Thursday, September 18, 2003

T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, helped liberate the area that now includes Iraq from the Turks during WWI. Britain ruled the new area under a mandate from the league of Nations. After being freed from the Turks, you'd think they'd show some gratitude. Instead there were uprisings and assassinations of British soldiers and civilian administrators. So, they sent Lawrence back to Baghdad to report. He wrote these words:

"The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honor. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. ... things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. . ... We are today not far from a disaster."
I got the above from an article in today's LA Times by Michael Keane, a fellow of the U.S. Department of Defense's National Security Education Program, and a lecturer on strategy at the USC Marshall School of Business, titled: "Eigth Pillar of Wisdom? Iraq is a Deep Morass." It's a great article where he reviews Lawrence's thesis about what it takes to make a successful rebellion. You guessed it: have an unassailable base, have an occupying force that's too small to pacify the contested area, and have a friendly population. This is certainly true in the Sunni Triangle, if not most of the country by now.

How many more misspeaks will we hear from the Bushies? How many more people will die?

General Wesley Clark for President

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