Blogs by Mark S Bennison
Military Rule: The Book
3/28/2008 4:48:22 AM
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!
THE ORIGIONAL PRE-EDITED MANUSCRIPT OF THE PUBLISHED BOOK. STARTING WITH THE PROLOGUE, CHAPTERS WILL FOLLOW AS POSTED.
The President of the United States of America, Richard Burkhart, was sitting at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House when the Secretary of Defence, Paul Denny, entered.
“Good Morning, Richard,” said Denny, “How’s the speech coming on?”
“Good morning, Paul,” replied the President. “Very well. Just putting the final touches to it. This year of our Lord, two thousand and eight, will go down in history as the end of a great presidential era, lasting eight glorious years.”
“Yes, Richard,” concurred the Secretary of Defence. “One of great leadership, conspiracy and reward.”
“Thank you, Paul,” said the President. “I could not have put it better. It makes one feel proud executing the American dream of personal wealth.”
“I agree,” replied the Secretary of Defence. “We’ve done well out of our term in office. It’s a shame we can’t continue: now that we control the whole of the Middle East.”
“Indeed so,” said the President. “But even I can’t change the constitution. All we can do is tidy things up, tie up the loose ends. It’s time to think of my retirement. I have what I want from my presidency. In my speech, I shall announce that I intend to hand back the Middle East to an elected leader. But, of course, one of my choice. One sympathetic to western values. One sympathetic to my legacy, and retirement fund. It will show I have listened to political leaders across the World, and taken on board their advice and wishes. It takes a great leader to compromise and show a willingness to do so.”
“Undeniably, Richard,” said the Secretary of Defence. “I'm sure you will display your compassion when reading your speech. This will lay to rest the criticisms about the Middle East being in ruin and chaos, unable to mount any meaningful revenge or attack in order to regain control of their oil, and also, unable to dispel your legacy of democracy, though they throw it back in your face. They really are, most ungrateful. But in reality, Richard, I feel we may have a problem closer to home.”
The President’s tone changed. He seemed frustrated at the sudden switch of subject. “Oh, and what problem may that be Paul?”
“After all we have achieved, our generals may not agree to surrender the Middle East.
“I hear what you are saying, Paul,” said the President, with confidence again. “We don’t need to worry about our generals. The generals do as they are told. It’s the American democratic way. Yes, they can voice their disapproval, but that is all. Nothing to worry about. Besides, I shall be supporting my brother’s candidacy, and my speech today will help him get elected. It will ensure another Republican administration. That will smooth things over with them.”
The Secretary of State paused in thought: he’s just brushing it aside. “I admire your confidence, Richard,” he replied. “But have you forgotten the rumours soon after our initial invasion, some five years ago. Our intelligent agency picked up on discontent among certain Generals out there. I just feel uneasy.”
“Only rumours,” said the President, positively. “As proved, nothing happened. Also, If I remember correctly, General G. Mandeville, chief of staff to our army, quashed the so-called mutinous talk.”
“Ah, Mandeville,” said the Secretary of Defence. “He’s the one I fear most. He may well have done so, but, even so, if the talk was true, I fear he won’t have forgotten; kept it in the back of his mind for future use; something to take advantage of. I know him well, Richard. He’ll think you’ve sold him out.”
“Nonsense, Paul,” rebuffed the President. “I know him well too. No matter what the grievance and how bad it seems to him, he is ultimately loyal to his commander in chief. Now, I’ll hear no more of this.” The President looked at his watch. “My press conference will be expected to start soon,” he said. “All the invited guests will be arriving. The time has come to deliver. My actions and speech today will show the world that America meant well. I don’t want to leave the presidency as a tyrant, but as the one who gave hope and the American dream of achievement to the citizens of lesser nations.”
“Is your speech ready, Mr President?” asked the Secretary of Defence, quietly.
“Your appearance is indeed, expected.”
“Yes, Paul,” replied the President with confidence. “It is now complete after being compiled over the years of our great administration. The Lord will smile upon us on this day, Paul.”
“Never mind the Lord, Mr. President,” responded the Secretary of Defence. “I only hope Mandeville smiles upon you on this day.”
The President laughed. “Who cares what he thinks?” he scoffed. “He’s in place to serve me, America and our Lord. Come! It’s time to face my peers.”
CHAPTER 1: THE WHITE HOUSE.
A White House spokesman introduces the President of the United States of America, Richard Burkhart, after giving a short statement to the gathered press, government officials and Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The President appears from the rear of the White House, making his way along the corridor to the podium in full sight of the waiting audience. He strides with deliberate pace, arms extended down moving backward and forward. The President has a stern look upon his face, confident in the knowledge he is the most powerful and dominant leader in the World.
The President arrives at the podium and rests his hands upon its edges. He looks straight ahead and pauses for a moment before he speaks, as if to impose his dominance in silence. He moves on to deliver his speech without any welcome or acknowledgement to the audience in front of him:
“After the successful liberation, by my forces and our allies, of the Middle East, it is now timed to move the process forward. In order to complete their liberation, I have set a date. It is in agreement with our ally to hand over sovereignty to the people. They can then, form their own government.” The President continued with his speech, detailing the process he had just announced.
General G. Mandeville, army chief of staff, ignores the detail. The opening statement of the speech has taken him by surprise: enough for him to go into deep thought and consider his position regarding the President’s process. Deflected from his thoughts as he looks at the President delivering the details of his opening statement, the General looks on in amazement, returning to his thoughts. His anger is building up inside of him, but he makes sure it is not noticeable externally: He’s selling us out. He repeats this over again. After all our work and achievement. If this is his true intention, he will have to go.
