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From John Chau to Captain Cook: The fatal attractions of Missionaries and other Colonising Zealots. Part Five: The Four Pillars of George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Friday, 14 December 2018 00:00;
Custer’s fatal attack on the Plains peoples, made famous as the Battle of the Little Big Horn, known to the Lakota as the Battle of the Slippery Grass, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. It was a decisive and total rout of the regiment of that proud and haughty United States Army which he impulsively led into battle on the day. It’s a battle that has gone down in the annals of history as a day that native people fought back and won. Of course, the dreadful and revenge filled retribution imposed by United States government forces that followed, is an uncomfortable and inconvenient truth for white America to face today; one usually avoided or simply ignored. George Custer, portrayed as swaggering hero; the truth of the man is likely to have been something far less admirable. The background for Custer’s attack was an aggressive policy by the United States…

From John Chau to Captain Cook: The fatal attractions of Missionaries and other Colonising Zealots. Part Six: The Four Pillars of General Charles (Pasha) Gordon.

Thursday, 13 December 2018 00:00;
In yet a further parallel to the Battle of the Big Horn, this time 9 years later, 1885, we find another case of a small imperialist force, far from its home base, trying valiantly to defend their government’s invasive policies over local tribal peoples and coming off second best. Until that is, the reinforcements of a larger relief column are expected to inexorably ride in and wreak righteous revenge and retribution. This time it was the British adventurer and career soldier, General Charles Gordon. He was there ostensibly, to report on the best way for the withdrawal of Egyptian Forces in the Sudan to be carried out. The Egyptians were under threat from the supporters of the self-proclaimed Mahdi, (Islamic saviour - Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah). The (Mad) Mahdi, as the British frequently referred to him, was hell bent on freeing the Sudan of its Egyptian overlords and converting…

From John Chau to Captain Cook: The fatal attractions of Missionaries and other Colonising Zealots. Part Seven: The Curious Case of Michael Rockefeller.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018 00:00;
In November of 1961, one of the younger scions of the wealthy Rockefeller family, Michael Clark Rockefeller, disappeared somewhere along the coast of Southwest Netherlands New Guinea, as it was then known. He was the youngest son of Nelson Rockefeller who was later to serve as Vice-President to Gerald Ford, and at the time of Michael’s disappearance, was Governor of New York. Having served time in the US army, Michael, turned his attention to doing something he himself wanted. He’d completed a business degree and served his country’s military requirements, he knew he would be expected to go into business by his family. (This shows up in his four pillars but more on this shortly.) With an interest in the arts and a taste for adventure, he joined the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition to document and film the Dani cannibals in the Highlands of New Guinea who it was thought…

From John Chau to Captain Cook: The fatal attractions of Missionaries and other Colonising Zealots. Part Eight: The Tragedy of Koda Shosei.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 00:00;
In October 2004 a young 24 yr old Japanese man, Koda Shosei, travelled alone to Iraq from Amman in Jordan, and shortly after entering that country, was captured by Islamic fundamentalists associated with Al Qaida, and brutally murdered by having his head hacked from his body with a hunting knife. The event was filmed live and broadcast to the world as part of the terrorist’s campaign to gain world attention. In that at least, they were successful. But what on earth had enticed this clearly innocent but fatally naïve young man to go somewhere as dangerous and chaotic as Iraq? There had already been several beheadings by the same group, and indeed just shortly prior to Koda’s entering Iraq, another group of Japanese volunteers had also been kidnapped and held to ransom. The Japanese government steadfastly refused to capitulate and pay the ransom money to that group of terrorists. Fortunately,…