The sound of Axes being Ground is DEAFENING (Part 2)

Following on from my comments on the MH370 hijacking I had completely forgotten that the Prologue to my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” starts from the premise of a possible hijack that causes the protagonist, a world weary journalist who thinks he is about to die (and is not unhappy about that), to review his life in the Middle East – and the roller coaster ride of his past life in all of its exhilarating and frightening diversity in that atavistic and brutal part of the world.

This was my fictional means to present a series of linked stories that are authentic and journalistic based on events that I witnessed myself, or were reported to me by reliable sources. Each story features a character typical of the sorts of expatriate who wash up in the Arabian/Persian Gulf for whatever reason. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances trying to survive in a rapidly changing and hostile world.

It is in such situations that the surprising strength (or weakness) of characters shows through – revealing the truth.

You can preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:

www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

and download it if you have a Kindle.

Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

The ISBN number is 978-1908147097

They offer free delivery worldwide.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

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The sound of Axes being ground . . . is DEAFENING

Normally I do not comment on current affairs that are not directly related to my particular interest (obsession)with the Arabian/Persian Gulf. However I do have some personal experience of the type of situation that now surrounds the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370.

Early in my career I was in charge of SHELL’s jet fuel quality control laboratory at Heathrow airport. During that time a BA jet that we had fuelled crashed just after take-off killing everybody on board. Within a few days my laboratory was swarming with an accident investigation team that included engineers from the airframe and engine manufacturers.

I was amazed, and scared, of how aggressive they were. They demanded all my documentation and fuel samples. Fortunately my documentation and fuel quality was perfect – and one of the Government investigators took me on one side and explained their attitude. Because of the millions of dollars involved in potential lawsuits and loss of business, they were not looking for the truth – they were looking for somebody to shoulder the blame. And in these situations they usually blame the pilot, because he is dead and cannot defend himself. And that is what happened in my case, and is happening now with MH370. Every effort is being made to blame the poor pilot.

To me it is a bungled hijack. Somebody with flying experience took over the plane, but unlike the 9/11 hijackers did not have the skills. Hence the rapid rise to 42,000 feet and then the descent to 5,000 feet, and then the crazy navigation that took them out over open ocean until they ran out of fuel. Presumably the hijacker(s) were supposed to head for Australia, or The Maldives, or Sri Lanka to land and make their demands.

In my career in the international oil industry I travelled millions of miles on long haul jets – and experienced several frightening emergencies. One such emergency, when my flight was hit by lightning and tipped on its side and fell 1,000 feet, I have used as a basis of a story in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. It is only in such situations that the true strength or weakness of characters shows through.

The book is a series of stories spanning 40 years about the archetypical characters who wash up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf trying to survive in a rapidly changing world. They are people drawn to a highly paid and dangerous life-on-the-edge where men are men and women are no better than they ought to be.

You can preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:

www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

and download it if you have a Kindle.

Or if you prefer a real book you can order the edition from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

The ISBN number is 978-1908147097

They offer free delivery worldwide.

I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

 

It’s all about OIL

The lust for war that led to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 has never been satisfactorily explained. The blatant lies about WMDs and Saddam’s links to Al-Qa’eda were soon discredited.

Certainly the neo-Cons led by Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz had an agenda to protect Israel from Iraq’s growing regional power (and his long barrelled gun)- but is the Jewish lobby that powerful that the US would enter a full scale war on their behalf? And regime change was the feeblest excuse thought up as a knee jerk reaction to the scorn heaped on Bush & Blair (aka Laurel & Hardy: “Another fine mess you got me in Ollie”)

From my perspective as a long time Middle East oilman it’s all about oil.

When the US troops invaded Baghdad they immediately threw a cordon around the Oil Ministry – but totally failed to protect the Ministry of Antiquities. Presumably while thieves looted the museums of their priceless treasures the US authorities looted all the seismic data about Iraq’s oil reserves? Recent events are proving that the US was right about Iraq’s importance to the international oil market.

Iraq has now replaced Iran as OPEC’s second largest oil exporter and is earning oil revenues of some $200 Billion per year predicted to double to $400 Billion by 2020.

Will this fabulous oil wealth help relieve the violence and corruption that engulfs Iraq at the moment, or only deepen the divide between Sunni and Shia, Kurds and other minorities?

When I published my book THE GULF 3 years ago it was prescient.

The pitch on the back cover says:
“It’s all about oil. If there was no oil the only foreigners in the Middle East would be a few biblical scholars and archaeologists, being driven mad by the heat, the flies and the dust – and thieving Bedouins who can steal the wheels off of a truck while it is still in motion.”

My book is a series of stories spanning 40 years highlighting the archetypical characters who wash up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf trying to survive in a rapidly changing world. They are people drawn to a highly paid and dangerous life-on-the-edge where men are men and women are no better than they ought to be.

You can preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:
http://www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards
and download it if you have a Kindle. Or if you prefer a real book you can order the edition from:
http://www.thebookdepository.co.uk
The ISBN number is 978-1908147097
They offer free delivery worldwide.

I hope you enjoy it.