The President is coming to the end of his speech. The General, now tormented and feeling let down, is anxious to meet with Vice-President, Benjamin Parks. The General looks toward the Vice-President. The Vice-President delivers a nod in acknowledgement.
“Thank you, I shall take questions from the press now,” says the President at the end of his speech.
This was the signal for General G. Mandeville to approach the Vice-President. He walks to him in purposeful contained anger. “I want to see you in your office now,” he says.
They both made their way to the Vice-President’s office, un-noticed due to the excitement of questions being addressed to the President.
General G. Mandeville entered the Vice-President’s office putting his cupped hand behind his ear. This was the first time the General had been in the Vice-President’s office.
“Don’t worry, it’s safe. I made sure this was my domain from the start,” said the Vice-President.
“Then why have we met at outside locations in the past?” asked the General.
“I can’t make everybody in the White House blind,” answered the Vice-President.
“All eyes wide open unlike our President,” said the General. General G. Mandeville laughed at his own joke. When the General’s laughter died down he continued, still angered at the President’s announcement. “I’ve got a General gone soft out there, which is corrupting my boys into decent and moral thinking. And now, I have a commander in chief going soft who is going to ruin everything we’ve worked for. Then, there is us in the middle.” The General walked to the French doors, which were located behind the Vice-President’s desk. He lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply in order to calm down. After taking in the view, he turned his attention toward the Vice-President, sitting on the sofa in the lounge area of his office. “You must have known he was planning this move?”
The Vice-President crossed his legs, looking defensive. “Vaguely,” he said, quietly. “You know I’ve been kept at arm length concerning Richard and his conspirator’s quest for World dominance. That's why I sided with you ...”
“Ha!” said the General, loudly. “I came to you with reports from my Lieutenant General in the Middle East, voicing his treasonable concerns, making you my ally, knowing you would seize a chance to get at the President, and taking sides to your advantage.”
After the General’s interruption the Vice-President continued. “I know he still plans to control any new government in the Middle East. That’s why he wants an overall leader for the Middle East, and only having to deal with one regime.”
General G. Mandeville finishes off his cigarette, exhaling the last of the smoke. “Can’t be sure on that; too risky. Washington needs to stay in total control of the Middle East. If they do wish to risk that, then the Pentagon should take charge ...”
At that moment, a knock on the door was heard.
Paul Denney , the Secretary of Defence, walked in and interrupted the General and the Vice-President. “I thought I heard voices,” he said.
General G. Mandeville considered this was a rude interruption, and turned his back, once again, facing the French doors.
“Hi Benjamin, everything well?” said the Secretary of Defence, returning his own ignorance toward the General.
“Yes,” replied the Vice-President, “just discussing the President’s address.”
The Secretary of Defence smiled, and with great confidence, replied to the Vice-President. “Great speech; just what was needed. Don’t you think so?”
The Vice-President looked toward him smiling and nodding. “Certainly, exactly what we needed to hear. It’s great! Now we know what needs to be
The Secretary of Defence sighed and continued to tell the Vice-President that
they should make their way to the Oval Office in the next few minutes. The Secretary of Defence then started to make his way out of the office, and just before exiting, thought he should at least acknowledge the General’s presence.
“General,” he said, forcibly.
The General turned and looked intensely at the Secretary of Defence. “Always a pleasure!” he said. The General visualized stripping him of his title.
“Sure,” murmured the Secretary of Defence, not wanting to engage in a conversation with the General. The Secretary of Defence looked again to the Vice- President. “Richard has pulled it out of the hat again, eh! He’s looking good.” The Secretary of Defence then glances at the General as he finally left the room.
“Jesus Christ!” whispered the General, then returning to his normal volume. “To think he thinks he’s in charge of me, which seems to give him the right to wind me up. The man is a fool!”
The Vice-President stood up, straightened his jacket and adjusted his tie. “I must make a move now. I will be expected.” The Vice-President paused as General G. Mandeville came close to him. “What now?” said the Vice-President.
The General placed his hand upon the Vice-President’s shoulder, escorting him out of the office. The General answered calmly and precisely. “Do what you normally do: sit tight and wait.” The General then ushered the Vice- President on his way.
General G. Mandeville remained in the office. He used the phone to arrange passage back to the Pentagon. As the General was taking his leave from the office, he caught a glance of his reflection in a glass-fronted cabinet. He stood and pondered for a while, realising the enormity of the task before him.
General G. Mandeville had been well trained for any eventuality; a product of West Point Military Academy, he stood tall and broad, grey haired and distinguished looking, just past his half-century. A portrait of leadership.
The General recited his code: Duty, honour and country. Forsaking those who cheat, steal and lie against America. I will not tolerate those who appear to become weak and treasonable towards America and my way of thinking.
General G. Mandeville came out of his transonic state and continued on his journey to the Pentagon, knowing he would have to take action to take his country forward, and have to dominate for the continuing supremacy they would achieve. God willing.
Secretary of Defence, Paul Denney, entered the Oval Office. The office was busy, full of aids and advisors going about their business with the President.
The President observed Paul Denney's entrance. “Where have you been, Paul?” asked the President. “I’ve been waiting.” The President looked beyond the Secretary of Defence: expecting his Vice- President to arrive close behind. “Is Benjamin with you?” he asked, impatiently.
