Only two weeks after the elections in November of 2008, the United States of America, a nation of former greatness, lay in absolute desolate ruin. Within the previous 72 hours a series of eight successive, delayed nuclear devices had been detonated. Indescribably large portions of metro Washington, D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and two thirds of the island of Manhattan have been turned into steaming craters. Millions are dead. President George W. Bush is in intensive care; two-thirds of the Cabinet, including the vice president, are missing or dead.
President-elect Barack Obama faces the most enormous challenge of any incoming president in the history of the nation.
How did it happen?
Turn back the clock to the week of Feb. 5, 2007. With a courageous handful of dissenting votes against the measures, the two houses of Congress purposefully ignore the pleas of Gen. David Petraeus and both pass non-binding resolutions that condemn the president's call for victory. One comes from the Democratic controlled House condemning the president, his plan and by implications the troops, and the other from a U.S. Senate that ceases to even feign any faint resemblance of standing for victory.
Most disappointing in the entire sick, pathetic process are the cowardly actions of those who refuse to answer even simple questions on talk-radio shows. Names like Boehner, Cantor, Warner and McCain take actions, evade questions, and sponsor resolutions that then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirms will embolden the enemy. It matters not that at 6 p.m. Eastern time across America, Hewitt, Levin, Gibson and Savage tried daily to remind us all of what would come.
As a nation our leaders had taken us from the shadows of Churchill to the defeat of Chamberlain. And what's worse is we had let them.
Even the then "new media" known as the blogosphere rallied tens of thousands of signatures and bloggers to speak back to those in power, only to be evaded, shut down and ignored.
From those resolutions the remaining remnants of Americans who knew in their hearts the importance of victory over the terrorist movement of Islamo-fascism begin to resign themselves to the reality that the maniacal and dangerous voices from the left had achieved full victory. Even Howard Dean emerged from his political cave long enough to gloat and offer comment.
As in the Vietnam conflict a generation previous, neither the United States military nor her allies had lost a single battle on the field of war. Yet her withdrawal from the area begins a rapid progression into absolute civil strife and chaos.
Iran, long on the very publicized trail to a nuclear weapon of her own, reinforces the Shia majority population in what was Iraq. Feeling threatened and under-matched to Tehran's superior strategy and numbers, al-Qaida seeks state-sponsored help for the Sunni population. Wicked Shia death-squad strikes are answered with large scale Shia losses from Sunni IEDs. The Kurds are annihilated by a second set of Hezbollah and Iranian forces, and Tehran seizes the oil wealth of northern Iraq. Eventually, Iraq all but disappears, and only an imaginary line now divides the Sunni controlled south and the Iranian controlled north.
For a brief while, Americans forget about war. Soldiers return home and go back to families, children and jobs. During the main push of the 2008 election cycle, pro-war-on-terror candidates begin to be scorned so badly on the campaign trail, most of them drop out by mid-May.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama battle it out to the end. But in the end, the Kennedy-styled message of Obama secures enough states to guarantee the nomination. In a gesture of unspeakable generosity, particularly after many of the things she has said about him on the trail, Obama invites Clinton to accept her place as his vice president. The convention rocks with excitement and causes the already shaky ticket for the GOP to simply fall apart.
On Election Day, Obama carries 39 states including the previously unthinkable Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.
The nation prepares for another peaceful transition of power, one of the truly remarkable footnotes of American-style democracy. Even then, perhaps especially then, people prepare for Thanksgiving.
On the Monday before the American holiday, Iran finally fulfills one of its long intentioned plans. At roughly 3 a.m. local time military jets drop a small payload of conventional bombs onto the northern Israeli town of Tel Aviv. By 6 a.m. local time the story is on the front pages but also on every cable television channel across the world. At roughly 6:15 a.m., with the sun still not risen, television crews in Tel Aviv capture what appear to be streaking lights headed south in the sky. Moments later above Jerusalem and viewable from as far away as Tel Aviv, a bright light followed by a large mushroom cloud – it is pay dirt for the North Korean long-range missile and the Iranian developed nuclear payload.
In order that they may share the oil revenue in the name of serving Allah, the world does not know that key Sunni leaders along with current al-Qaida leadership had long since helped sustain an enforced truce with Iran along the imaginary line in former Iraq. Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces on Iranian television, which is in turn shortly relayed throughout the world, that Allah has been victorious over the Zionists.
Immediately and through every means available a massive crush of people leaving Israel hits anywhere they can land in North America – New York, Chicago, Mexico City, Miami and Dallas. Simultaneously, because the Congress had decided to de-fund the southern border fence, there is noted increase in the number of border crossings by people attempting to get into the United States.
With them are the final two persons needed to activate the final two portable nuclear devices in American cities.
President Bush, out of loyalty and love for our best allies, Israel, orders jet strikes on Tehran. Unfortunately, the damage done is not able to penetrate deep enough underground to disturb Iran's operational hub.
Beginning at 5 a.m. on Wednesday morning, al-Qaida agents incinerate historic Washington, D.C., downtown Manhattan is leveled, and the Sears Tower in Chicago sprays bits of glass as far as DuPage County.
Will we then be a nation UNITED toward victory?
Will it even matter?