Politics & Policy

It’s Now or Never

The last chance to end an evil.

The Last Jihad by Joel C. Rosenberg (Forge, 351 pages, $24.95)

It’s 5:49 A.M. EST. The Drudge Report is all caps and sirens.





Only the year isn’t 2003. It’s 2010.

What if, a year from today, Saddam Hussein is still in power? What if, seven years from now, he is still there — with a fully developed arsenal of unconventional weapons of mass destruction? This unthinkable reality is what Joel Rosenberg explores in the new novel, The Last Jihad.

Most Americans, let’s face it, have not and will not read the dossiers put out by the United States and United Kingdom on Saddam Hussein’s regime, his human-rights violations, his torture of his own people. What Rosenberg does with The Last Jihad is, in a page-turning novel, make the case for regime change now. The message is: When it comes to Iraq, delay promises unspeakable disaster.

The Last Jihad, written by Joel Rosenberg, a writer and communications aid over the years to the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu, Steve Forbes, and Rush Limbaugh, is a quick, easy read — and a believable one. Haunting how real each page is — especially during weeks when the Secretary General of the United Nations insists the U.S. has no right to go to war with Iraq. As Rosenberg lays out fictionally, in storylines that could easily find themselves in headlines just on the horizon, the U.S. has no right not to act. And, as President Bush has said, the U.N. proves itself irrelevant if it does not insist on action against Saddam Hussein’s criminal regime.

Rosenberg, an evangelical Christian, manages, not accidentally, to write a gripping novel, too, based on contemporary events, without the usual profanity and obligatory sex scenes that are commonplace in most current novels. For many NRO readers, I know, that is not a turnoff.

For anyone you know who is on the fence when it comes to supporting an attack on Iraq, get them a copy of The Last Jihad, now. It’s a Clancyesque read that will be sure to get a debate rolling, if its devastating scenarios do not send readers off to enlist.

The most-remarkable (and frightening) part of The Last Jihad, by the way: It was mostly written before the September 11 attacks, i.e., it was not written as a fictional press release for the war on terror; its opening scene: Arab terrorists hijacking an American plane, driving it into the presidential motorcade in a large American city, was on paper while the World Trade Center’s twin towers were still standing. That’s a reminder, too, that this Saddam thing is nothing new — and that the status quo is dangerously unacceptable.

Be afraid, be very afraid that The Last Jihad is prescient — especially its conclusion.


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