- I can't believe you people.
- First you jump around like Alabama cheerleaders for a
war in Iraq, then you turn chickensh*t once we lose a few soldiers in the
- I just read the new polls. Americans are losing their
war hard-ons faster than a fag in a whorehouse. At the start of May 2003,
61% said the war was going "very well." Now only 19% say that.
Back in May, only 4% said the war was going "not well." Now 35%
- You make me sick.
- What the Hell did you think was gonna happen? The Iraqis
were gonna fall in love with an occupying army? "Oh thank you for
blowing up our power plants and water supply! Allah be praised, now we
- We were so sure the Iraqis would rise up once we landed.
That's one feature you'll find in every bad military plan ever devised:
"and then the people will rise up." That was how Bay of Pigs
was supposed to go: "We'll land a few hundred men, and then the Cubans
will rise up." Which they didn't, naturally. Every time a lieutenant
in some African hellhole talks a half dozen of his barrack drinking buddies
into staging a coup he uses the same line: "and then the people will
rise up to help us." Cut to him and his friends hanging from the nearest
- The Iraqis rose all right. But not against Saddam, against
us. They got a lot more upset about foreign troops in the streets than
they ever did about not having "democracy." When did Iraqis ever
give a shit about democracy? All they know is the air conditioning doesn't
work, they have to get their water off the back of a truck, and some scared
GI manning the .50 on a humvee just blew half the shacks in the village
to kingdom come because he mistook a garden rake for an RPG tube.
- That's how occupations go. That's what it's like. It
ain't pretty, it ain't good TV, and it takes a long time to make it work.
- I tried to tell you it wasn't going to be the "cakewalk"
the DC chickenhawks were crowing about, but all you did was send me emails
gloating about how easy the march to Baghdad turned out to be. Well, I
never said that was going to be the hard part. When you're fighting tank
battles in open country like we were then, you can use your air force at
maximum efficiency, and we've got the best air force in the world.
- But once you take the cities, it's a whole different
war. I guess none of you thought it through long enough to figure out you
can't use your air force when you're occupying enemy cities. You just belched
up a beer-cheer while the gun-camera pix were on the evening news-and now
that the occupation's getting rough, you want out.
- Truth is, this occupation isn't going that badly. We're
losing a man a day, more or less. That's not bad. That's just the way these
things go. The British used to lose a few dozen men a day when they ran
- Hell, when they tried to take Afghanistan they lost a
whole army. But they didn't lose their nerve and start sobbing to the pollsters.
They knew it takes blood to run an empire. Even when their wars went bad,
like the Boer War-and that was about as bad as it can get-they stuck with
it, kept pouring in men and materiel and won. Along the way they had to
do some grim stuff. Like concentration camps. Hell yes-you think Hitler
invented the concentration camp? Shows how much you know.
- Concentration camps were invented by the British for
the Boer War.
- If you want to know what kind of coldblooded hardass
discipline it takes to run an empire, the Boer War is a good place to start.
The Boers, mostly Dutch and French, settled in South Africa way back in
the 1600s. The British showed up later and took the prime coastal land
from them. The Boers fought and lost a big battle in 1842, then just moved
inland to get away from the British. For a while the British left them
alone. Then gold was discovered on Boer land and the Limeys suddenly decided
they needed to bring the blessings of empire to those poor lonely Boers.
So they invaded in 1899. They thought that one was going to be a cakewalk
too. The Boers were farmers, not soldiers. But the Boers were marksmen
and they knew the ground. Even though they could only field about 50,000
men against 500,000 British troops, they were winning.
- The Brits didn't lose their nerve. Lord Kitchener, commanding
the British forces, took a coldblooded look at the situation and realized
that the Brits faced the classic problem in counter-insurgency: the Boer
women and kids were acting as spies and supply line for the Boer guerrillas.
So the Brits rounded up all the Boer women, kids, and old folks, and put
them behind barbed wire in the middle of nowhere, the first concentration
camps. Of course with thousands of civilians jammed into a few tents-open
latrines, no running water, no doctors-every disease in Africa hit the
Boer women and kids. 40,000 of them died.
- The British weren't fazed at all. They realized the camps
were winning the guerrilla war for them. Every time a family died in the
camps, the news got back to a Boer guerrilla hunkered down in the bush-no
more wife, no more kids, all died horribly in a camp while he was off playing
soldier. Some of the guerrillas went crazy, some killed themselves, and
the rest started thinkin' real hard about whether it was worth it. In the
long run, reason prevailed, as the saying goes. The Boers surrendered after
- We wiped out the Indians' civilian population the same
way, for the same reason: we wanted the land and we were willing to do
what it took to get it. "Massacres" like Wounded Knee weren't
accidents, they were just standard guerrilla war tactics: you kill the
civilian population that supports the guerrillas. Mao said guerrillas swim
in the civilian population like fish in water. So you drain the lake.
- Maybe you think that's too mean or something. Well, you
shoulda thought of that before you let a half-dozen talkradio morons and
a draftdodger-in-chief talk you into taking over every city in Iraq.
- Maybe now you can appreciate how coldblooded and smart
our strategy in Gulf War I was. Every chickenhawk on the air was moaning
about how Bush Sr. and Colin Powell let Saddam get away in '91, how we
shoulda gone in and taken Baghdad. Still think so? Let's see Michael Savage
stand on a streetcorner in Fallujah sweating in a kevlar vest, jumping
every time a car turns the corner. Let's see Bill O'Reilly do night patrol
through Baghdad in a Humvee. In '91 we did it the way the Brits would've:
neutralized the threat, then left and let Saddam try to pick up the mess.
Sure we betrayed the Kurds and the Shiites along the way. That's what empires
do. The most basic tactic for running an empire is using Tribe A against
Tribe B: Kurds vs. Sunni, Sunni vs. Shiite, village vs. village. If one
gets too strong you bleed it for a while. Then you let it bleed the others.
After a while they're all bled out and your imperial troops are the only
force in the country worth mentioning.
- What the Brits would be doing about now is arming the
Kurds and sending them to police the Sunni Triangle. The Kurds have already
asked us to let them do it. They're begging for the chance to get a little
payback. They said, "We guarantee we'll have the place pacified in
a week. We can read these people! You can't! We can tell who's a guerrilla
and who isn't! All we need is a few fingernail-pulling pliers and a portable
generator hooked up to a cattle prod or two!"
- Of course we won't let them, because it'd be messy, like
Sabra-Shattila times ten. There'd be dead Sunnis thicker than sagebrush.
But the Brits'd do it, and it'd work. Then, when the Kurds had bled the
Sunnis out, they'd recruit a new police force, all Sunni and all-volunteer,
to go police Kurdistan, bleed the Kurds for a while so they don't get too
- That's the sort of thing you have to do if you want to
run an empire. But you guys, you're just brave enough to get us into trouble
and not brave enough to see it through. You want to kick ass, plant the
flag on somebody else's land and blow stuff up, and then have everybody
on the ground love you for it.
- That's not an empire. That's a bedtime story for pussies.