Monday, March 31, 2003

Czech-made! Czechophiles may be interested to note that the current issue of The New Yorker (March 24, 2003) makes mention of "a Brno rifle made under license in Persia" allegedly used in 1920 to assassinate Colonel Gerard Leachman, "a British officer who spent the First World War in the deserts of what was then Mesopotamia, leading Bedouins in skirmishes against the Ottoman Turks. By 1920, after the League of Nations gave the British a 'mandate' to govern what was now referred to as Iraq, Leachman was trying to subdue restive Arab tribesmen. He advocated 'wholesale slaughter' as the only really effective method, and in present-day Iraq his assassin, Sheikh Dhari, is remembered as a hero and a patriot. The Sheikh's descendants gave his gun to Saddam [Hussein] as a birthday present a few years ago."

Too bad, as usual, that the story isn't posted online.