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the war nerd

There are actual American heroes. Not a lot, and you don’t hear much about them, but there are a few.

I don’t mean working moms who spend their Saturdays spooning soup into winos. I mean classic citizen-soldiers who get it right every time, in battle and in everything else.  My favorite at the moment is Benjamin Grierson, because he not only led the finest cavalry raid of the Civil War (according to James MacPherson hisself) but managed to be right about everything, all his life—one of the few who look as good now as they did then. (more…)

October 16th, 2011 | Comments (81)

War Nerd: What’s Holdin’ You Up, Muammar?

I’m back, thanks to the don’t-call-it-a-depression. Thanks to this brief correction in the US economy, then. My new job lasted three months. I did all the right things, too, even smiled. Didn’t matter. I was the last hired, and you…

August 17th, 2011 | Comments (78)

Dylan Ratigan Talks Shop With The War Nerd About Libya on Radio Free Dylan

Watch The Dylan Ratigan show weekdays at 4pm EST. Also, check out Dylan Ratigan’s podcasts…

May 26th, 2011 | Comments (50)

The War Nerd: Osama Porn

The second I had to quit daily blogging they got Osama. That was just one of the joys of starting a new job: Seeing all that great material wasted on mainstream journalists who have got to be the dumbest, most…

May 15th, 2011 | Comments (87)

WN 40*: Pause for Breakdown

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…

April 30th, 2011 | Comments (166)

WN Blog Day 22: That IMF Don't Fool Around

The IMF: “Liberte, Egalite…Just Give Us the Frickin’ Money!” It was a lively weekend. Down in Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo was ruining the script by holing up in his urban bunker in Abidjan, even though the IMF and their French…

April 11th, 2011 | Comments (52)

WN Blog Day 21: Brecher's Booke Nooke

I’ve been thinking it might be a good idea to do the Sunday blog on war books. The only problem is, there are so many great ones it’s hard to decide which one to start with.

April 10th, 2011 | Comments (111)

WN Blog Day 17: The Swampy Smell of Econ

Ouattara: Whattarya, A Muslim Militant… Things are popping on the comment front.

April 6th, 2011 | Comments (56)

WN Blog Day 15: Libya on $1000 A Day

One of the more interesting questions out of Libya is the tangled problem of who’s who, and who’s on who’s side. I’m starting to get some idea of who’s against Qaddafi—basically the young men, the East, and the tribes loyal to the king he booted out to take power.

April 4th, 2011 | Comments (43)

War Nerd Blog Day 11: Rebels Fail Screen Test

Libya is such a pitiful mess that it should keep the scriptwriters going for years. For the dummies, you’ve got a good and evil story, with Qaddafi as the bad guy.

March 31st, 2011 | Comments (62)

War Nerd: Spartacus Live on Al Jazeera!

While we wait for Egypt to finish cooking, there’s some great footage to watch. It may not be warfare as practiced by Lee and Grant, but it’s weirdly close to what urban combat must have been like before firearms. If…

February 2nd, 2011 | Comments (75)

The War Nerd: XM25: Gee Whiz, How Can We Be Losing with Such Cool Stuff?

This article was first published by AlterNet. If you didn’t know better, you’d get all excited reading about the Army’s new shoulder-fired cannon, the XM-25. It’s being hyped as a “game-changing” weapon that will literally blow the Taliban out of…

December 20th, 2010 | Comments (68)

The War Nerd Returns: Be Famous Or Be Shot Tryin'

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…

July 19th, 2010 | Comments (115)

War Nerd Book Review: A Neocon Thriller That Has Cool Lefties Turning Into Rabid Jew-hating Nazis After A Glass of Wine

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…

June 26th, 2009 | Comments (32)

War Nerd: Iran's Cedar Show, A.K.A. Don't Get Excited, the Protestors Are Just Letting Off Some Steam

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…

June 18th, 2009 | Comments (72)

When Pigs Fly--and Scold: Brits Lecturing Sri Lanka!

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…

May 22nd, 2009 | Comments (141)

War Nerd: The Tamil Tigers Shoulda Listened to Yo’ Mao-Mao

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…

May 11th, 2009 | Comments (50)

Warriors on TV: That’s Entertainment!

There’s a new TV show called Warriors running on the History Channel that’s a current favorite of mine. I hesitate to mention it, because no doubt it’s pretty basic stuff. I hate to think what Gary Brecher would say about…

April 27th, 2009 | Comments (22)

The War Nerd: This Is How the Carriers Will Die (Updated Version)

(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…

April 1st, 2009 | Comments (263)

The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia By Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi Yea, the Lord has heard thine prayers, and He, in His infinite Sadism, has answered thee: back on sale, newly printed up, is the…

November 23rd, 2008 | Leave Comment