IT’S THE RICH WHAT GETS THE PLEASURE . . .

. . . and the Poor what takes the blame.

I guess the “Dear John” is as old as war itself. It’s such a well-worn cliché it’s probably a universal truth. It was featured recently in  a feature film of that name, and in JARHEAD and HOMELAND.

The noble warrior goes off to war, and his wife or fiancée cheats on him – usually with his best friend, or seduced by her boss – those close enough, predatory enough and wealthy enough to wine and dine and take advantage of vulnerable and weak women.

One of the main reasons oilfield trash wash up in the isolated oil camps of the Arabian/Persian Gulf is a failed marriage, and mostly while they were away fighting in politicians’ wars. Not just VietNam – but the dirty little wars that are all about oil. One such was the Dhofar Campaign fought in Muscat/Oman kept under the radar because it was in support of a feudal and tyrannical ruler – yet another cliché.

Poor Ray Taylor was a Special Forces trooper fighting bravely with his mates in that campaign when all he wanted was to get home and marry his sweetheart – his princess. That dream was snatched from him, and he wreaked a terrible vengeance. But the Dhofar Campaign was so secret he was not able to use his brave and loyal service to The Crown in his defence when The Crown prosecuted him for causing Grievous Bodily Harm.

So Ray, like so many others, found solace in the masculine comradeship of the oils camps, free from the wants of women, soothed by the isolation and hard physical work – and many bottles of vodka or saddique (the Arabic word for friend), an illicit spirit distilled in The Gulf. And yet Ray was still resourceful enough to beat the rap when the rich bosses conspired against him once again.

Read Ray’s story THEY GAOLED THE WRONG MAN in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”.

It can be previewed and obtained by following my URL:

http://www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

It will give you some insights into a world as it is – not as we wish it to be.

 

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Kids & Candy, Snipers & JFK – and Oliver Stone

It’ s almost ancient history now – being pushed into oblivion by 9/11, two Gulf wars, the war in Afghanistan and the War on Terror – but the consequences of the VietNam War and the assassination of JFK still reconate today. And one of the most persistent consequences of all wars is the death and suffering of innocent children.

The  VietNam War was a humiliating defeat for the USA, and nobody was more humiliated than the young men who did what they thought was their patriotic duty, quit college and volunteered to go and fight the evils of Communism. For all their bravery and suffering they lost, and instead of returning home to some sort of hero’s welcome they were cursed and reviled by the anti-war movement (and Jane Fonda).

Oliver Stone was one of those brave young men, and he was talented enough to be able to exorcise his demons in a series of brilliant films. But the majority of Viet Vets have had to live with their demons as best they can. A lot of them chose to never return to their Homeland. They married Filipina or Thai bar girls they met on R&R and washed up as expatriates in The Arabian Gulf trying to earn a decent living and support their extended families. And they live with the horros of their experiences as infantrymen, tunnel rats and snipers every day.

According to one sharpshooter he had orders to shoot to kill, and he did kill, children who approached patrols begging for candy. Crafty Charlie strapped explosives to kids, and detonated them remotely if the kids got close.  And in his darker moments he told me that US Army snipers triangulated JFK in Dallas. He was told this during training and shown a film that apparently supported this. So Oliver Stone got it wrong in JFK?

Read my sharpshooter’s (fictionalized) story “YA HEAR WHAT AH’M SAYIN” in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”.  You can find it by following the link:

http://www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

At least the VietNam War was idealogical, trying to stop the spread of communism. The Gulf Wars are all about oil, and The West’s greed for cheap and abundant energy supplies.

It’s all about Oil – and Gas

Just when you thought tensions could not get worse in the eastern Mediterranean the discovery of significant deposits of offshore gas and NGLs (Natural Gas Liquids) will only heighten the potential for conflict.

The allocation of oil & gas acreage and production revenues between governments is difficult enough in areas such as the North Sea where the bordering countries (UK, Norway, Denmark, Holland) are cool headed and have a long history of abiding by the rule of law. Imagine the disputes in that crowded corner of the Med. trying to allocate production between Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt – and the Gaza Strip.  All have them have bordering coastlines and a claim to the area.

Conflict? – You ain’t seen nothing yet.

