Rainbow Six: Tom Clancy
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 06:16 PM
Have you ever re-read a book that you once thought was really cool, only to discover that it was less than what you remember? I read this book for the first time back in my Junior Year of College (five years ago), and I loved it. So I blew the dust off it recently and got set for a great adventure. Maybe I’m just getting old, maybe I’m just a little more aware of global politics at this stage in my life, or maybe I’m just a completely different person now that I was back then.
In this book, a major drug corporation comes up with a great idea. They modify a strain of the Ebola virus and find a way to distribute it across the entire planet, effectively wiping out the entire population. Of course, there are a few bits and pieces of humanity that they want to save, so they come up with a vaccine that will protect “selected” individuals, how understand that the natural balance of nature has to be maintained to save the planet. After all, man is going to kill everything in the next few years. SAVE THE TREES!
What the company does not know is that the “good guys” have a new weapon in their arsenal to defend freedom. They have put together the ultimate antiterrorism response team, made of an international coalition of bad ass covert operations officers. Based in England, and run buy an American (of course), this team can be on the ground to respond to various situations within six hours of being called in by a countries officials.
This is a great book for republicans, and for people who generally think that it is worth any cost to secure freedom. The book starts out good, and I have very little difficulty with anything that happens in the first have of the book. Bad guys take over a bank, and take hostages, they all die in the end because they are stupid and make a lot of mistakes. But then terrorists take a whole bunch of kids hostage at an European amusement park (similar to Disneyland). One of the soldiers makes a tasteless decision after what happens to one of the kids, and is simply slapped on the wrist for breaking protocol for a serious breach of the code of ethics that separate the bad guys form the good guys.
After that, Clancy goes down hill. Rainbow, in my opinion, goes further down the road of necessary evil. When I first read the book, I believed that it was ok, because the terrorists didn’t deserve to be treated like human beings because they had proven themselves less than worthy. Now… I believe the reason the good guys stay good are because they play by the rules even when the terrorists do not. To do otherwise makes the good guys no different than those they fight against, only from an ideological stand point.
I found the ending quite a stomach turner. Now, I will be the first to admit that in the world of covert operations things are done to protect our country that are in violation of international law, and nothing is ever done to us because we are America. We have the luxury of enforcing our own ideologies on other nations, while completely disregarding things like international treaties. Who would dare stand in our way and risk being label terrorist sympathizers. Post September Eleven, and with all of the changes that America’s government has gone through in the quest to propagate our way of life, this book scares me. Why? Because what happens in the book can happen with very little difficulty. And that includes the government taking military action against it’s own civilians in order to secure the perception of security. I look at what is going on in Guantanamo Prison, and shudder when I think about what is the next step. This book embraces the idea that the government should do things that go against the constitution, in order to quietly keep things safe and allow Americans to go about their lives without a thought about what is going on in the world.