At the end of the film Lawrence of Arabia, Lawrence – by this time a dedicated Arab nationalist – tries to persuade the British authorities to give artillery to the Arabs. When he leaves the room, two Brit officials discuss the idea:
OFFICIAL #1: What do you think?
OFFICIAL #2: If we give them artillery, they’ll be independent.
OFFICIAL #1: Yes.
OFFICIAL #2: Then we can’t let them have it.
It is also implied, though not clearly stated, that Lawrence wants a united Arabia – all Arab lands east of Egypt, with its capital at Damascus.
Did Lawrence really want this?
Did any Arabs really want it?
How did it happen that, instead, the world wound up with a plethora of Arab ministates?
Would things have gone any differently if Prince Faisal had been provided with artillery?
What role did oil play in these decisons? (Made in 1918, when oil was not quite as geopolitically important as it later became.)