Mankind's only alternative 25   APR.   17  
Mankind's only alternative
Welcome
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

The War Nerd April 2, 2008
 
Who Won Iraq's "Decisive" Battle?
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 3
 

When Iraqi Shi’ites want to insult each other, they accuse each other of being pro-Iranian, and it is an accusation. They buy the idea of an “Iraqi nation,” as long as it’s their gang running it. One thing you can absolutely count on in the Middle East is that every clan, every sect, is going to look out for itself. The middle-class Shia are using us; Sadr’s using Iran; but they’re both out for themselves. Sadr would probably have been willing to cooperate with us, if Bremer hadn’t pushed him into rebellion in 2004. So it’s a mistake to think of any of these groups as having permanent alliances. They’re practical people.

So are the Iranians. They really know how to play this kind of long, slow war. They can control exactly the level of chaos inside Iraq by feeding weapons and money in when they want to heat the place up, then withholding supplies when they want to cool it down. They’re embedded with every militia, even the Sunni groups, and they use them like control rods in a nuke reactor. The way the ceasefire this week was arranged says it all: a bunch of big Shia politicians flew to Qom, Khomeini’s hometown in Iran, and begged the Iranians to stop the shooting. They talked to Sadr, and Sadr agreed—for his own reasons, not just because the Iranians told him to.

And that brings us back to today’s story problem in “How to Think Like A Guerrilla.” The question, kiddies, was, “If Moqtada S. is kicking ass all over Iraq, why does he call off his militia before they can win total ‘Western-style’ victory?”

If you’ve learned your lesson here, you should be able to answer that question now. Sadr called off his boys for lots of good reasons:

1. The first job of a guerrilla army is to stay alive. That’s much more important than winning a Western-style victory. The Mahdi Army is intact, ready for the next round.

2. The next most important job of a guerrilla army is to maintain and grow its support in the neighborhood. Sadr has his own constituency—and I mean that literally, since all the Shia groups are positioning themselves for elections this Fall. By calling off the fight, he spares his people further gore and destruction and comes off as the compassionate defender of the poor. Just in time for campaign season.

3. A guerrilla army facing occupiers with a monopoly on air power is committing suicide by going for total victory on the ground, seizing an entire city or district. Just ask the Sunni, who bunkered up in Fallujah and got slaughtered. By melting back into the civilian population, the Sadrists are now invulnerable to air attack.

4. After four straight days of failure by the Badr Brigade/Iraqi Army, the US was frustrated enough to start committing American ground troops to the assault on Sadr. That would have meant serious casualties for the Mahdi Army, as it did when they took on US forces in 2004. Not that they’re afraid to die for their neighborhood—Shias? You kidding me?—but because it would be stupid to die fighting the Americans when everyone in Iraq knows the US just doesn’t figure much in the long term.

Sadr’s not afraid of us, he and his commanders just see us as a dangerous nuisance, like a chained pit bull they have to step around. Ten years from now, every player in the current game will still be playing this slow, shady game, except one: the Americans.

Gary Brecher's book The War Nerd will be available this June.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
FROM THE VAULT

Incorruptible: A Russian Fairy Tale : The Exile imagines a Russia without corruption!
Propaganda PSAs
Russian Propaganda Posters Are Back With A Vengeance : They also have the exact same design

“W” Nation: America Needs Thorazine! :

The World's Biggest (and Smallest) Crash-Test Site : From the people that brought you anti-matter
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru