Is it Real or is it Fiction? Raven’s Redemption

Is it Real or is it Fiction. Raven’s Redemption

My tag line is “Thrillers are fiction … until it happens.” It keeps happening.

I thought you knew….

RR2webpgThe back cover of Raven’s Redemption features an endorsement from General Paul Vallely. I’ve known him for some time, but only got to meet in person and chat over lunch recently. Paul runs “Stand Up America” and is respected as being an expert in Geopolitics and Military Strategy.

Near the end of our discussions, he pulled out his cell phone and gave me a glimpse of a video of a container ship. One of the container lids tilted and up came a missile launcher. Paul named it, a Russian IRBM. Off it went.

The video ended, but the next frame in my mind was the footprint of a single high-altitude EMP burst taking out electronics from New York to Washington DC and beyond.

All Paul said to me was, “There it is.” He put the phone in his pocket and we both left.

Kill radius of one EMP blast

Kill radius of one EMP blast

This is the plot line of Raven’s Run, which predicted the Iran Deal.

Today’s reality features mundane freighters instead of my fictional nuclear powered Russian Icebreaker, Krasivi Oblako. Less cool, but more deadly.

There are tens of thousands of container ship visits to East Coast ports every year, but few if any by icebreakers.

I kept thinking of Paul’s video. It was scary realistic. I finally contacted him to ask where he got it. He sounded surprised. His answer: “Club K System built by the Russians and sold to Iran two years ago. Google it for pictures and videos.”

Zero Reality

Zero Reality — Orwellian Propaganda

Yikes. And here I thought I was making it up. Link. Link. Link. Somehow I missed this in the U.S. news.

Why is it not treason for the White House spokesman to knowingly lie to the public to give aid and comfort to a deadly enemy? Where is Fox News when you need them? Link.

Note: The Russian missile systems sold to Iran seem to be configured as “Carrier Killers” and for tactical use against land targets. Now that the Iran Deal gives $150 Billion in funding , nukes, and delivery systems, can IRBMs with nuclear warheads be far behind?

Good article on EMP Threat (2019)

Black Jack Pershing’s solution to jihad….

Raven’s Redemption has my characters trying to move more distant from politically-correct, rules-bound bureaucracies. Here’s why.

The more my novels touch reality, the more aware I have become that NEITHER PARTY has handled the rise of radical Islam competently. The Cold War ended and the Wall came down in 1990.

Many in the West heaved a deep sigh of relief. One popular book proclaimed “The End of History.” It would take time, but it was now inevitable that history would progress to its natural conclusion, a peaceful coalition of liberal democracies. That belief vanished on the morning of 9/11/2001.

Our military responded splendidly, but what would have been glorious victory in another era was the prelude to endless nightmares as civilian leadership tried vainly to build liberal democracy in lands that wanted no part of it.

Note: See the recent book “There Will be War: Volume X,” by Dr. Jerry Pournelle for more. Jerry is an amazing person, a top-selling SF Writer, and one of the key figures behind the Reagan Era “Star Wars” programs that actually did end the Cold War. I’m proud to call him “friend.”

The fact remains that America’s approaches to stop jihad [conventional war on one hand, ignoring it on the other] have failed. Failure may be an option for political strategy, but it is NOT for national security or good thriller novels.

In my novel Raven’s Redemption I look back to things that have actually worked to stop jihad. I weave the legend and history of Blackjack Pershing into my book.

Pre-World War one, the United States was having severe problems with the violent Muslim jihadists, the Moros, in the Philippines.  The term “run amok” comes from the Moros. The Spaniards tried for 300 years but could not conquer them.

Moros were fierce warriors who sought death in battle. They would bind up their limbs so they wouldn’t bleed out and attack with machetes.  The weapons of the day, revolvers and bolt action rifles, could not stop them before they hacked you severely.

That forgotten war changed our history in several ways. For one, the 1911 Model Colt .45 was developed, perhaps the most successful military pistol in history. The .45 ACP round would put down even a charging Moro.  [Ironically, at this writing, some in Congress want to force our military to standardize on the less powerful 9 MM pistols used by NATO.]

Containing jihad?

Containing jihad?

Part of the Blackjack legend involves pig’s blood and shooting prisoners. My putting this into Raven’s Redemption has upset some people. They rage that this is a lie, that it never happened. What has been accepted as truth (His 836-page memoir won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for History) for a century is being erased.

General Pershing wrote in his autobiography that, “These Juramentado [Moro] attacks were materially reduced in number by a practice that the Mohamedans held in abhorrence. The bodies were publicly buried in the same grave with a dead pig. It was not pleasant to have to take such measures, but the prospect of going to hell instead of heaven sometimes deterred the would-be assassins.”

