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The War Nerd / March 31, 2011
By Gary Brecher

Rebels doing what they do best: fleeing.

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. Somewhere in Hollywood, producers are hitting scriptwriters on the heads to help them come up with an inspiring title for the upcoming Libya flick. I’m betting they’ll go for something automotive, thanks to all those pictures of Libyan rebels commuting to battle in their SUVs.

So the scriptwriter’s sweating it out: “Uuuuuh…The Peugeot Crusade? No, nobody wants French…oh, that Volkswagen thing, the Touareg? No, won’t do it, there’s apparently these actual people called that…What’s a sympathetic SUV? Something affordable that says, ‘I’m the chassis of an unfolding democracy?’…Better ask the receptionist, she might drive some piece of crap like that…” So he sends his P.A. to the receptionist who breaks the bad news that Hyundai uses southwestern place names like Tucson and the scriptwriter has to pop another handful of ritalins to get over the depression. Then his boss tells him the studio has a tie-in deal with Ford Motor Co. and the lightbulb goes on: “Libya: The Flex Revolution!” It’s a model Ford’s pushing, it drives on sand, sort of, kinda, and the product-placement’s settled. Besides, “Flex”…it’s got a nice ipod casual vibe to it, revolution of the kool kids against the stiff old military models.

Then the writer’s PA has to go and kill the light: “Yeah, but Jerry, come on…a Ford Flex? I don’t think anybody in Libya drives one.”

And that’s why the P.A. got fired and wasn’t invited to the premiere of what they ended up calling “Libya: Flex against the Machine!” Soundtrack tie-in, first-person shooter game, “Dune Combat Libya!” the works.

Meanwhile there’s a little problem: our cute little rebel friends can’t fight worth a damn. They’re fleeing again. Again! US and NATO air stacked over the beaches like commuter flights from LAX to SFO at the start of a three-day weekend, satellite data bounced down to every part-time Che Guevara picnicking on a sand dune between “battles”—and they still can’t fight. It seems that some Qaddafi loyalists, the dirty fascists, are actually firing back. Well, it’s clear these guys didn’t get the memo at all. The script clearly calls for our baby rebs to roar across the beach from Benghazi to Tripoli and be welcomed by the best-looking available local girls. NATO probably has C-130s full of rose petals on standby at airports across Europe.

You can’t help imagining that Tom Cruise producer character from Tropic Thunder stomping out onto the sand dunes in Libya and yell, “Cut!” like an angry director. “Who’s firing those weapons? Who told you to fire? ‘Qaddafi’? Well let me tell you Mister Rambo, Qaddafi isn’t paying for this production! Somebody find this Qaddafi and punch him in the face for me!”

You can see mission creep turning into mission zoom, mission flood, day by day. First the idea was, we’d take out a few of Qaddafi’s heavy armor because that’s what was holding the rebels back. Fine—smoking tanks all over the desert. Oh, but he also has planes, and that’s no fair because the rebels don’t have planes (or they do but they keep shooting down their own planes) and that’s sooooo unfair. So boom, the whole country’s a no-fly zone and we crisp any fighter that tries to take off.

Now it’s clear that these SUV rebels won’t fight if there’s any opposition at all. And I mean AT ALL. Utterly worthless troops. Don’t tell me they’re outgunned. They’re overgunned, if anything, with heavy Soviet machineguns, ZSU-23s, RPGs, Grads, and all-you-can-stall of North Africa’s most important weapon, the Toyota pickup. The Cong kicked ass against real troops with a lot less. God, can you imagine what one VC battalion would do in Libya right now? I say we give’em a shot, call for volunteers at the closest Ho Chi Minh City unemployment center, and tag along. What a movie that’d make!

Even the mainstream reporters who are suckers for any military version of The Mighty Ducks—you know, brave hard-luck rebels overcoming professional military—even they started reporting, “Uh, it’s kind of odd, but we noticed the rebels keep taking time out from battle to…uh…have lunch. Are they supposed to do that?” No they’re not, airbrush boy, but never mind, you’ll still do your bullshit shots of Qaddafi’s statues coming down and hammer this weird funny mess of a story into your little good-guys-win-again! Story line.

Now the support has gone from just intercepting Qaddafi’s heavy weapons to softening up his ground defenses for the rebels. We’re using “Spooky,” those AC-130 gunships that hose down whole neighborhoods to kill anyone inside the grid. We’re sending A-10s against Qaddafi fortifications, to blast a nice clean interstate for these delicate rebels to drive through in their SUVs.

But even that’s not enough. The headline today is “Obama Considering Covert Aid.” What? When we’re already embarrassing ourselves with totally overt aid to a bunch of pussies, what the fuck is this about “covert” aid?

I love getting my picture taken lookin’ all tough’n’deserty. Combat, not so much.

And then I got it. “Covert” means we just plain shove the rebels out of the way—which I don’t think they’d mind very much, you know, like yuppies when they sort of pretend to fix something just so you’ll get frustrated enough to shove them out of the way and say, “here, I’ll do it”—they always make some little “Yeah heh heh I’m no good with tools” remark to remind you that they’re a whole class above you.

