Monday, June 30, 2008

Book Review - A Well Regulated Militia

I've been neglecting my usual voracious reading habit for the better part of the last year, so recently, I buckled down and just read something that was waiting for the next opportunity to present itself.

Being a fan of novels by the big boys, like Clancy and Ludlum, and more recently, stuff like Unintended Consequences and Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, I've taken interest in some of the fiction that centers around the eroding civil rights confrontations with respect to the second amendment.

So I picked up John Carpenter's, A Well Regulated Militia.

Stylistically, I found the delivery rather boring. The characters tended to be papery, and lacking substance. There wasn't any real psychological connection to the main characters, when they were even defined, for me to associate with, and the dialogue between characters was about as flavorful as a spoon of dry oats. Just damn flat on characterizations, which is a pity, given the book's setting, combined with current political undertones in the world politic. It could have been good.

The premise was believable enough, with a small, clandestine Islamic cell, on orders out of Damascus, to establish a forward operational post from which to launch incursions into the deserts of the southwestern US, in Mexico. The Syrians work out a plan to combine their tactics with a larger band of openly hostile Mexican nationals, guerillas, mostly of the La Raza movement, mounting a coordinated insurgency via their own sleeper elements, in an effort to reclaim "their" territory, and institute a new Aztlan nation, complete with recognition by a compliant, and covertly helpful UN.

The invasion isn't all that well thought out, either by the books own characters (they eventually get their asses handed to them) or by the book's author, insofar as the literary staging was concerned, though this didn't bother me, as it was, at the very least, a plausible scenario.

The one bright spot in the book, as far as dialogue went, must be mentioned as the concession speeches given by the respective governors of California and Arizona, upon the riots, looting and outright anarchy that the terrorist attacks provoked among the cities in particular, and generally in the entire southwestern states. They were rather convincing in the way in which one might expect a pinko leftist to immediately accept such matters, and be willing to abdicate both soveriegnity and power to other authorities, and do it with a smile on their face, proudly criticizing the "white man", that is the American Public, for "putting down the poor brown people of the world", or some other rot, all the while, preaching about how much we "deserve it". It made me grind my teeth. Just think of Nancy Pelosi getting an infusion of Che' Guevera, and then turn the dial to 11, and you get the idea.

Meanwhile, the Cubans, Mexican army, Venezuala and I forget who else, volunteer their forces to help the UN restore "peace" amongst the unruly Americans, and throw out the white people from the newly founded nation of Aztlan. The US military, fighting on too many fronts around the world, is overwhelmed and is openly instructed by the UN Security Council to not intervene ('bout wet myself with laughter at that one.) The unorganized militia (which is rather inaccurate in the book, considering the implicit mobility of the units therein), largely made up of ex-military personnel, is called up to gather recon for Washington, and eventually engage various divisions of the armies who are marching across the border after staging in Mexico along the border, from San Diego to the eastern border at Arizona.

In the end, the recently impeached President (while under Senate scrutiny for removal from office) finds evidence of the conspiracy from several Congressmen, the Secretary General of the UN, the Damascus directed cell, many local US lawmakers, who are arrested en masse while the militias take out the Blue Helmets, with covert assistance from the Uncle Sam.

My only wish is that the story had more atmosphere and more depth in the characters. I just couldn't differentiate the protagonists personalities enough to really care too much about anything other than the basic plot.

I'd avoid it if you are looking for a good, solid read, as its entertainment value was slim, and recommend it only to those who are studying up on the possible mounting presence of subversive, international forces that are willing to subdue the US at all costs. A "C" effort at best.



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