T.E. Lawrence and the Coming American Civil War by Bill Buppert

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“There exists a law, not written down anywhere, but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.”

– Marcus Tulius Cicero

Publisher’s Note: This may be one of the longer essays published here at ZG but I think the screed is worth your time. T.E. Lawrence deserves careful study. I hope I am wrong and the silver spaceships drop from the sky and every child gets a unicorn of their own but it is much better to look at the landscape around you and measure the possibilities. Ecology is the study of consequences in closed and open systems; the ecology of conflict is real and bears examination.

Take the time you have to prepare for the coming Endarkenement. -BB

“Men have looked upon the desert as barren land, the free holding of whoever chose; but in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to it, against aggression.”

– T. E. Lawrence

Vietnamese General Giap (who vanquished both the French and the Americans) was asked who his greatest influence was in conducting guerrilla campaigns in Vietnam in an interview with (soon to be infamous) French General Salan in 1946: “My fighting gospel is TE Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I am never without it.”

Nor am I and I keep a copy both at home and my office. My copy at home is my dog-eared and duct taped copy from my former days in the Army. I adore the book and have read it three times but it can be a hard slog for readers unfamiliar with the British idiom and not well acquainted with the history that led to the Arab Revolt.

For the best introduction I have found to the mess that is now the modern Middle East, read David Fromkin’s brilliant book: A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East.

For those who won’t take the time to read it, the distillate of his teaching can be found in his 27 Articles. Some are totally irrelevant to any fight we may be concerned with in North America such as 10 but some, such as 12 and 22, are timeless and effective combat multipliers. Lawrence, of course, was Arab-centric in his nostrums but many of these can be universally applied with a little intellectual effort.

The election of Trump has really drawn the curtain back on the Deep State for all to hear. This will lead to the hardest times America has known since the War of Northern Aggression tore the continent asunder in the nineteenth century. Hard times will be a subtle way to describe it. The US government will react in the same barbaric fashion it does in every crisis: it will wage war abroad and on its own citizens and systematically strangle every notion of freedom and liberty remaining across the fruited plain. It will clothe all of these noxious behaviors in the most patriotic tones and cries of threats to national security will scare the woolen-clad subjects into paroxysms of bleating and begging for coddling and protection from their masters.

There will be conflict on American soil again and the guerrilla style of conflict will soon be the only means of opposition for the few who fight for the right to be left alone. However one anticipates your personal involvement in the emerging crisis, Lawrence provides the basic building blocks for seeing how that fight may be conducted.

I am a guest lecturer in Irregular Warfare and a number of readers have requested that I addressed this subject so I am finally getting around to it.

I did an extensive treatment of Irregular Warfare with ProfCJ at the superb Dangerous History Podcast you may find illuminating.

Lawrence: Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals.

The following notes have been expressed in commandment form for greater clarity and to save words. They are, however, only my personal conclusions, arrived at gradually while I worked in the Hejaz and now put on paper as stalking horses for beginners in the Arab armies. They are meant to apply only to Bedu; townspeople or Syrians require totally different treatment. They are of course not suitable to any other person’s need, or applicable unchanged in any particular situation. Handling Hejaz Arabs is an art, not a science, with exceptions and no obvious rules. At the same time we have a great chance there; the Sherif trusts us, and has given us the position (towards his Government) which the Germans wanted to win in Turkey. If we are tactful, we can at once retain his goodwill and carry out our job, but to succeed we have got to put into it all the interest and skill we possess.

