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The Bill of Rights was designed by men who were justly concerned about the role of government in the personal affairs of its citizens. Individual rights were thereafter closely delineated in the U.S. Constitution and enshrined as "the American way": a blueprint for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in a fair society.

Mack Bolan knew, however, that some Americans regarded this blueprint cynically and selfishly, as a "free ride," an avenue toward their own evil goals unhampered by official restraints — as a "picnic" where every lust is easily sated, every desire freely fulfilled. For many people — even, sadly, for some Americans — "freedom" means only that liberty found in jungle law.

From Bolan's journal: "These violent streets are not part of the America envisioned by Jefferson and his colleagues. Those men saw government as the largest potential threat to freedom. But how hollow is a freedom that cannot guarantee our wives and mothers and daughters freedom from sexual assault, that will not enforce the sanctity of the home and the protection of hard-earned property? What comfort, then, is freedom — on savagely violent streets? It's jungle comfort, John, and that's a hell of a bitter epitaph for the home of the brave."

The last line in that quote was directed at himself — in his new identity as John Phoenix, head of the government's covert-operations group. One may only guess at the line of thought that prompted that cryptic communique to the self. It was a line of thought born of the almost unbearable stresses of his personal campaign against the Mafia, a campaign itself born of his terrible years of war, and of his absence then from his homeland while the country endured stresses of its own — the stresses of great change and of renewed exposure to the predators of our jungle cities.

Mack Bolan, aka John Phoenix, has been at war now for years, but freedom has not been secured. It would be foolish, insane, to imagine that it could be otherwise. But certain freedoms, certain inviolable rights of safety, should be possible and given at whatever the level of society, and when it is those very basic rights that are violated — and violated upon the person of Bolan's closest kin, or the kin of his closest friends and allies — then the war takes on new heat new force, new dimensions of strength, resilience... and attack.

Mack Bolan returned from Turkey seriously exhausted by the demands of defending and maintaining personal freedom. But nothing, no possible restriction of body and mind, could halt him in his response to a plea from his friend Rosario Blancanales. It is in this response that the jungle predators meet their match and comfort is at last taken from the criminal and given back to its rightful recipient, the free citizen. Even Mack Bolan knows, as well as his enemies, that in these times there is absolutely no avoiding the Executioner.

Don Pendleton The Violent Streets | The Violent Streets | cледующая глава