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