Its main object was to compel his at-tendance; to seize him and bring him forcibly as a prisoner to Nasiriyah. Only by exerting our military superiority could we enforce our Political power when that power was openly disrespected. Now to capture a wily Arab in an exposed village, where he lay surrounded by his armed followers anticipating retribution by a British force, was a difficult problem and unlikely to be achieved. We had to take him alive, not kill him and it seemed most impossible that any large body of men could so surprise the Arab watchfulness as to effect this. Should he not be found in his village, or should we fail to take him alive our orders were to blow his towers, burn the houses of his vil-lage and destroy all his possessions.