Friday, March 05, 2010

Lawrence of Arabia and Iraq

Well, here's a bit of info that's worthwhile.

Lawrence's chief Arab ally was Prince Feisal of Arabia, who desperately wanted to rule Syria after the war. Secret negotiations between the British and French, however, gave Syria to the French. In 1920-1921, Lawrence, working closely with Churchill, successfully ensured that Feisal would be king of Iraq, an amalgam of three Turkish provinces with capitals in Mosul, Baghdad, and Basra. Feisal's brother, Abdullah, became king of Jordan. (Jordan's current king, Abdullah II, is the first Abdullah's great-grandson.)

In maneuvering Feisal into the Iraqi monarchy, Hulsman says, Lawrence violated all of the principles he used as a war leader. Feisal knew "next to nothing" about Iraq and was a Sunni in a Shia-dominated country. Lacking legitimacy, he created a police state, and Iraq's rulers continued to rule repressively until Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

More at the link.

No comments: