Reddit has netted myself ( and the now hopelessly addicted Social Bobcat ) a real gem: The Ward Nerd.
“Gary Brecher” ( possibly a nom d’ecrivain de guerre ) writes for [exile.ru] and has given non-military people a historical and geopolitical context in which to understand modern warfare. Gary’s text is bleak: tribal warfare makes sense, dying for nation-states is absurd; Hezbollah won, the war in Iraq will be quickly won, but occupation will see total loss.
In modern conflicts, where I’ve been more attentive of late, Gary is like a scalpel, cutting through the media spin and good feelings and photo ops with some goofball in a bomber jacket on an aircraft carrier saying it’s over. I’ve really enjoyed his writing on the topics related to African warfare through the 90’s. Many like to think that the 90s were pretty quiet times, no one flying planes into Manhattan and all, but, in reality, during years many violent people were building up their skills to do horrendously violent things. Furthermore inter-tribal warfare in Africa took no hiatus during the construction of the new economy; genocidal madmen pushed neighobring tribespeople into total extinction with the help of malarial swamps.
Brecher writes like a modern-day Machiavelli, a Spartan strategiest in an Athenian daydream. He chides those without ruthlessness to realize that war is hell, and hell is complete and total annihilation.
On politicians in Washington:
They want to make money or they want to push their own weird religious agendas, or both – usually both. But none of them really like America.
On Republicans: >The Republicans aren’t nationalists. They’re moneyists, as in they only care about money – oil money, mostly. And money is boring. War – fun. Money – boring. It’s time somebody said it out loud: “Fuck Free Enterprise, I just want America to kick ass!”
PJ O’Rourke could only dream of letting loose like that.
The president: >The name of the town where North Korea tests its missiles says it all about our reaction: “No-Dong.” That’s what US Presidents have been showing for almost 40 years, every time North Korea slaps us in the face: no dong whatsoever.
Caddyshack as metaphor: >And it has, folks. That’s why this is such a huge, huge war. No matter what the waterheads on CNN try to tell you, the IDF lost totally, and every force configured like it – such as, oh, the US Army or Air Force – lost too. The Gophers are beating the shit out of the gardeners on this course. The gophers just kicked the shit out of Tiger Woods.
It’s hard to say who gains in the long run. Short term, sure, Hezbollah wins big. But in the long run, maybe what’s happened is that the day when genocide replaces the farce called “CI Warfare” just got a lot closer.
You might disagree, but you will certainly ask yourself if you’re scared or complacent after reading a few.