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The War Nerd / November 17, 2008

The guy who wrote this book actually got trapped in a hilarious Canadian mess when the woman who edited the book, a Canadian poet lady named Anne Stone said she ghostwrote most of the book because Nega Mezlekia couldn’t even speak English, never mind write it, when he came to Canada. She said he took the whole credit for the book when she should have gotten at least a co-write credit. This is a classic example of Africa meeting Canada. And from where I’m standing, Africa ought to win hands down. First of all, Annie, what’d you expect? You’re a woman, for starters, and you think an African immigrant desperate to make it is going to play Oxford rules with you? This guy crawls out of the pit of Hell with nothing but his stories, and you want credit for putting them into nice grammatical sentences in your own native language? How much credit does that rate? Everybody speaks their own language; it’s no big thing. If you made up these stories I’d give you credit. If you lived through them like Nega did I’d give you credit. But just fancying them up, getting poetic and interfering with the gory jokes, doesn’t rate much more than maybe a t-shirt that Nega could have printed up for Annie at the local Canadian mall: “Nega lived through Hell on the Horn and all I got was an editing credit.” Just count your little Canadian oatmeal blessings, Annie. You could’ve been the poor bastard who had to live through all those cool stories in this book.

Gary Brecher is the author of the War Nerd. Send your comments to

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  • 1. Raad  |  November 17th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Gary, as this points out, the US is entering nuclear primacy, thoughts? Or is this BS?

  • 2. LB  |  November 17th, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Largely irrelevent. The US will never be given teh opportunity to use its arsenal because everyone else is playing smarter. The world will continue to discreetly chip away at American power and independence via non military means.
    Modern empires end due to financial collapse, not military defeat, in general.

  • 3. Raad  |  November 17th, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Well that didn’t occur to me. Good to know ’cause it seemed like spoiling the fun if you could haul that status around to end wars.

  • 4. uhg  |  November 18th, 2008 at 8:30 am

    They’ve added a comments section. Jesus, no. (Yes I’m aware of the irony of appearing in the comments section to denounce it … to paraphrase an episode of the “sainted” Simpsons.)

  • 5. Tam  |  November 18th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    yeah, uhg, I’m already nostalgic for the old ‘we don’t care about your worthless opinions’ Exile. Oh well, I hope it’s been motivated by bone idleness, (there haven’t been any letters here for ages) rather than because they actually care what anyone else thinks.

  • 6. Tim  |  November 18th, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    When I was six years old, my mom got mad because I didn’t clean up after my new puppy. So she made me shoot it and then she skinned it and I had to wear it for a day. My mom was strict because there are always consequences in life. I am not a violent person and have only killed in self defense.

  • 7. ZJ  |  November 18th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Downsides of comments section: Evil eXile turns more into beigist blog.

    Upsides of comments section: The eXile, and especially the war nerd, draws out psychotic comments like Tim’s.

    Fair trade, so far.

  • 8. Jim Pivonka  |  November 18th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    @ Raab & LG:

    Nuclear primacy may be irrelevant in warfighting; it may be that it is not irrelevant, strategically. First, it may have misled US’rs into thinking that it solved a problem – any given problem. Probably not true. Probably led us into a very dead end in our foreign policy and overall strategic postioning over the last 8 years.

    It may also have nearly eliminated the possibility of attack against the US by another organized state or group of states, and forced problems into new shapes. But it has not changed any of the conditions which lead to competition and hostility among states.

    And it has probably not changed the “balance of power” among states. The CheneyBush wanted the US’r people to accept unilateral and preemptive war and use of nuclear weapons, which might have had an impact on strategic power balances. But they have not yet sold that agenda to the people, and we’ll probably not be using nuclear dominance to enforce access to Khazakh, Uzbeck, and Turkmen natural gass, etc., as Zbig. Brzezinsky had hoped.

  • 9. JFreshInEffect  |  November 18th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    I will buy this book. Fascinating.

  • 10. Erik  |  November 18th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    It does seem like the Exiled is a bit tamer than the Exile…I feel like I have lost an old bitter angry sadistic friend

  • 11. Eren  |  November 19th, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Nice article Gary, its particularly relieving after you left us with no updates for so god-damn long.
    Hey, why don’t you do an article on Ottoman warfare? As a Turk I’d really like that, cause you’ve only done one piece on turkish history and we’ve spent the last two millenia raiding and pillaging from Manchuria to Vienna – I mean come on, don’t you think we deserve more then one fucking article?
    I’m guessing your fanbase is predominantly Western orientated, so yeah they wouldn’t give a shit about Turkish history, so maybe instead you could do an article about the Nagorno-Karabakh War of the early 90’s. You’ve never even mentioned it once, although you’ve gone in depth about more obscure wars.
    Or maybe I should just be grateful for any update you give us. Just remember Gary, the rest of us office-job slobs are relying on your cold-blooded humour for our sanity – so please don’t keep us waiting.

  • 12. K Desouki  |  November 20th, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I read the novel 4 to 5 years ago, and liked it very much, that is why I feel qualified to say that your review sucks; actually the worst review on one of the best African novels.

  • 13. Leo  |  November 26th, 2008 at 9:29 am


    Speaking of Portuguese (i’m one), can you write something of our colonial war? It was the last Euro-vs-colony war, and i’d like your take on it

  • 14. JSJ  |  December 4th, 2008 at 7:45 am

    Your comments suck, all of you. How dare you inflict your consciousness on other intelligent(?) beings!?

    Except for Tim… you are a hero among commenters.

    P.S.: this comment sucks too.

  • 15. Esn  |  December 12th, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    I have never read the book, but this was a wonderful review. Thanks for writing it.

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