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By RALPH PETERS

IN San Diego on Tuesday, I had the privilege of sitting beside Lt.-Gen. Jim Mattis, a Marine who knows how to fight. We were on a panel discussing future war. And Gen. Mattis, a Marine to the marrow of his bones, spoke honestly about the thrill of combat.

Mattis has commanded at every level. In Desert Storm, he led a battalion. In Afghanistan and then in Iraq, he led with inspiration and courage. Everyone on our panel had opinions about war, but that no-nonsense Marine knew more about it than the rest of us combined.

In the course of a blunt discussion of how our military has to prepare for future fights, the general spoke with a frankness that won the hearts of the uniformed members of the audience. Instead of trotting out politically correct clichés, Mattis told the truth:

"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil . . . it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

The language wasn't elegant. But we don't need prissy military leaders. We need generals who talk straight and shoot straight, men who inspire. And I guarantee you that any real Marine or soldier would follow Gen. Mattis.

What was the media's reaction? A B-team news crew saw a chance to grab a headline at the military's expense (surprise, surprise). Lifting the general's remarks out of context, the media hyenas played it as if they were shocked to learn that people die in war.

Combat veterans are supposed to be tormented souls, you understand. Those who fight our wars are supposed to return home irreparably damaged.

HOLLYWOOD'S ideal of a Marine is the retired co lonel in the film "American Beauty," who turns out to be a repressed homosexual and a murderer. Veterans are sup- posed to writhe on their beds all night, covered in sweat, unable to escape their nightmares.

War does scar some men. Most vets, though, just get on with their lives — scratch a veteran looking for pity and more often than not you'll find a supply clerk who never got near a battlefield. And some who serve — the soldiers and Marines who win our wars — run to the sound of the guns, anxious to close with the enemy and kill him. They may not love war itself, but they find combat magnetic and exhilarating. They like to fight.

That's fine in movies featuring Brad Pitt as a mythical Greek hero. But God forbid that a modern-day Marine should admit that he loves his work.

Well, Marines and soldiers don't serve full careers because they hate their jobs. In peace or war, the military experience is incredibly rich and rewarding. And sometimes dangerous. Goes with the territory. But for most of the young infantrymen in Iraq, their combat experience will remain the highpoint of their lives. Nothing afterward will be as intense or exciting. And they will never make closer friends than they did in their rifle squad.

Gen. Mattis may have been unusual in his honesty, but he certainly isn't unusual in our history. We picture Robert E. Lee as a saintly father figure, but Lee remarked that it's good that war is so terrible, since otherwise men would grow to love it too much. He was speaking of himself. Andy Jackson certainly loved a fight, and Stonewall Jackson never shied from one. Sherman and Grant only found themselves in war.

WE lionize those who em braced war in the past, but condemn those who defend us in the present. George S. Patton was far blunter than Jim Mattis — but Patton lived in the days before the media was omnipresent and biased against our military.

The hypocrisy is stunning. Gen. Mattis told the truth about a fundamental human activity — war — and was treated as though he had dropped a nuclear weapon on an orphanage. Yet when some bozo on a talk show confesses to an addiction or a perversion in front of millions of viewers, he's lionized as "courageous" for speaking out.

Sorry. It's men like Jim Mattis who are courageous. The rest of us barely glimpse the meaning of the word.

We've come to a sad state when a Marine who has risked his life repeatedly to keep our country safe can't speak his mind, while any professor who wants to blame America for 9/11 is defended by legions of free-speech advocates. If a man like Mattis hasn't earned the right to say what he really believes, who has?

Had Gen. Mattis collapsed in tears and begged for pity for the torments war inflicted on him, the media would have adored him. Instead, he spoke as Marines and soldiers do in the headquarters tent or the barracks, on the battlefield or among comrades. And young journalists who never faced anything more dangerous than a drunken night in Tijuana tried to create a scandal.

FORTUNATELY, Lt.-Gen. Mattis has three big things going for him: The respect of those who serve; the Marine Corps, which won't abandon a valiant fighter to please self-righteous pundits whose only battle is with their waistlines; and the fact that we're at war. We need more men like Mattis, not fewer. The public needs to hear the truth about war, not just the crybaby nonsense of those who never deigned to serve our country.

In my own far humbler career, the leaders I admired were those who had the killer instinct. The soldiers knew who they were. We would have followed them anywhere. They weren't slick Pentagon staffers anxious to go to work for defense contractors. They were the men who lived and breathed the warrior's life.

Table manners don't win wars. Winning our nation's battles demands disciplined ferocity, raw physical courage — and integrity. Jim Mattis has those qualities in spades.

Semper fi, General.

Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace."
 

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"it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

That is disgraceful...think about what he is saying. At certain times unfortunately it is necessary but, No one should ever ENJOY killing another human being.
 

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JeepinWeezle";p="56227 said:
"it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

That is disgraceful...think about what he is saying. At certain times unfortunately it is necessary but, No one should ever ENJOY killing another human being.
Floater.... If you had any experience such as the Colonels' you'd know he was dead on... His comments are not disgraceful, yours are... Those "human beings" over there are vermin, not people. No I'm not refering to the average Iraqi Joe six pack. You might want to think over making comments about a warrior who's willing to step up while you leave a trail of piss as you run away....
 

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Deuce";p="56240 said:
JeepinWeezle";p="56227 said:
"it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."

