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Lessons of "LAWRENCE OF ARABIA"

By       Message JERRY TENUTO     Permalink
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After some silver-tongued wizardry, Lawrence convinces the King to go on the offensive. However, to do so would mean combining forces with other tribes, most notably that of Anthony Quinn.

Now, Quinn 's tribe is kind of the Mescalero Apache to Guinness ' Cherokee the former is excessively fierce and takes whatever spoils it can carry; the latter fights for survival.

Lesson three: Occupation makes strange bedfellows.

Bickering between factions is a regular occurrence, yet they manage to forge on and fight as one, driven by love for Arabia and hatred for the Turkish invaders and pride.

Lesson four: Never underestimate the power of hate.

As winter approaches, Quinn takes his tribe and their share of the spoils home with a promise to return in the spring. Knowing that letting up on the Turks would give them time to regroup and gain strength, Lawrence leads a costly campaign of guerrilla warfare with constantly diminishing numbers.

Upon Quinn 's return, Lawrence convinces the combined Arab freedom fighters to do the impossible they traverse the desert and attack the port city of Aqaba at its weakest point.

Lesson five: It 's a no-brainer that desert dwellers travel through the desert.
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Once the Arabs have control of the city, King Guinness takes a stab at establishing some form of democratic, or at least shared responsibility, type of government. One tribe takes over the water works, another the electric plant, and so on and so forth.

The spanner in the works is that none of these tribesmen has any training in the operation or maintenance of such urban machinery and infrastructure systems. Without the Turks, nothing is working.

What is supposed to be a council of the victorious rapidly breaks down into a mob scene. Each king, emir, prince or what have you has his own agenda and point of view, plus wants his people taken care of first. Most of their disagreements are borne on the wings of emotional reactions and steeped within the level of each leader 's personal devotion to Allah.

Lesson six: You can 't expect someone to accept democracy if it 's not on his or her radar.

With people who live off the land now moving into buildings, some things just aren 't going to mesh. Before long, fires start to break out, first in one neighborhood, then another, and another. The tribe in charge of the fire department refuses to put fires out in certain areas because of long-standing disputes; some tribes won 't allow the fire department into their neighborhoods, or to even pass through to another.
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Besides, the water isn 't running, anyway.

And the electric generators have frozen up, so the need for oil lamps arises. Oops! More fires!

The British hierarchy, who orchestrated the Arab revolt and got them to run off the Turks, now sit back on their haunches and wait. In short order King Guinness will be forced to seek them out for assistance.

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www.lonestaricon.com

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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