The Kandy Men: no match for the Brit Vampire Lords
And this is where another standard Brit policy came into play–a real smart one that we ought to be imitating: use native auxiliaries, not homeland troops, as much as possible. For all kinds of reasons, but here are the main ones:
1. If you bring in troops from some remote part of the Empire to do your dirty work, it’s those troops, those faces and accents, the locals will remember, and hate, for generations. So you, the sly little pink Brit administrator, can stroll in later and commiserate with the locals as they show you around their burned huts, bayoneted kids, etc., and even say with a straight face, “Oh my, those auxiliaries from wherever, what ruddy heathens, eh? Outrageous, I shall certainly let Whitehall know about these abuses!” Then, of course, you get in your sedan chair, close the curtains and chuckle all the way home to where your little bum-boy is waiting.
2. Nobody back in London counts casualties as long as it’s Malay mercs dying. You can lose a lot of them–and a lot of Malays did die fighting the Sinhala, especially in the total rout of a malaria-sapped Brit/Malay force at the Mahaveli River in 1803–but nobody is going to make a fuss in the Times of London (Mister Jeremy Brown’s paper, as you may recall). If you’re lucky they’ll pop off before payday and you can keep their payroll for that estate in Shropshire.
3. Dropping hot-blooded feisty Malay muslims with guns far from home and making them fight Sinhalese bleeds Malay society as well as Sinhalese. Left in peace, Malays could be trouble–a proud, warlike people. So by sending them to die in Sri Lanka, you’re diverting all that young, angry Malay blood away from SE Asia and using it to bleed Kandy (bleed Kandy–I like that!). Two birds, one bloodsoaked stone.
You see why I get impatient with you gullible suckers yammering about the fucking Nazis? The Nazis were retards, a white-trash tantrum, an eighth-grade chem-class pipe bomb, a quick-fizzle flash in the pan, compared to the Brits, the scariest motherfuckers ever to butt-fuck the planet.
The mercenaries the Brits sent to crush the Kandyans were Malays, muslims from SE Asia who didn’t need a lot of pep talks to slaughter South Asian Buddhists (and steal their chickens). That was life for the Brits back then, at the top of their game: picking up pieces from one part of the world and dropping them where they’d do the most harm, half the world away. “Ah yes, let’s ferry some Malay mercs to Kandy, that should give the bloody idol-worshippers something to think about!”
Destroying Buddhism was a big part of Brit policy. The Buddhist routine, the temples, begging monks, long boring prayers–it was the glue that kept Kandy together. So the Brits decided to destroy it. They even said so, in private memos to each other. They weren’t shy in them days. Here’s the Brit governor in 1807: “Reliance on Buddhism must be destroyed. Make sure all [village] chiefs are Christian.”
Up to 1818, the Brits had a blast messing with doomed Sinhala rebellions, trying out CI recipes like Frankenstein guesting on Rachael Ray. A good time was had by all, except the Sinhalese. They had a very, very bad time, and it was about to get worse.
See, another constant you’ll find in Brit imperial policy is that although they’re very sly and patient, they have a very good sense of when to cut the crap and just wipe out a tribe that’s been annoying them for too long. They were getting sick of the Sinhalese, with all their bickering and intrigues; the redcoats just weren’t enjoying the Col. Kurtz game the way they used to. So boom: the “kill’em all” era begins.
But they did it smart, not like the idiot boastful Nazis y’all love to obsess on. I bet every one on the planet can name the Nazi death camps, but I’d be surprised if more than, say, a half dozen people outside Sri Lanka can name the policy the Brits used to destroy the Sinhala for good.
Anybody? Didn’t think so. See, here’s another little tip for up’n’coming genocidaires out there: always pick the most boring name possible. Those fucking Nazis, with their heavy-metal jewelry and titles! Dopes! You want extermination programs with names that put everybody to sleep.
And that’s why in 1818 Britain brought “the wasteland policy” to Kandy. They could have called it what that Liberian wacko called his campaign: “Operation No Living Thing.” That’s what it meant: Brit-led troops “draining the sea” the Sinhala irregulars swam in by burning every hut, every field, and killing every animal in every village they suspected of harboring “rebels.”
