BORSCHT NOT BOMBS. (praxismundi) wrote in hoaxes,

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More sexxy than fake seamonsters: war!

Does anyone have any thoughts on War Nerd?

a friend of mine's thoughts can be found here

I don't have any of my own yet. I just found out that he 'lives in Fresno'.


For those of you who don't know, war nerd is a military collumnist for an expatriate sensationalist moscow based english language newspaper. Kinda like The Onion, or The Daily Show.

he claims that his (sometimes disturbing) familiarity with warfare comes from his life as a fat slob surfing war news.

The photo at the top of his column isn't him, its a guy from a Norweigan blues band (??)

I started reading him recently, and assumed he was an ex patriate Special Forces, or simply an astute grunt, when i found out he is supposedly a recluse data entry clerk in FRESNO.

Its interesting, because for a fat slob with a drudgerous data entry job in Fresno, who no one has ever heard of and is unlisted in any phone book, using a fake column photo, Gary Brecher really knows what he is talking about.

or at least he sounds like he does.
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Haha, I was a data entry clerk in Fresno! I'll have to look this guy up.
Then you'll notice how totally right he is about Californian life

"That's where it's an advantage living in Fresno. When you live in a place like this, you see what real people, good country people, are like. Like, really stupid. Stupider than you could possibly imagine."

"See, the US had 'learned from Vietnam.' Which is great, except: stupid people don't ever really LEARN anything. Stupid people learn stupid lessons."

Maybe i underestimate the resourcefulness of a dedicated blogger with alot of time on his hands, but this doesn't read as 'hobbyist' like the Wiki entry says.

besides, it seems like the persona he's operating from would spend more time cruising porno.
I'm familiar with a large portion of the fat nerd population in Fresno, and skimming through his articles, I was amazed at: a) how much he reminded me of several people I know, and b) how dead-on his observations about Fresno were. If he doesn't live here now, he has. I feel confident in saying that I know a large percentage of bloggers in this town, and many of them bear his same flavor of disdain for Fresno, and write about it often.

Lots of fat slobs surf porn in their free time, but porn doesn't interest absolutely every one of them, all the time ;)

I'm inclined to say that his picture and name are false, but the rest is fairly true.
To understand why torture is so fundamental to CI warfare, you have to remember that in guerrilla wars there are no battles, there are just ambushes. And an ambush is totally different from a battle. Let's say your squad is patrolling through a village just like it's done for the past two weeks, right? Everything's hunky-dory: the little old lady who sells veggies waves and smiles when you go past, the kids ask for gum, and you start to feel like a liberator. You're just turning a corner when there's a big boom and two of your buddies are on the ground screaming, two others are dead. You look around -- where's the old lady? Where are all the smiling kiddies? A blast that big should've killed a dozen locals, but somehow the only casualties are your buddies.

Somehow the smiling locals magically disappeared two seconds before the IED went off. So either they all have some pretty effective ESP...or they knew it was going to go off. In fact, they were part of the set-up. The smiling kids, the friendly grandma -- all a set-up to relax you, make you walk into the kill zone.

That's how torture starts. You know they know. They're weaker than you. But they won't tell you anything. You start hating them more and more. Sooner or later the idea of grabbing some of them and making them talk is going to occur to you, or somebody higher up.

If you've got good NCOs, they'll try to keep you under control, because you're likely to pick the wrong people to start whacking around. That's the nastiest part of the whole CI picture: the villagers may not be involved by choice. They may not want to mess with you at all. Most people, even crazy tribes like Chechens, just want to get by. But they have to deal with the insurgents, who are putting as much pressure on them in the nighttime as you are during the day. Maybe the little old lady's grandson is being held with a knife at his throat to make sure she goes to her usual veggie stand and looks cheerful, just to make the set-up more convincing. You can't know.

You'll never really know what's happening to the locals. Finally you get a decent tip -- somebody snitches on an old enemy from the neighborhood, you go to his house and dig up a fully-functional RPG with a dozen rounds. Just think of the pure hate you feel for this guy: he and his little friends have been bushwhacking you for weeks without the guts to show themselves. Well, now you've got him. Not even your NCO can stop you now -- even if he wanted to

You CANT tell me a data entry clerk can view warfare from this perspective, no matter how much war news he's read.

this like listening to one of those saggy old football heroes from the 70's give televised commentary on a game they've played all their life.

Besides, why would someone, obviously miserable in a dead end job from which he doesn't derive a.)adequate financial equity b.) a sense of accomplishment, given this obsession with (and familiarity with) the mechanics of warfare NOT JOIN A BRANCH OF THE MILITARY?!

physical inferiority isn't an excuse, there are plenty of tech and desk jobs available in the service.

so why the anonymity?

if he really is an expatraite, either/or geographically/ideologically what does he have to lose by going public?

Adopting an alias name and life doesnt at all fit with his no-bullshit style of reaching his readers, but he clearly has.

maybe im so interested because his work is the only thing im reading about our military foreign policy that leaves asking more questions, instead of feeling complacent and 'informed'.
I have no good answer to those questions. I don't know much about warfare/military, so I was just basing my observations on the way he spoke about Fresno, since I've lived here almost all my life and know the town quite well (unfortunately).

Did you see the article where he was talking about getting death threats by email and fax? That would be a pretty damn good reason for me to use a fake picture and name. :\
Well, yeah I suppose there is that.

I didn't read anything about death threats.


even then, the Gary Brecher persona has been up since the column started.
You get this attitude from doing a lot of acid and reading Pynchon. You and I are both like this and we've had cushy lives.