17 September 2007
Guerrillas in Namibia
Guerrilla wars are difficult to construct any kind of intelligible narrative. It helps to be mindful of the experience of war in the trenches on the Western Front during World War I. Although one focuses on the Big Push - with its traditional sequence of barrage, offensive, and counterattack - there are also both before and during the battle trench raids, quiet sectors, and individual sniping incidents. Likewise, with guerrilla warfare, particularly in Africa, its essence is of a steady flow of men into and out of base camps. Skirmishes and ambushes can be opportunistic and based on intelligence. From time to time, one comes across the kind of vignettes that help add color to the at-times tedious narrative of the political dimension that, perhaps intentionally, is the over-arching narrative of the conflict. Namibia is possibly the least known of the southern African liberation wars against imperial powers and white-rule regimes. So it's refreshing to find an example in the story of an attack on Finaughty's store.