The Empire & The Desert

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Steven LaTulippe’s fascinating article today on Saudi Arabia brings to mind the science fiction classic Dune by Frank Herbert. This book has been coming to mind a lot in the last few years. In the novel, the ruler of the Galactic Empire ends up on the desert planet Arrakis where the Fremen, Bedouin type natives toughened by desert living, defeat the highly trained imperial forces and depose the Emperor. Was Herbert thinking of the past with the British Empire in Afghanistan and the Middle East or was he prophetically describing the U.S. Empire in Afghanistan and the Middle East? Whatever the case, I suspect that the U.S. is going to have as much luck taking on desert people as Herbert’s Empire did on Dune.

11:54 am on September 13, 2004