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Sat Oct 26, 2019, 09:55 AM

Trump's former generals, from James Mattis to Joseph Votel, sound an unprecedented warning

From the beginning of his tenure, the president has given critics plenty of reasons to be excoriated. But we have heard little dissent from warriors — until now.

Oct. 22, 2019, 9:18 AM MDT
By Col. Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient and NBC/MSNBC military analyst
On Oct. 17, I attended the Al Smith Dinner, an annual charity gala in New York City. Political big-shots mingle with media celebrities and corporate executives. It is always an entertaining experience. This year’s keynote address was by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, President Donald Trump’s erstwhile secretary of defense. Trump once praised Mattis profusely, but more recently has made him the object of his scorn, calling him “the world’s most overrated general.” (Full disclosure: I know Jim Mattis and can report that he is among the finest officers I have met since I first donned a uniform 53 years ago.)

Although Mattis has a well-developed and wry sense of humor, he is judicious about using it. His public persona leaves one with the correct impression that he is the consummate professional warrior. But at the Al Smith Dinner, he chose to deploy his weapons of erudition, surprising and amusing the hundreds of attendees with a rare counterattack directed at the president's "overrated" insult. “I’m honored to be considered that by Donald Trump because he also called Meryl Streep an overrated actress,” Mattis said in his keynote speech. “So, I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals.”

The barb was doubly surprising given Mattis’ previous reluctance to criticize his former commander in chief, a decision that has garnered its fair share of criticism. But there’s a reason for Mattis’ reluctance. Generals in Mattis’ position, even those who are retired, do not criticize the sitting president. Until this administration, Mattis’ joke would have been unthinkable. And yet, Mattis is merely the latest in a line of commanding officers who have recently rebuked the president’s decisions. This collective decision to go against such entrenched military traditions should give their warnings even more weight. When the generals are speaking out, something is really wrong.

More: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-former-generals-james-mattis-joseph-votel-sound-unprecedented-ncna1069771?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma&fbclid=IwAR1G91x-LVHNjr3LoSfARA_eCaV8MRIUNRjcqqzzM1j8RZWKw5RNtLYVzts

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Reply Trump's former generals, from James Mattis to Joseph Votel, sound an unprecedented warning (Original post)
Quixote1818 Oct 2019 OP
5X Oct 2019 #1

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Sat Oct 26, 2019, 10:00 AM

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