Their Empire Style: A Brief Account of the Ares State

Pax

Banned
THEIR EMPIRE STYLE
A Brief Account of the Ares State



Pax





** This is a timeline written from the perspective as if the events detailed had actually happened. In terms of style, it very roughly follows that of William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, though his expertise, writing, and style is something I can't hope to match. It's also my first timeline - so here goes nothing! Hopefully it's not too asb. **



The point of departure is September 26, 1983. In this timeline Petrov is sick and the officer that takes over for him reacts far, far differently from Petrov in our history. This officer proves to be much more anti-West in sentiment, and reports the "launch" of missiles towards the USSR to his superiors. This initiates what has come to be known as the "Great War" due to it's brevity yet profound effects. However, due to a variety of factors the number of launches from both sides remains fairly small, and many basic institutions in the US are able to be saved by a military regime from the 1983 to 1992 period. Little is known about this period of history, though it can be reasonably assumed it was a dark time for America in general, and the world in particular.

The military regime peacefully gives power away to a civilian democratic government in 1992. The Great War had destroyed the existing party structure, and the new parties competing in the national elections are the Green Party (not like in our history. Rather, this one is more of a socialist/anarchist style group), the Constitution Party (basically moderate Republicans) and a third party that rises up in the 2000s and wins the 2008 election against seemingly insurmountable odds. This party is the American Restoration Party (Ares Party), and here our story begins....



THE INITIAL STAGES

The sentiment on January 20 was one of both jubilance, and alarm. Even before he had entered the White House, Alexander Lither had already given much thought about his first few months as chief executive, and had addressed many of the Party heads a couple of weeks before over New Year's to lay out his general wishes. Getting the economy back on track was priority number one, and elsewhere fell the various ideological goals of the Ares in quick procession. There was only one problem: Lither had no real idea how to achieve much of it.

His first babysteps into governance came on February 2, 2009, when he proposed to top ranking Ares members in Congress legislation to create a "Federal Restoration Bureau" that would be tasked with a role much the same as FDR's programs during the 1930s. It was quickly picked up by majority leader Arnold Clay along with many others, but negotiations within the legislature slowly stalled. Although the Ares and even some Greens had been able to come together and agree to it, the Constitutionalists in Congress generally opposed the idea, stating that it would unfairly snub the power many states had found themselves enjoying in the post-Great War years. With this initial foray so seemingly blocked, the Ares members in Congress were forced to drop the idea to the wayside, greatly angering Lither.

What the novice "Leader" did not factor in were the opposition parties still in Congress. Back in late December, as Lither was planning to meet with his own affiliates, senior leaders in both the Green and Constitution Parties had met to discuss the availability of forming a sort of "coalition" government to block Ares initiatives in Congress. It was kept most secret between the two groups and, putting aside their ideological differences, found enemy enough within Lither and Ares to agree to such a move. For all of January they had kept quiet on the deal, despite senior Green Party leader Sanders being questioned about his party's supposed "obstruction" by Clay and categorically denying any such agreement had taken place.

Without a supermajority in Congress Lither would be unable to achieve major legislative victories through that end, but what he lacked in clout he more than made up for in vigor. On February 17 he again tried initiating his "FRB" but this time attacked the "Opposition" from multiple directions by using the Ares "philosopher" Rodham Foval to gather allies in the media and elsewhere to mudsling "Opposition" members in Congress to attempt to sway public opinion in Ares favor. As an ABC article had stated:

"There exist certain elements within the US Congress that are colluding to undermine the attempts at repairing the broken situation of America, and there can be no doubt that they are lead by that foreign obstructionist Sanders."

Foval added to this sentiment in a partly televised talk on February 18:

"They [referring to the "Opposition"] have tried once already, and succeeded in, preventing Lither's Restoration Bureau from becoming reality. By doing so, they have single-handedly affirmed their adherence to never rebuilding our nation, and as a result must be stopped. I and the president Alexander Lither expect not only upon all Party members, but all Americans of decency to demand an end to those wreckers in that abomination of a legislature."

