Posted by Karna Small Bodman
|Pres. Reagan – Assassination Attempt|
When the controllers asked for a raise, Reagan looked at the numbers and offered them an 11% hike. But they said it was not enough for them, and even though they ALL had signed an agreement NOT to strike, when 13,000 of them walked out, the President fired them and wrote the statement himself. Some 7,000 flights were cancelled, but order was eventually restored when many controllers from military bases rushed to fill the void until new ones could be hired and trained. All the while the world was watching “the cowboy from Hollywood” to see just how tough he would be. Sometime later I recall Secretary of State George Shultz saying, “The statement Reagan wrote firing the air traffic controllers was the most important FOREIGN POLICY statement to date.” And I took his point.
I did use that incident in my second novel GAMBIT which is a story about a threat to our commercial airliners. I was inspired to write it not only because of the fall-out from that PATCO strike, but watching the disaster of the shooting down of a Korean Jetliner (KAL 007) by the Soviets when it happened to stray into Russian territory. 269 innocent passengers were killed, and that included an American Congressman who had been on board.
As in every administration there were many other terrible incidents that the President had to handle — any one of them could be the genesis of a thriller. For example, the attempted assassination of the Pope, the hijacking of the Achille Laura cruise ship by Palestinian militants who murdered an American on board simply because he was Jewish — and, he was in a wheelchair!!!
Then there were numerous threats from the Soviet Union. When President Reagan took office, the Soviets had about a 3-1 advantage over us in large inter-continental missiles, to say nothing about their force of intermediate-range missiles. This challenge led the President to announce a program I have written about before because it was so new, so unique, and so maligned at the time as being expensive, unworkable and “crazy.” I am talking about his Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI – or “Star Wars” as one columnist dubbed it. Now, so many years later, these defensive systems have been deployed around the world for the protection of our troops and allies and have had a rather impressive record of “shoot-downs” of enemy missiles, especially in Israel, and most recently in Saudi Arabia. The system is now also being deployed as a counter to the biggest threat to our nation in recent history — the threat of an EMP attack.
|EMP attack fries all electronics|
If an enemy ever detonated even a small nuclear device high up in the atmosphere, it would create an “Electro-Magnetic-Pulse” that would “fry” all electronics on the ground. And just a few weeks ago, the dictator of North Korea threatened just such an attack on the United States. If he ever pulled that off, certain parts of our country would be left with no communications, cell phones, computers, refrigeration, sanitation, transportation — in effect setting us back to the year 1910. It is this very threat that led me to write my latest international thriller CASTLE BRAVO.
As I said at the outset, many of my Rogue colleagues, along with other great authors of thrillers (and mysteries) have experienced any number of crises in their lives and have featured them in their in their stories. So my question for you is this: what crises or challenges have YOU experienced that you believe could be the basis of a pretty good thriller. Think about that and do leave a comment at the end here.
We would all love to have your thoughts. Now, thanks for visiting us here on Rogue Women Writers.
…submitted by Karna Small Bodman