Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
www.exiledonline.com
eXile Classic / The War Nerd / December 15, 2011

This article was first published in The eXile on May 4, 2007. We are reprinting it to commemorate today’s alleged “last day of the Iraq war.”

FRESNO, CA — A funny thing happened on the floor of the Senate last week. Somebody asked a serious question: “If the war in Iraq is lost, then who won?”

Of course Sen. Lindsay Graham, the guy who asked the question, didn’t mean it to be serious. He was just scoring points off Harry Reid, the world’s only Democratic Mormon. Reid had made a “gaffe” by saying in public what everybody already knows: “The war in Iraq is lost.” When you say something obviously true in politics, it’s called a “gaffe.”

So Graham, McCain’s bitch, jumps in to embarrass Reid with his question.

But let’s take the question seriously for a second here: who won in Iraq? To answer it, you have to start with a close-up of the region, then change magnification to look at the world picture. At a regional level the big winner is obvious: Iran. In fact, Iran wins so big in this war that I’ve already said that Dick Cheney’s DNA should be checked out by a reputable lab, because he has to be a Persian mole. My theory is that they took a fiery young Revolutionary Guard from the slums of Tehran, dipped him in a vat of lye to get that pale, pasty Anglo skin, zapped his scalp for that authentic bald CEO look, squirted a quart of cholesterol into his arteries so he’d develop classic American cardiac disease, and parachuted him into the outskirts of some Wyoming town. And that’s how our VP was born again, a half-frozen zombie with sagebrush twigs in his jumpsuit, stumbling into the first all-night coffee shop in Casper talking American with a Persian accent: “Hello my friends! Er, I mean, hello my fellow Americans! Coffee? I will have coffee at once, indeed, and is not free enterprise a glorious thing? Say, O brethren of the frosty tundra, what do you say we finish our donuts and march on Baghdad now, this very moment, to remove the Baathist abomination Saddam?”

It took a couple years for Cheney-ajad to get his American accent right and chew his way into Bush Jr.’s head, but he made it like one of Khan’s earwigs, got us to do the Ayatollahs’ dirty work for them by taking out Iraq, their only rival for regional power. Iraq is destroyed, and Tehran hasn’t lost a single soldier in the process. Our invasion put their natural allies, the Shia, in power; gave their natural enemies, the Iraqi Sunni, a blood-draining feud that will never end; and provided them with a risk-free laboratory to spy on American forces in action. If they feel like trying out a new weapon or tactic to deal with U.S. armor, all they have to do is feed the supplies or diagrams to one of their puppet Shia groups, or even one of the Sunni suicide-commando clans.

Rare photo of Dick Cheney relaxing without his American disguise on

All these claims that Iran is helping the insurgents really make my head spin. Of course they’re helping. They’d be insane if they weren’t. If somebody invades the country next door, any state worth mentioning has to act. If Mexico got invaded by China, you better believe the U.S. would react. We’d lynch any president who didn’t.

What really amazes me is how patient Iran has been about it, how quiet and careful. They’ve covered their tracks carefully and kept their intervention to R&D level: just enough to keep Iraq burning, and patiently test out news IEDs.

But that’s the Persian way: behind all the yelling, they’re sly, clever people. If Iranian intelligence really wanted to flood Iraq with weaponry that would turn our APCs into well-insulated BBQs, they could have done it long ago. It’s clear they’re not doing that. They’re smart enough to follow Napoleon’s advice not to interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying himself – and stockpiling the new IED designs on their side of the border in case we’re stupid enough to invade.

The situation in Iraq right now is optimum for Iran. Iraq is like a nuclear reactor that they can control by inserting and removing control rods. If Shia/Sunni violence looks like cooling off, Tehran’s agents, who’ve penetrated both sides of the fight, play the hothead in their assigned Sunni or Shia gangs and lobby for a spectacular attack on enemy civvies or shrines – whatever gets the locals’ blood up. Then, if things get too hot, which would mean the U.S. getting fed up and leaving, they drop a control rod into the reactor core by telling Sadr to call off his militia or letting the Maliki regime stage some ceremony for the TV crews, the kind that keeps the Bushies back in Ohio convinced it’s all going to come out fine.

They need to keep us there, because – makes me sick to say it but it’s true – our troops are now the biggest, strongest control rod the Persians are using to set the temperature of this war. They want us there as long as possible, stoking the feuds and making sure nobody wins. That’s what we just did under Petraeus: switched sides, Shia to Sunni, because the Shia were getting too strong. Yeah, God forbid we should be unfair to the Sunnis, God forbid we should do anything to let somebody win. Let’s just make Tehran happy by keeping the feud going another few centuries.

One thing Iran is pretty clearly not scared of is every American amateur’s dream: A punitive U.S. invasion of Iran. In fact, like North Korea, their partner in the Axis of Evil, Iran is all but begging us to invade. Guys in junior high used to hold their chins out, tap them with a finger and say, “Come on, fucker, come on, hit me!” That’s Iran now, chin out and begging for a right hook. Because with all the anti-armor know-how they’ve gained by now, they have traps waiting for us that would make Lara Croft’s cave expeditions look like a backyard tea party. Even Cheney’s team knows that, which is why they’re talking about air raids on Iran these days, not invasion.

Another way countries can win in a regional war like this is from the money flooding in. The big winners of the Vietnam War were Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Thailand went from a failed state with a half-dozen insurgencies everywhere outside its central valley to a rich, happy tourist paradise during Nam. Modern Thailand is a country built on the backs and, uh, other body parts of its bar girls. Every time a GI spent his pay at the ping-pong shows in Bangkok, Thailand gained foreign exchange. The neon got brighter, the huts went split-level, and the Commie rebels swatting mosquitoes out there in the elephant grass started to feel a little foolish. Finally they said the Hell with it, bought suits and went Yuppie.

