Monday, 11 April 2016

The Meditations of Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis: “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”

‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine
General James Mattis replaced General David Petraeus as the Commandant of U.S. Central Command in 2010. He "retired" in 2013, because he apparently rubbed civilian officials up the wrong way (diddums!), and because the appeasement monkeys of the Obama administration felt he was too eager for military confrontation with Iran (the terrorist state which now, thanks to Barry, is now busily developing nuclear weapons). Mattis is currently being talked about as a possible Republican US presidential candidate in the event of a contested convention - which would mean that the current front-runner, a puffed-up bully who talks tough, being replaced by a military man who not only talks tough, but actually is tough. Okay, it's not going to happen - and I'm starting to suspect that Ted Cruz might just walk out of that convention as top dog - but we can dream, can't we?

Mattis is considered something of an intellectual - a colleague called him " of the most urbane and polished men I have known." He has a degree in history and is considered an expert on military history in particular; owned a personal library of some 7000 volumes; and carried the Meditation of Marcus Aurelius around with him on his various tours of duty. Here are some examples of his very own meditations, as quoted in the press over the years:
“I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.”
That's probably my favourite. But the rest are pretty good as well:
“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
“Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment [in American democracy] and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact.”
“There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.” 
“There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, cunning, obedience and alertness, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim.”
“You cannot allow any of your people to avoid the brutal facts. If they start living in a dream world, it’s going to be bad.”
“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
"There is only one ‘retirement plan’ for terrorists."
"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. Actually it's quite fun to fight them, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up there with you. I like brawling."
“I don’t give a damn about the officers. If they don’t like what they’re doing, they can get on a plane and leave the Corps — go back where they came from. But I do care deeply about those 18- and 19-year-old Lance Corporals out on the frontlines.” 
But in case I'm giving the impression that Mattis is nothing but a loud-mouthed, culturally-insensitive war-monger, here he is, talking about widely-touted new technologies and weapons systems:
"[None of them]...would have helped me in the last three years [in Iraq and Afghanistan]. But I could have used cultural training and language training. I could have used more products from American universities who understood the world does not revolve around America and who embrace coalitions and allies for all of the strengths that they bring us."
"If in order to kill the enemy you have to kill an innocent, don’t take the shot. Don’t create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act." 
"...a country that armed Stalin to defeat Hitler can certainly work alongside enemies of al-Qaida to defeat al-Qaida." 
"The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears." 
And this is something Barack Obama might usefully ponder:
“No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.”
This final quote may be the wisest of them all:
"PowerPoint makes us stupid."


  1. Oh dear. Does he by any chance love the smell of napalm in the morning? I know this blog tends to spread a bit of vaseline over its usual finely-focused critical lens when faced with tough talking, arse-kicking Yanks but the antidote to Obama doesn't have to be some one from the polar opposite. He may have 7000 books but the two quotes immediately before his cliche about 6 inches on the battlefield are mutually contradictory and don't really suggest anyone who has thought things through. The rest reads like Don Siegel's first draft of the Dirty Harry script.

    1. I assure you that I'm not in the habit of smearing vaseline anywhere, ex-KCS - but I never could resist a man in uniform.

      Ah, yes, the Dirty Harry script:

      The Mayor: Callahan... I don't want any more trouble like you had last year in the Fillmore district. You understand? That's my policy.
      Harry Callahan: Yeah, well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard - that's my policy.
      The Mayor: Intent? How'd you establish that?
      Harry Callahan: When a naked man is chasing a woman through a dark alley with a butcher knife and a hard on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross.
      The Mayor: I think he's got a point.

      ...and not forgetting:

      De Georgio: You need any help, Harry?
      Harry Callahan: Go on out and get some air, fatso!
      [turns to killer]
      The Killer: [pleading] Please! No more! I'm hurt! Can't you see I'm hurt? You shot me! Please, don't, don't! Let me have a doctor, let-let me have a doctor. Please, get me the doctor! Don't kill me!
      Harry Callahan: The girl, where is she?
      The Killer: [crying with reason] You tried to kill me!
      Harry Callahan: If I tried that, your head would be splattered all over this field.
      Harry Callahan: Now, where's the girl?
      The Killer: [almost crying] I want a lawyer.
      Harry Callahan: [angered] I said, where's the girl?
      The Killer: [cries] I have the rights to a lawyer.
      Harry Callahan: [raises his voice] Where's the girl?
      The Killer: I have the rights to a lawyer!
      [Harry looks at Scorpio's wound on his leg]
      The Killer: Don't, please!
      [Harry begins begins to slowly push his shoe on the wound]
      The Killer: I have right to a lawYEEER!
      [Scorpio begins to scream in pain as the camera zooms out]

    2. And I should have mentioned that the Dirty Harry script was actually written by Harry Julian Fink, R.M. Fink, Dean Riesner, and (uncredited) John Milius. We are all in their debt.

  2. The general bears a strong resemblance to George S. Patton who once made Sir Bernard Marshall Fields burst out laughing by saying: " Monty, don't worry - if you keep your helmet on and rest your weight on your elbows it is only fornication."

  3. The abovementioned De Giorgio was played by John Mitchum, the younger brother of Robert Mitchum. He was married to Gloria Grahame's sister. Gloria Grahame you will recall had an upper lip even longer than Dr Juicy Lucy Worsley's. I thought you should know this.

    1. Her immobile upper lip (described by Clive James as "novocained") was not, as I'd believed, the result of a childhood accident, but was caused, according to her niece, by surgical procedures to make her lip fuller, which led to nerve damage. For some odd reason, this unwonted effect actually increased her sexual allure, which was what the unsuccessful surgeries were intended to achieve. I find Dr Worsley vewwy iwwitating.