The Secretary of Defence moved to the lounge area of the office and poured a cup of coffee, relaxed and took a sip.
The President was staring at him, waiting for a reply, and wanting to comment on whether or not the coffee was more important than his questions.
“He will be here shortly,” said the Secretary of Defence. “He’s been chatting with General G. Mandeville in his office. I heard voices as I passed, so looked in to investigate.” The Secretary of Defence took another sip of his coffee and sat down on the sofa. “I was told,” he continued, “they were discussing your speech, but got the impression of a cloudy atmosphere.”
The President did not reply and thought he would save his request for an explanation until the Vice-President finally made an appearance.
The Secretary of Defence continued after observing the President in thought, changing the subject after planting seeds of doubt. “It’s a good move we’ve made in wanting to hand over to our elected leader of the Middle East. It will calm the situation here, and in Europe, looking as if we are taking the democratic process forward while still in control.”
“Yes,” agreed the President. “But, we may still have trouble out there after our puppet is installed. Trouble with factions that do not agree with our choice. We will need to keep our troops there.”
The Secretary of Defence produced a wide smile directed at the President. “Of course we will, Richard. I'm certain the World will eventually accept that America will need to permanently control the Middle East, even NATO. All we need to do is to stick together on this ...”
There were two quick knocks on the door, which opened exposing the Vice- President. He walked into the office, looking at the President. “Richard,” he said. “Sorry I’m late.” He then glanced at the Secretary of Defence. “Paul,” he said, acknowledging his presence.
Paul just looked back at him with his wide smile, eagerly waiting for his explanation.
The President, who appeared impatient, demanded answers for what seemed to be secret goings on.
There was a pause as the Vice-President thought. I was right in thinking the Secretary of Defence would waste no time in reporting my meeting with the General.
“Well, is there a problem I should know about?” asked the President, repeating his demand like a headmaster talking to one of his prefects.
The Vice- President took control. He sat in the chair opposite the President, crossing his legs and arms. He proceeded, calmly. “General G. Mandeville was taken by surprise by your opening comments. After your whole speech, in his dominant fashion, he demanded to speak with me. He did not agree with handing over sovereignty and diminishing control. However, I managed to convince him it was the right way for us to actually continue to control the Middle East. You know what he is like. No comprehension of subtlety in his, gun ho! mentality”
The President laughed and stared at the Secretary of Defence. “See,” he said, “nothing to worry about, Paul. It seems Benjamin has managed the
The Secretary of Defence was angry, commenting on how it was his job to
manage the Generals. He implied there was something sinister in General G. Mandeville’s approach to the Vice-President.
The President was baffled by this outburst, but thinking. It is in the character of my Secretary of Defence, probably because General G. Mandeville did not approach him.
The Vice- President calmly replied to the Secretary of Defence. “You do indeed control the Generals,” he said, “but not General G. Mandeville. We know there is no love lost between you. Besides, the General feels he needs to consult with the top, as he himself, is the top influence of the Generals and chiefs of staff. As long as he feels important, we can keep him in check.”
“Ridiculous!” blasted out the Secretary of Defence. “I’m supposed to be as far to the top he goes. All the years of experience I have had in positions of power gives me qualification to handle upstarts like him.” The Secretary of Defence stood up from his seat. He waved his arms around and held his glasses in his right hand as he conducted his outburst. He is short in stature, but makes up for it with presence of mind, position, arrogance and cleverish deceit.
The President held his hand up. “Stop right there,” he said. “You both seem to forget that I am the Commander in Chief, which makes me the top, and I can remind General G. Mandeville of that fact. We can’t afford any anxiety between the Generals and us. Hopefully, Benjamin has avoided it.”
The Secretary of Defence calmed down and repositioned himself on the sofa after the President had asserted himself. “Yes, Mr. President,” he said, with a shorter smile. “I will take on board your judgement. But for the record, I don’t like segregating one General out of my control.”
The President looked on, dismissing the Secretary of Defence’s last comment. “Ok, gentlemen,” he said. “Let’s get back to the situation in hand; let’s get back on track. A new chapter begins for the Middle East. Let’s write it smoothly, convincingly and carefully.”
The Secretary of Defence rose from the sofa and joined the Vice-President at the President’s desk. “Is Dean not joining us?” he asked, referring to the Secretary of State.
“No,” replied the President while giving out papers to his aid. “I’ve given him instructions to prepare the way for my address to NATO.”
The Vice- President observed Richard, Paul, the advisors and aids pressing on with the task in hand, again, feeling uninvolved with political proceedings. I don’t mind so much, he thought. Soon, I will be extremely involved with
proceedings. My cover up seems to have worked, even though, the Secretary of Defence may well be stewing it over. For now, I shall take the General’s advice. I’ll do my meaningless job and wait. I only hope I end up on the right side.
Meanwhile, the President interrupted the Vice-President’s thoughts. He gave him instructions, which just happened to be menial tasks, not worthy of a Vice-President. The Vice-President accepted the President’s requests with his usual lack of enthusiasm. He returned to his office for solitude, escapism and to prepare for his future role.
As soon as the Vice-President left the Oval Office, the Secretary of Defence, again, voiced his concerns about General G. Mandeville bullying the Vice-President in relation to whatever they may be unaware of.
The President looked thoughtful while staring at his paperwork and turning the pages. “I am aware,” he said, “that General G. Mandeville has been taken by surprise, which I know he won’t like. But, once he’s been given exact details of our intentions, I am sure he will appreciate the tactical moves we are making.” The President looked up from his papers toward the Secretary of Defence, and continued softly. “I’m sure you will enjoy briefing him when the time comes.”
