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Author Topic: The Malakand Field Force  (Read 354 times)
kingbee
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« on: August 15, 2012, 12:48:54 PM »

The Gutenberg Project is a wonderful place to access free books about almost any subject in many different languages.  However I think that there is a small charge if you download a book in the Kindle format.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/9404/9404-h/9404-h.htm#2HCH0001
The above link will open the full file containing Sir Winston Churchill’s first book, The Malakand Field Force.  The folowing is an excerpt from chapter one where Sir Winston describes the peoples and tribes living on the Afghanistan, Pakistan (British India) frontier.  This book’s copyright protection has expired and I can therefore submit this clip to you, free of charge and obligations. 

Clip: …….Churchill’s description of the Malakand tribes and peoples, the late 19th Century British spelling Churchill used has been maintained.…..

“The inhabitants of these wild but wealthy valleys are of many tribes, but of similar character and condition. The abundant crops which a warm sun and copious rains raise from a fertile soil, support a numerous population in a state of warlike leisure. Except at the times of sowing and of harvest, a continual state of feud and strife prevails throughout the land. Tribe wars with tribe. The people of one valley fight with those of the next. To the quarrels of communities are added the combats of individuals. Khan assails khan, each supported by his retainers. Every tribesman has a blood feud with his neighbor. Every man's hand is against the other, and all against the stranger.”

“Nor are these struggles conducted with the weapons which usually belong to the races of such development. To the ferocity of the Zulu are added the craft of the Redskin and the marksmanship of the Boer. The world is presented with that grim spectacle, "the strength of civilisation without its mercy." At a thousand yards the traveller falls wounded by the well-aimed bullet of a breech-loading rifle. His assailant, approaching, hacks him to death with the ferocity of a South-Sea Islander. The weapons of the nineteenth century are in the hands of the savages of the Stone Age.”

“Every influence, every motive, that provokes the spirit of murder among men, impels these mountaineers to deeds of treachery and violence. The strong aboriginal propensity to kill, inherit in all human beings, has in these valleys been preserved in unexampled strength and vigour. That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword—the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men—stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism. The love of plunder, always a characteristic of hill tribes, is fostered by the spectacle of opulence and luxury which, to their eyes, the cities and plains of the south display. A code of honour not less punctilious than that of old Spain, is supported by vendettas as implacable as those of Corsica.”

“In such a state of society, all property is held directly by main force. Every man is a soldier. Either he is the retainer of some khan—the man-at-arms of some feudal baron as it were—or he is a unit in the armed force of his village—the burgher of mediaeval history. In such surroundings we may without difficulty trace the rise and fall of an ambitious Pathan. At first he toils with zeal and thrift as an agriculturist on that plot of ground which his family have held since they expelled some former owner. He accumulates in secret a sum of money. With this he buys a rifle from some daring thief, who has risked his life to snatch it from a frontier guard-house. He becomes a man to be feared. Then he builds a tower to his house and overawes those around him in the village. Gradually they submit to his authority. He might now rule the village; but he aspires still higher. He persuades or compels his neighbors to join him in an attack on the castle of a local khan. The attack succeeds. The khan flies or is killed; the castle captured. The retainers make terms with the conqueror. The land tenure is feudal. In return for their acres they follow their new chief to war. Were he to treat them worse than the other khans treated their servants, they would sell their strong arms elsewhere. He treats them well. Others resort to him. He buys more rifles. He conquers two or three neighboring khans. He has now become a power.”

“Many, perhaps all, states have been founded in a similar way, and it is by such steps that civilisation painfully stumbles through her earlier stages. But in these valleys the warlike nature of the people and their hatred of control, arrest the further progress of development. We have watched a man, able, thrifty, brave, fighting his way to power, absorbing, amalgamating, laying the foundations of a more complex and interdependent state of society. He has so far succeeded. But his success is now his ruin. A combination is formed against him. The surrounding chiefs and their adherents are assisted by the village populations. The ambitious Pathan, oppressed by numbers, is destroyed. The victors quarrel over the spoil, and the story closes, as it began, in bloodshed and strife.”
Clip:

Now can you people see why President Obama had Sir Winston Churchill’s bust removed from the White House.  This bust of Churchill was given to us by the British as a reminder of our own enemy Blitzkrieg or London Blitz, the 9/11 attacks.  Churchill obviously understands the character of Obama’s heart and Mohammedan culture as well as Obama does, despite Churchill never having met Barrack Hussein bin-Obama.   Remember both the President and Churchill traveled extensively in Pakistan as young men, I will stipulate that they both know or knew the truth about the area.
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 02:21:04 PM »

good stuff.  lots of Churchill available in audio format also.  his speeches could have been given today and be relevant. the William Manchester biography is excellent. unfortunately only the first two books of what would have been a 3 book series were written.

there are a number of ways to download those Gutenberg books.  i have several free readers.  OverDrive has really expanded what you can easily get.  since i prefer android, i have lots of choices.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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