That is disgraceful...think about what he is saying. At certain times unfortunately it is necessary but, No one should ever ENJOY killing another human being.
Floater.... If you had any experience such as the Colonels' you'd know he was dead on... His comments are not disgraceful, yours are... Those "human beings" over there are vermin, not people. No I'm not refering to the average Iraqi Joe six pack. You might want to think over making comments about a warrior who's willing to step up while you leave a trail of piss as you run away....
haha sorry...disagree with both of you. I agree that killing is necessary in certain situations. But it should NEVER be FUN!

It scares me that someone that is or wants to be a police officer would ever think that killing can be FUN!
 

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My newest American HERO. That's right, HERO. Here's a guy who has put his life on the line many times for our counrty and this is the thanks he gets from some members of this BB? Pathetic.

While the comment may seem distateful to some, if you don't like it, renounce your citizenship and move to Canada. Nobody is stopping you. As I do recall, we have freedom of speech here.

 

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Jeep,

Although I don't think you need to move to Canada I do think you're choice of words is improper and disrespectful to this decorated combat Marine. You see to disgrace is synonymous with dishonor, and I am hard pressed to believe for one second that this Lt-Gen. lacks honor. He may have some battle scars and psychologically de-humanized his enemies but I feel that those are solid attributes for a man whose job it is to lead others into combat. His comments may have come off as abrasive , insensitive, or un-PC, but I personally would prefer our military not concern itself with such BS anyway (leave that crap to politicians). This General enjoys his job and there is nothing wrong with that.

:pint: <<< this one's for the Lt-Gen. Keep up the good work sir.
 

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I'd love to serve under a commander like that, rather than some Pentagon pussy who has been in the field for less than 10 minutes.
 

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I am still sticking by my words....

I am not saying the military is discgraceful, I am not even saying that man is, I am saying what he said at the time was discgraceful. Again I will repeat, No one should ENJOY killing. Step back and think about it for a minute.

Anyone here agree? or do you all beleive that one should enjoy killing another human being.
 

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"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you don't want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

- Col. Nathan R. Jessup, U.S.M.C (A Few Good Men, 1992)

Spoken with the eloquent poignancy of another true Warrior/Poet/Patriot!

As far as his choice of using the word "FUN" to describe killing those animals... let's face it...You can't spell FUN-eral without starting with a little "FUN". :lol:

What's next, the suggestion of a war crimes tribunal to charge him with murder? That would be like trying to hand-out speeding tickets at the Daytona 500!

Let the man do, and say, what he does without the unqualified scrutiny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I posted this because I thought it was the right thing to do. I believe what the Lt. Gen. said is fine. He's a hardened military man and that is his sense of what needs to be done.

Jeep - Although you are entitled to your opinion, step back from this thread for a second and read what everyone else is saying. You are the only one that disagrees...why is that?

No one here is saying that "killing is fun", those are his words, so do not say that because we think he is a good man that we shouldn't be in LE. I'm done.
 

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kttref";p="56299 said:
I posted this because I thought it was the right thing to do. I believe what the Lt. Gen. said is fine. He's a hardened military man and that is his sense of what needs to be done.

Jeep - Although you are entitled to your opinion, step back from this thread for a second and read what everyone else is saying. You are the only one that disagrees...why is that?

No one here is saying that "killing is fun", those are his words, so do not say that because we think he is a good man that we shouldn't be in LE. I'm done.
I am disagreeing because i beleive what he said was wrong!

You can think he is a good man...but there are some here that agreed that "killing is fun"
 
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I agree w/ what the LTG said. I can also see what the problem is for citizens whose only contact w/ the military is the History Channel. Anyone who has served has heard and spoken like this. Just like cops say things among themselves, that cannot be said near the civi or camera. The little guys should be discreet. The LTG, who has years of combat experience and must inspire troops should be given a pass. He has proven his worth to every American. He is a special breed. One that the "elite" media can't stand. The country needs a Gunny Highway.
 

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GARDA";p="56287 said:
"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you don't want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

- Col. Nathan R. Jessup, U.S.M.C (A Few Good Men, 1992)

Spoken with the eloquent poignancy of another true Warrior/Poet/Patriot!

As far as his choice of using the word "FUN" to describe killing those animals... let's face it...You can't spell FUN-eral without starting with a little "FUN". :lol:

What's next, the suggestion of a war crimes tribunal to charge him with murder? That would be like trying to hand-out speeding tickets at the Daytona 500!

Let the man do, and say, what he does without the unqualified scrutiny.
GARDA,

Tell me that you wrote that quote from memory! As far as the Terrorists go they all want to meet Allah anyway so the General is doing them a favor by expediting the meeting, seems like a win/win scenario to me.
 

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cj3441";p="56332 said:
GARDA,

Tell me that you wrote that quote from memory! As far as the Terrorists go they all want to meet Allah anyway so the General is doing them a favor by expediting the meeting, seems like a win/win scenario to me.
If you read, i said that sometimes unfortunately it is necessary, but never should be FUN. That is the key word FUN! Some serial murderers see killing as fun, we seem to frown on that and see something "wrong" with them.

And no this is not different....

Killing is killing is killing is killing
Fun is fun is fun is fun
All the same...just for different reasons

Yes as stated before...i know that war is war and people get killed yes, like i said its a necessary evil, but it should not be fun.

I'm done because i keep repeating myself
 

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It is different.. Killing innocent people is horrible. However, if you had any experience in Combat Arms you'd realize that killing vermin (combatants/terrorists) is fun... It's obviously too hard to explain to someone like you since you're probably the type that went (goes) to some rotten liberal college and protests and hugs trees...

There I said it, shooting shitbirds is a hoot. You're wrong, you should thank God there are people out there willing to do what you don't have the stomach to do.. Now go hand out needles to the junkies....
 
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