Sunday, May 06, 2012

Mercenary With a Heart of Gold

Cloud Coup-Coup Land: How a Rivalry Between Two Mercenaries Landed the Better Man in Prison

This article is by writer HELEN RITTELMEYER who has a fascinating blog called The Cigarette Smoking Blog.

The two worst things that can happen to a mercenary are dying and not getting paid — possibly not in that order. Think of it this way: Plenty of mercenaries have a death-wish; not one has ever had a not-getting-paid-wish. In 1978, “Mad Mike” Hoare was the most famous mercenary in the world, having distinguished himself in the Congo wars of the early 1960s, and he knew from experience that the only thing harder than squeezing money out of a loser who no longer has the means to pay his mercenaries is coaxing it out of a winner who no longer feels like he has to. Hoare had already turned down several jobs when the client proved unwilling to cough up a large down payment, including an offer from the deposed king of Uganda in which Hoare was promised free run of the treasury in Kampala, “as soon as you capture it.”

In other words, it is almost unbelievable that Mike Hoare would agree to stage a coup in the Seychelles without any payment up front, much less agree to finance the preliminary expenses out of his own pocket. But in 1978, against his better judgment, he did. One reason was that Hoare honestly believed in the righteousness of the mission. continue here

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