A public display of the worst form of military mindset was reported by Kim Sen-Gupta in The Independent recently.
Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who has been described as “one of the country’s bravest and most experienced military leaders,” spoke to people attending a leadership seminar in 2005 in San Diego:
“Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight. You know it’s a helluva hoot. I’ll be right up front with you. I like brawling. You go into Afghanistan, you get guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil … guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”
A clip of his speech – which was greeted with laughter – is being shown throughout the Muslim world on the following video :
“The fact is people in the forces tend not to speak like bishops” – or humane beings
Robert Gates, US Defence Secretary, said that the remarks were made five years ago and General Mattis had learnt his lesson.
A senior American officer serving in Kabul, said: “This is not what we want to see happen after a very difficult time in the campaign. But we don’t think the Senate will block his appointment.
“The fact is people in the forces tend not to speak like bishops. We’ll have to make clear to Afghans that what he was talking about related to the Taliban, who oppress women, and certainly not Afghans and Muslims as a whole.”
Earlier this month, just as General Mattis was named as successor to General David Petreaus as head of US Central Command, the video with his comments was spreading through the Muslim world