Let loose the Dogs Of War!
December 26, 2006 11:53 PM   Subscribe

Operation Red Dog. "The group of [N]eo-Nazis planned to travel from New Orleans to Dominica on a chartered boat, land at night in rubber boats, meet up with John and his guerrilla force of disgruntled army veterans and Rastafarian rebels, and then lay waste to Dominica's police force and political leaders." Of those Neo-Nazis, Don Black would go on to marry David Duke's ex-wife and found the notorious racist site Stormfront. Another of the gaggle, Wolfgang Droege, would get fatally shot by a man who was convinced that he'd installed surveillance and tunnels into his house as revenge for the time he'd laughed at Mr. Droege.
posted by Sticherbeast (23 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wasn't this a plotline of the family guy?
posted by Popular Ethics at 11:56 PM on December 26, 2006

From the article: Putting a positive spin on the experience, Droege asserted "But jail wasn't that bad. It really put American society and the racial issue into perspective. Plus, it gave me an opportunity to network with other racialist leaders, which really helped me after I got out."

Ah, so it all ended nicely!

posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:23 AM on December 27, 2006

No, PE, it was an episode of King of the Hill.
posted by wendell at 12:28 AM on December 27, 2006

What a darkly interesting story. Thanks Sticherbeast. It reminds me in its wacky Caribbean takeover madness of Eugene O'Neill's play, The Emperor Jones. Paranoid psychos who read too many issues of Soldier of Fortune? Wolfgang Droege sounds like a primary charismatic psychopath.
posted by nickyskye at 12:54 AM on December 27, 2006

Nazis + Rastafaris? This is screaming to be made into a (very bad) movie. Lorenzo Lamas and Steven Seagal would be a nice casting. Don´t forget William Shatner as a villain.
posted by cardoso at 12:57 AM on December 27, 2006

Nazis + Rastafaris?

The whole "skinhead" look comes from Jamaican dock workers.
It just proves that some people aren't very smart.
posted by black8 at 1:19 AM on December 27, 2006

Um.... your "fatally shot" link there doesn't say anything about Droege dying.... The wikipedia entry does, though.
posted by eparchos at 3:52 AM on December 27, 2006

Lorenzo Lamas and Steven Seagal with Cheech and Chong to fly them all in on a plane made out of pot.
posted by crispynubbins at 4:29 AM on December 27, 2006

Nazis + Rastafaris?

Don't you remember that Onion headline "Japanese Nationalists join forces with White Supremacists in Well-Thought Out Plan?"

It's a good thing these fucking Soldier-Of-Fortune wannabes are generally so incompetent and hubristic (NTM small in number), otherwise we'd be in trouble.

As for the Rasta/Nazi (Rastazis? Sounds like some kind of nouvelle German dumpling) alliance, it's not as weird as you'd think. Supposedly, in the prison system the Aryan Brotherhood (the largest white prison gang) is allied with Nuestra Familia (a rural Mexican gang) in the event of riot or war. Politics, even at that level makes for strange bedfellows.
posted by jonmc at 6:42 AM on December 27, 2006

Wow, fascinating. I never ever thought I'd ever say this, but: Hitler must have been rolling in his grave.
posted by mkultra at 6:58 AM on December 27, 2006

I do enjoy reading the phrase "White Power advocate Don Black.
posted by gcbv at 7:17 AM on December 27, 2006

He's a big fan of black singer Barry White, I'm told.
posted by jonmc at 7:20 AM on December 27, 2006

Found a beautiful wall-hanging map of Dominica, and over the years others have admired it and then got their own copies. Knowing nothing about the place we've talked about all going there together on a vacation. We'll look a little closer before booking our trip.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:21 AM on December 27, 2006

Elwood: "Canadian Nazis."

Jake: "I hate Canadian Nazis."
posted by quin at 9:29 AM on December 27, 2006

Fascinating post, Sticherbeast. And nickyskye, that Emperor Jones cite was a great association.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:16 AM on December 27, 2006

StickyCarpet, here’s a link to a travel memoir that is very detailed: it’s titled “Looking for Jean Rhys.”
posted by sophieblue at 12:56 PM on December 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

Droege tried to beat me to death in '93. I found out he died when my mother called to make sure I had an alibi. The experience around being involved as an antiracist activist and a witness at his trial opened my eyes to exactly how incompetent everyone involved was, from the antiracists who could have testified and put him in jail to the crown and judge, who gave no weight to the fact that he tried to invade Dominica in argument or sentencing. In that context, the almost cartoonish attempt to overthrow a government seems almost slick by comparison . . .

. . . that is, if it resembles what actually happened. The other thing I learned was that popular accounts of this sort of thing are so laden with bullshit as to deserve minimal trust.
posted by mobunited at 1:34 PM on December 27, 2006 [2 favorites]

Thank god this fiendish plot was stopped. Where would they have filmed Pirates of the Caribbean 4?
posted by XMLicious at 3:08 PM on December 27, 2006

It's a good thing these fucking Soldier-Of-Fortune wannabes are generally so incompetent and hubristic (NTM small in number), otherwise we'd be in trouble.

Who do you think runs the US security agencies now that the Bush admin has pushed out the old career guys and "reality based" experts? I wish I was kidding.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:32 PM on December 27, 2006

holy shit, mobunited, What a story and experience. Glad you're alive, that you survived his violence and that you're an antiracist activist.

