“Power corrupts, an old truism but why does it also make the powerful so stupid? Their power schemes become unstuck in time, at cruel cost to other; then the powerful put their stupid important heads together and invent the next similar schemes.”
― Martha Gellhorn, The Face of War (1987)
General Mattis’s resignation letter is essentially a position statement on our larger strategy in the Middle East. I think I’ve made it clear that I’m no supporter of Trump, but I’m with him on this one. I firmly believe that we are mired in a never-ending, no-win conflict in the Middle East. It is no-win, because it is essentially a battle for political power among the inhabitants of the Middle East which has raged for thousands of years. Clearly, there is an undercurrent of religious fanaticism, but aside from the occasional “true believer,” the religious bent merely serves the purposes of those who aspire to political power.