Skip to comments.Pentagon taps Mattis to take over Central Command (+the best war poster)
Posted on 07/10/2010 9:01:47 AM PDT by STARWISE
In his book Fiasco, The American Military Adventure in Iraq, Thomas Ricks writes, "Small, slight and bespectacled, Mattis didn't fit the Hollywood image of the fire-breathing Marine commander.
But retired Marine Col. Gary Anderson, himself a widely respected officer, commented, 'I think he's the finest combat leader we've produced since Korea.'
Mattis genuinely seemed to thrive on the noise and confusion of battle. He adopted 'Chaos' as his call sign when he took the Marines into southern Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 and kept it when he led the Marine part of the invasion force for Iraq in the spring of 2003.
After the invasion he sent home his tanks and artillery pieces and went to Iraqi military leaders in each area his troops were in. 'I come in peace,' Mattis recalled telling them. 'I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f--- with me, I'll kill you all.' "
(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...
Some people are making the mistake of thinking Obama cares how we fight in Afghanistan, and therefore assuming that he wouldn’t appoint a guy who was the real deal. Well, he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if we win or lose, really, he just wants the war off the front pages so it doesn’t interfere with his domestic agenda.
Hence, when Gates suggests Mattis, he could have been suggesting Sun Tsu or Wooody the Woodpecker for all it would matter to Obama.
LTC Chessani and Staff Sergeant Wuterich? What would they say about Mattis?
I work with a former LTC who served with him in Iraq as a legal whatever they call them. HE LOVES MATTIS!!!! (even though some of the things Mattis would say to his Marines made him cringe from a UCMJ POV) and is very excited that Mattis is now CentCom CO.
the stories my friend tells of Mattis are funny (from a dark humor pov) and make it clear that Mattis is a Marine’s marine.
You worry about the Army the Marines got it under control.
Why in hell can’t the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can’t they be like Marines.
Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918
“The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of MARINES. LORD, how they could fight!”
MAJ. GEN. FRANK LOWE, U.S. ARMY
In combat chaplains aren’t given branch-specific duty. That’s why I prayed over your dead, and with your infantry, and with your armor, and why I led services for your Seals and your guards.
It’s just the way it works.
Coming into the discussion, late......Very good points by all. Mattis is no doubt a fearless warrior with a supreme intellect, and a leader that many Marines would be honored to serve under. But his handling of the Haditha case seemed flawed at best.
The presiding judge for LtCol Chessani’s Undue Command Influence motion hearing found that there was not only an appearance of UCI, but it could possibly be proven if further investigation was made, that actual UCI did occur. Mattis never took responsibility for his error in judgement in how the Haditha case against the 8 Marines was handled.
The Haditha case came at a critical juncture in the debate over the appropriate Rules of Engagement in Iraq. Mattis seemed to go along with the emerging counterinsurgency approach of “winning hearts and minds” strategy as being more important than the “have a plan to kill everyone you meet” strategy he advocated early on in Iraq. We can see how successful these current ROE’s are working in Afghanistan.
The effect of how these Haditha Marines were treated by our military, by the press, by certain members in Congress was not lost on Marines in theater. They were well aware that they, too, could be thrown under the bus, have their lives/careers destroyed, and their families’ resources dessimated trying to defend themselves should they placed in a similar situation. Hesitation under fire leads to casualties.
So, while Mattis may be outstanding, compared to other generals obama could choose from, he will always be connected with the appearance of Undue of Command Influence (railroading) associated with the handling of Lt Col Chessani’s charges. He will always bear the responsibility for the outcome from the Haditha Marines’ charges.
The impact of Murthas unrestrained remarks, coupled with medias specious, sensationalized accounts of the incident, was recently underscored by Iraqi negotiators discussing the future of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the US.
The negotiations reportedly came to a screeching halt last week when the Iraqis refused to budge over demands that US service members be denied immunity from Iraqi prosecution for alleged war crimes in Iraq.
US and Iraqi officials reportedly reached the impasse because most of the US Marines accused of massacring civilians at Haditha have been exonerated.
The specious Haditha incident was identified by name during the delicate negotiations in Baghdad to determine whether the United States intends to give up its traditional legal sovereignty over American service members, numerous news reports said.
The Iraqis want assurances they can exact their own brand of justice on American service members trapped in similar situations.
The US has SOFA agreements in 80 countries that give the US autonomy over disciplining American troops.
The Americans military needed to show the Iraqis that it would go balls to the wall in prosecuting Marines and soldiers who were accused of battlefield "atrocities". Winter and the rest of the cowardly perfumed princes of the Pentagon made the ill-advised decision to showcase "the Haditha massacre" aand throw eight heroic battlefield veterans under the bus like human sacrifices rather than man up and tell the Iraqis that the al Queda propaganda wasn't going to work this time.
This level of "diplomacy" was above Mattis's pay grade and he may have found himself between a rock and a hard place. Still, as the case progressed and it became clear that there WAS no case, that the whole thing was really nothing more than a carefully orchestrated propaganda effort, Mattis could have himself manned up and effectively told Winter and the Pentagon to go play with themselves by dismissing all cases without prejudice. To his shame, he didn't. He let the disgraceful fiasco drag on and on and he'll have to live with that.
...And Mattis will surely "live with it" a lot easier than the eight good Marines who were successfully removed from America's war effort thanks to a chain of command that handed a victory to the enemy in an all-too-quick, cowardly fashion.
LTC Chessani and Staff Sergeant Wuterich? What would they say about Mattis?
I'm not fighting a war based upon one isolated case, but am choosing the best field commander I can find. General Mattis is that man.
Like you, I am very sympathetic to LtCol Chessani, SSgt Wuterich and all of the Haditha defendants. I also realize that my knowledge of their cases is limited, as is yours, and I am pleased that both were cleared in their courts martial. The legal system is not pretty, but it works. And it ultimately worked for them.
Girl's paragraph about actual UCI grabs attention:
blockquote>The presiding judge for LtCol Chessanis Undue Command Influence motion hearing found that there was not only an appearance of UCI, but it could possibly be proven if further investigation was made, that actual UCI did occur. Mattis never took responsibility for his error in judgement in how the Haditha case against the 8 Marines was handled.
Girl's reminder that all our military are now hesitant because of possible prosecution, and that that hesitance will cost lives is right on the money.
Likewise is your reminder that these men did not come out of this unscathed. They've lost fortunes and they've lost careers.
And Mattis could have dismissed it.
see #’s 68, 69 and 71
Excellent posts by you both.
The appearance and the probability of actual UCI is out there for all to see from the hearings and the upholding of it by the military appeals court.
There’s nothing “behind the scenes” about it or any kind of “inside” info re the UCMJ. The judges acting for the UCMJ are the ones that determined it was there and put an exclamation mark on it with the outcome of the appeal.
No real argument here, but the mere appearance of Undue Command Influence is not proof of its existence. George Patton was always connected to his slapping of a shellshocked soldier on Sicily. But Patton did what he thought was best at the time, and he remained our best field general throughout the war.
He will always bear the responsibility for the outcome from the Haditha Marines charges.
This is where I disagree with you. As the convening authority, General Mattis bears responsibility for the charges being brought to trial. But responsibility for the outcome of those charges rests solely with the court martial jury.
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