General says its fun to shoot some people
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U.S. General Says It Is 'Fun to Shoot Some People'
Feb 3, 3:09 PM (ET)
By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. Marine Corps general who said it was "fun to shoot some people" should have chosen his words more carefully but will not be disciplined, military officials said on Thursday.
Lt. Gen. James Mattis, who led troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the comments at a conference Tuesday in San Diego.
"Actually it's quite fun to fight 'em, you know. It's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right up front with you, I like brawling," said Mattis.
"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said during a panel discussion. "You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them."
In a statement, Gen. Michael Hagee, commander of the Marine Corps, praised Mattis as "one of this country's bravest and most experienced military leaders."
"While I understand that some people may take issue with the comments made by him, I also know he intended to reflect the unfortunate and harsh realities of war," Hagee said.
"I have counseled him concerning his remarks and he agrees he should have chosen his words more carefully," Hagee added.
Maj. Jason Johnston, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon, said Hagee did not plan any disciplinary action against Mattis. Johnston declined to provide details of how Hagee had counseled Mattis, calling it a private matter.
At a Pentagon briefing on Thursday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he could not comment on the remarks, but Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised the general as having set a stellar example for troops in his service abroad.
Mattis is commander of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Virginia, south of Washington.