That’s one way to beat an insurgency: bribe it. Unfortunately, the two neighboring states likely to benefit from the Iraq war are…yup, those twin towers of evil, Syria and Iran. Just imagine how much money is flowing into their border provinces right now. Need any U.S.-issue supplies, weapons, toilet paper, or GPS units cheap? Just ask at any bazaar in Damascus or Tehran. Uncle Sam’s guarantee of quality – fell off the back of a two-and-a-half ton truck.

See, this is why I keep thinking Cheney’s got to be an Iranian mole. How could he not see that a war in Iraq benefits noncombatant neighboring states? He had to know. He can’t be that stup — Wait, I withdraw the comment.

Some paranoids want to list Israel among the winners, but I don’t see it. Perle, Feith and Wolfowitz thought invading Iraq would help Israel, or rather Likud, but like everything else these geniuses predicted, it didn’t happen. Iraq was never a threat to Israel. Iran is. And Iran is much stronger now. Last summer’s war with Hezbollah was one the Israelis didn’t really want to fight, but Cheney insisted. That was the deal, I guess: the U.S. takes out Saddam, then you take out Hezbollah. Instead, the IDF looked scared and weak in South Lebanon, so now Hezbollah and Iran are the poster-boys of every red-blooded Muslim kid on the planet.

Turkey, America’s one real ally in the Middle East, is a huge loser in this war. We slapped them in the face, gave the Kurds a base to destabilize southeastern Turkey, and helped elect the first Islamist president in what used to be a proudly secular country. Happy now, Cheney, you Khomeini-loving, anti-American mole?

When you zoom farther out to look at the global picture, the question “Who won Iraq?” doesn’t have such an obvious answer. It’s much easier to see who lost: Us, and anybody who backed us. We looked invincible after taking out the Taliban. Not no more. If you use armored columns as stationary cops in enemy neighborhoods, you give the locals plenty of time to figure out their weak spots. That’s what we did: gave the Arabs a trillion-dollar, multi-year seminar in how to defeat U.S. forces. Another lesson in the Brecher Doctrine: Nuke ‘em, bribe ‘em or leave ‘em alone.

To find a winner in this war means looking outside the box, like they say — or rather outside the theater of war. Because the winners are the countries smart enough to stay out of it.

A little historical perspective first. Who won the Thirty Years War? France and England, the European powers that stayed out or just dabbled. France played that war a lot like Iran has played this one: tinkered around, tampered, spied and whispered to all the contenders, but never risked a big chunk of money or force. Every country that took part lost, and the Germans, who had what you might call the home field disadvantage, lost most of all, up to a third of their population. So if you cared about the Iraqis, which I don’t and neither do you, then they’d win the Oscar for biggest losers here. But then they had that one locked up already.

So the likely winner of a war like this is an up-n-coming world economic power that has been investing in its own economy while we blow a trillion — yep, a trillion — dollars on nothing. Not hard to figure out who the likely suspects are here.

The answer to “Who won Iraq?” is Iran in the short run, and in the long run, China and India.

Taking their “Iraq War Victory” laps

While we flounder around in the Dust Bowl, they’ve been running up their reserves, putting the money into infrastructure and bullion. The moment you wait for in a setup like this is the inevitable alliance between the regional winner and the global winners. And voila, it’s already happened: In February Iran and India signed a pipeline deal sending Iranian oil to the exploding Indian market, bypassing Bush’s Saudi/U.S. petro-outpost. If it weren’t for Pakistan, the pipeline would already be in place. And as you might have guessed, Iran and India are talking about how easily the pipeline can be looped over the Himalayas to China — an overland route invulnerable to U.S. sea power.

Luckily Pakistan lies right across the route and Pakistan is so hopelessly messed up that the CIA and ISI between them should be able to keep the black smoke pouring out of any section of line the Asiatics manage to finish.

But even that’s bad news: we’re reduced to a spoiler role, conspiring with the nastiest creeps in the world, the ISI, to keep our blood enemy Iran from forming a natural, inevitable market relationship with the two rising powers that have spent their money smart while we pissed it down the Tigris. A country as big and resilient as America can afford to lose a war now and then, especially when it’s in a place like Nam, way off the trade routes. But a war like this… I don’t know.

What’s worst is that the war’s made us dumber. When Sen. Graham asked his question, “Who won Iraq?” he thought he was being clever. He thought we’re too dumb and soft to face that question and its answers. Because there are answers, pretty grim ones. I just hope people are tough enough to start thinking about them.

Anyway, for those of you collecting War Nerd guidelines, here’s what I think are some general rules for “Who wins wars?”

1) In a big bloodbath like the Thirty Years War or WWI, the winner is usually the powers that don’t fight, but dabble in spycraft and wet ops, meanwhile consolidating their own economic power.

2) The biggest loser is almost always the country on whose territory the war is fought. (Note: You could argue that America entered WWII fairly early and still came out ahead, but on the European Front up to D-Day our role was supplying materiel to the Russians and letting them do all the bleeding for us. On both fronts we were far away from the action and that allowed us to pick where and when to commit money and troops, so the generalization still holds: the further away you are, the better.)

3) In a regional war, the big winner will be any neighboring states that can stay out of the war and work out supply contracts with the richer combatant (Thailand during Nam, Argentina in WWI, Switzerland in every war since Ur took on Ur South).

4) However, if there’s an ethnic spillover, like Turkey has with the Kurds, this relationship can backfire.

5) The worst thing a major power can do is go to war alone for “moral” reasons. This is how medieval France wasted its huge advantages on pointless Middle Eastern crusades that did nothing but revitalize the Muslims and drive down the price of white slaves in the Cairo market.

Damn, another unbelievably infuriating deja vu deal: we end up wasting our armies in the deserts of the Middle East, just like the French. Except even the French were too smart to fall for it this time around.

