syria, also voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people - does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in a blistering statement posted online by The Atlantic.

“Instead, he tries to divide us,” continues the retired Marine general, who had previously argued it would be inappropriate for him to criticize a sitting president.

“We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he stated.

Mattis described himself as “angry and appalled” after witnessing events of the last week, which saw Trump threaten a military crackdown as nationwide protests turned violent in some cities.

The fury was ignited by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man who suffocated beneath the knee of a white police officer, and whose agonizing death was filmed by bystanders in footage that swiftly went viral.

The demonstrations have mostly been peaceful, but some have degenerated into violence and looting as night falls.

Mattis wrote that the protesters' call for equal justice was a “wholesome and unifying demand - one that all of us should be able to get behind.”

And he slammed the decision to use force to clear peaceful protesters from near the White House on Monday to allow Trump to pose for photos at a nearby church The photo op has become a lightning rod for criticism of Trump's handling of the crisis, with religious leaders, politicians, and onlookers around the country expressing outrage.

“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis states.

“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.”

Categories: Politics, United States.

Top Comments

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  • Pugol-H

    Well Enrique, what is your take on the Bolivarian Utopia that is Venezuela?

    Do tell, it is a serious question, not a wind up.

    Jun 05th, 2020 - 03:00 pm +2
  • bushpilot

    Trump has NO intentions to use the military against “demonstrators” and “actively participating citizens”.

    He has threatened using the military to quell only “rioters”.

    President Trump has expressed his absolute horror over the George Floyd murder travesty.

    You EM are an anti-capitalist propaganda liar.

    When a Marxist's violence is met with violence, they cry, “oppression”!

    Because they are fork-tongued liars. Like EM.

    Do you ever hear EM bash socialist leader Maduro in Venezuela for using troops against demonstrators?

    Do you ever here EM praise the “active participation” of opposition protesters against Maduro?

    All those protests there have been quashed. Why no word from EM?

    There is a leader who used the military to suppress demonstrators and “actively participating citizens”.

    He doesn't comment on Venezuela because it shows a failed socialist system and bringing it up would be poor socialist propaganda.

    EM's recent response to his total silence on what a wreck socialist Venezuela is:

    “-- before commenting I like to do a little research and time being such a scarce resource I prefer to keep to what I know better.”

    He is a fervent socialist but he just doesn't know enough about socialism in Venezuela?

    But he has plenty of “scarce resource” and knowledge to express his schadenfreude on suffering in free-market systems and to bash free-market leaders.

    He comments regularly on events in Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, and now the U.S. All under free-market administrations.

    But no time or enough knowledge for one post of protest against the socialist tragedy in Venezuela. Millions have fled that country.

    Free market leaders = Bad

    Socialist leaders = Very Good

    Suffering in a free-market system = long post

    Suffering in a socialist system = silence

    EM is just a socialist fanatic who believes in using deceptive propaganda to promote his religion.

    Jun 05th, 2020 - 12:21 am +1
  • Pogul-X

    OK, I’ll start.

    The fact is that whatever “political view” you take, right of left or indeed somewhere in the middle, life for the average person in Venezuela is FAR worse, Coronavirus excluded, than in Brazil or Chile and getting worse all the time.

    All the more inexcusable in a country with the great abundance of natural resources that Venezuela has.

    Tanker loads of refined petrol from Iran, really!!!

    Mismanagement, corruption, stupidity and inefficiency on a truly staggering scale is needed to squander wealth on that scale.

    Long before the end of Chavez it was falling apart, all non-oil related industrial production coming to a stop, chronic shortages of almost everything, inflation spiralling up where they were printing more and more money, when even at a time of relatively high oil/gas prices the revenues could not cover the spending.

    Compare this to how the average Saudi lives, in the ultra-conservative Kingdom with the King as absolute ruler.

    It is good “Mad Dog” speaking out like that, perfectly proper under the American system for him to do so, it is also lamentable that in Venezuela such freedoms, like so much else, are simply non-existent.

    Jun 08th, 2020 - 03:49 pm 0
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