Snopes declares the Blackjack legend false. {Snopes spoof. Snopes fact.} Donald Trump was fiercely attacked as a 2016 Presidential Candidate for daring to even mention it. But the truth is that NO ONE knows.

There is no proof that it did happen and no proof that it did NOT happen.  What is known is that Blackjack Pershing was 1) the only man in history to get a field promotion from Captain to General [by President Teddy Roosevelt], and 2) whatever he did solved the jihad problem for 42 years. Link. Link.

Truth in Fiction vs. Lies in Reality

OrwellTruthAuthor Stephen King says his horrific character Randall Flagg (featured in at least 9 novels) is “somebody who’s very charismatic, laughs a lot, is attractive to men and women both, and appeals to the worst in human nature…” King says Flagg brings the same basic message: “I know all the things you want and I can give them to you, and all you have to do is give me your soul.”

The popular TV series House of Cards features a dark, amoral pairing of ruthless characters (President Francis Underwood and his wife Claire) who betray and destroy all around them to seize power.

Does this fiction remind you of any actual people elected to high office? Me too. That’s scary….

What or who do Americans trust these days? Recent polls say:

  • Only 6% trust the news media.
  • Only 4% trust Congress.
  • Many Democrats think Hillary Clinton, their leading candidate, is a monumental liar. Her base does not care. Republicans, Bernie supporters, and Independents think the same. They do care. Link.
  • Both parties have signaled that the party insiders (not the voters) will pick their candidates. Democrats trust that, but many Republicans rebel. The Republican Leadership (furious because Bush was rejected) has formed a circular firing squad to sabotage candidates favored by voters.
  • Whatever the result, most agree that 2016 will be an election for the ages.

“America in its decisions seems to always look through a political prism rather than a reality prism.”

President/General El-Sisi of Egypt, 2015

My conclusion: Orwell was right. In these times, there well may be much more truth reported in fiction than there is in the news. For some time now his novel 1984 has been near the top of best selling lists.  It’s not just me….

Orwell's Famous Vision of 1984

Orwell’s Famous Vision of 1984?

The use of lies and intimidation to control a society is deemed Orwellian. Hitler and Stalin were masters of this art. Saul Alinsky took it to the next level.

Obama came to power promising to “fundamentally change” America. Aided by the media, his regime seeks to fashion a society where psychosis is the norm.

ISIS is not Islamic

ISIS is not Islamic

Psychosis is a serious mental disorder characterized by thinking and emotions that are so impaired that the person experiencing them has lost contact with reality. Thus it is that many Americans worry more about Global Warming than radical Islam, more about gay rights than mad mullahs with nuclear weapons and delivery systems, and agree that “ISIS is not Islamic.”


Josie Lives!!!

My Raven’s series has proven popular with readers.  Mine are the only Thrillers to have ever won major Paranormal Awards.

One reviewer said:

“It is Raven and Josie who are at the heart of this story and who form one of the most interesting romantic pairings in the thriller genre. Raven is a trained killer but also a patriot, a man on the order of the late Vince Flynn’s character Mitch Rapp who will stop at nothing to destroy those he sees as a threat to his friends and country. In contrast, Josie abhors violence and is even physically and psychically sickened by it. Even guns disturb her. Josie’s contribution to the team is as a remote viewer, a person who can through extra sensory perception sense people, objects, and, in Josie’s case, future events from a great distance. Somehow the two manage to discover common ground, to blend darkness and light into a unique union in their relationship.”

With that said, most of my readers view the paranormal aspects of this relationship to be, ah, fanciful. Most smile and shake their heads, though a few have told me interesting stories of their own. Then along came reality on January 20, 2017.

Just before President Trump was inaugurated, the CIA declassified some 13 million pages of documents, including at least 160,482 documents which involved remote viewing.  Today many consider global warming to be “real” (which it is – as is global cooling) and scary, but most think paranormal research to be, well, tin hat stuff.

The general reaction was ridicule and comments about stupid, wasteful government. Here is a sample:

I certainly won’t dispute that. Governments are often wasteful. More to the point, see the disclaimer in the front of any of my novels. I write fiction to entertain. I make up stories.

It is interesting that these CIA records span so many different administrations, both parties, and a time frame of 1941 to 2014. Activity was highest during the intense days of the Cold War, after Sputnik and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Now declassified documents capture the incident of the Typhoon Russian ballistic missile submarine discussed in my fiction on about page 141 of Raven’s Run.


Mars —

You can search these records for free at the link below. Enjoy! Josie lives!!!


