Thursday, 21 April 2011

Molon Labe - ‘Boston T. Party’

Molon Labe

-‘Boston T. Party’
There’s no way of getting around this – Molon Labe is a very poorly written book.

The first problem is very obvious right from the start. The entire book is written in present tense (apart from the faked news interviews and articles). This gets irritating very quickly. The second problem is that there are a number of pure howlers in the text and background material. The third problem is that the book suffers from what I tend to think of as overacting. You can get away with this if you’re writing satire or parody. You can't if you’re writing a thriller or political tract. The fourth is that the book jumps around a LOT. All of this is something of a shame as the book has a fairly original plot concept, which deserved much better execution.

Anyway, in an alternate 2011 (the book can be dated as the author made references to real events in his book) the Libertarian Party is launching an attempt to create a Free State within the United States. The basic concept is fairly simple – Libertarian Party members are moving to Wyoming and setting up residence there, tipping the state’s demographics to the point where they constitute a majority. This allows them to rewrite the state’s legal system to suit themselves. All of this takes place against a background of chaos, as the United States seems to have gone mad. Government agencies such as the FBI, ATF and IRS have started cracking down really hard on innocent Americans, provoking resistance and an unofficial program of political assassination. This convinces many thousands of Americans to start migrating to Wyoming, the last bastion of American freedom.

Ah, I thought; now we will see a battle when the Feds invade the Free State. No, actually; the book sort-of grinds to a half when the Free State steals a handful of nukes and uses them to deter the Feds from invading. The ending shows most of American shading into darkness, with Wyoming growing in power as companies move there to escape excessive government regulation.

Truthfully, I'm not sure where to begin.

The good first, such as it is – the author successfully touches on many important issues for contemporary America. There is an insight into the Fully Informed Juries campaign which is well worth study, although perhaps not from this book. There are insights into the mindset created by massive bureaucratic entities (hint; the amount of common sense in a bureaucracy is inversely proportional to the size of the entity) and how laws can be used and abused in the name of public safety. There is an important digression on the current state of American education and how – insanely – pro-public education people are attempting to bring every child into the system, even though the system has been falling apart for years. And yes, there are gun rights. Lots of gun rights. One of the more positive parts of the book is that it slams both main American political parties, rather than the more usual ‘Republicans Good, Democrats Dumb.’

The bad...

Well, at the state of the book, the author makes a very unflattering prediction of Hilary Clinton’s future. I have no love for Hilary, but it is not only absurd, and wrong – it dates the book and probably opens the author to a lawsuit.

More seriously, there is a curious contradiction in the author’s libertarianism. Now, I am no expert on the subject, but it strikes me that libertarianism is basically ‘do what you want, provided that non-consenting people are not harmed.’ It sounds great, but the author takes a strong stance against drug and alcohol use. He also slams homosexuality as, like the two former ‘vices,’ as being bad for one’s heath. That’s a new one on me. If the author is referring to physical health, the smart homosexuals can avoid STDs with ease; if he is referring to mental health...well, it might have something to do with the fact that homosexuals do face discrimination, even by accident. Even so, it is a new one on me.

The book might have made sense if it had been focused on a more basic Unintended Consequences-style conflict. The author, however, brings in claims of a centuries-long satanic conspiracy to enslave the world, as well as the – slightly – newer ‘Evil UN’ trope. The UN has a grand plan to register all the world’s firearms. It doesn't seem to occur to the author that that task is completely impossible – how do they intend to do it in Iraq, or Somalia, or Afghanistan? .

And then there’s the theory about the decline of American education, which is apparently descended from the Prussian system designed to dampen down individual thought. It would have surprised anyone from 1945 – the German army was, man for man, the most innovative in the world. I don’t blame the author for not dwelling on this much – the Germans who developed this to its greatest extent were the Nazis.

And then there’s the author’s claim that the cause of World War Two was that Britain lost its bottle in 1936. There is a certain amount of truth in this, but then the author goes on to claim that this never happened in America. It did – after the American Civil War, the North lost all enthusiasm for actually standing up for the rights of Black Americans. The result was Jim Crow and, irony of ironies, the first gun control laws, written to disarm the blacks! The author bemoans gun control laws, yet doesn't seem to recognise the irony.

