This overwhelming support goes beyond enthusiasm for his record of military competence. His sometimes shocking public statements and quiet triumphs point to both an extraordinary level of compassion and the capacity for ferocious lethality.
.. Mattis chose a path in life that has brought him repeatedly into mortal combat with the most barbaric evil of our time, Islamist terrorism. Yet he continues to defeat it with insight, humor, fighting courage, and fierce compassion not only for his fellow Marines who volunteer to follow him through hell’s front door but also for the innocent victims of war. He encouraged his beloved Marines in Iraq with this advice: “Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
.. Robert H. Scales, a retired United States Army major general, described him as “one of the most urbane and polished men I have known.” Mattis’s personal library of more than 7,000 books — including many obscure, scholarly titles — is as famous as his habit of carrying a personal copy of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius with him into battle.
.. People perhaps mistake his ferocious aggression for a lack of discipline. Anyone who has served with him will tell you just the opposite: As a field commander, he maintains strict discipline, even sleep discipline, continually striving for “brilliance in the basics.”
.. His competence and level-headedness are so trusted that the president of the United States has given him essentially a free hand to fight America’s wars as he sees fit. Characteristically, in announcing the change of policy toward ISIS from one of “attrition” to “annihilation,”
.. The Art of War, a recently translated treatise dating from the fifth century b.c., by Sun-Tzu, a legendary Chinese general. The emphasis on duality in Sun-Tzu’s philosophy, the yin and yang of war, coincided with Mattis’s deep appreciation for the ebb and flow of the natural world and human interaction. Sun-Tzu’s concept of “winning hearts and minds” was a natural fit for Mattis and would serve him well in the wars to come in the East.
.. This human aftermath of the American military retreat from Vietnam and resulting political instability crowded every available inch of deck space around Mattis. Refugees filled the sweaty hold of the ship, clutching their children and meager possessions and often shaking with fear and trauma. This was Mattis’s first real-world experience of war as a Marine. As the Navy’s ground troops — the first in and often the last out of smaller, Third World conflicts — Marines frequently end up with the responsibility for evacuation of war victims. Compassion is a necessary part of an officer’s training, and Mattis’s was put to the test as he shared overheated sleeping spaces, food, and few toilets, often for days on end, with successive swarms of desperate, frequently ill people who didn’t speak English.
.. A few days before departure, Alice suddenly realizes that as a Marine’s wife, she will move frequently to different parts of the world and will face the constant threat of having officers knocking on her door one day in full dress uniform to deliver the worst possible news. As much as she respects the sacrifices that Marines make, she is not prepared to do the same. She insists that Mattis resign, that he choose her or the Corps — he cannot have both.
.. “Y’know, Dave, the privilege of command is command. You don’t get a bigger tent.”
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450464/james-mattis-no-better-friend-no-worse-enemy?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20170819%20Weekend%20Jolt&utm_term=Jolt
.. He will never marry. Instead, he will devote himself to his adopted family of Marines.
.. Mattis told Krulak that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas Day had a family, and he had decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family. So he chose to have duty on Christmas Day in his place.
I think what stands out about Neil Gorsuch was that his views were completely formed as soon as he entered college as a freshman, which I think is unusual, and he had very solid right-wing reactionary views from the beginning. He was also, on a personal level, very polished and affable. And I think this is part of a consistent pattern, where he has a real commitment to reactionary politics and is able to put an appealing face on it.
.. He did attack South African divestment, after the university had already decided to divest. And he put out a real divisive argument that it was going to hurt student aid. He attacked a protest led by black students against racism on campus, not based on the substance of the issue, but saying that people involved were revolutionaries. He did stick up for Ronald Reagan in the Iran-Contra affair, Iran-Contra scandal, which was an extreme position even for conservatives at the time.
.. he said that it was within Ronald Reagan’s executive power to engage in these covert operations
.. he put in a real strong defense of the Contras and said it was really urgent that they succeed.
.. And I think the other aspect of him that’s really consistent here is that he—whenever he attacked, attacked these left—these progressive positions and attacked progressive activists, which he did a lot of, it was never based on the merits of the issue. It was always based on some other reason. So, the—again, so South African divestment, it’s not an issue of apartheid being wrong, it’s an issue of having student aid, or that these protests aren’t bad, but the protesters are bad because they’re revolutionaries or they’re superficial. He made a lot of claims that they didn’t really know what they were doing, and they just enjoyed protesting. And that seems consistent with a lot of what he does as a judge, where he doesn’t really address the merits of the issue, but comes up with legal reasons for making unjust decisions.
.. a case involving a truck driver who got fired because his truck broke down on the side of the road at nighttime in the winter, and he thought he was freezing to death
.. Judge Gorsuch dissented, saying that the plain language of the law didn’t protect him from being fired. So here’s a case where you have an extremely, extremely inhumane treatment of the worker, and Judge Gorsuch decides that he has to just stick with what he sees as the plain language of the statute, which is something that other people disagree with. So he’s willing to interpret laws in a way that comes up—comes out to really unjust results.
.. even though he was a polished, affable person, the positions he took were really ruthless.
.. divestment was a done deal on campus by two years by the time he wrote that column. And he was—I mean, the university had already decided to divest