Review Summary: The battle of a generation.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
The year was 1999, and the war had just begun. The belligerents were Rage Against the Machine, four men who influenced a generation of adolescents and adults to attack politics, versus the army of American Politicians. After countless battles and skirmishes, it came down to the climactic battle of the war, in California's most populous city - Los Angeles. The Battle of Los Angeles took place on November 2, 1999, and lasted for forty-five days and twenty-three hours. It determined the fate of Rage Against the Machine, as, although they emerged victorious, would only be around for one more year before the American Politicians forced them to break up.
As the opening shots were fired, Rage leader Zach de la Rocha gave a motivational speech to his warriors. Dubbed the "Testify" speech, de la Rocha told his troops, "The jury's sleepless, we found your weakness, it's right outside your door, now testify!" and "Who controls the past now controls the future!" Since Rage was currently slaughtering the Politicians in the war, it seemed that their army would soon control the future. This speech gave the army the motivation to attack, and so far it looked good for them.
Since the Rage army found their opposition's weakness, de la Rocha decided to plot out a secret attack on the Politician's base, which was in the heart of the city. He called this operation "Guerilla Radio", and told his troops to sneak right into their base and kill everyone inside. de la Rocha knew that the Politician's leading general, the President, was there, and he hoped that if the President was murdered, then the entire army would collapse. As the troops rushed into the base, they cried, "Lights out! Guerilla radio! Turn that *** up!", and they shot up the camp. The President, however, heard the gunshots, and fled in his aircraft, hiding in a remote Pacific island off the coast of California.
Although the Rage troops had killed 326 men, de la Rocha was furious. He went on a tantrum, and one of the Naval generals tried to calm him down. He told de la Rocha to be "Calm Like a Bomb". He didn't think it would work, and it was a risky move, but in the end, it worked out for the better, as he regained his cool and directed his troops for the next assault. But first, he had to give another speech, this one was famously called the "Mic Check", as it took three minutes and thirty-three seconds to turn on his microphones. "To the young R to the E the B to the E the L, Never give up, just live up fed upon America!" cried de la Rocha. "Politricks who rob and hold down your zone, or those who give the thieves the key to their homes? The pig who's free to murder one Shucklak, or survivors who make a move and murder one back?" These lines pumped up the troops, and de la Rocha sent them to bomb the Naval Compartment hidden in the Pacific Ocean.
The Air Force flew into the skies, scanning the oceans for a battleship where the naval commanders would be hiding, secretly plotting their plan. Suddenly, the aircraft's radar started to go crazy, and the pilot flew lower to get a better view of the ship. It was a fifty-meter long ship, and the leading naval generals were all standing at the top deck, one with his hands on the turret, looking at the skies for any enemy combatants. As soon as he saw the Rage aircraft, he fired a lock-on missile at it, and the troops inside jumped out. The pilot was killed, but as soon as the soldiers jumped out, they tried to land on the ship.
Twenty-eight soldiers landed on the Politician ship, and they chucked pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails all across the top deck. One soldier secretly snuck into the lowest deck, and planted dynamite inside the torpedo cannons. For extra measure, he planted one stick of dynamite into the fuel hole. He then spoke into his headset, and told the Rage troops to jump off the ship and swim as far away as possible. The bomber pulled out his remote control, and yelled, "Sleep Now in the Fire!", before pressing the button. When the ship exploded, 325 naval troops were killed, along with the bomber. Operation "Sleep Now in the Fire" would go down to be one of the best moves played by Rage in the entire battle.
After the bombing, de la Rocha gave another speech, this time, he honored Sonaie Tefa, the bomber who sacrificed his life to take out hundreds of enemy troops. de la Rocha praised him, stating how he was "forever awake, he lies, shaking and starving, praying for someone to turn off the light." He told his troops how Tefa was "Born of a Broken Man", but never a broken man himself. The soldiers clapped in applause, and waited for their next instructions.
de la Rocha's next plan was an attack he called "Born as Ghosts", in which he would sacrifice ten of his troops, who pretended to be part of the Politicians, in order to attack from the sky and kill the entire group of soldiers grouped next to the impostors. However, his plan failed horribly when the Politicians realized that the impostors were fake, and they were stoned to death, but not before they shot down the aircraft containing three hundred tons of missiles that was going to attack. After that, the Politicians saw the smoke from the flight direction the aircraft had gone, and followed it to the Rage base. The Politicians broke in, and opened fire on the compound, killing 321 Rage troops.
