Thursday, September 06, 2007

Two Good Books

Well, these were both "read until you're finished". Admittedly, one of those was being read while I was waiting for a delayed Sleazyjet flight at Gatwick so ...

(Mohamm)Ed Husain, has been a member of an number of Islamist militant organisations, culminating in a position in Hizb ut-Tahrir - a weird bunch of coves that we seem to be the only country on God's green or sandy Earth don't realise are a militant terrorist nut-job collective. His book is the interesting journey from a bright young schoolboy to remarkably close to being a terrorist - and certainly being a terrorist sympathiser - and back to being a true believer in the "Religion of Peace".

This is an utterly remarkable book - comparable to the "Anarchist's Cookbook" and the original "2600" samizdat copies. It is but competently written however remains wholly engrossing. We see the techniques used to prize young Muslim men away from their families; the techniques used to force the politically correct British establishment into allowing a fascist regime to establish itself in its midst; the gradual journey back to an orthodox Quranic faith. Jamal really ought to read it but I suppose he would just declare it haram and go back to his hate-mongering.

On the other hand, I really enjoyed this. Dan seems to have escape Simon's battle to throttle comment (this and other blogs passim) - he actually praises Director Public Relations (Army) on the dedications page. Some of the aspects of the siege of Cimic House have been written about before - (then) Pte Johnson Beharry won his VC for actions on this tour and it has also been covered in Richard Holmes "Dusty Warriors", however this is a compelling eye-witness account from a Senior NCO who was there for almost the whole period of the significant action - covering the pull-out of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the to-and-fro battles with the Mehdi Army and their commanders in the OMS and leaving just before the handover to the Iraqi authorities. Sgt Mills doesn't like Al Amarah; he, like many Sergeants, is sceptical of his officers but extremely positive about the good ones and, like so many of his rank in wars gone past, clearly the backbone of the British Army. He cares for his men (and, with one exception, seems to really like them) and is rewarded by loyalty and bravery in the fight.

The unique point of view of the commander of the snipers allows a further priveleged account of the trials and tribulations of the battle - the changes in RoE (Rules of Engagement) and how they were exploited by the Iraqis and the care necessary when fighting in a built up area. Read this book - with one caveat - it is slightly over a tenner from Amazon, you may wish to wait for the paperback.

1 comment:

jamal said...

Gteetings. I dont think much of this book as I've already stated. It's just another attempt to profit off the back of Islamophobia and the fear of ‘Islamism’.

 
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