Happy New Year:  Did you notice 2018 went by really fast? The older I get the more clear to me is Einstein’s theory of relativity. I also notice daily the novel 1984 is playing out right before our eyes and no one seems to see it, or care. Big Brother is in charge. I give thanks that I had the opportunity to live one more year on planet earth. I pray a healthy and prosperous New Year for all… “Be Good and Do Good”!

To General Mattis: Dear Sir, thank you for your long and faithful service to our nation. I hold you in high esteem. That being said you disappointed me with your exit criticisms, and negative remarks, regarding your disagreement with the President. I heard you speak of allies, loyalty, and other things. I remind you Sir that Donald Trump got elected because he promised to work for the American people, first and foremost. From my perspective I see him doing just that. I will save the run down on all of his completed promises so far but lets remember one he kept….that none of his predicessors did….he moved our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem!

In the United States Military the buck is supposed to stop at the top. Sir, I do not recall you making any open critiques of General Flynn turning lobbyist, and of all the countries he chose to work for, and profit from….Turkey. Turkey may be an ally but they are no friend. We never got a thing from the Turks that we did not have to pay for in blood and or money. The Turkish government is a dictatorship and repressive toward their own people. They are also genocidal toward minority groups like the Kurds and Armenians.

General do you support the system that has been in place for years where by our senior military leaders retire and then go to work for companies as lobbyist to the Pentagon? Do you not see the corrupt nature of this practice? Do you think it is right, say for a Navy Captain who is in charge of buying certain items for the fleet to retire and then two years later he or she is representing the same company, selling items to the military and making a high six figure salary. No, it is not right, moral, or particularly sophisticated….and it flys in the face of core millitary values. It is simiply a corrupt system. It is the ” Fat Leonard” scandal multiplied by a million. General Flynn should be prosecuted not for his lying to the FBI, but rather for representing a foreign nation as a lobbyist.

Speakling of the Fat Leonard Scandal: I do not recall you making an open comment about the Fat Leonard scandal. I do recall many junior and mid level leaders getting prison time and more. I do not recall one senior Admiral getting anything more than a kiss on the cheek. No Admirals lost their retirements, their rank, or had any financial fines that cost them more than mere annoyance. The junior guys got slammed. Kind of lacking moral justice here don’t you think? And really General, is not the whole lobby system as applied to the Departmet of Defense just as corrupt as what went on in the Phillipines with Fat Leonard?

General Petraeus Also Got a Kiss on the Cheek: I also do not recall any open comment on the good General Petraeus who took full advantage of his rank and power to have a mistress in theatre….and there was the whole thing about classified documents being breached. I never heard anything but what a great leader he was….but what about this moral breakdown?  What about Core Army Values? What about all those soldiers he led who did not have time with their families while in theater? A kiss on the cheek. He should have gone to jail. Moral judgement you might think….yeah that is what it is.

Speaking of Loyalty to Allies: General you implied President Trump was too cozy toward Putin, Chi, and Kim, all dictators and tyrants, and too harsh with our allies.  A famous Chinese General, Sun-tzu, is often credited with the saying….“keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.  Michael Corleone, in “Godfather II”, is also credited with this saying, as is Machiavelli, in “The Prince”. I believe it’s true origin can be found in the military plans of King David of Israel. It is, after all, a sound strategy to apply when dealing with dangerous threats. Regardless of it’s origin it should be obvioius that President Trump has adopted this approach in dealing with our enemies, and it is proving to be quite effective.

Trump’s Actions Toward Our Enemies: President Trump showers compliments on all three of these bad guys, yet his actions speak loud and clear. He has placed, justifiably so, tarrifs on China, he has put sactions on Russia, and he is close to putting bombs on Kim’s rocket bases. President Trump is shrewd and realistic….he is also tough. He keeps his friends close…and his enemies closer.

Trump’s Actions Toward Our Friends:General Matis you spoke of the need to stand strong with our allies. I think President Trump is doing just this. The best way to keep NATO strong and our allies close is to have honest, trust based, relations. All of the previous Presidents, going  back to Jimmy Carter, just looked the other way regarding the lack of monetary support for the defense of NATO by our friends. For the last 70 years the United States tax payer has been footing the bill for the defense of Europe, Japan, and much of the free the world. I do not need to tell you Sir the high costs of these military actions and the huge impact on our national debt. Donald Trump spoke directly, and correctly, calling for these very prospereous European countries, as well as Japan, to start paying up for our millitary support. This was a needed action and it was not impulsive. President Trump promised to put the American worker and American families first. It is about time the American tax payers have a President who means what he says and does what he promises!

General Matis thank you for your dedication to our country and may you have health and prosperity in your coming retirement.

Michael Hawke