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James Mattis: 'It's fun to shoot some people'

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Corrected 11:03: An earlier version of this item incorrectly quoted Gen. James Mattis.

President Obama's pick to lead military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the Middle East is an experienced ground combat commander, but also earned a stern rebuke in 2005 for controversial comments about combat operations.

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, then a lieutenant general, told a crowd in San Diego that it was "fun to shoot some people" and said that some Afghans deserved to die.

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em." (Watch Mattis's comments in the video above.)

Then-Marine Corps Commandant Michael W. Hagee told Mattis to choose his words "more carefully," but also praised him as "one of the country's bravest and most experienced military leaders."

"While I understand that some people may take issue with the comments made by him, I also know he intended to reflect the unfortunate and harsh realities of war," Hagee said. "Mattis often speaks with a great deal of candor. I have counseled him concerning his remarks, and he agrees he should have chosen his words more carefully."

Military ethicists warned that Mattis's comments had the potential to cause violent events committed either by U.S. military service members or against American troops.

On Thursday Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that appropriate action was taken against Mattis in 2005.

"Obviously in the wake of the Rolling Stone interview [with Gen. Stanley McChrystal], we discussed this kind of thing," Gates said. "And I have every confidence that -- that General Mattis will be -- will respond to questions and speak publicly about the matters for which he is responsible in an entirely appropriate way."

Thoughts? Leave them in the comments section below.

Cracking the Code: According to Wired.com, 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a, the 32-character code featured on the new U.S. Cyber Command seal means: "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace opeoperations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."

Cabinet and Staff News: Rahm Emanuel says the Russian spy arrests show the U.S. is on guard. Peter Orszag is hitting the speaking circuit. Van Jones talks about his "rough exit." Robert Gates asks gays in the military to answer "don't ask, don't tell" survey. Michelle Obama visits the Treasury Department. By eating out often, Mr. and Mrs. Obama elevate the D.C. restaurant scene. Artifacts from J. Edgar Hoover's past find a home.

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT:
Petraeus reviews directive meant to limit Afghan civilian deaths: With insurgent attacks increasing across Afghanistan, frustration about rules of engagement is growing among troops, and among some members of Congress.

Does the U.S. military keep all its combat videos?: Not quite.

U.S. presses Pentagon contractors: U.S. congressional investigators have upped the ante, confronting two top Pentagon contractors who have received billions of dollars supplying fuel to troops in Afghanistan but have refused to reveal their owners.

ENERGY DEPARTMENT:
Energy Department lags in saving energy: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/science/earth/08efficient.html?ref=us

FBI:
FBI investigating Meeks's $40K personal loan: The New York Democrat has repaid the loan but failed to declare it on annual financial disclosure reports.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
Holder: Spill probe not confined to BP: "For people to conclude that BP is the focus of this investigation might not be correct," he told CBS.

U.S., Russia reach deal on suspected spies: Obama administration officials said they had been eager to win the release of the four Russians, some of whom have spent long stretches in prison and are in poor health.

Spy swap is 'all but unprecedented': John L. Martin supervised 76 espionage cases during his 26 years at the Justice Department, but he’s never seen one end like this one.

Judge declares US gay-marriage ban is unconstitutional: A federal district court judge struck down the 1996 federal law that defines marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS:
Armed vet shot, killed outside Maine VA hospital: Former Marine James Popkowski, 37, was fatally wounded in the midmorning confrontation near the VA Medical Center in Augusta.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | July 9, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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Comments

I tend to agree with him. I'm rather happy when I hear about some Taliban ending up dead. A lot of times when I read about it, or see it happen, it makes me quite happy to see it. There's no fixing their evil, and it's frankly a waste of time to even try to do it. They're a problem that's simply better off not being a problem anymore. It doesn't bother me in the slightest that they need to die for that to happen. That because the result is that other people end up living because of it. They're like a parasite on the body of the species, and there's simply nothing bad about killing off a cancer that's killing the body it lives in.

Posted by: Nymous | July 9, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

You're worked up over Gen. Mattis saying it's good to kill barbaric people?

Good grief, you must go apoplectic over what Bull Halsey said during WWII:

"Kill Japs! Kill Japs! Kill more Japs!"

"The only good Jap is one that's been dead six months."

Among others...

Posted by: sggaynor | July 9, 2010 6:41 AM | Report abuse

Halsey had the right idea, it's too bad we stopped short there...

Posted by: Nymous | July 9, 2010 6:44 AM | Report abuse

"a three-star lieutenant general" is redundant. If you're trying to explain that a lieutenant general has three stars, there are better ways to say it. If you just want to give his rank, one or the other, i.e., a three-star general or a lietenant general.

Posted by: ronjaboy | July 9, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

"a three-star lieutenant general" is redundant. If you're trying to explain that a lieutenant general has three stars, there are better ways to say it. If you just want to give his rank, one or the other, i.e., a three-star general or a lietenant general, will do.

Posted by: ronjaboy | July 9, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

This general has the right attitude. Mattis should be running the country, not just Central Command. The US would be better off as a warrior based society.

Posted by: 1911a1 | July 9, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Thank you ronjaboy.