There is a mystery about the death of Andrew Breitbart, an exceptional American. On the night of March 1, 2012, Breitbart collapsed suddenly while walking in Brentwood. He was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just after midnight.[45][46] He was 43 years old.

There has long been speculation that Breitbart was murdered. Now some are saying it was perhaps by use of the same methods as are detailed in my novel. Link1. Link2. Link3. Link4.

This news snippet came up on the Internet in September 2018:

“Andrew was probably murdered by Bill Ayers, who invited him to a dinner at Ayers’ house. About two weeks later, at a CPAC, Caroline Glick noticed he appeared ill. Probably from mushroom poisoning.”


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5 Responses to Is it Real or is it Fiction? Raven’s Redemption

  1. Art Freed says:

    You are right on the money! I just wish that our country would just WAKE UP.
    I really enjoy your books, I hope another one is in the mill.

  2. John Trudel says:

    Note: In addition to the issue of biased and selective reporting, which results in a near universal distrust of the media and Congress, there is also a body of evidence that attests to flat-out lies to advance radical political agendas and deliberately weaken America.

    This is not denied. In some cases the people who crafted the lies to mislead the voters, the media, and Congress have taken victory laps to brag about how stupid the American Public is and how easily this deception was accomplished.

    Why is this not treason?

    America got “Grubered” again. Team Obama shamelessly, flat-out lied about the Iran Deal. The Leftist Media served as an echo chamber to amplify these lies. Just as it has with immigration and health care.

    Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru Boasts of How the Administration Lied to Sell the Iran Deal!

    “Aspiring novelist Ben Rhodes sold the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran by manipulating liberal journalists and using the short attention span of social media to obfuscate the truth.” (WSJ, 5/9/2016, pg. A13)

    Rhodes sold the Obama media and provided cover for a feckless, cowardly, do-nothing Congress by creating a false claim of “moderate” Iranian officials. There were and are no such officials.

    Mr. Obama’s strategy all along was to cede power to Iran, hoping this would reduce U.S. responsibilities in the the region.

    Rhodes is bragging about a deal that paved the way to a nuclear Iran and gave them $150 Billion to finance radical Islamic terrorism. This is treason. It gives impetus to regional or possible World War. It allows Iran’s terrorist proxies access to nuclear weapons.

    Ben Rhodes is one “aspiring novelist” whom I hope burns in Hell. He sold America out to Iran, he also did the Benghazi talking points, and his brother David Rhodes runs CBS.

    Rhodes uses his talents for Alinsky leftist evil and brags about it. He has brutal contempt for the journalists. “The average age we talk to is 27 years old and their only reporting experience consist of being around political campaigns.” Rhodes says, “They literally know nothing,” making them easy to spin.

    One good lesson is that America’s media simply no longer has the ability to form realistic independent assessments of geopolitics or national security threats. Their foreign news bureaus are long gone along with seasoned, trusted, investigative reporters. The media’s talking heads are dependent on what they are told by the Administration or Congress.

    The “Fourth Estate” that long served as a check and balance” on American politics is gone. Fox stepped into that gap and prospered, BUT its main attribute is simply that it is not part of the Administration’s propaganda machine. Fox also lacks foreign news bureaus and tends to see news through a political (versus a reality) lens. Fox reacts, but that is usually too little, too late. Hence, ObamaCare, illegals, Iran, and a 2nd Obama term. Too bad for us.

  3. John Trudel says:

    Effective Political Spin –> A psychotic world view?

    President Obama’s political appointees are not only celebrated by the media as the best and brightest America has to offer; they are promoted as being so bright that they are allowed to boast about how they masterfully manipulate the press, like sculpting a can of smelly, journalistic Play-Doh.

    The New York Times Magazine wrote a long profile of Obama’s deputy national security advisor for strategic communications — his foreign-policy communications whiz — Ben Rhodes, lauded as “the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press.”

    Don’t blame social media for the traditional media’s adoration of Obama. “Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once,” wrote David Samuels for the Times. He and his fellow ventriloquists first enter briefing rooms to dazzle and deceive the dedicated journalists with certain beats. Then, there are the “force multipliers,” described as “prominent Washington reporters and columnists who often tweet in sync with White House messaging.”

    In short, Rhodes declared, “We created an echo chamber.”

    Rhodes exploited the fact that when newspapers close foreign bureaus to economize on staff, the gray beards disappear. Now, “They call us (at the White House) to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo,” Rhodes proclaimed. “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

    Exhibit A of the “master shaper” Rhodes bending the press to Obama’s will was the Iran arms deal. The Times explained that Obama’s team exploited the press by pretending the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani and a “moderate” faction of the Iranian regime presented a brand-new opportunity to strike an Iran deal. But in reality, the Obama negotiators began talking to Iran in July of 2012, almost a year before the election. This false narrative entered the echo chamber. Polls showed that the American public didn’t like the Iran deal, but the media just shouted over them with recycled Obama lingo about the “historic” and “landmark” agreement.