It’s a damn movie, a big show, so naturally it makes sense that after trying out the local talent, one of those coked-up Hollywood green ideas “Let’s have ACTUAL LOCAL PEOPLE” play the “rebels,” you know? The hard-ass producer steps in and says, “Fuck these idiots, I’m hiring a Marine division.” And that’s how I imagine it’ll play out, with real troops hitting the beach, though they might be disguised with little desert scarfs and expensive French winter wear (it’s probably a freezing 60 degrees on those dunes) and shades and two days’ beard to make them look like Libyans.

I can see it now, the Marines looking embarrassed coming off those landing craft in civvies, assistant director hissing “Psst! Look more Libyan!” Marine asks, “How we do that, man?” Director: “Look like a scared idiot, damn it!”

But one thing, one big issue, the Obama administration wasn’t going to bend on: no Euro SUVs. Those troops are going to hit the beach on Ford Flexes, damn it, or we’ll let those bad Qaddafi men who actually shoot guns at people wipe you losers out.

This is one of those moments that bum you out as a war nerd, even if you can see how it’ll work for the big-money guys. Of course they’re in favor of “rebels” who can’t fight. They like weakness, because weak rebels will owe them everything once they’re in power. And any time that sorta rebel gives you trouble, you just remind him he can’t fight and he caves again. Lowers the price of crude and promises not to tell anybody so you can keep the retail price ballooned up there. Just threaten him with another platoon of real troops hitting the beach and he’s your doggie in a second.

That’s what’s in it for them. But what’s in it for us? No decent combat, “our” side is worthless cowards, and we lose the whole Qaddafi family, who for my money were a lot more fun than all the lame reality shows ever made. The world loses on this, I’m telling you.

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Add your own

  • 1. Doug  |  March 31st, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Just a technical note, this doesn’t seem to be showing up in the Exiled RSS feed (nor is Yasha’s last article, for that matter).

  • 2. postman  |  March 31st, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Dear War Nerd,

    The official slogan of the Libya rebellion should be:

    “This war is brought to you by Toyota!”

    And the official rebel marching song should be:

    “Its a long way to Ras Lanuf, its a long way to go,
    Its a long way to Ras Lanuf to the virgin huri I know,
    Goodbye shores of Tripoli, goodbye Tahrir sqare,
    Its a long, long way to Ras Lanuf,
    But my virgin huri’s right there!”

  • 3. CapnMarvel  |  March 31st, 2011 at 11:53 am

    “And any time that sorta rebel gives you trouble, you just remind him he can’t fight and he caves again. Lowers the price of crude and promises not to tell anybody so you can keep the retail price ballooned up there. ”

    True words, those. Explains why we’re there supporting these morons who fire more at clouds than at the regime.

  • 4. Jack Boot  |  March 31st, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Is anyone out there old enough to remember a 1960s TV series called “The Rat Patrol”?
    Set in N. Africa – probably Libya, come to that – circa 1942, it starred 4 Allied dudes (one of them a Brit, mirabile dictu!) riding 2 Jeeps, each armed with a Browning M2 .50 cal.
    It goes without saying that they single-handedly defeated the entire Afrika Korps.

    I suspect that quite a few Africans have watched Rat Patrol re-runs over the years.
    Of course, they’ve updated the concept with dead-nuts reliable Toyota Tacoma diesel 4×4 pickups (Hyundais? Fords? Oh come, now!); armed with good, solid, sand-tolerant Russian hardware (12.7mm & 14.5mm machine guns, 23mm ZSU automatic cannons,
    anti-tank missile launchers, etc). The Somali term for them – the rather euphemistic “Technicals” – has stuck.

    What we have here is a superb biracial Japanese/Russian offspring; a sort of Tiger Woods – take that, racists!

    First appearing in the 1980s, Technicals have since become the weapon of choice for all manner of irregular forces – very much including the Libyan rebels.

    Apparently, Khaddafi’s loyalists have abandoned their tanks (mobile crematoria, don’t you know) in favour of their own Technicals – unmarked, of course.

    That way, NATO pilots can’t tell ‘tother from which.

    So now it’s Tech vs. Tech – a fair fight, in a “Mad Max” sort of way…

  • 5. BlottoBonVismarck  |  March 31st, 2011 at 12:23 pm


    Ho, hum. The things people will do to steal 2m barrels of oil a day. At say $150 a barrel (or it will be at the rate the rebels are cocking it up). Or $300m a day x 365, or $110 B (B as in Billion) _per_year_.

    When the next 19 Saudis hit six US fuel pools, including on the West coast to get the prevailing wind multiplier effect to cover the entire country in radiation, there are going to be even more of world cheering them on. (*)

    Put that in your final reel and smoke it, Lard Ass USans.

    (*) Than would already cheer them to the rafters today – “Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of Neo-Con Nazis.” Never mind that seventy percent of the population doesn’t even know that their murderous, genocidal Over-Lord Psychopath Oligarchs exist. And not by accident either! US Mushrooms – keep them in the , feed them $hit (thank you the USUK MSM and they’ll mostly be none the wiser.

    … Tell us again about Hopey McChange and how come Cheney’s policies are still in operation and why the Cheney junta are not in The Hague already ???