Posted by: 1911a1 | July 9, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

My memory of the general at his best:

http://www.njscvva.org/images/Military%20Photographs/Quote%20on%20Iraq.JPG

Posted by: 1911a1 | July 9, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I get the feeling that some would rather have a State Department type leading our troops rather than a warrior. Get over it. Mattis is just the type we need. As a fellow warrior, I felt a surge of pride when I heard him say what he said.

I'll say it too!

-Chris Walker

Posted by: mwuagi | July 9, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Media like Al-Jazeera will play this quote over and over again to make Mattis look anti-Islam/anti-Afghani. Regardless of his abilities, his selection means a constant uphill battle in the propaganda war.

Posted by: AnonymousBE1 | July 9, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The "code" in the CyberCom seal, is a hash, so it doesn't _mean_ anything - its just a signature of mission statement you posted

Posted by: keirreva | July 9, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Commanders like this is why we have things like the event on the wikileaks video. Our soldiers turned into murderers. And the guy who exposes it is charged instead of the murderers. What a country!

It you don't believe me look at the video. Unarmed men and children killed so the soldiers can get their killing rush. Sickening.

Posted by: tojo45 | July 9, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap around women for five years because they didn’t wear a veil,” he said while speaking at a forum in San Diego. “You know guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway, so it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”

Wow, how is that hopey/changey thing working out for you liberal socialists who put the Chicago Thug Obama into office?

Posted by: JCM-51 | July 9, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

You are so right. He should have said we should use them to plug oil leaks in the Gulf of Mexico. But then that wasn't a problem then was it?

Posted by: OldAtlantic | July 9, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The man is a Marine. Around here there is a saying. If you want to see the world join the Navy. If you want to shoot people join the Marines. My two favorite Marine bumper stickers of late..."Our business is killing. Business is good." "It's up to God to judge the terrorists. The Marines just arrange the meeting."

Posted by: SETinVA | July 9, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse


"Never insult the enemy, especially those that just happen to be Muslims. Not that Muslims are our enemy."

- Your Typical Liberal


Posted by: screwjob17 | July 9, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Of course the left goes crazy over these things ... from what I can see he's a soldier's general who has had a great successful career so far.

Let it go.

And why is this not a normal comment page?

Posted by: vmidurk | July 9, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I agree with him.

Completely.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | July 9, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

It's unfortunate that McChrystal resigned. He was in tune with our aspirations for the world. It seems we're retrieving generals from the attic now.

Posted by: julianzs | July 9, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em."

Beautiful. I love this guy already. Maybe with him in command we'll rightly kill all the extremists plus anyone who dares to mess with us. And as this guy understands, anyone who does deserves to die. He's right - it IS fun to shoot ayholes like these people. Let's kill those who need to be and be done with it and celebrate our victory as the best country in the world.

Posted by: mikeinaustintx | July 9, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

This general sounds like the right man for the job.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | July 9, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Hooah! Or as it's said in the USMC, Hoorah! I was inititially dismayed to see the 4 year old label 'fun to shoot some folks' affixed to GEN Mattis as he's tapped to command CENTCOM. Old news - simplistic summary of a man publicly described as both a mad dog and a monk. Real creative editors.... At any rate, excellent choice for this command.

Posted by: Dtothe2 | July 9, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Sounds good to me! Can we send him to the White House next?

Posted by: WHOOSONPHIRST | July 9, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Take away his stars and throw him in the brig.

Brilliant strategists and statesmen these are not.

No wonder we're losing. He has no comprehension of cultural identification, tribal communities, Islam, or any other regional or geographic cultural identity.

US Hegemony will fail.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | July 9, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

War is shooting people, don't criticize the warrior when in war....end the war instead.
Libertards at war is an inane folly.
Do you think it is pattycake pattycake?

Posted by: dottydo | July 9, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Our General demonstrates why civilian control of the military is always needed.

Posted by: blasmaic | July 9, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Libertards at war an inane folly.

War is war.
War is killing people, did you think it was pattycake pattycake?
Don't criticize the warriot for doing what you sent them to do, and kill to stay alive in your Government's FUBAR wars....end the wars.

Obozo never went to war, so it is easy to stay in one as a blind, lost, and purely stupid NPD Sociopathic dual profile who always leaves victims in their wakes.

If you have a problem with the war, impeach Obama and place a Congress who will end it.

The corridors in Arizona are sealed off because in the Sinaloa culture killing people is a cultural rite of passage.
To earn their tear tat on their face, an Aztlan builder Foreign Invader there, shot down a crossing guard in a school cross walk right near 32nd Street and Bell road in Phoeniz, for heaven sake.

They sing ballads about their honor for doing it...grow up and wake up. It is here now.

Posted by: dottydo | July 9, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Our General demonstrates why civilian control of the military is always needed.


Posted by: blasmaic

>>>>>>>>>>>>
I blame you ...vote out those who have the soldier over there in the first place.
Don't blame the soldier.

Posted by: dottydo | July 9, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

The man is a Marine. Around here there is a saying. If you want to see the world join the Navy. If you want to shoot people join the Marines. My two favorite Marine bumper stickers of late..."Our business is killing. Business is good." "It's up to God to judge the terrorists. The Marines just arrange the meeting."

