The Sun Also Goeth Down

The biblical phrase “The Sun also rises”, most famously used by Ernest Hemingway as the sub-title to his novel FIESTA, actually says “The suns also rises, and the sun also goeth down and hastens to the place where it arose”. This leads me to wonder if the developed World  weary of the Middle East and its intractable problems, is turning its attention to the Indo-Pacific region where every day in the Gregorian calendar has its beginning?

We see the urgency of dealing with the rise of China as an aggressive superpower, and the economic rise of India, and its problems with Pakistan that in some ways mirrors the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It is atavistic, religious, tribal, nuclearized and about territory (West Bank/Kashmir)?

The tagline of my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” starts with the sentence “It’s all about oil.” And certainly the rise of the Arabian/Persian Gulf from a sleepy tribal backwater of the British Empire to a region of sovereign states of international significance was driven by the thirst of the West for cheap oil, and the abrupt rise in crude oil prices from $5 to $25 per barrel in the 1970s.

Now, with the wide availability of shale oil and coal seam gas in the short term, and the projected dominance of electric motor cars in the medium term, the significance of secure and cheap crude oil supplies is becoming irrelevant. Will The Gulf once again become a sleepy backwater, not of the British Empire as it once was, but of American Imperialism?

“The sun also goeth down” is certainly true. . . but then the sun will also rise again, and by all that is normal to us, and most of what is manufactured for us, it will rise in The Far East.

If The West had so many problems with its cultural clash with a few million Arabs and Israelis, how are they going to deal with the problems of 1.5 Billion Chinese (and their spear carriers the North Koreans), a billion Indians and Pakistanis, s70 million Indonesian Muslims – not to mention Malays, Thais, Filipinos and assorted Polynesians, Melanesians and Micronesians – and 125 million Japanese?

I hope the US State Department and the UK Foreign Office is up to it (I actually know Dominic Raab the UK Foreign Secretary and he’s a very clever man). And I hope the EU can come up with a coherent foreign policy – some hope.

Except that I love life so much, I am almost glad I’m nearing the end of my life. But what about my grandkids and the World that they will inherit? Maybe they’ll get lucky. Global warming will make this planet uninhabitable, and technology will be so developed that they will be able to rock(et)-off to a better galaxy???

Times and technology are changing so rapidly that the conflicts I dramatized in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”, that was published just a few years ago, are beginning to look like scenes in a historical novel. At least it they are authentic and not based on reading unreliable historians rewriting history to favour the winners. I did live through those times and witness the events I used as the seeds of my stories. And I certainly did not favour the winners.

I lived and I worked with the ordinary working people (and I never once met an ordinary person) in Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – and for 10 years in Saudi Arabia.

You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East in Kindle format at:

amazon.com

Or in paperback edition on my publisher’s website:

feedaread.com

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Why am I a Sceptic/Cynic?

I had a happy childhood. I am by nature optimistic – and yet I am sceptical of everything I see and hear – because:

My first management role was as Group Leader of SHELL’s jet fuel lab near Heathrow. My first project was the field testing of a water detector that had been developed by SHELL’s prestigious Amsterdam Research Laboratorium – and I, and my 3 research assistants, could not make it work.

Under intense pressure from my boss – and feeling like a failure who had fallen at the first fence – and in the throes of a panic attack at 3 am, I thought the unthinkable. What if Amsterdam were wrong? It took me and my assistants a morning in the lab to show that they were wrong.

I rushed to my boss shouting “Amsterdam are wrong.”. He was aghast. “You can’t say that,” was his reponse. And I had to invent a bullshit technology invoking Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to explain the difference between lab results and field experience. The SHELL Water Detector is still in safe use at most of the world’s airports – thanks to my 3 am panic attack.

Very much later, I was the Manager of SGS Redwood’s Production Laboratory in Aberdeen that devised the crude oil Production Allocation scheme for the EKOFISK field with the Norwegain Petroleum Directorate; and for Occidental’s PIPER/CLAYMORE oilfields. On that basis we were invited to participate in the development of a scheme for the vastly more complex Sullom Voe Terminal project along with SHELL, ESSO, BP and ICI.

Test samples were sent to all the labs for analysis – and the results were sent to a Cambridge PhD for collation and analysis. He issued a report that made no sense to anybody. Les Berqvist from ESSO then asked the 64K question, “What is the baseline you have used to compare the results?” His confident answer, “My results, of course.”

Instead of applying well known statistical methods to analyze all results, including his own, he had made the vain and arrogant assumption that his results were the most accurate – and he was hostile, embarrassed and defensive when he was found out. Contrary to popular belief, scientists are human. They are frequently vain, intellectually arrogant, insecure and desperate for recognition. And under intense pressure to conform to orthodox beliefs in order to attract funding.

Think what George Orwell said:

“At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas, which it is assumed right-thinking people will accept without question.”(GlobalWarming) ”Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without any need for an official ban.” (think the late Dr. David Kelly, and Iraqi WMD)

Just like the scientists, the neo-Cons and neo-Liberals are so certain of their righteousness that they feel justified in spinning their half truths – and their outright lies. Tony B-Liar is still maintaining it was right to get rid of Saddam Hussein, in spite of the hundreds of thousands killed and being killed, maimed and being maimed in Iraq and Syria, the millions of refugees being displaced into Jordan, Turkey, and on into Europe – and the rise of ISIS, a far more terrifying and effective terrorist group than Al Qa’eda. He needs to seek asylum – in a psychiatric unit.

If you want more insights into the chaos and confusion that preceded all this read my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. It is written from the points of view of the archetypal expatriates who washed up in the the Arabian/Persian Gulf, prior to the events of 9/11. They were victims of powermad politicians’ wars, greedy finance house excesses – and in some cases just victims of avaricious Western wives, and out of control drug-crazed teenage children.

It is based on my 40 years in the international oil industry, most of it spent in The Gulf. You can preview it on AMAZON’s Kindle Websites for the USA, UK, Germany and Spain, and download it if you have a Kindle.

If you prefer a real book in your hands, order the paperback direct from my publisher:

www.feedaread.com