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The War Nerd February 9, 2008
 
Not Your Usual High-IQ Suicide Bombers, Huh?
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 3
 

The real reason we understand missions like that but not the average Iraqi pop-rock is that we just don't see why anybody would care enough about Sunni or Shia enough to die for it. But for that matter, it's not easy to see why some Cholo is willing to die for 134th Street either--not if you live in a comfy house in the hills. But if you lived on 134th Street it'd make perfect sense.

You have to remember (for the millionth time): not everybody thinks like you. The people in the next house don't even think like you, let alone slum kids in Baghdad.

The crossed tape is the Al Qaeda symbol for "retard."

Me, I didn't think like a normal happy asshole till very recently, didn't see the value of being alive at all. Then I hit 40. Weird--why did I look forward to dying when I was young and more or less healthy, then start getting all life-dependent when I got old and sick? When I was young I dreamed of dying in battle all the time. Now that I'm older and really going to die soon-ish, I kind of like the idea of being alive. Weird feeling to get for the first time at my age. Maybe it's all these nice letters I get from people who like my stuff, first encouragement I got since that one Turkish history teacher in high school. I don't know; I just know--and it's embarrassing to admit--things just feel better. Case in point: a month or so ago I was driving, the sun was out but it wasn't too hot, and I thought, "Whoa, this is what the normals call 'a nice day.'" And damned if it wasn't "nice." In the sense of comfortable to drive around in, not scary, not particularly mad at anybody at that minute.

Now that's something new for me to worry about because if it keeps up I'll lose touch with the real Silent Majority, the suicide-bomber recruit types who don't give a fuck about life. I should probably hang around my boss's office more; that'll cure me of this life-loving thing fast.

My point here is that "crazy" doesn't mean much in wartime. It's usually a compliment, if anything. If it turns out that these two ladies had Down's Syndrome, that's different; that's a real birth defect, one you can check on and prove or disprove. But even then, if you know much military history you know that most armies are filled up with any scum the recruiting gangs could scoop up from the alleys. Even the greatest armies--take the Army of the Potomac--had to fill the ranks with professional recruiting-bounty con men, not to mention the usual psychos and crims running from hometown lynch mobs.

And they didn't have IQ tests in those days either. If you could stand up in a uniform and march all day, you'd do fine. You can bet there were plenty of mongoloids (they weren't so squeamish about words back then) who proudly wore their country's uniform, even if they couldn't have named their country even on a multiple choice format.

The severed head in the bag says, "Retard Alert!"

Normal military service in a 19th-century army at war was pretty close to wearing a suicide vest anyway. Fredericksburg, if you were a Federal; Pickett's Charge, if you were a Reb; those were pretty much suicide missions. And the death you could expect was a million times scarier than the one a modern suicide bomber gets. An Iraqi "martyr" can count on instant, painless death. They usually find the bomber's head totally popped off the body--that's how they ID the bomber. So it's basically death by beheading, and it's worth remembering that beheading used to be a privilege in Europe, the honorable death they reserved for VIPs. (Ordinary scum got hanged, a way more embarrassing way to go--that terminal boner sticking out for your neighbors to laugh at--and likely to involve a lot of dangling and gurgling if the hangman got his math wrong.)


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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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