NEW YORK — If you slam a battering ram into the front door of the White House, build it from solid oak, not toothpicks.
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis attacked President Donald J. Trump on June 4 with a nasty, sniveling essay on The Atlantic’s website. Trump foes loved Mattis’s critique, naturally. Trump fans, not so much.
But even the president’s supporters grudgingly could have respected Mattis’ assault had he landed serious blows, backed by evidence and facts. Instead, Mattis’ mighty beam instantly splintered. Mattis aspired to treachery. Instead, he achieved pathos.
Mattis accused Trump of being “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.”
Mattis himself sat in the front row at Trump’s 2018 State of the Union address. “Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family,” Trump declared. “Americans love their country. And they deserve a government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.”
Trump repeatedly expresses national unity, mutual affection, and even the word “love” in his speeches, which the criminal, get-Trump media — the enemy of the American people — vigorously ignore, so they can accuse him of dividing the country.
Comforting words aside, Trump “doesn’t even pretend to try” to unite Americans? All of this must be news to Mattis:
Among Trump’s numerous unifying efforts, he financially has backed Historically Black Colleges and Universities with taxpayer dollars, signed the First Step Act criminal-justice reform measure (which Obama-Biden failed to do in eight years), launched 8,760 Opportunity Zones to defibrillate low-income communities, fought anti-Semitism on multiple fronts, hosted two White House Hanukkah receptions last December, arranged and attended a Muslim Iftar dinner at the Executive mansion, named Richard Grenell America’s first openly gay Cabinet member (as acting Director of National Intelligence), assigned Grenell to pressure foreign nations to decriminalize homosexuality, and much more.
Mattis then hammered Trump for merely warning that he might order the military to control rioters in Washington, who ignited fires near the White House, wounded at least 60 Secret Service members, and reportedly drove America’s commander-in-chief into a secure bunker. Trump, in fact, never ordered such troops into the District of Columbia.
“At home,” Mattis squeaked, “We should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors.” (As opposed to federal governors?)
Mattis owns some 7,000 books. Alas, he evidently failed to open any of them before penning his diatribe. Some superficial research, or 10 seconds on Google, would have revealed that 11 presidents — from Thomas Jefferson in 1908 to George H.W. Bush in 1992 — have invoked the Insurrection Act of 1807 (10 U.S. Code § 253) on 20 different instances to calm civil disorder.
Without asking governors’ permission, Republican Ulysses S. Grant used this law in 1872, to send GIs into South Carolina to clobber the Ku Klux Klan. Republican Dwight David Eisenhower cited this measure in 1957 when he sent the 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock, Arkansas, to desegregate its racist, Democrat-run government-school system.
Meanwhile, Democrat god John F. Kennedy employed this statute to restore order in Mississippi in 1962. Democrat hero Lyndon Baines Johnson deployed troops under this provision in 1968. Why? To stop riots in Washington, D.C.!
While Mattis praised the hundreds of thousands of peaceful, Floyd-related protesters, as he should have, he proved himself as vacuous as the inside of a light bulb with this one sentence:
“We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.”
Would someone please buy this man a TV?
Mattis’ comment is like saying: “December 7, 1941, was a beautiful, late-autumn day. We must not be distracted by a small number of Japanese aircraft over an American naval base in the Pacific Ocean.”
Perhaps Mattis has been buried so deeply in his fabled book collection that he has not noticed the riots, looting, and arson that are rocking America, from coast to coast. This has included the destruction of scores of businesses, many of them owned by — as protesters insist — blacks whose lives matter.
Amid the smoldering rubble and embers, some 800 law-enforcement officers have been wounded in the last three weeks. On one bloody night in Brooklyn, two NYPD officers were shot, and a third was stabbed in the neck. Sin City policeman Shay Mikelonis, 29, was shot in the head during riots on the fabled Las Vegas Strip. He is paralyzed from the neck down and expects to spend the rest of his life on a respirator.
At least two lawmen have been murdered. Looters fatally shot retired St. Louis police captain David Dorn, 77, as he shielded a friend’s pawn shop on June 2. Federal Protective Services Officer Dave Patrick Underwood, 53, was shot and killed on May 29 as he guarded Oakland, California’s Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, while chaos reigned just blocks away. Police say an assassin in a white van also struck another federal security officer, critically wounding him.
So, as a tutorial to Jim Mattis, I present a few videos that I recorded on my balcony in Manhattan’s East Village, just below Union Square. With one exception, these events unfolded on June 2, the day before Mattis soiled The Atlantic with his ignorance. Perhaps these images archived most efficiently by Grabien, will school Mattis on the difference between peaceful protest and mob rule. These scenes also highlight the thin blue line that divides the two.
Whatever one thinks of Black Lives Matter and the other groups that have rallied the public since George Floyd’s heinous killing at the knee of fired and indicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, this video confirms BLM and its allies’ remarkable skill at mass mobilization. The crowds marching East on 12th Street and then south on Fourth Avenue just kept coming. This three-minute segment captured these demonstrators in mid-step, perhaps a minute after they reached that intersection. And the recording easily could have continued at that pace for another five to 10 minutes.