WAS IT REALLY THE FIRST GULF WAR?

Was America’s first war that drove Saddam out of Kuwait really the First Gulf War? Certainly not! And was America’s second war that toppled Saddam the last Gulf War? I doubt it. 

It’s all about oil.

Before WWI Winston Churchill identified oil as “the ultimate prize equated with world mastery”, and Britain established a dominant position in Iran on the Persian side of The Gulf. After WWII the USA established a dominant presence in Saudi Arabia on the Arabian side of The Gulf. Realizing the the whole area was oil rich they tried to annex the whole of the Arabian Peninsula.

In the 1950s ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company) armed Saudi tribesmen and encouraged them to mount raids against border posts in the Buraimi Oasis, a system of villages in the Trucial States, a British protectorate that later became the UAE. They were repulsed by a force of local Arab levies, the Omani Scouts, led by British cavalry officers.

This was a 15 year war by proxy bewteen the USA and Britain that was never fully reported, and is still not fully resolved. An ARAMCO executive once described it as, “a neat little war between us and the Limies”.

In the 1960s there was the DOFAR campaign, a secret war in Oman that certainly involved American backed Saudis – and was eventually won by forces loyal to the Sultan of Muscat, led by British SAS troppers, supported by RAF fighter bombers.

And then of course there was the CIA coup in Iran that deposed the legitimate elected government of Mosedeq, and replaced him with the corrupt and despicable Shah. This led inevitably to the counter coup by the Ayatollahs and may yet lead to a disastrous new GULF WAR against Iran.

The strategic importance of Big Oil, and the big easy money it generates, always leads to corruption and bloody conflicts. I used all of this as background to my very first story – NO BRITISH INTEREST – that is in the book I published last year.

If you want insights into The Arabian/Persian Gulf, from a western perspectived based on 40 years in the international oil industry, read my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. You can preview the book, including all the background by following my URL:

http://www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

And you can buy the paperback from amazon, and many other online stores, or download it from amazon’s Kindle store if you have a Kindle reader.

How many Gulfs are there?

First and foremost is the gulf between men and women – nowhere more stark than in the Arabian Gulf States the only place in the world where women die younger than men, and they have to use all of their feminine wiles to get what they want. There is a traditional story of the man who bought an old lamp in the bazaar, rubbed it and out popped  a Genie who granted him a wish. The man wanted to visit America but was afraid of flying or of drowning in the Atlantic. The Genie said building a bridge or a tunnel would cost zillions. Think of something simpler. So the man said he wanted to understand women. The Genie said, “Do you want a bridge or a tunnel.”

That story comes from The Persian Gulf, the same body of water as The Arabian Gulf, but separated by the deep gulf between Saudi Arabian Sunna Islam, and Persian (Iranian) Shia Islam. You can never escape religion in The Gulf – and so you have the gulf between Christian and Muslim (they still talk about The Crusades), and the deeper and bloodier gulf between Muslim and Jew – a 7.000 year feud bewteen Semitic tribes.

The countries surrounding The Gulf are barren and fiery deserts. Allah balanced this hell on earth by giving them the fabulous wealth of huge oil deposits – a mixed blessing. Western greed for cheap and abundant energy saw them disrupt traditional tribal cultures and pour billons of petro-dollars into the pockets of corrupt despots. Glittering arenas of western decadence developed first in Tehran, and then Dubai and Bahrain, while the majority of the population continued their Biblical existence in dire poverty – a potentially explosive gulf between the haves and the have-nots

Skilled jobs went to highly paid Americans, and Europeans (all Christians strangely enough) , and menial work went to poorly paid Pakistanis, Sri Lankans and Indonesians (all Muslims strangely enough). Yet another gulf.

And finally there is my Gulf.

My Book THE GULF ” Reaping the Whirlwind” uses the fascinating, atavistic and sometimes barbaric world of The Arabian/Persian Gulf as its background, and is based on my 40 years experience in the international oil industry. It is journalistic, based on events I have witnessed, but is a work of fiction and imagination. You can sample it on amazon.com – and buy the paperback online from them or thebookdepositry.co.uk (with free worldwide shipping) – or if you have a Kindle you can download from Amazon’s Kindle store.

Thanks a million – I hope.