    The Empire is still going to hell in a handbasket and good-fucking-luck to it. Way before 2020, at present rates of murderous stupidity and hubris, if you believe Johann Galtung –

    – Johann Galtung on Wide Awake Radio – March 24, 2011 – Youtube –


    “We think the Neo-Con Nazis, ER, Germans, may be trying to start the war a year early.” “I thought they were the one nation we could trust.” But even though over fifty percent of the US economy goes to war industries, are we _really_ ready for (yet) another war? “What about the Navy? We’re short on spoons, mainly.” – Whinfrey’s Last Case – Ripping Yarns – Michael Palin – Part 1

    “This the BBC Home Service. We interrupt this program to bring you a special announcement. Would Captain and Mrs. Whinfrey of the US Air Force, and their colleagues, presently touring in the West Country, please return to duty and telephone their office urgently.”

    “They are needed to tighten the straps on Cheney who has been creating trouble in his crypt. — The stake through where the heart should be and the silver bullet holes do not seem to be sufficient. — Also, there has been an unfortunate disturbance in The Force and some of Cheney’s idiot US MSM, and other, shill androids have been activated. They, and some Neocon Alien Queens ’embedded’ in the bowels of the Pentagon.”

    ‘If you don’t know any history it’s as if you were born yesterday. ‘They’ can tell you any lie and you won’t know any better.’ – Howard Zinn paraphrased.

    – ‘Portrait of ultra-right-wing US oligarchs as Alien Queens embedded in the US body-politic.’ Warning – Don’t try this at home, kids. – Alien – Extended Chestburster –

  • 6. Aaron  |  March 31st, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    “…like yuppies when they sort of pretend to fix something just so you’ll get frustrated enough to shove them out of the way and say, “here, I’ll do it”—they always make some little “Yeah heh heh I’m no good with tools” remark to remind you that they’re a whole class above you.”

    Gorgeous. It’s like if reporters still lived in the real world.

  • 7. John Drinkwater  |  March 31st, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I’m rooting for Qaddafi, if only because it’ll irritate the West if he stays. And the longer he puts up a fight, the more the western media squirm. People are starting to get uncomfortable, and that’s fun to watch. They’re like, ‘huh. Qadaffi’s still there. Awk-ward.’ A disaster in Libya is exactly what the Obama administration deserves. I hope for the worst.

  • 8. Adam  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I thought it was prozac for depression, ritalin for adhd. Then again, I might be wrong. I’m a bit shaky on my 90s fad disorders.

  • 9. RanDomino  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    yes. Yes! These guys suck! I was rooting for them when Qaddafi’s tanks were at the gates of Benghazi, but now there are just no excuses for sucking this hard. Letting them win like this (forcing them to win, really) would just be setting a bad example. Fuck the Libyan rebels, the second most worthless fighting force in history (right behind Fascist Italy).

  • 10. Adam  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Lets remember, war nerd, the VC had full canopy cover.

  • 11. DerDer  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Just once I would like to see the side with the T72s win.

  • 12. can'tstoplaughing  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    So many laughs. Pure comedic gold. I will read it again and again. I haven’t laughed so genuinely in a long time.

  • 13. Michal  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Uh, are there chances the rebels keep an actual army somewhere back behind the lines in Benghazi? Maybe together with regular army guys who joined the rebellion?

    To my understanding, these SUV guys are tribal fighters who chiefly want to look cool and drain out all the petrol conveniently deposited along the road in gas stations, but might not form the actual backbone of the army.

  • 14. Brendo  |  March 31st, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    This post is beneath you Gary.

    You can’t expect a bunch of civilians to suddenly turn into soliders in a month with no training.

    On your view of the world you would have written off the Union after First Bull Run, the French at the start of WW I and the Russians in 1941.

    It takes time to build skill, discipline and nerve in a green army.

    The same boys who were beaten like a drum in 1861 marched through Georgia burning out the Rebel scum in 1864 with the mighty Shermanator. Be fair and give the kids a chance.

  • 15. Dammerung  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    This is becoming genuinely alarming. When Obama got on TV and said we’re not going to get rid of Qaddafi I actually yelled out loud. What the fuck are we doing? Do we have to actually hand that waterlogged, oversexed pig ANOTHER victory against the US? Apparently Obama’s got no better ideas. And this is no partisan anti-dem rant either – shit is just stupid. We never should have gotten involved at all but now that we are there’s no plan, no goal, no exit strategy- just weapons grade dumb.

  • 16. floodingupeconomics  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    The worst thing that could happen for the U.S.A. is a long war in Libya; as it would be terrible for oil prices which are linked to regional stability. The uncertainty in the region is what’s driving up the prices.

    I’ve written about this on my own blog, and from first glance it certainly looks like a long war is the way things are turning out. This is why we interviened in the first place, to enact a quick regime change in our favor. To create more regional certainty. Unfortunately, if the rebels prove slow to succeed the options are a higher level of U.S. intervention or higher oil prices and unrest in the immediate future.

  • 17. Carpenter  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Did you ever shoot ducks at the tivoli, with all those ducks lined up and passing by in front of you from right to left? That’s the highway in Libya.

    This should be The Perfect War. A small desert country with the most hated leader this side of Kim Jong-Il. The battlefield is a road and string of towns along the coast. The coast is on the other side of the Mediterranean, just south of NATO countries. Not far away by the Gulf, no, just south of France and Germany and Italy and Turkey. No logistics problems. You can even launch air attacks from Britain. Your radar operators can go to the beaches in Sardinia on their time off.

