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The War Nerd January 28, 2008
Take America’s Navy Battle Group…Please!
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
USS Sitting Duck, the world's most expensive raft

FRESNO, CA -- Today I'm going to talk about war games. Which reminds me: my computer's messed up so I'm writing this column from what has got to be the darkest, smelliest internet cafe in Fresno, not like there are a lot to choose from. I seem to be the only roundeye in the place, and I'm definitely the only one here who didn't come to play combat games. All around me are these huge explosions and the screams of the wounded, all fuzzy from the cheap speakers beside every machine. I don't even know what games these guys are playing--I don't do fantasy games--but they sure are serious about it.

What's really weirding me out though is the way this Asian guy to my left always ends his game. Every time, there's a huge explosion and then a serious voice saying, "The terrorists win." Every time! Does Homeland Security know about this treasonous game, poisoning the minds of America's yout' with defeatism? And how come the terrorists keep winning?

Which brings me (nice segue, huh?) to the big-boys' war games I wanted to talk about, the ones the US Navy just conducted near the Iranian coast in the Persian Gulf. And I'd like to thank all the readers like Aaron Champion who wrote in to link me to the story and remind me that I've been proven right again. Damn, I'm tired of always being right, because it's always about the bad news. In this case, Aaron wrote to give me the heads-up that six long years after I predicted Iranian irregular naval forces in small civilian craft would make an American fleet in the Persian Gulf look foolish, the glorious NY Times itself lowered itself to repeat today what I'd said way back in 2002. Here's Aaron's message:

Dear Mr. Nerd,

I'm a longtime reader of your column and it wouldn't surprise me if you've already seen this: washington/12navy.html?ref=todayspaper

But if you hadn't, allow me to stroke your ego (and ego alone) by making pointing out that you're the only motherfucker in the world that seems to have picked up on this. It only took the press five years. Adding insult to ineptitude, it was the New York Times.

Hope this brightens an otherwise bleary in Fuckno for ya.


Well, Aaron, it did, kind of. Nothing makes me happier than when the people who get the respect and money I don't get, wind up looking stupid. I just wish the NY Times would pay me some kind of settlement instead of ripping me off six years late. If you're going to steal, fellas, at least do it right. I don't break into your Manhattan HQ to pilfer your back issues for toilet paper, so don't steal my 2002 columns just because your military correspondents are brain-dead from decades of believing DoD briefings.

(Editor's Note: This isn't the first time that the NY Times has lifted from the War Nerd. Last May, the popular Fishbowl/NY blog suggested that Times columnist/editor Nicholas Kristoff plagiarized from Brecher's idea that Cheney must be an Iranian mole because he's doing their business so well.)

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Gary Brecher
Browse author
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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