Honorable Enemies (1994)

BOOK: Honorable Enemies (1994)
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Honorable Enemies (1994)
Weber, Joe
Published:
2010

Honorable Enemies

Joe Weber

*

From Book Cover:

It Is A Beautiful Tranquil Day In Hawaii When A Cruise Ship Filled
with Japanese businessmen and their families enjoying a hard-earned vacation sails into Pearl Harbor. But the peace is suddenly shattered by the rapid fire of automatic weapons. Unbelievably, the ship is being strafed by a civilian helicopter that seems to belong to a local TV station.

The shock waves from the tragic attack on the cruise ship go straight to Washington and Tokyo. In retaliation for the raid, a group of American tourists is ambushed in Osaka, and then Japanese-Americans are attacked across the United States. Relations are rapidly deteriorating between the United States and Japan, and the confrontations threaten to escalate out of control.

The only way to restore order and prevent all-out war is to find out who is responsible for the initial attack--and why. This task is assigned to senior CIA operations officer Stephen Wickham and a Japanese-American
FBI agent, Susan Nakamura. Their search leads them to a deadly conspiracy of enormous proportions, headed by a billionaire Japanese businessman--and reaching into the highest levels of the U
. S
. and Japanese governments.

In Honorable Enemies, Joe Weber has formulated a chilling post-cold war scenario that might be taken from today's headlines. With this book he proves himself a master at portraying a frighteningly real near-future confrontation with our most powerful rival--Japan.

PROLOGUE:

HONOLULU, HAWAII

The passengers were relaxed as they leaned against the starboard railing on the spacious observation deck of the Star of Honolulu. Another perfect day of vacation on the picturesque island. They shielded their eyes and squinted into the dazzling early-morning sunlight, snapping pictures of each other and the majestic steel and glass towers sprouting from the colorful Honolulu skyline.

A few of them ventured aft to the fantail to watch the churning wake while their state-of-the-art tour vessel steamed from Kewalo Basin toward the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Other visitors shivered in the brisk sea breeze and walked to the port railing to photograph a large Hatteras sportfisherman as it dashed through the waves.

Overhead, an evenly spaced trail of brightly painted twinengined sightseeing planes flew over the sand and sparkling emerald waters of Waikiki Beach. All eyes followed the airplanes until the last one approached Diamond Head, then disappeared behind the spectacular landmark.

In the private top-deck dining room of the $7 million, custom-designed tour ship, another group eagerly consumed a traditional Japanese breakfast of rice, miso soup, raw eggs
,
dried seaweed, salmon, soy sauce, and the ever-present green tea.

For this corporate-sponsored tour of Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial, the vessel's disposable tableware and utensils were replaced with expensive opaque blue china, elegant cloth napkins, and ivory chopsticks.

A few daring souls deviated from their normal morning routine and helped themselves to a sumptuous continental breakfast. After tasting the assortment of delicate pastries and cold juices, their faces broadened with smiles and they nodded approvingly.

The sudden sound of a high-pitched whine caught the attention of those on deck seconds before an American Airlines jumbo jet passed over the bow. Scme of the men raised their video cameras and photographed the airliner until it flared for a landing at Honolulu International Airport.

Chartered by a large consortium, the Star of Honolulu was crowded with the families of carefully selected executives and managers from several large Japanese financial institutions. Eight glorious days in beautiful Hawaii, with all expenses paid, including a suite with a private lanai, was the reward for performing in the top ten percent of their peer group.

The men were extremely proud of their accomplishments, as were their smiling wives, but no one dared mention their individual achievements in the harsh new financial and political era.

The wrenching collapse of Japan's stock and property markets had been a staggering blow to the nation's securities firms, and the employees connected with the brokerage firms had adopted a reserved image that was quite different from the garish boom days of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Gone were the $1,000 steak and champagne dinners and the all-night parties in the Ginza bars. The nation's aptly named bubble economy had burst and the endless party was over. Japan, while dealing with the biggest restructuring of its internal politics since World War II, was retrenching and fighting desperately to overcome the humiliating financial setback.

Any display of self-importance or individualism threatened the new corporate unity and would be viewed as unacceptable behavior that could permanently sidetrack an otherwise promising career.

As the Star of Honolulu slowed near the entrance to Pearl Harbor, the general mood of the passengers grew noticeably somber. They returned the friendly waves from a handful of people near Hammer Point, then talked quietly among themselves while they passed Iroquois Point and West Loch.

Once inside the narrow entrance to the cloverleaf-shaped port, the tourists looked curiously at the sights while they listened to the recorded narration of the events that led to the surprise aerial attack on December 7, 1941.

Many of the younger Japanese managers, especially those who weren't knowledgeable about the history of Pearl Harbor, occasionally darted a glance at each other. The more senior executives appeared to be indifferent as the narrator explained how the attack climaxed a decade of worsening relations between the United States and an increasingly expansionist and militaristic Japan.

In a soothing voice, the man supplied a running commentary of the history that precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II. He talked about Japan's invasion of China in 1937 and the subsequent alliance with the Axis powers of Germany and Italy.

The sounds on the tour ship grew eerily quiet when the narrator talked about Japan's occupation of French Indochina in July 1941, which action prompted the United States to respond by freezing Japanese assets in the United States and declaring an immediate embargo on petroleum shipments and other materials vital to Japan.

As the Star of Honolulu cruised past Hospital Point and the southern tip of Ford Island, the narrator explained that during the final months of 1941 the United States severed most financial and commercial relations with the Empire of Japan. Though the two countries continued to negotiate up to the day of the Pearl Harbor attack, the government of Prime Minister
Tojo Hideki had secretly decided on going to war with the United States.

