The resignation of General Mattis and America’s crisis of class rule
22 December 2018
Thursday’s resignation of US Defense Secretary James Mattis has provoked a reaction of panic and near hysteria from leading members of both major political parties, the media and former top military and intelligence officials.
Mattis, a former four-star Marine Corps general, made his resignation announcement in a letter that represented an open rebuke of President Donald Trump’s policies, essentially accusing him of failing to support the US alliances established by Washington in the post-World War II era or sufficiently counter “malign actors and strategic competitors,” i.e., China and Russia.
Before making the letter public, Mattis reportedly had 50 copies printed and distributed to top brass within the Pentagon.
The immediate trigger for the resignation was Trump’s order, made public Wednesday, to withdraw all 2,000-plus US troops from Syria and his reported decision to draw down at least half—approximately 7,000 soldiers—of the US forces still waging a more than 17-year-long war in Afghanistan.
Trump had campaigned in 2016 on his “America First” program, calling for an end to the protracted US wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. This rhetoric played a substantial role in winning the billionaire real estate speculator popular support against his presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, the favored candidate of Wall Street and the CIA, whose career was bound up with past US wars and advanced preparations for an escalation of the Syria intervention as well as a direct confrontation with Russia.
Trump’s decision to act on these campaign pledges now are bound up with the deepening crisis of his presidency, which is besieged by multiple scandals and…