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[casi] Limits to warfare, and Lawrence of Dakota

Desk-clearing time.  The following items, each too small to post individually,
are forwarded in hopes they might be useful in letters or otherwise of interest.
 Topics are random:

[1] Columnist Charles Krauthammer
[2] Legal limits to warfare - did they originate in Baghdad?
[3] The Nagy/"Water Vulnerabilities" report appears again
[4] "Lawrence of Dakota"
[5] The first mosque in America

[1] Hawkish Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, in an interview that
should be hung around his neck like a bell, said:

"If we win the war, we are in control of Iraq, it is the single largest source
of oil in the world ...  We will have a bonanza, a financial one, at the other
end, if the war is successful."


This was the same Krauthammer who, during the Gulf War, wrote "Bombing Baghdad:
No Cause for Guilt" (WashPost, Feb 14 1991).

In his heart-of-hearts, Krauthammer may suspect not all is going well.  He wrote
in April, "This idea that we cannot fight Iraq without a consensus of Arab
states behind us is absurd.  We need two countries, Kuwait in the south and
Turkey in the north."  Of course, both these countries are now in the
'no-attack' camp.

[2] Question: Where did the legal notion originate of protecting non-combatants
during warfare?
    Answer:   Baghdad, possibly.

One of the earliest legal formulations for constraining warfare and protecting
civilians is credited to an eighth-century Islamic legal scholar buried in
Baghdad.  The directive came from Imam Abu Hanifa (Al-A'adham), who taught in
Baghdad, was imprisoned there, and was buried in the Al-Khaizuran Cemetries in
767. In 1066 the shrine was renovated, and a Hanafite school built next to it.

[3] There was additional exposure for Tom Nagy's Gannett story in the Seattle

[4-5] The final two items stem from a recent vacation to western North Dakota,
an arid, depopulated land of subtle beauty.

[4] "Lawrence of Dakota" -- The following may say something about colonial
ambitions in the late 1800s ...  Or it may simply be an annecdote about a
particular messianic ego (one whose bio fairly begs to be filmed).

The Marquis de Mores, French nobleman and adventurer, settled in the 'wilds' of
western North Dakota in 1883 with dreams of establishing a meat-packing empire.
His chateau, which we visited, and the ruins of a processing plant remain in the
small town of Medora, named for de Mores' brilliant wife (whose watercolors
still hang on the chateau's walls).

De Mores' effort met financial and personal disaster.  Historians dispute
whether de Mores actually challenged future President and fellow Dakota rancher
Teddy Roosevelt to a duel; however, accounts are clear that de Mores was tried
twice (and acquitted) for murder.

De Mores returned to France in 1887, leaving immediately for India and a tiger
hunt, after which he planned an Indochina railroad to the Gulf of Tonkin, though
it failed to get financial backing. He then entered French politics, but was
unsuccessful. He became a socialist, and an infamous duellist.

In a gesture that prefigured T.E. Lawrence, de Mores then led an attempt to
drive the British from North Africa by building a coalition of Arab tribes.  He
met his death at the hands of Toureg natives on the Sahara in June, 1896.  He's
buried at Cannes.

[5] "The Mosque at Ross" -- What many consider the first mosque in America was
built near the remote North Dakota farming community of Ross (2000 census: 48
residents).  The Arab settlers who formed the mosque emmigrated to the area in
1899, and called themselves Turks, then Syrians, then Lebanese as the borders of
the Ottoman Empire were re-drawn.

The mosque itself is now gone, but a well-tended cemetery remains on a prairie
hillside behind a wrought-iron gate arched with the star and crescent.  We
visited last Sunday afternoon, and a more piercing solitude couldn't be imagined.

Ironically, one of the last great U.S. oil discoveries was made a few miles from
here -- the Williston Basin strike at Tioga in 1951.

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA

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