A wide scale public opinion operation was soon undertaken by Foval, Clay, as well as other key Ares figures, including former Green Party Senator Gerald Montgomery of Maryland, to try and rally public support for the Ares and against the "Opposition", but it met with little success - not for failures on the part of the Ares, but because the public was massively against the "Opposition's" move from the start. An ABC poll from late February showed that a clear majority (73% +/- 2.3%) of people had a negative view of the "Opposition's" actions, and, perhaps more importantly to Sanders and his clique, support for Ares candidates had skyrocketed to almost 70% in numerous polls. With midterms and gubernatorial elections nearing, the gallant, but ultimately futile, "Opposition" caved in to Ares and public pressure and, on March 25, the newly renamed Federal Works Bureau was established. Although this move was sold as only a temporary measure by both Green and Constitution Party leaders, it was painfully obvious to most people that the weakness they had displayed was merely a sign of things to come. They had proven unable, or rather, unwilling, to really stand against the Ares, and this was a fact that none soon forgot.

For the initial several months hardly anything could have seemed out of the ordinary. Almost all of the Ares' programs in the 2009-2010 period were purely economic focused and much reminiscent of the earlier FDR "New Deal" programs. Even the passage of the Federal People's Welfare and Winter Relief programs, which created a generous "living pay" and doles to many of the country's poorest, had gone by with no more than a quibble from the Constitutionalists.

As the economy slowly recovered during the 2009-2010 course, Lither gradually expanded his scope. In June of 2010 he established the Bureau of Education, putting at it's head close confidant Michael Rutledge.

Given the strangely slow start to the Ares state, hardly anyone could have envisioned the path Lither had intended to take the nation, and the earth, down. Truly this initial year into Lither's reign would have been the best to squash the Ares tyranny, had it not been so rife of duplicit mildness.



Footnotes:

Alexander Lither - If not too clear, he is the head of the Ares Party and current president of the United States of America after his election in 2008. His start isn't too well known, though records do show an A. Lither as having been a sergeant in the US Air Force from before the Great War.

Rodham Foval - An early member of the Ares Party, and right hand man to Lither. Not much is known about his early life, but his personality is one of textbook selfishness and even cowardice.

Sanders - I can't confirm or deny he's Bernie.

Bureau of Education - It is the Ares' bastardized child of the pre-War Department of Education, though with a far more sinister purpose behind it than the earlier. After all, someone has to cultivate all the young minds of America. On the surface it's function is to improve national literacy rates, which had fallen to shamefully low levels after 1983, though it also seeks to better coordinate the various struggling state and local educational services.

Federal Restoration Bureau - Sort of like FDR's Federal Works Progress Administration, though it's focus isn't so much bringing Americans back to work so much as restoring the American nation. That said, it still functions generally the same as the WPA.

Federal People's Welfare - A very popular initiative of the Ares, and a cornerstone of their populist rhetoric. Essentially it is a form of social security where applicants receive doles from the government in an Ares effort to re-vitalize entrepreneurship and economic activity while also combating rampant poverty.

Winter Relief - Not quite like the NSDAP's version. This is more of a government sponsored charity (similar to the Bonyad in Iran) for poor peoples in colder climates - which, obviously, encompasses more of the US in this timeline.

Ares Party - NOT AMERINAZIS, I'll be clear right now. They may appear similar, but the Ares' motivations and goals remain different from the National Socialists. We'll get to know more about them later on. For now I'll just stick with the basics.
 

Redcoat

Banned
Me too, it was a wonderful read.
1000 pages, I learned something in every one. I wouldn't be able to put it to use in a TL any time soon but whatever.

Good TL, this is actually a lot better then I expected a newbie to do on his first try.
 

Pax

Banned
THE ARESFICATION OF AMERICA

To say that that the 2010 elections had gone splendidly for the American Restoration Party would be an understatement. The "obstruction" of the Greens and Constitutionalists had shattered their popularity among the majority of America's 200 million inhabitants, and risen the Ares to newfound heights. By the time the ballots had been counted towards the end of the first week of November, the Ares Party had managed to secure a supermajority in the House of Representatives as well as a majority in the Senate. The tables had now turned, and Lither was open to pursue any policy goal he desired. But first things came first.

Lither's eyes had long been set on the Supreme Court, the supposedly "easiest" branch to take over and subsequently neutered to his liking. While the "Opposition" had any chance to block his moves in 2009 and 2010, he didn't act on his desires, however with his party in control of both houses in the legislature he began to make his move. While Foval was kept busy rallying allies in the media to Lither's cause, the "Leader" himself presented his idea to the nation in late January 2011 in a televised address. He noted the terrible effects the Great War had had on America's population and health, and that for the foreseeable future the nation would find difficulty filling in senior government positions. In part there was some basis for this, and he was quick to note, as were Foval and the media, that many federal agencies had to close in the wake of 1983 due to a critical shortage in suitable government officials. The Supreme Court wasn't immune either, and of the judges present in 1983, only three continued on to 2011. So Lither proposed a seemingly reasonable solution: that he be allowed to appoint new judges to the Supreme Court.

Really he had no need to "ask" the country's permission to do so, to say nothing of Congress, yet it had always been and always would be his preferred method of duping the country into submission. The appointment process was quick, lasting only a couple of months. By spring Lither had his new judges and, with them, a solidly pro-Ares court. Despite his reassurances to the remaining non-Ares members of Congress and to the public, the whole process was far from being non-ideologically motivated.

With both the Supreme Court and the Congress more or less under his control Lither was now free to pursue any real goal he so desired. With the FWB well underway, and with a national educational standard and compulsory schooling already established, he moved to target the nation's menacing issues of cancer and disease. In April he created a Federal Health Department, putting at it's head close confidant Abigail Mudd. It was nothing outstandingly original, but did incorporate some new elements that pre-Great War institutions lacked, most namely the Federal Cancer Research Institute, which was brought under the wing of the FHD and tasked with curbing the high cancer rates that plagued parts of the country.

Lither's dabbles in health and medical care were further expanded in late summer of the year, when he signed into law the Federal Care Act. This was a monumental leap in the welfare state constructed by the Ares, and soon took the sort of national practices of many pre-War European nations to a whole new height. By 2013, a report issued by the FHD and executive branch found, nearly all American citizens (upwards of 90%) were covered in some part by the act, which stipulated government take over of not just the insurance arena, but hospital visits as well.

Of course the generosity of Lither's programs came at a cost. Income tax rates in Ares America had dramatically risen to near 50% as the base level, and nearly 70% for the highest earners. Corporate tax rates were also dramatically risen to near 40%. Quality of the doles and medical coverage was also spotty at best, with a covered up study in the late 2020s showing that satisfaction with the hospitals had fallen to just 34%. Perhaps the worst price paid by the citizens of the United States was the chain which the Ares had now locked around their necks to keep them bond to the state. With the national government increasingly in control of every facet of their lives, the population's ability to resist increasingly radical executive orders and legislation gradually faded.

THE PUNITIVE TRY OF THE STATES

Even if the government doles had risen leaps and bounds under the Ares, that doesn't mean that they had gone completely without any trouble.

Perhaps the most comical event in these early days were the Ares' attempts to re-establish property taxes in 2011. The Great War had destroyed much of the existing property ownership records, to say nothing of the landowners themselves. In many cases tracts of land would simply be "given" to whomever squatted on them first, and no government, whether local, state or national, tried to evict "trespassers" or even tax those who did own land. As a matter of fact, the squatters were actively encouraged to take ownership of empty land to help re-build the nation. But the Ares were all bent on restoring the country, and to them that meant re-instating property taxes and a proper land ownership system. They decried the current "system" in place throughout much of the country as "Communistic" and "un-American", and attempted to repeat their earlier tactics and manufacture support for a crack down on it. Lither even personally meant many state governors and pleaded with them to fix the issue, but almost none seemed to budge. Outraged, Lither ordered federal agents to simply bypass the states and attempt to implement the Ares' wishes by force. This was met with much scorn from both the locals and the states, and it's lucky that Lither only test tried it in a few places, otherwise it might have spelled disaster for later political efforts. The whole travesty was comical in the sense that it should never have occurred in the first place; Lither's advisors from across the rural regions of the Great Plains and Deep South had, as early as December 2010, advised him not to pursue such a policy, not just because of it's unpopularity, but also because the US didn't yet have the means to even collect the taxes in the first place. Yet the stubborn man didn't listen and went on to almost humiliate himself right at the critical juncture in his rise to power. But the property tax debacle would prove important for the way it changed Lither's and the Ares' interactions with the states.

