New CentCom Commander: It’s ‘fun to shoot some people’

Eric Garris, July 08, 2010

General James Mattis was just nominated to fill the post of CentCom commander, has his own history of speaking out to the media.

In 2005, Marine Corps General Mattis spoke of the fun he experienced in Afghanistan:

“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.”

His boss, Marine Corps commandant General Michael Hagee said Mattis should have chosen his words more carefully, but defended him, calling him “one of this country’s bravest and most experienced military leaders.”:

“Lt. Gen. Mattis often speaks with a great deal of candor.”

“Throughout our history, Marines have given their lives in the defense of this nation and human rights around the globe,” Hagee’s statement read. “When necessary, this commitment helps to provide us the fortitude to take the lives of those who oppress others or threaten this nation’s security. This is not something we relish, yet we accept it as a reality in our profession of arms.”

Added Marine Gen. Peter Pace, then-vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “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.”

This is one more illustration of why civilians, and not the military, need to be in charge of our defense and foreign policy decisions.




53 Responses to “New CentCom Commander: It’s ‘fun to shoot some people’”

  1. Well what is the issue? It is fun to shoot bad guys. They are bad. We are good. They kill other good people so we kill them. Seems fundamentally undeniable and a logic flow you folks can even follow. Think before you write silly articles.

  2. You know what's funny is that I read someone using your exact same logic on my favorite Taliban message board, but of course those considered good and evil were reversed. I can follow the flow and don't deny it's fundamental and undeniable logic, it's just becomes a problem when determining who gets to decide who is "good" and who is "evil".

  3. Whose human rights were the Marines upholding when they were busy keeping Díaz propped up in Nicaragua?

  4. Nine years down, only ninety one to go.

    When the North Korean Marines occupy Pasadena, they'll be saying the same thing.

    Better hide your puppies.

  5. Ah, freedumb is on the march I see….just like Bushie said….

  6. General Michael Hagee, Any relationship to Rev Hagee?

    Same-O Same-O:
    From The Battlefields Of France (General Pershing) (1918) http://www.archive.org/details/fbatfranc1918

  7. Luis Lieberman–Vice President of Costa Rica, where the US is now sending 7000 USMC, 200 helicopters, some combat airplanes, and two score ships, mostly Coast Guard.

  8. With a large number of troops in Colombia as well, the US is now courting, and in many ways provoking, over US involvement in several shooting wars.

    The surprises the US miliatry has run into in Afghanistan will be nothing compared to what they encounter in middle and South America.

    Things have changed.

    There will be no more Panamas.

  9. He would have his hands full just right here in the good old USA.But he choose to ignore the statistics about wifeand girl firiend beatings and killings that occure on daily basis in the USA,and espicially under his nose in the military.

  10. crr: "overt US involvement"

  11. The real question about these US forces in Central and South America is how the US military intends to cover up the casualties?

  12. The US military think they are untouchable in Central and South America, just as they thought they were untouchable in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  13. One everything else fails bring up the lame excuse or reason of rescuing of those poor little Muslim women.White cavalries on their white horses or in this case Abram tanks and humvees.

  14. In an interview, Mohammed Tahir, the father of Gulalai, the 18-year old girl who was killed in the raid, said, "I saw them taking out the bullets from bodies of my daughter and others."

    Tahir said that he and as many as seven other eyewitnesses had told interior ministry investigators about the attempted cover-up they had seen. But he insisted, "We have never been interviewed by the U.S. military."

    Mohammed Saber, the brother of the two men killed in the raid – Commander Dawood, the head of intelligence for a district in Paktia province, and Saranwal Zahir, a prosecutor – said he had not been interviewed by any U.S. investigator either. Saber told IPS, "The Americans were taking out the bullets from the bodies of the dead with knives and with other equipment that they always have."
    http://www.counterpunch.org/porter07072010.html

  15. [...] Mattis has the same habit of speaking his mind as McCrystal. Eric Garris writes today that Mattis was quoted back in 2005 as saying he finds pleasure in shooting and [...]

  16. I did a brief look at Costa Rica press. They seem to imply there would be joint Naval patrols, and disembarkation would require 6 months notice. IMO the US military likes costa rica due to its quality of life, not any military mission. Same with Okinawa. Even though CR was too rich to need help the Peace Corp had to be dragged out of there kicking and screaming.

  17. [...] Mattis has the same habit of speaking his mind as McCrystal. Eric Garris writes today that Mattis was quoted back in 2005 as saying he finds pleasure in shooting and [...]

  18. Mr. Bill might be on to something. What more appropriate role for Americans could there be than us slaughtering anyone we disagree with? Female circumcision? Nothing leveling a few cities wouldn't put an end to. Burkas? Hell, bomb some elementary schools to really get the women marching. Suttee? Sure the British were right to use Indians for target practice to make their point. Indeed, what God has left unpunished we Americans are surely justified in finishing up. Isn't that our calling?

