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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to B. H. Liddell Hart


Plymouth

26. VI.30

Alas, I got The Real War weeks ago.  From before that date till now I have not opened a book to read it. The weather?Malaise? A great deal to do? Odyssey? I do not know: there are so many causes.

I was at the Shaws' last week end, and they asked if I was reading it, saying it was particularly good in its characters of generals. I expect it is. O for a wet week, to drive me back upon books again! Only in the summer time, by fits and starts, books seem impossible things.

Arab reactions to air bombing? I think they feel our own intense irritation and vain rage at an attack to which there can be no response. There is something cold, chilling, impersonally fateful, about air bombing. It is not punishment, but a misfortune from heaven striking the community.

The R.A.F. recognises this, and bombs only after 24 hours notice given. So the damage falls only on immovables.

It is of course infinitely more merciful than police or military action, as hardly anyone is ever killed - and the killed are as likely to be negligible women and children, as the really important men. Only this is too oriental a mood for us to feel very clearly. An Arab would rather offer up his wife than himself, to expiate a civil offence!

Source: DG 694-5
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 28 October 2008


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