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The following is a paragraph taken from a book written by Scott Anderson called Lawrence In Arabia.

All of which was actually quite understandable; the public had become thoroughly inured to the endless saber-rattling of the European imperial powers, the “crisis” that seemed to boil up and fall away every few months, and there was no reason to think this one would play out any differently. But Sarajevo was the crisis that counted, because those who wanted war made it count. A very slow-burning fuse had been lit, one that would take over a month to burn through, but when it did, in the first days of August 1914, it would trigger a continent-wide war that would ultimately carry everyone down into the abyss together.

This book is an account of events prior to World War One as they took place in the Middle East. There are passages that make you think you are reading about current day events. It again reminds me of the saying, “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” History has come around again. I hope those currently in power in the countries of the world are learning something from the events of the past. I pray they are rereading history books so they do not make the same mistakes.

If you like history, I highly recommend this book. There are many books already written on the subject of the middle east during this time. This one brings the lives of several of the principal players all together to lead the events during that time in this area. It teaches us what we need to know to not make the same mistakes. I have seen the movie, Lawrence of Arabia, which of course like all movies is Hollywood’s version and very romanticized. Reading the real history helps me to understand the events of that time. What is so amazing is that you will think you are reading about today’s events, not those of one hundred years ago.

I do wonder how the middle east has remained so near to ancient times while the rest of the world progressed to our modern day. Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why this is the case. All the world poured money, time, and resources into the middle east. Yet the native populations are still living like they did in those days one hundred years ago. Did the religions of that area cripple the population? Or is it only a portion of one religion that has hampered them? The extreme differences between the Sunni and the Shia in the Muslim religion is a major obstacle to peace in this region. I don’t understand the differences but I do know they are the major forces behind the conflict. In between this conflict are innocent humans who just yearn for the freedom to chose their own way in life.

Learn from history everyone. Read, research, and listen to those who are on the ground. Remember that the human condition is all people yearn to be free. Quite forcing your morals and beliefs at the point of the sword and try using your voice to persuade humans to your side of the argument. Amazingly, you will find more people will understand and keep an open mind.

Oil is at the heart of this situation as far as the rest of the major powers are concerned. Yet, the religious differences of Islam is the detonator that will ignite the whole region into a new world war. Are we about to fall down the abyss once again?