Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, then a Lt. General, told a crowd in San Diego that it was “fun to shoot some people” and said that certain Afghans deserved to die. “You know guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot ’em.”
The USMC General chosen to lead military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the Middle East is an experienced ground combat commander, but also earned a stern rebuke (actually a slap on the wrist) in 2005 for controversial comments about combat operations.
Then-Marine Corps Commandant Michael W. Hagee told Mattis to choose his words more carfully but also praised him as “one of the country’s bravest and most experienced military leaders.”
“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 said. “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.” Washington Post