….you know there is a reason for the word choice.
Let me start by underscoring how dramatic this news story is, and not because it has the word Nazi in the article. No, rather because there is a code of conduct that General Jim Mattis has lived and demonstrated over his long career. He is not one to go public with criticism of sitting political leaders. That holds true not only for him but for others who have served in the military.
But there are those moments in our history when the adults must rise from the corners and speak out. Timing is everything at a moment like this, and as such Mattis sent Trump a clear message that he’d better back down or risk united resistance from the military establishment. It is Mattis now……others will follow if Trump does not slink backward from his threat to use federal troops in the states–or to further attack our citizens as was done this week outside the White House.
Former Defense Secretary James Mattis slammed Donald Trump’s response to the protests over the death of George Floyd and called his photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church “an abuse of executive authority.”
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,” Mattis wrote in a statement published Wednesday by The Atlantic.
“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,” Mattis wrote.
In the stunning rebuke of his former boss, Mattis, a retired general, said he’d promised to defend the Constitution when he was sworn into the Marine Corps “some 50 years ago.”
“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,” Mattis wrote, referring to Monday night’s federal show of force to clear protesters from the front of the White House.