Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 23:01 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 23:01 | SYDNEY

A secret weapon against terrorism: Ennui


Sam Roggeveen


1 October 2008 15:09

Foreign Policy magazine's blog, Passport, notes that the BBC has amusingly misquoted General Petraeus: the Beeb claimed Petraeus referred to The Taliban as an 'existentialist' threat to Pakistan, whereas he actually said 'existential'. Passport then takes a stab at what an 'existentialist' threat to Pakistan might consist of, but they have clearly never heard of France's feared and battle-tested Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade:

The ground war in Afghanistan hotted up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of Taleban zealots by proving the non-existence of God. 

Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or 'Black Berets', will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris's Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers' ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.