The problem with political tracts is that they are often written to prove that the author’s bright idea will work in practice. I’m not particularly convinced that this idea will work, partly because of the poor execution. The overacting – many characters regularly declaim in a manner recognisable to readers of Ayn Rand – doesn’t help, nor does the absurdity. To cite one example, when the ‘evil liberals’ have the bright idea of shipping in their fellow liberals to shift the demographic balance again, the good guys have the bright idea of tax breaks for everyone who carries a gun in public. This scares the liberals out of the state – seemingly unaware that they live in a world where guns are far from the only things that kill people. And then there’s the author’s avocation of shunning to get rid of nosy federal agents – sure, shun the agents, but deliberately arranging for their kids to be bullied? The author lost whatever was left of me there – not much by then – and that doesn't include the stupidity of encouraging bullying in a country where guns are easy to obtain.

IMHO, the book tried to be too many things. It wanted to be a story of freedom and an age of libertarian harmony, but it also wanted to be the next Unintended Consequences or Enemies Foreign and Domestic.

In short, cool idea, but very poor execution.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Dragon’s Fury (Jeff Head)

Dragon’s Fury (Jeff Head)

This book really needed an editor. The lack of competent editing took it from a ‘very good’ to ‘good, with some reservations.’ It’s probably worth noting that anyone who didn’t like The Third World War (a manuscript I wrote) is going to have a heart attack a few chapters into this book, so make sure that you’re sitting somewhere comfortable before you open the ebook or buy the paper copy. Confusingly, Dragon’s Fury is really five books and one complete hardcopy, but as the ebook is free online, you might want to read it first.

Anyway…in the early years of the 20th Century, the world is at war again. This time it’s the Chinese, allied with the Indians and Iran, which has somehow generated an ideology that has allowed it to appeal to most of the Islamic world. The Chinese have developed a radical new superweapon that can be deployed against American ships, with the net result of a series of heavy disasters, recurring terrorist attacks and atrocities for the Americans. If you read without knowing any of the technological and practical background, you’ll enjoy seeing a war on a scale that makes the Second World War look like nothing, but it was hard for me to suspend my disbelief as the story just kept expanding. A Chinese invasion of Alaska? Maybe possible, but on top of all their other commitments?

A problem I have noted before with American writers is that they have a tendency to make two basic errors; they treat the world as monopoler and regard, furthermore, that pole as the will of the United States. The story does have a handful of sympathetic enemy characters, but much of the story boils down to ‘US versus Pure Evil,’ with the addition of a supporting cast of worthless liberals and slimy Frenchmen (or at least the French government). The American characters are all brave, noble and true, from the Marty Sue President to the street children made good in the fires of war, with the exception of the worthless liberals mentioned above.

The writer shows no lack of imagination when outlining his war. What he lacks is a sense of perspective. One of the most irritating parts of the book, completely irrelevant to the overall story, is a tangent in which abortion is proved to be fundamentally wrong…just because someone manages to come up with proof that a baby in the womb, from the earliest days, has a soul. Or something like that; I lost track of the technobabble and I suspect that the author had the same problem. Regardless, somehow this translates into a perfect solution to the entire abortion debate, rather than merely adding yet another layer to the debate. Abortion makes me sick on a very basic level, but this solution fails to address any of the new problems and old ones with a new face – what would Mr Head say to a raped girl carrying her attacker’s baby? I have a suspicion that it wouldn’t be something helpful. Quite what this has to do with the Third World War is beyond me…

(There’s also a second jarring point in the whole abortion of an abortion arc. A self-righteous Christian researcher blocks research into foetal tissue that leads, eventually, to banning abortion. Logically, by the time the considerably smarter researcher breaks through the political blocks and proves abortion immoral, plenty of other babies will have been aborted – deaths caused, if accidentally, by the self-righteous moron. And yet the guy is completely unaware of this and congratulates himself on his approach to the whole issue. No one else even points it out to him.)

It’s not the only jarring moment in the book. Jeff Head references, as far as I can tell, himself – or another of his books, the non-fictional Stand at Kalmath Falls. This may be meant as an in-joke, but the references are neither cute nor funny. Time and time again, he belabours the same points, sometimes to good effect, but mostly as annoying as Turtledove’s endless repetition. I enjoy a good Clinton-bash as much as the next right-winger, but endlessly repeating the same points time and time again doesn’t help. Clinton’s fundamental problem was that he was a man unsuited to the times and unable to grasp the nettle in time to prevent growing problems, several of which exploded in the face of his successor. I am not actually convinced that there was anything actually malign about him.

The series does have some remarkable technological visions and ideas, some of which should be available any day now, but overall, the politics, the limited characterisation (particularly of the Chinese) and the tangents take down the score. It’s worth a read, but maybe not as a permanent fixture on my bookcase.

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Horse at the Gates - DC Alden

The Horse at the Gates

-DC Alden

Some years ago, my friend Tom Kratman published a book called Caliphate, set one hundred years in Europe’s future. The demographic nightmare has finally come true; Europe is dominated by an Islamic Caliphate, where pretty much everyone apart from the ruling class has a shitty life. It isn’t much better in America, where the United States has become the New American Empire, freedom and democracy are things of the past and people live in fear of the knock on the door at midnight. Caliphate is actually broken into two sections; an adventure story set within the Caliphate itself and a look at the slow collapse of Europe, seen through the eyes of a young and foolish German girl.

In my opinion, at least, the latter part of the book is actually far more harrowing than the section set in the future Europe. The Caliphate is just too different from our present day – so, in a lesser sense, is the New American Empire – to be considered real. The segments set in the near future, however, are linked closely to our modern-day world. The surroundings are known and the effect is terrifying. So, too, are the mental blocks caused by political correctness, the dull inability to admit what is going on – and the horrified realisation when something finally breaks through and the character is confronted by inescapable reality.

The Horse at the Gates is, if anything, much less optimistic than Caliphate. In some ways, it is actually more harrowing because it is set in near-future Britain, one that is both instantly recognisable and warped beyond recognition. The story chronicles the final days of independence and the collapse of law and authority, heralding a slow collapse into darkness. Islam means ‘submission to God’. It may darkly amuse you to realise that when Islamists use the word ‘Islam,’ they mean ‘submission to them.’

In the near future, terrorists have detonated a nuclear bomb in Pakistan, forcing thousands of refugees to flee to the west. The EU insists that of thousands are allowed to settle in Britain while millions more languish in refugee camps in Egypt, desperate for the chance to enter the promised land of Europe. Worse, the EU is on the verge of signing the Treaty of Cairo, which would admit Egypt to the EU and allow a new flood of migrants to enter the country. Conditions in the refugee centres in Britain are nightmarish, something that troubled Prime Minister Gabriel Bryce is forced to confront.

Steeling himself, Bryce prepares to announce draconian changes to Britain's immigration policy, but darker figures are already on the move. Tariq Saeed, senior Cabinet Minister and architect of the chaos, has ambitions to become the first ruler of an Islamic Europe. With skill and patience, he wove his net – and Bryce acts too late. A car bomb destroys Downing Street, wiping out most of the Cabinet. To the north of London a simultaneous explosion levels the Luton Central Mosque, triggering a national crisis whose repercussions ripple across the continent.

(I have a case of sour grapes here. I used the same plot device in my first attempt at writing a novel.)

In London, Danny Whelan – an ex-soldier – finds himself caught in a nightmare. Pre-selected and groomed as an unwitting scapegoat, Danny's past links to a banned far right organisation have implicated him in both the Luton and Downing Street outrages. Leaving everything he knows behind he goes on the run, finding refuge with a retired politician who plans to use Danny for his own ends, a new terror campaign that will divide the population and plunge the country into a bloody civil war. Danny escapes, only to walk into a trap and find himself offered up as a scapegoat as the country abases itself before Islam.

Bryce awakes from the destruction of Ten Downing Street, only to find himself a prisoner in a mental hospital. Realising that he was never meant to recover and fearing for his life, Bryce is forced to escape the facility and embark on a hazardous journey, one that leads him to an uncertain future across the Atlantic Ocean. Behind him, the country finally comes apart – Saeed has won.

The Horse at the Gates touched on many contemporary issues and themes. The looming fear of political Islam, the gagging effect of political correctness, the demonisation of people with legitimate concerns as racists and bigots (google Gordon Brown and Gillian Duffy for an excellent real-life example), the reluctance of the government to tackle extremism and barbaric cultural behaviours, the spread of CCTV, ID cards and government oversight, the transfer of regional power to the European Union and – perhaps most important of all – the growing culture of political corruption. Can anyone doubt, after the expenses scandal, that MPs live on a different planet to the rest of us?