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 War Nerd Book Cover

Click the cover, buy the book!

 

 

 

 

 

Read more:, Gary Brecher, eXile Classic, The War Nerd

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at twitter.com/exiledonline

54 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Trevor  |  December 15th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    It’s good to see this again. Not like anyone’s gonna learn those lessons though. This country is so deep into fantasy it’s become a slapstick parody of Middle-Earth.

  • 2. Punjabi From Karachi  |  December 15th, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Pakistan plays the role of Turkey in the Afghanistan deal.

    However, you guys keep your Pak hate up too much. Musharraf was too pro-US and would try to cool Ahmedinejad.

    The current regime actually signed the Iran-Pakistan deal, in the face of US opposition, whilst breaking the Indians and Iranians relationship.

    Patience has its virtues.

  • 3. G.A.  |  December 15th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I like how War Nerd can make the hard truth palpable. Normally I’m all for adventures in idealism, but this had me thinking.

    Thanks Gary.

  • 4. wengler  |  December 15th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    As true now as it was four years ago.

    The Republicans have been trying to use the withdrawal against Obama in some way, but their corporate sponsors have been smart enough to not be their megaphone on this issue.

    Iraq was the appropriate prelude to the collapse of Wall Street. A generation of privileged, rich thieving morons calling the shots, squandering the wealth of the nation and getting people far better than them killed for no reason.

    Looking back on Iraq, there is one event that at least could’ve made one little part of that mess a little better. That donkey rocket cart could’ve aimed a little bit higher and killed at least one of the architects of that war.

  • 5. Swampfoot  |  December 15th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Good to have you back, Gary.

  • 6. Kyeshinka  |  December 15th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    I love reading the war nerd. When is the exile going to be giving out tshirts again?

  • 7. Abdullah Al Finkelstain  |  December 15th, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Classic piece of war-nerdery. Well done, thanks Gary.

  • 8. Bradford C.  |  December 15th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    HEAVY METAL BAGHDAD

  • 9. Diablo  |  December 15th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Ahhhhh…so good to have my fix.

    I got to disagree though with the idea that Iran has a lot of influence in Iraq…long term. I agree that as long as we try to maintain a footprint there, especially with troops there, we got the big target. But once we pullout, the idea that Iran is going to be tolerated as a local influence is not accurate in my opinion. Arabs hate Persians, especially between the Iraqi and Iranians.

    The Persians are never going to be willing to just walk away once we leave. That is going to piss off the locals and former allies are going to be at each other throats.

  • 10. Duke  |  December 15th, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    A great War Nerd article from ’07..
    Iran & Syria might have scored some short-term success at the time, but are now catching some world-class shit, and even China is beginning to be challenged by the US..
    Turkey has become the strongest business-player in Iraq, and uni-laterally carries out cross-border bombing raids against northern-Iraqi Kurds.. As of the end of 2011, Turkey seems to have gained the most from the debacle of Iraq..

  • 11. Dave  |  December 15th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Come on Gary I need your insight regularly. Why isn’t someone paying your rent for you by now. Jesus Christ!

  • 12. wes  |  December 15th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    HEY you fuckers, christopher hitchens is dead, start partying

  • 13. Bradford C.  |  December 15th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Why won’t you listen to our veterans?

    They’ve been trying to tell you everything, in ways that words could not possibly convey within rhyming meter.

    The saddest story ever told in a natural history, are the His-Stories of Mankind. This is the truth that lies at the heart of time. That is the black goat of the forest, the ever-changing monstrosity which beats the drum to the universe’s song.

    Our killers know. They know what it means to take a life, they know why they took the life of a Human… the most intelligent form of life on Earth. Because it suited their ends, or the ends of their superiors.

    You wouldn’t pay attention to our histories. Why? Are you so weak to avert yourself to the pains and sorrows of generations? Of the raped ladies of Sabine, or the children torched in the fires of Dresden? The people who starved to death by the flames sparked by statesmens’ matches?

    How could you? They were The Other. Simple histories are told from the perspective of The Victor, because if they painted the whole story for you, the implications would be too much to bear.

    STOP KILLING
    STOP KILLING
    STOP STOP
    STOP
    STOP PLEASE
    PLEASE STOP
    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND EVERYTHING WHICH BRINGS JOY TO YOUR LIFE. THAT’S GOD IN A NUTSHELL. WHY CAN’T YOU SEE IT? WHY DON’T YOU PAY ATTENTION!? WHY DO i HAVE TO SPELL EVERYTHING OUT FOR YOU!?

    We are a wretched species. You know it as well as I do. They called WW1 The Great War, because it was the hope of our ancestors that the terrible burden of their sin would not be passed on to the Sons of The Fathers.

    In Truth…

    All wars are great. They were great to the males and females who fought them. The True Warriors. Members of Mighty Zulu Nation. They put their lives on the line so you wouldn’t forget their sacrifice. Why should you ever want to?

    The Greatest People In History died so you wouldn’t forget them. They wanted to remind you how we’re supposed to live at all times.

    How can you not see it?

    Blind men see the worlds of a book in Braille. And those who never had sight, do not know how to illustrate TRUTH.

    Listen to your teachers. And check their facts.

    For in the fullness of Time, ALL STUDENTS WILL BECOME MASTERS.

    Please believe me. I’m trying to help you.

    I AM AN EDUCATOR.

  • 14. matt  |  December 15th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Hey wes is right, hitchens just croaked. The worst thing about his death is the leftists and atheists who still think he was a talented writer and want to pay homage to him. He was a hack and a careerist.

    I posted this:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/09/10/hitchens-as-model-apostate/

    a while back. I think it sums up the man’s career.

