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Prof. Glenn Reynolds reviews an intriguing thriller that leads to a devastating question

(Photo: China Daily)

In USA Today, Professor Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit) uses a thriller titled "Lightning Fall: A Novel of Disaster" by Bill Quick as a vehicle to ask a question that should give us all pause: "We have so far avoided the kind of terrorist-inspired disasters that Quick has striking the West Coast and New Orleans. But what do we do about the slow-motion disaster that's ongoing in Washington, D.C., today?"

According to Reynolds' review, "Lightning Fall" covers a nightmare scenario in which three terrorist attacks are attempted (two of which succeed), with disastrous consequences nationwide, including an electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) detonated over the West Coast (related clip below), a nuclear weapon smuggled into the Port of New Orleans which causes shipping lanes along the Mississippi River to be shut down and most interestingly in Washington, D.C., where a weapon fails to go off.

In Washington,

"even as tens of millions of Americans die, most of the action is about political positioning, and most of the government's foreign affairs behavior is astonishingly naive. Both, alas, seem all too believable today...American diplomats (in a thinly disguised Hillary Clinton administration) seem unable to grasp that other nations might be happy to see the United States destroyed or drastically weakened. Though the book was written months ago, their shocked and ineffectual response seems entirely credible in light of the similarly shocked and ineffectual response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's incursions in Ukraine. The world is not much like the Model U.N., and our adversaries are, in fact, on the other side. Russians, Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans: All would have more freedom of action if the U.S. were weak, and they know it. That our leaders have trouble understanding this as a goal is, alas, not fiction."

Reynolds concludes his piece with a very sobering assertion:

"...even without such overt disasters, Washington continues to run up debts future generations won't be able to pay, to pass bills that no one has read, and to engage in policy experimentation whose consequences will be borne not by the experimenters, but by the experimented-upon. The results are likely to be poor."

This leads him to his aforementioned rhetorical flourish on what he characterizes as the "slow-motion disaster" in Washington, D.C. occurring in real-life today.

One can only pray that Quick's disastrous fictional scenario remains just that: fiction.

One last thing…
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