Is it me or are fake policemen everywhere? (now there's a paranoid lede if ever there was one)
Yesterday kicked off when 10 men dressed and equipped as the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior Commandos (in that wonderfully Soviet way of speaking they have) paid a call on a mosque where two 9th century Shia imams are buried and where Imam Ali is expected to be resurrected. They blew it up, and goood, thus triggering what looks like the long-awaited Lebanon-on-crack-and-steroids breakdown. According to Cole, they placed demolition charges carefully, took their time and did a professional job.
In response to this calculated, pornographic incitement, more fake policemen paid a call on the prison in Basra, collected 11 inmates, and murdered them. It's quite obvious in the light of this that 7th Armoured Brigade has the situation in Basra well in hand. Clearly. I wonder if it was the same jail 12 Mech had to spring two of their comrades from?
Fake policemen are something like the symbol of the Iraq war. When the Americans went back into Ramadi the first time in 2004, they ordered the remaining real police to stay off the streets so the only people in police uniform would be the insurgents posing as police. Pretty much every report of sectarian brutality involves either policemen or people pretending to be policemen, or conceivably policemen pretending to be people pretending to be policemen.
Now, we have the heist of the century, £40 million from a fortified cash centre serving southeastern England. Probably a robbery indeed. How did the blaggers pull that off? Why, they stopped the manager's car by posing as policemen and kidnapped him, whilst others, also posing as policemen, seized his family. Then they had him let them in, where they handcuffed the staff and calmly filled a lorry with cash.
It certainly sounds like the IRA Northern Bank job in Belfast - same MO, similarly spectacular results, but without the epically stupid cockup of stealing Ulster banknotes. And that, in turn, sounds like a hefty slice of guerrilla innovation (Edit: I mean, of course, pretending to be the cops).
The Australian novelist Peter Carey (I think) wrote in one of his books that when the police revolution comes, you find you can't imagine who are the police.