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Hawkish Mattis As Defense Secretary

By Stephen Lendman

At a Thursday Cincinnati rally, Trump announced retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as defense secretary - calling him “the closest thing we have to (WW II era) General George Patton.” Earlier he tweeted he’s “being considered for Secretary of Defense…A true General’s General!”

He last served as US CENTCOM head from August 2010 to March 2013. Notoriously known as “Mad Dog,” he earlier said “it’s a lot of fun to fight…It’s fun to shoot some people. I’ll be right upfront with you. I like brawling.”

He considers Iran the greatest threat to Middle East peace, a disgraceful Big Lie. Iran hasn’t attacked another country in over two centuries. It threatens none now.

Mattis opposes rapprochement with Russia, irresponsibly claiming nonexistent Putin revanchism and belligerence.

During US naked aggression on Iraq, Bush/Cheney’s war, Mattis commanded the 1st Marine Division during the 2003 invasion and subsequent assault on Fallujah.

Mass slaughter, arbitrary arrests, torture, humiliation and other forms of abuse targeted city residents.

US-enforced siege denied them food, medicines, and other essentials - a flagrant Fourth Geneva violation, a Nuremberg-level high crime.

Random bombing and rocket fire (including use of cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and other illegal munitions), massacred or wounded thousands, many thousands more displaced, homes and other property destroyed.

Collective punishment included US snipers shooting “any moving body,” including noncombatant men, women, children, the elderly and infirm.

A bridge connecting Fallujah to the area’s general hospital was cut off, preventing the ill and injured from reaching it for treatment - another flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.

Residents were denied food, water and medical help for days. Fallujah’s football stadium became a burial ground for thousands of dead victims of US barbarism.

Two Fallujah battles were fought - from April 4, 2003 - May 1, and from November 7 - December 23. Between them, US forces kept terror-bombing residential and industrial areas.

Negotiations to halt hostilities failed. Washington spurned peace, chose mass slaughter and destruction instead, mostly harming civilians.

Hundreds arrested went to Abu Ghraib and other infamous US torture prisons. Many died from torture and ill treatment.

During combat, witnesses confirmed the wholesale slaughter of unarmed civilians in their homes and mosques, some shot after being handcuffed.

Children saw parents shot. Adults saw spouses and children killed. US Marines participated in looting homes and stores, many indiscriminately destroyed.

Vast environmental contamination caused a significant increase is cancer cases and congenital malformations. Official Fallujah health statistics showed the following:

in 2006, 5,928 documented cases of previously unknown or rarely seen diseases;

in the first half of 2007, 2,447 seriously ill patients (half of them children) had mostly little known symptoms;

research studies determined sharp increases of leukemia, other cancers, infant mortality, abnormal deliveries, and injuries similar injuries to Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors, clearly from depleted uranium and other toxic chemical exposures;

a February 2010 field study found cancers had multiplied fourfold, ones similar to Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors;

over a five year period, a 12-fold cancer rate in 14-year-old children was found;

infant mortality was 80 per thousand live births, compared to 19 in Egypt, 17 in Jordan, and 9.7 in Kuwait;

the gender birth ratio was also affected, dropping from almost even to a three-to-one female weighting over males; and

birth defects rose over 25%, many hideous from radiation poisoning; congenital heart defects had the highest incidence, followed by neural tube defects, and skeletal abnormalities.

Post-9/11 alone, US wars of aggression were responsible for millions of casualties - from war, related violence, preventable diseases, starvation and overall deprivation, civilians mostly affected, continuing to die, injured or otherwise abused by America’s rage for war.

Does Mattis’ selection indicate Trump’s intent to be America’s latest warrior president, renouncing peace for endless conflicts?

Will lofty promises be breached? Does calling Mattis “the real deal…a brilliant, wonderful man” indicate support for his war crimes? Will endless imperial wars continue on Trump’s watch?

A Final Comment

If confirmed, Mattis will be the first retired US general to serve as defense secretary since George Marshall, appointed in 1950. Federal law requires appointees not to have been on active duty for seven years.

Congress granted Marshall an exemption, likely for Mattis as well.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


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