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Gary Brecher

Gettysburg Museum

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.

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Posted: July 7th, 2009

Banquo’s Ghosts

Summer Reading: Banquo’s Ghosts, by Richard Lowry and Keith Korman, Vanguard Press (2009), 352 pages.

You have to feel a little sorry for the two neocons who co-wrote Banquo’s Ghosts. The idea seems simple enough: a Tom Clancy-style thriller about a plot to kill an Iranian physicist before he can cook up a nuke for the mullahs. The problem is, where do you get your hero these days? Back in the day, when Clancy was keeping Reagan awake way past 9 pm with Hunt for Red October, it was easy to make US agents like Jack Ryan look good; after all, they were going up against the dregs of the poor old USSR. (more…)

Posted: June 26th, 2009

i19_19370025

It took me a while to figure out why everybody was nagging me to do a column on the Iranian elections. Everybody seemed to think it was all mysterious and world-shaking. Finally I realized, you’re all het up because every news service in the US and England has been selling these riots like a new Star Wars episode, and people are just trying to figure out what’s going on and what it all means.

Well, I can answer that in one note: nothing much is going on, just letting off steam; and what little is happening isn’t mysterious at all. Basically, this is simple steam release, something the Mullahs have to allow now and then when the kids, and there are a lot of young adults in Iran, need to remind everybody they’re tired of being bossed around. There’s a huge, huge difference between that kind of “revolution” and the kind that has a real foundation in tribal differences or religion or city/country, the real fault lines. What’s going on in Iran now is a lot like the big fizzle in Lebanon after Hariri’s assassination in 2005. So if y’all will permit me to digress, let me take you back to the Cedar Revolution that supposedly “gripped” Lebanon. All that really happened was that some of the few Christian/Sunni elite Lebanese kids who hadn’t emigrated yet got so pissed off at the Syrians for just blowing Hariri away in broad daylight that they came out and waved the Lebanese flag–the one with the Cedar tree on it. Well, you’d have thought the Berlin Wall had fallen all over again. The same Anglo news networks that are declaring an outbreak of democracy in Iran now were screaming into microphones all over Lebanon, just so touched by these rich Christian/”Phoenician” Lebanese kids announcing that no durn Hezbollah Iranian-puppet thugs were gonna repress their craving for freedom…and discos, and wearing about a quart of perfume, and all the other accessories that go with what they call a Western orientation in the Middle East. (more…)

Posted: June 18th, 2009

sinhalese

Kandy Man with long name who fought the Brits.

Key fact: in Sri Lanka heroes were allowed to get fat, another reason to like the place.

You see some pretty sick stuff when you do my job, but I just read something sicker than any Congo cannibal buffet. It’s an article by a posh little limey named Jeremey Brown condemning the Sri Lankan government for being too messy in putting down the LTTE, and demanding that we stop buying the cheap textiles the poor Sinhalese make their living churning out.

What’s sick about this is that the British establishment destroyed the Sinhalese people completely. Completely and purposely, sadistically. Stole their land, humiliated and massacred their government, made it Imperial policy to erase every shred of self-respect the Sinhalese had left.  You can talk about the Nazis all day long, but for my money nothing they did was as gross as what you find out when you actually look into the history of British-Sinhalese relations. If you can even call them “relations”; I guess a murder-rape is a relation, sort of.

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Posted: May 22nd, 2009

Dead

Cheech Marin moonlighting as the leader of the Tamil Tigers?

I have to say “Thank you, God of War,” because we just saw a decisive victory in a war, for once. I never thought I’d live to see the day. Most wars these days are half-assed policy tussles, “politics by other means” way, way too much. But the war between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, that was a war, dude. With one side wiped out, just like the good old days. The Sinhalese Army rolled up the Tamil Tigers, or LTTE for people who know what they’re talking about, pushing them back into their “heartland” (I love those war-correspondent words, like “heartland”) in the North of the island. For once, war maps you could make sense of! Every month, the Tamil Tigers’ range got smaller and smaller, like Grizzlies coming up against real-estate developers. It was that one-sided. And last week, the LTTE finally got erased from that last “football-field sized” patch of coastal scrub where they were doing their Alamo thing. (more…)

Posted: May 20th, 2009

prabhakaran

Velupillai Prabhakaran: LTTE’s Guerrilla Generalissimo

One thing you have to give the doomed Tamil rebels in Sri Lanka credit for: their supporters sitting in comfortable first-world cities have no shame when it comes to begging for help. Militarily the Sri Lankan Tamils are o-vuh, but when it comes to demanding favors from people who have every reason to hate their guts, these guys are world-class. For some hilarious examples of propaganda from a doomed army, check out the LTTE’s glossy but totally insane website, Tamilnet.

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Posted: May 11th, 2009

uss_oriskany_sinking

(Editor’s Note: Since this article was published yesterday for subscribers, Mr. Brecher has published a big follow-up which we post below after this article.)

I’ve been saying for a long time that aircraft carriers are just history’s most expensive floating targets, and that they were doomed.

But now I can tell you exactly how they’re going to die. I’ve just read one of the most shocking stories in years. It comes from the US Naval Institute, not exactly an alarmist or anti-Navy source. And what it says is that the US carrier group is scrap metal. (more…)

Posted: April 1st, 2009