I’m not one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (USMC), in fact, I’m far from it. Although that won’t stop my reckless cooperation to endorse and support Mad Dog for President of the United States of America. I’ve posted a few pro-Mad Dog articles at SOFREP. Yes, I’m also one of those people; who else would post all the A-10s, foreign forces, and Ukrainian front stuff? It’s curated – so don’t get too supportive, keep those torches lit.
Albeit, I stumbled upon an email from Mad Dog to a young Marine, who emailed him on the merits of reading. The email, of course, should have remained private, but the Marine got squirrelly way back in 2013; it’s already been out here for three years. The full email is below, but I’m going to highlight a few key points throughout my article/rant.
Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. – General Mattis
Yeah, yeah, yeah I know General James Mattis for President is not happening. It’s only that I’m presented with a reoccurring and simple problem. In that, I am continuously provided with what has best been presented by South Park.
The ultimate choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. Realistically, the General would not win – despite the fact that we would be presented with someone who we could believe in and would do right. Albeit, as a student of marketing, rhetoric, and politics I know that the cash behind the campaigns of the wicked witch and captain crazy would assassinate the General with bogus media charades and diversion tactics faster than a stack of dynamite tied tight around your waste in the belly of a volcano. Hey, it’s not my fault most people overreact to headlines, fail to fully read an article, or bothers to research anything independently.
For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say … “Not really” – General Mattis
Yet here we are in our sound-byte culture. Great work everyone, I’m so damned happy to be part of a democratic process based on unchallenged deception marketing; thanks! Everyone should wake up tomorrow and make sure to take a portion of a sentence out of context, over-react, and then make sure that you take it subjectively about yourself. I’m sure some talking head with an agenda will generally communicate in a way that will personally incite you. After all, the whole world revolves around you, just like mommy told you. That’s right; you’re special . . . More like special in the head.
Yep, I’m bitter, cynical and even though I know my vote counts; I really don’t believe that I have the freedom to be represented by anyone competent. We the people have challenged the system, by way as the audience, the viewers, the public, and/or the voters with ratings to media to demand a spectacle. Those ratings translate to advertisement revenue, targeted messages, simple random samples of demographics, which are often poorly represented in manipulated statistics. From these and various other elements which ride on the commercial advertising revenue that funds a news/media outlet – a demand is forged.
In fact, the most important voice of the campaign is formed. The paying advertiser becomes the voice of the narrative of the network that you are engaged in. Hence, the supporters of their candidate, their interest, etcetera. Don’t get mad, if you were paying the light bill anywhere, I’m certain that you would demand a dominant voice in how things happened in that place. That doesn’t mean that those who live there should not challenge or not trust what you have to say, as anyone should. Especially when presented with a slanted point of view via a digital or electrical signal. Remember, old trust-worthy Wayne Simmons – he is one of many who has been, or are yet to be exposed.
As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures]? What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher [Headquarters] can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) – General Mattis
When I was a younger man, I often dreamed about owning the ability to vote. Turning 18 for me was it, the year my voice mattered and I was going to make a difference in this mad world. Damn, was I ever more clearly mistaken. Although, as I am equipped with a staunch America first policy -I’ve hung in there. Even though it seems to be more difficult to pick one out any of the candidates. Be it from primary to end state, there is none of which I simply do no want to kick the living hell out of for being a terrible person.
As for myself, I’m no Saint, but I’m also not a politician. I tell the ugly truth too often, and it’s often poorly received and I really don’t give a damn. That’s what General Mattis has built his career on, but don’t get your bollocks in a twist as he is a man of a generation passed. Speaking your mind is somehow the best way to get railroaded out of town for opposing the voice of those who don’t agree with you these days. Good god, how does that even make sense!
We have been fighting on this planet for 5000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. – General Mattis
A state of misery and madness in the turmoil of our political system. I know that I was born with my back against the wall in politics. After all, you’re reading the material of a man who didn’t obtain a G.E.D. until ordered by his commander to do so, as part of a punishment for bar fighting [again] in Germany while fresh into federal active service. Yes, Virginia – with a waiver you can join the Army without finishing high school. Meh, I’m working on my fourth university degree now – send hate mail. I also grew up in a city that elected Jerry Springer a mayor – ’nuff said. Despite my lacking pedigree, and as an impoverished, uneducated Republican from the streets, I was unmistakably not destined for the floors of Washington D.C. – but I was never disparaged. That’s right; I’m Republican and a Capitalist. Being down does not mean being out.
