Go slow on Syria I

| Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Perhaps the president and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., could take a brief timeout from beating the drums of war by taking in a movie. I would recommend the 1962 classic “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Those who remember the film will recall that Lt. T.E. Lawrence, played by Peter O'Toole, accomplished the unthinkable by uniting the various Arab factions against the Ottoman Turks during World War I. The effort was successful beyond imagination and the Turks were vanquished.

But to Lawrence's dismay and astonishment, the day after their victory, the tribes immediately reverted to their old ways. Any chance of establishing a governing body representative of all Arab peoples faded into the background and was trumped by squabbles over territorial rights and rivalries of status.

The message may have been simplistic, but was nonetheless irrefutable. It was not about doing the greater good for all. It was about power!

Lawrence came to the bitter realization that there were no good guys in this conflict. Our leaders might take this into consideration before walking into the quicksand of Syria.

Russell G. Namie


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