Elizabeth S Mayfield
on May 16, 2011 :
David Aossey has written a conspiracy theory book about evil that could be (should be) as influential as "Exodus." "Exodus" was the first piece of fiction written specifically to seep perceived information, propaganda, about the newly created State of Israel into the belief system of the American people. It was written to reach into American's psychic awareness through a romanticized version of what friends of Israel wanted the American public to think about the creation of the Jewish "homeland." Exodus" was a brilliant book, a more brilliant movie and the most brilliant propaganda vehicle ever launched. It worked.
In "Instruments of the State," DW Aossey uses a Middle Easterner's intrinsic ability to use conspiracy theory to wield the same kind of story telling influence. His novel supports ideas of espionage surrounding the 9/11 tragedy, taking canned explanations about the tragedy and using what we all "know" about the incident while giving us more, a lot more, to think about. This can't-put-down story of intrigue may very well tilt us toward belief in universal evil as we think about our world today. It's a powerful read.
Aossey refuses to absolve any nation, sect, power grasping (and recognizable)individuals or societies from a role in the destruction of American innocence. He shows us how political influence, commercial and industrial greed, international drug and human trafficking, unresolved personal anger take precedence over humane intellect, compassion and interest in the common good. I would have liked reference to how religion and the press enters the realm of the expansive evil he portrays. Comic relief would have been welcome, and there are hints of redemption Aossey did not develop. A brief mention of American foster parents who raised the character Vu, a messenger/hit man par excellent, might have been expanded to give Vu a more balanced human perspective, although Vu's interaction with a hapless Vietnamese refugee and her damaged son provides a tinge of compassion relief. Unless we believe that evil is all black with no redemption possible, this story needs some white hat guys or, at least,some gray zone questions.
Taking the realities that we saw unfold on 9/11, "Instruments of the State" adds implications that can change the way we think about the complicated flow of worldwide actions and real politics that are, in no way, simple or simplistic. As a friend of the Arab World, I laud Aossey for not absolving Arab participation in the events of 9/11, but for showing how much the rest of the world interacted to influence and to initiate cause and effect. Again, this book is important because it really doesn't let off the hook any ethnic, political or national group. Aossey shows how we all have the potential to participate in evil.
"Instruments of the State" is, for the most part, believable, frightening, heart wrenching. Ever since 9/11, conspiracy theory talk has flowed like a flooded river, but Aossey compiles all the talk into a credible, fierce version of what could be. If you can read Aossey's story and separate truth from fiction, you may well be on your way to having a better understanding of what you hear about Arabs, Israel, the former Soviet states, and, most of all, the American political/industrial driving forces. As I read Aossey's book, I hoped that the American public would not be as easy to dupe through evil deeds as the story implies. Read "Instruments of the State" at your own risk, all the while keeping a grip on your own sense of reality. This is a novel, not a secretly leaked report. I think it's ripe for Hollywood.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)