[ by Charles Cameron — observing with interest the slow turning of the tides ]
That was then:
This is now:
To be honest, the best graphic match would have been one between Anup Kaphle‘s imag of George V‘s kill in Nepal:
and Declan Walsh‘s picture of a Pakistani hunting party’s trove of houbara bustards —
I just couldn’t resist the BBC’s amazing picture of the bustard in their tweet, though — hence my choice in the DoubleTweet above.
Truoble in paradise for a Saudi prince:
Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the governor of Tabuk province — along with his entourage had killed 2,100 houbara over 21 days during last year’s hunt, according to an official report leaked to the Pakistani news media, or about 20 times more than his allocated quota.
That’s from Walsh’s piece. Also:
Cargo planes fly tents and luxury jeeps into custom-built desert airstrips, followed by private jets carrying the kings and princes of Persian Gulf countries along with their precious charges: expensive hunting falcons that are used to kill the white-plumed houbara.
And in case a tie-in with counterterrorism might be appropriate, given my usual interests, there’s this —
In recent times the hunts have also played a role, albeit unwitting, in the United States’s war against Al Qaeda.
Osama bin Laden took refuge at a houbara hunting camp in western Afghanistan in the late 1990s, by several accounts, at a time when the C.I.A. was plotting to assassinate him with a missile strike.