Now only the voice of the narrator could be heard. "In their attack in Pearl Harbor, the Japanese simultaneously thundered n from several directions. A flight of dive bombers and fighters approached from the plateau between the Koolau and Waianae mountain ranges. They bombed and strafed Wheeler Airfield and Schofield Barracks before turning to come in from the east. With the sun to their backs, the fighter, dive bomber, and torpedo attack pilots struck Hickam Airfield, Ford Island, and Battleship Row."

Nobody commented while they viewed the entrance to Middle Loch and stared at the remains of the USS Utah, a former battleship that had been converted to a target ship before the attack at Pearl Harbor. The narration went on as they entered East Loch.

"Of the almost four hundred American military aircraft stationed on Oahu that Sunday morning, only thirty-eight were able to struggle into the air. Out of that number, ten were shot down by Japanese fighters and by American gunners who mistakenly identified them as enemy aircraft."

Everyone crowded the starboard rails of the Star of Honolulu as it passed the small islands of Mokunui and Mokuiki and cruised toward Battleship Row. The young American captain skillfully slowed the large vessel, stopping near the stark white memorial building that straddled the battleship USS Arizona. Timed to the second, the riveting narration continued without a pause.

The Japanese visitors were deathly quiet as they peered at the ghostly hull resting just below the surface of the water. Small black globules of oil rose from the innards of the sunken battleship, spreading in concentric circles before they floated toward Ford Island. Some of the passengers ventured aft to view the massive gun turret that protruded above the water.

While Nikons, Minoltas, Canons, and numerous video cameras recorded the sights and sounds at the famous war monument, the captain tossed a lei of fresh flowers on the water as taps quietly echoed across the harbor. The knowledge that 1,102 men were entombed in the watery grave registered on the faces of many of the tourists.

The solemn moment was suddenly interrupted by the clattering sound of a turbine-powered helicopter as it descended toward Ford Island and approached the long, white viewing platform over the Arizona Memorial.

Immediately, the Japanese vacationers began snapping pictures and recording videos of the Bell JetRanger. Resplendent in the intensely bright colors of a Honolulu television station, the noisy helicopter settled into a hover over the Arizona's exposed number-three gun turret and turned to face the tour ship.

Waving and pointing at the pilot, the inquisitive Japanese smiled and continued to snap pictures. Moments later, they stood transfixed when the nose of the helicopter appeared to twinkle.

A fusillade of high-powered rounds ripped into the side of the Star of Honolulu, walking the entire length of the cruise ship as the nose of the JetRanger slowly turned first right, then back left.

Pandemonium erupted while the shocked crew and passengers reacted to the violent attack. Some of the panicked visitors screamed hysterically while others cursed and crawled across the deck in search of shelter. Bullets ricocheted off the hull and interior fittings as people stumbled over each other in the rain of debris.

After what seemed like an eternity of living hell, the two automatic weapons bolted to the helo's landing skids mercifully stopped firing. The pilot spun the vividly painted helicopter toward the northeast and dipped its nose to gain speed.

Initially paralyzed by the blazing assault, the captain gathered his wits and sent out a Mayday call, then immediately began rescue efforts to save the people who had either been blown into the water or had jumped out of fear of being killed.

Two National Park Service employees and a group of visitors, who were crouched in a corner of the memorial during the attack, hurried down to the pier to help three shooting victims and several other passengers out of the water.

A minute later, the Captain saw a Navy launch and two additional open motorboats hurrying to assist the stricken ship. He also heard sirens in the distance and saw flashing lights approaching the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center located across the harbor.

Anger now replaced shock on the main and upper decks as the uninjured passengers scrambled to assist the wounded. A woman yelled over and over that her husband and four other people were dead on the main deck. Cries of pain and anguish filled the air while the captain repeatedly radioed for medical help and passed along a description of the helicopter.

Chapter
1.

WAIMEA BAY, OAHU, HAWAII

The morning sunlight glinted off the water as the large, smooth ocean swells peaked into steep sets of waves. Theresa Garney slowed the descending helicopter while she watched a line of surfers paddle their distinctively colored boards out beyond the crests of breaking waves. With powerful strokes, the majority of the surfers propelled themselves to the prime position where the largest rollers were forming.

Once in place, they paddled swiftly toward shore to attain the speed they needed to catch the momentum of the wave. After the surfers had topped the crest of a huge breaker, they rose first to a kneeling position, then popped upright and coasted down the towering face of the wave until it went flat near the shoreline.

Theresa Louise Garney, who enjoyed surfing and scuba diving on her days off, studied the daring windsurfers further offshore before she shifted her gaze to the experienced surfers closer to the beach. The trim, athletic young pilot knew that only the best surfed diagonally toward the shore at Waimea Bay, especially under heavy surf conditions.

The hordes of spectators sprawled on the beach casually glanced up at the first sound of the colorful JetRanger. The
y w
ere accustomed to having the "Sky Nine" helo film various surfing contests, along with other sporting events around the island. Many of the local sun-worshipers, who religiously watched Theresa's airborne reports on television, happily waved at the Channel 9 helicopter.

The blue-eyed brunette with the pixie haircut and impish smile was a popular island celebrity who was highly respected for having saved the life of a tourist who had been swept out to sea.

Fighting high winds and choppy waves, she had lowered the JetRanger's landing skids into the ocean next to the stricken swimmer. The exhausted man wrapped his arms and legs around the metal frame, clinging in desperation while Theresa carefully flew him to the safety of the beach and his grateful family. After the incident, she became the official ambassador of goodwill for the television station.

Theresa lowered the collective-pitch lever and maneuvered the helicopter closer to the breaking waves. Cliff Ackerman, the station's wizened veteran cameraman, continued to film the darkly tanned surfers while she skillfully flew sideways for a better camera angle.

BOOK: Honorable Enemies (1994)
5.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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