Veteran newsman Michael Vaux plans to enjoy early retirement. But the British Secret Intelligence Service has other ideas: they discover his earlier, youthful friendship with Ahmed Kadri, Syria's chief armaments buyer. It's 1992 and MI6 is convinced Syria is about to sign a multi-billion... read more
“Craw could see that Sir Walter's patriotism was rising to the surface once again. Long weekends at a magnificent country estate, his wife's impeccable hospitality, two or three good horse rides in the bucolic splendor of the Dorset countryside--that was enough in itself to make him an ardent patriot. But what really helped stir the brew was being reminded that his day job could only further the political and economic interests of Great Britain and, of course, the American cousins.”
“Hakki did most of the talking, but Kadri sometimes intervened to make a point clearer. The object of the marathon sessions, Vaux quickly realized, was to educate him in the ancient, modern and more immediate history of the crisis-torn Middle East region. Facts were piled on facts,anti-Arab arguments put up then knocked down by logic and truth...the labyrinthine twists and turns of the Arab souk were reflected in the circular but seemingly unassailable arguments of his interlocutors.”
“In this business you live and learn. Treachery's no stranger to us--it just comes unexpectedly and in the most illusory disguises.”Sir Walter Mason, head of MI6's sub-sub group, B3, on the Near and Middle East desk.
“'Course, the conference won't get anyone anywhere. It's just a platform for the U.S. to tell Russia to butt out and for the Israelis to say no progress is possible so long as the Palestinians condone terrorism. The Palestinian Liberation Organization will say the cause of terrorism is contnued occupation by Israel of the West Bank and Gaza. So deadlock.”Arthur Davis, an MI6 talent spotter who recruits a somwhat reluctant Vaux.
“'I can understand their suspicions. They're like that, aren't they? Paranoia reigns supreme in the U.S.intelligence agencies--in the whole bloody country for that matter. Now they've beaten the Soviets, they're looking for other fish to fry--new enemies under every bed. So they latch on to this chap Hakki, think the sun shines out of his arse and believe everything he chooses to tell them.”Arthur Davis, MI6 talent spotter and old-hand advisor to Sir Walter Mason.
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