    It should be a hardware dream, like those computer games, from Desert Strike and onward, where you fire missiles at tanks on the ground. Try out everything we got, see how it works away from the test field. Perfect conditions.

    But the Qaddafian forces are using tanks and artillery hidden among civilians in the towns, apparently. So you can’t fire at them, even though every leader knows that civilians die in war, civilians die in peace, and sometimes it’s worth it hurrying them along. But the voters back home don’t want to hear that. They want to hear that every individual life is holy and precious, just like their own lives. They want victory, they love wars, but it should be a clean victory like in a computer game.

    Civilians. There oughta be a law or something.

  • 18. floodingupeconomics  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    got to it two days before you Bretcher…
    Link for the Win!

  • 19. Carpenter  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    7. DerDer | March 31st, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Just once I would like to see the side with the T72s win.

    Awesome comment.

  • 20. Carpenter  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Fuck the Libyan rebels, the second most worthless fighting force in history (right behind Fascist Italy).

    RanDomino, I believe your ideology substitutes for knowledge here. The Italians were worse than the Germans – all armies anywhere in WWII were worse than the Germans. But the Russians were far, far worse. They only one because the commissars set up machine guns and slaughtered anyone who didn’t want to cross the field, forcing countless local peasants to run at the Germans at night, to be mowed down until the Germans were out of bullets. The commissars could only win by making sure millions of Russian civilians got slaughtered. Even though they got enormous military aid from the U.S. taxpayers. Talk about lousy soldiers.

  • 21. matt  |  March 31st, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    This is going to blow up in Obama’s face.

    10. I assume some of the rebels have military/security training. I mean, come on, the rebs are fighting the same guys who got their asses handed to them by Chad, who didn’t have that much more than they did.

    It’s already been established this is mostly a psy ops war. The rebs probably are expecting their CIA backers to come in and do the heavy lifting for them.

  • 22. Dammerung  |  March 31st, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    When the fuck is Putin going to make a move? Russia’s been biding it’s time for too long now, letting the US bleed and bankrupt itself. But I’m bored! I’d like to see a Russian annexation of México “to protect civilians from the cartels with our partners in the Mexican government.” Now that would be a laugh riot. “The bowel evacuation heard ’round DC.” Seriously, what gives?

  • 23. BlottoBonVismarck  |  March 31st, 2011 at 4:27 pm



    ‘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, lucky bastard” – Monty Python – Life of Brian –


    Talking of Nazis and inhuman torture, murder and crimes against humanity and against the laws of war, where is Erik Prince these days? Let’s hope its Libya and that Gaddafi’s army catch up with him, thereby saving The Hague a rope! HA !!! –

    – ‘Princess Erika’ of Bathwater (geddit?) as ‘Mr. Bimmler’. – ‘After the War’ – Monty Python –


    Hats off to the British. A few sane individuals not only resisted but completely erased the BNP from many towns. But their fascist-minded oiks are far fewer than in the Homeland of Das Reich, ER, Empire, ER, US. – Anti-Fascist Action –


    “Obama will be a one term president. You can’t betray your base.” Unless, of course, you were co-opted by the Establishment from the get-go. First job at Al-CIA-Business International Corporation, huh? How stupid do they think we are? Wait. Don’t answer that! ; )

    – Johann Galtung on Wide Awake Radio – March 24, 2011 – Youtube –

    ‘Peace in Our Time’. (But not if the Neocon Nazis have anything to do with it!) – John Cleese –

  • 24. CRABS  |  March 31st, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    The thing I love about this article is that it summarises to me exactly what all of the SHTF bug-out-bag owners would be doing with their beautifully oiled and sighted ARs should such a situation arise.

  • 25. Bob  |  March 31st, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Yeah, more than a few of the rebels look like they’ve modelled their look on hollywood action films, and at some level they’re still playing at war instead of truly fighting it. If you’re not prepared to die, probably slowly and painfully, why did you grab a beret and run off to the front line? Do you actually believe in the cause or did it just sound like fun?

    I shouldn’t criticise because I would be a useless coward, I’m not even good at paintball, but they wanted it enough to *start* this shit, or at least they thought they did. Enthusiasm and numbers can compensate for lack of skill to some extent. That said, the way to tackle suspected armour up ahead is NOT to cruise a bunch of technicals directly towards them down a featureless straight, flat desert road, and wait for it to be confirmed by a shell whizzing past you at mach 2. Co-ordinated close range multiple RPG ambush from (urban?) cover guys, preferably with elevated firing positions and machine gunner backup. I know you’re new at this, but surely you can look it up on wikipedia or something.

    In theory arming them with a bunch of modern ATGMs could help, except that you surely need proper training to use those effectively, and there’s always a risk some could find their way to Afghanistan. Nope, I think we’re doomed to a long civil war that doesn’t really go anywhere and costs us (the “coalition”) money we don’t have. Possibly some Gaddafi-sponsored bombings of our cities as a bonus.

    Nice article, some classic lines in there. Links are broken though, I think your blog-o-matic software is “helpfully” automatically http://'ing them when they already are or something.

