Tuesday 16th of July 2024

Arrakis and Iraq- From Dune To The Dunes

Regime Change on the planet Arrakis... ring any bells?  When the news
about the President Bush's failure to control Iraq after the occupation
came about, any reader of Frank Herbert's novel Dune would not be
suprised.  Herbert explained the ethical nobility implied in the
Islamic approach to battle.  His freedom fighters, the Feydakin,
believed that sacrificing one life to ensure the deaths of many of the
enemy was an extremely sensible and honourable way to fight a war.  The
higher the number of enemy deaths taken in an attack, the greater was
the revererance bestowed on the self-sacrificing soldier

The similarities between Arrakis and Iraq in Herbert's are novel are many.  A
desert only of value for what lay beneath its soil, which was a
commodity considered a necessity by many civilisations, ruled by puppet
regimes whose primary function was to maximise product output, ravaged
by a failed change in ruler.

In the book, assisted by his sister, the Abomination Alia (I kid you
not) , deposed ruler  Paul Atreides is assimilated into the indigenous
culture, amd utilises his knowledge of  both invading and local
philosophies to successfully organise a revolution.  He forces a
society  reliant on a precious commodity (ironically controlled by the Emperor Shaddam)  to become subservient in order
to continue to function.

The homeland succes results in a massive Jihad that reshapes human
existance to conform with the social mores of those who control the
oil... er, I mean spice.

The fact that Frank Herbert wrote all this in the 1960's makes the
similarites between the current situation in Iraq and the cirucmstances
of the novel all the more impressive.  I've wondered, right from the
day of September 11 2001 whether any of the Bush Administration
advisors had read the novel.  Anybody who had would have an idea of
what to expect when they invaded Iraq.