  1. Go easy for the first few weeks. A bad start is difficult to atone for, and the Arabs form their judgments on externals that we ignore. When you have reached the inner circle in a tribe, you can do as you please with yourself and them.
  1. Learn all you can about your Ashraf and Bedu. Get to know their families, clans and tribes, friends and enemies, wells, hills and roads. Do all this by listening and by indirect inquiry. Do not ask questions. Get to speak their dialect of Arabic, not yours. Until you can understand their allusions, avoid getting deep into conversation or you will drop bricks. Be a little stiff at first.
  1. In matters of business deal only with the commander of the army, column, or party in which you serve. Never give orders to anyone at all, and reserve your directions or advice for the C.O., however great the temptation (for efficiency’s sake) of dealing with his underlings. Your place is advisory, and your advice is due to the commander alone. Let him see that this is your conception of your duty, and that his is to be the sole executive of your joint plans.
  1. Win and keep the confidence of your leader. Strengthen his prestige at your expense before others when you can. Never refuse or quash schemes he may put forward; but ensure that they are put forward in the first instance privately to you. Always approve them, and after praise modify them insensibly, causing the suggestions to come from him, until they are in accord with your own opinion. When you attain this point, hold him to it, keep a tight grip of his ideas, and push them forward as firmly as possibly, but secretly, so that to one but himself (and he not too clearly) is aware of your pressure.
  1. Remain in touch with your leader as constantly and unobtrusively as you can. Live with him, that at meal times and at audiences you may be naturally with him in his tent. Formal visits to give advice are not so good as the constant dropping of ideas in casual talk. When stranger sheikhs come in for the first time to swear allegiance and offer service, clear out of the tent. If their first impression is of foreigners in the confidence of the Sherif, it will do the Arab cause much harm.
  1. Be shy of too close relations with the subordinates of the expedition. Continual intercourse with them will make it impossible for you to avoid going behind or beyond the instructions that the Arab C.O. has given them on your advice, and in so disclosing the weakness of his position you altogether destroy your own.
  1. Treat the sub-chiefs of your force quite easily and lightly. In this way you hold yourself above their level. Treat the leader, if a Sherif, with respect. He will return your manner and you and he will then be alike, and above the rest. Precedence is a serious matter among the Arabs, and you must attain it.
  1. Your ideal position is when you are present and not noticed. Do not be too intimate, too prominent, or too earnest. Avoid being identified too long or too often with any tribal sheikh, even if C.O. of the expedition. To do your work you must be above jealousies, and you lose prestige if you are associated with a tribe or clan, and its inevitable feuds. Sherifs are above all blood-feuds and local rivalries, and form the only principle of unity among the Arabs. Let your name therefore be coupled always with a Sherif’s, and share his attitude towards the tribes. When the moment comes for action put yourself publicly under his orders. The Bedu will then follow suit.
  1. Magnify and develop the growing conception of the Sherifs as the natural aristocracy of the Arabs. Intertribal jealousies make it impossible for any sheikh to attain a commanding position, and the only hope of union in nomad Arabs is that the Ashraf be universally acknowledged as the ruling class. Sherifs are half-townsmen, half-nomad, in manner and life, and have the instinct of command. Mere merit and money would be insufficient to obtain such recognition; but the Arab reverence for pedigree and the Prophet gives hope for the ultimate success of the Ashraf.
  1. Call your Sherif ‘Sidi’ in public and in private. Call other people by their ordinary names, without title. In intimate conversation call a Sheikh ‘Abu Annad’, ‘Akhu Alia’ or some similar by-name.

