Meeting Saddam’s Men: Looking for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction

Big Sky Publishing
Free sample

This book is Ashton Robinson’s unique eye-witness account of the ISG’s operations in Iraq, based at Camp Slayer, in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces. The group’s task was to search for weapons of mass destruction or to account for them if they did not exist. But the ISG discovered so much more.

 

The ISG unintentionally gained a fascinating insight into Saddam’s dictatorship through interviews with most of ‘the Quartet’, Saddam’s senior committee of trusted lieutenants, and uncovered a web of international corruption surrounding Iraq’s erosion of UN sanctions.

 

The author interweaves his daily experiences in Iraq with interviews with Saddam’s men and historical analysis of pre- and post-war Iraq. He explores Australia’s intelligence relationships with allies and also covers the human rights issues in the coalition occupation of Iraq, as well as the development of the insurgency in Iraq and the rise of ISIL.

 

This story is not just about the Iraq War; it’s a rare look into Australia’s allied intelligence relations, and the international politics, intrigue and corruption surrounding the war.

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About the author

Ashton Robinson began his career in the then Department of Foreign Affairs. Most of his experience in government was with the Australian Department of Defence, the Iraq Survey Group in Baghdad and the Office of National Assessments (ONA) – part of the Australian Prime Minister’s portfolio – where he dealt with long-term strategic matters, including terrorism, transnational crime and irregular migration.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Big Sky Publishing
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Published on
Oct 15, 2019
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781922265524
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Australia & New Zealand
History / General
History / Military / General
History / Military / Special Forces
History / Military / Wars & Conflicts (Other)
History / Military / Weapons
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An eminent writer has said that regiments great in history have this in common with mortals- through old in glory and honour, they have yet the vigour of youth. To none may the remark be more truthful applied then the Grenadier Guards...' Thus wrote Chichester and Burges-Short in 1900 and, judging by the Regiment's history over the last fifty years, the words ring as true as ever. For this history of Grenadier Guards is indeed a microcosm of all the proud endeavours of the British Army. There are few places of significance where the Regiment has not served: after the round-up of Nazis in 1945 in Germany and Austria, Grenadiers saw action in Palestine and in the jungles of Malaya, and subsequently served during emergencies in Cyprus, the Cameroons, British Guiana, Belize, Northern Ireland, the Gulf and with the United Nations, to indicate but some of the over seas postings which included the Falklands and Hong Kong. Grenadier have also been responsible for the protection of British Sovereigns and the great ceremonial events in London, including the funerals of King George VI and Winston Churchill. Oliver Lindsay has produced a rigorous work of history-his fourth book- rich in quotation after interviewing Grenadiers, serving and retired, of all generations. Drawing on their accounts as well as his own experiences - for he was a regular soldier for thirty-five years- he has written a book of extraordinary interest. Unique among such historians, he tells of the experiences of wives in such places as war-torn Germany in 1945. Tripoli and Cyprus. The story of Grenadiers who served with the Guards parachute Company and in the SAS is included. Five years in the writing, this comprehensive record included coverage of training, tactics, the pronounced changes in the armed forces and the views and anecdotes of the Non Commissioned Officers and Guardsmen. Profusely illustrated and with 14 detailed maps, this is a dedicated history of the senior infantry Regiment in the British Army and what is probably the most famous Regiment in the world.
Fatal Mission is the story of Australian navigator Oscar Furniss, just one of 55,000 young men who perished while flying for Bomber Command during World War II. Lovingly crafted by his nephew, Mal Elliott, this book brings to life a young man whose name was never spoken by his family and who was a stranger to his modern-day descendants.

Elliott follows Oscar from his carefree childhood in the Blue Mountains through his training over the vast emptiness of Canada to the mist-shrouded patchwork landscapes of Britain and on to the hostile skies of occupied France. He uses the accounts of the two surviving aircrew to piece together the events of the fateful night that saw most of the crew of Lancaster JA901, affectionally know as Naughty Nan, perish as pilot Colin Dickson heroically manoeuvred his burning aircraft away from the towns and villages that dotted the landscape. This has been a difficult book for Elliott to write as it contains a harrowing description of his uncle’s last moments. The terrible impact of the deaths of the aircrew are vividly described alongside the miraculous tales of the two survivors.

But for the family of Oscar Furniss there would be no  miracle, just the lingering weight of deep and lasting grief. This is a story that moves beyond the technical descriptions of bombing missions to describe the human toll of conflict. It underlines the crucial importance of commemoration, of refusing to allow those who perished in war to be forgotten. Theirs was a sacrifice that we who live in freedom should never forget.

From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.

It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas.

With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeed—but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Java—some 1,800 miles north—to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimus’s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers.

Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy he’d learned in Holland’s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimus’s band of butchers.

Unluckily for the mutineers, the Batavia’s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Company’s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Batavia’s Graveyard.

Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Batavia’s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dash’s place as one of the finest writers of the genre.
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