General Mattis: It’s Fun to Shoot Some People
A Marine Corps general with battle awards is being counseled to watch his words more carefully after publicly observing that “it’s fun to shoot some people.” Lt. Gen. James Mattis, a career infantry office now in charge of developing ways to better train and equip Marines, also made fun of the manhood of Afghans during comments Tuesday while speaking at a forum in San Diego. On Thursday, Gen. Mike Hagee, the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, issued a statement of regret about Mattis’ remarks, saying they reflected “the unfortunate and harsh realities of war.”
According to an audio recording, Mattis had said, “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.” He added, “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.” His comments evoked laughter and applause from the audience. Mattis was speaking during a panel discussion hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, a spokeswoman for the general said.
Gen. Hagee’s statement said, “Lt. Gen. 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.” “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’s statement added.
It’s unfortunate that so few people have a sense of humor these days. What Mattis said was funny and the spirit of what he said was true. Professional soldiers don’t enjoy killing but they do feel good about fighting in a cause so obviously just as removing the despicable Taliban from power. Off-color humor and demeaning the manhood of the enemy is as old as warfare.
Update (0815 2-5): “Captain Ed” Morrissey compares press coverage of Mattis’ comments to those of CNN news chief Eason Jordan.
Scott “Smash” Koenig expresses his appreciation that men like Mattis are manning the wall.
Donald Sensing, quite literally, illustrates that Mattis is following a long tradition.