LESSONS OF `LAWRENCE OF ARABIA‘

By Jerry Tenuto

[This article was published in a longer form in: The Lone Star Iconoclast, August 31, 2005, www.iconoclast-texas.com.]


I wonder if George W. Bush has ever seen “Lawrence of Arabia.”

The first time I saw this World War I epic was around the age of 11 or 12 and its effect on me was profound indeed. Without question it’s my favorite movie, one that I’ve seen probably 20 times or more.

Maybe he passed on it because it was one of those foreign films from England, and figured he could never keep up with the sub-titles.

Perhaps he did go to see this great movie and left after two hours at the intermission, thinking it was over and having no idea there were nearly two hours left.

If Bush #43 had seen the entire film, and been sober at the time, it just might have impressed upon him the fact that Arab nations are made up of myriad tribes.

These tribes have their own lands, customs and languages. They wear clothing unique to themselves. The rank-and-file are proud of their warrior heritage, unquestioningly loyal to the tribal leader, a code of honor, and Allah.

Not to mention those that are only in it for the prizes-the money and booty (this last word is open to interpretation).

That’s why they’re ruled by kings, emirs, princes, religious zealots, and sundry other dictatorial types. Not elected officials.

In many ways they share a commonality with the Native Americans who were dissected, dismembered and destroyed by the U.S. Army of the 19th Century.

(Have you ever speculated as to which tribe was run off the land now known as Bush’s Prairie Chapel Ranch?)

Early in “Lawrence,” as English Lt. T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is being escorted by a hired guide to the camp of King (Sir) Alec Guinness, the pair stop at a well. A rider, approaching from the distance, shoots the guide. It is Prince Omar Sharif, who informs Lawrence that the dead man was of a dirty people and not allowed to drink in his well.

Lesson number one: Always know whom your companions are.

Lesson two: Don’t antagonize anyone when you don’t know how they’re going to react.

Lesson three: Occupation makes strange bedfellows.

Lesson four: Never underestimate the power of hate.

Lesson five: It’s a no-brainer that desert dwellers travel through the desert.

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

Lesson seven: See lesson number one.

Nobody asked us to save Iraq. It is not the job or place of the United States of America to attack another sovereign nation just because the president doesn’t like its leader.

Plain and simple, we have less than no business in Iraq. I sincerely doubt that the people there wanted Bush #43 to rain bombs upon their children and elderly, destroying homes and businesses while killing countless tens of thousands of innocents.

There is a major flaw in the character of George W. Bush. He has abused the power of the stolen office of the president to kill and maim without reason or just cause, shows no remorse or grief for his victims or their families, and will not for five seconds admit when he is wrong-in this case dead wrong.

Bush #43, what he has done to us and the world, embodies the putrefication of everything good that has ever symbolized America. In the name of Jesus, no less.

As to those who think this war to steal oil from the Iraqi people is a good thing, and profess unthinking devotion to Bush #43 and every one of his meatheaded policies, my condolences to you. Believe whatever you wish, just do not tell Cindy Sheehan that you profess to know what her son would want her to do! She is doing exactly what every good American is expected to do-call out the government when it has gone over the edge.

It wouldn’t matter if her name were Maria Lopez or Gertrude Bruener, Sophia Mangione or Hannah Goldberg, LaTanya Washington or Vlasta Polaski-the result would be the same! This woman, these mothers who have joined her, have given up sons and daughters for lies and greed from the unelected president of the United States!

The unmitigated gall of George W. Bush! The arrogance! The hubris!

Cindy Sheehan is not making a mockery of her son’s death. Her silence would be a mockery. What he died for was a mockery of everything great about this Nation. It is those who vilify her and denounce the moxie it took to stand up and put the question directly to the first illegal president in our history, the chicken-hawk responsible for the first totally illegal war in our history, that add to the mockery.

You did not know Cindy Sheehan, so quit waving your flag in Cindy Sheehan’s face!

She’s an American, too.

And she sacrificed one hell of a lot to call George W. Bush the least deserving part-time boarder we taxpayers have put up at the White House.