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The War Nerd / September 4, 2008
By Gary Brecher

Here’s some more cool combat vids for you desk casualties. This time it’s Georgian troops shooting the Hell out of the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, on the day they rolled in to retake the province after Bush and Cheney promised them the Russians wouldn’t dare do a thing. So it didn’t work out all that great, but on that first day, when it was Georgian upgraded T-72s vs. Ossetian civvies with AK-47s, our little allies had themselves a real barnburner of a time, and luckily, one of them took these vids to show his little Facebook friends.

This vid shows the happiest man in Georgia on that day (August 8), some Georgian redneck doing exactly what we’ve all dreamed of doing: rolling down the main drag of an enemy city with both hands on a heavy machine gun, looking for any civilian dumb enough to poke his or her head up. This guy actually yells, “Yee-haw!” every now and then, after firing off a short burst at an apartment building or park. It’s so much like an American “Yee-haw!” I can’t help wondering if he learned it special, from those Special Forces instructors we sent down there to teach the Georgians how to fight. He’s easy to please, this guy; he’s sitting there holding a big gun with nice easy D-grips for both hands, with a huge ox-tongue trigger he can trip with his thumb, and every now and then he fires a burst into a tree just to keep those Ossetian squirrels from going insurgent. I’m going to dream of this one for a long, long time.

This one is guys doing the same thing, rolling down a dusty Ossetian street taking small arms fire, but they don’t seem to be having as much fun with it. Maybe because this one’s filmed inside some jeep-thing that doesn’t seem to have any armament. Or maybe the weapon is up top and I can’t see it in the video. The guys in the vehicle yell at each other nonstop but since they’re talking Georgian, I have no idea what they’re saying. All I know is they don’t sound near as happy as the man with the machine gun. Probably it’s the usual chatter you hear on combat-vehicle videos, a mixture of backseat drivers telling the driver where to turn and the squad coward screeching about an imaginary enemy tank coming around the corner. They’re hiding, this bunch of geeks, behind a T-72, and you watch it proceeding down the street like a lowslung pit bull, turret swiveling just like those American instructors taught them to do. And you hear a nonstop chatter of small arms fire, but one thing you learn after watching a lot of combat video is that unaimed, non-sniper small arms fire is nothing to worry about if you’re in any kind of halfway decent armored vehicle, or even in a decent trench, or rubble pile. There’s a reason soldiers only perk up when they hear engines coming: it takes some serious Detroit iron to mount a gun that can cut through the clutter and zap people at any distance. So this jeep or whatever tools down the street, scared and jumpy, hugging the tank’s ass, but nothing happens to it. A lot seems to have happened to the street it’s going down, though. Those Georgians may try to come off the poor victims but I dunno, guys, there’s a lot of blownup shit in every shot I’ve seen of Tskhinvali, and those “Yee-haws” from the gunner kinda make it sound like the Georgians were having themselves a real party, Quantrill style.

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

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