Lawrence of Arabia's Greatest Lesson: How to Lose Victory
The Information Wars Part XV
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find it was vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” -T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph
I don't fanboy it up like a manic child very often. In fact, I'm fundamentally opposed to fanboyism and similar diseases. But you're going to have to tolerate me a little. I'm neither a saint, nor a teetotaler. I hope I can make that worth it. Skip the movie clips if you like, but I might judge you on your taste.
Sometime at the age of around 11, I pulled off a real childhood victory. It was clever. It was brilliant. And the bounty was entirely worth the trouble.
My parents got the calendar wrong one day, and I realized that if I kept quiet about the non-holiday they incorrectly noted on the family calendar, I could take a day off of school. I plotted the night before to sneak out the side door of the house and wave off the carpool before the driver could honk. I was nervous, but I pulled it off.
Next I faced an unexpected problem: I felt like eyes would be on me, so I didn't want to leave the house even for a moment. I didn't even try to walk straight back into the woods from the back of the house where there were trails that led down to the lake. I feared some terrible adult in one of the houses down below would send a truancy officer after me, even though I wasn't even sure such an officer existed.
“What am I going to do all day?!”
Stumbling through channels on the television, something glorious happened. I found a screening of Lawrence of Arabia just seconds before it started. It looked old, so I nearly kept flipping channels. But it also looked like adventure, so I gave it a chance.
What a movie! Action, adventure, philosophy, history, and the unexpected hero! This is one of those movies that is darn near perfection.
Well, sort-of-history, anyhow. At some point growing up, you have to come to grips with the "creative licenses" of directors telling stories. You've probably seen one or more of Braveheart, Pocahontas, and maybe all other portrayals of historical events, so you know what I'm talking about.
How had I never been introduced to this amazing movie?
I recall the moment that the movie hit intermission.
I knew the word, but I'd never experienced it. Wasn't that like a thing at symphonies or the opera? We didn't have a set of encyclopedias at home...
I was aware that I had limited time between scenes. While the intermission music played, I literally leapt off the floor and flew into the kitchen to fix lunch, worried that I would miss 15 seconds of the film. I don't recall what, but I'm sure I threw whatever sandwich meat and cheese was in the fridge onto some bread and maybe grabbed some grapes and skipped back into the living room (I do remember the skipping part).
WTF is "Arabia" anyhow?
I had a foul mouth as a kid, so that's probably about what went through my head.
Don't get me wrong—I read a bit of history and studied geography and maps for fun. I could point to Saudi Arabia on a map, vaguely knew about Mecca and Medina, and one of my best friends from elementary school had moved to Riyadh for a couple of years (his father was a specialist in liquefaction engineering). But there are certain regions, concepts, sets, supersets, and nuances that take time to sink in—even if you grow up reading a fair bit of the front page news or occasionally deeper. What was the difference between Arabia and the Middle East? Was there one? I wasn't sure. What happened to the Ottomans, anyhow? Did Ataturk just dress them all in business suits and call it a day? I knew that there was plenty that I did not know, and that needed to read up on. That project is still ongoing 33 years and numerous Frank Herbert novels later.
A Funny Sense of Fun
"The Beduin of the desert, born and grown up in it, had embraced with all his sour this nakedness too harsh for volunteers, for the reason, felt but inarticulate, that there he found himself indubitably free." -T.E. Lawrence
I was fooled. Were you fooled? I was fooled. I thought that I was watching the making of a desert god among mortals. But that's a different story.
If you're reading this, you probably feel like a mortal dissident. I'll settle any potential confusion: you probably are one. Yet you're working to understand the pandemonium that feels oddly engineered and thrust upon us.
Wondering whether the "insurrection at the Capitol" or the truckers' strike is a trap to give authorities an excuse to squeeze the life out of you and other inconvenient sacks of flesh like a boa constrictor? Right. You're a dissident. And a dangerous one. Because you keep reading, learning, speaking, and dreaming about what a better world looks like.
They won't tolerate that.
Oddly, you're still finding beauty in the world, right? Maybe you've married idealism and realism between your heart and head, and you're making a deliberate choice?
Maybe you have a funny sense of fun?
From Dramatic Victory to Pitiful Defeat
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." -T.E. Lawrence
Listen closely. You need to hear this. I know that it's hard to hear much of anything right now. That's by design. There are noise weapons for crowds, but the electronic boxes all around you have a well known side effect of brain fog. But you need to know how this can end in a horrible victory.
We may win. We may take down some or all of the global corporations and partnered state and NGO actors that plan to control humanity like herds of chip-tagged cattle for as long as they can manage it. If we do, it will be more dramatic than Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence taking Damascus. It will be Thermopylae, Agincourt, and Salamis wrapped into one.
If we win, the story won't end there. It could even start all over again.
Why wouldn't an enemy this powerful prepare for the aftermath?
They are preparing already. They're going to try to sell us an illusion—to draw the new boundaries on the maps themselves.
Reality is different than in the movies. Lawrence was a respected spy, not an aloof idealist wasting his talents in an office. And if you hadn't stumbled across that part of the story, that's okay. It's the next part that you should focus on the most.
Lawrence was hand-picked by Churchill to foment an Arabic uprising against the Turks. We may never know the full extent to which he understood the Sykes-Picot agreement, worked out more than two full years before Lawrence's desert warriors escorted him into Damascus.
Source: Sputnik News
If Lawrence was a genius spy, Sykes was his equal as a genius geopolitical controller. He organized the post-Ottoman Middle East, to every extent possible, into nations of strongly rivalrous factions.
Far from liberating the Arabs, Lawrence led them into the coils of the more distant and invisible serpent.
But was that deliberate?
Do you think a dramatic story that portrays a top trusted spy as an aloof map keeper with a key cultural hobby was an accident?
Wait, are you suggesting that some of our leadership is here to spy on us, confuse us, and then take over control of us?
I'm not saying that it isn't taking place. But most of all, I'm issuing a warning. Take it or leave it.
Who Are We to Challenge?
"My name is for my friends. None of my friends is a murderer." -T.E. Lawrence
We are those who choose the future through deliberate action.
Or we are not.
We are those who choose the values we carry into that future.
Or we are not.
We will either draw the new boundaries ourselves, or we will hand power back to them.
That's a choice. That's the only choice.
"We will either draw the new boundaries ourselves, or we will hand power back to them.
That's a choice. That's the only choice."
Maybe my favorite piece of yours not just because it's no math. This goes to the heart of individual sovereignty and liberty possible in a digital age waiting to be fulfilled.
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace
<3 ~ John Perry Barlow ~ <3
Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.
Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders.....
Not trying to be pessimistic but without openly verifiable election results our choice feels hollow and manufactured.