Posted by: SETinVA
====================
Yeah, those are great sayings.

Also: ACLU Attorney to Marine Sniper:
"But what did you feeeeel when you killed a fellow human being"
"Recoil, Ma'm."

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | July 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em."

============

I'm pretty sure I've seen that movie on Lifetime. And you know, there may be something wrong or harsh about the crudeness of his phrasing from five years ago, but there's something way more wrong with the eyeball grabbing, context-free headline y'all ran with here.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

But "civilian control" is what usually gets US into Wars in the 1st place.

Posted by: sam51 | July 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I love this guy. War is killing, pure and simple. Let NASA worry about building up Muslim self-esteem. Let the Marines plant them six feet under.

Posted by: luca_20009 | July 9, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

O'Keefe and his liberal friends are right, we need to invite the Taliban and Al Queda to the White House and have a beer and work this out through mutual respect and common ground.

By the way, dude, you need a new picture, you look like an aluminum siding salesman.

Posted by: edwardlee35 | July 9, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

The nice thing about all of this disgust about the reality of war ...to kill people...is that it sounds like Vietnam and the warriors without support of the people simply started walking out on Nixon the liar.
He had to end the war, with no willing warriors, and mad people. Then he was impeached.

Obama's fate, since this is not a winable situation.

Posted by: dottydo | July 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I like all kinds of things:
sex, ice cream, gold bars..
.. uh, shooting people??

Posted by: newbeeboy | July 9, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The General is right. There are a lot of Afghans that deserve to be shot. I see nothing wrong with his statement at all

Posted by: dbeins | July 9, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Tell it like it is, General. We need more like you.

Semper Fi

Posted by: snowful | July 9, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Hate to say it, but maybe that's not a bad attitude for a military commander to have?

On the other hand, Its probably dangerous for a guy like this to return to normal society.

Reminds me of how the Iroquois used to house their young warriors in a separate village. Even if they're useful sometimes, no one wants a psychopath living next door.

Posted by: youba | July 9, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

War is about killing people as they don't do as you determine is correct. It seems logical to have a warrior who enjoys his work.

Humans are so flawed. The stupidity of war is beyond belief. Our military is, by a huge amount, our largest consumer of energy(20% of all US), metals and other natural resources. The amount of lead and copper wasted by poor marksmanship is unbelievable.

The military leader who likes to shoot people probably shoots 10,000 rounds per fatality. Watch they rounds fired and how well they are pointing their rifle. The exception is the snipers. They shoot well and conserve valuable resources. Hows that for greening up the military?

Posted by: catclaw | July 9, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Military: kill people, break things.
He said nothing contrary to that.

Posted by: RBPCBP | July 9, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

His heart may be in the right place, but his brain is misplaced. You just don't say cr*p like this out loud. You say that you do your job (as ordered by your superiors). If you enjoy killing people and you are good at it, you should keep it to yourself. You're a soldier, which should be (and is) sufficiently honorable.

Posted by: public-washingtonpost-com | July 9, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

If you're going to be a Marine, you have to learn to be willing to kill people in some situations without feeling anguish. If Marines didn't learn to think that way, their job would be incapacitating.

That said, my goodness, the general's comment is more than just a soldier learning to live with his job. It is NOT his job or anyone's job to kill everyone who thinks women should wear a veil. His job is to kill people who cause a security threat, not people who offend him culturally.

And he has to have a heck of a lot more common sense about what he says out loud. What he said is not something to be celebrated. It should be a coping mechanism, not a value system. His willingness to say it in a public forum is likely to endanger the lives of American troops.

Posted by: jeffwacker | July 9, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Ideally, you want to put people in any job who are good at it and enjoy it, and are proud of what they do. USMC is full of people that take equal pride in building a school in enemy civilian country, or finding and killing every enemy combatant they lay eyes on.

"I wish to drive the enemy before me to their doom, and make their widows lament."

----------------
Liberals locked in the notion that war is a criminal justice enterprise - everything is understandable in an "innocent or guilty, preferably was determined by civilian lawyers in a court" and that all acts of destruction against an enemy fill each warrior with "deep remorse" that may need nurturing therapists to help them through their shame....

Then there is reality.

Liberals make the same mistake in thinking the enemy operates off similar civilian criminal justice constructs and AGREES with us when our courts get "The Conviction!" against their warriors found spying, commiting sabotage with bombs, flying planes into buildings.

Nor is there any such thing, no matter how hard the Left moans, as "innocent enemy civilians". As that presumes any civilian that steps up and takes up arms to defend his land or culture or wish to expand it at others expense is Guilty, as the abovementioned civilians slap them on the back, cheer them on, keep them supplied with the material necessities and fresh recruits to enable hostilities.

No, there are enemy. There are allies. They are divided into combatants and non-combatants.

There is also the category of non-belligerants known as neutrals. There is a subcategory of combatants that violate rules of war and are afforded less rights and protection than legit combatants. But civilian criminal justice notions break down here too. We are not going to prosecute an American who went into Iraq without uniform and spied and set up air attack targets (there were dozens) but if they were caught, obviously the Iraqis would consider them criminals, and likely execute them if caught. No universal civilian criminal law applies in war.
We of course never consideredarresting and convicting the leaders and bomber pilots that incinerated or blasted 25 times the number of civilians killed on 9/11 during certain 1-day, no warning, burn a city raids in WWII.
But we will prosecute those who do direct atrocities on enemy civilians like rape, blatant murder.

