Re: people and their ideas

James G. Carrier (jgc5p@UVA.PCMAIL.VIRGINIA.EDU)
Fri, 15 Apr 1994 06:21:22 EDT

What Yee suggests (i.e., turn 'em into people) struck a chord. It is the
technical developed by Scotland Yard during the 1970s to deal with a series
of IRA attacks, where the attackers took hostages and threatened to kill them
if demands were not met.
The one that sticks particular in my mind is the Balkan Street seige.
IRA sorts attacked a Spaghetti House restaurant, took some hostages, and
holed up in an apartment in Balkan Street. The police response was to take no
aggressive action, but to encourage the comfort of siegers and hostages over
several days.
The theory, (Thingie?) which seemed to work perfectly well, was that
once the IRA people and their hostages got to know each other a bit, it would
be unlikely that the IRA would have the ability actually to kill the
hostages. (I should add that the British were rather pleased with themselves
about this, especially in comparison with the Parisian police, whose general
response to such stituations was to send in the flics with guns blazing, and
predictable loss of life.)
A minor and probably pointless historical footnote, full of typos and
entered too early in the morning for fully rational thought.


James G. Carrier

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