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The War Nerd / April 30, 2011

You’re gonna have to give me the weekend off. I moved yesterday. To a new town, new job. Trusted Google Maps to get me there. Don’t ever do that. That’s what I think must have happened to that famous lost army: They used an early version of Google Maps.

I got there all right, but 45 minutes late. Great way to be introduced to your new co-workers. I had to change in the car, a great way to remind yourself of your waistline. I made the horn go off at the worst possible moment, reaching for the shiny new pair of shoes with the pants not as up as I thought. Parking Lot M hasn’t seen that much fun in a long time.

Then they took me around the office. Helpful. Seems my coat collar was up in back. Fixed that.

I couldn’t stop sweating. That’s what happens when a fat man runs through an office complex looking for his new building.

Nobody else was sweating. They looked like they could have leaned back and had a nap, they were so relaxed. But I kept wiping the sweat off my forehead, fixing my pants, and trying to use all the cheerful/team player lines I’d rehearsed on the 87-mile detour Google took me on.

They haven’t said I’m fired yet, so maybe the impression will wear off. Gonna come to work early, lose weight, all the usual lies.

But anyway, the upshot is I can’t blog today. I’ve done my best, 40 days and 40 nights, but you have to give me the weekend off. For the next two days I’m not going to be able to hear much except the yuppies laughing when my belly made the horn go off.

Would you like to know more? Gary Brecher is the author of the War Nerd. Send your comments to gary dot brecher at gmail dot com. Read Gary Brecher’s first ever War Nerd column by clicking here. The rest of his stuff is here.

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166 Comments

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  • 1. TheWarTurd  |  May 10th, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Two questions after the OBL op.
    1.) Does USA have the cojones to take out the rest of al-Q hiding in Pakistan?
    2.) Now that the Pakis are way cosier with China and the Indians gave the Yanks the finger for the $12 billion F16/F18 deal, is the American South Asia policy well and truly screwed.

    God-damme WN, dont be such a tease.

  • 2. internal exile  |  May 11th, 2011 at 2:21 am

    I’m a fucking stingy little coward who won’t give the WN and The eXiled any money, even though I lap up every syllable they utter as gods’ truth and the light. So don’t mind my little coward comments here guys. I’m useless, existing only as a lesson to all of you: do not become me, a pathetic little miser who leaves angry anonymous notes on this site, rather than give my gods money. So pony up or go Nerdless for a while!

  • 3. Diablo  |  May 11th, 2011 at 7:50 am

    For Maarten Schenk,
    I would like to discuss as we wait…

    As per the reason for no photos, I doubt it would matter in the least to the average American if Bin Laden took one in the back of the head. Hell they could have video of him being led outside blind folded, put on his knees, and a double cap while the Seal Team is having a fucking bar-b-que in the background and it really wouldn’t matter. We are talking about the figure head of an organization that inspires others to blow up chlorine gas trucks in front of elementary schools.

    I suspect that the real reason the photos have not been release is that the white house wants to hold onto them to as close as possible to the next presidential election. From a simple campaign point of view, slap a pic of Bin Laden’s face minus an eye ball on a button after the public has forgotten about the mission after a while and its smooth sailing…shit I would vote for the fucker. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more stuff were released as the election drew closer.

    For your other topic, I never really understood how a carrier was supposed to defend anything on its own (say its entire air wing was disabled or whatever and there are zero support ships around). I served on a carrier from 2000-2006 as a nuke machinist mate (so I lived and worked at the bottom of the boat the entire time basically). Them CWSS things they got (big ass Gatling guns) that are supposed to knock out missiles… never made no sense to me. First of all, they can’t aim straight up and secondly, even when they would test those things, I never saw them hit a damn thing other than the water. I mean, they can’t exactly turn all that fast and the actual range is tiny. So they pretty much have ZERO room for error. If they are letting anything get that fucking close that it gets a shot, so many people have fucked up royally that its a moot point…more shit is going wrong than just a missile inbound.

    What is really scary, at least it was to me, was how piss poor the anti-sub guys on our boat were. We used to have war games that the rules kept changing and changing to give the carrier a chance as no one want to tell the fleet admiral his cabin was supposed to be in the bottom of the ocean. First the “enemy” subs could use passive sonar…and we got killed. So now they can only use active…and we got killed. So then the subs have to be pinging as loud as fucking possible, non-stop. I shit you not, I remember sitting on the mess decks listening to the “enemy” subs pinging us so loud you could actually hear it…and we still couldn’t find them. So then, the subs had to come up to periscope depth at regular intervals…and our anti-sub guys still couldn’t find them. Admiral Rickover was right…carriers, especially nuke carriers are just floating targets.

    Then again, I just handled propulsion, electricity, and water production so its not like I really have a fucking clue over anyone else.

  • 4. Maarten Schenk  |  May 12th, 2011 at 12:35 am

    @Diablo: It might not matter to the U.S. voting public, and campaign reasons seem plausible, but imagine what it would look like in the rest of the world. I think it would make it a lot less likely that anyone would want to surrender to U.S. troops in the future, plus it would put U.S. troops that got captured in a lot more danger of being summarily executed.

    As to lasers/drones, check this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldh8nUs7pVE&feature=player_detailpage#t=26s

    If a low-powered, regulated-to-the-max, run-of-the-mill lightshow laser can do this to a camera, imagine what a military laser with the full power of a nuclear reactor behind it could do to the sensors of a drone. And drones are basically slow moving line-of-sight targets, so laser-killing them would be entirely feasible I think.

  • 5. hobomaker  |  May 12th, 2011 at 2:14 am

    I just spotted the War Nerd in Hell’s Kitchen, all excited and shit, turns out it was some scandinavian guy.
    but I have a question for you Gary, until you get to your senses and the new job wears you down, like they all do, and I’m gonna lay it out for you like I learned in the board room. here we go: obviously, bin laden’s death is the best sign the US empire is crumbling down. how was that a “military” victory? everybody on the ground knows the wars in iraq and afghanistan have been lost and this is way worse than Nam in terms of costs and implications. killing osama is quite a lame attempt to give the masses the illusion of some sort of “victory” – although it makes some electoral sense. but who can buy now seriously anymore the big bad wolf politics now that the big bad wolf is dead. now, there’s also a general consensus that the american people will never start an insurrection, we’re so deeply fucked up that our bodies will make us take cheetos cheese anytime over some future happiness. on the other hand, there’s the military machine, the biggest and most successful corporation of the world. so here’s my question: what will it take to have a spectacular falldown of the US, not some lame fizzling out for like two decades with one last pathetic fart. at least we should get a show for our money. and a second one: what would it take for the army to freakin take over? isn’t there any evil genius in this world planting seeds of mutual discontent within the different military agencies? I mean, I still don’t get it, why would a real enemy target primarily civilians? do you see what I mean?

  • 6. Simon Schama  |  May 12th, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Update already, you failure.

  • 7. The real joe  |  May 12th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    @43 Doug good buddy. You criticized Jacques for saying “kind of understand where bin laden was coming from.” Well that is called empathizing with your enemy. This is Robert McNamra’s 1st rule of war. But what the hell would he know, he was only a man who used that strategy to prevent a nuclear fuck holocaust.

    Speaking McNamra, Brecher is this generation’s Sun Tzu/Machiavelli.

    Signed,

    Someone who has yet to pony up but will come friday
    (seriously, you guys have enough material for a monthly or quarterly magazine)

  • 8. Diablo  |  May 12th, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    @Maarten Schenk
    Maybe I am just jaded, but I could totally see, no matter which party, a president putting his campaign ahead of the safety of US military personnel. I think that is one of the reasons why the military in the US is often hamstring by retarded policies and rules of engagements that make little tactical sense.

    As per making it less likely for potential combatants less willing to surrender, I think Abu Grav, Gitmo, and the CIA run black prisons have done more damage than seeing Bin Laden’s bullet holed head. And lets be honest about the area of the world we are talking about…I would be shocked if the average Taliban fighter hasn’t seen dead bodies since the age of 10.

