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The War Nerd April 16, 2004
It's Not Nam, But It'll Do
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
Page 4 of 4
People always think there's a smart military solution. What they don't get is sometimes it's just too late in the campaign. It's like if you were playing a grandmaster at Chess and he's got you down to two pawns and the king, it wouldn't matter if Bobby Fischer stepped in for you right then. He'd lose too. It would be way too late.

The only pawns we have left in Iraq are the Kurds. They don't love us either, but they hate the Arabs even more than they hate us. We could've used them effectively back when the occupation started. In fact they were begging us to let them help out in the Sunni triangle. They warned us: "You don't know the people there, you can't read their body language! Let us handle security there!"

That's what the Brits would've done. They've been playing one tribe against the other for hundreds of years. But it was the same old story: Bush's loudmouths wouldn't listen to anybody. They told the Kurds to shut up and stay home, and put ordinary GIs who didn't speak a word of Arabic in charge of crazy hellholes like Fallujah and Ramadi.

Naturally they got burned bad. It started slow, with RPG and automatics firing on Humvees, then as the locals figured out they weren't going to get caught, they got braver. The ex-Iraqi army guys started digging up the munitions they took home when we fired them. Suddenly the attacks featured artillery shells wired to detonators. Next it was all-out attacks on police barracks. And we still weren't catching the perps.

That's fatal with Arabs. The Brits used to have this saying about them, "The Arab is either at your feet or at your throat." When the Iraqis realized how easy it was to jump our patrols, they went from feet to throat in about five seconds.

So who needs Nam? Iraq is Iraq, and that's plenty bad enough.

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Gary Brecher
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Email Gary at, but, more importantly, buy his book.
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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
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
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
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...


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