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Book Review April 6, 2003
Fairytales for the Scared Stupid
By John Dolan Browse author Email
Page 3 of 3
Since everything under and including the Sun grows and dies, a sufficiently amoral moralist can turn the tale of any nation or empire into a cautionary tale. The key is to keep one's terms as blurred and temporally vague as possible. Carr does this perfectly in his fairy-tale version of twentieth-century Algerian history: "Algeria was to remain a trouble spot for the French for generations..." That's a rather breathtakingly casual "And they lived unhappily ever after" denouement to a wholly false moral tale.

In fact, as a recent eXile article showed, the history of Algeria shows that terrorism can work. Between 1954 and 1962, almost a million people died fighting for possession of this "trouble spot." The French did their best to match the Algerians, but in the "long" run -- eight years of war -- their army and settlers flinched , wavered and fled in the face of the Algerians' willingness to give and take seemingly infinite pain.

A dying Irish "terrorist," Terence McSwiney, Sinn Fein mayor of Cork, said it best, just before he died in prison: "Victory will go, not to those who can inflict the most, but to those who can endure the most." Among those who heard the message and remembered it was Ho Chi-Minh, then working in the kitchens of the Ritz Hotel, London, who used Sinn Fein's doctrine of the long war to push the French and Americans out of his country a half-century later. Terrorism can and does work. Indeed, one of the glories of 20th-century history is the way subject peoples, despised, bullied and disarmed, found ways to fight their Imperial masters and even drive them out. This, roughly speaking, is what we call "terrorism"; and thank God, it works.
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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
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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.

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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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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
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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.

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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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