James Mattis Is a War Criminal: I Experienced His Attack on Fallujah Firsthand

by Dahr Jamail, Truthout | News Analysis – Retired marine General James Mattis, who retired from being the head of CENTCOM in 2013, has become known recently for his stance against what he calls “political Islam.” “Is political Islam in the best interest of the United States?” Mattis said at the far right-wing Heritage Foundation in 2015. “I suggest the answer is no, but we need to have the discussion. If we won’t even ask the question, how do we even recognize which is our side in a fight?” Another controversial aspect of his selection that much of the media is focusing on is the fact that in order to get the job, Mattis would need Congress to pass new legislation to bypass a federal law stating that it has to have been seven years since defense secretaries have been on active duty. Congress has only bypassed that law once...

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Donald Trump Picks James Mattis for Defense Secretary

US president-elect says he will appoint a retired general renowned for his tough talk as defense secretary. President-elect Donald Trump has said he will nominate retired Marine Corps General James Mattis to be his defense secretary. Mattis, who is known as “Mad Dog” and renowned for his tough talk, retired in 2013 after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. James Mattis, 66, ex-Marine 2010-2013: Led the Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East and South Asia 2005: He was quoted as saying: it was “fun to shoot some people” 2004: Leader of Marines in battle of Fallujah in Iraq 2003: Helped lead the invasion into Iraq 2001: Invasion of Kandahar province in Afghanistan 1991: Was part of an assault battalion into Kuwait during the first US war with Iraq 1972: Commissioned as an officer 1969: Enlisted in the Marine Corps 1950: Born in Pullman, Washington state...

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Former Secretary of Defense: Trump ‘Unqualified and Unfit to be Commander-in-Chief’

by Natasha Geiling – Robert Gates had strong words for both candidates in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates is not a big fan of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton’s ideas about foreign policy. But when it comes to national security, he only thinks one candidate — Trump — is “beyond repair.” In a scathing op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, Gates — who served under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama — takes both candidates to task for their ideas about dealing with potentially hostile relations in China, Russia, the Middle East, and beyond. Of Clinton, Gates writes that she has “has much-discussed credibility issues apart from national security, but these also influence foreign perceptions of reliability and trust.” He criticizes the Democratic candidate for her role in the United State’s intervention in Libya, and for her decision to support — and then oppose — the Iraq War. But Gates saves his harshest words for...

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US: Turkey Needs to do More in Fight Against ISIL

US Defence Secretary welcomes decision to let US jets use Turkish bases but urges NATO ally to take part in airstrikes Turkey needs to do more in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter has said. Speaking at a Pentagon press conference on Thursday, Carter said the US appreciated Turkey’s recent decision to permit US warplanes to fly combat missions out of its air bases but urged its NATO partner to take steps to participate in airstrikes and better control its border. Carter said top US leaders are in “active discussions” with Turkey about the need to better stem the flow of ISIL fighters crossing its border into Iraq and Syria, adding that fighters and supplies were making their way across the long border. “It’s long overdue because it’s a year into the campaign, but they’re indicating some considerable effort...

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Hagel’s Departure Should Open Debate on Obama’s Wars

by Medea Benjamin – Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was supposed to steer the Pentagon away from a decade of war, including bringing US troops home from Afghanistan and paving the way for a reduction in the Pentagon budget. Instead, the Obama administration has opted for remaining in Afghanistan, continuing the disastrous drone wars in Pakistan and Yemen, and dragging our nation into another round of military involvement in Iraq, as well as Syria. The ISIL crises has also been used as a justification for not cutting the Pentagon budget, as required by sequestration. The issue facing this nation is not who replaces Hagel, but what policy decisions we want to Pentagon to implement. Troops out of Afghanistan: The public has long soured on US military involvement in Afghanistan. President Obama’s recent executive decision to keep the troops thereto confront the Taliban is taking us down the wrong path. After 13...

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Bashing Obama to Make Way for Hillary

by Alli McCracken – Three years ago, during the height of the Occupy movement, I was ejected from a Congressional hearing for allegedly “assaulting” Leon Panetta, then Secretary of Defense and former Director of the CIA. He was testifying to the House Armed Services Committee about “lessons learned by the Department of Defense over the preceding decade.” I jumped out of my audience seat to tell him that young people were paying the price of those “lessons,” and we were sick of the government funding war instead of education. The baseless assault charges against me were ultimately dropped. A few years and trillions of dollars later, I found myself sitting in front of Leon Panetta once again, this time for his book talk at George Washington University, where he was gunning for more war. Just when we thought the US was finally leaving Iraq alone, the world was hit with...

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