In a signal that the United States is about to ramp up the aggression in its war on Syria, Secretary of Defense, Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis has announced that the U.S. strategy to “defeat ISIS” is changing, stating that a new policy of “attrition” is over and the new policy of “annihilation” is about to begin.
Speaking to CBS’ Face The Nation, Mattis said,
Our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against Isis. It is a threat to all civilized nations. And the bottom line is we are going to move in an accelerated and reinforced manner, throw them on their back foot.
We have already shifted from attrition tactics, where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria, to annihilation tactics where we surround them. Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so. We’re going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate.
The United States, however, has long supported the terrorist group both in terms of funding and outright military assistance ever since the organization became publicly known as ISIS (simple name change from al-Qaeda, an American created and controlled terrorist organization used to defeat the Soviets in the 70s).
Mattis then launched into a familiar but incredibly hypocritical retort regarding the horror of killing women and children, something the United States has become quite adept at doing, particularly in the last two decades. He said,
We have got to dry up their recruiting,” he said. “We have got to dry up their fundraising. The way we intend to do it is to humiliate them, to divorce them from any nation giving them protection, and humiliating their message of hatred, of violence. Anyone who kills women and children is not devout. They … cannot dress themselves up in false religious garb and say that somehow this message has dignity.
Yet when the specific question of civilian casualties came up, Mattis appeared to be paving the way for an increase in the wholesale slaughter of innocent people in Iraq and Syria. Indeed, Mattis’ response appeared to be designed to set the stage and prepare the American people for the horror show that is about to be unleashed in the Middle East with renewed vigor. Mattis said,
Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation. We do everything humanly possible consistent with military necessity, taking many chances to avoid civilian casualties at all costs.
The American people and the American military will never get used to civilian casualties. And we will – we will fight against that every way we can possibly bring our intelligence and our tactics to bear.
But, while Mattis feigns sorrow over the death of innocent people, he is obviously quite resigned to civilian deaths since his announcement is one of foreshadowing that seems to be taken straight out of the Israeli playbook. Of course, Mattis is not alone since the US military brass as well as the American people seem quite comfortable with civilian deaths in wars that their country has started.
Laughably, Mattis goes on to attempt to defend the killing of more than 100 civilians in Mosul by a U.S. airstrike as having been the fault of ISIS since the Western-backed organization would not allow civilians to leave the area being bombed. He then argues that the explosions were so massive because the U.S. airstrike hit a building in which ISIS was storing weapons and munitions. Fair enough. There is an argument to be made for his position (assuming, of course, the U.S. was actually fighting ISIS).
However, Mattis’ claims are eerily similar to those made by the Syrian and Russian militaries regarding similar incidents, most notably the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Khan Sheikhoun. At the time, however, the U.S. dismissed such claims out of hand, pretending that they were simply lies and more examples of the cruelty of Assad and his omniscient Russian allies. The idea that a military would unwittingly bomb a warehouse of munitions causing civilian deaths was, according to the West, preposterous. That is, unless the West needs a convenient excuse. When such is the case, the integrity and honor of the West is beyond question.
In fact, even as Mattis’ interview was published, the headlines in the corporate media were alight with accusations of Syrian military atrocities committed as a result of Assad’s much-maligned indiscriminate barrel bombs. But I digress . . .
Mattis also followed in the footsteps of the previous two administrations by reminding Americans that we are the good guys, something Americans need to be reminded of lest they forget or have a different perspective as a result of judging by what they see and the fruit their country bears. “We’re not the perfect guys, but we are the good guys. And so we’re doing what we can,” he said.