It’s official: as expected, Donald Trump has nominated Retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Mattis is a fairly mainstream pick, and shouldn’t face to many hurdles to confirmation. He’s also a certified badass. Here, in no particular order, are some badass things that Mad Dog Mattis said:
- “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
- To Iraqi military leaders after withdrawing US tanks and artillery: “I come in peace, I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.”
- “We’ve backed off in good faith to try and give you a chance to straighten this problem out. But I am going to beg with you for a minute. I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years.”
- “PowerPoint makes us stupid.”
- On the subject of the Taliban: “Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.” (As you might imagine, this comment stirred up some controversy for Mattis.)
- “If in order to kill the enemy you have to kill an innocent, don’t take the shot. Don’t create more enemies than you take out by some immoral act.”
Mattis is a lifelong bachelor and a student of military tactics in history. He has a second nickname – “the Warrior Monk” – which is almost badass as his first one.
A statute designed to stop military figures from quickly taking political posts after retirement means that Mattis will have to get a Congressional waiver to be confirmed. He’s expected to get it, though – Mattis is a fairly mainstream pick by Trump’s standards, and is well-respected in Washington.