True stories make great books, but some true stories cannot be told in any other way than as fiction. Burn Down the Sky, my new e-thriller for Amazon Kindle is based upon a true story, one that was simply too dangerous to be told except as fiction.
Based upon my experiences on the frontlines in the so-called War on Terror, Burn Down the Sky follows Journalist Alan Kirby through the wars and catastrophes of the waning years of the Twentieth Century, through the September 11 attacks and the frontlines in Iraq. When Kirby’s wife is killed in a terrorist attack in Paris, he must weigh the consequences of revenge when an old friend is implicated in the bombing. Kirby soon finds himself at the center of a much larger conspiracy pitting nation against nation, culture against religion and Alan against the woman he loves.
Filled with stunning imagery, from the battlefields of Vietnam, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, South American revolutions, Africa, Iraq and the Balkans, this is the human side of the war on terror. These are the shades of gray that paint a word beyond the cartoonishness of nationalism and ethnicity hatreds, beyond the black and white of headlines and the illusion of morality to tell the true history of where we were and where we are going.
Part one of the Road to Armageddon trilogy, Burn Down the Sky reveals the pressure of history upon the human heart. An intimate view of the events shaping our world and our future which asks the question, what do we learn from all this?
The world had a chance. In 1989, the collapse of the USSR left ethnic and national fractures around the planet. Rather than work to heal those fractures, opportunists exploited human ignorance and political animosities to deepen those fractures. National and Ethnic bigotry were rising, spreading like wildfire around the planet. That was readily apparent from the war ravaged streets of Sarajevo and the bloody killing fields of Rwanda. Engaged fully in both conflicts, I watched a rising figure named Osama bin Laden, fresh from battling the Soviets in Afghanistan who was now sending fighters and fundamental evangelists to Bosnia. His was an ideology of hate, and not at all compatible to the Bosnian Muslims I knew. Despite being as virulent as the Serbian nationalist slaughtering and forcing hundreds of thousands of Muslim neighbors from their homes, bin Laden’s hate became refuge to the besieged and abused.
The storm was gathering. After the war, visiting Bosnia, I watched bin Laden’s influence grow, turning the city and countryside dangerous, and turning good friends into religious soldiers blinded by hate and revenge and bigotry. Fed a continuous diet of propaganda about a West that knew or cared little of this gathering storm, confrontation became inevitable. On September 11, again I was thrust into the storm. Standing on the tarmac at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, I watched fighter jets circling the skies overhead. That afternoon, smoke and dust still shrouding New York and Washington, I was on the phone with the CIA about an old friend who now held connections to bin Laden.
One day I hope I can tell the full story. One day I pray it will make interesting conversation rather than prove dangerous for my family and others. One day I hope the fever that has taken over the planet will give way to reason and perspective enough to learn some lesson to all this. Until then against all enemies must we…Burn Down the sky?