You really need to read this latest piece by Orson Scott Card, on Steve Berry's The Alexandria Link. He makes a solid case that Berry's book is in the service of evil, because it promotes anti-Israel propaganda, and advances, albeit very subtly, the vile cause of the destruction of the Jews:
Here's how it works.
At the beginning of the book, we are shown a Palestinian during the 1948 war over the creation of the state of Israel. The scene is about how this Palestinian has been torturing a man he captured in order to find out what he is doing; then he kills him. But the torture is not treated in the fiction as anything other than a regrettable necessity; later, the character does in fact regret his actions that day.
That's not what makes this book evil. No, it's the fact that Berry sets this scene against a background in which Israelis are systematically driving all the Palestinians out of Israel; the Israelis are heavily armed by the British while the Palestinians have no weapons to counter them; and the Israelis have rounded up whole villages of Palestinians and slaughtered them, men and women alike.
These things are not what the scene is about. They are slipped in as background; they are treated as if they were the sort of thing that was really going on in Palestine in 1948.
This is the kind of thing that readers -- especially ones who don't know anything about history -- are likely to assume the writer has researched, so that it can be trusted. The book is fiction, so we know this particular character did not torture and kill the other guy -- that part is obviously made up. But the background is assumed to be real. And readers often come out of books like this thinking they now know something about the real world.
In fact, what Berry is providing is pure propaganda -- the propaganda created by terrorists and murderers to "prove" that Jews "deserve" to be blown up by suicidebombers. It is exactly as reliable as the widely-believed propaganda lie that either President Bush or the state of Israel -- or both -- actually carried out the 9/11 attacks in order to provide a pretext for invading innocent Muslim countries.
It really is crucial to the survival of free societies to learn that ideas have consequences. This book advances hideous blood libels, and subtly wraps them in the form of bad fiction. The book is evil in the way Valley of the Wolves Iraq is evil. The way the DaVinci Code is evil. It is the most sinister form of lie. Card gives us a solid history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a sound defense of Israel, and a thorough rebuke of the so-called intellectuals who through their moral cowardice, justify all manner of evil.
My problem with this piece is this one interesting statement he makes:
Naturally, the book also loathes the Bush administration -- that's a
requirement in fiction today. (When I wrote a thriller in which American soldiers actually approved of the war against Terrorist nations and groups, and actually respected President Bush, I was attacked by Leftists as if I had created a piece of intolerable propaganda -- never mind that the real American military is full of people with those views, and the point of the novel, if it had one, was to deplore extremism on either side. Actual tolerance toward conservative views is regarded as a crime by America's "tolerant" and "freedom loving" intellectuals today.")
Now I haven't read Empire, but if the word on the street is correct, and unless I've missed something, his book is about a lot more than soldiers favoring war against terrorists. I could be wrong, but the description reads like a clunky bit of partisan tripe, in which the Left is this evil force that sells out to the terrorists, and all those humble right-wingers are America's only hope. It smacks of something Rush would pen. Hardly a work trying to counter partisanship on both sides.
The fact is, Card just travels waay too much into Bush Worship Land. His arguments everywhere else are solid, but I swear, I think he has BDS in reverse.