Christian Sagers: Is James Mattis right to resign?

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  • robin138 springfield, VA
    Dec. 30, 2018 7:57 a.m.

    We have benefited greatly by Mattis applying his years of experience in evaluating threats to our nation and how to respond to such threats. I fear we have no equal replacement in our future.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Dec. 29, 2018 4:45 p.m.

    "Globalism means all countries are governed by a single global government (a worldwide government). "

    That kind of irrational claim is not only completely false, it's the kind of mindless conspiracy tale that endangers all of us when it is believed by people who fail to exercise any form of good judgement and fact checking.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Dec. 29, 2018 4:41 p.m.

    Let's hope that Mattis stands up and tells the story of what it's REALLY like to to try to contain the unpredictable impulses of a very unstable individual to try to protect all of us from the war that man could easily cause.

    Mattis was one of only a regrettably small number of rational, responsible, intelligent adults in the current administration.

    We need to hear the full story. Maybe that would impel Congress to finally take a good look at not only impeachment but also invoking the 25th Amendment.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    Dec. 29, 2018 3:46 p.m.

    "Mattis will, like Benedict Arnold, be remembered as an infamous traitor who fought for the enemy."

    That is way, way out of line, and any vet who has served alongside Mattis will tell you that in very clear terms.

    Mattis is an American hero who made it clear he resigned in protest of a president who is utterly ignorant of foreign and national security policy, and is unwilling to overcome his ignorance by listening to those with experience and expertise.

    This isn't some mythical war between nationalism and globalism. The US created the global order. The US benefits more than any country from the global order.

    No, this is about a president who makes u-turns in national security policy on a whim, with no deliberation, no thoughtful explanation made to the American public, and no consideration of long term consequences. It endangers our troops, undermines success against ISIS, betrays allies who have shed their blood alongside us, and strengthens the positions of Russia and Iran in the region. There are legitimate arguments against being in Syria, but we're doing this is disastrous.

    Kindly take the nonsense about treason someplace else, sir.

  • eigerjoe Sandy, UT
    Dec. 29, 2018 2:41 p.m.

    Benedict Arnold was an early American hero of the Revolutionary War who later became one of the most infamous traitors in U.S. history after he switched sides and fought for the British.
    This country is currently in a war. It’s a war of globalism vs. nationalism. President Trump is fighting against globalism. Globalism means all countries are governed by a single global government (a worldwide government).

    Current US troops involved foreign wars (i.e. Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq) are part of globalism and past globalist policies which President Trump opposes.

    General Mattis is a past military general who is opposed to President Trump’s politics of anti-globalism. If President Trump fails, Mattis will be remembered as an American hero, but if President Trump succeeds in this war, Mattis will, like Benedict Arnold, be remembered as an infamous traitor who fought for the enemy.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Dec. 29, 2018 6:49 a.m.

    "This is more like, "I'm taking my dolly and going home." Don is the president, not Mattis, so that means that Don makes the final decision and it is Mattis' job to say, "Yes, Sir," and then do his job."

    Smart people surround themselves with smart people. No one is an expert at everything.
    Unfortunately, Trump is so egotistical that he DOES believe that he knows more than anyone in every area.

    Trump is a scary man. Especially as the most powerful person in the world.

    Mattis made the biggest principled protest that he could. He resigned.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 29, 2018 6:44 a.m.

    "His decision to resign can be second guessed and will certainly be used by the Trump haters to claim that Trump is something awful, regardless of Mattis' motivation."

    Whoever said that obviously did not carefully read the Mattis resignation letter, nor take notice of Trump's churlish reaction to same.

    And BTW, it wasn't only 'Trump haters' who reacted to Trump's early release of Mattis. It was a large number of GOP elected Senators and Representatives. Please leave out the hyperbole.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 9:50 p.m.

    Just a few thoughts.

    1-Secretary Mattis will have served as long or longer than 3 of President Obama's 4 Secretaries of Defense. Panetta, Hagel, and Carter all served less than 2 full years as SecDef under Obama. Only Gates whom Obama retained from W Bush served longer than will Mattis.

    2-Thus far, Sec Mattis has avoided direct criticism of the President. He has shown himself to be a true professional, and a patriot by not tearing down the President whom he is still serving. Time will tell whether he engages in open criticism once his service is concluded. If he does, Trump supporters need to listen carefully as Mattis is highly credible. If he doesn't, I wonder whether the never-Trumpers (in both parties) will ever attempt to emulate his example.

    I suspect, that as they did with McCain and HW Bush, never Trumpers will praise Mattis only so far as it is really just an attack on President Trump, but will never actually emulate the qualities they praise.

    3-I think Mattis' departure is a loss to the administration and the nation. But his 2 year tenure is fairly typical.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 9:48 p.m.

    When the immensely successful and popular Gen. McArthur went against Truman's policy. the loud applause given Mattis was not given to McArthur, but to Truman and rightfully so. Mattis was given notice a year ago that in6 months Syria should be wrapped up; later, Trump acquiesced to a further 6 months. Now, Trump drew the line. Mattis had every right to resign; to add criticism to his resignation merely invited retributive criticism. Good soldiers are not always good strategists. How many years, how much money and how many American lives have we spent; and Mattis and his defenders give us no end in sight. We need fresh thinking folks, and the old-timers are not doing it. Cut and dried.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 7:41 p.m.