The Secretary of Defence looked over his half-lens glasses. “Oh! I will! And I hope you are right."
CHAPTER 2: THE PENTAGON.
General G. Mandeville, in his chauffeur driven limousine, called his secretary as he journeyed to the Pentagon. “Is the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff in the building?” he asked.
“I think all Chiefs of Staff are in the building, having returned from the White House, sir,” she replied.
“Good,” said General G. Mandeville, “I’ll be there shortly.”
General G. Mandeville then contacted the CIA Director to inform him his presence is wanted at the Pentagon. The General replaced the receiver back on to its base while attracting his driver’s attention.
“Yes, sir,” said the driver.
“As quick as you can,” replied General G. Mandeville.
General G. Mandeville arrived at the Pentagon, walking swiftly toward his office. He entered the reception area and confronted his secretary. “Get me the Chairman on the extension,” he said, with authority. He then continued to his office. The General stopped in his tracks just inside the doorway to his office and looked back toward his secretary, who was dialling the Chairman's extension number. “Oh, by the way,” he said. “I’m expecting the CIA Director to appear soon. Tell him to come straight through when he arrives.” The General shut his office door, not waiting for a reply from his secretary. The General took off his coat and threw it onto a chair then sat at his desk, waiting for his phone extension to buzz.
Eventually, after what seemed to him an eternity, the phone buzzed. The General answered “Hold on a second,” he said. The General reached for a cigarette box on his desk. He took out a cigarette, which he tapped on the desk's surface before placing it in his mouth.
“Are you there,” said the Chairman, as he heard the General inhale.
“Yes, yes,” answered the General, and continued. “I want a meeting of all Chiefs of Staff, and you of course, within the hour. They are to meet in the operations room. Oh, if none of them are in the building, get them here.”
There was a slight pause from the Chairman and a clearing of his throat, after which, he replied. “Due to the importance you seem to have emphasised, and knowing why, I will agree to arrange it. I’ll ignore your arrogance and lack of respect in this instance.” The Chairman paused. “As a matter of fact General, I’m not happy with your tone, and way of pulling rank.”
General G. Mandeville insincerely apologised, then explained. “Given the importance and haste of the situation, I do not wish to waste time on niceties and argue about rank or red tape. It’s your job to do as I ask. I’ll see you and the others within the hour.” General G. Mandeville replaced the receiver.
What a pompous ass the chairman is, he thought.
The General took time out to finish his cigarette. Shortly after, there were two quick taps on his office door. “Come,” he said, acknowledging the taps.
The CIA Director entered, and coolly sat opposite General G. Mandeville. He spoke calmly. “Well, General G, what’s all the ho, ha! about? Rushing me
to the Pentagon. don’t you think I have things to do?”
The General looked at the CIA Director, grinding his teeth. “I presume you were at the White House today?”
“Yes, I always want to know what our President has to say,” said the Director.
General G. Mandeville raised his eyebrows at the calmness of the CIA Director, knowing how laid back he could be but thinking even the President’s announcement would have sparked a more irritated reaction.
“Jim, Jim, Jim,” said General G. Mandeville, in a softer tone. “Am I the only one who thinks about the importance and negative consequences of what the President is planning to go ahead with?”
“Well,” said the director, giving him time to think before he speaks, having to be careful what he said. “I knew this was coming out at some point. I even had a hand in picking out the preferred future leader of the Middle East, picking the best of the bunch that could be controlled. You obviously have a problem with this, General?”
“Well,” said General G. Mandeville, sarcastically. “Yes I bloody well do! if this goes ahead we’ll have more opposition jumping out of the ground at us in the Middle East: more opposition to fight, taking away concentration on protecting our investment. Oh, and not to mention our President, in my view, going soft on a productive and successful operation. This could take away our credibility in been able to manage our own affairs.” The General paused and lit another cigarette.
“Those things will kill you along with your blood pressure,” said the Director.
The General delivered a slightly forced laugh. “Not before I’m through doing what I have to do, what we have to do. Remember, it was the Generals in the Pentagon, and you, along with God’s will, that chose and help elect our President, knowing he held the same ambitions as we do. But, it seems the President has just announced he’s losing it, bowing like a true politician in the face of an upcoming election and outside influences.”
The director shuffled around in his chair once or twice.
The General, observing this, interrupted just before the director spoke. “Don’t say well,” he said, irritably.
“Ok,” said the Director, “I see where you’re coming from, but we can control the situation from behind the scenes, ensuring our objectives.”
“It’s too risky, Jim,” said General G. Mandeville. “Even having our help, he’ll crumble. Our excuses toward the Middle East are falling on deaf ears, his presidential situation is becoming feeble and slowly losing support. He’s no longer a team player; he only uses us.”
The Director rose from his chair and walked around the office to stretch his legs while the General took a last puff from his cigarette. The Director came to a standstill behind his chair, and leaned against it. He looked at the General. The Director is fully aware of the General’s fears. His fears are a possibility, which is cause for concern. “What now?” asked the Director.
General G. Mandeville looked at his watch. “It’s nearly time for the meeting I have set up, to which you are invited. Then, we will discuss what now!”
The Chairman managed the task put before him, and convened all those necessary to the control room of the Pentagon.