  19. US military casualties in the eighties in Central America were reported as "training accidents."

  20. The problem is that ,unlike the defenseless civilians that are attacked by drones, some of those people kill you back, but it is not the general who is in the line of fire; it is some poor kid who was sold a bill of goods that takes the bullet for the general's "heroism."

  21. Some day that piece of human crap is going to retire (probably near some Marine Corps base). I worry about the kids on bicycles that might take a shortcut through his lawn and over his pansies. He’ll most likely decide that these kids “have no manhood in them and will deserve to be shot”.

  22. Those shades are gray are so confusing you just cannot tell right from wrong can you Paul? Just because Islamic terrorists think they are completely justified blowing up a wedding party doesn’t make it so. There is truth, goodness and justice in the world and there is evil. Evil seldom presents itself as it is. I imagine that is very confusing to the simple of mind. If you try you will find that United States is the most benevolent and greatest country that is and ever was. Those that fight in wars of defense and liberation are heroes. Those that can not see the forest from the trees need to step back and quietly ponder before running off at the mouth.

  23. I read an interview (in, I think The Independent) with an Afghan who'd fought both the Soviets and the Americans. He thought that fighting the Soviets had sometimes been entertaining, since as individuals they were often very brave. Americans he thought were wimps, afraid to leave their fortresses.

  24. "Burkas?"
    Might be more comfortable than the fashion uniform of US women. Spy cameras definitely won't be able to ID you.

  25. re US in Costa Rica, it's probably easier for them to find booze and harlots than in Afghanistan.

  26. The USG may outlaw burka's now that you've brought that to their attention.

  27. But of course, the folks in the military always dehumanize their victims. Hitler called Slavs 'subhumans.' Americans called the Vietnamese people 'gooks' – right after they killed a few million of them. Brainless generals and their apologists call Afghani villagers 'bad guys,' it's all the same pile of…

  28. I'm glad that there are truthful, good and just people like you Mr. CommanderBill who are able to to see evil when it doesn't present itself as such and can point it out to my simple and very confused mind. I apologize for running off at the mouth. I'll stand back and let you and your buddies in the military continue to make the world a safer place by killing people. God bless.

  29. We waste too much time ridiculing pepole for saying the things we are hesitant to say. When you know a person's character and integrity you can get a true meanng of what hey say and why. Alot
    of people condemn President Obama for going to play golf when the world has so many issue but I
    see golf courses all over the world with scheduled tee times, I see the amusement parks full with people enjoying themselves on vacation but the President is not suppose to…..GET REAL!…We know to unwind and relax sometime so why don't you, (whoever is doing the judging of right and wrong). Check your own closet of mistakes before you talk about others

  30. "This is one more illustration of why civilians, and not the military, need to be in charge of our defense and foreign policy decisions."

    Yes, in principle and theory this is correct.

    In practice this hasn't worked out too well. It wasn't the generals and admirals who got us into WWI. It was internationalists civilians. Come to think of it, I can't think of any case where it was the generals and admirals who set the foreign policy for America. This can be run through the American history of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century and who was it who yelled the loudest for invading Iraq? It wasn't the brass. Most of them were against this supreme act of strategic stupidity. It was civilians, Zionist neocons to be exact with their puppet Bush who did this aided by the "christian" Zionists.

    The worst militarists isn't someone bedecked in medals. It is someone wearing a Savoy Row suit with Gucci shoes, whether that person be Arthur Miliner or Bill Kristol.

  31. Ryan,
    So the admirals and generals are “just following orders” like they were store clerks putting out of date milk on the front row. Distasteful task but that is what the boss says to do.
    We are talking about killing people; in the case of Iraq and Afhanistan, generally civilians. Decency requires these admirals and generals to resign. If they carry out orders to commit evil, they have no excuse.

  32. Richard,

    No, I wasn't saying that. The original statement was about civilian control of the military.

    I was pointing out that these people don't make foreign policy. Civilians do. Civilians I note of an internationalist bent. If you want to be angry at someone start with them first. They are the finger on the trigger, not the weapon.

    One other thing about killing people. Despite what some may believe, a lot of these guys prefer that wars not be fought, having seen killing at first hand. People like Kristol and others of his ilk have as their base of foreign affairs and military policy knowledge from all nighter Risk! games. From those they have learn the art of treachery.

  33. [...] Mattis has the same habit of speaking his mind as McCrystal. Eric Garris writes today that Mattis was quoted back in 2005 as saying he finds pleasure in shooting and [...]

  34. The worst thing about this is that many Americans share his views.

  35. Richard,

    I'm going to leave you with a final thought. You're upset because of what Mathis said. When I was younger I would agree wholeheartedly. Today, now that I am older, I would put it a different way.

