Up Close with Lee Kuan Yew: Insights from colleagues and friends

John Harding’s book, Escape from Paradise – Paperback and Kindle Versions


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Now, available in Kindle and Paperback! Free Kindle if you purchase Paperback. After buying Paperback, go for the free Kindle!

It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book…it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it. C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

Bought the book from Select this weekend and can’t put it down! It’s a great read! And so nostalgic for me—the good old days! Glen Goei, writer and director of the Miramax film That’s the Way I Like It and who played the title role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the London production of M. Butterfly. Mr. Goei’s latest film is The Blue Mansion – Click for the trailer!

It is a remarkable story and so full of intrigue that it reads at times like fiction.Jonathan Burnham, Editor in Chief & President, Talk Miramax Books.

“It’s quite a story The legendary Alice Mayhew, Vice-President & Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster.

This book out-Dallas, Dallas. No one has written so well of the other side of paradise,Francis T. Seow, former Solicitor General of Singapore

ThunderBall Films is successfully putting together the movie production of Escape from Paradise and has received a new LOI (Letter of Intent) from actress Bai Ling who starred with Richard Gere in the film Red Cross.

This includes a commitment from a CPA firm who does tax credit financing in Ireland, a possible location to film, as part of the package needed for investors – along with the CPA firm’s commitment to apply for and finance the tax credits if ThunderBall does shoot in Ireland and what portion of the budget they would provide.
For inquiries, please contact John Harding at jbharding@gmail.com.

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

The Iraq Civil War

 

Civil War in Iraq

On September 6th, 2010, we wrote, “Conditions are ripe for an Iraqi civil war between the country’s Shiites and Sunnis.”

 

Now although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined Sunni fighters—many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military—are re-joining the Iraqi insurgency.

The defections of the Sunnis have been driven mainly by frustration with the Shiite-led government.

In 2006, because they were being paid by the U.S.  as part of the failed strategy of General David Petraeus, Sunni insurgents and tribal leaders began turning against the Iraqi insurgents.  This caused a temporary scaling down of Iraq’s deadly sectarian warfare between Sunnis and Shias.

The former Sunni insurgents that were being paid by the American military were also promised that they would eventually get jobs with the Iraqi government.

Unfortunately, this was a false promise. There was no way the American military could fulfill this promise with its diminishing role in Iraq.  General Petraeus’ strategy of paying the Sunnis to leave the insurgency was only a temporary fix—a tactic to make the situation appear better than it really was.

Sunni leaders say that since the spring, as many as several thousand former Sunni fighters have quit, been fired, stopped showing up for duty, or ceased picking up paychecks from their government jobs.

Recently, the atmosphere has become particularly charged as Sunnis find themselves being arrested by the Shiite government, accused of acts of continuing terrorism.

The U.S.  is trying to blame this on Al Qaeda, which is not the case—this is a return to the growing civil strife between Iraq’s Sunni and Shia populations. The U.S. must take the blame for the destabilization of Iraq.

The government, which says it is trying to integrate Sunnis into Iraqi society, has further angered Sunnis by confiscating their weapons on “legal grounds.”

Much of the employment has been temporary and involved only menial labor. The government has hired only about 9,000 Sunni fighters for the security forces, with officials blaming budget constraints.

Sunni leaders say they are not surprised about the defections given what they call the group’s marginalization by the government and its abandonment by the American military.

United States forces had overseen the Sunni fighters in some areas of the country as recently as last year, including in Diyala Province, the violent area northeast of Baghdad. The United States relinquished control of the group as it began ceding more oversight of security to the Iraqi government.

The American military has declined to comment on the defection of its former paid Sunni fighters to the insurgency—they blame it all on Al Qaeda—the American bogeyman.

The Sunni/Shia conflict predates the U.S. invasion of Iraq by hundreds of years, with Sunnis gaining the upper hand.

Now, that conflict is being renewed as Iraq slips into Civil War.

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