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Lessons of "LAWRENCE OF ARABIA"

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I wonder if George W. Bush has ever seen "Lawrence of Arabia. "

The first time I saw this World War I epic was around the age of eleven or twelve, and its effect on me was profound indeed. Without question it 's my favorite movie, one that I 've seen probably 20 times or more.

Maybe he passed on it because it was one of those foreign films from England, and figured he could never keep up with the sub-titles.

Perhaps he did go to see this great movie and left after two hours at the intermission, thinking it was over and having no idea there were nearly two hours left.

If Bush #43 had seen the entire film, and been sober at the time, it just might have impressed upon him the fact that Arab nations are made up of myriad tribes.

These tribes have their own lands, customs and languages. They wear clothing unique to themselves. The rank-and-file are proud of their warrior heritage, unquestioningly loyal to the tribal leader, a code of honor, and Allah.


Not to mention those that are only in it for the prizes the money and booty (this last word is open to interpretation).

That 's why they 're ruled by kings, emirs, princes, religious zealots, and sundry other dictatorial types. Not elected officials.

In many ways they share a commonality with the Native Americans who were dissected, dismembered and destroyed by the U.S. Army of the 19th Century.

(Have you ever speculated as to which tribe was run off the land now known as Bush 's Prairie Chapel Ranch?)

Early in "Lawrence, " as English Lt. T.E. Lawrence (Peter O 'Toole) is being escorted by a hired guide to the camp of King (Sir) Alec Guinness, the pair stop at a well. A rider, approaching from the distance, shoots the guide. It is Prince Omar Sharif, who informs Lawrence that the dead man was of a dirty people and not allowed to drink in his well.

Lesson number one: Always know whom your companions are.

The Prince leaves Lawrence on his own; he eventually meets up with Maj. Anthony Quayle, senior liaison to King Guinness. As it happens, Sharif is Alec 's son.

Lesson two: Don 't antagonize anyone when you don 't know how they 're going to react.

The King 's warriors move on camelback and carry 19th Century weapons, essentially cumbersome single-shot long rifles. They have access to one small armored car with a machine gun provided by the British. The enemy is the Turkish army, with automatic weapons, cannon, control of the railways, and airplanes. All the King 's camels and all the King 's men do not have the numbers or firepower to fend off the better-equipped Turks.

Maj. Quayle has been trying to get the King to move out of airplane range for some time, but is countered with continual requests for English air support. This isn 't going to happen. Neither can they any further because of tribal boundaries.

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An erstwhile Philosopher and sometime Educator, Jerry Tenuto is a veteran of seven years service in the U.S. Army. He holds a BS and MA in Broadcast Communications from Southern (more...)
 
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