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The War Nerd July 25, 2002
Iraq 2: Here Comes the Dumb-Ass Sequel
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
Page 3 of 3
I have a friend who was in DIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency. He helped write up those leaflets. I asked him if he felt bad about what happened. He said, and I quote, "They're just animals anyway."

I'm not like Jane Fonda here, OK? I'm not like Sally Jesse Raphael, some bleeding heart elitist. But that sucks. It's just the Bushes trying to act all Imperial, and not knowing how to do it right.

See, the US had "learned from Vietnam." Which is great, except: stupid people don't ever really LEARN anything. Stupid people learn stupid lessons. The lesson of Vietnam, the ones Colin Powell kept trying to push, were: go in with overwhelming force or don't go in at all; think smart and cold about what you want; don't get all moral about a war.

So the way the Bushes learned that lesson was to try to act like the old-time British Empire, that had a slogan: "Britain has no permanent friends, only permanent interests." So we did the Gulf War the direct opposite of Vietnam -- to the point of stupidity.

As Dana Carvey said in his Bush Sr. imitation SNL, "Won't be another Vietnam. Nu-uh. Because we have learned the lessons of Vietnam: Stay out of Vietnam!"

No more moral crusade, anti-Commie crap. We played it cool. Lied to the Kurds; lied to the Shiites; hurt Saddam just enough to make him pull his tentacles back north. And left him in power, then just plain left, let'em butcher each other to their little hearts' content.

There were reasons: the Turks didn't want a Kurdish state, and the Saudis and Kuwaitis just wanted us out of there as fast as possible. All nice'n'quick. Surgical.

So we're gonna go back into Iraq now, to clean up the malpractices from our first cool, clean, surgical operation. And of course that's gonna fuck things up about a hundred times worse. This time they have to get rid of Saddam; the Israelis, for one, won't have it any other way (and the Bushes made it pretty obvious: they're with the Israelis, once and for all.)

No Saddam means crazy Kurds, crazy Shiites, scared Saudis, angry Wahhabi loonies, desperate means we go right up close to the ol' hornets' nest and hit it again with a big, big stick.

Boy, it sure is hard to predict what'll happen then, huh?

That's IF the abu Cheney clan of the desert oil wells is dumb enough to really do it, really send in 250,000 troops to take Iraq. Militarily it'll be a joke. You could do it with a battalion of SAS. Those Iraqi soldiers were surrendering to camera crews. That's the easy part.

The hard part is making up a new happy Western Iraq. Won't happen; can't happen. Anybody who ain't thick as two planks knows that. So will they do it? Are they really that dumb?

Well, all I can say is, I used to live in Bakersfield, and I knew a WHOLE lotta Okies whose dads were in the oil business. The "ah'l bidnezz," as they called it. And lemme tell you: those boys were so goddamn dumb, and so goddamn religious, they make the Saudis look like little Bohemian university people.

So yeah. They're dumb enough. They're way, way, WAY dumb enough.

Yee-ha. Might as well enjoy it, I guess. There better be a lotta good gun-camera shots from the A-10s, cause the rest of it ain't gonna be much fun.

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Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at, but, more importantly, buy his book.
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