The background setting is Vietnam, 1968. The Tet Offensive is fully underway as American journalist ROGER BURNETT, employed by the Asia-Pacific World Herald of Brisbane, Australia, stumbles upon a rumor circulating amongst US troops at the Khe Sanh Firebase in the Central Highlands, the DMZ. When he mentions it in a dispatch cover letter to his editor/publisher, J. DOUGLAS GREENE, two words–BLACK ROSE–serve to initiate a journalistic search and exposé of a deeply embedded conspiracy which has Second World War roots in both Indochina and Hong Kong, also in New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. A project is quickly born, one which almost immediately becomes a global affair as it uncovers and traces a current Black Operation with tendrils embedded in the Bay of Pigs, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, and the banking-political-corporate oligarchy in the United States.
As the pursuit unfolds, there are multiple stops in Saigon, in Laos, Brisbane, Hong Kong, a remote tropical island in the South Pacific named Onouru, also San Francisco, Canton China, New York, Washington DC, Palm Beach, and a southern Caribbean island named St. Michel. The Incessant Voice of War is a tale of war, of conspiracy, of murder, and of the depths of dishonor and loyalty, of treason itself, to which far too many are willing and able to succumb. It is also a love story, a story of international and interracial respect and cooperation along with in-depth explorations of individual minds and aspirations of its principal characters.
Author/journalist Roger Burnettt along with J. Douglas Greene and Hong Kong Taipan ALICIA DEDHAM begin the trek, assisted by Alicia’s numerous Hong Kong business associates and fellow taipans including JACOB DOUGHTY, ALISTAIR SEDGWICK, and TANG WAN-HAI. Soon, NICK DIXON–Burnett’s longtime African-American friend from the Oakland ghetto, Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, resp. and CYNTHIA SAUNDERS, J. Douglas Greene’s executive assistant, arrive and bring their respective professional insights and expertise to the task at hand. They are later joined by Pearson Mathurin, the Prime Minister of St. Michel, and his Finance Minister Jacques Moreau. Together, their collective and collaborative goal is singular: to define, track down, expose, and somehow destroy the mysterious conspiracy of the whispered invisible organization known as Black Rose.
The trail is long and complex, the time span is brief. Weaving integrally and throughout remains the historical thread–the thread of war, of an old but ever-growing conspiracy in America to prolong and enhance war, to establish “a permanent wartime economy” via provocation, via bold aggression, via any means possible. War: the eternal thread that once again reveals itself to be integral to the fabric of unfortunate truth. War: the single thread that links the acquisition of money, of power no matter how monstrously applied, to virtually all levels of human endeavor in this life. War: assassinations, political guile, smuggling of small arms, of illicit drugs; smuggling of illicit nuclear warheads, of launch vehicles. And slowly, from the darkness, a new and clever master conspiracy–a plot focused on pursuit of those old hegemonic dreams, a plan code-named OPERATION BRIGHT STAR–begins to emerge bit by ponderous bit. But always there are questions. What is it exactly? Who precisely is behind it? What does it portend?
The answers become slowly visible as the tentacles of embedded conspiracy rise, one by one and bit by bit, from murky depths. The plan originates in Washington. The funding is via the undercover banking consortium called Black Rose. The operation itself is a joint CIA/US Army Black Operation with direct links to the Bay of Pigs, to the coup d’etat assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, and by logical extension to various covert quasi-military operations in Central and South America. Finally, the immediate intent of OPERATION BRIGHT STAR becomes clear–a nuclear attack on South Vietnam scheduled for June 14 (Flag Day) 1968; the ultimate goal: all out war with China. The task to define and then thwart the conspiracy by any and all means possible suddenly becomes the archetype of immediate necessity.
Historically, the incessant voice of war has driven and defined the dark side of the vast bulk of human existence. “The Black Rose Conspiracies” may represent but one tiny incident in the entire historical panorama of incessant war, but while the view from the outside may prove revealing to most, the consequences are, for those within and intricately involved and immediately profound.