“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”
--Joe Buff, author of Crush Depth and Thunder in the Deep

"DiMercurio really knows his subs...his characters step right off the sub deck and onto his pages."
--Larry Bond

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--Publishers Weekly

--San Francisco Examiner

--Associated Press

"Superb storytelling."
--Virginia-Pilot/Ledger Star


by Michael DiMercurio, [IMAGE]2006


[IMAGE] CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida in Iraq warned Pope Benedict XVI on Monday that its war against Christianity and the West will go on until Islam takes over the world, and Iran's supreme leader called for more protests over the pontiff's remarks on Islam. "You infidels and despots, we will continue our jihad (holy war) and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism, when God's rule is established governing all people and nations," said the statement by the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups in Iraq. In Iran, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used the comments to call for protests against the United States. He argued that while the pope may have been deceived into making his remarks, the words give the West an "excuse for suppressing Muslims" by depicting them as terrorists. In a speech, the Pope referred to criticism of the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who said everything Mohammad brought was evil "such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Using the terms "jihad" and "holy war," the Pope said violence was "incompatible with the nature of God."
- - Associated Press, September 19, 2006

* * *

The Muslims have gotten to the point that even the Pope calls them out. It’s time for us all to admit to ourselves that we’re at war with a culture and an entire religion. Americans don’t take well to that idea. We’re from a nation founded on religious freedom. But we also believe in separation of church and state – but perhaps we should have said that we believe in separation of church and politics. The most radical Islamics either belong to or believe in a theocratic state or no state at all. But because their religion advocates spreading their faith by the might of the sword, I’m ready to join the Pope’s jihad and declare war on Islam. In my opinion, that is merely a recognition of the reality that no one wants to state out loud.

While I consider us at war with a culture and a religion, I also believe that we need not give up our own philosophy. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and American freedoms absolutely must be preserved. They are what we stand for, and the reason we fight. They are the reason we volunteer for the military. And American freedoms, apparently, need to be explained again to a certain president who didn’t pay attention in civics class. American freedoms mean we don’t eavesdrop on our own citizens without a warrant. We don’t toss our own citizens into jail without due process or the right to an attorney.

People who are not U.S. citizens, however, don’t get that treatment. Prisoners of war and enemy combatants do not deserve those same rights or protections. Obviously the Geneva Convention is obsolete and we should come up with a replacement idea.

As to the Pope’s statements, let’s look at things this way: violence may indeed be incompatible with the nature of God, but not with the nature of man. Now the Sunni Muslims, up to now considered the good guys in the Arab world, have joined the jihad and the quest for dozens of virgins in the sweet afterlife. Were it up to me, I would prefer that all militant, anti-West, frothing-at-the-mouth Muslims go ahead and enjoy their virgins and their afterlife, sooner than later. At this point I’d be glad to send a few to the afterlife with my bare hands.

That’s quite a bold statement. People scold me, what about the peaceful Muslims? I ask you, have you heard of any non-American Muslims who are peaceful? Remember, these are the people who broke into cheers and song and dancing in the streets the afternoon of September 11, 2001, and as long as I live, I will hate them for that. I am beginning to believe the existence of a peaceful Muslim outside the borders of America is an urban legend.

Someone recently asked me if my recent rants against Islam make me fear for my life. No death threats yet, I replied, but the day is young. I say, if the jihad becomes personal, bring it on. After all, I have friends from Texas. The assassins wouldn’t live long. And until then, I’ll enjoy my American-invented right to self-expression.

And now even the Pope says flat out that their religion and their culture are evil. I’m not Catholic, but I have a few exes and children who are, and I’ve lived with their deep reverence for the Pope and all he stands for. My only gripe about the Pope is that he tried to apologize for his statement. He should have just shouted it louder, in Arabic if need be: “Read my lips, Islam is evil.”

Here’s the irony, though. We condemn Islam for its insistence that belief be spread with the sword, that infidels be vanquished by death, and that defense of the purity of Islam should be enforced by jihad or holy war.

My, my, my, turns out we have common ground after all. I feel the same way, except that I would extinguish the lives of the Muslims. But let’s not become Nazis about this. Most Muslim women are peaceful enough, and no child on this earth should be on the business end of a gun. But Muslim males? I feel like saying they should be put in re-education camps.

Then I’m reminded of the Muslims in Afghanistan who tried to get us to kill Osama bin Laden during the Clinton administration, and who helped us take on the Soviets, a few rag-tag warriors against the might of jet helicopters and heat-seeking missiles.

So maybe the Pope was right to apologize. Maybe this isn’t black and white.

Still, if I’m ever within earshot of a Muslim condemning America, beating him to within an inch of his life will be worth the assault and battery charge.



As hurricane Helen barrels in toward the Virginia coastline, the U.S. Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet orders all vessels to scramble to sea, including Burke Dillinger’s Hampton and Peter Vornado’s Texas.

But this is no mere storm evacuation.

There is something sinister going on in the eastern Atlantic. The Navy’s eyes are on the ballistic missile submarine force, the “boomer” submarines loaded to the gills with intercontinental nuclear warheads. And the French boomer submarine Le Vigilant has “gone bad,” hijacked by an Algerian terrorist with dreams of completing the circle of revenge and using French nuclear weapons on the French who killed his father.

As terrorist Issam Zauabri’s forces learn how to employ the nuclear missiles, Vornado’s Texas and Dillinger’s Hampton close in on the threat, but Issam knows how to use torpedoes as well as he does the missiles, and Le Vigilant is one of the quietest submarines ever built. Once the American subs are on the bottom, his attack can proceed on Paris, but since it was Americans who interfered, Issam will save one missile for New York…

“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”

--Joe Buff, author of Straits Of Power, Tidal Rip, Crush Depth, Thunder in the Deep, And Deep Sound Channel.

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Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey



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