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23 January 2015

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Tyler

Sir,

Glad to see you're writing about this. Fun fun.

Margaret Steinfels

Seventy-five percent believable! Great movie script.

David Habakkuk

Colonel Lang,

Why do you expect us not to believe it?

turcopolier

Peggy

What does the 25% consist of? pl

nick b

Col.,

The only thing I wondered about was you going hunting with the MI6 commander. It was my understanding you did not like to hunt. Which I guess would not preclude you from doing it, but that was what stuck out in my mind. Other than that, I believe every word of it. Why wouldn't I? As always, I'm left wanting more.

rick

More please. Love your nonfiction.

Rings true to me, but I am not well qualifide to judge.

Walrus

Sounds about right for a hard hearted empath, thank you for sharing.

...Are you sure the various foreign intelligence services won't try and identify who you "bagged", with possibly unfortunate results?

turcopolier

Walrus

I outlived them all and then wrote this. pl

Abu Sinan

A great read Colonel! I think it would give my wife hope that an American can master Sana'ani. I am working on it, but it is different enough from the other Arabic dialects I familiar with that it is taking time.

Please post more as time permits!

turcopolier

rick

You have tried my "fiction?" pl

turcopolier

Abu Sinan

I was originally taught MSA by a variety of Qudsiis, Iraqi Christians and Greek Egyptians. I found Sanaa dialect to be not especially difficult when taught to me by my transplanted Adenese driver/surveillant. it was much easier than Cairene sreet Arabic or the Levantine mush they speak in Beirut. pl

turcopolier

nick b

Yes. I hated it but it was necessary, not for the Brit but for Salih. We shot gazelle (awful. it made me think of all the white tails I killed as a kid in Maine), hyenas (not so bad) and baboons (ugly beasts). pl

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

It reads like fiction, even for me. pl

The Twisted Genius

Among my duties when I was first shanghaied into DIA was to serve as the controlled ops desk officer for the Arabian Peninsula. Among the advice I received was that if I wanted to see what the 13th century looked like, I should visit Sanaa. They weren't lying. Colonel Lang's story rings true to me.

Charles I

Given you "minimalist statement" preface and baseless assumptions that I know anything about you I'm prepared to believe virtually all of it, what ever "virtually" qualifies. Once SWMBO is discussed surely truth is the only plea.

Never mind all that, w/r/t Yemen today:

Could a current American + American policy & orders, and Yemeni society support such activities in the same reliable if sometime unorthodox productive manner today?

nick b

Col.,

I'm asking this question, though while doing so wondering if I really want to know the answer. Were hyenas and baboons eaten there or just hunted for sport?

elkern

Great read!

I was taken aback by your final sentence ("...believe the story"). Of course, one of the Rules you set forth a little while ago was something like "information should be evaluated independently of the source"; I guess that cuts both ways, eh? (I consider you a "reliable source", but yeah, I suppose this story could be total bs... except that it fits with everything else I "know" about that part of the world).

You've "dissed" the KSA Air Force before; was your experience in Yemen the primary reason for this, or have you seen the same incompetence from them elsewhere? Is it just their Air Force (perhaps a playground for peripheral Royals Nephews?), or all branches of the KSA military like that?

turcopolier

elkern

All of the KSA military is worthless except the SANG. It always was. pl

turcopolier

nick b

Hyenas and baboons are "haram" meat. The Yemenis did not eat gazelle either. I would take it to the US Marine legation guard barracks house. It eventually ended up at Marine Corps Birthday. pl

turcopolier

Charles I

I have been back many times. I find the place unchanged except that the US is now engaged with medieval people without benefit of talented interface. MartinJ may be an exception. pl

Fred

Col.,

As Tyler says, fun stuff. Two CIA medals for actions in the field? That must really rankle Clapper & Co.

Martin Oline

Reading it as fiction I prefer Pearls Arms and Hashish by Henry de Monfreid. Reading as memoir I find it superior to Bloody Years by Francis Yeats-Brown.

rick

I have. Still have my copy of TBC hanging around my computer desk. Was toying with the idea of narrating a chapter and sending it to you with a proposal for an audiobook, but that is unlikely in the foreseeable due to the huge amount of work involved. To be blunt, it lost me getting too much into Deveraux's internal narrative around the time he was getting in with the sanitary commission, and maybe I didn't give the love angle enough time for it to become relevant (certainly i did not), but I can't help my tastes.

That's why I like your non-fiction more, as there is less of that, more of a narraitve of events that leave me trying to identify with the narrator, rather than laying the narrator out in too much detail. I don't know that I am expressing this well...

Hard to explain personal tastes so that they don't sound crappy...

turcopolier

Fred

They have no idea and do not care. pl

turcopolier

rick

You might want try DPH and DTS as well. They are not so concerned with my angst. pl

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