    Another example that wasn’t mentioned by the Times is the death of four Americans at Benghazi. In 2012, Rhodes easily ventriloquized the media with the bizarre spin that the U.S. Consulate wasn’t subjected to a terrorist attack, but that it suffered from a spontaneous protest over an internet video mocking the Prophet Muhammad. Even after Team Obama was forced to relent on this blatantly false talking point, the ventriloquist dummies wouldn’t focus on how they had been used.

    Just last week, Fox News’ chief Washington, D.C., correspondent James Rosen told host Bill O’Reilly that the State Department blatantly lied to him when he asked about the Iran deal negotiations timeline.

    “I can attest directly that the Obama administration, in the person of then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, of whom I am very fond, Bill, flat-out lied to me in February 2013,” Rosen said. “When I showed up in the briefing room at the State Department I asked, point blank, ‘Are there any direct talks going on between the U.S. and Iran of any kind?’ and she said ‘no,’ at a point when those talks had been ongoing for eight months.”

    The next step naturally followed. The other networks all ignored the kerfuffle over the Rhodes boasts as some sort of inside-the-Beltway snoozefest. The last thing a supine media wants to report is just how supine it is, even when the accuser is the liberal “master shaper and retailer” of Obama’s narratives.”‘

  4. John Trudel says:

    The NY Times persists. It works hard (with the help of liberal professors and leftist “fact checkers” like Snopes and PolitiFact) to erase the history of how Blackjack Pershing stopped the Moros terrorists a century ago. I view them — as does President Trump, per his own statements — to be the Gray Lady of #FakeNews

    As I said in my post — above — “They rage that this is a lie, that it never happened. What has been accepted as truth (Pershing’s 836-page memoir won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for History) for a century is being erased.”

    My Raven’s series of novels will continue to feature the Blackjack Pershing history as a useful lesson in how best to deal with Islamic Terrorism.


    Study Pershing, Trump Said. But the Story Doesn’t Add Up.

    By LINDA QIUAUG. 17, 2017

    (A version of this article appears in print on August 18, 2017, on Page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Trump Tale of Pershing Killing Muslim Captives ‘Has No Basis in Truth’)

    Within hours of the rampage in Barcelona on Thursday, President Trump urged those who seek to combat terrorism to “study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught.”

    “There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” he added in his Twitter post.

    The White House did not respond to a request to clarify what should be studied. However, Mr. Trump has previously referred to a long-debunked fable about how Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing crushed a rebellion in the predominantly Muslim Moro Province of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.

    During a February 2016 campaign stop in South Carolina, Mr. Trump claimed that Pershing captured “50 terrorists” and shot all but one with bullets smeared in pig’s blood.

    The survivor was ordered to spread the tale of the episode, Mr. Trump said, “And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem.” (Mr. Trump’s tweet on Thursday added 10 years to this alleged peace.)

    Various versions of this myth began circulating around the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, often in email chains and on discussion boards online.

    In one version, Pershing also buried the rebels with “hog guts dumped atop the bodies.”

    And in another, in a column published in National Review in December 2002, a few months before the invasion of Iraq, the act was attributed to unnamed troops under Pershing’s command.

    “This is a repeated myth that has no basis in truth,” said James R. Arnold, the author of “Moro War: How America Battled a Muslim Insurgency in the Philippine Jungle, 1902-1913.”

    Mr. Arnold’s view was echoed by eight other historians who were interviewed by PolitiFact when Mr. Trump made his original claim. (It earned him the website’s lowest rating, “Pants on Fire.”)

    Further dispelling this event and the suggestion that it was highly effective and ushered in an enduring peace is its dubious timeline. Most versions of the tale say the episode occurred around 1911, but the Moro Rebellion officially lasted another two years. After 1913, Americans back home lost interest and United States troops withdrew.

    Studying Pershing’s historically documented actions during the Moro Rebellion — generally “a carrots and stick” approach, Mr. Arnold said — confers no silver bullets on how to approach terrorism.

    Pershing “understood the imperative of having American forces involved at the grass-roots level,” wrote Col. Robert M. Cassidy of the Army, a professor of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College. But Pershing could also be brutal, killing women and children in one large battle, for instance.

    To the extent that the Americans “won” over the rebels, Mr. Arnold attributes that to an outsize battle: The Moros had no outside support, were insulated on an island and were outgunned.

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