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January 06, 2006



Roots. So very, very important. I wonder why so many bureaucrats tend to be arrogant and repeat the mistakes of their predecessors?

Dan Cameron Rodill

One guess: They're well insulated, like tenured professors. A camel-riding Gertrude Bell is unlikely to run over them.

scott edwards

The propogandists craft rests in the ability of presenting fact, stripped of context, and calculated to create the wrong impression.
Here the gringomans guile is to inflate the subject, Bell, well beyond historical fact in an effort to sanitize the reality of imperial subjegation:
First, the strategic "mapping" credited to Bell by Gringoman,predated Bell in The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 and also by the subsequent strategic decision of Whitehall to INTENTIONALLY "unleash in the power vacuum" the "passions" of arab nationalism by creating and arming arabs against the Ottoman Empire during WWI just at a moment when Britan was sustaining heavy losses on all fronts. What Bell did (like TE Lawrence) was promise more independance than London was prepared to give...and her photography, mapmaking under the guise of archeology, was, like for Lawrence, the functional equivlant of the NSA. She was used as a spy.
On a personal note- HVF Winstone (Victor) was a collegue of mine at Cambridge some years back. His oeuvre on the british betrayalin arabia amply mirrors the fix the west now finds itself in with the illegal invasion of Iraq for oil.
Victor has written extensivly on Washington's lack of historical prescience with regard to the Iraq folly, much of which is avalible for review online. (I forwarded to him the Gringoman piece)
Further, the Irish poet laurate Nick Laird, his poem 'Imperialism',features Gertrude Bell as being duped by Britian by dangling independence while intending to allow only a raj to maintain colonial order.
Statists like Gringoman admire the "white man's burden" of empire, unwittingly carried out by a feckless woman, in attempt to snow half-wits with no sense of history.
No wonder.
If your President can't find Iraq on a map, how much less is expected of his vassels?
Kudos, gringoman, in this case for omission. Goebbels himself could not have pulled this off as well as you.

Dan Cameron Rodill

Comrade Eduardos:

As a venerator of a Stalin-venerated writer, you probably have some grasp of the art of propoganda that may even have eluded Goebbels. Is the Left still more "subtle" and "scholastic" than the Right? Still, once more, I urge you to read with comprehension. (It's good for you and might even improve your usual slander n' slur technique.)

Getrude Bell's "mapping" is not "attributed to her" by gringoman. It's done by authors like J. Wallach. If a scholar like HVWinstone has found precedents for what she did, fine, but so what? Try listening to early Beethoven and you can hear some Mozart or Haydn, the minueto of it, the strict thematic development, in a word, the "Home Office" etc (Well maybe not you, but lovers of "imperialist" music can)

Oh, and thanks for mentioning Mr. Winstone's membership in the Hate Bush Club. Others have pointed out his diatribe in the new introduction of the re-issue of his exceptional study of Getrude Bell. He's certainly earned the right to vent, (probably more so than the typical tenured LeftProf in U.S. academia today) and I might agree that Bush has made mistakes, just like anyone else would have who dared to invade Iraq. He might even agree that a tsunami is coming from the East, only he thinks it folly to go out and meet it--with arrows OR olive branch-- instead of staying home, like well-behaved little "sensitives," ready to "dialogue" with it, meanwhile enjoying "gay cowboy" culture and "Pinch" Sulzberger's NY Times advisories on how to deal with the nuclear mullahs.

Since you are up to LeftyWorld's old tricks again, reducing complex individuals to shabby pejoratives--"she was a spy," her archaeology and photography was nothing but map-making and spooking, it's surprising that you didn't assign her learning Arabic to a desire to oppress the Arabs.(Didn't you even notice that my post made clear that both Bell and T.E. Lawrence also functioned as British agents--another of the things they did in life?) Do you resent the fact of her learning Farsi and translating Hafiz to wide acclaim? Can you forgive it for not being something that could win the Stalin Peace Prize? In fact, can a "progressive" of your stripe forgive " a feckless
woman" from the haute bourgeoisie for storming the desert as "the fearless in search of the fabulous"?(to quote gringoVision)

Comrade Eduardos, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreampt of in your Materialist Conception of History.

scott edwards

Alas, poor Gringoman...

Perhaps if you had actually read the works you wee reviewing you'd understand the democratic sentiments of Bell and Lawrence towards Arabia were both exploited and overulled by London.
My words were " She was USED as a spy" not 'she was a spy' as you misquoted. An important distinction for Winstone, Laird, and myself have told you that Britian never had any intention of granting soverignty in return for the arabs creating a fifth column against the Ottoman Empire during WWI. The aim was to instal a pliant local ruler who would grant exclusive access to imperial commercial interests.
Winstone has no particular annimus for Bush (your "Hate Bush Club" remaks) however he compares the illusory democratic gov't in present day Iraq as formed along same lines as the Sykes=Picot agreement of 1916.
Your snow job of the dittos who read you consists of conflating the idealism and capability of Bell and Lawrence and ascribing naive nobility that to the sordid imperial enterprise. You do so because you subsribe the notion of the white man's burden.

To those readers puzzled by the Gringoman remarks of "Stalinism" I offer this yardstick:
I had done some work for the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Chile (which serves to protect the paers and legacy of the 1971 Nobel Prize recipient) on his centennial in '04. One of the exhibits arranged by me occured in Dallas Texas.... at the DFW International Airport.

You let your passions trump your reason with vituprative remarks about the New York Times and current cinamatic films which are not relavant or at issue. What is important is the diliberate mischarecterization of Winstones work.

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