  • 15. Bradford C.  |  December 16th, 2011 at 7:26 am

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NuTaQsMNaE&feature=colike

  • 16. Bradford C.  |  December 16th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Saty pirsty non bends

    *blink blink*

    HALLO

    HALLO

    HALLO

  • 17. Petkov  |  December 16th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Who “won”? Sheesh, forgetting the basics here Gary?
    Follow the money, man. It’s obvious who won, the contractors who made not billions but trillions supplying the US army with everything from boots to meals to tires for the Humvees. And surprise surprise, one of the biggest contractors WAS Halliburton, i.e. Cheney’s company.
    So in the end, it was Cheney himself who got insanely rich from the “war” while you have to scrape by. So the joke is no YOU.

  • 18. Bradford C.  |  December 16th, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    The Auxiliaries of any Empire are the real winners of History. Eventually they must return to the fields, while the Emperor’s Men are in thrall to his dogs.

  • 19. Sean the Sorcerer  |  December 16th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Dick Cheney never loses, because he is an avatar of the eternal, infernal powers. Dick Cheney is the Moses, Mohammed and Hitler of our time, another prophet of the demiurges of death and destruction who rule this world. I believe we are living at the dawn of the Cheneyian era, and that the Cult of Cheney will only grow until it has become an empire extending over all the minds of men. Dick Cheney is the one we have been waiting for, the black Messiah and the hidden Imam whose return marks the end of time and the beginning of Judgment Day.

  • 20. Urda  |  December 16th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Iran’s “liberals” the ones who still believe that Persian can follow a form of ethnic and xenophobic(there is a reason the roots of that word are in a Persian name)approach,are probably its biggest losers.

    Ultimately whatever happens the Shia in Iran will be able to count on the Shia in Iraq,even though the latter aren’t ethnically Persian.So religious fervor will continue to matter as well as nationality in Iran.

    The Persian expats will most likely,partly based on sanctions,and partly because it is not their turf anymore……will get completely cut out.

    I just hope that means they get priced out of the Bay area and move somewhere else,say Fresno for example.

    Take care.

  • 21. Bradford C.  |  December 16th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Everywhere I go
    I see Persian Ladies

  • 22. DoesNotMatter  |  December 16th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Only author worth reading in the Exile. One of only two authors I ever read on the internet or anywhere else, the other is “delusion damage”. Google him. Nice, wonderful to have you back Gary. Gary, why don’t you quit your soul sucking day job and do this full time. Hell! It does not have to be war at all. I remember the other article of yours regarding the feud between Keats and wordsworth. Loved that one and I hate poetry!! You write about anything, we’ll read it. Just Quit that damned job of yours. Keeps you away from us

  • 23. dominic  |  December 16th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    would anyone disagree with me when i say that Iran is now much stronger than Iraq and, if there were a conflict between the two, would stomp them? I mean at this point how much could we help? During the first Iran Iraq war we weren’t engaged anywhere else, overtly anyway, and we had a shit ton more money. Not to mention the Pakistan question this article raised may be answered at this point….and who knows what Turkey would do in that situation.

    Im really interested in readers thoughts on this. I mean i dont think Iran WILL attack Iraq, i just think Iran is more powerful, militarily and economically, at this point.

  • 24. Dejo  |  December 16th, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    China won’t win in the long term. When America goes belly up after its monetary bubble finally bursts then China’s foreign reserve will be rendered useless and China will lose its largest trading partner. I don’t know how much said trade is worth but, if it’s any indication, China has been printing its currency so as to forestall US dollar deflation which means that said trade is worth a whole lot to China. When America’s bubble bursts, so too will China’s. There are no economies anymore, only a series of ponzi schemes.

    As far as war benefiting those who stay out, those that stay out lose a trading partner and have to shift their production to wasteful things that centre around warfare. And, usually, any currency in their foreign reserve that belongs to any warring side will be rendered worthless.

    Apart from these two very minor points, the article is spot on. American strategy everywhere else is to unite all the smaller tribes against the largest tribe. So I can’t figure out why it would support the Shiites in Iraq, unless it was only to save face. Fucking narcissism, man.

  • 25. Vendetta  |  December 16th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Holy fuck what is this craziness in the comments?

  • 26. my talkative ringpiece  |  December 16th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Alright Brecher that’s it: I vow to prostrate myself towards Fresno 3 times a day or at least once in a while. Brilliant.

    And, I agree with the other poster, can you perhaps go ronin like The Ribbonfarm Guy of Ribbonfarm has? Amazing site, no not concerned with warfare darn it, but the guy writes about interesting shit and the paypal button’s always by your side like the salt’n'pepper in a diner and I get the impression quite a few people “buy him a coffee”. Of course Youuuuuu know…. he brews up his coffees at home.

  • 27. M  |  December 17th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I just need to know one thing before I read another article on this website: is the author being serious or sarcastic when he says:

    “So if you cared about the Iraqis, which I don’t and neither do you …”

  • 28. super390  |  December 17th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    We deserved to lose far worse in Iraq than we did.

    Yet if we had lost far worse, the disaster might have become the wake-up call that could have saved us from greater disasters to come.

    In April 2004, the Occupation was on the ropes. If the Sadrists and the Anbar mujahedeen had been willing to coordinate their simultaneous uprisings against the US, Rumsfeld would have lost control of the situation faster than he could have scraped together reinforcements.

    The key was the militia that chose to not get too involved, the forces of SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) which had fought Saddam Hussein for years and then gone into hiding, or fled to Iran for training and equipment. If veteran SCIRI exiled had returned home in April and joined Sadr, they would have brought a lot of middle class support for the uprising. But there was a class conflict aspect to the division between Sadrists and SCIRI which relates to the ethnic division between Persians and Arabs.

    US forces had left themselves with no way out in case of a broad-based uprising. Vast US forces in Baghdad would have to have been evacuated by air, since the obvious route south was the stronghold of Shia power. The Marines in Anbar would have an even worse situation. As for the contractors, well, they would have been left to their fate.

