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The War Nerd May 1, 2002
Israelis On Wheels!
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email

Ever seen a Monster Truck show? They're big in Fresno. The thrill is watching civilian cars get crushed by giant 4x4's. But it's nothing compared to the monster truck show the Israelis have put on in the last few weeks. I can't get enough of those car-crushing shots. You know, this 61-ton Merkava 3 MBT grinds down Arafat Avenue in Ramallah or Jenin, "accidentally" scronching a whole row of cars.

There's something sweet about seeing a tank grind over little peace-type cars. Maybe it's a parking thing. Today I get home from work -- and it's already hot as Hell in Fresno -- so I get through the fucking traffic out to my ugly duplex on the edge of the desert and I can't get a damn parking space! It's fucking scrubland, it's the middle of nowhere, the coyotes howl out there on the golf course -- and I still can't get a parking space! I'd understand if it was Manhattan -- but Fresno? Israelian "Merkava" tank crushing palestinian car

I'd like to crush every damn Subaru Legacy on the block. So I was watching the mass car massacres on the West Bank real, real pleased. I noticed something, too. Some cars go easy, like they're made of Diet Coke cans. But if you watch carefully you see that the Mercedes stands up for about a half-second longer, before the Merkava mounts it and crushes it. That's what I call sexy video. "No parking within 48 hours of suicide bombing. Violators will be flattened." You had to wonder if Palestinians go in for car sex -- cause if they do, just imagine one of those Merkavas -- 61 tons of ethnic hate, turbo-drive -- grinding down a row of Pals hard at work producing the next generation of human firecrackers. Itchy & Scratchy with Ethnic headgear. Pretty damn cool.

About those Merkava tanks. The Israelis build some real pretty weapons, but the Merkava is their best. It was built by people who were actually in a war. The engine's in front so it'll take most of the shock of a MBT round. The whole tank, front to back, is immune to RPG's. And it has room inside for a whole squad of infantry. That's important, because it means the Israelis are the only army in the world that actually plans to keep its troops alive till they get to the battlefield. See most armies imitated the Russians, who sent their troops out in "battle taxis" like the BMP -- and those things blow apart if you hit them with anything more lethal than a rock. The "light" (meaning cheap) aluminum armor turns into instant shrapnel when an RPG round hits it. Once you've seen the results, you'd rather go into battle in a Yugo than an APC.

The Americans tried to copy the Russians and came up with the Bradley IFV, which is like a BMP only about a thousand times more expensive. And it still can't take a hit from an RPG. All it's good for is turning a squad of soldiers into beef stroganoff in about one millisecond. But the Israelis thought for themselves, and they came up with the Merkava, a tank that can fight AND transport infantry under real protection. They were the only army to admit: hey, this isn't WW II. You can't take casualties like those any more, not with everybody glued to their TV moaning every time a few dozen soldiers get splattered. Survivability, that's the biggest thing now. And the Merkava was untouchable. You used to see those Merkavas idling on a hilltop or car-crunching down the streets of Ramallah like Panzers in 1940. They'd just sit up on a dry hilltop, real cocky, just looking around for camera crews to target. It was beautiful.

But the Israelis lost two Merkava 3's in a month to foot soldiers. That's just not supposed to happen. The Pals set up mines big enough to kill a Merkava, then waited patiently for the right moment. The point is that the Pals are getting tough -- and smart. They've killed two unkillable tanks, and then there was that one Pal sniper who picked off 7 IDF soldiers and 3 settlers -- then got away. That wouldn't've happened ten years ago.


Breaking News!

by Gary Brecher, Special War Nerd Correspondent

Twelve middle-aged British war nerds, my comrades in piggery, were ruthlessly jailed by the Greeks for "espionage" for photographing the Greek Air Force late last year. Early this week, a Greek court found them guilty, sentenced them to prison, then suspended their sentences.

These people, known as the "Athens Twelve", are guilty of no crime other than being ugly and without a sexual life. All they wanted to do was go "planespotting," which is like trainspotting- the real thing, not the heroin movie--only with planes. Military planes. Where is the harm in slobbering a little while you watch sharp-nosed fighter-bombers come in for a landing? The Greeks, these snotty Mediterranean types who have mistresses and suntans, just can't grasp the higher cultural world of the war nerd! Sexual inadequacy is not a crime, it's a disease! Or rather it's not a disease, it's a victim! Or rather it's a virtue! Yeah, a virtue!

Thanks to War Nerd pressure groups in England, where their lobby is strong, the Athens Twelve were freed. But we're not going to stop here.

Protest with us against this savage oppression of those of us who never got to do puberty right! BOYCOTT GREECE! WAR NERDING IS A HUMAN RIGHT! END THE OPPRESSION OF THE SEXUALLY MATURE! TAKE BACK THE FIGHT!

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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.

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.

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
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.

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."

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

War Nerd Summer Reading Guide
The War Nerd By Gary Brecher
It’s summer, you’ve got a little more time off, so you can read up on war instead of trying to live in whatever boring suburb you live in. Lawns, neighbors, dogs, kids—it all sucks and the best thing you can do is get as far out of it as you can.


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