Mankind's only alternative 26   SEP.   21  
Mankind's only alternative
Vlad's Daily Gloat - The eXile Blog
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

The War Nerd February 8, 2007
 
The Fog Of Najaf
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
 

FRESNO, CA--Well boys, the War Nerd's hit bottom I'm about to use that lousy catchphrase, "the fog of war." Take me out behind the shed and shoot me, it's all over now.

As far as I recall, the expression "fog of war" comes from John Keegan's books, or at least he was the guy that made it a cliche. To be fair here, Keegan had a point when he first used it. He was trying to clue people into the fact that battles aren't like games of chess or those nice neat diagrams we grew up on, with red and blue arrows and captions like "Gettysburg: Day 1."

Keegan was trying to say that most battles are more like Shiloh, pure chaos, smoke and screaming and idiots on horseback. Add in the inept intel most commanders get (think McLellan and that fool Pinkerton) and you get fog cubed. It was a good point -- Keegan's basically a good military writer (even though he always cheers for the home team, the redcoats).

But ever since the Morons' Crusade to Iraq went bad, Neocons who never heard of Keegan are tossing around that "fog of war" bit like experts -- because they want to say, "Ooo, it's so foggy over there nobody can say we screwed the pooch." Which is total crap. There's no fog on this earth to hide the fact this thing's a mess, even if every high-school metal band in history pooled their dry ice supplies over central Baghdad.

That said, this weird thing that just happened in Najaf has even me fogged. You probably heard the official version: on Jan. 28, a mixed cult of Shia and Sunni fanatics called the "Soldiers of Heaven," loyal to some psycho claiming to be the Mahdi (Messiah), started marching toward Najaf to kill Ayatollah Sistani and his fellow mullahs. They ran into an Iraqi Army checkpoint and, in the words of Jim Croce, the trouble soon began. The cultists took cover in a nearby orchard, the Iraqi troops called in USAF backup, and when the fog cleared we'd killed 200 (or 250 or 300) of them'uns for two of us'n's (our two dead were this chopper crew killed when their Apache flying poodle was shot down. Don't get me started on the Apache, except to say it fights more like a Hopi.)

Now you can see right off two things about this story: it was like Nestea in the Mojave for the DoD PR boys, and it's just plain weird. Let's start with why it was such a godsend for the Neocons. First of all, it's a blockbuster debut for the alleged Iraq Army, the centerpiece of our whole Vietnamization plan. The Iraqi Army hasn't been generating too many feel-good stories so far, what with whole units disintegrating as soon as we hand over a province to them. So this story, where they hold their ground, call for backup and win, couldn't have gone better if it had been scripted in the Pentagon.

Which I think it was, maybe, bringing us to the weird naggy things about this story. Start with this notion of a mixed Sunni-Shia gang advancing on Najaf. I don't buy it. These people just don't mix unless it's to kill each other. A religiously mixed Iraqi gang reminds me of those ethnically mixed muggers you used to get on cop shows, where some blond producer's nephew with a Wham! haircut would be holding a nice clean crowbar, trying to look violent, next to a black aspiring actor and a Hispanic-looking dude. I'd be the last person to deny there are plenty of "European American" thug assholes, but I've seen enough of them to know they're big, fat, dirty, smelly, greasy bastards, not skinny Malibu kids. And the truth was, is and always will be that gangbangers are the most racist people on this planet, whether they're in South Central LA or Sadr City.

Then there's the actual progress of the battle, which just plain doesn't make sense, fog of war or no fog of war. We're supposed to believe that hundreds of heavily-armed guerrillas who wanted to overrun Najaf got stopped at an Iraqi checkpoint, turned away and holed up in a date grove? Well, that'd be wonderful, but I've been watching the news from Iraq pretty careful for the past few years and I haven't heard of anybody, not even Shi'ites who brag about loving death the way Borat loved Pamela, who actually stands around and waits under the trees for the A-10s to finish them off.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
FROM THE VAULT
[SIC!]
Your Letters :

Snapper Season :
Cold War Bullshit
Cold Bullshit : Ten Piles of "New Cold War" Crap

Lincoln Log Livin' : Life without sewage in downtown Irkutsk
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
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
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.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
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.

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
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
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...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru