Anti-Islam demonstrations are continuing in Europe, and particularly in Germany, where PEGIDA, the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of Europe, wield growing influence. ¬†The press has stopped reporting on the size of their demonstrations, probably because they are growing and the press doesn’t want to encourage them. ¬†Earlier estimates from October had conservatively estimated demonstrations at 20,000. ¬†And they make points few others note. ¬†The German police have admitted they can only check the identities of ten percent of the immigrants flooding into Germany. ¬†The group calls Angela Merkel the “Queen of Crime.” ¬†As I’ve been saying, and as I explore in The Blood Flag, very fertile ground for fringe groups. ¬†You can read more about it ¬†here.
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Written by: James W. Huston Published: October 7, 2015
My last novel, Falcon Seven,¬†opens with a U.S. Navy fighter accidentally bombing a charity hospital on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan run by the Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres in French). ¬†After the attack the pilots ¬†are accused of war crimes and dragged before the International Criminal Court.¬†¬†In circumstances eerily similar, last Saturday in Afghanistan, an Air Force AC-130 Gunship attacked a hospital in Afghanistan killing twenty-two and injuring thirty. ¬†Read the BBC News report here. ¬†The MSF have called for a war crimes investigation. ¬†We’ll see what comes of it all.
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Like most of you I watched the news of the attack in Paris with horror and anger.¬† It is especially unsettling to hear interviews with security and terrorism specialists who say there is little that can be done to stop such attacks and to expect more.¬† After considering the barbarity and evil of such an attack I, like all of you, watched as the western world rallied in support of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical paper which was the target.¬† I was impressed by the unity, and the cry Je suis Charlie! I am Charlie. A beautiful vast statement about the importance of free speech.¬† But as I contemplated the free speech at issue, cartoons ridiculing and, according to Muslims, blaspheming the prophet Mohammed, I grew troubled.¬† This is where the west will take its free speech stance?¬† Blaspheming a religion?
Free speech debates happen on the fringes.¬† One of the most important free speech cases is Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell. http://bit.ly/1B2TX27, which dealt with a satirical advertisement in Hustler magazine in which Jerry Falwell, a very well known and politically active minister, described his ‚Äúfirst time.‚ÄĚ ¬†He obtained a $150,000.00 verdict in trial, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed, saying the ‚Äúfacts‚ÄĚ in the satirical ad were never intended to be perceived as true, so there could be no libel.¬† The salacious and disgusting ad could not be stopped.
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Here‚Äôs a plot for new novel ‚Äúripped‚ÄĚ from today‚Äôs headlines. Literally.
So the news stories tell us that America has a super Secret drone that it uses to collect intelligence information called the RQ-170.¬†¬† It is so secret that no picture of it has ever been released.¬† Then one day, Iran claims it has shot down one of these drones flying in its airspace.¬† The United States admits it has a drone missing, but denies it has been shot down.¬† Iran shows the drone on international television, with President Ahmadinejad claiming they have been able to ‚Äúcontrol‚ÄĚ it.¬† The United States demands to have it back, but Iran claims it now belongs to Iran, and they are entitled to an apology from the United States.¬† The capture of this drone is a setback to the United States; the drone gives Iran (and others?¬† China?¬† North Korea?) access to our latest stealth and radar technology.
Now let‚Äôs make it into a spy novel: The United States is very concerned about the Iranian nuclear weapons program that is rapidly approaching a deployable bomb.¬† Unwilling to conduct conventional war to stop it (which would also probably not succeed), the Americans come up with something much more clever.¬† Knowing that Iran is vulnerable to computer viruses (like the Stuxnet virus that originated as a joint Israeli/US program that infected the Iranian uranium enrichment plants¬† and caused their centrifuges to overspeed, ruining a fifth of them), they devise a new scheme to infect Iran‚Äôs most capable computers.