1200 kilometers into and then … back out of an avowed enemy’s territory. A nuclear facility that could explode into a nuclear holocaust upon its destruction. Why even attempt such a mission?
By 1979, Saddam Hussein was in the throes of developing a nuclear bomb at a plant called Osiraq, 12 kilometers south of Baghdad. With this bomb Saddam vowed to destroy Israel. The world stood deaf to Israel’s pleas. Israel’s major allies believed Saddam’s nuclear ambitions peaceful, or they simply supported Saddam as a counter-power to Iranian aggression, a chess-piece on a larger game-board. Annihilation, however, presents itself much larger than global politics.
In The Lord of Silence, a thrilling espionage and adventure novel, focused as much on the people involved in such danger as on human history—taking global politics as much as the state of Israel and her leaders for plot and intrigue and unfolding the ins and outs of nuclear terror—Martin Nakell manages to steady his story-telling hand in a patient examination of the events of a true-life Nuclear Showdown.
Mission Impossible, 24 … yet, unlike the over-technological fantasies projected by uber-patriotic narration, The Lord of Silence focuses on and explores the American genius and ingenuity of new weapons and military preparation that aided Israel.
With risky intelligence gathering inside the very heart of Saddam’s Iraq, with diplomatic and military strategy sessions in Jerusalem, with intensive training in the United States, at great personal sacrifice, dedication, and above all courage, Israel carried out one of the world’s great acts of detonation. Purpose, urgency, and an inescapable necessity for action changed the world. Now, it reminds us of the legacy of such fortitude in the face of even newer nuclear challenges—Iran, for one. In reality, the story of The Lord of Silence is not over.
Martin Nakell is winner of the Gertrude Stein Award in Poetry for 1996–1997 and an NEA Interarts Grant; he was also a finalist for the America's Award in Fiction, 1997 (for The Library of Thomas Rivka), a finalist in the New American Poetry Series for 1999. He has held fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown (poetry), from the Blue Mountain Center (fiction and screenwriting), from Writers and Books (poetry and fiction), from the State University of New York at Albany; he has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, from Chapman University, from the University of California. He was a panelist for the America Awards in fiction for 1998, a panelist for the Los Angeles Arts Commission in 1999, and serves on the panel of the "100 Most Important Books of the Twentieth Century" for The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Literature of The Contemporary Arts Educational Project, Inc. Recently, Visual Poetics, Inc., a Los Angeles film company, optioned three of his short stories (Ramon; Thomas; Monsieur B., the Irish Poet), for a film entitled A Heisenberg Trilogy.