  1. The foreigner and Christian is not a popular person in Arabia. However friendly and informal the treatment of yourself may be, remember always that your foundations are very sandy ones. Wave a Sherif in front of you like a banner and hide your own mind and person. If you succeed, you will have hundreds of miles of country and thousands of men under your orders, and for this it is worth bartering the outward show.
  1. Cling tight to your sense of humour. You will need it every day. A dry irony is the most useful type, and repartee of a personal and not too broad character will double your influence with the chiefs. Reproof, if wrapped up in some smiling form, will carry further and last longer than the most violent speech. The power of mimicry or parody is valuable, but use it sparingly, for wit is more dignified than humour. Do not cause a laugh at a Sherif except among Sherifs.
  1. Never lay hands on an Arab; you degrade yourself. You may think the resultant obvious increase of outward respect a gain to you, but what you have really done is to build a wall between you and their inner selves. It is difficult to keep quiet when everything is being done wrong, but the less you lose your temper the greater your advantage. Also then you will not go mad yourself.
  1. While very difficult to drive, the Bedu are easy to lead, if: have the patience to bear with them. The less apparent your interferences the more your influence. They are willing to follow your advice and do what you wish, but they do not mean you or anyone else to be aware of that. It is only after the end of all annoyances that you find at bottom their real fund of goodwill.
  1. Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them. Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is.
  1. If you can, without being too lavish, forestall presents to yourself. A well-placed gift is often most effective in winning over a suspicious sheikh. Never receive a present without giving a liberal return, but you may delay this return (while letting its ultimate certainty be known) if you require a particular service from the giver. Do not let them ask you for things, since their greed will then make them look upon you only as a cow to milk.
  1. Wear an Arab headcloth when with a tribe. Bedu have a malignant prejudice against the hat, and believe that our persistence in wearing it (due probably to British obstinacy of dictation) is founded on some immoral or irreligious principle. A thick headcloth forms a good protection against the sun, and if you wear a hat your best Arab friends will be ashamed of you in public.
  1. Disguise is not advisable. Except in special areas, let it be clearly known that you are a British officer and a Christian. At the same time, if you can wear Arab kit when with the tribes, you will acquire their trust and intimacy to a degree impossible in uniform. It is, however, dangerous and difficult. They make no special allowances for you when you dress like them. Breaches of etiquette not charged against a foreigner are not condoned to you in Arab clothes. You will be like an actor in a foreign theatre, playing a part day and night for months, without rest, and for an anxious stake. Complete success, which is when the Arabs forget your strangeness and speak naturally before you, counting you as one of themselves, is perhaps only attainable in character: while half-success (all that most of us will strive for; the other costs too much) is easier to win in British things, and you yourself will last longer, physically and mentally, in the comfort that they mean. Also then the Turks will not hang you, when you are caught.
  1. If you wear Arab things, wear the best. Clothes are significant among the tribes, and you must wear the appropriate, and appear at ease in them. Dress like a Sherif, if they agree to it.
  1. If you wear Arab things at all, go the whole way. Leave your English friends and customs on the coast, and fall back on Arab habits entirely. It is possible, starting thus level with them, for the European to beat the Arabs at their own game, for we have stronger motives for our action, and put more heart into it than they. If you can surpass them, you have taken an immense stride toward complete success, but the strain of living and thinking in a foreign and half-understood language, the savage food, strange clothes, and stranger ways, with the complete loss of privacy and quiet, and the impossibility of ever relaxing your watchful imitation of the others for months on end, provide such an added stress to the ordinary difficulties of dealing with the Bedu, the climate, and the Turks, that this road should not be chosen without serious thought.
  1. Religious discussions will be frequent. Say what you like about your own side, and avoid criticism of theirs, unless you know that the point is external, when you may score heavily by proving it so. With the Bedu, Islam is so all-pervading an element that there is little religiosity, little fervour, and no regard for externals. Do not think from their conduct that they are careless. Their conviction of the truth of their faith, and its share in every act and thought and principle of their daily life is so intimate and intense as to be unconscious, unless roused by opposition. Their religion is as much a part of nature to them as is sleep or food.
