Summertime, and the blacks were uneasy. It had been hot in Boston over the last week, and July was the usual month for the usual riots. Now, Massachusetts would have to look to itself to put them down. There was no more 82nd Airborne standing by just in case. But it shouldn’t be all that hard. The traditional “whiff of grape” from the Massachusetts State Police usually sent the rats running for their holes, once they’d looted the Koreans and Jews. No reason it should be any different this time.
I clicked on the radio and caught a reporter speaking from the Boston Common. “A green flag is flying from the State House, and fires have broken out throughout Back Bay,” he was saying. “Columns of cars and trucks festooned with green streamers, full of armed blacks, have been moving through central Boston, heading across the Charles River into Cambridge and west on the Mass Pike toward Brookline and Suffolk. I see people dressed in white moving onto the Common for what appears to be some sort of rally. We’re told to expect an announcement soon from the State House, where General Hadji al-Malik al-Shabazz now has his headquarters.”
This didn’t sound right at all. What were the blacks doing on Boston Common and in Cambridge? That wasn’t their turf. Green flags? Some Muslim general? Did the looters bump into a Shriners’ parade and the two get mixed? I needed to get the gouge on this, fast, so I called John Kelly, our Christian Marines’ Massachusetts commander and now a colonel in the State Police.
“Col. Kelly’s not in his office at present,” said his worried-sounding secretary. “Would you care to leave a message?”
“No, I need to talk to him right now,” I replied. “Patch me through to him over your radio net.”
“I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that. Our radio net is being jammed,” she told me.
Shit, what kind of rioting blacks have an electronic warfare cell? “OK, don’t worry about it,” I told her. “I’ll get a hold of him another way.”
We had a Christian Marines satellite phone network which we didn’t use unless we had to. I punched in John’s number, and after about 20 rings he picked up. “Ire, thank God,” he panted, using an old nickname earned by my sunny disposition. “We’ve about had it here. At least you can get the word out.”
“Word about what?” I replied. “What in hell is going on? Isn’t this the usual summer ghetto free-fried-chicken-and-watermelon riot?”
“No way,” Kelly replied. “This is a Black Muslim operation to take over all of Boston. It’s organized and it’s disciplined. They’ve already moved their command element into the State House. I’m trapped with about 20 other state cops on the top floor of the left wing of the building. John, I’m afraid it’s the Little Big Horn for us.”
My mind immediately began racing, thinking of what we could do to put together a quick rescue mission. If there was one person I didn’t want to lose, it was John Kelly. “Do you have any way out of there?” I asked, which was a dumb question since he’d already said he was trapped.
“Negative,” he replied. “They’re using gas, and we don’t have masks with us. We’re trying to throw the gas grenades out the windows as they shoot them in, but they’ve already gassed us from floor to floor. I’ve lost a lot of guys, John, and I’m afraid we’re all toast unless you can get here in a big hurry. I’m expecting another assault within half an hour, and we’ve got nowhere left to go.”
How fast could we move? We had a few helos down at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That was about 50 miles from Boston, as the crow flies. We had to get a scratch crew together, and they’d have to plan en route. About all we’d be able to do is hover over Kelly’s wing of the State House and lower some lines.
“Can you get to the roof from where you are?” I asked John.
“Negative,” he replied. That meant we’d have to try to lower the lines near windows and hope they could grab them, then pull themselves up. It would be a desperate attempt, but it was a desperate situation. Better a wrong action than no action.
“OK, John, hold on as best you can. This time Major Reno is coming through. Let me get things in motion and I’ll call you again,” I said.
“Thanks, Ire,” he replied. “Thanks for everything, not just this. Whatever happens to us, what the Christian Marines have done has made a difference. In the end, that’s all that counts. Out here.”
I immediately rang up the CO of the helo outfit at Portsmouth and explained the situation to him. He said he’d have a crew in half an hour. It would take another half hour, at the least, to get to Boston. If we made it in time, there was still an excellent chance the helicopter would get shot down as it sat over the State House, a big piñata for everybody to blaze away at. But we had to try.
I also called Governor Bowen to let him know what I was doing. As usual, he wouldn’t take my call, which saved me having to get his approval. If he’d disapproved, I would have gone ahead anyway.
I picked up the sat phone and called John Kelly again to let him know the cavalry was coming. It would be close, but we had a chance. Like last time, it rang and rang. Finally, I heard a click. “Who dis?” a voice said in an accent I recognized all too well. Maybe it was one of Kelly’s men.
“Put Colonel Kelly on,” I ordered.
“Allah is Great! Allah gon’ kill all da white devils!” the voice replied. “All da white devils gon’ burn in hell! Ha ha ha ha….”
It was over for John. I hoped it had been quick.
I canceled the rescue mission, then sat back to think. Should the Northern Confederation get involved in this? Massachusetts was not a member of the Confederation. It had remained loyal to the federal government until there was no federal government. We didn’t owe Massachusetts anything. And if Boston burned, maybe that was just desserts for all those decades of Kennedys and Welds and liberal cultural rot. Whenever anybody had tried to defend our old Western culture, they’d screamed “Intolerance!” and shut them down. Now, we could let them see what kind of “tolerance” they would get from the Black Muslims.
On the other hand, Massachusetts still held a lot of good Christians within its borders. John Kelly had been one. I remembered the folks around the table at Tune Tavern, in south Boston, where the Christian Marine Corps was founded. What was happening to them now, and to the rest of the Irish Catholics in that neighborhood? And if the Black Muslims succeeded in Boston, what effect would it have on the blacks in upper New York state’s cities, which were part of the Confederation? Islam had spread there as well, as it had among blacks in virtually every city in the old USA.
I recognized it was time for some Prussian advice. Bill Kraft was still in town, waiting for our big victory banquet that was scheduled for August 4, a date he had insisted upon for reasons he wouldn’t explain. I found him comfortably ensconced in a Victorian garret at his boarding house, his nose in Sigismund von Schichtling’s criticism of von Schlieffen.
“You hear the news from Boston, Herr Oberst?” I asked, thinking I could take him by surprise with the latest scoop.
“Indeed,” he replied. “It’s not surprising. It’s the opening of Phase Two.”
“Phase Two of what?” I inquired, slightly deflated but curious.
“America’s Second Civil War,” he answered. “You didn’t think it was over, did you?”
“Well, I guess I did,” I said. “I hoped so, anyway. You think what’s going on up in Boston is of more than local importance, I take it?”
“Very much so, as you will see,” he responded. “The war in America has just intersected the Third World War, which has been going on for at least fifty years. You know the war I mean: the war of Islam against everybody else. Have you forgotten how we ended up with Egyptians in Bangor?”
“No, but I didn’t connect the two,” I said. “Are you suggesting what’s going on in Boston has been planned elsewhere?”
“Your naiveté would be charming, were you not Chief of the General Staff,” he scalded. “I am expecting a call shortly from Geneva.” Following the demise of the United States, the UN had relocated to the old League of Nations building there. “While we wait, you might wish to rummage about the ‘Bismarck’ shelf among my books. He will be more relevant than von Moltke to what is coming.”
“Instead, why don’t you put your book down and let me tell you what I’m thinking?” I said.
Kraft obliged graciously, overlooking my shot back at him, and I shared with him the conflict in my own mind about whether we should get involved in Boston. He listened, expressionless, and let me say my piece.
“Seen only within itself, this question is difficult, as you’ve found it,” he replied once I was done. “But it is transparent if we see it in its larger context.”
“What we are, John, is the West. We are Christendom, at least its remnants. It was for the West that we left the United States, once that country was taken over by the cultural Marxists, who are enemies of Christendom. The Northern Confederation is a Christian nation, or it is nothing. We’ve already seen where nothing leads, and I do not think we will make that error again.”