And the overall effect is chilling. The characters are well-drawn and comprehensible, even if both Danny and Bryce give up far too easily. Why doesn’t Bryce take the chance of going to a military base and making contact with the British Army? Why doesn’t Danny take the opportunity to fight back against his tormentors? The general air of despair and decay running through the novel is alarming, with scenes specifically drawn to show just how far Europe and Britain have fallen.

Alden’s Britain is not a good place to live, for anyone. There are more and more people out of work as the economy slowly collapses. The non-Muslim population lives in fear as events such as Remembrance Day are cancelled for fear of offending people and military graveyards are vandalised. The population is either accommodating itself to the new world order – tiny details like the near-impossibility of finding non-Halal meat in supermarkets rub the point in – or trying to escape. There aren’t many places to go, for the decay is everywhere. America – unlike in Caliphate – is suffering from its own social decay. At the end of the book, social collapse seems a matter of months away…

It would be nice to say that this would never come to pass. Alden’s last book – Invasion – was fun, yet utterly implausible. The Horse at the Gates seems horrifyingly possible.

There will be people who will point and laugh at the author and call him a racist, a bigot or worse. They will claim that it is a feeble book, full of ridiculous notions and feeble verbiage. Perhaps they should consider just how many unthinkable events have taken place in world history, or how many absurdities people have believed, or just how tiny – relatively speaking – the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, or the Nazi Party, actually was. A tiny minority can take control and force people to dance to their tune. Maybe the vast majority of Muslims are not our enemies, but those that are have devoted themselves to our destruction. And let us not forget people like George Galloway, who serve to enable terrorism and the cultural barbarities that breed terrorism and the nihilistic hopelessness that sends so many to embrace their deaths.

What we in the West seldom realise is that, to our enemies, words are just another weapon of war. Hitler’s Big Lie is alive and well. There are many little lies as well – ‘if you don’t like certain cultural practices, you are a racist’ – and each of them adds another strand to the straightjacket enfolding the western mind. We are too quick to believe what our enemies say and take it for granted that their interpretation of a word means the same as our own. Let us not forget – as Finland, Hungry and Czechoslovakia were taught – that when the Soviet Union said that it was fighting for Peace, it meant the peace of the grave. And when we use political correctness to draw a veil over the more repugnant aspects of other cultures, we do ourselves no favours. The problem with turning the other cheek is that it just gives the other guy a chance to slap it too.

The Horse at the Gates is well worth a read. And the West is well worth fighting for.

Let’s try not to forget that, shall we? Our political elites already have.

Friday, 1 April 2011

The General's President - John Dalmas

The General's President
-John Dalmas

At last the generals were going to get their kind of President. At least that's what they thought...
The stock market crash of 1994 made 1929 look like a minor market adjustment...the rioters of the '90s made the Wobblies look like country-club Republicans...the Vice President of the U.S. resigns in a cloud of scandal - and when the military hints that they may let the lynch mobs through anyway, the President resigns as well. But the President must first propose a new chief executive to succeed him - one approved by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thus the generals get to pick a President. Imagine their surprise when the President they pick turns out to be his own man...

The plot of this book reassembled Executive Orders (Tom Clancy), although it predates that by some years. The basic plot is similar; the United States is having a large financial and social crisis. Because of the extremity of the crisis Congress decides to allow the president complete authority. Shortly thereafter the president resigns and a new, non-political man becomes president. He then goes on, throughout the rest of the book, to exercise his new dictatorial powers to re-engineer all aspects of American government.

Underneath all of this is a plot by the Soviet government to attack the United States with new technology that allows them to do things like change the weather or cause earthquakes. The Soviet-United States conflict seems to be very secondary to the book. Other conflicts in the book (South Africa, the Archons) also seem to be secondary. So much so that the resolution of the conflict seems like an afterthought rather than a climax in the book. In essence, Dalmas appears to have picked up ideas, tossed them around, and put them down again.

I was rather expecting a military coup from the blurb at the back, but no, that never even comes close to happening.

I encountered the book pretty much by accident. It’s not a bad read in most places. It suffers from having too many different ideas in the plot – soviet movements, aliens, and power generation technology – to do it justice. Coving only the American aspects of the crisis would have made the book simpler and more together. Much of the book consists of transcripts from speeches the new president makes to various organizations outlining the new plan, which can be distracting.

