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Junk 5/18



Tomorrow marks the 75th year since Thomas Edward Lawrence's death after swerving off the road on his motorcycle to avoid two boys on bicycles--this is why we here at the Junk Drawer Inc hate bikers.

The skinny about Mr. Lawrence:

Lawrence enlisted in the war and because of his expertise in Arab affairs was assigned to Cairo as an intelligence officer. He spent more than a year in Egypt, processing intelligence information and in 1916 accompanied a British diplomat to Arabia, where Hussein ibn Ali, the emir of Mecca, had proclaimed a revolt against Turkish rule. Lawrence convinced his superiors to aid Hussein's rebellion, and he was sent to join the Arabian army of Hussein's son Faisal as a liaison officer.

Under Lawrence's guidance, the Arabians launched an effective guerrilla war against the Turkish lines. He proved a gifted military strategist and was greatly admired by the Bedouin people of Arabia. In July 1917, Arabian forces captured Aqaba near the Sinai and joined the British march on Jerusalem. Lawrence was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In November, he was captured by the Turks while reconnoitering behind enemy lines in Arab dress and was tortured and sexually abused before escaping. He rejoined his army, which slowly worked its way north to Damascus, which fell in October 1918.

Arabia was liberated, but Lawrence's hope that the peninsula would be united as a single nation was dashed when Arabian factionalism came to the fore after Damascus. Lawrence, exhausted and disillusioned, left for England. Feeling that Britain had exacerbated the rivalries between the Arabian groups, he appeared before King George V and politely refused the medals offered to him.

It'd be interesting to contemplate if he had succeeded in bringing a certain amount of unity to the Arabian peninsula.  

But, since we here at Junk Drawer Inc. only contemplate the loftiest of ideas.  Please submit in writing your plans for the official use of the Junk Drawer Guerrilla  Army.  Only the best applications will be considered, for the use of our collective brute force.

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