Looking at the Real James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis

AL ASAD, Iraq –   Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, speaks to the Marines of the maintenance section from Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 121 on the Al Asad flightline, May 6. After talking to them, Mattis welcomed any questions.

(Editor’s Note: This is a very good article and worth the read.)

“The media take Trump literally, but not seriously. Voters take him seriously, but not literally.” This, by Salena Zito, was the smartest thing written about the 2016 election and deserves a place in every dictionary of quotations.

Now let me give you some advice about General James Mattis, who will almost certainly be President Trump’s secretary of defense. Take him both literally and seriously.

General Mattis is a dictionary of quotes in his own right. I especially like the way he meets and greets. “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you [expletive] with me, I’ll kill you all.” With Mattis, however, you get much more than just words. You get deeds.

As the commander of the First Marine Division in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mattis earned a daunting reputation as a master of kinetic warfare. During the push to Baghdad, he relieved one of his sub-unit commanders for not advancing fast enough. In 2007 he coauthored, with David Petraeus, the “Counterinsurgency Field Manual,” the template for the successful “surge” in Iraq. So fond of combat was Mattis that the Marines’ affectionate nickname for him was “Mad Dog.”

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