Second time Farce

The Chilcott report has confirmed what most of us suspected – that Bush and Blair were determined to go to war, and “sexed up” dubious intelligence to justify it. I hope that Dr. David Kelly’s widow gets millions in compensation – of course the relatives of the military personnel who died or were wounded, are not far behind.

Blair’s repeated assertion “I did not lie” is on a par (although much more serious) with his mate Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman”. Blair is either the biggest liar that ever existed – or his lying is pathological, and he is unable to distinguish lies from truth. And his assertion that the Middle East is better for his getting rid of Saddam is denial of the highest order. He needs to be sectioned and given electric shock treatment at a very high voltage. Or maybe he should just be “water-boarded”.

But Blair is not only a liar – he is also incompetent. Chilcott points out that the UK had no coherent plan for reorganising Iraq after the war was won. And the same goes for the Americans. If you want to put flesh on the bones of the Chilcott report then read Rory Stewart’s OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS (he was a British interim regional governor in Iraq after the war), and Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s IMPERIAL LIFE IN THE EMERALD CITY. He reports on the delusional triumphalism of State Department Yahoos inside the safety of the Green Zone, while they carefully ignore the chaos and danger outside the walls.

But why be surprised? The Middle East is littered with the delusions of Western politicians causing chaos, and the death and maiming of innocents. The Great Game; Britain’s disastrous forays into Afghanistan; Sykes/Picot; the Balfour Declaration; Suez; the Shah of Iran; the Iran/Iraq war when we backed Saddam – and the First Gulf War.

There was some moral basis for that war – after Saddam invaded Kuwait. But there is strong evidence that the US State Department gave Saddam the green light to invade – and evidence that they wildly exaggerated (sexed up) the strength of Saddam’s Imperial Guard giving them the excuse to massacre hundreds of Iraqi conscripts and civilians (including women and children) as they streamed out of Kuwait towards Baghdad along the “Mile of Death”.

Read the story ‘IF YOU DON’T, SOMEONE ELSE WILL’ in my book THE GULF  “Reaping the Whirlwind”. Very little of that story is fiction. I met the US Colonel who was responsible for re-supplying Desert Storm – and I was working for ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia during that war responsible for jet fuel quality. My description of the helicopter Forward Operating Base is from personal experience. And my description of the sickening massacre along the “Mile of Death” comes from TV footage shown in Saudi Arabia – and the reports of one of the few journalists allowed in.

The tag line for my book reads “It’s all about oil…” but that really only applies to the 20th century. The Middle East is the cradle of our civilization, and the crossroads of our world – and has always been the scene of conflict. Mesopotamia, The Fertile Crescent, The Silk Road, the Ur of Chaldea, the birth of monotheastic religions, Jerusalem and the rise of Islam and the bloody Christian Crusades. And I am quite sure that those atavistic struggles have always been littered with the lies and incompetence of vainglorious and narcissitic politicans. History repeats itself – first time tragedy – second time farce.

If you want authentic insights into the chaos in the Middle East from 1960 to the events of 9/11, 2001 then read my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind”. Based on 40 years working in the international oil industry it is a collection of stories about expatriates washed up in the Arabian/Persian Gulf. Flotsam and jetsam trying to survive in a rapidly changing and frequently violent world. You can preview it at:

www.amazon.com

or

www.amazon.co.uk

and download it if you have a Kindle. Or if you prefer a real book order the paperback direct from my publisher:

www.feedaread.com

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Death to Drug Dealers

Living in Australia as I do I have been caught up in the wave of sympathy for the Bali Bombers sitting on Death Row as desperate measures are taken to prevent their execution by firing squad BUT – and there is always a but I guess – not anymore.

My grandaughter who is only just 5 years old came home from school using the F word. So now the evil tentacles of the “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll crowd” otherwise known as the foul mouthed Showbusiness reprobates (or the friends of Jimmie Saville) are reaching into the school playground and my grandaughter, and other children, are being robbed of their childhood innocence.

I flew into a rage at this, and the thought that in the not too distant future of them being offered drugs in the school playground and having their innocent young lives permanently blighted as is happening in America.

So now I believe that those who spread this poison through society should face the death penalty. And I believe that those weak souls who fall victim to drugs should be treated with firmness too – as they are in Saudi Arabia.

There is a drug problem there as there is in The West. About sixty percent of the 50 or so beheadings that take place every year are for drug smuggling. But the victims of the drug trade, the addicts it has created, are quietly removed from society and put through an enforced rehab program, and only released when the authorities are satisfied they are cured.

Once again the Saudis demonstrate that social stability is more important than a weak kneed concern for an individual’s civil rights.

If you want insights into the Middle East and its harsh and apparently barbaric societies, based on my 40 years experience there from the perspective of the 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.