And we should be aware the enemy civilians and many Muslims in the present war reject the idea they must honor the notions of Western civilian criminal law that Jihadis attacking us and seeking Heaven per their faith for doing so - are criminals.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | July 9, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see that the post is taking its talking points from Al-Jazeera.

Posted by: ChrisH2 | July 9, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Discipline is the backbone of an efficient military. It seems that a growing number of generals, including Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis lack the discipline to restrain themselves from making stupid statements. Yes, war is about killing (a great Christian tradition) but is a necessary evil for the survival of humanity. Killing is necessary but should NOT be considered "fun" as Mattis put it. No Christian should consider it fun, only necessary.
It was the military-industrial complex influence that got us into Iraq (as opposed to Afghanistan) to support more profits for the industry and more glory for the military leaders (who you will notice are NOT the ones dying every day but sitting back in luxury as their underlings are coming home in boxes or in baskets.

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

The "it's fun to kill people" is not representative of the mind of Gen Mattis. He is known as the "warrior monk" for his study of history and military affairs. He teamed with General Petraeus to write the Counterinsurgency manual. Gen Mattis' mistake in making that remark was that he momentarily forgot that he was speaking to reporters and civilians rather than other Marines.

Look to his guidance before the invasion of Iraq-"No better friend, no worse enemy", "While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression".

When he returned in 2004, his rules of engagement stated "First do no harm".

If you do your research, you will find Gen Mattis actually argued against assaulting Fallujah in 2004 after the Blackwater incident. Mattis felt that engaging the population of the city would allow him to find the individuals responsible without the damage and bloodshed of a major attack.

Other quotes that demonstrate he is not as bloodthirsty as some believe:
"The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event."
"You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon."
"An untrained or uneducated Marine...deployed to the combat zone is a bigger threat to mission accomplishment...than the enemy"
"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all"

Go read his comments on ethics in combat here:
http://www.usna.edu/Ethics/Publications/MattisPg1-28_Final.pdf

Posted by: gunnyv | July 9, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Soldiers, warriors, whatever you'd like to call military men & women are not cute cuddly PC teddy bears. How naive are we to think our nation is going to be defended by counselors?

This is why armed conflicts are not to be entered on a whim and without serious consideration. You put boots on the ground then you have to play for keeps because the other side isn't going to "talk it out".

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 9, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

So now we're putting known sadists in charge of our military..?? No wonder we have a reputation as a country for being complete single-minded jerks....

It's a**holes like this clown who should be in PRISON in Leavenworth. Folks that have a little wider perspective than just killing folks need to be leading a group people to re-build a section of the world vs. the US strategy of just blow it up and walk away..

Insanity...

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | July 9, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

ronjaboy: is your double posting intentional or just ironic?

Posted by: giscone | July 9, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

A) This is exactly what I would expect from a Marine general.
B) Thank God for Marine generals.

Posted by: buddecj | July 9, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em."
======================================
Liberty and freedom and WMD and baloney!

Now we understand why we are there!

But then I don't understand why we are killing women (and children) also?

Posted by: kishorgala | July 9, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I hate men who beat-up women. The general has it right.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 9, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

This general is too violence oriented; we need the hand of the clergy to guide us or an experienced terrorist from our own soil. How about Rev Wright or Bill Ayers? Better choices for these perilous times. The more I think about it, how about Sean Penn or George Clooney, we have leadership choices galore.

Posted by: FCNewt | July 9, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

YAY!

A white devil who is sure to fail as badly as McChrystal in committing genocide against nonwhites who live near resources US corporations intend to steal

YAY National Socialism!

THOU SHALT KILL

Posted by: lichtme | July 9, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Finally the loathsome WaPo hacks changed the headline from 'It's fun to shoot people' to what the general actually said: 'It's fun to shoot some people'.

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Look, let's not kid ourselves, the military trains one to be a professional killer, pure and simple. Another reason why the current "Rules of Engagement" in Afghanistan are currently weighing on our troops. By the way, this is not a "liberal vs. conservative" frame of mind thing, as anyone can kill just as well as the next. Go get 'em, General Mattis.

Posted by: dozas | July 9, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse


I am a die hard liberal and I have no problem with the general's comments. Barbaric men, read muslim, should be treated the same way as they treat their women.


Posted by: mortified469 | July 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

This man is no better than the people he likes to shoot. How can somebody become a general with this type of attitude? Amazing.

Posted by: SeekerOfTruth1 | July 9, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Most of you aren't old enough to remember when America had real generals.

Posted by: slim2 | July 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

What he SHOULD have said was, "The only good Islamic Fundamentalist is a dead Islamic Fundamentalist."

