Oct 14, 2007

Let Slip the Dog of War

French mercenary Bob Denard, British author Frederick Forsyth's source of inspiration for the novel The Dogs Of War, died Saturday in Paris.

Though never confirmed or admitted, many of Denard's exploits are widely assumed to have had the tacit approval of French authorities, who were anxious to maintain French influence in Africa.

The suspicion that he was regarded with leniency in his home country grew stronger in 1993 when a five-year French prison sentence over a failed 1977 coup attempt in Benin was reduced to a suspended sentence.

His final French conviction - for a 1995 coup attempt in the Comoros - also earned him a suspended sentence.

This was later increased by an appeal court to a year in jail with three suspended - but he never served it because of ill health.

In 1999, Denard - then 70 - was tried in connection with the assassination of Comoran President Ahmed Abdallah 10 years earlier. He was cleared.

During a trial on appeal in 2006, a former head of the foreign intelligence service said:

When special services are unable to undertake certain kinds of undercover operation, they use parallel structures. This was the case of Bob Denard.

"Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war."

-William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar, Scene I, Act III


mark said...

Bob Denard and "Mad Mike" Hoare and more shadowy figures who traversed Africa, SEA and Latin America during the late 19th and 20th century operated when their colorful personas helped provide plausible deniability for the state actors who covertly employed them. Anything they did that created blowback could be written off as the independent actions of half-crazy adventurers.

If ppl bought that line back then, they are less likely to do so now. What's wanted now by states are anonymous military professionals behind a reliably corporate brand.

Meatball One said...


Yepp, yepp, and yepp.


BTW, though as yet unannounced, we will be accepting news/topical manuscript subscriptions from a select few ponderers to put in the mouth of Meatball Rose (see top of blog's right hand column) - assuming that is, that submissions remain something she can reasonably swallow and remain unflinching in her fidelity.

It would be an honor to receive any words of wisdom from yourself that you might find suitable for such an animated format - either in anon format or with full credits.

More later pending your interest.

mark said...

Sounds very reasonable o' Master of the Meatball. I hear and read intriguing things from time to time and would be happy to submit something appropriate in the future for the use of Ms. Rose.

Meatball One said...

Fantastic. I feel...I feel near knighted. I'll get back to you when we start to flow. As of yet we remain a little fumbling. Still searching for opening form.