Friday, July 23, 2010

General James Mattis Emasculated

Fred Reed on the "loutish American general, James Mattis, martial feminist, talking about the fun he has killing Afghans" — Psychopathy Legitimized. Says Mr. Reed, "From defending the Constitution to the pleasure of watching Afghans die: The military has come a long way." Also, he suggests, "General, killing them might be a tad less fun when you couldn’t do it from the safety of a gunship."

This is the general who said, "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil," adding "guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyways. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.") Mr. Reed:
    Does General Dworkin-Mattis speak of manhood? Odd, since his military is being badly outfought by the unmanly Afghans that are fun to kill. By the Pentagon’s figures the US military outnumbers the resistance several to one. The US has complete control of the air, enjoying F16s, helicopter gun-ships, transport choppers, and Predator drones, as well as armor, body armor, night-vision gear, heavy weaponry, medevac, hospitals, good food, and PXs. The Afghans have only AKs, RPGs, C4, and balls. Yet they are winning, or at least holding their own. How glorious.

    Man for man, weapon for weapon, the Taliban are clearly superior. They take far heavier casualties, but keep on fighting. Their politics are not mine, but they are formidable on the ground. If I were General Dworkin, I’d change my name and go into hiding. Maybe he could wear a veil....

    Now, it is regarded as treasonous to question that Our Boys are the best trained, best armed, toughest troops in the world, and I’ll probably get punched out in bars for pointing out the awful truth. Let’s imagine an experiment. We take Killing-is-Fun General Mattis-Abzug, and a thousand GIs, and a thousand Taliban, and let them fight it out in any patch of wretched barren mountains of your choosing. On equal terms. What you think? Same weapons.

    Good idea, General? You eat what they eat, wear what they wear, they have no medical care, and neither do you. If they get lung-shot and die the hard way, you do too.
Asking "why is a GI’s life, mine or anyone else’s, worth more than the life of an Afghan child of three," he reflects on his own service: "A pretty good rule of thumb is that the attacking army is in the wrong, which would have made a Vietnamese kid’s life worth more than mine." It takes a real man to say something like that.

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Anonymous Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

A very significant difference is that there are a lot of Afghans out there with Enfield .303 bolt-action rifles, designed to kill men, that know how to shoot them. The equivalent NATO round is .308 Winchester.

American soldiers are equipped with high capacity, high rate of fire carbines using a round designed to take out groundhogs, prairie dogs, and woodchucks.

The Russians may have had a round comparable to the 30-30 used in the Winchester rifle that tamed the Wild West, but they were greatly hampered by tactical doctrine that held it was FAR more important to reduce desertion than to find and shoot back at enemies firing from a hidden place.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Fred Reed's column reminds me of this one from a few years ago about the siege of Fallujah , "The End of Warfare" by Abhay Mehta . The self proclaimed "mightiest military machine" in history still got drawn into block by block urban combat against guerillas armed with not much more than small arms and homemade explosives. Mind you, these are the combat operations that the US commanders wanted to avoid on the initial invasion. Sun Tzu's Art of War states that urban warfare is the battle commanders must avoid as much as possible, "Laying siege to a city is only done when other options are not available." As an Iraqi guerilla put right before the siege
"The enemy is on the run...We, now choose when, where, and how to strike..." Since the Surge, we've been paying off these Sunni militias as we draw down forces every month. Reading that old article and Fred Reed's column, I wonder who's really gettin' played while we keep calling ourselves "heroes"?

Fred Reed has never hesitated to call out officers that are full of themselves. IIRC, when I was in the Corps, he was made persona non grata by the Commandant of the Marine Corps for criticizing the brass over the Beirut mission in 1982. He also ripped into Major Ralph Peters USA Ret., in a column for LRC a few years ago. , because the Major thought we've become too comfortable in "protecting our freedoms."

5:05 AM  

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