For a long time since the end of the Great War the isolation of many areas had proven too much even for the rigors of the Ares state to quickly surmount. The programs they implemented, it became obvious, were threatened by disputes between the mostly Ares federal officials and the non-Ares state and local leaders who had enjoyed considerable autonomy in the post Great War era, and were worried over the increasingly regulatory federal government. These disputes were further heated by the Ares' pro-Puritan rhetoric, which often chastised the "Scotch-Irish" of the American South as inferior, yokel types of people. In order for the increasingly domineering Ares platforms to stand, many Southern politicians (lead by Texas governor George W. Bush) argued, the anti-Scotch-Irish rhetoric would have to stop, the Ares recognize the Southerners as Puritans too, and the government regulations stop infringing upon states' rights.

Lither's response was interesting, to say the least. After some heated debates within not just the executive branch, but the party itself, Lither decided to not simply cave in to the will of the Southerners. In 2011 mandatory military conscription was imposed across the US to, as Lither put it, "help restore the American nation and foster greater bonds of unity between our folk." As part of a soldier's eighteen months of service, he would have to endure nearly three hours of "educational sessions" a day on top of a weekly "political interpretation of events" course, though there existed a cope-out for draftees who could prove educational attainment in a recognized institution. Lither also stipulated that any state that did not accept Bureau of Education, Health Department, Works Bureau or any other federal standards would stop receiving federal aid, which promptly scared many Southern politicians into toeing the line. By the end of 2011 one other roadblock, however short lived, had been surmounted, and Ares rule tightened even more.


Footnotes:

Federal Care Act - similar sounding to Obama's program, but it's way more encompassing then that. Really it's far more similar to the sort of nationalized health care that exists in Britain in our history, albeit with greater central government oversight and control. There also exist sinister protocols that come with the Act that give hospitals permission to deny treatment to people who are deemed as little more than social parasites (though it's language is less harsh) and a drain on critical resources.

Abigail Mudd - her name is inspired by our timeline doctor Mudd who helped Booth after he assassinated Lincoln, though she's not like either of those two in terms of personality. She is the sort of poster child for the ideal Ares woman - hard working, devoted to the nation and people, driven, and yet willing to submit to the authority of the state.

The Southern state politicians - this section will make a little more sense later on as we get to know more about the sort of society envisioned by the Ares, though suffice to say it's not just because they're mocked by the Ares that they attempted to "obstruct" the restoration of America. A large part of it came from the seeming government overreach of state sovereignty and personal liberty that the Ares pushed for, and that threatened the long-standing livelihood of those regions. Although they were led by Bush, the man was not wholly devoted to the cause. George always feared the potential fallout such an adventure would have on his future political ambitions and truth be told he secretly agreed with much of what Lither and the Ares were pursuing (for example, he would later give his complete support for the founding of the National Bureau of Ideology in 2011). Texas had been hard hit by the Great War, with Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio taking nuclear strikes, and the support the Ares had been promising since the 2008 campaign season as well as their calls to restore American prestige were too much to miss. Bush would later go on to abandon his fellow Southerners and seek a position in the NBI. But while he remained in the states' cause he half-heartedly attempted to organize the states to oppose "undue" federal laws upon their states, though these often fizzled out within a matter of days.

Federal Cancer Research Institute - it is as it sounds, really. Basically the CRI on steroids.
 

Pax

Banned
How is the rest of the world going?

I don't want to spoil things, but generally the former third world is doing much better than the former first and second. Poland and Germany are in complete shambles, with no real functioning government outside of some urban areas, and let's just say it's bad to be a Chechen in the rump USSR.
 