Posted by: glazer68 | July 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Here is what I wrote (in Dec. 2005) about James Mattis in my Claremont Graduate University Master’s Research Paper (“To a majority of Germans it's Amerikakritik, to most Americans it's anti-Americanism: A mere case of cognitive dissonance?”):


One cannot but wonder how Germans are expected to react on learning that James Mattis, a senior U.S. Marine Corps general who commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, said to a San Diego, California, audience on February 3, 2005: "Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling. . . You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. . . . You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them." Before being mildly reprimanded for being "impolitic," so Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Mattis was praised by General Peter Pace, a fellow Marine and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, after asserting that he would let General Mattis speak for himself, said, "But I will tell you that the last three times that that general has been in combat, when he was leading marines in Afghanistan, and the two times that he led his division in Iraq, his actions, and those of his troops, clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership and the value of human life." Writing about that incident, Süddeutsche Zeitung, a leading German daily, observed: "Since U.S. soldiers already seem to find it fun to torture Iraqi prisoners, the general's remarks cannot but add to the poor image of the U.S. military."

Posted by: aipacsnemesis | July 9, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Sadism is the derivation of pleasure as a result of inflicting pain or watching pain inflicted on others.

This guy is a sadist.

Posted by: hkhamm_ | July 9, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"You go into Tuscaloosa or Chicago, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear fix his supper right," Mattis said.

Posted by: bdunn1 | July 9, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Hey, good for him. After all he is only talking about shootin our enemies, the terrorists, and liberals!

Posted by: tonymo | July 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

This guy deserves a George Patton type of death -- whatever that really entailed.

Posted by: kinkysr | July 9, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Because I oppose capital punishment, I am not going to recommend that that psychopath be executed by a firing squad (though he'd be right in his "element").

At the least, however, he should be institutionalized -- without possibility of parole.

Posted by: aipacsnemesis | July 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Killing is not fun. It rips apart your soul. Incoming is not fun either.

Posted by: chalkranger | July 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who enjoys killing is a psychopath; read any profile of a mass-murderer and its usually someone who enjoys killing.

Having said that, I really believe the General misspoke. Even for a soldier, killing should never be fun; its just a necessary part of the job.

Posted by: zzishate@yahoo.com | July 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

At its best this article is lazy, inept journalism. At its worst it's sensationalistic, biased and just downright bad. Yes, General Mattis said those words -- in 2005. That was five years ago. I remember reading about the backlash his statements caused five years ago. That's old news. What news now is that he's been appointed to a crucial command in the Middle East at a critical time. But instead of giving readers pertinent information about Mattis, we get sensational comments from five years ago. I'm not saying that his comments aren't relevant at all, but let's not treat readers like we're stupid and don't deserve other information. Are we really to make up our mind about Obama's decision based on one set of quotes the general made five years ago? Where's the information about how many overseas tours this man has? Where's the facts about his record of service? His commendations? Other reprimands? Given such a one-sided caricature of this man, it seems like the reporter doesn't want us to draw our own conclusions, he wants us to draw *his* conclusions.

This is a sorry attempt at journalism. You may have grabbed our attention with the headline, but ultimately you failed us -- failed to give us valuable information, failed to give us both sides of the story. If I wanted my news to stop at the headline, I'd pick up a National Enquirer. Shame on you, Washington Post, for cheapening important news with out-of-context headlines and shallow reporting. This is just another unfortunate example of why people don't read newspapers anymore. I'll go find a blogger who's willing to do the hard work and analysis that this reporter was not.

Posted by: jcoop1 | July 9, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

While the concensus here seems to be that the author (Ed O'Keefe) is making much ado about nothing, I am given to wonder why he mentions it at all? What's the point? First off, "It's fun to shoot some people" may be true for some folks. So what? It seems that Ed is trying to de-humanize Mattis by focusing on the act rather than the justification. If I were a witness to the brutality and conduct of your average ignorant religious fundamentalist, I might enjoy taking a shot at them myself. It's fun to be a part of righteous retribution. People who won't take a stand are people who will throw away liberty for a false sense of security. Besides, Mattis is a professional warrior. Get that? Not a diplomat, not a cheesy politician. He's supposed to kill people and any pseudo-psycho-analyst who says that's wrong or that one shouldn't find it enjoyable is confusing his profession with that of the almighty. Too many judges around here and too many fools willing to listen to them.

Posted by: tdavis11 | July 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, folks like "anarcho-liberal-tarian", "aipacsnemesis", "hkhamm_|",
"SeekerOfTruth1" (please, I'm gonna puke) and "lichtme" appear to be confused, lost souls. Come and see me. I'll show you the road home. Really! It'll be fun.

Posted by: tdavis11 | July 9, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Watch them "having fun" on the Wikileak video! OMG!

Posted by: TheDebbieWolf | July 9, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

These sentiments show more than a poor choice of words. They epitomize the "cowboy wildman" approach to military action that keeps the killing and retaliation going.

Posted by: IrishRose1 | July 9, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I am all for General Mattis' appointment to CentCom, especially in light of his remarks in 2005. I am dismayed that WAPO would misquote him in the title. In the email I received, WAPO says General Mattis said, "It's fun to shoot people" which is a gross and dishonest distortion of what the General actually said. The WAPO is biased against the general, and I distrust the WAPO as an important news source.

That said, I remember reading about the General during the opening phases of the Iraq War. He fired a colonel he caught sleeping during the invasion. General Mattis is a strict disciplinarian and he will win in Afghanistan if Obama gives him enough leash to do so. General Mattis was also featured in HBO's "Generation Kill."

