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


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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

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

The spoils of war – and peace

Photo released by UK Foreign Ministry shows delegates at the London Conference on Libya, in London, Britain, March 29, 2011. Over 40 foreign ministers and representatives from key regional organizations attended the conference in London Tuesday to discuss the situation in Libya.

Photo released by UK Foreign Ministry shows delegates at the London Conference on Libya, in London, Britain, March 29, 2011. Over 40 foreign ministers and representatives from key regional organizations attended the conference in London Tuesday to discuss the situation in Libya.

On March 29, 2011 March, freshly back from a good will tour of the Middle East, with a bunch of arms salesmen in tow, as bombs rained down on Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron, welcomed Foreign Ministers from more than forty countries to a London Conference: “To help the Libyan people in their hour of need.”

The Foreign Ministers met in a huge hall of gilded opulence, each supplied with a microphone and an ample supply of the very best bottled water. The Catholic Church was represented by Holy See His Excellency Archbishop Mennini. How such a large group of privileged people could have a meaningful meeting is beyond comprehension.

The declared purpose of the conference was to discuss the international effort to support and bomb the Libyan people.

Britain’s current political direction, however, is in stark contrast to 2010 when Cameron’s Coalition government approved sales to Libya including teargas, crowd control ammunition and sniper rifles. Previous UK government sales to Libya included water cannons and armored cars.

The UK government in 2010 had designated Libya as one of its “Priority Markets.”

George Clooney and Ireland's Samantha Power (far right) leaving the Oval Office

George Clooney and Ireland's Samantha Power (far right) leaving the Oval Office

Little over five months ago (November 2010) UK government officials attended the Libyan Defense and Security Exhibition (LibDe”) at Mitiga Airport, Tripoli.

As a result, a $134 million deal, was secured by the British government for a communications system for Libya’s tanks. The European Union as a whole has sold about half a billion dollars of arms to Libya in the past three years.

Now, things have changed, as Tomahawk missiles rain down on Libya, with the no-fly zone being modified to include destroying anything that moves on the ground. This is due to the humanitarian effort put forth by President Obama, and his key advisors, Hillary Clinton, her possible replacement, Ireland’s Samantha Power, and others, including actor George Clooney.

Out of Libya’s destruction new opportunities begin to arise. Contracts are being divvied out for the reconstruction of Libya.

Whether Libya be friend or foe, there is money to be made either by destruction or construction.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has rewarded the presumed chief Lockerbie bomber.

On March 30, 2011 Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa fled to London under his own free will on a British military plane.

Mr. Koussa was the right-hand man of the Libyan dictator, Col Muammar Gadhafi, and presumed to be the main planner in the 1988 blowing up of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie which 270 people died.

Moussa Koussa

Moussa Koussa

Mr. Koussa had been Libya’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1980. He was expelled after he told The Times: “The revolutionary committees have decided last night to kill two more people in the United Kingdom. I approve of this.”

Later, Koussa was key in securing the recent release of Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Not only was Mr. Koussa welcomed in England, but, in addition, the United States lifted financial sanctions against him.

He had been offered a free house by Prime Minister Cameron, but now he has the funds to purchase a mansion.

How times change.

2 comments to The spoils of war – and peace

  • Common Sense Arab

    Lesson for smaller nation (with oil or without oil) dictators, strongmen, kings, sultan or queens:

    No matter what, make sure common interest (between themselves and the West) is permanent. Not just for peace and prosperity but for survival.

    Saddam Hussein did not learn.

    Mubarak did not learn.

    Latest Gaddafi also did not learn.

    But the Saudi King learned.

    Closer to Asia or rather South East Asia, the Brunei Sultan also learned.

  • Simple Simon Says

    Yes, life is a long learning process. Every day when we wake up we must re-examine what we have learned from the previous day, and the experiences gained from the previous day must be data collected and stored in the recesses of our memory bank, to be recalled and consulted when needed. If we live day after day and not remembering what we had done previously our lives would have been in vain.

    Everyone who wants to be an enlightened soul would want to continue learning the lessons gained in everyday life. This is the only thing which makes human beings different from animals.