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The War Nerd February 19, 2004
 
A Special War Nerd
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 4
 
If you're the urban guerrilla, you have to know what info to trust. First of all, is anybody feeding you false info, luring you into a counter-ambush? Good counterinsurgency armies like the British and the Israelis do this all the time: lure the guerrillas into hitting an apparently soft target and meeting them with a squad of SAS or Paras. So once again, you.ve got to be a people person, got to know how to handle all your sources. Not just whether they.re traitors, but whether they talk too much. One of the most deadly dangers for an urban guerrilla is the neighborhood guy who brags about his rebel connections to impress the ladies: "Yeah, I'm helping our glorious rebels, I'm in with them, in fact I helped them set up this great ambush we're gonna do next week -- so what's your sign, honey?"

If just one of the hundreds of people who know about the ambush talks, you're finished. Rounded up and blindfolded, then taken down to the basement, where -- it's.you guessed it -- fingernails, meet Mister Hammer! If you trust your sources, you put the ambush in place. Where? You have to pick a place where you'll kill soldiers but not civilians. Hard to do in a crowded Iraqi town. (If you start killing your own civvies, you'll breed informers like roaches. It.s fatal for guerrilla groups to get that sloppy.)

Once you're in place, you have to wait. Think how that must feel. Ten, 20, 30 hours sitting in place, waiting for your target. Panicking every time you hear a diesel engine or heavy footsteps coming your way, thinking about that basement, with the hammer. Maybe a patrol comes along just when the local kids' soccer game is on. You can't trigger the ambush. You wait again, another hot long day. That day the patrol happens to come by just when some idiot is driving his water-truck just behind them. You can't fire.

Imagine the discipline -- what the Germans call "fire discipline" -- it takes to maintain a static ambush like that. And then trigger it at the right time. Not easy for amateurs, and the Iraqis are amateurs.

So what does it say that they've been doing these ambushes every single day for months, most of the time hitting us hard, killing GIs, without killing Iraqi civilians or getting caught? Simple -- it means everybody, and I repeat: EVERYBODY in town is with them. Not just passively, but actively helping them. The Iraqis are our enemies. The people we're there to liberate hate our guts.

Now plug in this fact: every single day, our troops run into at least 25 attacks like this. You realize how many people that implicates?

Ordinary Iraqi amateurs so pissed off they're ready to go through all the sheer terror of a day in the life of an urban guerrilla, just to get a shot at the soldiers we sent there to liberate these people. That's the situation.

It'd help if we'd face up to it. So far nobody I know wants to. Not at the office where I work anyway. They've clammed up about the war. They're still for it, but they know it's going bad. So instead of thinking about it, they've decided to forget about it and get all upset about whether a couple of fags are going to get married in San Francisco. Cheney must be sending secret thank-you notes to the fags in SF for distracting everybody from this mess in Iraq. Them and the Jacksons. Between them, they're the best propaganda Bush has, because they keep the suckers distracted.

When you try to talk to people about it, they tell you one of the lies they got on TV. Like after the big attack in Fallujah, this Christian-Republican secretary says to me, "Well they've proved it was just foreign agitators."

Right. A gang of 50-plus foreign agitators stage a successful daylight urban attack.

I went on the net to check this crazy lady's version and found this, from USA Today, the day after the attack: "Two of the dead insurgents carried papers identifying them as Lebanese and one carried papers identifying him as Iranian, according to Iraqi and U.S. military officials." Turned out Paul Bremer, our Iraq honcho, helped spread the lie too: Bremer told ABC's This Week on Sunday that he believed the attackers were from outside Iraq.


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Gary Brecher
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Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
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