Pax

Banned
I didn't think the Great War would kill that many people, though come to think of it that's more of a conservative estimate for the death toll.

You have to factor in decreased birthrates and immigration as a result of the war. The actual direct casualties were less, "only" around 30-40 or so million. The US had a population of around 234 million in 1983, and so this timeline's population would be around 195 million or so currently.
 

Redcoat

Banned
You have to factor in decreased birthrates and immigration as a result of the war. The actual direct casualties were less, "only" around 30-40 or so million. The US had a population of around 234 million in 1983, and so this timeline's population would be around 195 million or so currently.
I forget to ask, why is the Ares party anti Scots Irish?
 

Pax

Banned
I forget to ask, why is the Ares party anti Scots Irish?

The Ares' ideology is a mixture of several things, but one concept is that different "nations" exist within the US. The largest and most influential (superior) are the Puritans - basically any non-Catholic, native born white American. They are valued for their "Americanism" and the distance from which they've diverged from the Europeans and other foreign groups. The Scotch-Irish are deemed as maintaining a closer link to their European ancestors, and thus are more "foreign" than "American." I don't want to say too much now, however. A lot of this will start to be explained in the next update when I talk more about the Ares' ideology and the consequences of it.
 

Pax

Banned
NIGHT AND FOG: THE ARES POGROMS AGAINST CATHOLICISM

And so the roadblocks to Lither's domination were surmounted, one by one, almost as though nothing had been there in the first place. By the time of the 2012 election, Lither and the Ares had won almost complete control over the entire federal bureaucracy, the courts, the state governments, and many local offices. Even the vaunted "4th branch" of government - the media, NGOs, and the like - had been manipulated, duped, or sometimes literally beaten into submission by the crafty Ares and their pawns in the various White Shirt and Minutemen squadrons.Even with the growing tyranny tightening the noose around America, the worse was still yet to come to the United States. The time had come for Lither to move beyond his health and economic programs to tackle the social issues viewed by the party. The time had come for the pogroms against the nation's Catholic population.

The US, like many other western, Protestant nations, had had a long history of anti-Catholicism, stretching as far back as the colonial days when the religion was banned throughout much of the former colonies (even in the Catholic colony of Maryland the religion banned for some time in the 1600s, only for it to be later legalized). This disdain arguably reached it's pre-Ares zenith around the 19th century, when groups such as the Know Nothings gained national prominence (interestingly, much research about the ideological similarities between Ares and Know Nothings has been done, and it is in this author's opinion that there is good evidence to claim that the Know Nothings did provide an important source of Ares thought). This disdain, however, hardly reached the totalitarian levels in the Ares state, and appears to have mostly died off by the mid-20th century, with the election of Catholic president John F. Kennedy.

The Ares' anti-Catholicism (dubbed as "Neocalvinism" by the Ares), much unlike the earlier versions, however, wasn't rooted in xenophobia and high immigration, but rather stemmed from the complex geopolitical, economic, and social shifts in the post-1983 period, and in deed may not have even arisen had these not occurred.

For starters, Soviet nuclear attacks overwhelming targeted Northeastern and Western areas, the two places with some of the highest Catholic populations in the country. These attacks and the post-War landscape fostered a dramatic alteration in the country's religious makeup. Pre-War records are few and far between, but the Catholic population was certainly much greater than the NBI's record of around six and a half million in 2012. This massive reduction in the Catholic population had the twin effects of reducing people's exposure to Catholics, and thus the possibility of changing their outlook, as well as greatly reducing Catholics as a voting and population block able to resist Ares climb to power. This push was further facilitated by the mass exodus of many Americans of Mexican, Brazilian, or otherwise of Latin descent back to their ancestral homelands in the post-Great War world, again reducing the pool of Catholics in the US.