  1. Do not try to trade on what you know of fighting. The Hejaz confounds ordinary tactics. Learn the Bedu principles of war as thoroughly and as quickly as you can, for till you know them your advice will be no good to the Sherif. Unnumbered generations of tribal raids have taught them more about some parts of the business than we will ever know. In familiar conditions they fight well, but strange events cause panic. Keep your unit small. Their raiding parties are usually from one hundred to two hundred men, and if you take a crowd they only get confused. Also their sheikhs, while admirable company commanders, are too ‘set’ to learn to handle the equivalents of battalions or regiments. Don’t attempt unusual things, unless they appeal to the sporting instinct Bedu have so strongly, unless success is obvious. If the objective is a good one (booty) they will attack like fiends, they are splendid scouts, their mobility gives you the advantage that will win this local war, they make proper use of their knowledge of the country (don’t take tribesmen to places they do not know), and the gazelle-hunters, who form a proportion of the better men, are great shots at visible targets. A sheikh from one tribe cannot give orders to men from another; a Sherif is necessary to command a mixed tribal force. If there is plunder in prospect, and the odds are at all equal, you will win. Do not waste Bedu attacking trenches (they will not stand casualties) or in trying to defend a position, for they cannot sit still without slacking. The more unorthodox and Arab your proceedings, the more likely you are to have the Turks cold, for they lack initiative and expect you to. Don’t play for safety.
  1. The open reason that Bedu give you for action or inaction may be true, but always there will be better reasons left for you to divine. You must find these inner reasons (they will be denied, but are none the less in operation) before shaping your arguments for one course or other. Allusion is more effective than logical exposition: they dislike concise expression. Their minds work just as ours do, but on different premises. There is nothing unreasonable, incomprehensible, or inscrutable in the Arab. Experience of them, and knowledge of their prejudices will enable you to foresee their attitude and possible course of action in nearly every case.
  1. Do not mix Bedu and Syrians, or trained men and tribesmen. You will get work out of neither, for they hate each other. I have never seen a successful combined operation, but many failures. In particular, ex-officers of the Turkish army, however Arab in feelings and blood and language, are hopeless with Bedu. They are narrow minded in tactics, unable to adjust themselves to irregular warfare, clumsy in Arab etiquette, swollen-headed to the extent of being incapable of politeness to a tribesman for more than a few minutes, impatient, and, usually, helpless without their troops on the road and in action. Your orders (if you were unwise enough to give any) would be more readily obeyed by Beduins than those of any Mohammedan Syrian officer. Arab townsmen and Arab tribesmen regard each other mutually as poor relations, and poor relations are much more objectionable than poor strangers.
  1. In spite of ordinary Arab example, avoid too free talk about women. It is as difficult a subject as religion, and their standards are so unlike our own that a remark, harmless in English, may appear as unrestrained to them, as some of their statements would look to us, if translated literally.
  1. Be as careful of your servants as of yourself. If you want a sophisticated one you will probably have to take an Egyptian, or a Sudani, and unless you are very lucky he will undo on trek much of the good you so laboriously effect. Arabs will cook rice and make coffee for you, and leave you if required to do unmanly work like cleaning boots or washing. They are only really possible if you are in Arab kit. A slave brought up in the Hejaz is the best servant, but there are rules against British subjects owning them, so they have to be lent to you. In any case, take with you an Ageyli or two when you go up country. They are the most efficient couriers in Arabia, and understand camels.
  1. The beginning and ending of the secret of handling Arabs is unremitting study of them. Keep always on your guard; never say an unnecessary thing: watch yourself and your companions all the time: hear all that passes, search out what is going on beneath the surface, read their characters, discover their tastes and their weaknesses and keep everything you find out to yourself. Bury yourself in Arab circles, have no interests and no ideas except the work in hand, so that your brain is saturated with one thing only, and you realize your part deeply enough to avoid the little slips that would counteract the painful work of weeks. Your success will be proportioned to the amount of mental effort you devote to it.

