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Treason in the Ashes [Ashes: 19] [MultiFormat]
eBook by William W. Johnstone

eBook Category: Historical Fiction
eBook Description: Social decay buckled America and the Great War brought her to her knees. Out of the ashes, two would-be nation states rise. One is built on values of hard work and justice, under the leadership of the outlaw general, Ben Raines. The other would return all power to the federal government and to the very politicians who plunged the USA into destruction once before? Now, the federals have lined up their forces north of the border for a sweep down into the lower forty-eight. Against three powerful divisions, Raines has thrown up nine battalions of outgunned Rebel fighters. But when the shooting begins, a new battle erupts. This time, Raines faces an enemy from behind his own lines as legions of Rebels sell themselves to the opposition-forcing the Southern States to engage in war.

eBook Publisher: E-Reads/E-Reads, Published: 1994
Fictionwise Release Date: August 2007

4 Reader Ratings:
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It had long been said that when the United States stumbles, the world staggers. Whoever said that knew what they were talking about. The beginning of the end came not suddenly, but in a quiet, insidious manner. As silently, slowly, and carefully as a leech crawling across the edge of a straight razor to get to a drop of blood. The seeds of collapse, which would eventually lead to the end of what was once the greatest nation on the face of the earth, came with a lessening of morals, a country misplacing its values. A few people did see what was happening but their voices were ignored, and in some cases, stilled permanently by Big Brother Government. Our political leaders had moved us too far to the left, trying to be all things to all people, all the time. Our Great Nannies in Washington bankrupted the citizens trying to do that which they should have known was impossible.

There was no one thing or happening that led to the collapse of America. No historian will ever be able to point the finger of guilt at any single person or government program or world event.

But the signs were there. Evidence was all around that many citizens were worried. Americans were buying guns in record numbers, in the face of liberals frantically launching programs to disarm Americans. Many Americans were stockpiling emergency food and water and ammunition. But instead of our elected and appointed officials trying to determine why these thousands and thousands of people seemed to be preparing for some sort of Armageddon, the government sent armed federal agents in to seize the weapons and prosecute and jail (and sometimes kill) those who felt they had a constitutional right to own weapons. The national press belittled the men and women called "survivalists," mocking them and downplaying their warnings and actions. Liberals were prancing about, waving their hankies and shrieking that more money must be gouged from already overburdened taxpayers to pay for more social programs.

The warning signs were in place, and there were people who read them with alarming clarity. Writers wrote books about the end of civilization. Those men and women were immediately branded as nuts and kooks (some were), racists (some were), right-wing lunatics (some were), and enemies of America (most were not). Federal agents followed them, bugged their phones, and read their mail.

Most members of the press, liberal to the core and completely out of touch with the true feelings of millions of Americans, could predictably be counted on to lean to the left, weeping and blubbering and sobbing about those terrible guns and how the government should forcibly disarm the law-abiding, tax-paying citizens. Finding a true conservative among the national press, print and broadcast, would have been a real test of sleuthing.

So now, at the beginning of the last decade of the millennium, those men and women who felt the nation was teetering on the edge of collapse went about their business of preparing for the end quietly, staying away from groups who sought the limelight. These people had sensed, accurately, that it was too late. Nothing could be done to save America. The nation had sunk into an undrainable cesspool, and the politicians, both liberal and so-called conservative, and the press (always liberal) were skipping merrily along, hopping from turd to turd, blissfully unaware that beneath their feet lay collapse, chaos, and anarchy.

To many Americans who did not walk around with their heads up their asses, it was inconceivable that those in power could not see the end fast approaching.

In his last published book before the world exploded, Ben Raines wrote, "As a nation, we lost our way. We lost sight of one very important item: America must come first. We must first solve our many problems here at home, then, and only then, turn our attention and resources to other countries. That sounds hard and cruel, but if we are to survive as a nation, we must keep jobs at home and see to the needs of Americans first. We cannot be the world's problem solver and we must not become the world's policeman. We can't afford to be either."

But of course, the politicians ignored that and critics branded Ben and others like him as racist, right-wing lunatics.

Religious fanatics in the Middle East (and other places) declared America the "Great Satan" and openly called for terrorist attacks against the U.S. And what did our great leaders do about these madmen? Why, nothing, of course. Finally terrorism struck the U.S. (as Ben Raines and others predicted it would) and the press was outraged. Never once did the know-it-all network commentators suggest we go over and bomb the shit out of the host country. That might involve some collateral damage (that means civilian dead). Of course between 1939 and '45, we had civilian dead in Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, in Holland and France and Belgium, England, the Philippines, Japan (to name only a few of the countries involved), but the press seems to have forgotten all about that. We still won the damn war. And it just never dawned on our Great Nannies in Washington, D.C. that to fight terrorism, you must think like a terrorist and act like a terrorist. And we had military units trained to do just that. But the sobbing sisters and hanky-twisters set up such a squall at just the thought of it that it was never really considered seriously.

Race relations in America began to deteriorate, finally reaching their lowest point in several decades. Riots became commonplace. The police, never enough of them, and now unable to enforce the law because of recent court decisions, could not hold back the violent tide. Los Angeles blew up. New York turned into a battleground, as did St. Louis, Detroit, Miami, and Atlanta. Much to the disgrace of this nation, our capital, Washington, D.C., became the most dangerous city in America.

A few people in prominent positions, like Ben Raines, said, "Why don't you just shoot the goddamn punks and put an end to this crap?"

"You racist, right-wing, NRA, gun-loving, uncompassionate person!" came the collective shout from thousands of liberal throats.

"Naw," the law-abiding, tax-paying, so-called "silent majority" said wearily. "He's just voicing aloud the thoughts of millions."

There were many injustices inflicted upon minorities by whites in positions of power. There were also injustices inflicted upon whites by people of color. Minorities were justifiably angry about the lack of jobs. Whites were angry about quotas and promotions based on race and gender and not seniority and/or ability. Minorities demanded respect--loudly. Whites responded by saying that respect is not handed out on demand--it must be earned. Blacks (by now the name had been changed to African American) appeared on TV talk shows dressed like something out of the Congo and wondered why many whites smiled.

One white author appeared on a national talk show dressed in a Viking helmet and kilt, and carrying bagpipes. He said he was of Scandinavian/Scotch/Irish heritage and was just dressing like his ancestors. The black host was not amused.

But she should have been. She should have known that it has to work both ways. If it won't work both ways, it won't ever work.

We all should have had a sense of humor. And we all should have believed that we were Americans first, last, and always. And we should have known if we didn't pull together, it just wasn't going to work.

And in the end, it didn't.

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