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The War Nerd May 27, 2004
Darfur: A Whole New Hell
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
Page 2 of 3
And just like in the Western, the cattlemen had a big advantage over the farmers because they were better organized for war. Most nomad tribess have some kind of "informal" military structure. (Think Genghis Khan -- those Mongol hordes didn't just appear out of nowhere.) Nomads have to be ready to fight. For one thing, the favorite recreation of every Nomad in history is sneaking up on the Nomads over the hill and stealing all their cattle, or camels, or goats or gerbils or whatever. Then there's the fact that the animals are always dying of thirst or hunger. Better to die trying to grab some pastureland than sit out there in the sand watching the livestock die. These people love their stock a hell of a lot more than they love themselves, never mind a bunch of dirt farmers like the Fur.

There was a racial angle too, the kind it's hard for Americans to understand. The way people in Sudan see things, the Fur are "black" whereas most of the nomads are "Arab." If you look at pictures from the war as an American, you'd say everybody in them is black: dark skin, kinky hair, broad noses. But Africans, sad to say, are as racist as anybody else, even against themselves -- and to the Northern Sudanese who run the country, the southerners are black, primitive losers. They even have their own version of the N-word: "zurug," "black."

It makes no sense to me, because I'd give anything to look like the Southerners look. Remember Manute Bol? Played in the NBA way back when. He could dunk standing up. With both hands.

Bol was southern Sudanese. In fact he lost his NBA money donating to the SLA, the Southern rebel movement, poor bastard.

Anyway, he's what I'd like to look like if I could: a cool seven feet seven inches tall, and so thin he weighed less than 200 pounds for most of his career. He was a typical Dinka, the Southern tribe the Northerners are trying to wipe out -- the tallest, skinniest, blackest people on the planet. Really decent people too, from what I can tell. If I ever come back, I want to come back as a Dinka. (Just as long as I get to play in the NBA and don't have to live anywhere near Soutern Sudan.)

So where does a bunch of mostly-black Northern Sudanese river-rats get off acting superior to the noble Dinka? I don't know, but they do. And with a lot of cash help from those Wahabbi morons in Saudi Arabia, who fund the whole miserable war, they're winning. The Northerners already starved and bombed the Dinka into surrender, and they're using the same tactics on the Fur right now.

It's an ugly way to make war. Basically it consists of putting a whole province under siege. Here it is in nice easy steps:

1. Arm the nomad militias so they outgun the farmers. The Sudan government sent 50,000 automatic rifles and machine guns to the Arab militias in Darfur. Also provide them with Army advisors and air support, and force them into effective cross-tribal alliances.

2. Block off entry for the foreign aid agencies, so nobody'll see what's about to happen. This is something the Sudan government has learned to do REAL well. They managed to almost wipe out the Dinka without a word from our democracy-loving government.It helps that southern and western Sudan are so hard to reach. Like I've said before, inland peoples are out of luck. Ask the Kurds.

3. Send the nomad militias in to burn the villages. Tell them they can have whatever they can grab, and rape anybody they happen to like the look of. Tell them to be sure to burn the village real thoroughly, so nobody can live there again. (Lots of Fur villages have been burned two, three, four times.)

4. Once the Fur are pushed off their land, squeeze them into concentration camps, with the militias coming in to rape and kill the inmates every few hours, just to keep them scared.

5. Keep all food away from them. This is the key technique. It's not an "atrocity" or an "excess," it's the whole point. Read up on ancient warfare if you need to see how sieges work. Even if you don't wipe out the whole tribe, you'll have killed or stunted the children, so you're changing the balance in your favor in the next round of fighting.

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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
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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
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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.

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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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