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The War Nerd May 29, 2002
 
Fag vs. Fag: the India-Pakistan Phoney War
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 2 of 3
 
The Indian Army has the weapons and the numbers to win. They've got plenty of hardware and 1.1 million men, roughly the number of riders on the average Indian train. But it's hard to believe the Indian Army has the right spirit when you see them drilling in those wacky uniforms, doing the Monty Python moves they got from the British. Goosestepping, swaggersticks, little mustaches -- it's pathetic. You keep looking around for John Cleese as officer-in-charge. A launched missile

True, the Indians have beaten the Pakistanis three times out of three (in 1947, 1965 and 1971). But look at what happened the one time they tried fighting a real army: the India-China war of 1962. India decided that its new status as world power required it to grab a few square miles of Himalayan wasteland from China. They worked themselves up into a war frenzy and attacked the Chinese. The Chinese, who don't do woofing, made no boasts, tried smoothing things over, and when that failed, quietly flattened the Indian army. It was a rout: mustaches and swaggersticks sprinting downhill so fast the snow hadn't yet melted on their helmets when they hit 120-degree Delhi. After that, the Indians decided they'd stick to picking on someone less than half their own size: the Pakistanis.

The Pakistani Army only has 550,000 men -- just about the number of spectators crushed to death in the average cricket match in Karachi. They talk big -- what do you expect, when the name Pakistan means "land of the pure"? But they've lost 3 out of 3 to the Hindus. The Pakistani Army is one of those third-world armies that specialize in protection money, not war. The Army runs the country, and the intelligence service, the ISI, runs the Army. And the ISI doesn't want a real fight. They'd rather shake down the local drug dealers and let the Kashmiri "jihadi" groups they control raid India. It's safer and cheaper. Besides, they know they'd lose a real war. As long as the Pakistanis act through the "jihadi," they can keep denying any involvement at all. In other words: it's the usual cowardly standoff.

But we're supposed to believe it might get serious this time, because the ruling party in India are "Hindu militants." Uh...yeah. "Hindu militants"! I can't help it, that phrase just cracks me up every time I hear it. What does a Hindu militant do, anyway? Scream, "You bastard, you ate my great-grandfather!" at the drive-thru window of the New Delhi Burger King? The only thing these "Hindu militants" ever did was burn down shops selling Valentine's Day cards. Don't ask me why. Apparently they're anti-love. I have to agree with them on that. Death to Love! Make War on Love! I'm all for that. But I just don't see how putting a match to some Hallmark cards qualifies you to be the kind of "militant" who actually fights and wins wars. All I know is, militants whose big atrocity is burning Hallmark cards don't sound too scary. Just reasonable.

The other reason we're supposed to be scared is: the Nukes. Oh no, nukes! Like everybody's supposed to faint the moment nukes get mentioned. People act like the moment somebody's got one nuke, they've "got nukes." It doesn't work that way. They're not guppies -- they don't breed on their own. You have to build a stockpile one at a time. And you have to use them. Until then, they're museum pieces. The Pakistanis only have about 20. Suppose they use 'em all, and every one kills 500,000 Indians. Let's do the math. The Indians lose... 10 million people-hey, that's one percent of their population. One percent! Whoop-tee-doo! Stalin fed a quarter of the Soviet population to the Nazi meat grinder, and look what he got: half the world was his! Surely Kashmir and Januu are worth a measly one percent?!

India has about 200 nukes, so they could wipe out Pakistan. Over. "Land of the Pure" becomes "Land Where There is No Land, Just Smoked Glass." But they won't, because they're too chickenshit. And Pakistan won't nuke them, because it wouldn't do anything except maybe finally piss the Indians off enough to act.


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Gary Brecher
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Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
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