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Post Colonel Hillandale/Lansdale in the Philippines; from Gary Moore
Created by John Eipper on 02/28/17 1:14 PM

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Colonel Hillandale/Lansdale in the Philippines; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 02/28/17 1:14 pm)

Gary Moore writes:

Thanks to David Duggan and Michael Sullivan, both on February 27, for the overview of the Moro juramentado suicide attacks in the Philippines in a forgotten era.

I had never heard of this note in psychological warfare. And as another note, the Moro precedent lends resonance to later, more familiar trends, and here I don't mean later Muslim suicide bombing. Instead, in those same Philippines around the 1970s, there was "Colonel Hillandale" of the Ugly American. He was the non-Ugly foil, the harmonica-playing hearts-and-minds genius, and was modeled on the real Colonel Lansdale, who after Vietnam had counter-insurgency successes in the Philippines, then tried the Swan Island End-of-the-World broadcasts against Castro.

But more to the point here, in the Philippines, Lansdale was said to rout the guerrillas of his age by using their beliefs not about pigs, but about vampires. The story was that he would find a dead guerrilla combatant, drain the body of blood, put two marks in the neck and leave the corpse beside the trail--whereupon the guerrillas supposedly fled in terror. I don't recall the pigskin stories of an earlier era being mentioned in the Lansdale tales. I wonder how the threads fit together.

JE comments:  The Ugly American was published in 1958.  Wikipedia teaches us that it was so influential on JFK, that he created the Peace Corps partly in response.


I wonder if Tim Brown ever met the real Col. Lansdale.

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