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Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a…
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Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq (edição 2007)

por Captain James Ashcroft (Autor)

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361537,169 (4.13)1
In September 2003, James "Ash" Ashcroft, a former British Infantry captain who served in West Belfast and Bosnia, landed in Iraq as a gun for hire. It was the beginning of an 18-month journey into blood and chaos. In this action-packed page-turner, Ashcroft reveals the dangers of his adrenalin-fueled life as a security contractor in Baghdad, where private soldiers outnumber non-U.S. Coalition forces in a war that is slowly being privatized. From blow-by-blow accounts of days under mortar bombardment to revelations about life operating deep within the Iraqi community, Ashcroft shares the real, unsanitized story of the war in Iraq direct from the front line.… (mais)
Membro:SpineTeam6
Título:Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq
Autores:Captain James Ashcroft (Autor)
Informação:Virgin Books (2010), Edition: First Edition, 242 pages
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Making a Killing: The Explosive Story of a Hired Gun in Iraq por James Ashcroft

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This is the memoir of a British former infantry captain who signs on as a private security contractor in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. The Iraq war was unique in modern wars for the sheer number of private security contractors employed by the US and allied forces, almost making an extra division's worth of gunmen contracted to provide security for coalition personnel and installations. What makes this an interesting account to read is that it had more depth than the average war-memoir which often amount to little more than war-porn. Yes, there's plenty of derring-do and accounts of fire-fights and so forth, but the author also takes the time to describe in depth the full experience of being in a small private security outfit and the the life of a contractor in Iraq at the time. He also talks about aspects of the occupation, Iraqi society and culture, the flawed reconstruction effort, and the growing insurgency. These insights are couched in highly readable prose and leavened with a keen sense of humour.

A couple of people have criticised the book for being critical of the US army. They are probably referring to passages like the following:

“Unlike the Brits mounting occupation and peacekeeping duties, the US troops in Iraq, especially Baghdad in late 2003 and through 2004, were the same guys who fought their way in. The poor sods in the 3rd Infantry Division had a combat mindset not in any sense conducive to peacekeeping. As for their anti-ambush drills, they had to be seen to be believed. Every weapon in the convoy unloaded in a 360 degree arc into anything that moved… dogs, donkeys, taxis, children, buses, private contractors, you name it, it got some. They would be leaving this country without making a single friend. A pity, because, as I was to learn, the Iraqis are the friendliest Arabs in the world.

"The highest scoring killer of private security contractors up until then was, of course, the United States Army, seconded by the terrorists, but only when catching stray terrorist fire because they were driving along in traffic mingled with a US patrol.”

But at the same time he takes the opportunity at various moments to praise the US army as well, insisting that for every time they shot up a neighbourhood, there were many more times when they resisted the temptation to do so which tended to get lost in all the bad news because "'American Soldier Doesn't Shoot Mosque' doesn't make a good headline" and "I now had the utmost respect for all of them." Still, sometimes this praise seems almost like a disclaimer inserted to the narrative as a precursor to relating some incident that may not go down too well with those who may get upset with unflattering portrayals of the US military. For example, the headline comments are part of a segment that shows up just before he relates a conversation with some American officers in which he trashes their rather simplistic views about why they are in Iraq and then offers his own thoughts on the matter (Hint: nothing to do with WMD or Al-Qaeda). ( )
2 vote iftyzaidi | Jan 22, 2012 |
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In September 2003, James "Ash" Ashcroft, a former British Infantry captain who served in West Belfast and Bosnia, landed in Iraq as a gun for hire. It was the beginning of an 18-month journey into blood and chaos. In this action-packed page-turner, Ashcroft reveals the dangers of his adrenalin-fueled life as a security contractor in Baghdad, where private soldiers outnumber non-U.S. Coalition forces in a war that is slowly being privatized. From blow-by-blow accounts of days under mortar bombardment to revelations about life operating deep within the Iraqi community, Ashcroft shares the real, unsanitized story of the war in Iraq direct from the front line.

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