(16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935)
Lawrence was a British intelligence operative who was sent to the Middle East to unite the Arabs against the Turks, and therefore save the British from having to throw away their own soldiers in that theatre.
It's debatable whether he turned native and was seduced by the location and it's people and customs (he was a sheltered Oxford homosexual, so that exotic part of the world must have blown him away), or whether his famous image was entirely contrived as part of a deception.
After promising the Arabs the earth, they got nothing after the war, and eventually lost Palestine to Zionism. This may have been the reason for Lawrence's early death, as he would have known where the bodies were buried, politically speaking.
It is possible also that he really did turn native and resented the post war treatment of the Arabs he had fought with, though he did of course pay a crucial part in their exploitation. This sympathetic view is certainly the line taken by the iconic film starring Peter O'Toole: that Lawrence was overtaken by powerful forces determined to sell out his beloved Arab friends.
Lawrence's early death may of course simply have been an accident, as he was prone to riding his Brough Superior far too fast for the suspension and handling of it's day, as he wrote about himself in "The Mint" when he recalled racing a biplane. As I read that passage many years ago I got the impression then that he was a complex man who enjoyed daring the gods to kill him.
The dangerous road he died on is not far from where I live, so I can state that it does indeed conceal hidden dangers, having ridden a motorbike along there myself over the years. In particular it invites flat out riding due to being little used, even to this day.
I've always been fascinated by this man, mainly because of the film that portrayed him as a tortured romantic set in a stunning desert setting. With what I now know about Zionism and other hidden power structures at large in the world though, I'm in two minds about his real role in history.
My instinct tells me that he was removed, and just twelve years after his death of course, Israel came into being, which if indeed he was a friend of the Arab world, he would have had something to say about, much in the way of another famous figure who was also getting a little too close to the Muslim world when she died in Paris, for instance.
Kenny has moved
4 years ago