The man sounds like the next George Patton and I think there will be no better man available as CentCom's next leader. I hope he relaxes the rules of engagement that prevent our troops from protecting themselves and really taking the fight to al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Posted by: pusherman | July 9, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

General should be happy that it wasn't an interview in Rolling Stone.

In such a case, the President would have acted.

Posted by: kishorgala | July 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Saying and doing are two different things. The guy is a general not a politician. I read the K I Sock it Dog Airmen story so I know who really runs the military and it is not who you think it is.
Give the General a break and let him smoke his cigar, watch Patton movies and enjoy his last year or two in the military, he deserves it like the rest of our Brave Men and Women.

Posted by: Moley2 | July 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This is a hard one. From the title of this article and the realm of the news clip, one would think that this man is kill-happy. This is until you listen closely to what he said, in that he was coming from a point of defending the women who were abused. I am not saying that killing the men, is the right answer, but it sure does make a difference in what he was meaning.

Debra J.M. Smith
InformingChristians.com

Posted by: DebraJMSmith | July 9, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

As disappointed as I am about having Gen Mattis represent this country in Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan...in ANY part of the world, some of the comments on this event make me wonder if the General isn't just another one of the boys, the culturally retarded ones that always seem to find their way into the military...sadly. Guess I prefer McChyrstal's social failings to this man's inappropriate comments. And this is someone who is going to direct our troops to make good relationships with the enemy?

Posted by: mjcorliss | July 9, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

General Mattis is exactly right. Certain human beings are fundamentally evil and society is better off without them. His way of expressing this may be "politically incorrect" but I understand and empathize with the satisfaction one must feel in annihilating such monsters. I pray there are many more men like General Mattis fighting for America.

Posted by: jgross1 | July 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

You don't employ soldiers as social workers, you employ them to enforce your country's foreign policy and that means that in a war you kill the enemy as quickly and efficiently as you can. The Taliban know this which is why they will rarely engage in pitched battles as in WW11 but use their excellent guerilla skills and sophisticated IEDs to inflict as much damage as possible with minimum loss to themselves. I am glad that General Mattis is on our side and I am sure he will do his job to the highest professional standards. The Taliban represent the worst kind of Islamic fundamentalist oppression and I am all in favour in giving them a good kicking!

Posted by: pishin4 | July 9, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, I am against war, against the death penalty, against all killing. But if you are in favor of ANY war, then there is the tacit assumption that there are some people that will need to be killed, and there has to be a sub-set of those that need to be killed where it wouldn't feel like a real tragedy to kill them. It seems a bit extreme for men who "slap" women (I mean, General... is that just Afghans who slap women, or the millions of American men who slap women would be fun to kill). But I can see how someone might feel that killing a man who leads a mob to stone a woman for adultery may not exactly ruin your life. Anyway, shame on WaPo for leaving out the "some"---not good. Shame on the General for not being a more professional and aware---not good. Grossly impolitic to say. Now, I can't figure out what the Obama-haters are saying: Obama is a fool for picking this guy? Obama is a tyrant for appointing a general who thinks some people would be fun to shoot? This is a country where civilian candidates for public office are saying that people should get their guns loaded and start a revolution if the incumbent is not defeated, and are filmed on ads shooting rounds of ammunition. A little perspective might be useful.

Posted by: rocknrollmd | July 9, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Brilliant, just brilliant. How in hell did this idiot get to be a Lieut. General in the 21st century? Hell, our theater commanders in World War II had to be masters of diplomacy, during the war and during the occupations that followed, so why not now? This has disaster written all over it.

Posted by: ganesha1234 | July 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

So my question is, Why is the Washington Post using a video from Al-Jezeera? Their credibility has just dropped a couple of notches in my book!

Posted by: aa0nn | July 9, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The statement should have been "it's a heck of a lot of fun to shoot them"...

Posted by: deadmanwalking | July 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

so killing people is fun as long as it's in the name of christ to vindicate abuses committed against women by muslim extremists. those who abuse women or children are degenerate scum, and perhaps they deserve to die, but who makes that decision? the american military complex? and should we use the same justification to kill americans, like say fundamentalist mormons, who abuse women and children?

onward christian soldiers!

Posted by: countdown2009 | July 9, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

tdavis11's previous rants (s. below)

First of all, tdavis11, it's not "concensus," it's "consensus."

Second, anacephalic cretins of your caliber should be institutionalized, as well. Crazy Mattis wll need company . . .

While the concensus here seems to be that the author (Ed O'Keefe) is making much ado about nothing, I am given to wonder why he mentions it at all? What's the point? First off, "It's fun to shoot some people" may be true for some folks. So what? It seems that Ed is trying to de-humanize Mattis by focusing on the act rather than the justification. If I were a witness to the brutality and conduct of your average ignorant religious fundamentalist, I might enjoy taking a shot at them myself. It's fun to be a part of righteous retribution. People who won't take a stand are people who will throw away liberty for a false sense of security. Besides, Mattis is a professional warrior. Get that? Not a diplomat, not a cheesy politician. He's supposed to kill people and any pseudo-psycho-analyst who says that's wrong or that one shouldn't find it enjoyable is confusing his profession with that of the almighty. Too many judges around here and too many fools willing to listen to them.

Posted by: tdavis11 | July 9, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, folks like "anarcho-liberal-tarian", "aipacsnemesis", "hkhamm_|",
"SeekerOfTruth1" (please, I'm gonna puke) and "lichtme" appear to be confused, lost souls. Come and see me. I'll show you the road home. Really! It'll be fun.

Posted by: tdavis11 | July 9, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: aipacsnemesis | July 9, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

All the Semper Fools beating their chests for Mattis are no better than he is, and no amount of study of history can mitigate what happened under his commend in Fallujah and Haditha; it was mass murder of men, women and children and Mattis covered it up as much as possible. Nothing we have done in Iraq and Afghanistan has been anything but a lie and all you Semper Suckers fell for it just like the Wiki-Video of the pre-teen video Helicopter monsters shooting for real innocent people, journalists - and laughing as a tank rolls over a still-living body as if it is a "good kill," as it is cut in half. None of it has been, Fools. Can you say "Pipeline"? Can you say "Oil"? Can you say "Strategic Position in the Middle East"? More than a million innocent lives have been taken in Iraq alone by this country for that which they have and we want. You are pitiful little war pimps, and you can't even spell, so you are ignorant as well. No one could respect you. Who is Mattis to decide how a culture conducts itself? We would be a piss-poor example right here in the U.S. There is so much wife-beating, domestic violence and murder that Mattis might as well stay right here and start shooting. Just as it has always been: You phony Tarzan types are racists with pre-juvenile development, pounding your chests and the drums of wars, raping your own fellow female soldiers (3 or more out of 10 including superior officers who do it) that kill the innocent and pillage the countries of other societies. And if you think bin Laden is sitting there waiting for you to find him, think again. They do business, oil business, with the Bush family. The laugh will be on you and your war-mongering, wife-beating military types (yes, they do it too) and the tears will be shed for the children, maimed and killed by the likes of you. Congratulations. That's all you will ever be: Rapists and child-killers. That's why soldier suicides are up so high now over there and here too. Can't you read either?

Posted by: Daytrip1 | July 9, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Take away his stars and throw him in the brig.

Brilliant strategists and statesmen these are not.

No wonder we're losing. He has no comprehension of cultural identification, tribal communities, Islam, or any other regional or geographic cultural identity.

US Hegemony will fail.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | July 9, 2010 9:30 AM

You left out some other words between hyphens: anarcho-liberal-tarian-loser-doouooshbag-pos-socialist-commie

Posted by: 65apr | July 9, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Stupidity, cynicism and brutality go often hand in hand. But a man can only be what he is; it is the others' failure not to have recognized his real nature and to have entrusted him with powers which he should have never been given.

Posted by: Curatica | July 9, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I hope remarks made by General got wrongly delivered.War is all about fighting , fighting and battle means shoot to protect your self.One fights to win the war for country.Believe me seeing dead bodies even of the enemy is no fun .This I am telling you after seeing so many bodies in Kargil war in 1999.Killing and shooting without real cause and compulsion of survival of vast majority is incorrect.You can never win a war in Afghanistan or any war in future against such ill motivated terrorists unless you cut to size the terror machine and its brute and barbaric components called Pakistan and Arab money suppliers.Americans are in for a deceptive ride by Pakistan as usual by milking and absorbing its money and equipment and at the same tine biting Americans in a manner most sly,deceptive and revengeful.Pakistan is another side of the coin of Taliban.Pakistan must be dismembered for the safety of mankind in future.General should have directed his remarks towards Pak war machine and Taliban.

Posted by: surenio31 | July 9, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Some times one does say things which one doesnot mean hence General should be excused but then it gives a wrong message to those who are not fighting war back home.One may end up seeing youth shooting for fun their dads ,moms and fellow students in schools and colleges.Some times the targets of words misfire and bounce back. Be careful with words .This is only the word which has produced terrorists and fanatics and we all are suffering now.Imagine Indians taking such wrong doings from terrorists since thousand years.

Posted by: surenio31 | July 9, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Some times one does say things which one doesnot mean hence General should be excused but then it gives a wrong message to those who are not fighting war back home.One may end up seeing youth shooting for fun their dads ,moms and fellow students in schools and colleges.Some times the targets of words misfire and bounce back. Be careful with words .This is only the word which has produced terrorists and fanatics and we all are suffering now.Imagine Indians taking such wrong doings from terrorists since thousand years.

Posted by: surenio31 | July 9, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Some people here are really naiive in their comments--America has other interests in the region than the liberating of women. They are there for the exact same reason the Soviets were. 70% of the Afghan population is 'Taliban'-how are they going to get them all? And with escalating civilian casualties (will increase even more now with this militray brute called Mattis) how are they (military) going to convince the civilians they are there to protect them? It is no wonder their presence is despised.

There's much dirt that has not surfaced and probably won't since pentagon is at war with entities trying to expose them. So much for transparency!

