Friday, December 9, 2016

Paladine By Kenneth Eade - Most of All - Thought-Provoking!

I have always been a pursuer of heroes...So when I saw the name of the latest Kenneth Eade book I was reading, my mind automatically flew back to a hero from my earliest years... Paladin and Have Gun Will Travel was a favorite television series of mine... And, in many ways Eade's Paladine is very similar... I would have been completely happy with the novel until I read the back words from the author... where he ends the book with the statement that vigilantism is not the answer...

He had no morals, no principles, except for those which were burned into his hardwiring like a brand on a cow: The mission comes first; never accept defeat; never quit; and never leave a fallen comrade.
~~~

...Vigilantism is not the answer. The government feels free to disregard its laws and principles and continues to use assassination abroad as a technique to deter the spread of the Islamic State, but whether it is with drones or teams of Navy Seals, or lone CIA assassins, a program of targeted killing is not going to solve the problem and does nothing more than give the politicians something to brag about in the next election.
~~~

You know, looking back historically, and now especially at the present world situation, this thought-provoking final statement automatically leads me to ask: If Vigilantism is not the answer, then what is...???

Must we depend only upon movies and books to fulfill our desires for a better world? A world where we don't watch a man on television behead an American...no not in a movie, but for real? I don't pretend to have an answer, but if vigilantism... killing only the involved criminals...is not an answer, surely war is definitely not when millions of innocent people are killed as "collateral damage..."

I'm hearing so many people begging for the Second Coming... Must we have the Lord's return before such savage hate and murder destroys the world? How sad that we seek His coming for protection rather than in joy... How sad that the world cannot live in peace and love...

Paladine
By Kenneth Eade



“Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes.” ― Robert Kennedy

...The 'Vietnam Syndrome' was the phrase used to define the American citizens’ hesitation to involve our country in foreign affairs. The public refused to send its young men and women into war again so soon after the Vietnam debacle, fought by the brave military personnel whose names adorn the Vietnam Memorial. Yet, the American intelligence organizations showed no hesitation at all. They recruited, trained, and deployed that new breed around the world to ensure America's strategic interests were protected by any means necessary. 
In this book Kenneth Eade takes you through a chapter in the life of Robert Garcia, a character originally introduced in Kenneth's book, "Beyond All Recognition." Garcia was formerly Malik Abdul who rose to existence when US Army Captain John Richards was called upon to sacrifice all that he knew, all that he loved to serve his beloved country and its corps. He was a patriot of the highest order and when he came out of the cold to help a former commander, a fellow soldier, he became persona non grata, a man who held too many secrets in his head, secrets that Pennsylvania Avenue wanted to keep hidden from the world. He was marked. 
What happens to men like Robert Garcia when they are no longer in the field, when the rush of combat is no longer available, when the country they love and have fought for is no longer a safe haven? There is no 'on/ off' switch for these highly trained individuals. They have been given a rash by their handlers, a rash with a constant itch that can only be relieved by doing what they do best. They must create their own agenda to survive. In the absence of targets previously given to them by the agency they must create their own. 
They were made by desperate men for desperate times and now will not simply go away into that good night. They are the government's nightmare. Simply put, they are America's assassins. This is a work of fiction based on extensive research by Kenneth Eade. He hits the mark. Men like Robert Garcia exist, their dossiers spread across the desks of nervous intelligence directors. Enjoy the book and give thanks you're not in Robert's crosshairs. --First Sergeant George Gonzalez (Ret) US Army
~~~

When I was still working and sat alone in the cage where they had placed me, separated and alienated, without any work assignments; i.e., after I had spent a year building a database of work to be done, only to have the report shelved, I would become so frustrated, that I would simply get up and leave... What could anyone say to me? If I'd had work, I would have been doing it! I'd head to a movie theatre and watch an action film...all the punching out of some men, supposed leaders, that I wanted to do was sublimated into the actions of the movie heroes who were taking care of the bad guys...

We are taught from early lives the difference between right or wrong... But when we grow up and become a part of the real world, too often we find the bad guys winning...

Robert’s characteristics were
fine-drawn, precise. He could
drift in on the night air with only
a whisper of the wind, 
and then disappear into the
shadows, the only place where

he ever felt secure and content.
At five-foot-eleven, dark-haired
with a touch of grey around the
edges, he was a chameleon that
blended in with most crowds.
~~~
Robert Garcia, a member of the elite group of soldiers, was highly trained to be a good guy...He was paid to "take out" the bad guys...He did his job well... Only to be patted on the head and told to go home and live his old life...forget that his life's career had been declared no longer of value...and heaven, forbid, don't ever talk about what you've done for your country...

But when he came home, there were no jobs to which he could apply his trained skills... Who would hire a trained killer, even though highly skilled and able to handle any job he'd ever been assigned...

And then one day in McDonald's eating...I'm sure he sat with his face to the door to watch who was coming in...he was trained to pick up cues most of us would ignore...and right before the man
was able to start shouting, “Allahu Akbar," pointing his AK47 into the crowd, Garcia had killed him... 
And he'd become a national hero...
“McDonald’s massacre” had been foiled by a miracle man, a lone, armed soldier who had somehow spotted the 22-year-old terrorist, neutralized him before he could deliver his deadly payload, and slipped away like a super hero without claiming any of the accolades. Internet reports melded with the eyewitness accounts and social media gossip. The mysterious rescuer was hailed as a hero, a paladin in the urban folklore culture of the Millennials, whose minds infused what most people knew as real with the virtual reality of video gaming.
I had to question Eade's move from his legal thrillers which I love, to his supposed "normal assassination thriller"? Was he really prepared to study and research all that he was finding to be the world's actual reality... There are little clues such as the comparison of the social media frenzy over the new hero, being quite similar to the virtual reality of video gaming (which I deplore for all violent videos)... Is Eade writing his new series to point out that American citizens are perhaps all being trained to be vigilantes? I don't know...

What I do know, is that I had great sympathy for the main character... But I was also gratified that his actions were able to stop jihadist actions. He became a hero for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the action that stopped planned violent deaths in America... At the same time, Eade would throw in a few deaths of what Garcia had to refer to as "collateral damage..."

What I also know is that Eade has made me much more conscious about the reality we live in... Has America reached the point that violence across the world is just a virtual reality game? I'm looking forward to see how Eade brings about his new series, that readers really will not be able to call a "normal" assassination thriller...This author is trained in the law, but he sees where it is damaged and has quite successfully provided us with exceptional legal thrillers... His first book in this series, as you can tell, I found, quite thought-provoking, somewhat controversial and contradictory...and yet for those just reading it as a thriller, quite a satisfactory one. 

Curious to understand my thoughts? I highly recommend this one for more than just a great thriller...


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