Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, April 02, 2007


This is coolbert:

With regard to my last blog entry, here is the wiki site on Gertrude Bell.

One of the most remarkable persons that ever lived, man or woman??!!

Could be so!!

Had an influence in Iraq [Mesopotamia] that lasts to this day!!

That a WOMAN, at that time, and in that place [Middle East], was able to do what she accomplished is astounding.

[it has often been suggested that sending a woman diplomat to the Middle East is worse than foolish! Men [Arabs] in that part of the world have little respect for women and do not consult with them on important matters. For the United States to send a woman as a diplomat might even be considered an INSULT. YOU ARE NOT TAKING THEM [ARABS] SERIOUSLY!!]

A contemporary of T.E. Lawrence and a "soulmate" [?].

Consider this:

* "At age 16, she went to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she gained a first class honours degree in history in only two years."

* "attended Oxford and earned a 'First' in Modern History; could speak Arabic, Persian, French and German"

* "mountaineering in Switzerland, and learning archaeology and languages — Arabic, French, German, Italian, Persian and Turkish."

* "was an archaeologist/traveler/photographer in the Middle East"

* "in 1900 traveled to Jerusalem dressed as a male Bedouin to look for the Druzes."

* "honorary secretary of the British Women's Anti-Suffrage League"

[was AGAINST women getting the vote. Apparently for complex reasons!!??]

* "set about organizing and processing . . . data about the location and disposition of Arab tribes that could be encouraged to join the British against the Turks"

* "She drew maps to help the British army reach Baghdad safely"

* "a confidant of King Faisal of Iraq"

* "Bell advised him [Faisal] in local questions, including matters involving tribal geography and local business."

[Faisal was an outsider. A Hashemite Bedouin from Arabia and not native to Iraq. Installed by the British as a pliant ruler friendly to the English interests!]

* "Bell also supervised the selection of appointees for cabinet and other leadership posts in the new government."

* "found[ed] Baghdad's great Irak Archaeological Museum"

* "founded The British School of Archeology, Iraq"

* "She supervised excavations and examined finds and artifacts."

* "authoring a prodigious output of books, articles of correspondence, intelligence reports, reference works, white papers"

* "could ride with great determination through the desert for hours on end"

[horseback I take it. This would have won her big merit among the Arabs, the great horse-lovers and lovers of horsemanship [horse-womanship in this case].]

* "awarded the Order of the British Empire"

* "She was buried at the British cemetery in Baghdad's Bab al-Sharji district. Her funeral was a major event, attended by large numbers of people."

[even the locals had great respect for her!!]

Read further about Gertrude Bell here, and here.

Condeleeza Rice the equal of Gertrude Bell? I would like to think so. But I doubt it!



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