The leader of the Western world stands before his compatriots and outlines a list of atrocities allegedly committed by a demonic and militaristic Muslim power. He warns that even more horrendous crimes are imminent, perhaps this time to be committed on home soil. Sketching the conflict as a battle of good against evil, he calls for a preemptive strike against the foe. As public passions mount, more than 100,000 soldiers embark for the Middle East, confident of a swift and easy victory. But the enemy is persistent and fierce, the war bogs down and longstanding Western alliances are strained to the breaking point.