the sort of future history light entertainment I like to read from time to time.
Anyway the point of the book was the events leading up to the second civil war in the US.
What bought this novel to mind is the events going on in the US over the last few years.
Stories such as why the Department of Homeland Security in the US needs more ammunition
than the US armed forces do or why federal agencies are buying thousands of armoured
vehicles and mine resistant personnel carriers.
Or Suppression or outright negation of Constitutional rights.
Arming and equipping Federal forces with equipment entirely unsuitable for law enforcement
and much more suited to maintaining a police state. I wasn’t aware that many US cities
needed the police or government agencies to drive around in vehicles proof against machine
gun fire and anti vehicle mines.
One of the key points of the novel was that a dictatorial US government was expanding the
Para Military forces available to Federal Agencies while sidelining and working to neutralise
the US armed forces.
I found the section where the main bad guys were discussing the need for the US department
of Health to have a Swat team and a large paramilitary force amusing at the time. This group
of Feds later in the novel went on to join the other over gunned Federal agency forces in imposing
a police state.
Now this was Science Fiction or so I thought at the time but like much of Science Fiction it was a
look at a probably future.
For those of you who keep up with the news in America we have a Tyrannical President who is
actively circumventing the processes put in place to prevent a Tyranny. He is ignoring the
wishes or votes of his own congress and overseeing a massive increase in police powers
while at the same time directing his agencies to ignore the laws of the US or turning a blind
eye to agencies that do the same.
I have to say with the FBI and the department of homeland security along with the DEA and
ATF all having well trained and armed paramilitary forces I wasn’t expecting to hear that the
US IRS also has a SWAT team and is training its agents to use automatic weapons.
I know that tax fraud is considered serious but for an organisation that primarily audits personal
and company accounts a SWAT team and assault rifles seems a little excessive.
Even more so given that the IRS is apparently stonewalling attempts by US congressman to find
out why they are stockpiling weapons and ammunition and training their agents to use the same.
The department of Education also has a Swat team. They say it is for responding to events in
schools. But surely the FBI would be the agency of choice for armed response; either that or they
are expecting those unruly children to get seriously out of control.
I am not making light of tragic events in US schools recently, what I do not understand is that
given most cities and sheriff’s departments have well trained Swat teams and would be the first to
respond, why does the department of education need one as well?
Here in the UK or in Europe there are many who will shrug and say that it is of no concern.
That this is an American thing and will not affect us. That as America becomes Amerika under
President for life Obama the world will be well rid of that evil American interference in world affairs.
I don’t see it that way.
For decades now the US has stood as an idealised image of a beacon of freedom and tolerance
in the world. The one remaining super power was not a great bully but was overall seen to be a
force for stability and order.
The presence of US forces nearby or a US carrier group a few days sailing away caused a great
many nations to pause and consider carefully if that invasion was really worth it.
We can all complain about MTV and McDonalds being everywhere but for much of the world
those are symbols of freedom and choice.
Yes the US made mistakes; it sometimes did the wrong thing, killed the wrong people or made
friends with the bad guys. But overall the late 20th century would have been a very different
and dark place for the world without those interfering Yanks.
The American governments over the last 50 years have not been saints, they have been hated
by many for interfering in events that were nothing to do with the US. They are regularly vilified,
mocked and ignored.
But until recently they have been a bulwark of order in a world awash with chaos.
Over the last few years the US has demonstrated again and again that it will not support its old
friends and allies. It has shown support for Terrorists and tyrants while allowing its own soldiers
and citizens to be murdered in groups, using existing or new laws to protect those who kill US
citizens or soldiers while denying the protection of those same laws to those who dare to speak
out against the regime.
In the east of Europe a resurgent Bear threatens the smaller states around it and returns to the
oppression of minorities of an earlier age. The US has abandoned these nations and they have bent
their knee to the Bear for their own safety. Putin’s recent and blatant imposition of anti Gay laws is
a case in point. He knows that America under Obama will do nothing and the rest of the world is
impotent against him.
In the Far East the slumbering Chinese giant is flexing its might. Many military analysts look at the
levels of technology and training across the Chinese armed forces and say they are not a great threat.
But this considers that the advanced weapons and well trained soldiers of America are there to block
With the US increasing turning into a police state and abandoning old allies Far Eastern nations are
looking to the future and they do not like what they see.
Japan is increasing its military strength and even going beyond its Self Defence mandate with new
long range weapons and systems. They do not to be left defenceless when America abandons them.
Around the rest of the world you can see the return to the cold war situation. More and more nations
are inviting in the support of the Russians or Chinese.
The Middle East is a powder keg, Russia is taking sides. The world sees the US change into just another
police state thug and it is becoming difficult for some nations to tell the difference between the US,
Russia and China.
You know things are bad when people trust Putin more than Obama.
We live in an interconnected world. Events in the US ripple around the globe and every other nation is
rocked. We are heading back towards a world with three competing and hostile super powers, not
because Russia and China are growing in power but because the US is weakening itself.
Events in the US are often mirrored here in the UK; we see the increase in government paranoia and
police state mentality here in the UK though not yet to the extent that the Inland Revenue is launching
armed raids with automatic weapons to get those tax evaders.
Civil liberties and freedoms are under threat everywhere and rather than providing an example the land
of the free is leading the rush towards the repression of rights and liberties.
The United States has not always been the best neighbour we have had, but they have always been a
damn sight better than the alternatives.
The UK is no longer the great power it was last century, as a nation we do not have the influence, or
might that we once did. As a nation we need friends, the US have been good friends over the years
to the UK and to many other nations.
Europe has lived and grown and prospered under the shadow of US military strength and the peace
that came from that strength. Billions of people worldwide know peace because of the US; hundreds of
millions have benefited from US aid and support.
Sadly it looks like that may not be the case for much longer.