  • 26. aleke  |  March 31st, 2011 at 5:44 pm


    Hey dumbfuck, I know this doesnt really jive with your Hollywood Tales Sponsored by Doritos, but the Russians kicked Germany’s ass because they had a better fighting force. That’s it & that’s all. Commissars with machine guns dont make very bad armies into good ones, no matter what Chester Cheetah says, ya fuckin moron

  • 27. Eddie  |  March 31st, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Depressing stuff. On top of that a good percentage of this guys are Al Qaida material to begin with. You do not want to get any of these guys into the EU, that much is sure.

    NATO has placed itself into a weird big brother relationship with all these arabs. If you let the rebels die your a cold hearted imperialist who cares not about arab lives. If you go in and blow some shit up you are in it for the oil.

    Only option left is to give them as much support needed to at least get some independence in the east. You do not want to take the ultimate loss that comes when
    200 000 libyans land on italian beaches crying about being abandoned.

  • 28. --  |  March 31st, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    It’s true, when the NATO shouldn’t have called with such a shitty hand, and now they won’t fold since, after all, it is us footing the bill. Then every time I check google Qaddafi’s still there.. you just can’t help cheering for him

  • 29. wengler  |  March 31st, 2011 at 9:00 pm


    The Russians beat the Germans. How does the worst army beat the best army? Answer: They don’t because the Soviet military ended up grinding the Nazi war machine into dust.

    Rightwing militarists love the Nazis because they represent a military force with no limits on the level of violence and carnage they inflicted. No ‘one hand behind the back’ or ‘stab in the back’ theories here. No way. No sentimental morality to hold them back. So it totally blows away these armchair fascists that their beloved Nazis lost.

    Here are of course some hints for the next time around for aspiring Nazis: 1) don’t throw away entire armies like at Stalingrad 2) don’t let your love of killing women and children take up valuable military resources and 3)remind yourself that fashionable uniforms don’t win wars.

  • 30. mikedave  |  March 31st, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Seriously why is every one ragging on Obama and Nato. This is perfect, they get to fly around in almost perfect safety in their jets using their hi-tech toys and looking like heroes. After a few weeks of getting bombed every time they step out to take a piss Qudafi’s troops will be surrendering to drones just like in Iraq.

    In the meantime the rebels will have sold their soul (oil concessions ) to the western powers for their continuing support.

  • 31. Mudhead  |  March 31st, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    “The same boys who were beaten like a drum in 1861 marched through Georgia burning out the Rebel scum in 1864 with the mighty Shermanator”

    Well, it wasn’t the same boys from 1861 who marched through Georgia; those boys were all dead or wounded. It was their brothers and nephews and friends, who by 1864 had had it with the goddamn traitors who started the war, and they were determined kill them all and end it. And they did. Getting the right commanders in place helped a lot as well. That may be the biggest problem with the Libyan “rebels”: no effective leadership. Qaddafi ain’t much, but at least his people know who’s in charge. For the time being.

  • 32. empire in decline  |  March 31st, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    “Of course they’re in favor of “rebels” who can’t fight. They like weakness, because weak rebels will owe them everything once they’re in power. And any time that sorta rebel gives you trouble, you just remind him he can’t fight and he caves again. Lowers the price of crude and promises not to tell anybody so you can keep the retail price ballooned up there. Just threaten him with another platoon of real troops hitting the beach and he’s your doggie in a second.”

    Nail on the fucking head.

    The United States and its rich western allies want a nation of groveling peasants who will support any policy decision in the future. It’s not just oil. If the United States wants to kill 100,000 Yemeni peasants after another terrorist attack carried out by a bunch of rich Saudis Libya will go “Yankee good!! Yankee save us by killing and destroying things!! Trust them!”

    Arab or Muslim solidarity won’t mean shit. Just so long as they can live like rich arabs in Dubai for a generation they’ll forsake the entire region. In a way they’re like the Kurds in Iraq or the Albanians in Kosovo or the Jews in Israel; basically just a group whose suffering has become extremely useful to the more powerful countries for a while.

    But if the United States finds a technological alternative to oil, wow, are they going to learn how little the United States, Britain, France or any other rich ally truly cares about them.

  • 33. Esn  |  March 31st, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    @Carpenter “the most hated leader this side of Kim Jong-Il”? Check out the UN Human Development Index map of Africa some time; Libya’s the best place to live on the whole continent. Not that they’d tell you that on the news, of course, because they need a simple good guy/bad guy story.

    But seriously, as far as leaders in that part of the world go, Gaddafi looks like he’s the best of a bad bunch.

  • 34. Jesse the Scout  |  March 31st, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I saw them interviewing one of the rebels on the news the other day, it was… interesting. He came to Libya with a pistol he didn’t really know how to load and was yammering about freedom and dying. Thing is he sounded more interested in dying than anything else; it seemed to honestly be his hope. I think that’s part of the ol’ Islam’s problem, you’re supposed to be willing to die. Death isn’t supposed to be the end in itself, a magical ride to virgin land that sounds a lot better than your shitty worldly existence. Sometimes you have to kill the other guy to win, but they really seem to see death/losing and living/winning as roughly on par.

  • 35. Roquentin  |  March 31st, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    This was the best blog of the lot.

