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[SIC!] November 30, 2007
Your Letters
Page 2 of 4


Dear War Nerd,

Hey man, I'm a long time reader, first time writer. Love your work and hope you keep it up. Anyhoo, I know how much people bother you with suggestions for new columns, so I think I'd chip in with my two cents about what you should look into after your done with the whole Kurdistan thing.

1. The Horn: I don't remember you writing anything about it since the Ethiopians fucking steamrolled the UIC. I sincerely hope it's not out of embarassment over calling it wrong, because I think the smart money was on the Ethiopians doing a shitty job, but they seemed to have flattened the jihadi dicks. But now the provisional governments back and the warlords are squabbling and there's an insurgency, but the UIC doesn't have a chance of getting back into power hell, somebody has to make sense of this shit because I can't.

2. Iraq: I know this shit bores you, but it's the war where the U.S. takes casualties, so its no surprise that me and your other American readers want to know as much as they can. I know you've expressed your opinion of the surge, which I supported at the time, but the quantitative levels of violence in Iraq have fallen. Of course, now we have a force reduction, which means the bodies'll start piling up again. However, has the introduction of US backed Sunni vigilante militias significantly altered the game plan? Are these guys just going to go after the Shi'a forces as soon as the Mahdi army discards its temporary truce? If so, what are we going to do? I'd particularly like if you could relay what some of your readers in the military have been saying about this.

Thanks man, keep up the good work.

Michael Gsovski,

Northwestern University Sophomore

Econ and International Relations

Dear Mr. Gsovski, Vladimir Putin replies, "You know, I really wanted to reply to Edward Lucas's letter above, but, well, you can understand it wasn't easy. I mean, for the last two weeks I've been dying for this moment. I was all worked up, all excited to really take that jerk down, but then...I mean, did you read Edward Lucas' letter? No, I mean did you REALLY read it? The guy actually was polite and helpful to the journalist who attacked him! He can't... How can he do that?! Those aren't the rules, man! I've been sitting in my Kremlin lair for two frickin' weeks, rubbing my hands and laughing evilly, awaiting the moment to get a squealing hurt letter from Edward Lucas, and it turns out that the Economist editor wasn't hurt at all! In all my years...the nerve of that guy! He's – what do they call it again? – oh yeah, he's 'above the fray.' Not like yours truly. Oh no, I'll admit it, I'm the sensitive type. Really, really sensitive. Someone criticizes me, and it's do svidanie, lights out smart guy. But Lucas? He's a horse of a different color. Such character! Such fortitude! I mean he was even offering editing tips to the journalist who attacked him! I read that and I started thinking to myself, 'Damn, Edward Lucas doesn't take himself seriously. And if he doesn't take himself seriously, that means he's right about whatever he argues. And if he's right...then I really am a bad guy after all. I mean, who would you rather trust, a guy like me who takes himself seriously, or a guy like him, who can laugh at himself? I know I'd trust my kids with a guy like him over a guy like me any day. Maybe I should step down from power, and hand the presidency over to a pro-Western politician. Maybe, Vlad, it's time to admit that you're just not the man you thought you were, not after reading that.' Yeah, I thought about it, really went through some serious self-examination. It was a real Dostoevskian moment for me, I'll tell ya. But then I realized, hey wait a minute, no, I can't step down and admit I'm wrong. Only an Edward Lucas has the character to do that. I mean, he didn't admit he was wrong in his letter, but he did something even better than arguing--he was polite, and he showed he didn't take himself too seriously. But just because he's better than me, doesn't mean he's going to win anytime soon. People like me still run the world, or at least those parts of the world that are resisting progress. Until the day comes when there are Edward Lucases in positions of power all over the CIS, not taking themselves seriously even as they argue for starting up a cold war, well, the world will just have to continue suffering people like me. Meanwhile, I'm going to set aside part of the Stabilization Fund and the Nanotechnology Fund so that our scientists can discover the secret to Edward Lucas's humility. I must have that technology if I'm going to survive in power! Till we meet again, Edward Lucas...till we meet again..."

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