General Mattis, Brigadier General Mattis, Mattis Jim Proser discussed on Best of Jim Bohannon
At jimbotalks. As Jim Prosser joins us this evening. He's an award-winning writer, and he has now written no better friend. No worse enemy. It's published by broadside books, and the subtitle is the life of General James Mattis. Good evening, Jim. Thank you for being with us. Jim. Thank you. Absolutely. Of course. This man is known as as mad dog tell us if you will about the the origins of that, particular nickname. Well, I am I correct your common misperception. He does not approve of the mad dog. Nickname. It indicates someone who is out of control, and you know, a rabid. Rabbit killer, actually and eastbound from that. So anyway, the the. Nicknamed comes from. I believe it's a bit lost marine more. But it comes from. I believe after the advanced in the. First Gulf war, where General Mattis was leading a talian. Agree Kuwait, he had encountered an ambush on dispatched with the ambush and then. Advanced onto a his ultimate. Ultimate objective and was fired upon again by. A building with small arms fire, and he turned on that building all of his weapons with such a Curie that building collapsed. Would everyone in it. And it was. For my research. Reported that it was like poking mad dog with a stick. Fair enough story on it. And I think that's probably as close as we're going to get through enough. Although, but it has a nice ring of alliteration to it. But again to emphasize what our guest, Jim Proser says it is not a nickname. Certainly chosen nor preferred by the subject of of all of this. All right. How did you get off on the the the whole idea of writing this story about admittedly, a legendary military figure? I have written a previous biography of a marine named John Batchelor. Loan was up a legend in the Marine Corps during World War Two and. It just occurred to me that his modern counterpart. Could logically be. General mattis. I began to do research and found that he wasn't a very. Fascinating and multifaceted person. Great accomplishments in the great discipline. Some of that I admired as a personal role model. So I. Winning. Proposal. Publisher harpercollins. I decided that was good that fair enough. And I would certainly concur. It it is. Indeed, a very compelling read. I might add. There's other comparison that has been made with James Mattis, and that would be George Patton. Do you find that at all to be appropriate? No, I don't I think a patent was a bit thing glorious in his pursuit of recognition and admiration Madison's very much marines marine. He is a. Very humble on the very self pacing person. He did not seek the spotlight. In fact, I'm not entirely certain. He's happy with need for having written his book making more famous than well that's worthy. As we go to caller. That's that's worthy of a of a follow up to what extent did he cooperate at all with this book? He did it. He not even submit for an interview. No, no, I queried. And and asked him I have good connections within the Marine Corps, and they all met with, you know, no, no cooperation at all. So fair enough. Well, he's he's quite busy. And he is busy. That's certainly true. But obviously, not the not the eight self seeking a publicity seeker as we go. Go to this call I must follow up on that particular point in the Bob Woodward book, fear. Apparently when he was the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, tried hard to get to Mattis to go and more talk shows he's been on. I guess a total of one I think face the nation and didn't care for that. I gather too much, and the the response was said to Aben, shall we say blunt, and and profane do base based on what you've read do you find that to be a credible response? It sounds like what I've read. Yeah. Yeah. Very much. So in fact, I I would I would venture guests that was two words that weren't on your. Fair enough one eight six six five zero JIMBO one eight six six five five four six two six as we are speaking tonight with Jim Prosser, he's the author of the new biography about the. Defense Secretary James Mattis called no better friend. No worse. Enemy a doc in Wilmington Delaware calls in. Hello, doc. You. I just wanted to go one question for Mr. producer. I know some young men are shooting. What is the mind? Where? As ex Brian who served in Iraq, wis General Mattis within Joe Mattis as dodger warfare and Kurla warfare is masterful. I like your comments thoughts on that, particularly as we face this face down in the nine eleven and post time eleven h guerrilla warfare all over the blow from Al Qaeda and other sources is John issue is General Mattis that good. I've been told by by the vendor. But that's that he used that good visa performance in Iraq. Okay. Your thoughts about Mattis Jim Proser as a as a deals with his knowledge of unconventional warfare. Well, it is as the caller says masterful years mass war fighter and particularly for the Iraq engagement. He. Probably instituted into liver. The. Most extensive briefing on that any marine unit has any marine unit has ever experienced in that it was a luminous pages from his own library. Delivered by Email to every every member of the first division that was under his command, Iraq and e. Specifically identified the banana wars, which was a guerilla campaign by the marine legend chesty puller in. How we how this? The house as marines were intended. Commander's intent for his marines. Which was the people are the pride and that they millions couldn't lose sight of even in guerilla warfare that the innocent victims of war were intended to be as he. Made famous or made. The motto of is the nation. No, better friend. No worse enemy meaning that. If they were shooting. They would find no worse enemy, but they will not shooting. They would find no better friend in the US marine. So very very aware and also his reading of sun Tzu who joined the phrase hearts and minds of the people who was very well aware and made his brains aware that the prize along with the people comes by winning their hearts and minds. Would it be fair to call James Mattis, a military scholar? Oh, yeah. Yes. Absolutely. Probably one of the foremost in American history. I mean, his personal library is said exceeded seven thousand volumes of rather arcane. Obscure books on the subject of warfare, not only warfare but civil administration, and and the as I say the. The soft side of warfare, which is the people and how to kneel with a population. That's in the middle of a shooting war. Very very well. Read very well spoken and a deeply. Engaged that the art of war, the the book, no better friend. No worse. Enemy leads off with a chapter one, titled no better friend, and it refers to general Krulak who was accommodated the Marine Corps and every year he and his wife about a week before Christmas would bake hundreds of Christmas cookies. Package them in small bundles. And then the Krulak would personally load up his car and drive to every marine guard post in the Washington, Annapolis Baltimore area. Pretty nice thing to do one year. He went down to Quantico the marine training base. Excuse me. The retraining base in Virginia. And he went to the command center give a package of the Lance corporal on-duty, lower ranking enlisted man that kind of person you'd find on duty on Christmas day, and he asked who's the obser- of the day? Lance, corporal, said search Brigadier General Mattis said no, no, no, I I know who General Mattis is. I mean who's the officer of the day today Christmas day? Meaning, of course, the low on the totem pole Lieutenant new got stuck with that duty and the Lance Chromebook feeling a bit anxious at sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis Krulak said he spotted in the back room, a cot, and he said, no, not Lance corporal who slept in that bed last night. The Lance corporal said, sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis at which time Mattis came in on Christmas day duty uniform on carrying a sword that that's pretty remarkable Brigadier General is never the officer of the day certainly on Christmas day. And yet very was why. Well, as he says, he said there was a an officer who had family General Mattis bachelor, and he felt that it would be better for the officer Christmas day off to be with his family and Mattis would serve in his head as the officer of the day..