  • 36. BlottoBonVismarck  |  March 31st, 2011 at 10:47 pm


    Meanwhile the US (In)Justice Department is deaf, dumb and blind to the crimes of the US Neo-Con-Nazis’s of the last nine years. Crimes of US torture, murder, death squads, illegal war, crimes against humanity and crimes against the laws of war. US war criminals sleep easy in their beds. No change there, then!

    “The Neo-Cons were careerists who instituted the industrial killing of millions in an effort to please Our Dear Leader, Comrade Biggus Dickus, and win promotion.” “You cannot just order the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. No normal person would do such a thing.” –

    – The original clip was utterly damning of the US Neo-Con Nazis. Naturally it was memory-holed and replaced by an entirely _newly-edited_ one!!! (Extraordinary attention to what seems to be a minor detail. Big Brother truly!) So supply your own soundtrack! –

    – WW2 – Heydrich –

    Poor USUK Neo-Cons – Biggus Dickus, Bush, Rumsfeld, Gates, Our Tony, Cameron, Clegg, Harper, Gilliard, Sarkozy, Berlusconi — Terrified of their date with destiny — A long drop on a short rope. – Nuremberg Mk II. –

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

    (*) More from Anymouse – see comments at ‘CIA, British Special Forces Swarm Through Libya,’ by David Dayen, March 31, 2011 – Information Clearing House –


    Where then is sane? Europe – A progressive land of milk and honey, where the crazy right wing is ‘Norwegian conservative guy’ @ 1.20. From Michael Moore’s Sicko. –

  • 37. bud  |  March 31st, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Man I don’t get this. most times that the United States has gotten involved in changing regimes it has turned out poorly for posterity. Why don’t we just not give a fuck who kills each other in other countries and worry about ourselves? I would support intervening to stop a genocide like the allies did in WWII. But this is nowhere near that. This is just an internal dispute and whoever wins will happily sell oil to oil companies at a good price. Then the oil companies will gouge us with their markup and we lose a bunch of money paying for a war that doesn’t benefit us. Lose-lose situation for the many, win-win situation for the few. I think as Americans we have all just seen too many guns and explosions on T.V growing up and now a portion of us think that is the normal way we are supposed to operate in the world. Nobody else really seems to give a shit but we are lobbing missiles at whatever we bothers us. But we never really intervene when it is important. When the Hutus were slaughtering the Tutsis in Rwanda in 1994, then all of the people in Darfur, and I’m sure there are a few that I don’t know about either. But suddenly it matter so much that these rebels win and overthrow Qaddafi. This inconsistency in policy is not going to serve us well. It wouldn’t serve me well on a personal level and I don’t think it will serve us as a nation.

  • 38. Bester  |  April 1st, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Why did Brecher write that this whole thing was provoked by the desire to imitate Egypt? My bullshit meter went through the roof when I saw that.

    USA has a history of fucking with socialist countries. It’s their profound nightmare. An economic regime where they wouldn’t be in the top 2% of the richest people of the country. Can’t process that.

    And with those billions they spend on “foreign aid”… Ever heard of a country that actually benefited from USA’s foreign aid? I didn’t. They spend those money to create political instability in countries they hate, which sometimes causes this. A civil war.

    I’m pretty sure all those rebels have a twitter/facebook account and got brainwashed by promises of wall mart, 10 types of sugar and hot blondes.

    What Brecher doesn’t write is that their GDP is 10’000 bucks per capita, and their Gini coefficient is 3%. That means everybody gets more or less 10’000 bucks a year. That’s a very good salary for an African country. Nevermind Quadaffi, they live pretty good.

    I have no doubts USA played a major role in this phony revolution.

  • 39. Bester  |  April 1st, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Also, their life expectancy is 74 years old. Means good life and good medicine.

    They’re basically like a smaller version of USSR, but with no brains. Their education is total shite, but they don’t need to be smart, they got oil.

    So with North Korea, China and Vietnam, USA probably decided there were too many socialist countries already. They hate the socialist trend.

  • 40. gary  |  April 1st, 2011 at 1:05 am

    speaking about mexico…anyone remember the kaisers offer to the mexicans in 1917..give them arms to reclaim texas and start a war with the u.s…and because of this glen beck hates woodrow wilson

  • 41. Strelnikov  |  April 1st, 2011 at 4:32 am

    Nobody’s mentioning that Khaddafi is losing senior people left and right; his FM fled to London, his Oil Minister vanished to Egypt, he’s losing ambassadors by the score (I think a Nicaraguan has to represent Libya in the UN.) Couple that with a growing food and goods shortage in Tripoli and we have a picture of a crumbling government. I don’t doubt that a lot of the images of the rebels and the government soldiers have been set up PR style….Brecher forgets that the Libyan army is slowly losing armor and SP guns to the NATO airforce; it will become a war of technicals and infantry.

    @22 Putin doesn’t want another war; he inherited Chechniya from Boris, he beat the shit out of the Georgians. I think he’s eying the Chinese in case they get funny ideas about Siberia, and playing “red light-green light” with the western former Soviet republics. He wants growth and stability, no mo’, no less.

