The Ultimatum


Much has changed in our world since I was born in 1944. More advances in technology, medicine, and in fact all the sciences, have taken place during my lifetime, than in all of history before I was born! Computers didn’t exist when I was born, but we can now wear them on our wrists. Phones were party lines and took miles of wire to connect us. Calling overseas was virtually impossible, but we can now call to and from almost anywhere in the world from a phone in our pocket. We can even speak to our phone and some robotic voice will answer almost any question, make restaurant reservations, or give us directions. Airplanes were in their infancy but we can now fly to the moon or to a space station circulating the world, or fly in the comfort of an airplane half-way around the world in a matter of hours. With the marriage of computers and the Internet, we can communicate instantaneously, visit far-away places, investigate virtually anything, and buy, sell, and pay our bills on-line. We now have smart homes that monitor the temperature, open blinds, turn on the coffee, and can send videos to our mobile devices from the security cameras in and around our house. We now even have cars that drive themselves! What a glorious time to live. Right? Wrong!

We are inundated with news of murders, rapes, drugs, extramarital affairs, divorces, abused children, the sex trade, and terrorist attacks—just to name a few of the many assaults on our privileged lifestyles. Whereby political and social manipulation can sometimes improve on the evil in our world, mankind’s basic proclivity is to be selfish, greedy, and sinful. The breakdown of the family and the abandonment of godly principles have led to a faltering society on the precipice of disaster. History is our witness: The great empires of the world: the Egyptian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian, and the Roman Empire—are now only architectural ruins reminding us of our impending doom. Do not believe, for a second, that our strength, our technologically-advanced society, our wealth and resources, or our intellect will save us. Those long begotten empires had all that too. So, what is to keep us from the trash heap of those prior empires? Are you ready for the answer? I gave you a hint just a few sentences earlier. God almighty! Having said that, this is not a book about the Bible; it does not preach, nor does the power of prayer save us from the villains in this story; it is only an attempt to introduce the myriad of philosophies and religious beliefs that are the genesis and foundation of our conflicts.

We indeed live in a very dangerous and unstable world, threatened on all sides by domestic and foreign criminals who have grown up without virtuous parental models, in an immoral and hedonistic society, and a total indifference to God. Sadly, and paradoxically, our world’s greatest threat now is not an indifference to God; it is an insane devotion to God—the God of Islam—the God of Mahammad. Ironically, it is the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob of the Bible. But unlike the New Testament Jesus who preached love, redemption, and compassion, the Islamic prophet Muhammad espoused intolerance, vengeance, and genocide of non-conformers. Over one billion Muslims have chosen to follow Muhammad; a striking contrast to the billion or so who have chosen to follow Jesus.

I chose to follow the God of the New Testament Bible. And since I believe the Bible is the word of God, I also believe in the Devil, who the Bible warned can come as an "Angel of Light." I believe he has come as this angel of light and perverted the minds of millions who, as an example, believe that the ruthless and indiscriminate murder of nearly three thousand men, women, and children in the World Trade Center buildings is worthy of celebration. Muslims were murdered that day, not just infidels! Tens of thousands of Muslims have been indiscriminately killed in bombings around the world. Shite Muslims kill Sunni Muslims. Sunni Muslims kill Shite Muslims. ISIS (or ISIL) murders, beheads, maims, rapes, and pillages in the name of Allah. I don’t believe in a God who commands such carnage; therefore, I have no choice but to believe the Devil has seduced them into believing their murders are for the glory of God. I believe my God hates the evil they are perpetrating on our world.

So, my book, The Ultimatum, is about this world caught between the onslaught of a religious fervor, and the laxity of religious morals and ideals. Where does this end? It may be from a gradual moral and ethical deterioration from within, it may be from a financial collapse as is happening in Cyprus as well as other countries around the world. It may be an overthrow by an ever-strengthening military power like China or Russia, as our ever-weakening military status precludes our defense, or it may be simply something as elusive as the small band of antagonist depicted in this novel.

Is my scenario of a nuclear ultimatum preposterous? Can you say for certain that it would be impossible for a small contingent of people to acquire and utilize a nuclear bomb against us? Could you say for certain that one could not smuggle a nuclear bomb into this country? Few people understand the smallness and portability of nuclear bombs, and few people even discuss the threat from such small, but, oh, so destructive armament. My novel lays out a plausible and compelling theory of how Islamic jihadists could utilize such weaponry to convert the world to Islam instead of simply eradicating us infidels. Are you so comfortable in your world of cell phones and reality TV to ponder the possibility? Is the story so preposterous it doesn’t deserve serious consideration, and are you sure we have enough safeguards in our military, in our government, in technology to safeguard against a nuclear threat? While we slumber in the false security that nuclear warfare is "soo fifties" and too complex and controlled to be utilized by the current cast of jihadists, we can be assured that they salivate at the potential for swift and resounding conquests through nuclear persuasion—or annihilation. All we have to do is look at 9/11 to realize that our security failures, our laxity, our ignorance, our breakdown in intel, and our bureaucratic complexity is an impediment to protection from religious zealots. There is little doubt that Iran will soon ratchet up their rhetoric of threat and intimidation when they possess the nuclear bomb, and the oratory emanating from Tehran leaves no doubt that given the opportunity, Israel will be the first country to be targeted. Will the United States come to Israel’s defense—if there is anything left to defend, or will we have become so impotent that only words of condemnation or threats of embargos will be our tepid response?

But as you read, remember, this book is fiction. It is not a warning to the world. It is not meant to frighten. It is not a plea for everyone to turn to God to save America. It is simply the musings of a peace-loving, conservative, Bible-believing student of world dynamics—of history and human nature transformed into a literary compilation of a vigorous imagination. Perhaps it is my dismay, frustration, fear, and anger with the direction our world is heading, that has prompted me to put my feelings in writing, but packaged as a novel. Beware; however, because The Ultimatum may make you think.

Jim Besaw