    It should be regarded as the highest act of patriotism for an American to resist harm to America, it's people, it's friends and even it's enemies. If the only way a person can do that is to resign participation in the distruction of America and it's ideals, cheers for the effort.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 5:11 p.m.

    Gen. Mattis has earned and deserves the respect of every American.

    His decision to resign can be second guessed and will certainly be used by the Trump haters to claim that Trump is something awful, regardless of Mattis' motivation.

    Mattis is from a generation and culture where if someone cannot support the organization's policy decisions they quietly resign rather than stick around to collect a paycheck and undermine or slow-roll implementation. This is a distinct difference between Mattis and the hordes of "deep state" operatives inside the bureaucracy in the swamp who are fighting Trump at every step while accepting a government pay check to do what they are told.

    If members of Congress had Mattis' ethical stadards we would be a lot better off.

    If Mattis were to run for President in 2020, I would certainly support him over Trump.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 28, 2018 2:33 p.m.

    @ Hutterite Hutterite
    "He not only left to reclaim his dignity, but also took the opportunity to warn us."

    To the liberals Mattis was a nobody when Obama fired him but when Trump fired Mattis, he is superman.

  • Occidentali Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 2:32 p.m.

    General Mattis thought President Trump didn't mean it when he told the American people, during the campaign, that he was going to pull our soldiers out of Syria. He thought Trump would have a contrary private view, as do most establishment leaders. Mattis thought he could maintain the status quo and wouldn't have taken the job if he knew the president would keep this promise.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 28, 2018 2:10 p.m.

    Mattis is not wimp.

    Yet I think we all recognize that he:

    knows he will be the next one who Trump abuses

    that Trump will ask him to do something he finds unconscionable

    that Trump is inconsistent and lacking in an overall strategy

    that his reputation is tarnished by association with Trump

    Who wants that?

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 1:26 p.m.

    Re: "When at loggerheads with the chief executive, is resigning a show of integrity, or is it failing to put country first?"

    When you consistently can't persuade the chief executive to do the right thing, you put the country first by resigning. Resigning puts you in a position to publicly point out the chief executive's errors, something that is beneficial to the country.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 1:07 p.m.

    This is a truly absurd question! Of course he has every right to resign. Sagers should focus on the corruptions of the political system and the economic system. Maybe too much for him.

  • london_josh Lincoln, CA
    Dec. 28, 2018 1:06 p.m.

    @impartial

    "Mattis wasn't about to stand by any longer while Trump destroys America."

    So, he's a patriot who didn't want to see his country destroyed. Interestimg take, a few questions about that:

    1 - do you think that Mattis generally agrees with trump?

    2 - the key issue seemed to be pulling out of Syria, do you think that the US should have stationed troops there for another long war?

    3 - can Mattis do more good to prevent, as you put it, trump from destroying the US from outside of a position of power rather than inside?

    Interesting takes, humor me with your replies.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 12:51 p.m.

    Mainly Me said: "This is more like, "I'm taking my dolly and going home." Don is the president, not Mattis, so that means that Don makes the final decision and it is Mattis' job to say, "Yes, Sir," and then do his job."

    Or to realize he was working for a petulant child president who required constant attention and heeds no advise from those who actually know, preferring to instead get advice from entertainers and right nationalists.

    The "Don" isn't as powerful as he believes, as one can observe how many people with morals have fled this administration hand chosen by the dear leader. Nope at some point it's not the rest of the world that is wrong.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 12:43 p.m.

    @Mainly Me - Werribee, 00
    Dec. 28, 2018 12:32 p.m.
    This is more like, "I'm taking my dolly and going home." Don is the president, not Mattis, so that means that Don makes the final decision and it is Mattis' job to say, "Yes, Sir," and then do his job."

    Yep. Exactly the same attitude that allowed Germany to trash Europe in the 1930's.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Dec. 28, 2018 12:32 p.m.

    This is more like, "I'm taking my dolly and going home." Don is the president, not Mattis, so that means that Don makes the final decision and it is Mattis' job to say, "Yes, Sir," and then do his job.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 10:50 a.m.

    Mattis would have recognised that there is a chain of command structure in place which would normally operate in a manner wherein the top of the chain should be someone of character sufficient that they did not need to be 'reined in'. In normal circumstances. In this White House, the expectation seemed to be that Mattis was running the day care. He not only left to reclaim his dignity, but also took the opportunity to warn us.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 28, 2018 10:36 a.m.

    " To others, he’ll head home a softie who couldn’t rein in the president."

    No, he's a man of principal. Even as a General, he doesn't have the authority to "rein in the President". Neither did General Flynn or Rex Tillerson. They called him "moron" (and worse) behind his back. Unlike Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, who did have power but refused to use it, Mattis wasn't about to stand by any longer while Trump destroys America.