The Beginning of Sorrows

The sequel to my collection of short stories THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” will be a novel THE GULF “The Beginning of Sorrows”. It is based on a Biblical quotation that seems very relevant to today: “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars but see that you are not troubled for all these things must come to pass but the end is not yet. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Mathew the Apostle It seems that the 21st Century that dawned with such hope cannot move on and shake off the problems and the illnesses of the 20th century. A new Cold War with Russia is threatening, a new “Yellow Peril” , with China replacing Japan, has emerged – and the “Out of Africa” Ebola epidemic has replaced the scourge of HIV/AIDS. And, we are still locked into that atavistic tribal battle for land and resources, the Arab/Israeli conflict in The Middle East. Somehow this has morphed into a Clash of Cultures between Christianity and Islam. And still we treat the symptoms and not the disease. The disease is ignorance that leads to hubris. Hubris is the self confidence of the ignorant. Some Western politicians understand the problems – but they do not understand the people. The present outcry “Ban the Burqua” is typical. It is a typical lazy journalist/PR sound bite for what is a much more complex issue. Burqua is the term used in Afghanistan, it is Chador in Iran, Hijab in Arabia and Yashmak in other parts of The Midddle East – and God knows what it is called in Malaysia and Indonesia which is the largest Muslim nation on earth, and not in the least Arab. Although Iraq has made us aware of the schism and deep mistrust (hatred?) between Sunni and Shia Muslims we have no idea of the complexities of the various sects within that schism (Alawites, Sufis et.) even more complex than the Catholic (Jesuit, Opus Dei etc.) and Protestant (Coptic, Lutheran, Orthodox etc.) in the Christian faith. And in the case of the Middle East we have to deal with tribal loyalties that overlay religious divides – and people who speak fervently of events of 7,000 years ago as if they happened yesterday, and they were present. The consequences of misreading the MidEast, of sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind of Western governments’ present hubris are unthinkable. Israel and Iran lobbing nuclear weapons at each other? Remember that in biblical terms this is the site of Armageddon – the ultimate battle between Good and Evil. But who is good and who is evil? But don’t wait for my novel THE GULF “The Beginning of Sorrows”. You can gain insights into the MidEast and its complexity from an expatriate perspective if you 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 paperback edition from: http://www.thebookdepository.co.uk The ISBN number is 978-1908147097 They offer free delivery worldwide.

GAY is the saddest euphemism in the English Language

          For the past 20 years or so there has been a media campaign on behalf of homosexuals that verges on the hysterical. And nowhere is that hysteria more evident than in the Gay Pride parades (and Pride is one of the 7 Deadly Sins – “When pride comes so comes disgrace, with humility so comes wisdom” ) in cities like Sydney, London and SanFrancisco that are fake copies of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

          Carnival grew out from the desperately poor people of the favelas who had no earthly way of achieving a fulfilled life. So they scraped together whatever they could beg borrow or steal and once a year dressed up and lost themselves for a week in a frenzy of samba music and dance and alcohol before returning once again the their miserable existence. And in that sense Gay Pride is similar. It is a desperate attempt to escape misery, while vainly claiming that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality.

          This is clearly nonsense because heterosexual relationships produce the miracle of new life –  life that will carry forward new generations – and heterosexuals have no need to parade their their sexuality.     

Strangely enough in my book THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” –  a series of stories about the misfits who wash up in The Arabian/ Persian Gulf – I do not deal with the issue of homosexuality because, in spite of the isolation of all male oil camps I only ever encountered one man who was possibly homosexual.

          Clive was my assistant project manager on a process plant commissioning project on a remote island in the Persian Gulf. He was an apparently rugged male, a combative and aggressive rugby scrum half – and he certainly never wore designer clothes – yet he formed close relationships with the young Arab males who worked as waiters and cleaners in our camp. He bought them (fake) Rolexes and Cartier tank watches, and brought them nice M&S clothing from the UK. Yet never once in the year I shared a trailer with him did he stay out at night, or bring any of the boys back to our trailer.

          So was Clive gay, or was he just a Westerner with a sense of guilt/highly developed social conscience? He was murdered in The Bahamas a year later trying to seperate two locals in a knife fight. I didn’t write Clive’s story, and maybe I should have done, because he was very decent human being.

          My book concentrates on American, British, Filipino and Indian expatriate misfits – VietNam vets, divorcees now remarried to Asian whores, marathon running addicts, college dropouts who love the lonely and atavistic desert etc. –  who wash up in The Gulf for whatever reason. And it puts their lives into a geo-political context.

You can preview my book at:

www.amazon.com/author/mikerichards

and download it if you have a KINDLE. If you do not, or you prefer a real book you can order from:

www.thebookdepository.co.uk

They offer free delivery worldwide