So there it is, Lawrence distills his wisdom as one of the practitioners during the Deep Guerrilla period from 1916-22.

You’ve taken the first step and read Lawrence’s Twenty Seven Articles. Some are germane to a fight on American soil and some not so much. We are entering a phase in world affairs where the economic troubles and collapses that are occurring around the globe will come home to roost in America. Like most governments, the US central authorities in DC will do everything in their power to retain the power and control they now practice over their tax jurisdiction. Like the other USSR in 1989, a fracture is in the future and one state declaring secession will start a stampede the likes of which this country has not seen for nearly a century and a half. The 320 million subjects are critical components in the tax-eater system to continue feeding the Federal beast. These cattle will not be permitted to go gently into the night.

Lawrence discovered that successful insurgencies must retain the initiative and establish solid support among the mass base for all actions. Whether we examine his successes against the Turks, the Irish divorce from the United Kingdom in 1916-1922 or the Basque success against the Spanish government to carve out their semi-autonomous province in Northeastern Spain, the initiative must be seized and retained.

This initiative can be maintained on a shoestring. The force calculus for insurgencies is a meager ratio compared to the forces Counterinsurgency (COIN) and conventional forces must maintain to defeat incipient and long term guerrilla forces. I’ve already spoken to the fatuous and nonsensical claims by the COINdinistas elsewhere so I won’t beat the drum here.

The IRA in both its pre- and post-WWII configurations fielded less than a thousand active fighters at peak strength against tens of thousands of deployed British and Northern Irish contingents in the northern five counties.

German Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck fought more than a half million deployed British and Allied forces to a standstill in German East Africa for nearly four years during WWI with a force that rarely numbered more than ten thousand and at one point had 1200 effectives left. No less than 127 General officers failed to vanquish him and at the conclusion of the war, he remained the only German General (he was promoted in abstentia in 1917) to be undefeated on Earth in 1918. He sought to be self-sufficient and managed to manhandle naval guns off the ill-fated Konigsberg in the Rufiji all the way up to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

This illustrates that much like the irregular actions in both the First and Second American Revolutions, a tremendously small number of active fighters and triggermen can cause a disproportionate headache to large formations of conventional armed forces arrayed against them.

U.S. Grant had to take huge chunks of his fighting forces and devote them to protection of his lines of communication during his siege and investment of Vicksburg. I would suggest that Napoleon was not necessarily wholly defeated by Wellington at Waterloo in 1815 so much as emasculated by French (southern) and Spanish guerrillas in his lines of communication after his atrocities and overreach enraged the local populations of these areas. Before, 1850, France was not the monolithic nation state we are accustomed to today. There were areas of it, like Germany, that did not even share dialects or language.

Lawrence paid attention to these details and more. He studied the culture and the history deeply. He was a brilliant and eccentric scholar whose steeping in Medievalism may have given him an edge in understanding the dynamics of the war he was waging with the indigenous forces against the Turks (and at times, against British post-war interests). He delegated authority to tribal and clan leaders in ways that increased his combat and mission effectiveness. He deferred to local authority to develop strongholds and effective placeholders when his mobile forces pursued other targets. He blended an operational insight to strategic vision to marry the two at the tactical level.

If you carefully examine his Articles and replace the use of “Ashraf and Bedu” with Appalachian, Inland Northwestern or Basque, the tenets become universal assignations for the leveraging of cultural intelligence for fighting effectiveness and combat power. I hope to develop a future compendium that examines every article in detail but brevity dictates that I entertain just a few examples.

  1. While very difficult to drive, the Bedu are easy to lead, if: have the patience to bear with them. The less apparent your interferences the more your influence. They are willing to follow your advice and do what you wish, but they do not mean you or anyone else to be aware of that. It is only after the end of all annoyances that you find at bottom their real fund of goodwill.

Lawrence is cataloguing what at first glance appears to be an observation savvy only to the tribes he was working with but it makes perfect sense in almost every Western situation. Why American forces in the Middle East who are the alleged COIN experts fail to grasp the importance of discrete stakeholder-ship in the forces they are mentoring to fight the indigenous fight is beyond me. In one successful insurgency after another, which is at their essence full contact sports to wrest control of a nation or parts of it from the previous insurgency, the mass base and its acquiescence to the insurgents will determine their success. Once either antagonist loses the moral high ground, the fight will be about legitimacy for the present government or the aspirants who seek to replace it or divorce a part of the country from its suzerainty.

  1. Do not try to trade on what you know of fighting. The Hejaz confounds ordinary tactics. Learn the Bedu principles of war as thoroughly and as quickly as you can, for till you know them your advice will be no good to the Sherif. Unnumbered generations of tribal raids have taught them more about some parts of the business than we will ever know. In familiar conditions they fight well, but strange events cause panic. Keep your unit small. Their raiding parties are usually from one hundred to two hundred men, and if you take a crowd they only get confused. Also their sheikhs, while admirable company commanders, are too ‘set’ to learn to handle the equivalents of battalions or regiments. Don’t attempt unusual things, unless they appeal to the sporting instinct Bedu have so strongly, unless success is obvious. If the objective is a good one (booty) they will attack like fiends, they are splendid scouts, their mobility gives you the advantage that will win this local war, they make proper use of their knowledge of the country (don’t take tribesmen to places they do not know), and the gazelle-hunters, who form a proportion of the better men, are great shots at visible targets. A sheikh from one tribe cannot give orders to men from another; a Sherif is necessary to command a mixed tribal force. If there is plunder in prospect, and the odds are at all equal, you will win. Do not waste Bedu attacking trenches (they will not stand casualties) or in trying to defend a position, for they cannot sit still without slacking. The more unorthodox and Arab your proceedings, the more likely you are to have the Turks cold, for they lack initiative and expect you to. Don’t play for safety.