But perhaps the largest singular cause of the rise in Neocalvinist thought was the seeming betrayal of the US and it's people by Mexico in the post-Great War world. Although the Great War had failed to create a Doomsday scenario, the damage of the war was bad enough that famine conditions began to set in in many parts of the US, particularly in the West. The post-War military junta that was temporarily running the country soon pleaded for any aid possible from the United Mexican States, and initially the Mexican government complied, but it wasn't to be as it appeared. The mass influx of refugees from the US had sparked a rise in tensions between the two countries, and soon an economically unstable Mexico was facing famine itself. The ruling PRI leadership became worried of mass popular revolt against it's longstanding dictatorship - a problem that was further exacerbated by the rampant rise in illegal immigration, poverty, and refugees. Thus, in early 1984 the Mexican government agreed to send limited convoys to the US but, despite the thoughts of many Americans, they were rarely filled with food and medical aid; most being filled with small trinkets and, in some cases, would be refugees.

The American public was outraged, to say the least, but things were to become far worse. The military junta and even subsequent Green Party administrations in the post-1992 US were too weak to tackle this injustice and, shockingly, instead of fight Mexico on the issue, agreed to actually apologize for pre-War American treatment of Mexico just to accept the only help the Mexicans offered - ludicrously high rates of charge and tariffs for US groups trading or in any way dealing with Mexican counterparts and the purchase of leftover Mexican agricultural products at above market prices. America was also forced to take back many of the refugees whom Mexico deemed unnecessary to help their country grow economically, further putting a strain on the US.

Lither, before the Great War, had been a sergeant in the old US Air Force and, immediately after the conflict, was tasked with dealing firsthand with many of the shipments coming in from Mexico. The "stab-in-the-back" of Mexico's actions previously described became an abhorrent fact of everyday life for the young man, and countless others like him. Biographers of the late Leader have noted old journal entries and other personal accounts of people around Lither noting his increasingly antagonistic view of Mexicans. William Burley would write that:

"Little solid facts are known about the man called Alexander Lither, in part because of the turbulent times he grew out of, and in part because of the incalculable changes done to his history made by later Ares. By the time of the Social Revolution, Lither had become an almost god-like figure to many of the diehards, and his personal story was often exaggerated to promote an image of a charismatic, daring, and yet at times compassionate man who cared deeply about the United States and Puritan nation. What can be said about him, however, is that his life is, in a sense, the opposite of what Ares propagandists claimed; it is now believed that the times weren't a product of Lither, but rather Lither a product of the times. His first dabbles into what would become the goliath of Neocalvinism would be in 1984, when members in his platoon near Nogales noted in private journal entries his heated rants about the 'damned Mexicans' and how, horrifyingly to them, he had begun to change his rhetoric from Mexicans to Catholics as a whole. This is corroborated by a piece of writing that, after meticulous analysis, is in Lither's handwriting and vows his 'vengeance' upon the 'disloyal Catholics, who'd rather see Rome and Mexico City triumph over good Americans.' He goes on to say, 'I don't know what gave them the right to think that, but I know for sure who'll take it away.' And did he mean it too."

That is how the greed of a few ruling elites in a small third world nation had lead to what was perhaps one of the world's most tyrannical regimes.

As evidenced by Burley, it must not have taken long for Lither and the Ares to make the jump of blaming Mexico to blaming Catholics as a whole (Mexico had a Catholic population of near 90% in 1983), as the party's Neocalvinist rhetoric sat well with what many Americans wanted to hear.

The Ares blamed the Catholics for much of America's present condition. It varied over the years and between persons, but generally the train of thought was that certainly the stab in the back of the American people was orchestrated by a ruling Catholic clique and that, in some cases, the whole Great War was part of a plot by "Rome" to destroy and enslave the American people. Actually, it was rather just one phase of a pro-longed Catholic attack on "Puritan" America, many Ares (including Lither) said. The "degeneracy", "individualistic materialism" and "depravity" of the 1950s-1980s was said to have been fostered by Catholics to weaken the country from within. As "evidence" for both the nuclear war and social degeneracy the Ares pointed to Kennedy's being Catholic (Kennedy was blamed for starting the counter culture movement) and Reagan's father being a Catholic (as an aside, Reagan was without hesitation the least liked president in all US history, and again the Ares had used an easy scapegoat to advance their platform) that "proved" Reagan's allegiance to Catholicism, and involvement in the "plot" to "destroy America and the Puritans". This anti-Catholicism fed upon an intense nativism present in the Ares. Under their regime, anyone and anything suspected of having "foreign" allegiances was marked for punishment. A verifiable crusade was undertaken almost immediately in 2008, before Lither even assumed office, by Ares supporters in the government to mark "anti-American, pro-Papal, pro-foreigner" agents, and once Lither had taken power, this McCarthyist witch hunt only reached newer heights.

