Monday, March 12, 2007


The On This Day selection from The Times (UK) is particularly aposite today. It refers to the British seizure of Baghdad from allied Ottoman-German forces during World War I. The last bit --

One very great and immediate consequence of the British occupation is that it will have a steadying influence in the Middle East. Our repeated misfortunes a year or more ago in Mesopotamia very seriously diminished British prestige in Asia, but the fall of Baghdad restores the balance. In Oriental eyes the capture of Baghdad will count for much more than the rout of a Turkish Army, for, though the city has been shorn of much of its former greatness, it is venerated because of its “dead past” which “cannot die”. Its fall will bring more renown to British arms in the East than many battles.

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