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.