Michael van der Galien

T. E. Lawrence, American Strategist

Posted on January 18 2010 4:00 pm
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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by Daniel Pipes

A fine article by Bertram Wyatt-Brown, “Lawrence of Arabia: Image and Reality,” in The Journal of the Historical Society, December 2009, pp, 515-48, traces the reputation of T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935) through the near-century since his remarkable exploits during World War I and his famed recounting of those events in Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926). Wyatt-Brown’s account of Lawrence’s role since 2006, when he had a deep impact on the American expeditionary force in Iraq, came as news to me.

He focuses on Lawrence’s 2,800-word summary of lessons learned in war, published in The Arab Bulletin, August 20, 1917, and bearing the supremely modest title, “Twenty-Seven Articles.” In it, Lawrence offers his “personal conclusions, arrived at gradually while [he] worked in the Hejaz and now put on paper as stalking horses for beginners in the Arab armies.” He adds that the rules “are meant to apply only to Bedu [Bedouin]; townspeople or Syrians require totally different treatment.” His advice includes such insights as “Win and keep the confidence of your leader,” “Be shy of too close relations with the subordinates,” and “Cling tight to your sense of humour.”

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