Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I recently received an e-mail alerting me to a novel that will be published early next year: Robert Ferrigno's Prayers for the Assassin. I went to the novel's Web site and, alas, this is going to be more of a turn-on for wingnuts than an Ann Coulter lap dance (warning: automatic audio at the link):

New York and Washington, D.C., are nuclear wastelands. Chicago is abandoned, and Phoenix, the site of a civil war battle. The nation is divided between an Islamic republic across the north, and the Christian Bible Belt in the old South. Alcohol is outlawed, replaced by Jihad Cola....

Yup -- Jihad Cola. Grab a seat, dammit! This is the two-minute hate, and you're missing the first minute!

... Freedom is controlled by the state, paranoia rules, and rebels plot to regain free will...

... Robert Ferrigno's sensational thriller asks: What would happen to America if the terrorists won?...

This is unbelievably stupid, although I'll never be able to get Iraq War fans to understand why. It's unbelievably stupid because Islamist terrorists might conceivably nuke us, but they'll never conquer us. How on earth is that going to happen? It would be like the Viet Cong conquering France.

The animal braying you're hearing right now is right-wingers arguing that there are a billion Muslims on the planet and France is burning and Theo van Gogh is dead and have I forgotten 9/11? Or something like that. The reality is that Islamist terrorists are terrorists -- very good at launching repellent acts of violence, but, so far, utterly incapable of seizing territory in the non-Muslim world. Spain? France? England? The Netherlands? How many counties, how many towns, how many village governments have Islamist terrorists seized in these countries? (And are the French rioters even political? Are most even Muslim? Whatever happened to those riots, anyway?)

Ferrigno's book, to judge from his teaser, is just a modern version of an old, racist, paranoid riff: Large-penised Negroes, allowed to vote and otherwise run rampant, will make America a nation of mongrels and destroy everything we hold dear and Anglo-Saxon. Oh, sorry -- did I say Negroes? I meant the International Jew. Only in this case wearing keffiyehs.

I'd call this a nightmare scenario for right-wingers, but I'm afraid it's more like porn; I'm afraid it secretly thrills the right.

As I think I've said here before, you can see this way of thinking among NRA types. When they say we need guns as a "bulwark against tyranny," what they really mean is they hope they themselves will someday crush a tyrannical government with guns they bought at Wal-Mart. This isn't fear, or vigilance -- it's a Walter Mitty fantasy. They want it to happen. They want to be heroes.

Those who'll read Ferrigno's book will do so because they want to live the fantasy that America could be lost, and then won again ("rebels plot to regain free will"). Accompanying that, undoubtedly, will be the delicious pleasure of having something palpable to blame on liberals. Almost certainly we'll be the ones who lost America, because we thought the Islamofascists were sweet and cuddly and we wouldn't fight them.

Which is why I hate the thought of this book. We don't like Islamofascists. We despise them and we want the movement destroyed. Our arguments are all about methods.

If there were an invasion -- if there were people actually seeking to seize the land I live on -- don't write me off, smart-ass: I'm there. I will fight.

But who the hell would try to conquer America? We're not a peace-loving people (we sure shoot one another a lot more than, say, the Belgians do) and we have the biggest military any country has ever had. We have nukes in abundance and the ability to deliver them across oceans. The Islamists are going to achieve not just a nuclear capability but nuclear parity with us in thirty-five years? Hiding in subterranean bunkers? Or maybe Ferrigno thinks we'll lose a guerrilla war. Yeah, we do struggle in wars like that -- in countries where we don't know the terrain and don't speak the language. This is America. We know the freaking terrain and we speak the freaking language.

Ferrigno's book looks like a soak-the-rubes fantasy. I'm sure it'll make lots of money for Scribner (part of Simon & Schuster, a division of Viacom). It comes recommended by fellow pulp fictioneer Vince Flynn, one of Rush Limbaugh's favorites. I think I'll give it a miss.


UPDATE: Stupidly, I posted this without checking the Amazon page for the book, where I learn the plot in more detail:

Taking post-9/11 conspiracy theories that blamed the attacks on Zionist agents as the seed for this unusual thriller, Ferrigno ... posits a nuclear terrorist onslaught in 2015 on New York City, Washington, D.C., and Mecca that has all the earmarks of a Mossad operation. The blue states are moved by these horrors to convert to Islam....

Oh, for Christ's sake. Dumber than I could have possibly imagined.

A mass blue-state conversion to Islam? What, and give up our family-destroying feminism and sodomy?

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