The control room is large, split into two units. Half of the control room is a technical area where any and all operations are controlled, home and abroad. The other half, is a conference area for meetings to discuss ongoing operations and future plans of up and coming situations: such as the one being planned by General G. Mandeville. This is the area in which all Chiefs of Staff are now convened, talking to one another, speculating on what reaction and effect the President’s speech has had on General G. Mandeville.
The Chairman arrives and makes a body count to make sure he has completed his task before the appearance of General G. Mandeville. He then goes about restoring order by seating all the guests in the room. The Chairman looks to one of the clocks then checks his own watch. He taps a few times on the table, viewing the rows of filled seats. He takes his seat at the northern end of the table and reaches for the phone, one of many dotted around the surface of the table. The Chairman dials General G. Mandeville's extension and gets an immediate answer, after which, he places down the receiver. The Chairman clears his throat, “General G. Mandeville is on his way,” he says with a lack of enthusiasm. The Chairman has a sudden thought. I won’t be doing much chairing during this meeting, or even afterwards
The heads of the Chiefs of Staff all turn at once, and observe the entrance of General G. Mandeville. He walks with swift and deliberate movement. He stands at the southern end of the conference table, resting one hand on the back of his chair while pointing to a vacant seat. This is his way of ushering the CIA Director to his place. “Gentlemen ...”
The Chairman interrupted. “What’s he doing here?” he asks in a disapproving manor .
General G. Mandeville smiles before his reply. “He’s one of us, a disciple. Do you not know what goes on, as a chairman should?”
“Actually, it seems I do,” said the Chairman, “that is why, I must bring a matter of importance to your, and all of our attention. With your indulgence, I will carry on.”
General G. Mandeville rubs his chin, wondering if the Chairman is trying to get one-upmanship. General G. Mandeville pulls out his chair and sits down with curiosity.
The Chairman retrieves a batch of papers from his briefcase and places them in front of him on the table.
General G. Mandeville stares at the papers for a moment then raised his eyebrows in anticipation of any shock. “What’s all this about?” he asks.
The Chairman lifts the batch of papers in his hand, waving them around. “This is a report”, he says. “Sorry, this is a final report, to be exact, by Lieutenant General Frank Burrows. It appears he’s been reporting to you,
General G. Mandeville, for a number of months. The thing is, he seems to be a little pissed off with you - in fact, I imagine he’s very pissed off - because he has sent this final report to me. Obviously, to get heard and noticed, something you have not managed to achieve by the look of things.”
General G. Mandeville pounces back. “Achieve what?”
The Chairman sighs in a condescending way, then replies. “Taking notice of your Lieutenant General; the top man looking after your boys in the Middle East.”
General G. Mandeville leaned back in his chair, crossed his legs and rested his arm on the side of the chair. He purposely paused, observing the other Generals glancing at one another with curiosity.
Eventually, General G. Mandeville answered, what he thought, was a feeble attempt to charge him with incompetence. “I can assure you I have taken very serious notice of Lieutenant General Frank Burrows, who is respected, but soon to retire. Before I give you any further details, I would like to read his last report ...”
“Indeed you would,” interrupted the Chairman. “I think it would be better if I read out the report for all to hear, don’t you think so, General?”
General G. Mandeville lit a cigarette, in anticipation of a long statement, and answered. “I think it will make my explanation and detailing easier. In fact, I could not have hoped for a better start to our meeting. So, be my guest.”
The Chairman raised his eyebrows at the apparent confidence General G. Mandeville displayed. Not quite the reaction the Chairman was expecting. “Ok,” he said. “If I can have your attention, I shall indeed, be your guest. This is a report by Lieutenant General Burrows, which I suspect, has a sense of emotion; a man filing a report in desperation. The report reads, and I quote from Lieutenant General Burrows. Oh, and without any interruption please:
“I conclude and suspect, with great cynicism, that plans of invasion of the Middle East were the President’s main aim and reason for coming to power, hence the President’s succession to power through deception and conspiracy. It’s not right to call his foreign policy America’s policy. His policy is personal. It stands for dominance, power and wealth, using America’s position as the World’s super power, and its forces, as his main tool. The President is obsessed with the idea of becoming the World’s leader as Commander in Chief. He acts in a Caesar-like fashion to succeed in his quest with the help of selected conspirators. I listen to the news outside our cocoon of the Middle East, an insane reality of being on location in a Hollywood movie. I hear society is at breaking point, living in fear, being stalked by threats, terror and eventual violence. People’s freedom has been withdrawn as they look over their shoulders to see if the one behind is the next threat. Rather ironic, don’t you think? It appears, in my mind, more and more American civilians are changing their thoughts and becoming doubtful toward their government’s foreign policy. Civilians, not only Americans, are dying from the hands of those who resist against America and its allies, doing so in an unexpected terrorist manor, indefensible by the mighty west. Other than civilians, my own troops are dying unnecessarily, brainwashed by their Commander in Chief. He is suppressing the troops thought process. I must unleash the true thoughts of the majority in my command. What we think about our situation out here, has to matter. The President appears adamant, forging ahead, enforcing his will in order to keep control of the precious oil; the key to his World dominance. I do confess, I agreed with all the other Generals to secure the oil recourse in order for future re-building, but that is not the case, is it? It comes at too high a price, don’t you think? The President is in a war he started and expects those in the supporting coalition to help him bring about an inevitable conclusion of imperialism. The President expects obedience and loyalty from his forces, no matter what operation he sends us on. Of course, we are not trained to question our Commander in Chief, but expected to be dutiful, vital to a military organisation, and expected to hold fast to our leaders wisdom and authority. He has no wisdom, therefore, my obedience to our Commander in Chief has been pushed to the limit. Sooner or later, the protection of America, as a country and not one man, will have to become a priority. Richard Burkhart is a President and commander in chief I no longer wish to serve, which is producing a divide and conflict of interests. We are not yet out of the dark ages and this man is keeping us in the dark, continuing to prove what hypocrites we are. Never again, should there be a President of the USA who has a grip entirely on the power bestowed upon him. The time is right to take action. The capture of a prominent enemy leader has produced a comprehensive and damming account against the President. This is the final piece of evidence I need, which forces me to give you an ultimatum. I need a quick, positive and decisive reply from you. For or against. If against, I shall destroy the evil that constrains our President.”