“Islam is an enemy of Christendom, and a deadly one. It has been our enemy since its beginning. All of North Africa, the Levant, Turkey, these areas were once Christian. You can ask our Egyptians what happens to Christians in those places now.”
“If we are part of Christendom, then we must fight the Islamics, because they will attack us as soon as they think the odds favor them. If they succeed in Boston, they will try the same thing in every one of our cities. Nor should you think the appeal of Islam will be only to blacks. They will shape and tune their message to white audiences as well, and they will penetrate them. They will use any means that work. Saudi Arabia used to pay tens of thousands of dollars to any American citizen who would convert to Islam.”
“John, let me put it to you as a question,” Bill concluded. “We decided we were on Christendom’s side against Islam when we accepted those Egyptian Christian refugees in Bangor. Then, we took on someone else’s fight. Do you think we can walk away from the same conflict when it’s being fought on our own southern border?”
Again, I realized I’d thought too small. Bill sometimes missed some of the trees, but he always saw the forest. “I guess you’re right, because that’s the strategic perspective,” I said. “But what do we do about Governor Bowen? If he has to make a decision on this grand a scale, he’ll break out in assholes and shit himself to death.”
“The Bowen problem will soon solve itself,” Kraft answered. “He is permanently on the edge of a nervous breakdown, and one day he’ll go over it. Meanwhile, the governors of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York are for intervention. I’ve already talked to them. So is a majority of Maine’s state legislators. They are prepared to call an immediate referendum on the issue if you, as Chief of the General Staff, formally recommend the Northern Confederation intervene. The Egyptians in Bangor will go to every town and farmhouse in the state to explain what Islam is and does. I think it will carry.”
“How long will that take?” I asked.
“Two or three weeks, at least,” Bill replied.
“What do we do in the meantime?”
“Develop our plans and deploy our forces.”
“What happens to Boston before we get there?”
“The Black Muslims take it over. The whites will have to fight their way out. For reasons I don’t yet understand, the Islamics are trying to encircle the city and keep the whites in. They may be planning to use them as hostages.”
“If they do, will it keep us from moving into the city?”
“We shouldn’t move into the city,” Bill said. “Casualties would be enormous, and much of Boston would be destroyed. In fighting for our culture, we don’t want to destroy its monuments. The way to take a city is by siege. Remember, cities can’t feed themselves.”
“We’ll plan our deployment accordingly,” I concluded. “Please convey my thanks for your assistance to the Prussian War Ministry.”
Bill grinned. “I will do so with pleasure. I’m sending dispatches to Koenigsberg this afternoon.”
“Sadly, we Prussians remain exiles, even in Germany.”
As I was putting my cover on and walking out Bill’s door, the telephone rang. He motioned me to wait as he picked it up. “It’s Geneva,” he said in a stage whisper after the caller had identified himself. Bill said little, other than, “As I expected.” After the call was finished, he turned to me. “The U.N. General Assembly has given its approval to sending a Muslim expeditionary force to Boston, under the U.N. flag. Russia will block it in the Security Council, but that won’t matter. It’s only a fig leaf, anyway. The real actor is the World Islamic Council, made up of every Muslim nation. I’m sure the expeditionary force was on its way before the Black Muslims made their move in Boston.”
“So for the first time, a World War will be fought on north American soil,” I reflected. “I guess we couldn’t luck out forever.” I took my leave from Bill and went back to General Staff headquarters to set the new deployment in motion. It looked like there wouldn’t be any demobilization in our future for a long, long time.
Within twenty-four hours of the U.N. vote, the first Islamic transport aircraft began landing at Logan airport, carrying a battalion of infantry from Muslim Bosnia. That was America’s reward for helping establish a Muslim state in Europe in the 1990s. Two Egyptian squadrons of U.S.-made F-16s and one of Saudi Arabian F-35s came in to provide air cover; it was clear our New York Guard F-16 drivers would get some air-to-air action in this war. Three days later an Islamic naval task force arrived off Boston, including Iranian, Pakistani, and Indonesian destroyers and frigates, plus transports with 20,000 Egyptian and Iraqi combat troops equipped with tanks and artillery. The equipment was the best oil money could buy. As Bill Kraft had suspected, this whole thing was coordinated from the outset. Otherwise, it would have taken the Islamics months to respond with forces this large.
