Travel with Trevor????

     Having moved permanently to Australia two years ago I am becoming more and more remote from the outside world. News coverage here is parochial. If it didn’t happen in Australia, New South Wales or Sydney, then it’s not really worth more than a 30 second clip, while a dog lost in a Sydney suburb gets 5 minutes.

To be fair the Paris attacks did get comprehensive coverage – but from the perspective of Australian tourists caught in the terror (the most coverage for an Australian tourist shot in the bum), and the newpaper headlines now read “What does this mean for Australia?”.

Australia has insulated itself from the outside world with a heavily protected high wage economy where liesure is King. Rush hour starts at 2 pm on a Friday. And in my socio-economic bracket of retirees, caravans and boats and weekends away are a must. We have made a good friend Trevor, who has helped us enormously to settle into our new home.

Typically Aussie, originally from a farming background, he is able to turn his hand to anything, and source all sorts of tools from his extensive Man Shed. And he is keen to take us on a long camping trip into the bush and The Outback to remote and delightful places like Barrington Tops, and forget the outside world which holds no interest for him.

And why not?

Without wishing to trivialize a very serious problem for many brave soldiers I think I am suffering from a form of Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whatever news I get from the Middle East (buried back at Page 28 of “serious” newspapers) only concerns the barbaric acts of ISIS, the atavistic struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians, or the chaos that exists in Iraq and Syria.

This area was the Cradle of our Civilization. Egypt and The Fertile Crescent, The Ur of Chaldea, Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and The Euphrates that gave us mathematics and astronomy, and enriched our lives with the 3 great montheistic religions of Judaeism, Christianity and Islam. And I lived and worked in that region for 40 years and met, made friends and enjoyed the company of many Iranian and Arab people. Intelligent, educated, cultured and interesting people that they are, always concerned for the health and happiness of you and your family. Now all I hear is death and disaster and no hope of an end to barbaric blood letting.

So why not now, “Fade far away, dissolve and quite forget the weariness, the fever and the fret.”

Why not travel with Trevor to The Outback and 40,000 years of Dreaming?

Because I owe it to Darius Gharamanpour, Frank Zarinal, Davood Nasiri, Said Al-Jurbi, Mohammed Al-Ghamdi, Mohammed Al-Shuwaikhat, Khalid Al-Onazi, and many many others too numerous to mention who gave me a good and interesting career, enriched my life and saved my soul – first when I fled from violent and drug-addicted New York on the edge of a nervous breakdown – and again when I was made redundant by the American fad of “downsizing” just when I needed to pay for my daughters’ college education.

If you want insights into the Middle East, and its harsh and apparently barbaric societies, from the perspective of weird and wonderful oilfield trash, expatriate characters who washed up there in the oil patch from 1960 to 2001, preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:

www.amazon.com

and download it if you have a Kindle.

Or if you prefer a real book you can order the paperback edition with free delivery worldwide from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

Using the ISBN number is 978-1908147097

or direct from my publisher

www.feedaread.com

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Paris & Pandora’s Box

The tragic events that have just unfolded in Paris, and the rise and rise of ISIS, the perpetrators of the atrocities, are a consequence of The West’s foreign policy blundering in the Middle East driven by the desire to control and exploit the vast oil wealth of the region. And the invasion of Iraq, and toppling of Saddam Hussein, opened Pandora’s box in that volatile arena.

In Greek mythology when Pandora opened her box all the EVILS of the World flew out, leaving HOPE inside. How prophetic were the ancient Greeks!

Very briefly in the Arab Spring, HOPE did come out of the box – but was driven back by naïve US State Department tragics trumpeting the benefits of Freedom, and the free market (a.k.a. Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll), and even more naïve adultlescents (a la Charlie Hebdo and The Danes) who think that life is a twitter of LOLZ where you can mock people’s deeply felt beliefs and customs without any thought of the consequences.

When will we learn that you cannot impose a liberal, free thinking, sceptical and decadent Western society on deeply religious, tribal societies that are essentially feudal in their make-up? I have lived and worked in the Middle East for over 40 years, and I can assure you that the majority of Muslims are decent, deeply religious people who want to live a good and quiet life within their family. But the extremists in their midst have learned their lessons well. Terrorism pays dividends.

The main cause of The West’s conflict with Islam in The Middle East is their unconditional support for the State of Israel – a state founded on the back of Zionist terrorism (IRGUN and the STERN Gang, the bombing of the King David Hotel etc.). There is no hope of peace in the Middle East until the question of Israel is resolved to the satisfaction of The Arab nation. Even if ISIS is defeated another,and more extreme, movement will rise from the ashes, just as ISIS rose from Al-Qua’eda’s demise.

Pandora’s box is wide open and we will never force the lid back on.

If you want insights into the Middle East, and its harsh and apparently barbaric societies, and its corruption, from the perspective of weird and wonderful oilfield trash, expatriate characters who washed up there in the oil patch from 1960 to 2001, preview my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” at:

www.amazon.com

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

Using the ISBN number is 978-1908147097

(They offer free delivery worldwide)

or direct from my publisher

www.feedaread.com