The final death of Lawrence of Arabia
Peter O'Toole, who was marvelous in "Lawrence of Arabia," died recently. Many commentators and critics feel that Lawrence's story and the movie about him influenced the actions of many European statesmen, politicians, and members of Western foreign ministries and security services. However, there is considerable argument as to whether and what, as a matter of historical fact, T. E. Lawrence contributed to the British war effort by collaborating with the Bedouin tribes of the Arabian Peninsula against the Ottoman Turks during the First World War. Not all historians agree to the truth of the glowing reports of his personality, moral stature and personal behavior.
Nevertheless, the enigmatic figure of Lawrence, an intelligence officer, became a role model for Western diplomats and statesmen, and he is revered as a master of mediating with the leaders of the Arab world. He seemed secretive and manipulative, with the rare ability and knowledge to exploit Arab ideology to achieve victory and foster the interests of the West, and to build inter-cultural cooperation and coexistence in a way that was both noble and romantic.
The Arabs with whom Lawrence collaborated were romanticized and made to appear exotic and other-worldly. The murder, grudges, blood feuds, treachery, deception, destruction, violence, theft, robbery and looting, all deeply ingrained in the psyches of the Arab tribes, were wrapped in romanticism and existentialist concepts explained and justified as necessary, forced upon the Bedouins by their daily struggle to subsist in the hard conditions imposed on them by the desert.
That was the foundation for utterly false and baseless concepts such as "Arab honor" and "his word is his bond," from which the image of the noble, almost feral, desert Bedouin Arab was constructed. Tales worthy of the Thousand and One Nights were told about the loyalty of the Arabs, their honor, trustworthiness and other imaginary transcendental qualities, turning the Arab in to a paradigm on which generations of Western intellectuals were reared, especially those who eventually went to work for the British Foreign Office. Critics of the blind worship of Lawrence have always claimed that the image of the British officer and his Arab partners was constructed through an emotional idealization resulting from a general lack of expertise regarding the Middle East, a region veiled in mystery, wonder and enchantment.
Few people have bothered to read the Muqaddimah, or Introduction, written by Arab historian Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century, in which he describes the Bedouins as destructive, lacking any sense of morality or values, and working only to destroy culture and world order. Even fewer have read Fouad Ajami's 1998 book, The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey, with its painful criticism of the pitiful Arab, whose inherent culture left him no shred of sincerity, creativity or courage. Worse, even fewer members of Arab society itself have dared to honestly criticize its faults for fear of reprisals.
In the West, however, there were scholars who did objectively study the weaknesses and faults of the Arab Middle East, but the lack of openness, jealousy and the dark, ancient tribal pride made the Arabs sneer at such scholars as "Orientalists," unqualified pretenders who had the audacity to claim knowledge of the East. Those industrious, forthright scholars were accused by Arab "intellectuals" like Professor Edward Said of arrogantly patronizing the Arabs. The claim of Said, and others like him, was that they were not scholars but were in reality ignorant, stigmatizing the Arabs because of their imperialist-colonialist mindset and fanatical Christian hatred for the Arabs and Muslims, as well as their unjustified feelings of superiority.
Peter O'Toole was a great actor, but the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" was nothing more than a Hollywood fantasy which, like the imaginary story of Lawrence, swept away many romantics and for decades had a negative impact on the decisions made by influential Western officials and statesmen dealing with policy in the Middle East. The problem is that today as well, Western leaders and policy-makers view and discuss the problems of the Middle East through the prism of Lawrence of Arabia, romantic, distorted and nostalgic as it is, seeing only the unilateral Arab position of every conflict, and adopting paradigms, symbols and historical deceptions as the gospel truth.
Lies told repeatedly, as the past has shown, become historical truths. Actually, Hollywood's world of dreams and fantasy did not penetrate the wandering sand dunes of the evil and unjust acts perpetrated by the Arabs and Bedouins throughout the years of the jahiliyya (the era of ignorance before Islam) which left their indelible imprint of murder and theft. Those crimes accompanied the Arabs and Muslims from the rise of Islam and accompany them to this day. All the evil storms of history visited upon humanity did not expose to the people of Europe (who today host well-established enclaves of radical Islam in their midst) even the surface of the slaughter and injustice carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam, "the religion of peace," against Jews and Christians. Europe is still influenced by the fantasies of Lawrence of Arabia, captivated by the specious charms of the Arabs and Islam and unaware of the catastrophe that will be visited on the world as soon as the Islamist genie is let out of the bottle, making the World Trade Center look like three minutes of "coming attractions."
Emotionally identifying with Lawrence's Arab narrative, the West is in denial. It disregards the warnings radiating from radical Islam and the tragedy of the persecuted, decimated Christian communities in the Arab Middle East as the threat to Europe steadily increases. As a collective blind eye is turned, the lives and property of the Christian communities is stolen, their churches are burned and their honor is defiled, exactly as the ancient Jewish communities in the Arab states were persecuted before they fled for their lives as refugees and eventually found a safe haven in the State of Israel.
Nevertheless, Lawrence of Arabia-style mythology flourishes, the paradigm of the "good, noble Arabs" balancing the paradigm of the "bad, Protocols of the Elders of Zion Jews" who oppress "Palestine," helping to stir the smoldering embers of European anti-Semitism. The ancient European hatred of the Jews, dormant and in remission since the end of the Second World War, has reawakened in a new, politically correct form: Europe does not hate the Jews, but rather it is pro-Palestinian and thus anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli...
Europeans, who for generations (and until the end of the Second World War) evicted the Jews from their countries screeching "Go back to Palestine" now impose boycotts, divestments and sanctions on the descendants of the Jews murdered, tortured and exiled by their grandparents during the Holocaust, persecuting them even after they settled in their ancient home in the Land of Israel. Western leaders claim that as soon as the Palestinian problem, by which they mean the problem of Israel's existence, has been resolved, peace will return to the Middle East. They blame Israel for the stalled negotiations, which have dead-ended simply because the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jew people, which would end the conflict, preferring instead to plot the destruction the State of Israel.
The leaders of the West are fully aware that the problem of the Palestinian refugees was solved long ago and that there are currently millions of genuine refugees all over the world whose lives are in danger. They know that the Arabs' thirst for blood has a multitude of causes that are not even remotely related to "Palestine," but nevertheless they delude themselves into thinking that the chaos in the Middle East will somehow disappear if the Palestinian issue is "resolved." Israel, democratic and pluralistic, which has absorbed Jews from all the countries of the Diaspora, including Ethiopia, is castigated as "apartheid. Western leaders also ignore the critical role played by the Israel's security fence in protecting the country's civilians from Palestinian terrorism, and call it the "apartheid wall."
Those same European politicians, using threats of economic, academic and political sanctions, are currently trying to force Israel into making concessions to the Palestinians that will endanger its future existence and expose it to deadly terrorist attacks. Politicians like John Kerry and Catherine Ashton, who have virtually no understanding of the Middle Eastern mindset, exert pressure on the Israelis in an attempt to rob them of the land of their forefathers, the only place on earth where they found a genuine haven free of anti-Semitism, and to expose them to existential dangers equaled only the 1930s and '40s.
Fortunately for the West, what was mistakenly called the Arab Spring quickly turned into the Arab Winter, and the storms of internecine Sunni-Shi'ite terrorism and slaughter exposed the convenient lapses of memory for what they were and tore away the myths concealing the true face of the Arab-Muslim world. It is now a recognizable fact that all over the globe, wherever there are Arabs and Muslims there is slaughter, terrorism, mass murder of both brother Muslims and "infidels,' pedophilia, the oppression of women, rape, the murder and persecution of Jews and Christians, the burning of houses of worship, and the use of weapons of mass destruction to kill civilians, none of which has the slightest relevance to the so-called "issue of Palestine."
The Lawrence of Arabia syndrome Western politicians suffer from illustrates the limitations of people like Barack Obama, John Kerry and Catherine Ashton. Raised on Western values of pluralism and integration and influenced by British intellectual orientation, they have absolutely no ability to even imagine let alone appreciate or understand the manipulations of which Shi'ite Iranian Ayatollahs and Sunni Arab sheikhs and leaders are capable.
At the recent meetings held by Western politicians with representatives of Shi'ite and Sunni Islam and with the heads of the Palestinian terrorist syndicate, meetings which dealt with their various religious schools, it was obvious that not only are the Westerners innocents, but that every P5+1 leader goes to bed at night feeling that he, personally, is today's Lawrence of Arabia. It is sad to see how pathetic they were, and how frightening, as they lead the Western world toward the brink of a Third World War.
Anyone who follows the misguided Middle East policies of the European Union and John Kerry in their dealings with Iran can easily understand the extent to which Lawrence of Arabia's deceptive heritage is a dangerous illusion, a desert mirage. In Hollywood the movie ends with the credits, but in reality European and American innocence will end with catastrophic mass killings, with millions murdered by terrorism, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, a situation only hinted at by events in Iraq and Syria. Which of today's Western leaders would like to be remembered by history as responsible, and credited with writing the script?
Liberals’ Skewed View of Conservatives
Have you ever been pigeon-holed at a party by a liberal? I recommend avoiding it at all costs, but if it happens, go with it. You’ll get an education in what our opponents actually think as he rails, whines and complains about the terrible, inhuman monster that lurks on the fringes of American society.
This scourge is called a “conservative,” and I hope I never meet one in a dark alley. They apparently carry automatic weapons as they stalk the streets, hating science and hunting the poor for sport.
You’ll quickly note how your liberal monologist – they literally never shut up – is a scholar of all things conservative. Of course, he has never actually met one, living as he does in an urban sewer like San Francisco or in a subsidized academic enclave of Marxist fantasy like Berkeley. But who needs experience when you can get convenient bite-sized morsels of pre-processed ideology from MSNBC between the endless reruns of Lock Up?
First off, you’ll learn that conservatives are scary. They tend to identify with the traditional male paradigm that values aggressiveness, fierce patriotism, and personal responsibility. And that’s just conservative women.
Conservatives believe in owning guns, and will barbarically celebrate whenever some poor victim of society gets ventilated trying to invade a conservative’s home. Conservatives owning guns is terrible because they could, in theory, go on one of those shooting sprees liberals love to exploit. Except they never do – shooters inevitably have either written mash notes to the pantheon of liberal idols or received instructions from their talking Rottweilers. The Tea Party gunman remains the liberals’ Holy Grail.
Now, how liberals ignore the utter lack of conservative violence when arguing for confiscating their guns illustrates another theme. A lack of empirical evidence is not a problem for a liberal. Evidence isn’t an issue when your entire ideology trains you to come to a politically useful conclusion, then work backwards.
Take Obamacare. To a conservative, the evidence would seem to be damning. You can’t sign up for it. You can’t keep the policy you like, or buy a new one that meet your needs. The prices are going up. You can’t get in to see your doctor. Grey’s Anatomy is still on the air.
But to a liberal, its total failure is no problem. You see, Obamacare is a self-evident good. It centralizes power to the liberal elite, so trivialities like it being an utter fiasco are irrelevant.
Also, and most importantly, you will learn that Obamacare is a wonderful because conservatives hate black people. If fact, apparently conservatives would eagerly have embraced the President’s entire socialist agenda if only his mother and father had both come from the fjords of Norway.
Your liberal amateur anthropologist will explain to you that racism is the defining characteristic of conservatism. Apparently, all conservatives think of is race, which seems odd considering that it’s liberals who won’t stop talking about it.
Conservatives are also religious, which makes them even worse. Your liberal interlocutor will be happy to put on his theologian hat and start talking about how all conservatives hate evolution, believe dinosaurs and cavemen coexisted, and burn crosses.
Oh wait, that last one is a Democrat thing. Remember, even if you could wedge a word in edgewise, it would be impolite to mention the Democrat origins of the KKK, Democrat hero Woodrow Wilson’s racial theories, or to seek clarification about whether Democrat Senate icon Robert Byrd was an Imperial Cyclops or an Exalted Kleagle.
Your liberal conversationalist might even offer you a few select Bible verses to reinforce how a Jewish carpenter from 2000 years ago who he doesn’t believe in totally would have agreed with all his 21st Century leftist policy prescriptions. He’ll get mad if you suggest that Jesus’s initial reaction to Obamacare would probably be to chide its sponsors for lying about it.
You will also learn that conservatives hate the poor, including conservatives who were poor until adhering to conservative values, along with hard work, made them not poor any more.
After all, hate is the only possible explanation for conservative resentment of a government that steals the money conservatives worked hard to earn to give it to Democrat serfs who, by definition didn’t work hard at all. Well, hate and racism, because the totally-not-at-all-racist liberals assume anyone poor is a minority.
Another great thing about liberals is that they don’t need any “experience” or “training” to feel free to opine. I recall one hipster lecturing me on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Although Iraqi weapons of mass destruction had been my job during Operation Desert Storm, I was enthralled by the perspective of someone whose tactical background consisted of reading slam poetry at coffee house open mics in Burbank.
You’ll find they’re weapons experts too. That’s why they can explain how you don’t need a modern “assault rifle.” Yeah, listen to that guy with the “Arms are for hugging” bumpersticker on this Pirus. He knows. He’ll also be happy to tell you how the law should limit the number of calibers in the magazine clip of your automatic AR-15 assault cannon.
And, finally, you’ll hear about how conservatives totally hate sex. This is likely to be followed with complaints about the large size of conservative families. By that point, you’ve probably been introduced to your liberal acquaintance’s spouse and now understand why liberal families are so small and why your liberal buddy is so very, very unhappy.
Just smile, nod, and spare him a little pity as you excuse yourself to head to the bar to get yourself a double.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)