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There�s a period of détente at this moment between President Bush and European leaders. But, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, �détente is what a farmer has with his turkey before Thanksgiving.� This won�t last.

Europe�s interests and ours have split sharply. Their economies are stagnating. Their leaders are particularly reluctant to cede control of space to the US because their economic future also exists there.

Space satellites are the infrastructure of the 21st century. They already create much of the order that let us communicate, travel, make financial transactions, and otherwise run our lives. By 2050, we hope to be mining isotopes on the Moon as a source of energy to replace fossil fuels on earth. Do you think our former allies would be happy if only Mobil-Exxon and Halliburton were permitted to mine because the US military blockades the space paths? That�s how they think now. They don�t trust our good intentions. Fear and envy of the US seethes in both Europe and Russia. And fear tends to breed aggressive thinking.

For example, the US makes its GPS global positioning satellite constellation free to everyone worldwide. It�s America�s gift to the world. So why would Europe need the carbon copy of our system they�re building called the Galileo GPS system? They don�t. Economically, it�s a ridiculous venture. The underlying reason is to have a system that the Pentagon will not control during a conflict. Our allies are no longer thinking like allies. We have never denied any of them GPS. In The Devil�s Halo, a European leader five years from now has brought Russia into a Greater European Union for its military and space assets. These leaders can only see the US as the kind of adversary that Japan saw in 1941, threatening their economic stability. But, of course, they can�t admit it. Their strategy is to strike without warning because nobody can stand toe-to-toe against the US military.
    -INTERVIEW: with Chris Fox (Norm Goldman, Editor of
If you were pitching this very entertaining geopolitical thriller to Hollywood you might describe it as follows: it's the book Dan Brown would write if he hated the French instead of the Church. Or, if you were pitching it at the Republican Convention, you'd tell them: "It's a novelization of Kenneth Timmerman's French Betrayal of America. Unfortunately, it would be futile to try selling it to the Francophilic Left. At any rate, Mr. Fox sets the action of his novel in 2010, when European Union is sufficiently advanced that Russia and England have placed themselves under the rule of Brussels and the newly elected president of Europe, a Frenchman, of course. He plunks two likable heroes--Terry Weston, an intelligence operative who specializes in economic crime, and his wife Maria, who works for DARPA--down in the middle of a French and Russian plot to launch a computer attack on America's communications infrastructure and end its status as the world's "hyperpower."

If that scenario strikes you as excessive at first glance, it won't as you read the quotations from various French politicians that head each chapter and with which he salts the text. Nor will it if you've read Mr. Timmerman's terrific book. Mr. Fox demonstrates a sound understanding of the fact that France is using transnationalism as a strategic weapon against the United States--or, as one character puts it: "We think beyond narrow lines of sovereignty to social justice under international law." The past two centuries are littered with the corpses of scores of millions who were killed in pursuance of the French idea of "social justice"--it's not hard to imagine that they'd risk millions more if they thought they could finally win a round in the Long War with America.

The book moves at a rapid clip, features all kinds of neat spy-tech gizmos, and makes the most of the political possibilities. My one criticism is that, long all too many books and movies nowadays, it could be cut by as much as a quarter without losing a thing. that said, 470 pages of French bashing is nowhere near enough.


Grade: (A)


See also:

Chris Fox Links:

    -BOOK SITE: The Devil's Halo
    -INTERVIEW: with Chris Fox (Norm Goldman, Editor of
    -REVIEW: of The Devil's Halo by Chris Fox (Kirkus Reviews)
    -REVIEW: of The Devil's Halo (Norm Goldman, Bookpleasures)
    -REVIEW: of The Devil's Halo (Glyn Jones, Shots Mag)
    -REVIEW: of The Devil's Halo ( Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine)
    -REVIEW: of The Devil's Halo (Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence)

Book-related and General Links: