After the war Lt Col. T.E Lawrence (2nd right) accompanied the Arab delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, acting initially as Prince Feisal’s (centre) adjutant, he lobbied leaders to uphold the promises made to the Arabs. However, his fame in Britain courtesy of American journalist Lowell Thomas meant he was regarded by British officials as the enemy within and was effectively barred from the conference. The repercussions were swift. Within the year, the Middle East was aflame, enraged at seeing their Ottoman masters replaced by European ones. The notion of a unified Arab nation gone forever. Tasked to clean up the debacle was the new British Colonial Secretary, Winston Churchill, who invited Lawrence to act as political advisor in his Middle East Dept. Following the Cairo Conference in 1921, Faisal, deposed by the French in Syria, would be placed on a new throne in British-controlled Iraq and out of the British buffer state of Transjordan, the nation of Jordan would be created, with Faisal’s brother Abdullah at its head.
Lawrence resigned from his post, changed his name and petitioned to re-enlist in the British military as a private. He joined the Royal Air Force under the name of John Hume Ross. When his identity was discovered, he joined the Royal Tank Corps under the name of Thomas Edward Shaw and then returned to the Air Force to serve in England and India for ten years. He left the service in 1935 and moved to Moreton, Dorset where he bought a modest refuge, a little cottage named Clouds Hill, a broken and lonely man. “I imagine leaves must feel like this after they have fallen from their tree and until they die” Lawrence wrote in a letter to a friend. He was known only to his neighbours as Pvt. T.E. Shaw, a reclusive serviceman rarely seen except when riding his Brough motorcycles through the countryside.
In the last 12 years of his life, Lawrence owned seven motorcycles manufactured by George Brough. Handbuilt in Nottingham, they were the fastest in Britain at the time. On 13 May 1935, just two weeks after leaving service, Lawrence tried to avoid two boys on bicycles on the road near his Dorset home, lost control of his motorcycle and slammed into the ground. He died at Bovington Camp Hospital without regaining consciousness a few days later.
As many of you have heard, a few
hours ago, France began bombing Syria, targeting ISIS after the terror
attacks in Paris on Friday. But is this what should be done, or is this a
knee jerk reaction which will have dire consequences down the road?
and foremost, my concern lies with the innocent people of Syria. Of the
20 sites targeted today, we know one was an ISIS training ground, one
was an ammunition facility, and one was a command/control platform for
the group, but what were the others and are future strikes limited to
verified ISIS sites, or could France begin bombing civilian homes or
hospitals like the United States does across the Middle East? How many
children will then be deemed ‘collateral damage’ by the government and
brushed off as a ‘cost of war?’
Second, what is the limit? How
many bombs is too many bombs? How many fatalities are acceptable? The
attack in Paris was horrific, and the death toll currently stands at
132, but will France learn from the post 9/11 actions of the United
States, which resulted in the fall of Iraqi forces, the destabilization
of the entire region, the creation of ISIS, and deaths of 1.5 million
Third, who is benefiting from this escalation in
violence? Will French weapons companies and politicians pocket billions
in profits as bombs explode? Will this create a thirst for war by those
whose pockets become deeper every time someone is killed?
is there a diplomatic solution? One with limited violence by cutting off
ISIS and squeezing them financially, territoriality, and removing
supplies from them? One of removing their online influence and also
pushing them to collapse in on themselves like the North did to the
South during the American Civil War.
Fifth, are the French
realistic in their knowledge of the past and present, or are they
blinded by the patriotic anger sparked by those dark hours? After 9/11,
Americans blindly backed the efforts of the U.S. government, we bought
into the propaganda and refused to believe that we could do wrong, but
in recent years, the full scope of our wrongdoings under the Bush
Administration has come to light. We were also told we were attacked
because of our 'freedom,’ when in all reality, it had more to do with
our warring beliefs than our political ideologies. France is now being
told the same, they were attacked because of freedom and liberty, but
maybe France is being targeted for other reasons, like their activities
in the Middle East, their limiting of freedom of speech when it comes to
Palestine, or the increase in Islamophobic attacks in recent years. I
want to make clear that I do not support or justify the attacks on Paris
this Friday, but am simply reminding everyone of the truth.
by dropping bombs on a foreign country, already decimated by years of
civil war and invasion, is bombing them only the continuation of the
circle of violence? Sure, in the short run, killing all of the militants
seems to work, but just like Al Qaeda, the extremists will come back by
using this retaliation as propaganda to fuel a new generation of
fighters, a practice all sides are guilty of using. So when a Syrian boy
sees a French jet dropping bombs on his neighbourhood, do you think he
will grow up to see France as a friend or foe? Take the United States
for example, do you think a young Palestinian boy is more likely to join
Hamas when all he sees are American bombs and bullets dropped on his
people by Israel? Maybe he would grow up without that anger if the
United States tried to help Palestine. The same applies to Iraq and
Iran, the United States is fueling the fire with our aggression, we are
giving the next generation reason to see us an enemies rather than
friends, and they are doing the same. This creates a never ending circle
of death and destruction. France must understand this and think long
and hard about how they want to act.
Now, I am not French, so I
can’t say what the right answer is, but I want to pose these points so
people across the world will understand it isn’t as simple as it seems. I
fear this reaction is simply going to make matters worse. Bombing for
peace is something that does not work. In the words of President Jimmy
Carter; “War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how
necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to
live together in peace by killing each other’s children.”
PSA: ALL MUSLIMS AND REFUGEES, PLEASE FIND A SAFE INDOOR PLACE TO STAY. THE MEDIA AND PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY BEGUN TO BLAME ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM AND THE FRENCH MILITARY ACTIONS IN SYRIA AS THE REASON FOR THE TRAGEDY TODAY
Terrorism and terrorists should be treated the same wherever they are
Just a few weeks ago the French Foreign minister was proudly announcing that France has sent more weapons to arm “moderate rebels” as they called them which are mostly French Jihadists who went into Syria through Turkey together with other terrorists.
Seeing the attack of Charlie Hebdo in Paris today just reminded me of the terrorists in Syria that the French government has been arming for 4 years now! Civilians who died on the hands of those terrorists in Paris today are just as valuable as those who died in Syria on the hands of the same ideology, the same hatred and who are trained by the same source.
So unfortunately that this very sad event had to happen in France so that you (Mr. Hollande and your government) can understand how much the Syrian people despised you for continuing to arm those terrorists in our country.
My the souls of those 12 innocent Martyrs rest in Peace