It’s full of interesting ideas. Some you might agree with, others you might hate, but it would make an interesting study-book on changes to government.

Ill Wind - Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason

Ill Wind
-Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason

Stories about the breakdown of modern society seem to becoming popular, ranging from Dies the Fire, though Age of Misrule/The Dark Age, to the futuristic fantasy of the Council Wars. Ill Wind is one of the older books, but still remains a good read. There are a few plausibility problems, but it is saved by a good cast of characters and decent villains.

The basic plot is simple. Following a massive oil-spill in the San Francisco Bay, scientists, hoping to avert an ecological disaster, release an untested virus which feeds on oil and petroleum based molecules. Unfortunately for the world, the scientist who invented the virus switches the safe version to one that spreads out of control. The virus not only consumes the oil spill, but also manages to survive much longer than suspected and begins to attack all petroleum-based products along the west coast. Soon the virus spreads worldwide. With the US President out of the country, and the VP killed in a virus related plane crash, panic consumes the nation. The virus set the country and the world's technology back several hundred years.

Ill Wind offers a good look at how a government might slowly lose control of its country. It is more understated than the total disaster of Dies the Fire, but features a dictatorial general and…unstable President. That, sadly, is one of the main implausible parts – while the national government may be weakened, the state governments should be able to remain in control. American generals do not attempt to dictate to state governments.

The book’s only serious problem is that it has the virus spreading almost instantly over the world. Nonsense – it won’t spread that far so fast. Given its effects, there is a fair chance that it would be restricted to the Americas only. Creating a suddenly ultra-weak America would lead to a power vacuum and perhaps some parts of the world launching a nuclear strike on America. Other than that, it’s a pretty good read.

Invasion - DC Alden


-DC Alden

It is a curious and long-standing tradition that people are always writing stories about the next military threat to face their countries. From The Tale of the Next Great War, 1871-1914: Fictions of Future Warfare and of Battles Still-to-Come, collecting stories from before 1914, to the more recent Invasion (different book altogether), the possible variations on future threats are explored, dissected, and either defeated or defeat the opposing force. Britain (and, to some extent, Germany) enjoyed a remarkable series of such books in the years before the Great War, from the serious Invasion of 1910, to The Swoop, or how Clarence saved England, which was a massive piss-take from one end to the other.

[England is invaded by nine armies; the Germans, the Russians, the Mad Mullah, the Swiss, the Chinese, Monaco, the Young Turks, Moroccan brigands (?) and ‘dark-skinned warriors from the distant isle of Bollygolla.’ Enough said.]

The Germans (or enemies of choice) invaded…and were either defeated or defeat the British. (For those interested, a short overview can be found in Norman Longmate’s Island Fortress: The Defence of Great Britain, 1603-1945.)

The United States has not been short of such books itself, most notably Eric L. Harry’s Invasion and dozens of others, from the semi-serious The Next War to A State of Disobedience, from outside threats to internal problems. Perhaps this is a natural outcome of having achieved superpower status; you start worrying about who’s going to take it away from you. I do not know if China has books detailing the collapse of Chinese power – or if the regime would agree to allow them to be distributed if it did – but I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

One thing that most of the books have in common, it should be noted, is a general trend to make the threat as overwhelming as possible. Eric L. Harry, in Invasion, creates a Chinese Empire that has overwhelmed most of East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Cuba…and has now set its sights on America itself! Cue the starring role – in more ways than one – of the movie-star American president, his cute-as-buttons daughter who just happens to be a real combat soldier, the series of coincidences that keeps the plot charging along…and the unresolved conclusion. Let us ignore the impossibility of the plot; the story is good, right?

And now, the latest threat to global harmony and peace has been revealed – and its not George Bush! No, the real threat is the RIFs, who have somehow managed to unite Iran and Iraq – after the American occupation fell apart – and then gobbled up much of the Middle East and – apparently – North Africa and Israel as well. We shall ignore the fact that Israel would be more likely to start a nuclear war than accept a status within a super-state of Arabia…but it is one of the more jarring moments of the book. One of the more irritating aspects of the writing is that the author seems to have been updating his world as he moved along, with the net result that there are some major elements left in confusion. (Is Scotland independent? If not, why does it get to do what it does? If yes, why is it being used in the way it is?)