    The likely Rumsfeld solution would have been massive bombing of the very cities which he claimed were under control. However, the track record on carpet-bombing civilians is still pathetic and USAF would have been bombing the wrong targets because it had no idea whom it was fighting yet.

    Evacuation would have cost Bush the 2004 election. It would also have discredited US military power in one dramatic coup, instead of the slow bleeding we’ve lived through. All of this would have crashed the markets quickly, before the massive speculation of Bush’s 2nd term made things far worse.

  • 29. super390  |  December 17th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Turkey made out pretty well since this 2007 article, despite the economic harm done to it by the problems in Iraq and Syria. Erdogan was actually elected before the invasion, and he was waffling under US pressure to let invasion forces into Iraq through Turkey. Turks took to the streets to make clear that they wanted him to stand against the war, just as they had voted him in to take down the corrupt pro-US parties that ruled Turkey alongside its army.

    This seems to have been the turning point in Turkish history. Since then the sheer stupidity of the US and Israel have forced Erdogan to do what other leaders won’t; listen to common sense and assert sovereignity. Turkey was the key to the Bush oil scheme in Central Asia, the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline. Note that Tblisi is in neocon-controlled Georgia, and Ceyhan is in Turkey. Yep, Cheney and the neocons designed a gerrymandered pipeline route for the sole purpose of fucking the Russians out of European oil markets.

    Only the neocons could put so much effort into a scheme and execute it so badly. They lost control of the oil states that were to supply the BTC, their stooge in Georgia picked a fight with Russia and got stomped, and they pissed off Turkey with a thousand acts. They screwed Putin until he was ready to use the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to reassert dominance of Central Asia.

    Turkey has rediscovered its prime geopolitical position as a free agent. Russia might be about to lose its base in Syria, but oil sales to Turkey could gain a greater prize for its navy, free navigation to the Mediterranean, which Britain and America have blocked for generations. Erdogan moves where he pleases in the Mediterranean and gives his blessing to developments in the Arab Spring. Best of all, Turkey’s un-American populism seem to have left it with the least wrecked economy in Mediterranean Europe.

  • 30. Derp  |  December 17th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    All Muslims are terrorists that want to murder us and we sure killed a lot of them. Therefore, AMERICAN WON! DERP DERP!

  • 31. Phil  |  December 18th, 2011 at 8:09 am

    http://www.truth-out.org/how-maliki-and-iran-outsmarted-us-troop-withdrawal/1324142833

  • 32. Cum  |  December 18th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    @20

    Hey man.

    No one should have to live in Fresno.

    @27
    Its part of the Paleocon War Nerd character. So no and yes.

  • 33. Ro  |  December 18th, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I agree with most of this post, except the part about Iraq not being a threat to Israel but Iran is. Remember that little episode in the 80′s when Israel was giving weapons to Iran to help fight the Iraqis? The reason they did that was because they were afraid that if Iraq won, and stayed strong, they would turn their attention to Israel. Then there was the Israeli bombing of the Iraqi reactors. Now I’m not saying that Iran isn’t a threat to Israel, and Iraq sure isn’t anymore either, but as far as Israel was concerned, Iraq was always a threat. And they had good reason for it too. Iran has never done anything to Israel overtly, but Saddam did lob those Scud missiles at Israel in 1991.

    I do agree that Israel was not a winner in this war, but not for the reasons you’re talking about. Now that the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan have energized jihadis worldwide, Israel is facing a less localized but still intense threat from people all over the world. So Israel is actually less safe because of this war.

    And the whole bit about how you don’t care about the Iraqi people and neither do I is a line of crap too. Maybe you don’t care about anyone but African warriors born in Hyena bellies. But compassion is a real thing buddy, and people everywhere care about the Iraqis and all suffering people. There are aid workers among the dead of that war. People who went to that country with no weapons and no protection just to help stop the pain, with nothing to gain but what they received within themselves. Just because you have a black heart don’t pin it on anyone else.

    Either way this whole thing was just another example of what happens when we trust authorities who don’t live where we live and don’t bear the costs of their own decisions.

  • 34. BlottoBonVismarck  |  December 19th, 2011 at 2:50 am

    #19 – DICK – AS IN PRICK ?

    Avatar of infernal powers – Richard “Hung-like-a-baby-carrot” Cheney – aka ‘Not So Biggus Dickus’? (*1)

    The only infernal powers that he is contact with is flatulence. – Neo-C_nt barbecue – Should have been barbecue _of_ the Neo-C_nts (*)

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6dm9rN6oTs#t=21s

    That, and Gollum. –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLvIFRNbqOs#t=10s

    NUREMBERG Mk II

    F___ing Pussy! and the B_tch of Cell Block N – Neo-C_nt – Nuremberg Mk II –

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvg9WTUhBXo

    Poor US Neo-Cons / ‘Our Tony’ / Ca-Maroon (ER, Ca-Moron?) — Terrified of their date with destiny — A long drop on a short rope. – Nuremberg Mk II. –

    Mk I for comparison – Nuremberg Executions of Nazi Leaders for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ and ‘Crimes Against the Laws of War.’ – Original –

    - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=95d_1206462963

    NEO-C_NT BARBECUE

    “God, I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” – Col. Brecher encourages his Exiled readers. In Spanish for the new ‘Neo-C_nt-Financially-Imploded-/-Economically-Volunteered’ army.

    Which is how you’ll hear it … When you join up in order to eat.

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUDShxRWniw#t=00m02s

    Fade out – The Doors – Apocalypse Now -

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4WJlLNIsyY#t=01m11s

    (*1) UP THE USUK EMPIRE !

    Just say “Up yours” to USUK Empire fascist insanity!