The Chairman clears his throat and takes a sip of water. He shuffles the papers, and lays them down in a neat pile. The Chairman looks toward General G. Mandeville, as do the others. “Un-quote,” said the Chairman. “Well, General. I smell a rat here. It reads of a desperate man and situation, one that has not been taken charge of. Oh, and what is this evil the Lieutenant General refers to?”
General G. Mandeville rests his elbows on the table, pausing to allow the barrage from the Chairman to go completely over his head. “Calm down,” he said to the Chairman, in a soft confident tone. “Having heard you read out the report, I knew straight away that this is to our advantage. I can assure you that the situation is controlled, even from the first communication Lieutenant General Burrows sent to me. The answer to your question, Mr. Chairman, is the oil. He intends to destroy the oil fields and reserves if he does not get a satisfactory answer. You are all aware of his mental state. This report endorses what we are up against and I believe we stand to lose everything we’ve worked towards ...”
“General,” interrupted the Chairman. “Don’t you think this is just an idle
threat? A ploy for you to take action?”
General G. Mandeville sighed impatiently before replying to the Chairman. “You don’t seem to grasp what is happening here. You are pussy footing around: asking questions that have no bearing upon the task before us. Lieutenant General Burrows refrains from idle threats. He is a veteran of many campaigns. Besides, it does not matter if we act quick enough. But, we can if you let me continue and outline the way forward ...”
The Naval Commander in Chief, Admiral Andrew Dawson, took his opportunity to interrupt the proceedings. “Gentlemen, I propose we take a break, have a coffee, stretch our legs and take on board what we have just listened to.” The Admiral glanced toward the Chairman, and then, General G. Mandeville.
The General took it upon himself to reply to the Admiral’s request. “Ok, take five.” Admiral Dawson wishes to talk with me, he thought.
The group dispersed. Some went to the bathroom to get away from the heavy atmosphere. The remainder, chattered amongst themselves while pouring the coffee.
General G. Mandeville’s intuition was correct. The Admiral approached him.
Admiral Dawson and General G. Mandeville are of the same school and appear to trust each other, implicitly respecting each others judgement, and seemingly knowing what the other is thinking.
“I thought it best to have a break,” said Admiral Dawson. “It appears the Chairman is in a dog fight with you, wanting to suppress, not liking the direction this meeting is going in ...”
General G. Mandeville ushered Admiral Dawson further away from the chattering crowd.
Admiral Dawson continued. “I see where you’re coming from and where you’re heading. I’m sure we will back you up, and be in full agreement. You, and indeed, the Chiefs of Staff have been forced into a corner. the only thing is, I’m not sure about the Chairman.”
General G. Mandeville produces a packet of cigarettes and offers one to Admiral Dawson. “Thanks,” he said, “trying to give it up, but not too hard.”
They both paused while enjoying an inhalation of nicotine.
General G. Mandeville exhaled the smoke from his cigarette. “It’s not a question of being forced into a corner,” he said. “I saw the potential to take advantage of the first nervous communication from Frank in the Middle East. As far as the Chairman is concerned ...” he paused while inhaling on his cigarette then blowing out the smoke. “I think you better have your Naval Intelligence boys watch him. You’re right, I don’t think he’s going to go for my solution.”
The Admiral thought for a moment. “I agree,” he said, “but don’t you want Jim to deal with it?”
“No,” replied General G. Mandeville. “He’s unstable and looks out for himself. He may also, have to go. His CIA records could be used to damaging effect if he goes against us or has visions of greater power. He’s government,
when all is said and done.”
The Admiral looked at General G. Mandeville with slight confusion. “Why is Jim here?”
They both put out their cigarettes.
“Keep your potential enemies close,” said General G. Mandeville. “I want to see his reaction after hearing my proposal ...”
A lull appeared straight after General G. Mandeville’s last word.
Admiral Dawson stared at him, waiting for more to be said, presuming there was more to come. The General is obviously in some kind of thought process, he thought. The Admiral was about to interrupt the General’s thoughts, only able to voice a stutter before General G. Mandeville continued.
“No ... You watch the Chairman. I have a feeling he may have the intention to warn the President or his security advisor, or even, Burrows. Especially, after my proposal.”
The few who went to the bathroom returned and joined the chattering group.
General G. Mandeville and Admiral Dawson observed their entrance, and saw that all were present and correct. The time had come for General G. Mandeville to deliver his proposal.
“Well, you’d better get on with it,” said the Admiral to General G. Mandeville.
“Yes,” he replied, with deliberation. “But before I do, I suggest we all take a night’s break after I have outlined my proposal and reconvene in the morning. This will give you time to watch the Chairman’s reaction and take whatever action necessary.”
The Admiral paused for thought. Any action. “Yes, that’s a good tactic. I assume I have your backing on whatever action I take.”