Anyway…America has more or less separated itself from the rest of the world, cracking down on its immigration problems and developing technology that allows it to do without oil – and not sharing it with Europe, despite the fact that that would blow Arabia’s entire basis for power, oil wealth, out of the water – and has basically left the rest of the world to its own devices. Arabia, which has somehow united, despite the fact that most of the RIF factions hate each other more than they hate Israel, has finally prepared the invasion of Europe, including Britain…

If you can suspend your disbelief that far, then…it’s actually a very suspenseful book. The decline in global terrorism – one imagines that AQ got the chop – has allowed the bad guys to slip thousands of covert agents into Europe. As the minutes tick away toward six pm, to use the blurb, commuters stream out of central London a truck idles by the pavement in Whitehall, its cargo bay packed with powerful explosives. A British Airways Airbus, on final approach into Heathrow, is tracked by surface-to-air missiles. In Downing Street, recently-elected Prime Minister Harry Beecham is preparing notes for a diplomatic engagement when he is summoned to an urgent meeting. He's informed by worried security officials that a large number of surveillance targets have suddenly disappeared off the grid. Something is happening, but what? Even as the meeting takes place, thousands of Islamic fighters are quietly taking up positions near military barracks, police stations, government buildings, airports, train stations and hundreds of other targets. They have already received the 'go' signal - now they wait only for the seconds to countdown and the hour to arrive.

Not all the attacks, as one might expect, succeed. They do a great deal of damage, enough to seriously disrupt the UK’s military, forcing it back towards Scotland while troops land in the south, staking a claim to control. As the PM runs for his life, towards a secret command and control bunker, the Arabian forces secure their control over the south, before heading up towards Scotland for the final battle. (Europe falls rather quickly to a joint Arabian-Russian offensive; America remains aloof.) The book builds up to the final conclusion, with some genuinely heart-rending moments, ending with a bang.

The book does have strong characters, something that saves it from the classic right-wing rant. One feels sorry for Henry, the PM, and weeps with Kristy at…well, that would be telling. The story, to be fair, is never boring; the viewpoint characters seem everything, from the ranks of the enemy to those who have to suffer under Arabian domination. At the same time, the defeatism that pervades the British characters is chilling – they think about running, not fighting back. And what happened to the nukes?

That said, the book also has a fair number of howlers. Some details are historical – British troops were involved in Iraq, although the book says otherwise – and others are absurd. The US apparently recovered an alien spacecraft at Roswell, 1947. The Arabians somehow located a monolith under the desert and are digging it up at the end of the book. These details don’t add to the book’s credibility.

Every generation, we seem to assume, gets the invasion that it deserves. Alden points out endless flaws in British society, from multiculturalism and the failure to back up the police, to our complacency over our borders and low spending on defence. The problems with the government, as often bemoaned by myself, are certainly causing a snarl-up of the democratic process; one would imagine that any sensible government would try to start again. Can all of these be used by a future invader? Perhaps, I say, but not in the way that Alden suggests.

In many ways, the Arabian Invasion is a repeat of Operation Iraqi Freedom, starring Britain as the target. It is not, however, that simple to pull off such a strike, despite the apparent (and unexplained) Arabian supremacy in electronic warfare – and indeed much military technology. The US faced an opponent who had dozens of problems, from low morale to no ability to contest the air at all, and still had problems. A strong and competent defence could have cost the US much more than the actual OIF open combat phase actually did. The Arabians, in Invasion, have much longer supply lines – they can hardly gamble on France falling as fast as it does – and the RAF should be able to hammer them, as the Arabians seem to have no carriers to support their aircraft. (A submarine is mentioned as surviving the first battles – what, only one? – and it is not put to work interdicting the supply lines. WTF?) Of course, given what a total f***-up Tony Blair’s defence policy has been, there might be no RAF aircraft left by that time.

To conclude, after all that commenting, Alden doesn’t seem to wear his politics on his sleeve, unlike…say, Eric L. Harry. At the same time, there is little cheery about his book, from the American withdrawal to the scenes as the shadow falls over the UK. Is this a possible outcome for the War on Terror? I don’t believe so…and I hope to God I’m right.

The book’s WebPage, along with some inferior samples, can be found at