On August 15, the people of Maine voted for war. The rest of the states in the Northern Confederation had already done the same, in their state legislatures. A Governors’ Council met on the 16th, in Concord, New Hampshire, to make the formal decision. Bowen maintained a zombie-like detachment, saying not a word. His secretary said he was so doped up he could hardly walk. I was past anger, and felt genuinely sorry for him. He had never sought the office he now held, much less expected to be deciding on questions like war or peace. Why didn’t he resign? No one would have thought worse of him for it. War proves many men inadequate to their tasks. It usually forgives those who get out of the way so others, more able, can do the job.
On August 17, as darkness fell, we began infiltrating Northern Confederation forces into Massachusetts. I expected enemy air attack, so we moved in small groups, on back roads, at night. Speed of advance was not important. The Islamics had established a perimeter roughly along Route 128, and so far showed no signs of moving beyond it. I had begun to suspect that their planning didn’t go beyond securing Boston, and they weren’t sure what to do next.
With the enemy’s far superior fire power, I knew we couldn’t stop them with a perimeter defense if they tried to break out. Instead, we put small outposts forward, a couple miles outside of Route 128. Their job was to watch, report, help the refugees who were still slipping out in some number, and block any supplies from going into Boston. Behind them, I set up a network of light infantry ambushes running as far west as Worcester, south to Fall River, and north to Methuen. It was good light infantry country, especially against an enemy who would probably stick to the roads. I kept our LAV and tank forces dispersed in small, concealed lagers north of the border on I-95 and west of Worcester along the Mass Pike. If the Islamics tried a major break-out, there would be plenty of time to concentrate to counter it, if in fact we wanted to concentrate. In the face of their air power, I thought we might prefer to use our mobile forces in motti tactics, just like our light infantry. If the enemy comes at you with a spear, you usually do better breaking the shaft than trying to dull the point.
By the 25th, our forces were in place. The Massachusetts state legislature met in the Worcester train station and formally applied to join the Northern Confederation, putting all state forces under our command at the same time. There was no reaction from the Islamics, beyond some air reconnaissance missions. We doubted those saw very much.
Boston was now besieged by land, but the Islamics had control of the sea, which meant they could stay in Boston as long as they wanted, just as the British did during the American Revolution. I spent my days considering what we could do about that and wondering just what they were up to in Boston.
We soon got an answer to my second question, and found out why the initial Black Muslim eruption had tried to trap as many whites as possible. On September 1, 2028, “General” al-Shabazz, who until the uprising had been known as Willy Welly in the upscale Roxbury nightclub and whorehouse where he played the saxophone, called a news conference to announce that “the triumph of the Prophet will begin in Boston, on the Common, on September 3, 2028.” All news media, including those from the Northern Confederation, were invited to cover the festivities.
At ten A.M. on September 3, the General Staff gathered around the TV in our temporary headquarters in Worcester to see the show. Al Jazeera gave us a ringside seat. I figured we would get a parade of some sort, sermons from various mullahs, and maybe some indication of what the Islamics would do next. At some point the Sitzkrieg had to end.
The ceremony opened with General al-Shabazz giving a raving, largely incoherent sermon about “the sword of the Prophet” from a platform set up in front of the State House. Behind him were an array of mullahs from various Islamic countries, plus the commanders of the Islamic Expeditionary Force in their U.N. blue berets.
Then, twenty whites, obviously prisoners, were marched out in front of the platform. Several were in the torn and bloody remains of a uniform of a Massachusetts state trooper. I stared intently at the screen. My God, that’s John Kelly! I couldn’t be sure, because the prisoners’ backs were to the camera, but the way the guy carried himself was just like John, both hard and loose, ready for anything. I prayed silently, Lord, let it be John. Let us have him back. Then I stopped short, realizing we didn’t know the script for this play. John might be better off dead.
