When Will We Ever Learn?
I have started to realize that as we get closer to yet another year in which we are all getting older I ponder how much wiser we all have become. From what I have read, heard on the air, or saw through-out my travels I have doubts as to the legitimacy of our society becoming that much wiser with each passing year. It seems that where ever I go mistakes of the past are so often repeated. As the Kingston Trio once lamented "When will we ever learn?"
It is always been after the fact whether it was to many traffic accidents at the same intersection or our military engaged in skirmishes that only keep escalating that our illustrious most benevolent leaders of state seem inclined to offer half baked solutions to the many crisis that confront us all only to have recurrences of those same types of problems to begin with. In some respects technological development seems to enhance the human experience. But, too often after what has and still is being developed most of us are not mentally prepared to deal with the consequences of all that man has invented.
So many instances through-out history there have been many technological advances where man has failed to use what was invented for the greater good. Instead, what has happened is that mankind continues on a path of destruction to reap more power, control and wealth. Too often what was supposed to be beneficial turned out to be the very antithesis of what that technological marvel was meant to do. When Nobel invented dynamite which has so many good and useful uses only to have mankind devise a more destructive use which has brought catastrophic destruction upon all of mankind. A most horrendous and hideous use of a invention originally designed for the good of mankind has ravaged humanity ever since.
It reminds me of the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. Here was a great film that depicted how mankind has threatened the very existence of life forms all through-out the galaxy by the misuse of nuclear energy. What we did to Japan with the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was only a prelude of how inventions have managed to do great harm rather than great good. The destructive powers that man is now capable of continues to threaten all life. And, like in the movie what we have done and continue to do threatens all life forms right here on our home planet. But, the movie isn't all that much different from today's realm of reality. Today's technology has afforded us many devices of destruction that were not around even 80 years ago. We have landed on the Moon and now Mars. Whose to say where next. If we continue to pollute our own planet where ever else we go you can expect the same outcome there as well. I somehow think that if a real life scenario happened like the one that played out in the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still would we after all change our ways?
In reality though mankind only reacts with a direct resolution only when faced with greater threats. It has seemed that the only time nations respond to crisis that affect their interests is if they are internally threatened or externally threatened. The internal struggles of a nation are a result of many factors. One of the most obvious happens when the majority of citizens are left destitute and deprived of life's necessities and opportunities for better advancements. When conditions that bring about desolation and depravation to the masses this creates explosive inner turmoil that so often results in violent overthrow of governments and economic instability that does affect other nations. As a result a domino effect of violence carries over that intensifies where more nations react with violence of their own. The Arab Spring was a recent example of what does happen when citizens are not afforded the opportunities that staves of economic repression. When circumstances arise that undermine the majority of citizens the opportunity to be self reliant, self supporting and governing and where entrenched leaders continue to ignore the plight of the masses only encourages more violent overthrow.
Now a half a world away in the Mid-East violence has again taken hold of societies. Where whole populations are thrust into a cataclysm of despair. No longer can the rest of the world sit idle and let nations react with armed assault. Where violence only creates more aggression and repression of people everywhere. Where leaders of nations use violent means to suppress their own. Where the masses continue their violent overthrow to achieve long sought goals of better opportunity. It has happened all through-out history especially in the Mid-East. where cultures continue to display mistrust and open hatred against one another.
Today the Mid-East is again a hotbed of turmoil. For years the Palestinians have sough to establish themselves in and around the territory now inhabited by Israel and for years Israel have sought to undermine Palestine their right to territory along the east coast of the Mediterranean. To trace the history of hostilities between Palestine and Israel is to go back to 1800's when in 1890 the Zionist movement began. By 1917 the British Government through the Balfour Declaration established the Jewish state of Israel in land that the Palestinians were already on. When Adolf Hitler came to power more Jewish settlers flocked to Jerusalem. The Zionist movement was not supported by the Arabs who wanted an independent state of Palestine. What happened during this period in history is that emotions gave way to despise and hatred for the Jewish people who actually were encroaching on Palestinian land. It was the British Government that instituted the Jewish state of Israel rather than supporting the Palestinians.
When T.E. Lawrence wrote " All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible." This is quit profound that such a man as T.E. Lawrence could articulate what men are really quite capable of. This quote sums up the reality of history especially what has been going on in the Mid-East for centuries.
To really understand how the Mid-East continues to be such a hotbed of aggression that could at any moment ignite into a raging firestorm of open hostilities we have to understand the history of how most of what is happening today all started. It was in the 16th century when the Ottoman Turks invaded the conquered the region known as Palestine. Over the centuries the Ottoman Empire gained control of most of the Mid-East. When World War I broke out the British with the help of the Arab nation, where T.E. Lawrence was so effective in recruiting the Arab tribes to join forces with the British, that the Ottoman Turks were finally defeated. Contributing to the tension that surrounds Palestine today is that back then the Zionists were continually migrating into Palestine. The League Of Nations following World War I gave Great Britain the mandate that essentially meant that Palestine was to be governed by the British. The British promised to help the Jewish people make Palestine their homeland. It was this promise that made the Arabs feel that they were betrayed by the British in allowing a Jewish population settle into what the Arabs thought was their land.
During World War I the Arabs were revolting against the Ottoman Turkish rule and from 1916-1918 T.E. Lawrence was very effective and instrumental in having the Arabs achieve their victory over the Turks. What he tried to accomplish in those years was for the Arabs to unify Syria, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia into one independent country. Again it was the British who ultimately undermined T.E. Lawrence's efforts where he almost succeeded in unifying the Arab nations. When the British ratified the Balfour Declaration it ended any possibility of an independent Arab nation uniting Palestine, Syria and Saudi Arabia. It is also well known that even back then the Zionists beliefs were totally contrary to the Arabs and that any hope of equality of stability between them would continue to be impossible.
For a very brief time following World War I from 1918-1920 T.E. Lawrence with King Fausi the Arabs began the unification of the Mid-East. But, when the British with the ratification of the Sykes-Picot agreement really sealed the fate for future turmoil to erupt through-out the region. Today,only reinforces the fact of what the Sykes-Picot agreement continues to do. What T.E Lawrence was trying to do in helping the Arabs become one independent nation was totally undermined by the French, The British Government and the League Of Nations.
There is much speculation that had the British and the French allowed T.E. Lawrence to succeed in helping the Arabs become a united independent country encompassing Palestine, Syria, and Saudi Arabia that today the Mid-East would not be such a "hotbed' of turmoil. Palestine would be Arab and the nation of Israel would now have been established in what is Turkey long before 1948. The hostilities that has occurred since the end of World War I would have been avoided and these two opposite cultures would now be separate eliminating the possibility of territorial domination by one country or another. In other words the continued conflicts that are occurring today would have been substantially reduced.
A lesson to be learned in history of the Mid-East where during the years following World War I. One that is forever linked to foreign domination over countries and cultures whose own destiny rises of falls on the ability or inability to fine common ground for stability, equality and security of their populations futures. To full understand the reality of today in the Mid-East and what is happening now is to face the fact that history has only repeated itself because we fail to fully understand the lessons that should have been learned the first time around. "When will we ever learn." For Lawrence of Arabia a dreamer by the day, that dream of an United Arab nation almost did come true.