Hey, that’s another key Brit CI techniques: that word “rebels.” Blows me away: how can a Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, fighting for the country his people have owned for a hundred generations, be a “rebel”? And the pipsqueak redcoat officer hunting him down, who was born and raised in fucking London–he’s not the “rebel,” he’s the forces of law and order, the rightful authorities. Quite a racket if you have the sheer, sociopathic nerve to say it with a straight face. (I’m talking to you, Mister Jeremy Brown!)
What does “rebel” mean, anyway? I’ve noticed that in English press it’s a bad word. Here it’s different, because we were the rebels in 1775 and proud of it. But see, people who know the American revolution think that the Brit policy against the Yankees, where (give or take a Banastre Tarlteton or two), the redcoats tried to avoid killing civvies, was normal Imperial policy.
Bullshit. The reason the Brits let us go, didn’t try scorched-earth on us, was that we WERE Brits, as far as they could tell: white protestant English-speaking humans. If you weren’t all of the above, you weren’t human. The only other war where English troops had the same restraint was–take a guess. Right: the English Civil War. In England, they fought clean. But when Cromwell marched up to subdue the Scots, who were Protestant (good) but non-English (bad), a lot of POWs never made it back to the holding pens, and a lot of crofts were torched, and a lot of girls were raped. When he moved from Scotland to Ireland, where the filthy locals were filthy Papist as well as non-English, well, you don’t want to know what happened there.
So in places like Sri Lanka, full of brown heathens, Brit policy had nothing to do with fucking Yorktown. More like Dresden, only lower-tech.
The “Wasteland” policy was smart and mean at the same time–another sure mark of the Brit Imperial Touch. It was designed to deny the “rebels” support in the short term, but in the long term it was pure punishment, taking away the land, livestock and other assets of all the Sinhalese who were even suspected of being “rebel”-lovers.
And it worked. To this day, 200 years later, the Sinhalese castes who backed the rebels are dirt poor, and worse: they’re hated by everybody around them and they even hate themselves. And nobody even remembers who did it to them, poor lab rats. They think it’s their own fault, that there’s something wrong with them.
There’s more, and worse, but to tell the truth, this is making me sick. I’ve tried to tell this story a dozen times and nobody wants to know. You just end up vomiting battery acid all night, and pigs like Mister Jeremy Brown of the Times of London never lose one second of sleep over all those bodies, and all those lies and sheer nastiness. What’s the use? I’ll just fastforward through a couple of highlight shots. Take reprisals. You know, like those bad ol’ Nazis used to do after a “rebel” attack? The Brits were there way before the Nazis. They took revenge for a half-assed Kandyan revolt by killing one out of every hundred Sinhalese. Like, at random. To keep it fair, you know, not play favorites.
And then the nastiest CI weapon of all, the demographic bomb. This was a Brit specialty all over the world (see Fiji for a weirdly similar case). The Brits ran India, so they had total control over millions of obedient Tamil peasants who were starving, desperate, and ready to go anywhere, just pile into the hold of a ship and get out to cut cane or plant rice in some place that may as well have been on the Moon for all they knew.
So along with the massacre/reprisals, the Brits came up with one of their classic two-birds-one-stone plans: to neutralize the Sinhalese, let’s import huge hordes of Tamils from India! They’re cheap and docile and they’ll give the Sinhala something to keep them busy even after we have to leave the island, haw! And meanwhile they’ll drive the price of labor down even further! Brilliant, chaps, absolutely brilliant!
And they did it. Worked so well it’s still working today. And when they were done totally destroying the poor Sinhalese, the Brits did what they do best, better than any other murder gang on the planet: they took that amnesia zapper from Men in Black and zapped everyone in Sri Lanka, then turned it on themselves and were suddenly so innocent, so damn virtuous and clean, that a pig like Mister Jeremy Brown can actually sit down at a computer and boast about all the wonderful times England has raped Sri Lanka, from olden times right down to Arthur C. Clarke buggering every little boy on the island. Heckuva job, Brownie! Satan himself is shaking his head, muttering, “Gotta give it to the fuckin’ limeys, damn it….they got no shame at all, ya gotta admire that. Damn, even I wouldn’t have had the gall to talk like that Jeremy Brown. I’m putting him down for CEO of the Hell Propagandastaffel the minute his liver packs up and he lands down here.”
OK, done. Now you can all pass around that amnesia gun.
Gary Brecher is the author of the War Nerd. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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