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Gary Brecher


War Nerd Return

I know, I know, I’ve been AWOL a long time. Shoot me. No, seriously. I wouldn’t object. It’d be great to get shot, as long as it was quick and fatal, not somewhere like the shin, where you scream like a raccoon from the pain and don’t even die. Shot nice and quick by a firing squad, that’s the dream. When that redneck demanded capital punishment by firing squad in Utah, I was as jealous as I used to get reading about Hannibal and Forrest. Lucky bald-headed Aryan Brotherhood bastard: what a way to go! He suckered those Mormons all the way. Lethal injection, now that’s scary: die on a table with tubes going up your elbow? That’s too much like how I’m going to die for reals (and how you’ll die too, even if you don’t want to think about it). But getting shot in the heart—that’s making something of yourself. Be shot. (more…)

Posted: July 19th, 2010

Gettysburg-Dead-Soldiers

When the fourth of July rolls around, you’re supposed to think of, I don’t know, the Constitution and backyard cookouts like in old Chevy ads—but for me, it’s really Gettysburg we’re celebrating. Greatest battle in American history.

But the battle, for me and millions of other war-nerd kids growing up on stories of Little Round Top, the fish-hook line, and what Ewell coulda shoulda woulda done at Cemetery Hill. My grandfather from my mom’s side, the more hardcore side of the family, used to mutter about “that man” who lost the war for us, “us” being the Confederacy, but he’d never say a name, so I grew up with this real downer of a notion that there was some kind of traitor in the ranks so plain evil you couldn’t say his name, like the bad wizard in those Potter movies. (more…)

Posted: May 30th, 2010

haiti_violence_0410

This article was first published in The eXile on February 19, 2004.

Haiti popped into the news again, and I decided it was time to tell the whole military history of the place. It’s got to be the most amazing, bloodsoaked, heroic, messed-up story in the Western Hemisphere: slave armies defeating Napoleon’s troops, huge castles built in the middle of the jungle, endless three-cornered war between whites, blacks and mulattos…it’s just incredible. In fact, it’s so wild and complex I’m going to have to divide it into two columns. This one will cover Haiti up to independence in 1803. Next issue I’ll bring it from there to the present.

Haiti is like the big slaughterhouse across the tracks: you kind of know what goes on in there, but you’d rather not think about it. (more…)

Posted: January 13th, 2010

minnet

This article was first published in The eXile on November 13, 2002.

Reading the leaks from Washington, you can tell we’re gearing up to do something in Yemen. A little regime-change action maybe, a sideshow to the big production number in Iraq. Hitting Yemen makes sense–a lot more sense than occupying Iraq. (more…)

Posted: December 31st, 2009

Iraq Bats from Hell

This article first appeared in The eXile on February 21, 2008.

FRESNO, CA — OK, let’s talk hardware for once. I love the hardware, always have; the reason I don’t talk much about it is that what we’ve got is mostly useless, and what we really do need is always getting slammed. I’ll give you two examples: the F/A-18 and the V-22. (more…)

Posted: December 4th, 2009

nepal-peoples-liberation-army

This article was first published in The eXile on November 27, 2002

Ever wanna go to Kathmandu? Not me. I was never a hippie. The hippie types always talked about heading off to Nepal for spiritual enlightenment, but it sounded like my idea of Hell: a bunch of grimy beggars grabbing at you, yelling gibberish, trying to sell you yak dung as prime-grade hash. Some of the old acid casualties in my community college classes had been there and always said it was a real deep experience, but it didn’t seem to’ve done those zombie trolls much good. Most of them were on SSI, paid by the State of California to watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island and not bother anybody with their acid flashbacks. (more…)

Posted: October 12th, 2009

Hey, boss, where them bitches at?

One thing you notice more and more the longer you hang around this sleazy world is the way mainstream types can’t admit to the obvious. They always have to act shocked. So it’s like, “Bond Mogul Convicted of Fraud”-oh, the shock! Like they didn’t know, like everybody over the age of nine doesn’t know, that insider trading is the whole point of the market. So much lying. Makes me sick.

And if you say you weren’t surprised, you’re the bad guy. You’re “cynical.” I love that word, “cynical.” Why not call the guy who discovered germs “cynical”? That’s a nasty theory if I ever heard one: armies of little monsters too small to see, just waiting to turn your mucus membranes into their orgy pools. It’s true, sure, but gosh it’s so darn “cynical”! Let’s pretend it isn’t true. (more…)

Posted: August 11th, 2009