Posted by: nkhaliqx81 | July 10, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

This is the kind of general we need to wipe out the Taliban and terrorists, whether they are Taliban, or treasonous swine like the republicans or tea party. It's not very PC, but I for one am sick and tired of these traitors being coddled. Jail them or execute them for the treasonous scum they are!

Posted by: frankdiscussion1 | July 10, 2010 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Notice how the people who scream for blood like Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney never actually served? They just want other people to die for their treasonous beliefs.

Stop being PC and being apologetic for believing in human life and dignity and the principles that made this country great. Who cares if traitors call it 'liberal' or 'socialist?'

Posted by: frankdiscussion1 | July 10, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

It's unrealistic to say you know the personality of random enemies you see through a rifle scope. Maybe it makes you feel better to IMAGINE they are a wife beater, but you are fooling yourself, just the same.

Posted by: johnnormansp | July 10, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

The Limbaugh fascists and Palin retards at the little tea parties may consider my political views liberal. However, I believe there is a special class of human evil which rules by fear, cruelty, torture, and death. The Taliban is an especially nasty strain of that breed, and I wish General Mattis and his troops good shooting. I hope he hunts the Taliban into extinction.

Posted by: emersonjohn | July 10, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

As a veteran, I was amused by the reactions of many to General Mattis' remarks. Would we really want anyone in charge who DIDN'T want to kill bad guys? No, I thought not.

Posted by: JamesCusterMcCarthy | July 10, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

What a disgraceful bit of rhetoric. These comments, regardless of their context, leave this man completely unfit for the military. Any true and competent officer will tell you that the underlying purpose of their job is to avoid conflict. No ethical soldier, from private to general, wants to engage. The propose is to defend and protect, not to idealize, romanticize, or savor warfare. No mother or father should entrust their son or daughter to a man who "likes brawlin'." The only thing more pathetic than the very existence of this so-called "soldier" is how many people ignorantly defend such immoral statements in a misguided attempt to demonstrate American "strength." Taken as a whole, they embarrass us before the civilized world.

Posted by: morgaffi | July 10, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

It's 'FUN" to shoot people??? DID HE REALLY SAY THAT???
I am certain he'd feel different if someone thought it was fun to shoot him!
I am appalled.

Posted by: dreamofjeanie1 | July 11, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

What irrational or rational reason for the political social blunders our D.O.D. military leaders are making.

Either this is:
1. This is being performed intentionally on purpose by the top brass.
2. Our top brass is under psychic attack.
3. These men are actually intelligent academically, but social-political idiots.
4. Obama is African American and his administration is in economic, morale, ethical conflict with D.O.D.
5. All the above.

...
Shawn Earnest
Madawaska Maine.04756
...

Posted by: Predator-Hunter | July 11, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mark Twain was correct in his assessment of US soldiers as uniformed assassins.

Posted by: Banes | July 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Mark Twain was correct in his assessment of US soldiers as uniformed assassins.

Posted by: Banes | July 11, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Of greater concern to me is that the "Press" didn't get it right the first time and had to "correct" things. If ANYBODY else does that they get eaten alive by "THE PRESS".
Somehow the press now attempts to attain politico elite status by osmosis.

Sorry, reporters are reporters and supposed to reveal FACTS about the wrongdoings of the politicians, not take their money then cover for them.....

For those not familiar, one of the convolutions of words goes like this, moderated = censored.

Posted by: jdiehl6 | July 11, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Great job O'Keefe, a sensationalist headline (the National Enquirer would be proud), high school level depth of reporting and the opportunity for liberal F-tards to bemoan our warriors. This man is a Marine general, not a warm, fuzzy shrink. His job is to win the war, by killing the enemy, not winning their hearts. If you armchair limpwristed generals don't like it, join up and do it yourselves. You and I both know that won't happen. No chai tea and lattes in Afghanistan.

Posted by: rrwjes | July 11, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

As a liberal who finds a strong military necessary and something to be held in respect I find comments about liberals being against the military insulting to anyone with a half a brain. I is Limbaugh that often repeats this untrue statement and I take it as part of his satiric rant; but the real satire is there are his followers that eat it up without even inquiring about the validity of it.

The military though is more than just a place where serial killers get a chance to channel their antisocial behavior, they can actually do our country a great service in the process. As wars and battles become more civilized thoug we find that getting homicidal instincts honed in on the job are essential to winning the war and winning over the people. The soldiers' job isn't to plow the country but to weed it.

Posted by: glenglish | July 11, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Mattis is vile, disgusting and evil. He should not be allowed to remain in the US military, much less be in a leadership position.

Posted by: dancewater | July 11, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a Marine Captain talk I heard once.

"Morally, there's no difference between killing a man by dropping a bomb on him from 50,000 feet from a B-52 or jumping into a foxhole and killing him with a bayonet.

Personally, I find jumping into the foxhole is a lot more fun."

We called him Captain Kill after that.

And it is attributed to Churchill, "There's nothing quite so exciting as to be shot at and missed."

Some officers like combat. Others can't wait for a war to end so soldiers can go back to their real jobs of marching in parades on holidays.

Anyone who has ever taken down a bully can appreciate General Mattis' comments. It does, and should, give satisfaction to weed out the bullies and bad guys among us.

Posted by: gospace | July 11, 2010 10:42 PM | Report abuse

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