A mullah was introduced as the Ayatollah Ghorbag from Qum, in Iran, and he came down from the platform. Standing in front of the first prisoner, he said, in English, the Islamic formula: “There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his prophet.” The prisoner responded by repeating the same words back to him, making himself a Muslim. The Ayatollah then handed the new convert a crucifix, which he dropped on the ground and stomped.
The shabby little rite went on, working slowly down the line of whites. Then, after seven worms in a row had turned, somebody dropped their lines. The Ayatollah was standing before the man next to the state trooper I thought might be John. The prisoner repeated the magic words: “There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet.” The Ayatollah held out the crucifix. But the trooper drove his shoulder, hard, into the new Muslim’s arm, reached out for the crucifix and snatched it from the startled Ayatollah. I could see the side of the trooper’s face as he turned – it was John! The Christian Marines’ Massachusetts commander held the crucifix up, kissed it, shouted “Vivat Christus Rex!” and drove his big, black Mass state trooper boot into the Ayatollah’s groin. The mullah bent doubled, and John smashed both his fists and the crucifix down on the back of his neck. Ayatollah Ghorbag went down like a bag of manure.
Around the television, we all yelled, “Arugah!”
Black Muslim guards poured out from around the platform and fell on John. I expected them to kill him on the spot, but they just held him down. The unconscious Ayatollah was carried off, another mullah took his place and the ceremony resumed.
But John’s courage proved infectious. When the Muslim cleric said the formula to the next man in line, he said nothing back. So it went, until they came to the only woman in line. She was straight-backed, had certainly seen her 65th birthday, and looked every inch a Boston Brahman. Before the mullah could say anything, she announced, “I am Mrs. Elliott Cabot Lodge. I was baptized in the Church of the Advent, I was married in the Church of the Advent, and I shall be buried from the Church of the Advent. Nothing you may say to me will make the slightest difference.” If the mullah didn’t understand all she said, her expression was unmistakable. It perfectly summed up the words, “High Church Anglican.” Wisely, he passed her by. Between her example of Christian courage and John’s, only two other prisoners converted to Islam.
General al-Shabazz then took the podium again, to announce that all the “white idolaters” the Black Muslims had captured would be given an opportunity to convert to Islam. “Those who refuse,” he shrieked, “will die a dog’s death!” Uh-oh, I thought. Here it comes.
The guards grabbed those who had remained true to their Christian faith, shoved them together and marched them across the street onto the Common. There, crosses were waiting. The Islamics made sure the Al Jazeera cameras got a clear view as the prisoners, starting with John, had nails driven through their wrists and their feet into the wood of the cross, which was then erected. John said the Nicene Creed, in Latin, as the hammers pounded. Mrs. Lodge wept, but she didn’t scream.
Death by crucifixion is slow, and Al Jazeera didn’t stay for the end. An Egyptian soldier we captured later told us John Kelly took two days to die.
The Islamics set up an assembly line process on every side of the Common, where the ceremony went on all day, every day. Most whites had managed to escape the city, but we figured they had captured between fifty and one hundred thousand. Thousands converted. Thousands refused. The Common soon was crowded with crosses, to the point where it looked like a convention of short telephone poles, each holding the broken body of a Christian martyr. They even had special, tiny crosses for the children, who gasped and wheezed out their breath looking over the little lake where the swan boats used to sail.
As can happen in a siege, the advantage of time had turned. The Black Muslims could hold Boston forever, so long as they controlled the sea. But we had to do something. We couldn’t just sit there and watch our fellow Christians die horribly.
The people of the Northern Confederation were with us, every man and woman, now. They knew why this had to be our fight, and why we could not let Islam get a foothold on our shore. They would accept the casualties of a direct assault. But the Islamic Expeditionary Force had enough troops in the city that I was sure an assault would fail.