Fancy a Job Abroad?

I have had quite a few emails from people asking me whether I would work in Iraq at the moment.  I suppose this follows the apparent abduction of four British body guards this week.

My view is that Iraq is so fucked up that it is just not worth the risk for what are quite moderate financial returns.  The average pay on offer varies.  An average bod could be getting 75K per annum and a figure bandied around a lot at the moment is around £500 per day.   This may seem like good dough but believe me you earn it.   I am told that in the last 12 months there have been 900 security contractors killed in Iraq.  I don’t know how accurate that figure is, but it would not surprise me.

The American government and to a lesser extent the Brits are trying to keep their military casualty figures low so as to placate public opinion and so they are using private contractors to do the army’s job.  The fact is that if you fight a war you take casualties.  Sad, but true.  It’s even sadder if you become one of the official statistics.

There are loads of companies offering employment “opportunities” for trained people.  But quite how well trained some of them are is open to debate.  Funny how many people have allegedly been in “The Regiment” or “Special Forces.”

They wear Rolex watches and talk a good job.  Unfortunately a nice tan, gym body, Rolex watches and yak don’t keep you alive when it all goes tits up.   You know as soon as the shit hits the fan who is for real.  The pisser is that this is not really a good time to find out.  You just need everyone to knuckle under and do the biz and not to start flapping round like a fucking wounded bird.

The other little thing about Iraq is that the British and American public are under the impression that the “other side” are a sort of terrorist outfit a bit like ETA or the IRA.  The first thing is that there are actually several other sides which makes life a bit  tricky, because you never know who the hell is on your side.  If any of them are that is.  The next thing is that they are actually quite well armed, trained and equipped, as this recent incident demonstrates.

You may recall a British Serviceman who was killed last year in a friendly fire incident by a US tank buster aircraft.    The pilots asked if there were any friendly vehicles in the region and apparently were told no.

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the actual engagement,  I don’t suppose anyone here has actual said “Hang on a mo if the bad guys are just a bunch of disorganised, semi naked,  rag heads  running around the dessert as the government says they are, why are these pilots asking if there are friendly armoured vehicles in the region?”  If they don’t have tanks and armoured vehicles why ask the question? Why indeed!

So, I am off to Croydon today.  Well Shirley and Thornton Heath actually.  If I am ambushed by insurgents on my way,   I will chalk it up to bad luck,  but will be able defend myself with my travel card.

Not very exotic but I should be home in time to go to the cinema.

9 Responses to “Fancy a Job Abroad?”

  1. dl says:

    My judgement would be pretty well in line with your own, in respect of the nature of both the good guys and the bad guys out there. It’s always surprises me, the number of people who claim to be ex-Special Forces. The shame is, however organised or otherwise the bad guys may be, their organisations have only come together in response to the US-UK invasion/occupation. We have created the monster. I remember just before the allied invasion, GWB standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier in Maryland saying words along the lines of, “the turrurrsts brought the war to us; now we’re taking it right back to them”. Yeah, right.

  2. dl says:

    Meant to say also, I agree, £500 per day isn’t a lot, when you consider the chances of not coming back alive.

  3. Uncle says:

    DL- Modern Iraq has always been a military problem. I forget the date exactly, but going back to around 1913 there were in fact about 450,000 British troops stationed in Iraq. I think it was Winston Churchill who had the Marvellous idea of lumping all those warring tribes together in the first place.

    Funnily enough the only person to have brought real stability to this nut house of region was Saddam Hussein. Granted he brought them into line using brute force, but he kept the place peaceful far better than Bush democracy by invasion.

    I feel sorry for the troops on the ground, they are really up against it and really get the shaft.

    I do have an interesting story which might shine a light on why the yanks were so keen to invade Iraq and why they have a beady little eye on Iran. It is quite involved so I will try to post it in the next week or so if anyone is interested. I will let you into a little secret. It has fuck all to do with oil.

    Dan dan dahhh – thats supposed to be suspense type music.

  4. dl says:

    Yes, please do post your Iraq/Iran insight if you get chance. I’d be interested…

  5. Brigitte says:

    Uncle Norman. I understand from my sister that you are famous. Apparently one of the braodsheets thinks you are one of the funniest yet most sensative blogs around. I think it is the Guardian but it could be the Independent. I will try and find out and let you know.

  6. Uncle says:

    DL – I will post the story next week.

    Brigitte. Thank you for your message. find it odd that newspapers should have nothing better to do than look at blogs, or more to the point my blog.

    As for being funny and sensitive, whilst very flattered, I am not sure I would agree. Thank you for telling me.

  7. Sally says:

    I think they look at blogs for inspiration…… but they probably wouldn’t employ any of us. More fool us really!

    Was the film good?

  8. Sally says:

    (Assuming that you did get back from sunny Shirley in time!)

  9. Uncle says:

    Sally – I didn’t find anything on these papers sites. To be honest I haven’t got time to spend trawling round or to worry about it.

    The film was spot on. Pirates of Caribbean 3. the only thing was that L had not seen no2 so there was abit of explaining to do. shiver me timbers.

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