This is how the Ares' Neocalvinism got it's start, but it's implementation is another can of worms. Under normal circumstances (even in the post-War world) Lither would not have been able to do any of what he did, but he was too viciously conniving to get so easily thwarted by morals and laws.

The first step in the pogroms came on July 4, a day supposed to be of national jubilance. Along the border with Mexico, some US Continental Army units had come into brisk combat with Mexican counterparts over a dispute west of El Paso. Both countries began to partially mobilize their forces in fear that the other would attack, but in reality Lither had no intentions of starting a war just yet. Rather, he had purposefully ordered a detachment of men to do just as had happened in order to artificially create a war scare in the US to use to his political ambitions. With war seemingly looming between the two countries, Lither silently signed into law an executive order calling for the internment and/or registration of numerous "enemy aliens and their domestic allies". In this order, Executive Order 1113, he compared the situation to that of which America had faced in December, 1941 and used FDR's Order 9066 as precedent, and seeming justification, for his action. Just who were these "aliens and allies"? The entire Catholic population of the United States.

Immediately the gears of the Executive Branch began churning to carry out Lither's wishes. By the end of summer, the NBI, together with the SD's infamous domestic wing (the dreaded Public Safety Service), had "registered" some two and three-quarters million Catholics and placed them in the hold of local sheriffs (it's important to remember that the vast majority of these people had already been identified by Ares agents). Local officials accounted for another near two million persons over the course of a year, with the remainder never being totally accounted for (presumably they had been, in some way, killed during the raids).

But this was the beginning of Lither's infamous "Night and Fog" decree to Foval and Rosenbloom. In August, the solidly Ares Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Act of 2012, which now turned Lither's 1113 into codified law and went even further in that it not only prohibited employment of Catholics in any "vital" industry, but required employers to turn over any Catholics in their employment to either the NBI, SD, or local sheriff. Any act of subversion against this, part of the "sedition" aspect of the law, was also punishable by imprisonment. By the beginning of 2013 it had all gone by - some five million persons had been either "interned" in the terrifying Assimilation Camps, registered for "internment", or had simply "disappeared" during the ordeal, with no effort made to investigate any case. With so much going on, nobody realized the returning quiet of the southern border.



Footnotes:

SD - an acronym for State Defense. It's primary focus is in dealing with foreign threats to the US while the NBI's is domestic. However, the SD does have a domestic wing called the Public Safety Service, or PSS. They're a nasty bunch lead by Rosenbloom, a staunch Ares supporter.

NBI - an acronym for the National Bureau of Ideology, run by Lither's confidant Rodham Foval.

Neocalvinism - it has nothing really to do with the our timeline equivalent called Neo-Calvinism or even regular Calvinism. It's more of an attempt by the Ares to root their beliefs in historical precedent.
 

Pax

Banned
The knot-and-shield, the flag of the Ares Party. The flag is in the colors of the US flag to connect it with the nativist, staunchly pro-American attitudes of the party. The "knot" aspect of the flag symbolizes the inseparable unity of the Puritan and American Folk, in the color red because, to the Ares, this bond was forged in the ashes of the Great War. Note that the Ares use this as their party flag, not the national one. It is very common to see this flag flying about the US, however at official state functions Old Glory (or, occasionally, on Remembrance Day or other state holidays, Old Glory defaced by the knot-and-shield) is flown. I know it looks a lot like the NSDAP flag, and I'll admit it's heavily inspired by it. I just thought the design was pretty clean and got the point across pretty good.

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