    - USUK Empire fascism made mainstream by ‘Biggus Dickus,’ (of Wome on the Potomac) — Big Oil tool and US Torture promoter – brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Aden, Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania and many, many more —

    - “You lucky bastard” – Monty Python – Life of Brian -

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TPQ0DEVaEk#t=0m40s

  • 35. frank  |  December 19th, 2011 at 7:27 am

    Jeez Gary….
    Your article is as spot on now as it was five, five, god damn it FIVE years ago…
    Not to mention 10 f***ing years ago, when you called this shower of shit so precisely.
    Amongst all the patriotic hoo haaaa of USA USA and all simlar moronic chest thumps, you were the only voice of reason, predicting things turning out, step by step, as if reading a history back rather than looking to the future.
    Nothing that you said needed a clairvoyance talent, or a f***ing crystal ball, but what is it they say about common sense?????
    Its funny also reading these comments, that there is a lot of discussion about who really “won” or benefited from this fiasco, HOWEVER no one seems to dispute that USA was the A-NUMBER-1 loser, which again is obvious to all, expect my fellow merkins…
    And to think the same imbeciles are now “thinking” of doing the same crap with Iran, “keeping all options on the table” etc. Good heavens, word fail me…
    Perhaps you could do an article, whereby instead of describing to us all the HOWs of the stupidity of the yanks in technicolor, you could perhaps enlighten us to the WHYs?

  • 36. Anon  |  December 19th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    These wars haven’t been that expensive though. The biggest estimate of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (including ‘hidden costs’) is 3-4 trillion to date. That’s over a period of what, 10 years? That’s 400 billion a year; a figure like that would bankrupt the UK but it’s chump change for USA. That’s under 3% of GDP per year.

  • 37. Derp  |  December 20th, 2011 at 12:06 am

    I know, ain’t it not much Anon? I agree 100%!

    4 trillion a year just ain’t shit to us cause we’re motherfuckin’ America! Maybe it’d be shit in Pakistan or Uzbekistan but it ain’t here!

    The fuck we need 4 trillion for? The Chinese give us money all the time and cool stuff at Wal-Mart as a bonus! It was totally worth it kill a bunch of Muslim terrorists assholes for that lil’ bit o money, derp derp!

  • 38. Carpenter  |  December 20th, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    “If Shia/Sunni violence looks like cooling off, Tehran’s agents, who’ve penetrated both sides of the fight, play the hothead in their assigned Sunni or Shia gangs and lobby for a spectacular attack on enemy civvies or shrines – whatever gets the locals’ blood up.”

    WAY too much credit/paranoia visavi Iran there.

    In fact, there was never any proof they were involved in the insurgency. And why the hell would they? Shia Muslims who’d been living in exile in Iran for decades were in control! Iran wanted the rebels to stop fighting so the U.S. would no longer have an excuse to stay. “Look, everything is peaceful, no Sunny Ba’athists left, now you can get out.”

    I remember a story on the MSNBC website about an IED factory found in Iraq. Before long, it was deleted. They didn’t want people to see that IEDs were produced by Iraqis. They wanted them to believe they were produced by Iran.

    Meanwhile, in Iraq, U.S. soldiers were arresting a group or Iranian diplomats completely without reason. Just another example in a long, long list of attacks, threats and provocations against Iran. The country that had the gall to nationalize its oil and to support the Palestinian resistance against Israel.

    I’m glad Iran won the Iraq war, simply by doing nothing but be a host to Shia exiles for decades. Now those exiles are firmly in control of the country. Now they can do some good – as a force against Israel. Anything bad for Israel is good for the world.

  • 39. Carpenter  |  December 20th, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    @27 “I just need to know one thing before I read another article on this website:”

    Oh no, did he hurt your sensibilities? Your threat of not READING anymore has us all shaking in our boots!

    Typical leftist. You don’t discuss, you threaten with what little power you have – in this case to stop reading. Oh, how you wish you could censor, don’t you?

    So what the WN said was, “If you’d care about the Iraqis, which I don’t and neither do you” – he is cutting through all the pretense, Left and Right, because the truth is, people are just using the Iraqis for their own political purposes. You might get yourself all worked up, all hot and bothered, pretending you care about them, but no, not really.

    LOL If the Left had really cared about the Iraqis … then why did their anti-war movement evaporate when the Black Messiah Obama wormed his way into the White House? The anti-war demonstrations were only aimed at Bush. To be discarded once a Democrat won the election. That was such a prime example of leftist fake politics that you had to laugh out loud.

    And of course, the word “anti-war movement” is B.S. in itself. No one is ever against war. People are only against their enemies waging war. They want the side they hate to stop so the side they love can win.

  • 40. Phoenix Woman  |  December 21st, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    “LOL If the Left had really cared about the Iraqis … then why did their anti-war movement evaporate when the Black Messiah Obama wormed his way into the White House?”

    Maybe because he was already drawing down troops in Iraq, despite your hero Paul Bremer’s muttering dire warnings about bailing on Iraq?

  • 41. Shotgun Dick  |  December 24th, 2011 at 12:34 am

    ‘Who won’?

    I won. That’s who won. Get over it.

  • 42. M  |  December 25th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    @39.

    I can’t respond to most of the things you said because they don’t apply to me. You seem to have taken the one line I wrote, constructed a character from it and then started talking. Anti-war? Who said that? Oh, nobody. Ohhhhhh, it’s because leftists are the only people capable of empathy. Now I see how you arrived at that conclusion! Maybe I was confused at first because your logic is too advanced. Please try to slow your brain down so the rest of us can follow.

    Other than that, you’re right about everything. I’m with you. Fuck everybody. I’m awesome, of course, but everyone else can go fuck themselves. I wish I had an Iraqi child here right now so I could punch her in the face.

    This website is awesome!

  • 43. L  |  December 28th, 2011 at 3:44 am

    @40 Phoenix Woman
    He’s as serious as a possibly fictitious persona/nom de plume can be.

