Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ask Frank

Every now and then I make a large order from Amazon for books that I've added to my wish list over the months.

I've just put together my latest order. Sadly, one of the books on my wish list is a little too rich for my blood...

Low Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping (Hardcover) (Used) by Frank Kitson

Used Price: from £361.98

In one corner of the screen there's a little tick graphic thoughtfully located next to the words - 'Low Price'

Yes, very funny

Frank Kitson is, of course, the British Army officer who developed the tactic of using ‘pseudo-gangs’ to infiltrate the native insurgency movement in Kenya in the 1950s. The pseudo-gang tactic involved dressing up British officers, mercenaries and ‘turned’ insurgents as real insurgents then carrying out assassinations, atrocities and other ‘wet work’ and blaming it on the insurgents.

Frank and his ideas were also big in Malaya, Aden, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and only Frank and his chums know where else.

There was a time when people like Frank and other Special Services operatives would write freely about this sort of activity. In fact, tales of derring-do involving British Officers dressing up as fuzzy wuzzies and outfoxing the heathen hordes were staple fare in the first half of the 20th century.

'I'm sorry darling, I've just received four feathers in
the post. It looks like I'm going have to travel around Egypt
dressed as a wog to restore my family honour...'

Never let it be said that the gentlemen of our Ruling Classes ever pass up on an opportunity to prance around in long flowing garments, play-act and indulge in risky activities. I suspect it's a private school thing.

Now, for reasons that I couldn’t possibly even start to fathom, no sirree, nobody in the mainstream is writing books about the British Security forces and their agents dressing up as fuzzy wuzzies and committing acts of terror.

That’s why the old ones are selling for four hundred quid.

Oh the joys of cultural amnesia.


Bridget Dunne said...

Collective consciousness? I'd posted yesterday on the J7 forum about meetings in the (guess what) Four Feathers Club just off Baker Street to which all the usual suspects are linked.

Y'know, Hamza, Abu Qatada, Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui et al.

I was intrigued when I read the original Four Feathers story:

"An English officer resigns his commission on principle just before his regiment is sent off to war in the 1898 battle to suppress the bloody uprising of the Mahdi's followers in the Sudan. His three closest friends in the regiment send him a white feather - symbol of cowardice - and his fiancée hands him the fourth. In despair he sets off to follow his regiment and to prove he is no coward by taking the most dangerous role of all, as a secret agent, unknown, unpaid, hidden among the Mahdi's men".

Stef said...

There's a Four Feathers Club!?


\ big synchronicity - collective consciousness fan

Numeral said...

Off Baker Street. Where the three were seen on 28/6

Stef said...

\ gets reading

Anonymous said...

I think I've found out who bought the last copy of Kitson's book!

"What passes for a civil war in Iraq is in fact a destabilisation exercise straight out of the manuals (Read Low Intensity Operations by Frank Kitson), with death squads and terror bombings deliberately organised by the occupation authorities."

Stef said...


their budget is probably a lot bigger than mine