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The oddest guerilla training programme in history?

Saw this in an item on the Kurdish group the PKK in an item in the LA Times:

"In northern Iraq, the PKK militants get training in Shakespeare and Goethe, in the military tactics of the Thirty Years' War and how to operate a Russian-made BKC machine gun and a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher".

I know that Marxist, Maoist groups etc generally inflicted screeds on the labour theory of value, dialectical materialism etc on their recruits, the 'bold Fenian men' were keen on inculcating Irish history and the Tamil Tigers gear up by watching Stallone and Schwarzenegger films, and those measures all make a degree of sense.

However, what is the Kurd on the street, or perhaps more accurately on the lower slopes of Mt Judi, to make of 'A Winter's Tale', 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' or even 'Macbeth'? Maybe they are planning on re-enacting the last act of 'Titus Andronicus' on the government in Ankara if they get the chance. The Goethe connection is pretty odd too - I can't see much will be done for 'the struggle' by reading 'Faust' or come to that 'The Sorrows of Young Werther' . Most peculiar. At least the poor unfortunates have been spared Proust. Perhaps they are swotting up on the 30 Years War as they reckon that Bush is about to do a Gustavus Adolphus for them. All very odd indeed, and I'll stop showing off now.
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Blogger UK Daily Pundit said... 2:22 pm

It's such a good post I'm loathe to spoil it with the news that David Cameron has told the BBC he wants the IRA to become an "old boys association". Inaugural meeting to be held in Brighton presumably.  

Anonymous newmania said... 2:42 pm

I don`t know there is a certain amount of real -politik in Shakespeare, and loads of blood and gore. Perhaps Othello is a good one for embattled minorities, or Taming of the Shrew for social intercourse ,( Borat style), with women .
John the Bastard “I am a plain dealing bastard “ in Much Ado ( Did you get that , not much ado about etc.. just Much Ado…), is an aid to viciousness, and for those long lonely nights, there have always been questions about Mercutio and Romeo or Achilles in T and C obviously.

Faust ! Come on man deal with the devil surely there is an abstruse metaphorical link someone could find , Unfortunately while I know lots about Faust I `m on starvation rations when it comes to Kurd inf. In the Johnson play he throws a lot of nuns in the porridge to kill them . Not bad for hillside torture. He also famously excused multiple murders with the line “Yes but that was long time ago and in another country”. Thus I excuse the entire history of Britain and cannot believe Kurds wouldn’t be able to find a use for it .

Young Werther . The idea of obsessing over something you can never have , keeping raw the emotion of separation , this is obviously very useful for Kurds and I almost wonder if it isn`t the actual reason it is on the list

EEEEEK !!!!!JUST SEEN UK PUNDIT. How lovely for Norman Tebbit . Will they invite his wife?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:01 pm

You could be onto something there N. My fave Shakespeare quote is still "I have yet roome for six scotches more" from Antony & Cleopatra. The Jonson quote isn't from Faust, but 'The Jew of Malta'. Mind you, re 'Sorrows', they probably aren't intent on mass suicide?

I do hope DP is wrong about that quote, as that just goes way, way too far for anyone's taste.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:09 pm

No sure how useful marching in Tertio formation at the push of pike, and repeat line salvos of matchlocks is going to be very useful in an age of laser guided weaponary, but the shock factor would be impressive.  

Blogger istanbultory said... 3:39 pm

I doubt whether PKK militants have that much time for indulging in literary pursuits.
What with the PKK controlling the lions share of the drug business and human trafficking networks in Europe, they have more important matters on which to focus their attention. As well as inflicting a reign of terror on a large swathe of SE Turkey and northern Iraq.

In March 2006, the U.S. State Department, said that media channels belonging to the PKKin Europe should be declared terrorist organizations and must be closed down. Nothing has happened since...Then, the Euro left have long loved the revolutionary Kurds and their AK-47 toting ways.

Take a look at this:

Anonymous newmania said... 3:41 pm

Curse you Croydonian . Right you are.My assumption is that I can say whever I like about any book that predates Cash Nexus.Hmmmm , will have to watch myself .Come to think of it I believe the porridge atrocity is also in the Jew Of Malta.

Poor showing from Newmania.

" Exit pursued by a bear" is ,I think the only stage direction in WS and appears in Winters Tale . Ideal for mountain life  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:55 pm

G - I think you could be right, and maybe a salvo from a line of AK47 would be more effective than one from matchlocks. I have a pet theory that 'Rambo' and the like have saved thousands of lives as non-trained men in combat with machine guns default to firing from the hip - which isn't very accurate....

IT - Yup, they are not a very lovely bunch, are they. I suspect all the guff about Goethe was actually just for the benefit of a gullible hack. Inventive though.

N - sorry. I did Shakespeare etc for A level and Oxbridge (not that they'd have me..), and I wheel out "But that was in another country and besides, the wench is dead" or variants thereof at least once a month.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:04 pm

You may or may not know this but every member of the US Delta force is given a copy of Niccolos (we're mates) "The Prince" upon passing selection.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 4:24 pm

I read a book once.I was twelve and the teacher said I should try.it was called 'bird smugglers' and was about some woman catching an old couple on a plane smuggling birds.

took me ages and it was crap.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:28 pm

PH - Wellx3. Thanks for that. Didn't do them much good when Carter sent them to Iran to free the Embassy hostages.

RM - You just can't trust teachers, can you?  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:31 pm

Mr mortice I a see your point.
Im very suspicious of any man who owns more books than guns.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:23 pm

The Lego post was made with you in mind, Peter.  

Anonymous Colin said... 9:03 pm

Maybe they hope for a more independent role of Kurdistan within the EU after Turkey's accession by trying to be more European than the Turkish nationalists?  

Anonymous David Allen said... 10:22 pm

Newmania _ wrong play AND wrong playwright (Jew of Malta is Marlowe not Jonson) Apologies for pedantry....
I'm rather fond of the Kurds myself _ they do a nice line in rugs and kilims and I've always fancied an independent Kurdistan come the balkanisation of the middle east _ a nice addition to a free Baluchistan, if earlier posts are to be believed....
Time for bed.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:29 pm

Old, old jokes dept: Let the Kurds have their way....  

Anonymous newmania said... 10:51 pm

David-Apology accepted in a graceless "wait my moment to get you back sort of way." ( and google before I post)

Peter Hitchens quite obviously has quite a lot of books. This is a worry as I feel he may be quite serious about the guns /books ratio  

Anonymous J.W.G. von Goethe said... 10:38 am

That joke is weigh 2 subtle for us simple Suttonians  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:16 am

Johann - curds / whey and Kurds /way?  

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