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« Tom's KnoxNews column today | Main | Steve's weblog takes off »
5:10AM

Right outta "Lawrence of Arabia"

There's a scene in "Lawrence" where the Colonel has just made it across an impossibly large swath of deadly desert. He had been accompanied by two "wogs" (the "raghead" term of the British colonial era), one of whom died in the journey. Lawrence enters the officers' club with the other, and is told that the wog can't possibly be served alongside the Brits. Lawrence gets mad, and eventually gets his way out of respect for what he's achieving with indigenous forces.


When I was down in Maxwell speaking over the spring to the Joint Warfighters Officers Course of 3-stars, I got to spend a couple of beers talking to buddy Greg Jaffe of the Wall Street Journal, who was on the base to speak the next day to the same crowd. While we chatted, he told me of a similar divide in Iraq, right down to the colonel who couldn't bring his Iraqi counterpart to the US-only mess. I told Greg it reminded me off that scene in "Lawrence" and that he someday needed to write that sort of thing down in a piece.


Yesterday he sent me an email with this story attached. It appeared in the weekend edition of the WSJ: "A Camp Divided: As U.S. tries to give Iraqi troops more responsibility, clash of two American colonels shows tough road ahead," by Greg Jaffe, 17 June 2006, p. A1.


A very good piece showing that SysAdmin is a huge cultural shift from Leviathan.


Then again, if you want to win bad enough, you make the shift. Otherwise the casualties will begin to add up.

Reader Comments (1)

I was rather surprised at the way the trainers/advisers were treated with such disrespect in that piece. If we're expected to leave a country sooner, doesn't it behoove us to turn our trust and respect over to the natives of that country? Or am I just being to "idealist?"

June 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Morton

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