Again, Article 22 speaks volumes about the importance of local traditions and what may constitute a military maturity that in Western eyes is unfamiliar and seems on its face, absurd. Yet after ten years in Afghanistan, there is no safety on the roads for Allied occupiers nor does the enemy afford the military hyper-power a set-piece engagement or lucrative target sets by gathering or bundling in single places. You will notice the disproportionate number of hits in the last few years on logistical tails such as communications or fuel nodes. The mujahedeen know that they cannot defeat the Allied forces in stand-up fights so they take the fight to the weaknesses which become apparent to them over time through careful observation and canvassing of sympathetic members of the mass base in locations across the terrain.

Even our much-ballyhooed victory over Muslim rebels in 1902 is rather premature when one considers the no-go areas in Philippine Muslim strongholds like Mindanao. There have been no Muslim insurgencies defeated since the end of WWII. None.

Like General Giap in Vietnam, they too pay attention to Lawrence. They realize that the British were defeated not once, but twice in Afghanistan; the Russians followed their lead and then America, much like the dull schoolboys we were following the French in Indochina, thought technological and economic superiority trumped all other aspects of military victory. America is defeated by a little known law: Buppert’s Law of Topography dictates that most mountainous terrain held by people who are savvy riflemen cannot be militarily defeated whether it be the Chechens, Swiss or Afghans. This may be one reason why the Appalachians in the US were not fully tamed until about the 1930s. One may find a few historical instances where that may not be true but then there are dozens of other examples that prove it out.

Take a look at Zomia.

Lawrence: “It seemed that rebellion must have an unassailable base, something guarded not merely from attack, but from the fear of it: such a base as we had in the Red Sea Parts, the desert, or in the minds of the men we converted to our creed.”

Lawrence provides a terrific blueprint for how to conduct a proper insurgency.

“I’d like to have Two Armies: One for display with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals, and dear little Regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their General’s bowel movements or their Colonel’s piles, an Army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country.

The other would be the Real One, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display, but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That’s the Army in which I should like to fight.”

– Jean Lartéguy, The Centurions and The Praetorians

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13 thoughts on “T.E. Lawrence and the Coming American Civil War by Bill Buppert

  1. Pingback: Buppert: T.E. Lawrence and the Coming American Civil War | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. Timeless Sir… I hope to be on the other side of this mess we have and see what I can do to put Humpty back together again.

  3. Lawrence understood if winning the minds is a science, then winning the hearts is an art.

    I took great pains to try and understand Max Velocity, as I saw a lot of Lawrence in him, a warrior and thinking man who has his inner Lawrence down to a science and art form. I’m sure his time in Northern Ireland in British COIN, his stints as a SOS and contractor served him well. John Mosby is still figuring it out parts of it, though he is of a good heart and is pleasantly surprised by just how effective non .mil warriors can be, because hearts and minds. Some others, not so much, their .mil indoctrination blinds them to the obvious right in front of them and they are inflexible in mind and spirit, SOP and regulations is their god, they have no depth in their perceptions of primal and tribal liberty. And the really bad ones, they will never figure the American insurgent mind, get a lot of men killed before they are themselves fragged or run to ground.

    But it is the potential warlords who organize criminal grade war gangs that are going to bite many on the arse if they are not dealt with early, and at all costs. I think there’s a part of law enforcement who will turn to that, as they already constitute a criminal gang is certain senses.

    For those out in the rural/mountainous, are going to have to be brutally ruthless to retain tribal areas and best terrain, but know how to give ground tactically and strategically to advantage but there is a certain”friction” to the mountains and forested remote “untamed” areas that define things in ways all other places do not posses.

    Which is a dynamic which in no uncertain terms can not be ignore in any way.

    Another aspect Lawrence alludes to which is rarely discussed, is territory. At some point the G has to hold geographic territory, it’s not enough to hold the territory of hearts and minds, it will eventually have to win territory and make it it’s own. Classic examples are the American Patriots and The Kurds. Even Daesh is instructive.

    The learning curve is going to be almost vertical, there will be good men who seemingly come out of nowhere, the thought leaders and conventions of the here and now will be swept aside rapidly.
    The hardest lesson after surviving combat long enough to learn how to survive it, is the war within ourselves, winning our own hearts and minds.

    I think that is the greatest lesson, and the greatness in men like Lawrence, Lawrence provides, to become the whole men of the west we are capable of being. And that is how we win. I think Lawrence is a warrior stoic, or a stoic warrior. It’s hard to say, but either are good things. The best ones usually are stoic in some way.

    There’s a superb essay written by Edward B. Westermann, in which the astounding resilience and capabilities of insurgent warfare is historically shed in light of “1st”-“2nd” generation war, and the G winning against insurmountable technical odds:

    THE BEAR VERSUS THE MUJAHIDEEN IN AFGHANISTAN, 1979-1989

    MY REMINISCENCES OF EAST AFRICA by General von Lettow-Vorbeck

    A great memoir is an obscure publication;

    Battle Leadership by Captain Adolf Von Schell, a very successful conventional war, true direct upfront of his men combat officer who employed essences of unconventional war and thinking, and sound small unit tactics. Interesting and very fine accounts of 1st hand combat and administration of his men.
    It’s published by the Marine Corps Association.

    I know in these Allegheny mountains and ridges, the tribal culture and indomitable independence of the Scotts-Irish, are next to impossible to conquer. There are a lot of places similar across this land. Whomever tries to subdue the people and the spirit in such places will be sticking their dicks in a fucking meat grinder.

  4. Bill you put a lot of thought and care into this, excellent work!

    Rich in worthy ponderables and wisdom to be taken seriously and put to work.

    • Thanks, Doug, I owe it to my children.

      It was part of my graduate thesis on Collins and the liberation of Ireland 1918-1922.

      • I hear you, Bill.

        If it isn’t imposing, how was your thesis received when you submitted it? (On the political level, with your professors, that is)

        An aside, I started to create some agitprop. I’m definitely an amateur at it, but it’s fun and I believe agitprop is a very powerful instrument of provoking thought.

        Was thinking of you and did this the other day.

        Have a few other things in mind.

        https://mtntopforge.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/bing-crosby-malore-secession-zerogov.jpg?w=696

        • Love the agitprop, I am a big fan of the Road movies.

          The thesis was well received. Keep in mind I have an MA in Asymmetric Warfare so the topic was welcome and understood in context.

          The précis is that the imperial exhaustion from WWI gave Collins an edge in pressing for secession from the UK in concert with the notorious Jallianwala Bagh massacre in India in 1919 set the conditions to make even Churchill receptive to change. I think that Churchill was a monster but his Amritsar speech was not only the best of his career but a rare moment of sober moral clarity for him. It didn’t last long of course. Hence, the stars aligned between 1916 and 1922 to allow Collins and de Valera to wrest partial control of Eire from the English. Then, naturally, Irish socialists battle Irish socialists in nasty internecine conflict to make the resulting Irish state a Marxist basket case for most of the twentieth century.

          But the Irish conflict is a treasure trove for students of resistance and rebellion because all the primary source documentation is in English.

  5. Documents uncovered by Sir Martin Gilbert reveal that T. E. Lawrence was in the service of the Zionists (His handler was Aaron Aaronsohn) while he was heading his Arab proxy army against the Ottomans.

    He even wrote a book about it, and the Israeli press was forced to acknowledge it.

    One is not a true American until resident in the ADL’s database.

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