Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm Glad He's on Our Side

Remember Marine Lt. General Jim Mattis? He got in trouble a few months ago for comments like these, reported by CNN:
Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot," Mattis said, prompting laughter from some military members in the audience. "It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there 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," 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 them."
Maybe I'm just not sensitive enough, but after reading about him back then, I was glad he's on our side.

After linking to this editorial in the Washington Times, by Robert H. Scales, from Black Five I'm even more impressed with him.
For those of you who might have the image of a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, let me assure you that he is one of the most urbane and polished men I have known. He can quote Homer as well as Sun Tzu and has over 7,000 books in his personal library.
Jim is the product of three decades of schooling and practice in the art of war. No one on active duty knows more about the subject. He is an infantryman, a close-combat Marine. He is one of those very few who willingly practices the art of what social scientists term "intimate killing." Those of us who have engaged in the act understand what he was trying to explain to an audience of defense technologists and contractors.
Intimate killing is a primal aspect of warfare unchanged since the beginning of civilization. It involves a clash of two warriors, one on one, armed with virtually identical weapons. The decision goes to the soldier with the right stuff, the one with the greater cunning, strength, guile, ruthlessness and will to win.

He reminds me of Victor Davis Hanson's description of General George S. Patton in his book, THE SOUL OF BATTLE. Both men were/are terrors on the battlefield because they not only have the warrior spirit, but they're great readers who've studied military history and tactics. They know the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of war. These are the type of men we want leading our armed forces.



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