While the Iraqi military, with some help from Iran and the U.S., may be able to hold on to what is left within its purview, it's hard to see it reclaiming much territory without major foreign interventions. Which could easily backfire, both for Tehran and Washington, the only capitals which might be involved.
As film lovers the world over mourn the passing of Peter O'Toole, many of us are taking the time to revisit one of the legendary actor's greatest works: Lawrence of Arabia, a film whose adventurous spirit and exotic locales also inspired scores of travelers to seek out their own life-changing voyages.
A raconteur, a bon viveur, a perfect bastard, an embellisher, a shameless womaniser, a graceful chatterbox, a part-time monster and a part-time saint, he was also a master of his craft and he earned the status of artistic genius. Inside him he had slices of Joyce, quarts of Wilde, bits of Behan, slaps of Shaw, and remnants of Yeats.
This week, fans of Lawrence of Arabia celebrate the release of the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition. Unraveling fact from fiction has never been easy when it comes to Lawrence, but now fans can take the authenticity game all the way to Jordan, as I did recently, and trace Lawrence's tracks literally right down to the rail lines that he routinely sabotaged in helping throw the Ottomans off the Arabian Peninsula.