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The War Nerd May 15, 2008
From Lebanon To Iraq: We’re In Deep Shia Now
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
Page 5 of 5

That’s what happens when you fight people who have the neighborhood behind them, and that’s why it’s way, way easier to go to Mosul to track down some nerd-gang of Saudi dweebs who took up Jihad 1A because they flunked Engineering or they’re scared of girls or something. Dying solves a lot of problems for people like that.

But if you really consider the Mosul operation on another level, that’s where it gets a little more interesting. It’s part of a pattern of what Cheney, that strategic genius ("Shit, Iran is RIGHT NEXT to Iraq? Why didn’t you tell me? No wonder we’re having all these problems!") expected to happen: he figured that the Shiite’s military energy would wear itself out in a civil war against Al Qaeda Sunnis, both in Lebanon and in Iraq, rather than making problems for their pro-American governments and us. That was the Cheney Plan, except it didn’t happen. Al Qaeda just doesn’t have the support in the ‘hood to take on these neighborhood militias, either in Iraq or in Lebanon. But there was a funny little footnote: Al Q has officially declared war on Hezbollah in Lebanon and "ordered its operatives to defend the Sunni community in Lebanon" according to this story:

The trouble with being a James-Bond-y international conspiracy like Al Q is that there’s no way on earth you can compete militarily with local, broad-based militias like Hezbollah. Commuting from the Shia slums to West Beirut is one thing, but the notion that Al Q’s International Brigade can all fly into Lebanon undetected and assemble to march on the Hezzies is too far-fetched and idiotic even for a Bond flick. The notion they’d beat Hezbollah if they could manage to mobilize a force against it is even more ridiculous. The Hezzies even scare the IDF, and the IDF has wet dreams about facing Al Q. The rankings are pretty clear, and getting clearer, and they add up to something simple: in Iraq and in Lebanon, two countries the Western powers have operated on like they were diabetics with Medicaid, the net result of all the slicing and cutting is victory, hands down, for Shiite militias that didn’t even figure in the big plans. They just weren’t supposed to be part of the equation, and now they’re on top.

And that’s assuming it’s all being decided by Washington. Suppose we entertain, as they say, another idea: suppose it’s true that the Lebanese Hezzies are just "puppets" of Iran the way Cheney keeps saying they are. Well, if that’s true, then…lessee here: Cheney woofs on and on about attacking Iran and just coincidentally these Iranian puppets just casually take over Lebanon, one of the few supposedly pro-Western Arab states. And they do it without even breaking a sweat. Like saying, "Hello Meester Cheney, joost a leetle reminder, we know zee game about a t’ousand times better dan yoooo, sir!"

There are two possibilities: Cheney is an Iranian mole, and he’s laughing his head off chewing pistachios, kicking back on his prayer mat in front of the flatscreen, something I’ve been arguing for awhile now—or he’s the stupidest human being ever to step out of his league—which would be Wyoming, Little League. Girls’ Softball to be exact.

Gary Brecher's book The War Nerd has just been published by Soft Skull Press.

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Gary Brecher
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Email Gary at, but, more importantly, buy his book.

From Lebanon To Iraq: We’re In Deep Shia Now :
The Okhranik
Field Guide To Moscow: Aequoris Capitus :
RPG-weilding Arab
RPG vs. M1 :

Separated At Grin :


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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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.

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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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