Thursday, December 30, 2010

UNDER SIEGE: 20 years later

by Stephen Coonts

Stephen Coonts is the bestselling author of 28 thriller, suspense, and nonfiction titles. A former Navy pilot and Vietnam War veteran, he worked as a taxi driver and a police officer before attending law school at the University of Colorado and embarking on a legal career. He published The Flight of the Intruder, his first novel–and first bestsellerin 1986. As he explains in the video interview below, he has drawn on his personal experiences in many of his books. Today he writes about a 1990 novel that remains as relevant now as it was when first published.

Columbian Narco-terror was the inspiration for Under Siege (1990).  Unfortunately, the narco-wars being waged in Mexico today give the novel an immediacy that I certainly didn’t intend.

The sad fact is that the United States’ inability to stop the use of illegal narcotics by its citizen means that foreign suppliers can make obscene fortunes supplying American addicts and recreational users. This problem will not go way by being ignored. The narcotics industry has destabilized the governments of Latin American and Mexico and resulted in the murders of thousands – nay, tens of thousands – of police, soldiers and innocent bystanders. This despite the fact that the U.S. has spent over $50 Billion in the war on drugs, which is an abysmal failure.

We have packed our prisons with users and dealers, addicts are among us in every walk of life, and our hospitals are packed with people who have poisoned themselves with heroin, cocaine, meth, and abused legal painkillers.

As the headlines prove, the criminals making these profits are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their income.  They will bribe, murder, extort, kidnap and destroy representative government without sorrow or remorse. 

Under Seige is still as timely as when it was written.  I wish it weren’t, but it is.

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