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'Lawrence of Arabia' Redux

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True_Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 02:43 PM
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'Lawrence of Arabia' Redux
AS the Iraq war enters its second year, it has already barreled through at least four movie plots. What began as a "High Noon" showdown with Saddam Hussein soon gave way to George W. Bush's "Top Gun" victory jig. Next was the unexpected synergy with "The Fog of War," Errol Morris's Oscar-winning documentary underlining how the Johnson administration's manipulation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident was the ur-text for the current administration's hyping of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. And then Fallujah: "Black Hawk Down."

If the news from the war were better, there might be an audience now for Disney's new version of "The Alamo," with which Michael Eisner had once hoped to "capture the post-Sept. 11 surge in patriotism." But its opening weekend may have drawn fewer moviegoers in total than there were Jews at "The Passion of the Christ." Triumphalism is out. If we are to believe most commentators, the next title on our wartime bill will instead be "Apocalypse Now" (if we stay and sink into the quagmire) or "Three Kings" (if we cut and run). Though perhaps not quite yet. The most apt movie for this moment just may be David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia." Richard Holbrooke, the Clinton ambassador to the United Nations whose foreign service career began in Vietnam, said to me last week, "That's the image everyone I've talked to who saw the movie has in his head right now."

What Mr. Holbrooke is referring to is the story's mordant conclusion. The Arab revolt against the Ottoman empire, abetted by the heroic British liaison officer T. E. Lawrence and guerrilla tactics, has succeeded. The shotgun mandating of the modern state of Iraq, by the League of Nations in 1920, is just a few years away. But as the local leaders gather in an Arab council, a tentative exercise in self-government, there is nothing but squabbling, even as power outages and public-health outrages roil the populace. "I didn't come here to watch a tribal bloodbath," says Peter O'Toole, as Lawrence, earlier in the movie when first encountering the internecine warfare of the Arab leaders he admired. But the bloodbath continued and now that we've ended Saddam's savage grip on Iraq, it has predictably picked up where it left off. Only Americans have usurped the British as the primary targets in the crossfire of an undying civil war.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/18/arts/18RICH.html?page...

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 02:56 PM
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1. those who do not study history are bound to repeat it n/t
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donhakman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 05:40 PM
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2. Bushs of Iraq
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