#3. "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."
Clearly, the Iraq War didn't go exactly as well as George W. Bush's bitchin' party banners advertised. But it would be an insult to the American military to ignore the monumental balls it must take to go to a place like Baghdad and tell those little Fonzies to chill. One such ball-proprietor is General James N. Mattis of the U.S. Marine Corps. Mattis is well regarded for his intelligence and empathy, but even more well regarded for his crazy cowboy mouth. In 2005, he was speaking at a public event and openly admitted:
Actually, it's a lot of fun to fight. You know, it's a hell of a hoot. It's fun to shoot some people. I'll be right upfront with you, I like brawling.... You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. 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.
Via Wikimedia Commons
"I'll punch a horse; I don't care."
In the spring of 2003, Mattis met with the recently defeated military leaders of Iraq and strode into the room with the best intro this side of professional wrestling, jovially stating, "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."
Judging from how long the Iraqi insurgency lasted, we're guessing the full whereabouts of every man at that meeting is classified. All we know is that if a guy whose idea of a good time is brawling with the entire Middle East tells you to dance, you'd better dance ... right the hell out of the room.
"Let that one go. He pleases me."
#2. "They're on Our Right, They're on Our Left, They're in Front of Us, They're Behind Us; They Can't Get Away from Us This Time."
The Battle of Chosin Reservoir was one of the nastiest conflicts of the Korean War, particularly since it wrapped the full might of the Chinese military around U.N. forces like an enormous red condom. Forced into these unfortunate circumstances was Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated U.S. Marine in history. Chesty calmly surveyed the hopeless situation and said, "They're on our right, they're on our left, they're in front of us, they're behind us; they can't get away from us this time."
OK, so the exact wording is still under debate, but there's one thing nobody disputes: When outnumbered and completely surrounded, Chesty Puller put on his killin' smile and said a quiet prayer of thanks that all his enemies had the decency to come straight to him, on account of he was sick of walking all the way over there to shoot them.
That's him in 1931, angry that he had to stop thinking of ways to kill people long enough to pose for a photo.
The U.N. forces broke through the Chinese blockade, not only freeing themselves from the siege but inflicting heavy casualties along the way. And perhaps more dire a consequence: Chesty's love for war was cemented even further. Seriously, his Wikipedia page reads like a Captain America comic, and his quotes section alone makes the Spartans look like romantic poets. Our favorite: Upon seeing a flamethrower for the first time, Puller reportedly asked, "Where do you put the bayonet?"
"I mean, I can figure out how to explode him myself, but how do you stab the guy once you light him on fire?"
#1. "You Babylonian Busboy, Macedonian Mechanic, Jerusalem Beer Brewer, Alexandrian Goat Skinner, Swineherd of Upper and Lower Egypt, Armenian Pig, Tatar Goat, Kamenets Hangman, Podolian Thief, Grandson of the Evil Serpent Himself and Buffoon of All the World and the Netherworld, Fool of Our God, Swine's Snout, Mare's [Asshole], Butcher's Dog, Unbaptized Brow, May the Devil Steam Your Ass! That's How the Cossacks Answer You, You Nasty Glob of Spit!"
During the mid-1670s, Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman Empire tried to send the Cossacks of the Zaporozhian Host packing by attacking their stronghold in Ukraine. After he failed at killing them all, Mehmed escalated the conflict even further and dared to pen a sternly worded letter to his foes. This was the text he sent:
I have invented a new beard that sprouts primarily from the neck. It is now mandatory!"
I, the Sultan, son of Mohamed, brother of the Sun and Moon, grandson and vicegerent of God, sovereign of all kingdoms: of Macedonia, Babylonia, and Jerusalem, of Upper and Lower Egypt: king of kings, ruler of all that exists; extraordinary, invincible knight; constant guardian of the grave of Jesus Christ; trustee of God himself; hope and comfort of Moslems, confusion and great protector of Christians, command you, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, to surrender to me voluntarily and without any kind of resistance, and don't permit yourselves to trouble me with your attacks!
Turkish Sultan Mohamed
This was the text he got back:
Zaporozhians -- to the Turkish Sultan
You Turkish Satan, brother and comrade of the damned devil and secretary to Lucifer himself! What the hell kind of knight are you? The devil [shits] and you and your army swallow [it]. You aren't fit to have the sons of Christians under you; we aren't afraid of your army, and we'll fight you on land and sea. You Babylonian busboy, Macedonian mechanic, Jerusalem beer brewer, Alexandrian goat skinner, swineherd of Upper and Lower Egypt, Armenian pig, Tatar goat, Kamenets hangman, Podolian thief, grandson of the Evil Serpent himself, and buffoon of all the world and the netherworld, fool of our God, swine's snout, mare's [asshole], butcher's dog, unbaptized brow, may the devil steam your ass! That's how the Cossacks answer you, you nasty glob of spit! You're unfit to rule true Christians. We don't know the date because we don't have a calendar, the moon is in the sky, and the year is in a book, and the day is the same with us as with you, so go kiss our [butt]!
-Chief Hetman Zaxarcenko with all the Zaporozhian Host
Sultan Mehmed IV clearly had no idea who he was messing with. The Cossacks did little more than rape and pillage professionally, and on their downtime, most of their hobbies involved studying the betterment of rapematics and pillagology. Far from being intimidated, the Cossacks took the composition of the letter as a good excuse to party like something out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Russian painter Ilya Repin depicted the penning of their carefully worded, austere response here:
Via Wikimedia Commons -- US Public Domain
"He said what? Ho ho ho! Nobody laughs harder than Murder Claus!"
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For more soldiers who had custom-fitted pants to accommodate their balls, check out The 6 Most Epic One Man Armies in the History of War and The 5 Craziest Soldiers of Fortune To Ever Cash a Paycheck.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out Proof That 'Demolition Man' Was a Visionary Film
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how you can improve your wartime vernacular.
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