    There are some people in this world who do need to be killed. The Neocons are a prime example of not just war criminals, but people who are too cowardly to back up their convictions by placing themselves on line. They prefer to use others for this purpose. Taki Theodoracopulos calls them the "sofa samuri". These Zionists are nothing compared to the Japanese militarists. If people of their ilk were dead the world would be a much more peaceful place and a lot of people, Muslim and American would still be alive. Unfortunately in this case it doesn't work this way. The powermongers have to be denied the power that they will abuse.

  36. In dealing with folks like the Japanese militarists or the Bolsheviks someone like Mathis is precisely the sort of person you need in uniform. He has the right attitude for his profession. How you use such men is you keep them in a fire extinguisher cabinet that has the sign that says "break glass only in emergency". Our problem today is who breaks the glass and that problem was created by stupid and ignorant voters who vote for cads like Bush, Clinton, Obama, etc. and the strap hangers they bring along. That is where the problem lies, not with the Mathis' of this world.

  37. As far as resigning goes, that is a moral question. Some have resigned while others serve on in the hope they can change things from within. I'd hate the idea of someone like Max Boot being allowed to run the armed forces. I believe the only reason Iran hasn't been attack it is alledged that Admiral Mullens and the Chief of Staffs for the Army and the Marines are dead set against it. Mullens is supposed to have told the Israelis in so many words that he knows the truth about the USS Liberty and doesn't want to see a repeat. It seems that only some people in the Air Force that are in favor of this most supreme of a series of stupid mistakes made over the last 20 years.

    Bottom line is this. It is up to the public to stop these stupid wars and if they don't I fear worse things will follow.

  38. OK Ryan, I get you now. Have to confess that I also have had terrible thoughts at times. For the last some years of Bush/Cheney regime , I perversely kept looking for signs of some terminal disease in my decrepit old body so that I could have nothing to lose by traveling some 160 miles due East and trying my luck at shooting our dear leaders. Gave my girlfriend a horrible time over it.

  39. [...] http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2010/07/08/new-centcom-commander-its-fun-to-shoot-some-people/ [...]

  40. Richard,

    LOL, I understand completely. That reminds me of an ad I heard for a bumper sticker. "I'd like to go back in time just so I could kill Woodrow Wilson", or words to that effect. That dude is responsible for a lot of bad things.

    Tell you what. I really want to see these people, particulary the Bush/Clinton administration, put on trial and not just for war crimes either. I really think this despicable era represents a turning point in history. My cynicism says for the worse. Let's hope otherwise.

  41. [...] at the time, and praising him as a great military leader. Gen. Peter Pace said of Mattis that “his actions and those of his troops clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership ….” Mattis’ most recent deployment at the time was to Iraq, where he took part in both battles of [...]

  42. Hey CommanderBill, when you slap the wife next time that means you have no manhood, and it will be so fun to blow your head off.

  43. A few basic observations: 1. Wars that are purely defensive in nature are moral and just. 2. Wars that are purely aggressive in nature are immoral and unjust. 3. The aggressive wars, based on a pack of lies, the U.S. launched in the Middle East are aggressive and, therefore, immoral and unjust. 4. Military officers of sound mind, excellent moral character and a healthy fear of Almighty God always go to war reluctantly – even when war is justified. In fact, they hate war and they hate the taking of human life even when it is justified. Military officers of honor hate war; dishonorable military officers love it. Generals like Robert E. Lee, Smedley Butler and Omar Bradley were men of honor. And warmongers like Mattis are not even worthy enough to shine their boots.

  44. Generally speaking, Uncle Sam's Misguided Children are not known for treating women right. Probably the reporter didn't quote the part where the Genl. asked "where are all the good-looking wh*res?"

  45. Flips and zips, too. I really was told that "life is cheap in Asia."

  46. "the last three times that the general has been in combat…" That made me laugh. Generals aren't IN combat.

  47. [...] the time, and praising him as a great military leader. Gen. Peter Pace said of Mattis that “his actions and those of his troops clearly show that he understands the value of proper leadership ….” Mattis’ most recent deployment at the time was to Iraq, where he took part in both [...]

  48. [...] It’s fun to Shoot Some People [...]

  49. Well I hope you get to shoot at them and lets hope they get to shoot you …..

  50. [...] to task for gloating about killing “guys who slap women.” The exact quote, which Fred found on antiwar.com, is: “Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot,” Mattis said, [...]

  51. [...] to task for gloating about killing “guys who slap women.” The exact quote, which Fred found on antiwar.com, is: “Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot,” Mattis said, [...]

  52. Mattis has the same habit of speaking his mind as McCrystal.

  53. it is apparent that you know your subject matter and you are passionate about this topic. Thanks!