Do you have any thoughts about why people were incompetent in dealing with this psycho? Other trials where psychopaths didn't meet justice come to mind.

And does anybody have any thoughts about why the hell Rastafarians would hitch up with White Supremacists/Nazis or vice versa? It's mind boggling.

jonson, according to this page, As a result of this murder, the Mexican Mafia formed an alliance with the Aryan Brotherhood in 1972, and the Nuestra Familia formed an alliance with the Black Guerilla Family.
posted by nickyskye at 6:45 PM on December 27, 2006

At the time I was involved with ARA Toronto. ARA had an anarchist base (well, an anarchist, queer activist and socialist base, but the second group trickled away and the third group was purged on some kind of vague pretext back when I was around). Thanks to their anti-cop thing they not only didn't send several people to corroborate my testimony and the testimony of a parking enforcement dude who was so scared he wore a wig, they sent *me* to a lawyer with intimations that I should be careful what I said, as Droege's arrest took place during a big melee between ARA members and skinheads (funnily, I tried to leave and was told I'd be "safer" staying with the group. My surgically reset skull and stiff jaw over a decade later are a testament to the brilliance of *that* assertion). Fortunately, the lawyer was a great, ethical guy and helped make me a little more confident.

Droege's lawyer (Harry Doan) turned the trial into a political circus with little objection from the judge or crown. At one point *I* had to *prompt* the crown to object to a blatant request for hearsay. The judge intimated I was a liar because I dyed my hair before I went to sentencing (I was a bit of a punk then, but I wasn't appearing on stand that day). And the fact that he was involved in Red Dog and other serious misadventures was excluded from consideration when it came to his sentence. The judge made a big scene about how politics didn't enter into his decisions, too -- way to emphasize you aren't biased against Nazis, you idiot.

Frankly, the idiocy flew so fast and thick that it's amazing he was found guilty, but he ended up with a light sentence that was reduced on appeal. At this point I decided I had exact as much faith in ARA as it had in me. The trial was well-timed, since along with the CSIS scandal it basically chopped off the head of the Heritage Front (Droege's racist organization). It also kepy Droege from returning to his job as a bonded bailiff.

Here were the problems:
* Despite their mission statement, ARA Toronto had no interest in "doing whatever works." They could have put his ass away for a while. The parking enforcement guy saw Droege continue to beat me while I was unconscious and this was consistent with my injuries.

The irony is that if he'd been sent to prison for longer he might actually still be alive. I didn't take any pleasure in his death. It was the natural sum of incomptence and error taking its toll.

* The judge and crown mishandled the trial, big time. These days, with it happening around the time of the CSIS scandal unfolding, I woner if there was some kind of bullshit in the background.

* The fact that Droege's complicity in multiple Bad Things (not Red Dog, but things like firebombings and beatings in the 90s) was well known by many people. The police did nothing. Again, I wonder if there was another reason. Frankly, even though the ARA did stupid things, they presented effective resistance ro a real problem plaguing communities that the cops didn't seem to interested in helping. Then again, maybe CSIS didn't want anybody interfering with their experiment with Grant Bristow. ARA had an attempted /police government plant as well, but somebody recognized this guy (going by the name of Brian Wiles, IIRC), from some other radical scene.

In other words, this was a bias-driven fuckup where everybody's hands were dirty. I wonder if Red Dog was the same.

BTW, I know the CSIS references seem bizarre, so here's the link:

posted by mobunited at 8:42 PM on December 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

And does anybody have any thoughts about why the hell Rastafarians would hitch up with White Supremacists/Nazis or vice versa? It's mind boggling.

Rastafarianism is rooted in a African supremacist/back to africa movement. Look up Marcus Garvey and the Black Star Line for more info.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:14 PM on December 27, 2006

Thanks for the great answer mobunited. I needed to look up some of the references you made in your comment to better understand your points. Like CSIS, ARA, Heritage Front.

Despite their mission statement, ARA Toronto had no interest in "doing whatever works." That's what I don't understand.

I think it's important to stand up to these kinds of monsters, like Droege. It takes a lot of courage. I'm glad you stood up, that you survived.

Pollomacho, I knew a bit about the Rastafarians and Marcus Garvey but could not figure out why they would hook up with Nazis until I read the phrase in your comment, "back to Africa". That must be it. Both the White Supremacists and the Rastafarians want black people in North America -and presumably the diaspora- to go "back to Africa"? So I Wikipediaed Garvey.

This makes sense: Garvey was not necessarily a believer in Black supremacy. Rather he seemed to have been a believer in racial segregation and autonomy. He recognized the influence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) on some white Americans, and in early 1922, he went to Atlanta, Georgia, for a conference with Edward Young Clarke, KKK imperial giant.

But this stunned me: According to Garvey, "I regard the Klan, the Anglo-Saxon clubs and White American societies, as far as the Negro is concerned, as better friends of the race than all other groups of hypocritical whites put together. I like honesty and fair play. You may call me a Klansman if you will, but, potentially, every white man is a Klansman, as far as the Negro in competition with whites socially, economically and politically is concerned, and there is no use lying."

So now I have a bit of the background of the incomprehensible Rasta + Nazi thing. Thanks for the pointer.
posted by nickyskye at 3:33 AM on December 28, 2006

« Older Gerald Ford Passes Away   |   Planet-hunter probe "Corot" Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments