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Lawrence of Iraq

10.28.2005 12:18 | DISPATCHES

Double-crossed by his own government (T.E.) Lawrence of Arabia was unable to succeed in bringing to Arabs the independence he fought for with them. The British occupation of Iraq also frustrated him.

Here's an excerpt from a 1920 Sunday Times article, as quoted in An Alliance Against Babylon: The U.S., Israel, and Iraq (Pluto Books, 2005) by veteran TV and print correspondent, John Cooley:

Iraq was "a trap from which it will be hard (for Britain) to escape with dignity and honor. . . (and) worse than the old Turkish system. They [read: Saddam] kept fourteen thousand local conscripts and killed a yearly average of two hundred Arabs in maintaining peace. We keep ninety thousand men, with aeroplanes, armoured cars, gunboats and armoured trains. We have killed about ten thousand Arabs in this rising this summer. . . How long will we permit millions of pounds, thousands of imperial troops, and tens of thousands of Arabs to be sacrificed on behalf of colonial administration which can benefit nobody but the administrators?"

"Prophetic" is Cooley's only comment.


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