According to Bob Woodward’s latest book, Secretary of Defense Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis believes President Trump has the intellectual and emotional capacity of a fifth- or sixth-grader. Mattis, of course, denies saying this, but true or not the remark undoubtedly angered Trump, the midnight tweeter with a massive ego who never misses an opportunity to go after his political enemies, spewing invective and disparagement.
Now there are rumors circulating that Mattis will step down in the months ahead. If this happens, who will replace him?
According to The Washington Post, it may be four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane, or possibly the senators Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham.
“Depending on the party balance in the Senate after the November elections, Republican leadership may not want to risk losing one its caucus members, especially Cotton, who defeated a Democrat for his seat in 2014,” reports the Post. “Graham has said repeatedly he is not interested in serving in the Cabinet.”
However, if Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has anything to say about the vacancy there will be a neocon in that position to compliment the one heading up the State Department.
Back in March, as Team Trump prepared to bring Bolton onboard, Mattis said he didn’t think he would be able to work with him. Mattis previously joked he believes Bolton is the Devil Incarnate.
Mattis put on the best face when Bolton was appointed. “He’s going to come over this week. Last time I checked he’s an American. I can work with an American… It’s going to be a partnership,” he said.
Arkansas senator Cotton (or Graham), Bolton, and Sec. State Pompeo would be an almost ideal triad for Israel and the neocons who faithfully do the apartheid state’s bidding in Congress.
For Cotton, it’s all about Israel and the Likudniks. He received $700,000 for his Senate campaign from the Emergency Committee for Israel.
“During the 2014 Israeli invasion of Gaza, when over 500 Palestinian were killed, Cotton called the Israeli defense force ‘the most moral, humanitarian fighting force in the world.’ In December he said Congress should consider supplying Israel with B-52s and so-called ‘bunker-buster’ bombs for a possible strike against Iran,” Medea Benjamin and Nalini Ramachandran wrote back in March, 2015.
Cotton, like Bolton and Pompeo, wants to bomb Iran. He called the nuclear deal with Iran, which was later trashed by Trump, akin to “appeasement of Nazi Germany.”
He called for a “war on Islamic Terror,” which of course means Iran, not Saudi Arabia, long known to support terrorists who are sadistic head choppers.
We can’t win the war on Islamic terror on defense, we have to win on offense,” Cotton told CNN. In a speech to The Heritage Foundation the day before, Cotton had compared the negotiations of the P5+1 (the U.S., Russia, China, the U.K. and France, plus Germany) with Iran to the appeasement of Nazi Germany.
Cotton shares a relationship with Bill Kristol, the uber neocon publisher of the Weekly Standard. “Kristol saw a kindred spirit in Cotton’s aggressive national-security hawkishness, and the men developed what Kristol describes as ‘a bond beyond pure policy,’” writes Molly Ball.
Cotton is not merely another opportunistic politician clawing his way up the political ladder. He is a dyed-in-the-wool neocon. Both Kristol and Cotton studied under Harvey Mansfield, a disciple of Leo Strauss, the grand daddy of neoconservatism.
Many of the donors to his Senate campaign are Likudnik hardliners, including Paul Singer and Seth Klarman. John Bolton’s PAC, also financed by Likudniks, dished out over $825,000 to support Cotton’s Senate run.
If Bolton has any say in the decision to replace Mattis, Tom Cotton will be the next Secretary of Defense.
Fortunately, it looks like Cotton probably won’t take the job because he believes it will frustrate his desire to be president.
But then again.