Before exiting the podium, he said:
“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.”
This is a unique breed of lunatic.
Talking tough, and talking of “options” for “annihilating” a country. Normal people would say this is an idiotic proposition because the fall-out would be much worse than any of Kim apocalyptic sabre rattling. All this looks very familiar. Quite simply, what we are seeing here in Washington is Neoconservativism reasserting itself through one of its flagship planks – the preemptive strike.Above all other military strategies, this is always the most favorable for the Pentagon because it doesn’t require any real justification or accountability for a preemptive action. All that’s required is a sufficient amount of media fear-mongering and political hype about “the threat we all face” and how “we must act” – and then simply fire away and sift through the rubble, reforming the narrative afterwards. In the meantime, the ruling parties can call it a success, and claim that “many lives were saved by this valiant action” etc. It’s clean and straightforward, albeit in the short term, but extremely messy in the long term.
As much as hawks in Washington would love to test out their new toys right now, a conflagration is not likely to happen by the hand of the US in the Pacific Rim. There are too many powerful players in the immediate vicinity (South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Philippines… and Russia, too) and the fall-out from any rash US-led geopolitical pissing contest, ‘surgical’ or kinetic action could be detrimental to all parties. Better to get someone else to start it for them, but that’s not easy either.
There was a time when people had high hopes for Mattis. He was affectionately referred to as the “warrior monk,” with many FOX News pundits drooling over his apparent Sun Tzu prowess, as was rumoured that he has actually read some historical books and was “really smart” and “really wise” – apparently a rarity in Washington military circles these days. But no matter how many books people think he’s read about the Peloponnesian Wars, it’s should be pretty clear by now that Mattis, like his predecessor Ash Carter, is acting as kind of an executive sales rep for the military industrial complex. That’s essentially what the position of Defense Secretary has become in America. It’s a straightforward deal: you’ll keep your job, as long as you do and say what’s required to keep international tensions high at all times. This translates into profits, and shareholder dividends for industry stakeholders. If you’re not with the program, then you’ll have to tender your resignation. Just ask Chuck Hagel.