General G. Mandeville smiled. “Of course,” he said, calmly.
“Consider it done. I’ll take care of it,” said Admiral Dawson.
The other Generals finished their coffee and ran out of conversation, creating a silence in the room. They were all looking toward General G. Mandeville.
General G. Mandeville observed the silence. “Gentlemen,” he said, too loudly. “Can we reconvene. Please, take your places.” He looked toward the Chairman, whose body language was giving away tell-tale signs of confusion.
The Chairman kept himself to himself during the break. He smoked a cigarette, drank coffee and thought while staring into space. He blocked out any noise of chatter that had occurred. The Chairman’s loyalties were about to be split three ways. He would have to decide in which direction his loyalties end up, having to choose between Lieutenant General Burrows, The President, or General G. Mandeville.
“Are you with us Mr. Chairman?” asked General G. Mandeville, in a loud voice accompanied by glare.
The Chairman stared back, nervously. “I’m ready,” he said. The Chairman normally takes up his place with confidence, but now felt his confidence drain away as he saw General G. Mandeville taking control. He had a sense of isolation, thinking the others were obviously about to follow and support General G. Mandeville’s direction. They’re happy with having their minds made up for them.
All were seated and ready to listen to General G. Mandeville.
General G. Mandeville stood behind his chair. His intention was to impose authority by being above the seated. He cleared his throat. “If you are all ready?” he announced.
The Generals murmured their readiness.
“Good, then I shall continue. We were all present at the White House for our Commander in Chief’s speech. We all observed and digested what he had to say. In my view, this amounted to desertion, backing down under pressure from our weak European partner, and the pathetic moralistic UN. The President, as I shall now show, no longer deserves to be called our Commander in Chief : he is weakening America’s credibility as the World’s super power. He can no longer be trusted. The evidence of mistrust is in his policy over the Middle East: he is giving away our advantage of total control. We also have Lieutenant General Burrows in the equation, all be it for different reasons, mainly a moral one. His own predicament is our advantage. On top of this, we face an election for the presidency, which is cause for concern. We can’t afford a new administration coming to power and digging around, which could harm us all if certain information came to light. Our serving president has lost the plot, knowing he can’t be re-elected due to time served, no doubt trying to salvage World opinion ...”
The Chairman interrupts. “This is all very intriguing, and you have our attention, but can you get to the point. I for one, need to actually hear your conclusion.” The Chairman appeared tense and impatient, imitated by the changed stance and posture of General G. Mandeville.
General G. Mandeville was irritated by the interruption. He’s trying to annoy me and stop my flow, he thought.
The Chairman added. “Maybe you should sit down, relax and be more casual in your delivery.”
General G. Mandeville stared. The Chairman is trying to impose his authority and invoke a reaction, he thought. “Oh, I’m relaxed,” replied General G. Mandeville. “I need to be intimidating. My intent is intimidating and needs our wisdom and courage to accept the outcome and consequences of our actions.”
“Yes, all well and good,” muttered the Chairman. “What actions, General?”
General G. Mandeville realised the Chairman was trying it on. The General hated anyone muttering to be half heard. Why can’t the man speak up.
Admiral Dawson observed General G. Mandeville’s dislike of the interruption, and became infuriated. He also observed, and concluded, that the Chairman obviously needs knowledge in order to decide and act quickly. This was more evidence of doubt the Admiral has against the Chairman. This observation made the Admiral anxious for General G. Mandeville to continue in order to make the Chairman more uncomfortable and nervous. The Admiral cut the Chairman short with decisive comments, suggesting he allow the General to continue.
General G. Mandeville acknowledged this support from Admiral Dawson, and indeed, the other Chiefs of staff, who echoed the Admiral’s comments during
the interlude that followed.
General G. Mandeville and Admiral Dawson gave a slight nod to each other in acknowledgement of their suspicions and the problem they had with the Chairman; his outburst being their confirmation.
The Chairman raised one hand and tapped the table with the other. “Please,
General,” he said. “Do proceed. I am becoming eager to hear what’s coming next.”
General G. Mandeville felt a shiver travel down his spine, his own sign of anger and frustration. General G. Mandeville lit up a cigarette for all to see, inhaling and exhaling with purpose and attitude, advertising his intimidation. I’ll give them a few seconds grace, he thought.
General G. Mandeville, again, had the group’s attention. Better get straight to the point. “Gentlemen,” he said, with authority. “I propose ... No, that’s the wrong ...” He paused to stare at the Chairman. Eventually, the General spits it out. “I intend to take over. I intend to protect and restore order to our investment. In a nut shell, I will depose the President and install military rule immediately ...” General G. Mandeville pauses to observe their reactions.
The Chairman laughed loudly. “Prosperous,” he shouted. “You’re living in Fantasy Island. There's no way you could pull this off.”
General G. Mandeville ordered the Chairman to calm down and pause for thought. He requested the Chairman to think and digest the disadvantages of continuing to support their President, especially now he was coming to the end of his term. “Do you think the President is going to protect you?” he asked.
The Chairman refrained from answering.
General G. Mandeville then looked around at the others. Their calm silence and nods signified their agreement.
“How”? asked the Chairman, suddenly. Hoping the General had not thought that far ahead.
General G. Mandeville smiled and inhaled on his cigarette before putting it out on the floor, squashing it forcefully and deliberately with his foot. “How? you ask,” replied General G. Mandeville. “That’s easy, but it’s the method we need to agree on; democratically choosing my method. The only solution.