  • 42. PanTardovski  |  April 1st, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I swear to god at this point it’s half a ploy by the rebs. They made that first good push toward Tripoli and then hit the armor and air power, fell back, and then made their deals with Sarkozy. “Sure,” says Western-white-guy, “we’ll provide some air cover, level the field a bit. You guys do your thing.” And then back at base, watching the arc-light in the distance, the tribal leaders all thought to themselves, “shit, we just sold our rights to half the fucking country. We should definitely get more than a half-assed bombing run for that.” And from then on the story’s been engage long enough to get the loyalist’s attention, fall back for the cameras, wait for the airstrike. Rinse, lunch, repeat. They know once Western-white-guy’s gone on camera and committed he can’t back down.

    Sure, I think these dudes also suck. But they’re sure not stupid.

  • 43. observer  |  April 1st, 2011 at 4:55 am

    So how about a prediction here? A simple Qaddafi stays in or he’s out within six months prediction. Myself: I think he’s a goner.

  • 44. Shannon  |  April 1st, 2011 at 6:35 am

    I like to think (but have no evidence) that the rebels rushing back and forth are just part of the story, and there’s real military-types in Ajdabiya and Benghazi training, fortifying, and organizing. The hotheads making the news are just a screen.

  • 45. Jack Boot  |  April 1st, 2011 at 7:42 am

    A few quick questions, if I may:

    Who the sodding hell ARE the rebels?
    How many factions are there?
    What are their agendas?
    How many of them are Bin Laden fans?

    I haven’t a clue; and neither has the CIA…

  • 46. CB  |  April 1st, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Ha! Great article. Yeah, it’s been pretty hilarious/embarrassing watching these guys flee.

    But seriously, those of you calling it for Qaddafi are premature. “Every time I check google Qaddafi’s still there”. Well maybe don’t check so often! Not everything happens at the speed of Hollywood or the ADD news cycle. What, did anyone think Qadaffi was so weak his regime would explode the second they saw an F-15?

    This ain’t the first time the “rebs” have had to retreat, and while sad, they’ve also made gains without even the help of U.S. air power. I’m not counting them out yet. Of course one adjective that’s been popping up from the beginning is “disorganized”.

    Only a fraction of the rebs have any military training. And I’m betting it’s not those guys who take every tiny victory as an opportunity to hop in their technicals, storm across the open desert with no air support, then crap themselves when the army’s armor and artillery blasts the shit out of them.

    The more organized subset of the rebs have done a decent job, and in the longer term may have a chance.

    But if it comes to it, I personally think NATO and Obama will hand Qadaffi his victory before putting enough boots on the ground to make a real difference that way. It’s simply impractical to even try. Which would suck, but is better than the alternative (unless you’re one of those rooting for the U.S. to over-over-OVER extend itself for your anti-imperialist amusement).

    P.S. I love the word “Technical”. As in, “Yeah, it’s technically a weapon of war.” Toyotas may be great, but gee it turns out they don’t do so well against the heavy stuff without a plan better than “Okay, so we all drive west in our trucks!”

  • 47. CB  |  April 1st, 2011 at 8:45 am

    And then I check Google News and they’re trying to negotiate a cease fire! Ha!

  • 48. Mac  |  April 1st, 2011 at 9:35 am


    Who the sodding hell ARE the rebels?

    – Tribes not favoured by Khadaffis regime and pissed off ’bout it.

    How many factions are there?

    – There’s supposedly 114 tribes in Libya. Out of 6.5 million people the biggest is Warfalla at 1.2 million or so and they are with Muammar. No telling how many tribes are for/against/undecided about this “rebellion” nor what percentage of the population they consist of.

    What are their agendas?

    – More priviliges for their own tribes. Less for other tribes.

    How many of them are Bin Laden fans?

    – Probably quite few, but surely some of ’em.

  • 49. ElGrande  |  April 1st, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Gary, let’s drop Libya for a day or two. What’s going on in Ivory Coast? Last I heard the elected president was hiding in a hotel while his supporters were killed in the streets.

    Now he’s got an army at the gates of the capital after a four day offensive. Where did he get an army and why didn’t he use it before?

  • 50. Jack Boot  |  April 1st, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Maybe you should tell the CIA…

  • 51. Machinegunner  |  April 1st, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Take a look at this.

    “Forces loyal to Libya’s leader of nearly 42 years spent much of this week pushing the rebels back about 160km along the coast. Attempting to regroup, the rebels hit back with mortars on Friday – weapons they previously appeared to have lacked. The previous night, they drove in a convoy with at least eight rocket launchers – more artillery than usual.

    The rebels also appeared to have more communication equipment such as radios and satellite phones, and were working in more organised units, in which military defectors were each leading six or seven volunteers.”

    I found the part about mortars, communications gear and something resembling squads especially interesting.

  • 52. giongulas  |  April 1st, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    #20, Contrary to what this shit-for-brains Carpenter says, the Russian soldier was actually highly regarded by the Germans. From the regular grunts, all the way to their highest commanders in the field, they all could feel they were fighting a different enemy from the ones they encountered in Poland and France the year before. And I’m not talking only about the gargantuan feats of bravery that were Stalingrad, Leningrad, Moscow, Kursk, etc. I’m talking first days of Barbarossa, too. Despite the element of surprise and confusion, coupled with poor leadership, the Russians soon became famous for fighting to the last bullet, without regard for their life, if German generals like Guderian and Mannstein are to be believed…

  • 53. Allen  |  April 1st, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    The rebels remind me of the pre-Greek contact Asian armies as described by Keegan in a History of Warfare. Just dancing around firing arrows at each other all ritualistic like, and running away … nobody trying to get killed or nothing.

