2008
30.04

“Every soldier I’ve met treats things in different ways, but the one thing they always have in common is that when they find themselves in a killing situation they are scared”

GTA IV screenshotAndy writes another one of his columns in The Sun. This time it’s about a game that gets good reviews, in fact, if you want it you might have to be quick or risk a ‘sold out’ disappointment.

As I don’t play this kind of action games I will withhold any opinion, but here’s what Andy has to say about ‘game vs reality’:

GTA IV verdict

“I DO play games like GTA, although I’ve never been very good at them.

The only thing I see wrong with them is that they are bringing up the next generation to think that it is easy, quick and clinical to kill someone.

The real guys who have done that out in the field soon find out it’s not like that.

Every soldier I’ve met treats things in different ways, but the one thing they always have in common is that when they find themselves in a killing situation they are scared – no matter how much they may try to hide it.

If you kill someone you can see the look in their eyes, you can even smell their breath.

Playing one of these games you may think you’re experiencing a lot, but in reality you are just sitting near a computer screen.

All you have to lose if something goes wrong is dropping back a level.

In real life if you make a mistake you lose your legs.

The game takes place in a virtual world but today’s kids will become the decision-makers of tomorrow.

It concerns me that they could grow up thinking violence and killing are as simple as they seem on-screen and so commit others to go and fight before considering the consequences.

They need to know the real thing is nothing like GTA.

These games are just entertainment.”

You will find the article in The Sun here

More information about the game you can find on the official website.

2008
17.04

“Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what our soldiers are doing there is remarkable and is making history.”

ITV4 have confirmed the commission of three brand new shows – McNab’s Tour of Duty, Real prison Breaks, and Vinny Jones’ Toughest Cops

In ‘McNab’s Tour of Duty’, one of the most decorated members of the British services, Andy McNab, uses his unparalleled knowledge and experience to tell the real story of British and American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Featuring exclusive Ministry of Defence footage, User Generated Content from the troops on the front line and reconstructions and interviews with serving personnel, McNab’s Tour of Duty goes behind the lines of two of the most intense wars fought by British troops since World War Two. McNab’s Tour of Duty is a Flashback Television Production for ITV4.

McNab said “Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what our soldiers are doing there is remarkable and is making history. This series for ITV4 will tell the real stories of real courage and bravery in the theatre of war.”

Read the full article here 

2008
17.04

“Full-length audiobooks available to download direct to mobile phones for the first time”

Andy McNab is backing the launch of  GoSpoken, a new service that allows UK customers to preview, purchase and download audiobooks via their mobile phones for the first time.

The bestselling author is a partner of digital content company Spoken Entertainment, which teamed up with the Random House Group to launch the service at the London International Book Fair in London today.

Mobile phone users who have a data plan can now visit www.gospoken.com via their handsets to browse, purchase and download audiobooks without using a credit card, as payment is billed to the users’ mobile phone account or through mobile PayPal.

Fifty Random House Group audiobooks are now available to purchase and download, including six Andy McNab titles. Other authors available on the service include Chris Ryan, John Grisham, Karin Slaughter, Thomas Harris, James Patterson and Sebastian Faulks.

Andy McNab comments:

“I’m a great fan of audiobooks and passionate about bringing them to a wider audience in the UK. The immediacy of the spoken word and added texture of sound effects really transport you to another world through your headphones.

GoSpoken will bring audiobooks into the 21st Century – being able to download them to your mobile, wherever you are, means you will never be bored again.”

To read the full article go here

2008
17.04

A former Australian Special Air Service officer who resigned his position as security adviser to the Howard government over its treatment of asylum seekers has been appointed to a top job with the United Nations mission in Iraq.

Peter Bartu has been appointed senior political adviser to UN Special Representative Staffan de Mistura, head of the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq.

You can read the full article here

2008
14.04

The Sun writes today: ‘SAS fears recruits crisis’ 

THE SAS is struggling for recruits because Paras want to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan rather than join the elite regiment.

The “Who Dares Wins” SAS usually takes six out of every ten rookies from the Parachute Regiment.

But applications have fallen by almost half as the Paras join 16 Air Assault Brigade’s six-month tour in war-torn Helmand province, starting this week.

One SAS source said: “We can’t get Para Reg lads to join for love nor money. They don’t want to miss out on Afghanistan.”

Sun security adviser and SAS hero Andy McNab said: “In my day the SAS was the only place where action was guaranteed. Now even 18-year-olds are daily getting contacts in Afghanistan.

“But the SAS must not lower the bar and let in less talented guys just to keep up the numbers.”

2008
04.04

“Special forces win the right to take their secrets to the grave”

Recently “the head of the special forces had intervened to demand a new no-identity policy because of concerns that morale was being damaged.”

All members of the special forces are to be guaranteed anonymity in death as well as throughout their lives as part of a new move to raise morale in the country’s most elite military units, The Times has learnt.

Apparently the Hereford Times took this for granted and published an article about the SAS soldier that was killed last week in Iraq, and they had to remove it.

Of course that is all speculation, since I did not talk to the Hereford Times, I just noticed the article doesn’t exist anymore.

Soldier A will be remembered by colleagues in Herefordshire next week.
Our condolences to the family and friends.