Another view on Gen. Mattis


Reader Stephen Prince, of Phoenix, AZ, shares with us a letter he sent to another Mattis supporter. Col. Anderson is the CO of NROTC at Norwich University, Vt.

Dear Col. Anderson,

I read an article in the Arab News highlighting your defense of Lt. General Mattis. I would like to add that I am a former Marine officer myself. I served from 1984—1988. I was a graduate of the PLC Jr./Sr. program in 1981 and 1983.

I can not tell you how bitter and ashamed I feel over the remarks made by Gen. Mattis. His remarks have now been published in over 500 newspapers world wide! As a former Marine trained at the very facility the General now commands, I can not understand people like you defending the indefensible.

This story is all over the Arab press. This has no doubt helped recruiting efforts of those opposed to the US in Iraq. How many will die because of the General's loose lips?

Never in my time in the USMC did I ever hear a senior leader speak like this! We were constantly taught how horrible the costs of war are to humanity at large. We as Marines were taught at Quantico that human life has value. A man who considers it fun to shoot people (Especially when he had every major advantage in the fight, Iraq is not Tarawa!) does not get it.

His words were not taken out of context. I saw the video of the General, and these are his words. He displayed glee. His face was lit up like a little boy. Words have power! This story can not and should not be SPUN by the Marine Corps. The General said what he said.

Every veteran I have spoken with has made it clear to me the General is way out of line and unfit to be a leader of Marines. His combat record is No defense for his bad judgment. The General has played his hand and shown the world who he really is. I am ashamed of the way the Marine Corps has handled this whole rotten affair. Do you think the President is pleased with General Mattis? General Mattis has stained the very honor of the men he leads. "To keep our honor clean" What a mockery the General has made of Marines Hymn.

This is perhaps the poorest display of judgment I have ever seen by a Marine General. Now the talk radio people are telling people all over America, the General has it right, "They should have fun killing these people, it's their job." This type of garbage even makes it worse. It makes Marines look cold blooded. I will bet you that these statements by the General will ultimately end up in Bartlett's quotations, and hence forth will be a stain on the Marine Corps for years and years to come.

Colonel you have entered the ring on this, and I do not think it will die down soon. I live in Arizona, and people have contacted Senator McCain's office regarding this matter.

The only solution is for General Mattis to go away quietly. What credibility does he now have at Quantico? Is he going to lecture others on moral behavior in general? He will be seen as an hypocrite. Will he be able to teach Marines the moral duties they have to the human beings they are fighting? Are you saying that because men in Afghanistan treat women horribly, they should be shot on site with out a trial? Do Marines now go into wars making the rules of who lives and dies based on their personal moral agenda? Should Marines conduct raids on the Porno industry in California and shoot them on site because they don't like the way women are being abused in the production of pornography? Should all men in the USA who abuse women be shot by Marines with out a trial? What is all this saying Colonel? Seems the General makes it clear he goes by his own rule of the gun, not the rule of law (UCMJ) enacted by the will of the people at large.

Are not our Marines dying almost daily in Iraq fighting so democracy can emerge there?

This issue will not die. As a matter in fact it has opened a can of worms.

The tooth paste is out of the tube. The remarks made by General Mattis will live in infamy. He will from now on be known as the General who says, it's "fun to kill people." He has thoroughly embarrassed the President, and Secretary of Defense! The President is constantly telling the world that we are a compassionate people who believe in the sanctity of human life! When people in high positions such as Gen. Mattis state that it's fun to shoot people (for any reason what so ever), we have lost it. The General sounds like an SS officer of another sad time in history.

I am convinced that these remarks will now cause an intensified effort to kill Marines in Iraq! These men who the General made clear "Got no manhood"

will want to show Marines how much they have their manhood. The General is actually helping the enemy with his macho stupidity, and extreme lack of judgment.

In my opinion Colonel, the remarks you made in the Arab News do not make you look very smart. Your argument is weak, and will not hold much water. My bet is that the President is furious with General Mattis, and actions will be taken. The man is an embarrassment to the United States. He does not reflect the moral character of the entire American people at large, nor the highest standards of moral leadership required of men who are the ultimate managers of violence. This was not some drunk 18 year old PFC making these statements, it was a Lt. General in UNIFORM, who just happens to command the most important training command in the USMC! War is the last resort among people. Innocent women, children and the elderly are killed and horribly wounded for life, because they just happened to get in the way. It is never fun, NEVER! When our military leaders start saying it's fun, we have become a sick and depraved people only worthy of the harshest judgment brought down by our Creator. This is a sad time for the history of the United States.

General Mattis is a disgrace to the uniform he wears, and to the people he leads.


Stephen Prince