Also impressive, indeed delightful, was the scene on June 8, when hundreds if not thousands of protesters, chanting, “No justice, no peace!” cruised north on Fourth Avenue on bicycles. They were loud enough to be heard, but not obnoxious. Perhaps on the theory that it’s hard to riot on a bike, these activists were accompanied by incredibly few cops. This was, by far, the most relaxed Floyd-related action I have witnessed. This was First Amendment free expression at its finest.
Sadly, the First Amendment was not a factor on June 2, when a band of looters attacked Union Square Wines, savvy purveyors of Pinot Noir, Prosecco, and other fermented delicacies. At 10:07 p.m., these hooligans pried off the plywood temporarily buffering the glass front door, smashed it open, broke in, and then ran out with ripped-off wines and spirits. I rang 911 and asked the NYPD to restore order. Seven or eight squad cars arrived within 45 seconds. That very moment, these thugs vanished. The NYPD’s rapid response curbed this fine establishment’s losses. That’s what proper policing looks like.
While this looting scene is dark and shadowy, security images linked here far more clearly show looters cleaning out a Tampa, Florida, CVS store, including its pharmacy, as the outlet’s manager alerted police and comforted a weepy colleague who was traumatized by this lawlessness. (If you can identify any of these marauders, please immediately notify the Tampa Police Department’s Crimestoppers line: 800-873-TIPS; 800-873-8477.)
Back in Gotham, the NYPD regained control late in the evening of June 2, and more so the next night, thanks to an 8:00 p.m. curfew and shows of force involving speeding cop cars, sirens, lights, and even policemen on horseback. As demonstrated in the videos below, all of this turned my street into a law-enforcement parade ground.
Before Mattis beclowns himself yet again by chiding “a small number of lawbreakers,” he should consult the non-exhaustive list below (in Braille, if necessary), and then watch (or listen to) several of these 73 videos of mayhem tied to the George Floyd riots.
Since he likely needs it spelled out, here is the moral of this story: For Jim Mattis to be holistically out of touch is one thing. For him to have toothpicks for brains is quite another.
Man stomped and stoned for trying to defend a bar from being looted
Destroying store and beating unarmed woman and her husband
Beating and stomping guy on the ground Santa Monica
Restaurant manager beaten and stomped for trying to defend his workplace
Stopping, beating, and stomping a truck driver while protesters yell to kill him
Protesters attack a media member and then pummel him
Chasing guy and kicking him in the face for defending flag in Portland
Police officer beaten on the streets
Car runs over a cop
Protesters set homeless man’s belongings on fire
Throwing fireworks at the cops
Looting a FedEx truck, then looter gets dragged when truck tries to escape
Chasing and beating guy with red hat
Rioter sets himself on fire while trying to set a building on fire
Fireworks thrown into CNN HQ/at police officers
Protester runs over the cops with an SUV
Destroying/looting/setting on fire Old Navy
Guardhouse in front of White House set on fire
Dozens of cars destroyed/torched near CNN HQ – Atlanta
St. Louis neighborhood on fire
Building on fire while self-proclaimed Mexicans say, “Fuck white people.”
Destroying police SUV
Near a torched car, audio speakers spew propaganda that all crime is legal
Destroying/looting bank in Montreal
Pharmacy destroyed/looted in Dallas
The remains of whole neighborhood destroyed
Destroying stores – Dallas
Destroying police SUV – Austin
Police SUV torched LA
Looting Target/beating disabled person in Minneapolis
Future apartment building destroyed with fire in Minneapolis
Looting pharmacy – Minneapolis
Destroying business in Minneapolis
More businesses on fire in Minneapolis
Ransacked Target in Minneapolis
Building burning in neighborhood in Minneapolis
Boy drove car into a store
Post office looted/destroyed
Minneapolis’ Third Police Precinct set on fire
More buildings on fire in Minneapolis
Auto parts store getting destroyed/looted
AutoZone on fire
Looting in Minneapolis
Adults loot with their children
Cars torched – Minneapolis
Looting an ATM in Minneapolis
Remains of destroyed/looted Cub Foods
Businesses and stores on fire in Minneapolis
Brenda Lenton’s home and belongings destroyed by a fire – Minneapolis
Aftermath of whole neighborhood being set on fire in Minneapolis
Nashville City Hall set on fire while rioters cheer
Fox reporters chased out with projectiles thrown at them near White House
Attacking drivers Tulsa, Oklahoma
Setting St. John’s Church on fire
Destroying/looting stores in Montreal
Destroying/looting store in Downtown Oakland
Bar destroyed/Trying to loot a safe
Stolen bulldozer in Oakland
Two police SUVs torched in Seattle
Multiple cars torched in Philadelphia
Ohio Statehouse being destroyed
Trying to breach Justice Center/central police precinct in Portland
Destroying/Looting Justice Center in Portland
Looting small business in Portland
Destroying/looting small business in Portland
Looting Louis Vuitton store
Driving stolen cars into stores – Portland
Destroying Chase Bank – Portland
Setting Chase Bank on fire – Portland
Destroying/Looting Apple Store – Portland
Looting in St. Paul
Looting shoe store
Looting Apple store
Looting North Face store – NYC
Nike Store being looted – NYC
Looting in Union Square – NYC
Looting T-Mobile store
Shop owner saves store from looters with a firearm
Business owner defends his store from looters with a firearm
(Thank you to American Thinker’s Lauri Regan for highlighting this gallery of horrors curated by AT’s chief political correspondent, Richard Baehr.)
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.