“Well, let us all hear your solution,” said the Chairman.
General G. Mandeville was becoming pissed off with the obvious lack of respect shown toward him by the Chairman, and thinking about dealing with him sooner than anticipated. “Options we have,” continued General G. Mandeville. “House arrest, impeachment, assassination. The latter is my preferred and intended choice. This is where Lieutenant General Burrows can be used to our advantage. Assassination can be blamed upon Lieutenant General Burrows. Having the material at our disposal, such as his reports, can be used against him ...”
“Excuse me,” said the Chairman, interrupting again. “You intend to throw out democracy, foreign and home policy? which the President is trying to juggle and keep everybody happy.” The Chairman looked around the table, hoping to get an ally in his corner, but none were willing or wanted to back him up.
“The time for diplomacy,” replied General G. Mandeville, “if ever there was, has passed. Our President has failed us at the eleventh hour. His excuses and
lies to cover up are actually believed by other nations. They are pushing for complete liberation in the Middle East. The President has forced himself into a corner. He is running out of excuses, which will force the truth from his own
lips before the World realises that America rules. America has the capability to enforce dominance, which he is not capitalising upon. We, the Generals, are the only ones who can complete the process and let the World know who is the boss. We are ready to take charge; the time has come to silence and stop the President.” General G. Mandeville became aroused, passionate and excited, allowing his obsession to roll out to show the group he was a strong and capable leader. He continued, raising his voice. “We must re-direct to the main purpose. No more harmony. We need to let the World know we mean business ...”
The Chairman moved his head from side to side, which further annoyed General G. Mandeville.
Mandeville banged his fist on the table, allowing his emotions to run wild.
“We are God’s disciples! God chose America to be the World leader. God gave us our might and showed us the way to control our dominance through the capture of oil. We have come to this point in time, being shown the way to capitalise on the President’s failings and complete the task.”
General G. Mandeville aroused the other Chiefs of Staff, their confidence growing.
“Hell yes!” one shouted out, “It’s about time. For or against?”
The majority nod in agreement.
“Very inspiring, General,” said the Chairman. “But, a few small points of fact, if I may?”
General G. Mandeville leaned on the table, arms stretched and rigid. “You may,” he replied.
“You could start World War Three,” commented the Chairman.
General G. Mandeville laughed out loud. “One General trying to stop the other. Hell! we're almost there, but who dares to threaten or attack. You forget, we can control economies, which will prevent any outburst of hostile firepower.”
The Chairman thought on. “The population of America won’t stand for it,” he said. “If no World War Three, then at least, a rebellion.”
“No, no,” replied General G. Mandeville. “Safety is our weapon for convincing the population. No more threat of terrorism, which we orchestrated anyway. This will fill them with a sense of security and confidence, liberating their freedom of looking over their shoulders. Any terrorism outside our control will be stamped out. We know who they are, and there will be no more need for them. The American people will embrace our leadership: knowing they are the dominant race.”
The Chairman sat back after leaning forward, mesmerised by what he was witnessing. “One last small detail,” he said. “How many have to be assassinated?”
General G. Mandeville shrugged his shoulders. “As many as necessary,” he answered.
The Chairman raised his arms in surrender and looked to the CIA Director, who had been quiet throughout. “What of you?” he asked.
The Director looked back at the Chairman. “I am with the General on this one. I have to protect my own interests, and actions taken in the past.”
The Chairman sighed. “I should have guessed. Ok, I’ll play along.” The Chairman felt intimidated by the majority. He thought of self-protection. No one to turn to except Lieutenant General Burrows. He is one major player who is not in this room and could be an ally, especially if he finds out what is to happen to him.
A pause developed in proceedings. The group took advantage, taking sips of water and lighting up cigarettes and cigars, muttering to one another.
Over the low tones of murmurs, General G. Mandeville was heard.
“Gentlemen, it has been intense, and no doubt, shocking. I suggest we all call it a day. Go home, relax with your families, think upon what has been said. And above all, be sure on your agreement. We will convene in the morning at 09:00 hours when the Pentagon becomes the real house of power ...”
“Not now, Mr. Chairman. This is my first order. I suggest you follow it.”
The Generals disperse to do as instructed after a warning to keep quiet about the day’s developments.
The Chairman silently followed.
Admiral Dawson delayed his exit, making sure all had left. He closed the door behind them. The Admiral turned to face General G. Mandeville. “How do we deal with the Chairman?” he asked.
General G. Mandeville sat down to rest. “We’ll have to take him on his word for the time being, but still have him watched under surveillance. Inform me of any developments. I’ve an Idea of how to deal with the Chairman.”
The Admiral searched for a decision, almost interrogating Mandeville for a final plan to get rid of the Chairman, who in his eyes, was becoming a liability.
“Don’t trust me on this one, Admiral?” commented General G. Mandeville, half-smiling.
“Of course I do. I just want to sleep easy tonight.”
General G Mandeville roughly explained how he would implicate the Chairman in conspiring with Lieutenant General Burrows, but having to deal with other matters first. That should satisfy him for now, he thought.
Admiral Dawson set about leaving the room to go home, satisfied with the eventual conclusion concerning the Chairman. “Good night, General,” he said. “I’ll leave you to it.”
The General echoed the farewell. “Be sure to sleep easy,” he added. “Dream of our pending conquest.”
The Admiral left, leaving General G. Mandeville on his own to organise his agenda.
Chapter 3: Home to Dinner.
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