Sunday, 9 February 2014

Blame Britain

The last of the Mahdist infantry is done....
So that's 180 Mahdist infantry complete. Which means I have painted over 300 figures in the past two weeks, which is fairly good going.

Next up is the British... though I may take a detour into painting some other stuff for a change - I've got some 28mm Napoleonics knocking about somewhere - and there is some 15mm WWII that either need painting or selling.

I'm tempted to sell them, and get some 10mm WWII stuff instead as I am really liking the scale - and if I got a Western Desert force then the terrain I have in mind for the Sudan can double up.

Which has got me thinking about maybe doing a Lawrence of Arabia thing, and maybe the Crusades to scratch that Ancients itch. Though I am loath to completely abandon the WWI Western Front project, especially as I have put in a fair amount of work on it.


I watched Khartoum yesterday on utube. It's a while since I saw it, and was rather pleasantly surprised at the intellectual depth of the script - not something one normally associates with a 'war film' - Ralph Richardson's portrayal of Gladstone was particularly pleasing.

It is perhaps surprising, given the numerous modern parallels, that the Sudan conflict has such little supporting material on the interwebz, in the way of documentaries.  Therefore as I drained the last of the Malbec I ended up watching this documentary made by Al Jazeera. Whilst it was not terrible, I did find myself wondering why the situation in South Sudan is the fault fo the British, as the film maker claims.

To paraphrase - in @1830 the Egyptians managed to find a way through the marshes which led to an escalation in the slave trade. In the 1870's the Mahdi led a revolt against Egyptian rule, Gordon was killed at Khartoum. Missionaries went to the south. After independence a civilian government was formed of mainly northern muslims, coup, civilian administration, coup, civilian administration, coup, coup, civilian administration, sharia law, civil war, civilian administration, coup, coup, etc... the time line might be a nit off in my description but you get the idea.

Quite what any of this has anything to do with Britain was rather baffling.

Unless the logic is that had Britain not been involved the people of the south would have eventually become muslim by a mixture of slavery and conquest, and that they would have known their place within Sudan - namely that they are slaves and should do what the people in the north tell them.

Which is all rather Utopian stuff, and probably to be expected given the links between anti-colonialism and radical islam that developed in the 1960's and 70's.


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