I find myself outraged at something I heard on the radio this morning, yet it’s not entirely surprising. The proposed leader of the military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Gen. James Mattis, has publicly come out in past bragging about how much he loves killing the enemy, and what a joy it is to shoot and fatally kill another human being.
“Actually, it’s a lot of fun to fight,” he said in a 2005 speech in San Diego about killing members of the Taliban. “It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people. I like brawling.”
Fun?!? It’s fun to shoot people? I find this attitude disgusting. And while I realize that this is part and parcel for the military, I am appalled that it is mentioned so openly and casually.
With all the talk about how he has the qualities of a good leader, all I could think was how is it possible that one of the things we’d celebrate about a person is that he loves to kill? I don’t care if it’s the enemy; in my head this does not set the right tone at all for the conflict, any conflict.
Perhaps I am deluded, but I would say that one of the qualities I would look for would be a person that respects and acknowledges the value of life. If they don’t, I expect they will have no qualms about overstepping their bounds and making decisions that risk lives (innocent, enemy and soldier). A true leader would not view people as expendable, let alone enjoy dispatching of them. What a callous, horrible, outrageous attitude.