29 Jun '14, 1pm

If you really want to know, read 2013's Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson:

… You may remember the scene when, after dynamiting the Hijaz railway and looting a Turkish supply train, Lawrence is asked by an American reporter, "What, in your opinion, do these people hope to gain from this war?" "They hope to gain their freedom," Lawrence replies, and when the journalist scoffs, insists, "They're going to get it. I'm going to give it to them." At war's end, Lawrence's vision of Arab independence was shattered when the Versailles peace conference confirmed the carving of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine into British and French spheres of influence; arbitrary boundaries drawn in the sand to satisfy the appetites of empire – Britain's Foreign Office even called the former Ottoman lands "The Great Loot." The hopeful Lawrence drew his own "peace map" of the region, one that paid closer heed to tribal allegiances and rivalries. The map could have saved t...

Full article: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/what-we-can-learn-from-l...

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