    I saw them getting mortared on the BBC; to which their response was pretty much “oh sh-! run away! Run away!”

    The BBC solemnly reported as many as 40 may have been killed in the last few days.

    Yeah this war is going somewhere. This is why I laugh every time the Israeli’s get so puffy-chested about defeating 6 Arab armies in their independence war.

    If those were European armies or Russia circa the same time period the Israelis really would have been thrown in the sea …

  • 54. Strelnikov  |  April 1st, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Supposedly the rebels are switching from the untrained people to the half ex-army/half “trained” forces….so the B team is out, the A team is in.

    I think that everybody criticizing the rebels and the gov’t. for how halfassed the civil war is going should remember that Libya has NEVER won a fucking war since 1968! They were useless in Uganda, trounced by Chad, stalemated by Egypt, an albatross around the Palestineans’ necks in Lebanon, shot down in flames over the Gulf of Sidra. When you come from zip it’s very hard to be competent.

  • 55. bill jones  |  April 1st, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Dear Gary Brecher:
    Gaddafi is great!..the RED NECK of the Arab world. He’s got roots. That’s a thing you got to love in these “Brave New World”, end times. And I’ll bet he’ll go down fighting. A man after your own heart. –Bill

  • 56. muahaha  |  April 1st, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Funniest shit! I am so glad War Nerd is doing this. Thank you so much. Fuck them muslims. This is hilarious. Muahahahahhahahah.

  • 57. Jesse the Scout  |  April 1st, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Libya’s situation is a common one in the middle east: they have nothing but oil, and the government distributes the wealth of that oil as they see fit. With so little other available industry there isn’t much way to accumulate power other than oil.

    Smart countries in the region do something along a same pattern, they distribute enough wealth to keep from getting overthrown by the people while keeping as much for the ruling elite as they can get away with. In the United Arab Emirates for example, the country has a strong socialist-like support network. You may not be able to find work but you’ll never starve because hungry young men out of work means trouble and the rulers know that. It’s a balancing act which some nations have under better control than others.

    Some of these nations actually have very good average incomes, being something akin to benevolent dictatorships. Others are like Libya. Gaddafi has gotten crazy over the years from living in a bubble and is losing touch with how the game works. Mistake number one, he lets every one see how much money he’s inhaling that could be going to the country. Even America’s robber barons know better than that; you don’t even know 95% of their names and if you ever even see examples of their ostentatious lifestyles it’s not because they wanted you to. Smart overlords know to keep a low profile and avoid kicking the hornet’s nest.

    Secondly, he hasn’t passed the wealth around enough. Oil Dictator 101, if you aren’t going to torture every one who sneezes the only alternative is to make sure people have enough to eat. As America is testimony to, you can take obscene ratios of wealth but the peons have to be making a decent living to be willing to ignore it. If you want mansions they’d better all eat daily or eventually some start reaching the point where they have nothing to lose by trying to overthrow you. Gaddafi passes wealth around, but his visually excessive theft combined with a relatively ungenerous cut for the peons has finally caught up with him.

    As for foreign intervention, when the government controls and abuses a nation’s wealth that’s tyranny. When corporations control and abuse a nation’s wealth that’s freedom. Freedom good tyranny bad. Duh.

  • 58. Richard Holster  |  April 1st, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    @Carpenter: Fuck you and Fuck that Fucking horse you rode on, biatch. I would kick any soft ass anglosax such as yourself if they ever had misfortune to say something like that to my face. For the memory of my grandfather and others like him. I would bite your fucking prune-sized adam’s apple out and spit it in your fucking face.

    P.S War Nerd rules

  • 59. RanDomino  |  April 3rd, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    “(The Red Army) only one because the commissars set up machine guns and slaughtered anyone who didn’t want to cross the field, forcing countless local peasants to run at the Germans at night, to be mowed down until the Germans were out of bullets.”

    At least the officers had a plan!

  • 60. derpmasan  |  April 10th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    You wrote this post because you expect the rebels, a group of mostly college students and disaffected poor, to learn small-unit panzergrenadier tactics and know the ins and out of the BMP-1 and its sensible deployment the moment they touch them, right?

  • 61. derpmasan  |  April 10th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    ps revolutionary elan and democratic faith are also good substitutes for military training

  • 62. Private Ivan  |  April 15th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    War Nerd – this is so awesome and hilarious. Keep writing!

    “What’s a sympathetic SUV? Something affordable that says, ‘I’m the chassis of an unfolding democracy?’…Better ask the receptionist, she might drive some piece of crap like that…”

    You can’t help imagining that Tom Cruise producer character from Tropic Thunder stomping out onto the sand dunes in Libya and yell, “Cut!” like an angry director. “Who’s firing those weapons? Who told you to fire? ‘Qaddafi’? Well let me tell you Mister Rambo, Qaddafi isn’t paying for this production! Somebody find this Qaddafi and punch him in the face for me!”


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