As a result, the enemy has paid when I had the opportunity to go against them, and I believe that many of my young guys lived because I didn’t waste their lives because I didn’t have the vision in my mind of how to destroy the enemy at least cost to our guys and to the innocents on the battlefields. – General Mattis
I’m never out, nor should you be. It’s easy to be disparaged at politics. How could one not be dissuaded by a nest of thieves with the best advertising and legal teams of their time assembled under their command? It sucks, but I won’t run away – I may even vote for myself, in crayon. For 2016, it’s as bad as four years before, and so on. Seriously, who believed that robot Romney would win, or McCain who would have been an amazing president . . . until his idiot advisers talked him into Palin. Good god, why John – why her?
I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman, and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my HQ would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon). -General Mattis
Anyway, for us regular folks or those who are regular and challenge things. If Hill-dog wins and the DNC is still running this; gear up for further failures in foreign policy and mismanagement of public funds. Meaning game on, if you’re interested in foreign volunteer service. Despite a crap White House and a public focused on inane domestic issues, the rest of the world carries on. So getcha kit, and if you’re so kind to please start a savings account to finance my co-travel.
On the other hand, the RNC can go lots of crazy places. We’ve all seen it before when in-house bickering supersedes conventional wisdom as pandering for private interest overrides the public good. As a result, we get inaction, lock-outs, and a security lock-down. This is a bad scene for the foreign volunteer services . . . we’ll need to travel by cargo ship from a port in Canada to go do hoodrat stuff against bad guys. There most likely won’t be much private investigatory work in the states either, under either candidate. Poking around and flying under the radar seems to mean you’re a criminal. If you’re using the internet anonymously, you’re a criminal. I’m totally content with being called a criminal by the man; how about you?
This all doesn’t mean that any problem does not have a solution, and no one can stop you from presenting a call or challenge. Even in solitary confinement . . . I can sing and dance quite loudly while restrained.
Despite it all and in the highest hopes, if on some wing and a prayer General James “Mad Dog” Mattis comes out of left field for the title then I may very well have my faith in humanity restored.
The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.
Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.
With [Task Force] 58, I had w/ me Slim’s book, books about the Russian and British experiences in [Afghanistan], and a couple others. Going into Iraq, “The Siege” (about the Brits’ defeat at Al Kut in WW I) was req’d reading for field grade officers. I also had Slim’s book; reviewed T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; a good book about the life of Gertrude Bell (the Brit archaeologist who virtually founded the modern Iraq state in the aftermath of WW I and the fall of the Ottoman empire); and “From Beirut to Jerusalem”. I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman, and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my HQ would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon).
Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun.
For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say … “Not really”: Alex the Great would not be in the least bit perplexed by the enemy that we face right now in Iraq, and our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying, vice just reading) the men who have gone before us.
We have been fighting on this planet for 5000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the [Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures]? What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher [Headquarters] can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) And how can you be a sentinel and not have your unit caught flat-footed if you don’t know what the warning signs are — that your unit’s preps are not sufficient for the specifics of a tasking that you have not anticipated?
Perhaps if you are in support functions waiting on the warfighters to spell out the specifics of what you are to do, you can avoid the consequences of not reading. Those who must adapt to overcoming an independent enemy’s will are not allowed that luxury.
This is not new to the USMC approach to warfighting — Going into Kuwait 12 years ago, I read (and reread) Rommel’s Papers (remember “Kampstaffel”?), Montgomery’s book (“Eyes Officers”…), “Grant Takes Command” (need for commanders to get along, “commanders’ relationships” being more important than “command relationships”), and some others.
As a result, the enemy has paid when I had the opportunity to go against them, and I believe that many of my young guys lived because I didn’t waste their lives because I didn’t have the vision in my mind of how to destroy the enemy at least cost to our guys and to the innocents on the battlefields.
Hope this answers your question…. I will cc my ADC in the event he can add to this. He is the only officer I know who has read more than I.
Semper Fi, Mattis
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