    And quite frankly, I’d say it seems Gary’s right. Nobody (really) cares about Iraqis but Iraqis, nobody (really) cares about Americans except Americans. You’re not gonna put a stranger over a family member in terms of concern, same thing on an international scale.

    If the opposite was true, all the outrage over 3,000+ deaths from 9/11 wouldn’t have even registered in the American conscience.

    Don’t get me wrong, war with Iraq was a terrible idea from the start, but plenty of people would have died regardless either due to Saddam or from the sanctions. Nobody was bothered by thousands of Iraqis dying from trade sanctions because they could be pinned on Saddam. Seems to me you don’t mind the spilled blood, you’d just rather not be spilled in your name because, by proxy, that’s blood on your hands.

  • 44. M  |  December 29th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    You know, with the amount of assuming that the people in these comments do, you’d think their assumptions would be very refined and accurated. But, no:

    “Nobody was bothered by thousands of Iraqis dying from trade sanctions because they could be pinned on Saddam.”

    I tried Googling it, but I can’t find the research that proves conclusively that nobody was bothered!

    I wouldn’t put my friend above my brother, so I guess that means I don’t (really) care about my friend. I also wouldn’t put my dog above my friend, so I guess that means I don’t (really) care about my dog. And look at that: it also means that I (really) care about my friend again! That’s good.

  • 45. Grenadier  |  December 29th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    This is Brecher’s Worst Ever, even if he did spot Rachid (Dick) Cheynian as a lye-dipped mole pretending to be a hardass from Wyoming.

    First, a complaint over the War’s cost:
    It’s $4 to 6 Trillion, not $1 Trillion. Some dipshit commented that “$4 Trillion” doesn’t matter to the US. It’s the entire output of the US for over 5 months. That’s the sort of thinking that makes empires go extinct. Besides, this is only a piece of it. The full cost of America’s military, with 8 wars, 800 bases in 103 countries, etc. is a hair over $1 Trillion a year. That is / has become / a game changer.

    Stiglitz and Bilmes at: http://threetrilliondollarwar.org/

    Trillion bucks a year for America’s wars:
    http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1941

    Now the huge complaint. NO CONTEXT. NONE! The War Nerd is usually great for explaining the context and why it matters, but not here. Was he in a diabetic coma from too many Milk Duds ?

    Iraq isn’t a war in the common meaning of a war. The so-called Iraq War was Act 5 of a “Long American War on Iraq”, and even this Long War had a prequel, “The British Conquest And Occupation Of Iraq, 1917-1959”.

    Here are the 5 Acts of The Long American War On Iraq:

    ACT 1: 1963-1979
    The CIA installed Saddam Hussein as a mini Joe Stalin, starting with the 1963 coup against the only good government Iraq ever had. Saddam was only 25; his entry-leve job was to lead the death squads. Saddam didn’t make full dictator until 1977. James Critchfield was the CIA’s Near East Division Chief for the 1963 coup. He told an Australian newspaper, “We regarded it as a great victory.”
    Ali Saleh Sa’adi, Baath Party Secretary-General said, “We came to power on a CIA train.” CIA Train! Man, Gary, how could you forget this ???

    ACT 2: the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, which the War Nerd covered in another, much better column.

    ACT 3: Gulf War One
    Saddam Hussein was too competent for Washington’s and Tel Aviv’s taste, so Bush Senior tricked him into attacking Kuwait so the US could start the regime change business. I’m always amazed that many otherwise-smart people never heard of this.
    This is fucking amazing, and all true:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11376.htm

    ACT 4: Sanctions, 1991-2003
    “INFANTICIDE masquerading as policy” was how then-House Democratic Whip David Bonior explained the economic sanctions against Iraq. It was deliberate murder of more than 1 million Iraqis, mostly children, women and old people. Genocide, to be exact. The
    UN put its UFO-blue stamp of approval on the Sanctions. This was a deliberate slow-motion take-down of Iraq, and a betrayal of all the liberal lies the UN says it stands for. Only American and British warships enforced the blockade, which sums it up. Every UN Director of the Oil For Food Program resigned, one-by-one in angry public protest, but it didn’t matter; the US owned Kofi Annan, the top UN rat-bastard. Annan’s son skimmed money from the Sanctions, along with half the civilized West. The Sanctions phase was part of the plan to soften up Iraq for the invasion. That’s also when the US started bombing Iraq, under Clinton.

    Want to know more about Act 4 ? Wikipedia is almost useless because so many important pages, and entire categories have been whitewashed by professionals. Wikipedia’s “Oil For Food” page doesn’t even hint that anyone died as a result of cutting off food, medicine and spare parts for hospitals, the electricity grid, sewage systems, etc.
    Just one Wiki page gives casualty figures; download it before the erasers get to it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_sanctions

    ACT5: Invasion and Occupation
    Gary Brecher never mentioned that over 1 million Iraqis were murdered between 2003 and 2007 ! There’s also 5 million refugees who can’t go home, even now.

    Shame on Brecher’s fat ass for failing to note the price paid by our victims ! This will bite us on our asses for the rest of our lives, and Gary didn’t explain why we’re gonna have this pain.

    http://www.opinion.co.uk/Newsroom_details.aspx?NewsId=120

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancet_surveys_of_Iraq_War_casualties

    When we destroyed Iraq, we destroyed our own honor, self-respect and humanity. We turned ourselves into 21st Century Nazis, and we can’t even believe our own lies about our “good intentions” and all that shit. It’s not just that 1.2 Billion Muslims around the world are pissed off. The whole world saw America take a ten-year-long shit on every principle we ever claimed to uphold, so now the world doesn’t respect, fear or love us anymore.

    I can’t predict Act 6, but I’m sure this ain’t gonna end well.

  • 46. Samrat from mumbai  |  January 1st, 2012 at 10:29 am

    “Gary Brecher never mentioned that over 1 million Iraqis were murdered between 2003 and 2007 ! There’s also 5 million refugees who can’t go home, even now.”

