Experience with the Middle East. Can’t Afford a Tie. December 7, 1941.
- I am very careful with the topics of religion and politics with this blog. I will try to keep this topic short and sweet without bending my rules about those two subjects. With that said, the President-Elect has a daunting task to select a Cabinet that is effective and relevant. At this point I am only focused on Treasury and Defense as my two key appointments that seriously effect domestic and international policy. Last week, James Mattis was selected to be our next Secretary of Defense (SecDef). Like a lot of us, I have been very concerned about the direction of the Defense Department and the lack of presence and direction of our military stance, especially in the Middle East. With the appointment of “Mad Dog“, in which former four-star General James Mattis is affectionately called, the United States has announced to the world that the dynamics and decision-making with our military is about to change and change quickly. James Mattis is a decorated four-star General known for two things: 1) he is a soldiers’ soldier, having fought in the trenches of Falluja and leading our military through a very tough and bloody war; and 2) he is known to limit his sensitivity to collateral damage. Why is this important? It is very simple in my mind. No longer will terrorists in the Middle East ‘hide’ behind civilians thinking that the U.S. commanders would back off from bombing targets surrounded by civilians. No longer will terrorist leaders hide in schools and hospitals knowing that nothing will happen as long as the children or patients are present. “Mad Dog”, due to his many years in combat with Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda. and ISIS, clearly understands this strategy and has stated that collateral damage, unfortunately, is part of war. Is Mattis a bit controversial? Is he a bit of a loose cannon? Will he tow the line with our President and Congress? The answers remain to be seen but the rest of the world, especially the terrorists of the world, now have something different to deal with from the armed forces of the United States. Godspeed James Mattis.
- He is a professional athlete. He signed a contract that gave him a $22m signing bonus and a annual average salary of $20m a year. He is subject to injury as any NFL quarterback so his agent was able to negotiate a guaranteed amount of $60m. His name: Cam Newton, the quarterback of last year’s AFC champion Carolina Panthers. The Panthers, and Cam himself, are off to a very slow start and now find themselves with little chance of making the playoffs. You would think as a leader, Cam would set an example for his teammates and coaches in this very trying time. Instead, his coach, Ron Rivera, had to sit him down for the first series of yesterday’s game. In a game that seems like a must win, Cam is disciplined by his head coach for violating team rules. The Panthers played at Oakland last week and did not travel home, choosing instead to practice on the West Coast for the week before yesterday’s game in Seattle. It really does not matter what rule Cam decided not to follow as he is the leader of his team and should set an example for everyone. Carolina was run out of the stadium by Seattle yesterday, and Carolina’s season is about over. The rule Cam did not follow was a very simple one regarding team attire when traveling and Cam’s excuse is too lame to mention. It is just too bad that a tremendous athlete with more money than he knows what to do with has a child mentality. Maybe Coach Rivera should sit Cam down for an entire game? Not that it would have any effect on Cam based on the money he is making. Grow up Cam. Your young age is no longer an excuse.
- December 7, 1941. “A day that will live in infamy” stated by President Roosevelt shortly after Japan, while negotiating to improve diplomatic relations with the United States, executed an all-out attack on Pearl Harbor with the goal of destroying our Pacific naval fleet. You know the rest of the story and the surrender of Japan following the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with both countries slow to repair any type of diplomatic relations for many years. I really think that we should leave well and good alone but now we learn that Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Pearl Harbor the day after Christmas. While I think it is important for the U.S. and Japan to be allies, why open up all the wounds again? I felt the same way about President Obama visiting Hiroshima this past May…..just leave it alone and move on from the horrific tragedy and devastation of December 7, 1941. If you have a flag, please fly it this Wednesday. If you don’t have a flag go buy one.
- Updates: looking for a great place to bring family for a fun and different holiday dinner? Try Amalfi in Roswell and Flatlands Bourbon & Bayou in Alpharetta. Matt Ryan: no more interceptions resulting in points. If looking to watch a very interesting and well written movie…..try The Infiltrator starring Bryan Cranston.
Adios and have a great week!