Many of the voters who elected President Donald Trump did so becasue they wanted someone in the White House who would stand up to the terrorists. President Trump heard their concerns and appointed James Mattis as Secretary of Defense. Mattis is just getting warmed up. He spoke to the graduates of West Point last week and had some things to say about what’s coming for the terrorists.
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The suicide bombing in Manchester last week illustrates the need for institutions like West Point. The United States Military Academy produces soldiers willing and capable of fighting terrorism. 950 men and women graduated from West Point on Saturday, and they represent the next generation of leadership.
“Manchester’s tragic loss underscores the purpose of your years of study and training at this elite school,” Mattis said. “We must never permit murderers to define our time or warp our sense of normal. This is not normal.”
That last sentiment precisely sums up just what is happening. News of the attack in Manchester rocked fans of Ariana Grande, most of whom evinced a how-can-this-happen-to-us attitude in the wake of the tragedy. Yet these kinds of terrorist attacks are increasingly common.
And the reality is that lone wolf attacks, and small group attacks are the new normal in Europe. Mattis has the foresight to see that they’re going to be a defining element of American culture too.
Could Manchester’s attack have been prevented? The bomber had been traveling to Libya and Syria just before the attack. He was known to British security forces and to those in the community who saw him become more radicalized.
“You will drive home a salient point,” Mattis said. “That free men and women will volunteer to fight, ethically and fiercely, to defend our experiment that you and I call, simply, ‘America.'”
“Our enemies are watching. By your commitment, you will prove the enemy wrong. Dead wrong.”
The loudest cheer of the speech came when he proclaimed “We Americans are not made of cotton candy.”