    I don’t see the photo release as a greater threat for US personnel getting executed if they are captured. If the Taliban have shown anything, they don’t have the patience nor the savvy to deal with hostages. To even get one requires either the US military person wandering off site (an extreme rarity) or sticking around an engagement area to try and snag an incapacitated soldier/marine. That means they are sticking around for the cavalry on the off chance they can drag off a guy that most likely won’t make it through the night and is going to slow them down. Its far to easy to just use IED’s, with low risk and decent returns.

    And, this is just my opinion, America does not give a fuck what the rest of the world things. If we did, Iraq II never happens, Vietnam ends a hell of a lot quicker, and we start giving a shit about the simple fact we are consuming insane amounts of energy.

  • 9. internal exile  |  May 12th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    sorry, guys, I just donated. Sorry about the angry note too, been going through a lot of stuff lately. Will try to do better.

  • 10. Greetings from Catalonia  |  May 13th, 2011 at 4:29 am

    I’ve just donated 10 buck via PayPay. It’s not much, but I don’t have much. Take care, WN.

    Greetings from Catalonia.

  • 11. vimothy  |  May 13th, 2011 at 8:51 am

    WTF? Back to your post War Nerd.

  • 12. WNF  |  May 14th, 2011 at 8:11 am

    A daily dose of War Nerd?

    I knew it was too good to be true.

  • 13. R. Green  |  May 14th, 2011 at 9:38 am

    K WN,

    I ponied up some hard Canadian currency. Wasn’t much but I’d gladly fork it out quarterly or bi-monthly if the articles kept coming.

    Do your thing!

  • 14. Carpenter  |  May 14th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    “We are talking about the figure head of an organization that inspires others to blow up chlorine gas trucks in front of elementary schools.” –Yeah Diablo, that evil Osama bin Laden, spearheading the clash of cultures against the West. Unless you actually listen to what he has said over and over. He wants the U.S. killings and tyranny in the Middle East to stop.

    The U.S. bombed Iraq’s infrastructure for twelve years, on average once a week. Hussein had had the temerity to give Palestinian resistance groups financial and diplomatic support, so the entire country must be destroyed. They deliberately targeted power plants and water refineries, so that people would die in the summer heat without air conditioning and clean water. And they did. This was coupled with economic warfare, starving the nation. Half a million Iraqi children died from this state terrorism, about which Madeleine Albright said in an MSNBC interview, “I believe it was worth it.” (Video quickly pulled from the MSNBC website.)

    Meanwhile the U.S. is funding and protecting Israel, as it keeps building settlements on the last 22 percent of Palestinian land, and shooting unarmed Palestinian civilians in the street to make them fight back, which is used as an excuse to kill them in the thousands like a few years ago.

    Add to that the propping up of corrupt dictators all over the Middle East on one overriding condition: that they do nothing to help the Palestinians. Like Mubarak, who closed the border to the Gaza Strip, not even allowing food and baby formula through. A deliberate starvation campaign.

    So yeah, what do you think Osama bin Laden should do? Maybe … write a letter to Congress? Maybe write a letter to the real Congress, Knesset in Israel? Write a letter to the editor in New York Times, to ask Americans to elect a politician who would change all this?

    Hah. Hilarious, all the fake believers in democracy. Osama bin Laden said over and over that he was not an enemy of the American people, but he desperately sought to change the American-funded, Israel-run killings and tyranny in the Middle East. Americans had shown that they would never, ever make their politicians change. So to stop the massive American killings, Osama bin Laden decided that some of the enemy had to be killed, which would either wake up a few Americans to their crimes, or drag them in to wars in the Middle East that would bleed them dry.

    I fully support that.

  • 15. debaser  |  May 15th, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Im just about ready to give up on even checking this site anymore. If i see that picture of the tank at the top of this page again i think im going to break something.

  • 16. ApeAttack  |  May 15th, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I think the WN is only allowed a certain number of keystrokes per year and he has used up his keystroke allowance through 2014.

    Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Like so many things in life, you never truly appreciate something until it is gone.


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