    So what? People die everyday, wars happen and will always happen and people will die as they have always died from centuries. You need not worry as the Muslim birth rate will take care of that. There are too many humans and muslims in this world anyways.

    “When we destroyed Iraq, we destroyed our own honor, self-respect and humanity.”
    Such childish Christian nonsense has no place in the world of international war and politics.

  • 47. Grenadier  |  January 3rd, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Samrat, you live in India, one of the most miserable and hypocritical nations on earth, so of course this comment about national honor and self-respect just went over your head. The misery of India is no secret; the slums of Mumbai are only rivaled by the misery in Kolkata, but life is cheap all across India. Hypocrisy: the nation of Ghandi built nuclear bombs without even having an enemy to use them against. (Not Pakistan because the fallout would ruin India. China? Out of India’s league.) Hypocrisy: most of your politicians are owned by a handful of families. I have friends in Mumbai with Bank St. addresses and they aren’t shy about discussing how they own politicians.

    It’s odd you would tag this as a Christian comment. You must be too sheltered to know that all religions and all functioning societies have their own senses of honor, including Hinduism.

    Here’s what you’re missing: A functioning sense of honor is worth having because it’s one of the few things that ties national effort to national well-being. Without honor, collective (govt.) efforts get 100% skimmed off by politicians. Your parliament couldn’t even pass the Ombudsman or Lokpal Bill, so India Inc. stays for sale on the cheap. Example: India pursues an expensive dead-end quest for nuclear reactors to pump ever-falling ground water because wealthy landowners got rid of the natural rainwater recharge systems in the South, and went for water-intensive crops to ruin the Water table in the North. India is so dysfunctional that for now, you don’t have anything to teach about governance or honor. Until you figure this out, the “adult” Kissinger-type realpolitik that you adulate will keep on bringing India even more misery.

    I’m not an Indian-hater, BTW. I’m an American and have worked with/for many Indians in business and have some longtime friends from India. But there’s one thing that India has too much of and which has hacked me off a few times in 30 years: a certain type of arrogant punk who deal in BS and ignorance, and mistakenly think other people are too stupid to see right thru their BS. When it comes to dealing in BS, the worst of the Indians can hold their own with the worst of the Texans, and it’s never pretty.

  • 48. furioso  |  January 18th, 2012 at 7:35 am

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16573516 ypu mentioned this a while back :)

  • 49. RoRoRoYourGoat  |  January 30th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Dude, you could have laid your dead fingers on the keyboard and typed a story out by now. What gives? Don’t tell me the world ain’t interesting enough it’s always popping off somewhere.

  • 50. Kurt  |  June 1st, 2012 at 11:55 am

    It’s right, the US is riding towards disaster with her mighty military spending and shrinking tax and industrial base. But Cheney must be no Iranian mole, he just got paid handy for the profits made by the masters of the universe. Helping Iran was a small accident that multiplied profits.

  • 51. Erik  |  June 9th, 2012 at 8:06 am

    They’re smart enough to follow Napoleon’s advice not to interfere with an enemy in the process of destroying himself.

    That’s Richelieu(pbuh). Napoleon favoured a hands-on approaceh.

  • 52. jolly  |  September 4th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    dont like the cheney reference.

    the imam is a decent man.

    cheney is a blood sucking, lying parasite.

  • 53. andrea ostrov letania  |  April 21st, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Politics is funny sometimes. Take the Iraq War. The narrative has been ‘neocons had this idealistic vision of turning Iraq into a stable modern democracy, but they naively overlooked all the sectarian divisions in Iraq and all hell broke loose’.

    But maybe, just maybe, from a neocon point of view, Iraq was a great success precisely because it was a total failure. Maybe that’s what neocons really wanted: to stoke the fires of sectarian hatreds. I mean why would Zionists want a new Shia-dominated Iraq(close to Shia Iran) that is free, democratic, rich, and powerful? Democratic or not, it would be a rival to Israel. Also, as a democracy, the new Iraq might obtain the right to build up its military and even attain nukes. After all, democratic nations are supposed to be trustworthy. So, maybe neocons never wanted Iraq to succeed. Maybe all the ‘naive’ and ‘foolish’ things that neocons advised for Iraq weren’t really naive at all. Maybe, neocons dismantled the entire Iraq army and banned the Baath party precisely to set off a war among the Arabs/Muslims/Kurds, etc. If Muslims are fighting Muslims, Arabs fighting Arabs, Arabs fighting Kurds, how can they ever come together to challenge Israel?

    And there’s been an extension of that policy in Libya and Syria. US didn’t invade those nations but used the cover of ‘Arab Spring’ to funnel tons of arms to all sorts of groups so that civil war would explode all over the place. They are really ‘more Iraq wars minus the invasion’. The policy is the same: stoke sectarian hatred and instigate a civil war.
    Once a strongman like Hussein or Assad is gone, humpty dumpty cannot be put together again since there are so many clans and sects and ethnics in that part of the world.

    Just as neocons used Shias against Sunnis and Sunnis against Shias and Kurds against Arabs and Arabs against Kurds in Iraq, US is now funneling arms to all sorts of groups in Syria. These groups are now fighting Assad but if Assad goes, they’ll be fighting one another. Great for Israel.

    So, while Iraq War was a disaster for America, it was a great success for Israel and Zionist neocons. Zionists do NOT want any successful and stable Arab nation in the Middle East. Indeed, a democratic Muslim nation, if successful and stable, could be more dangerous to Israel. After all, democratic/modern Turkey is a bigger challenge to Israel than other Muslim nations.

  • 54. Robert  |  June 5th, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Posted to theatlantic.com

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/jon-stewart-china-iraq-war/65909/#disqus_thread


Leave a Comment

(Open to all. Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)

Required

Required, hidden

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed