Post by CJ Buyers
In other words, they're just like the
American soldiers, their allies and, if he really did any fighting --
which I sincerely doubt -- our good buddy Prince Harry. They're
You may certainly "doubt" many things, but I don't think "sincerity"
comes anywhere close to your sentiments on anything.
Oh, by the way we don't have a big problem with "mercenaries" in the
British Army. The Gurkhas hold a supremely honourable tradition with
most people in this country. You may like to know, fact-void person,
Prince Harry did part of his service on foot patrol with the Royal
Oh, given the history of the British Empire, I'm sure you have no
problem whatsoever with mercenaries in the British Army! You know, I
just read a biography of that charmer, Cecil Rhodes. Persuaded the
British Empire to wipe out every single Boer women and child in
concentration camps, just because they were in the way of his gold and
diamond mines. No wonder the British have to suck up to the Yanks all
the time. Without them, they'd get wiped out by the rest of the
planet, which they spent centuries exploiting!
Cecil Rhodes, founder of De Beers -- still the largest diamond
in the world -- and, effectively, "conqueror" of half of Africa,
remains an extraordinary illustration of both the best and the worst
in the human character, and in the human condition. The son of a
country cleric, he transferred his early religious faith into a
passionate fervor for the expansion of the British Empire by whatever
means were necessary, as a manifestation of social Darwinism for the
improvement and perfection of the human species. And, in so doing,
created an entire sub-culture of "eager young men", passionately
attached to him and his "vision" -- not of a better world, but of a
more British world.
Rhodes travelled to the diamond mines of South Africa as a teenager
the early 1870's, did well, used his money to take a degree at
returned to South Africa and used his charm and experience to take
over the mineral markets of Africa. As his power and wealth
increased, he obtained the legal right to use his companies to raise
money for private armies, and to take huge tracts of African land
the natives by armed force. He was even successful in direct
confrontations with the imperial armies of the other nations of
Europe. It was Rhodes and his shareholders, against the world!
Rhodes started out as a champion and friend of the black natives, and
ended up by exploiting them and denying them their rights.
he was interested in money and power, and would take whatever route
led most directly to this end. I don't believe Rhodes was
particularly a racist. After all, it was Rhodes who caused the Boer
War, in which virtually all women and children of the White Boer
colonists were exterminated in concentration camps by the British
imperialists. He would destroy anything in his way, regardless of
race, age, gender or creed.
Rhodes was certainly one of the models for the character of "Kurtz"
Joseph Conrad's famous novella "Heart of Darkness". While the novel
is more commonly associated with the Belgian Congo, and the cruder
violence of small-scale traders in ivory against the natives, it
clear that Conrad had in mind the broader implications of imperialism
and exploitation in general. And no one ever was better at these
Rhodes! Fusing the "vision" of Rhodes with the crude tortures
employed by imperialistic thugs against helpless natives gets to the
"heart" of things here: religious perversion. The concept of
tortured, mutilated natives worshipping their exploiters presents a
pretty clear picture of what the capitalist-imperialists had in mind.
And, it clarifies the parallel to the Roman imperialists with their
Emperor-Gods that Conrad makes at the beginning of the book.
Because, this perversion of human nature is the "Horror" of which
Kurtz dies whispering. The reduction of religion and human purpose
exploitation and control. Capitalism at its most extreme.
Just as in the Vietnam War, and Francis Ford Coppola's classic
adaptation of "Heart of Darkness" as "Apocalypse Now". Just as now,
with American mercenaries exploiting the people of Iraq for oil,
and power. Aided by Vice-President Richard Cheney's private
Blackwater armies...the Horror...the Horror...