The Rage were forced to regroup, with only 1,043 soldiers left, while the Politicians had 410. The troops found refuge in a mansion owned by a woman named "Maria", who's grandmother worked in a sweatshop, but was later murdered. Although the tale was tragic, it wasn't told very well, and the words she used to convey her emotions were subpar. The troops didn't find Maria's tragic story any motivating, and de la Rocha knew that. He took his troops to the bedroom, where they planned their next attack on their enemy combatants.
After relocating their base to Anaheim, de la Rocha gave his troops a long lecture about how stupid they were, and that the loss was too great to overcome. He then told his men that he knew where the Politicians were hiding, and it was in a cave underneath the Hollywood sign. The troops flew off into the edge of the city, and landed on top of the H. This attack would later be known as the "Voice of the Voiceless". The troops overheard the Politicians talking about blowing up the entire city to wipe out everyone in Los Angeles, and that's when they decided to taunt them. Using eerie voices, they mocked them about Mumia and Dred Scott. When the Politicans demanded to know who was taunting them, 27 troops jumped into the cave and opened fire, killing 18 men. The President, who heard the gunshots, decided to run outside to the only exit out. All of the troops had left, and the President breathed a sigh of relief. He sat down on the hill, where a sniper perched on top of the Hollywood sign shot him dead. "You'll never silence the voice of the voiceless!" cried the sniper, Vesless Vess.
The death of the President shocked many Politicians. He was the only general in the war with lots of battle experience, and there was no one qualified enough to take his spot. In the end, since a battle was brewing, the Politicians appointed the Congressman, the smartest commander left on their side. However, he still wasn't a good general, and was picked only because they had to win this battle. Meanwhile, on the Rage side, the assassination of the President was met with applause and cheers.The Air Force general wanted to have a drink, but de la Rocha shot his idea down. "We must not end this battle until all of their men have been forced into their graves!" he roared. Yet, even though he told his troops that, de la Rocha would soon come to make a grave mistake. He had gotten too cocky and overconfident since the President died, and thought that with a weak leader, the Politicians would lose the battle easily.
And so, thirty days and forty-two hours after the opening shots of the battle had been fired, the war took a great turn. de la Rocha told his troops to plant land mines in the street of Hollywood Boulevard. Using the holes that were blasted there from the "Born as Ghosts" mission, hundreds of troops took three days to build twenty-five landmines under the remains of the boulevard. In order to finish off the battle quickly, de la Rocha sent an anonymous leak to the Politicians that the Rages were in the "New Millenium Homes" district of Los Angeles. However, the leak was predictable, repetitive and everyone saw it coming.
"New Millenium Homes" backfired on Rage, and it was the worst loss they suffered in the battle. It was fast and frenetic, but when the Congressman drove over to the land mines, he saw that the troops were still planting them in. He took the remote control (which was lying oh-so innocently on the top of the mine site), and pressed the buttons. Four explosions went off, three at the mine site, and one back in Anaheim, right inside the Rage base. As soon as the mine underneath Rage's base blew up, the entire compound was torn apart, killing everyone but 39 in it. At the end of the day, when all the carnage had settled, 717 Rage troops were dead.
de la Rocha escaped the dusty remains of the Anaheim base, and survived the blast. He, and the surviving Anaheim Rage members, found refuge in Long Beach. The troops from the San Diego base were still fine, all of them surviving, but there were only 316 Rage troops left in the entire California district, while the Politicians still had 339. While recovering in the beach, de la Rocha executed Atsah Ezsa, the troop who had betrayed Rage by planting a mine underneath their Anaheim base, along with three others who had helped him carry out his treasonous deed. After the four executions, 312 troops remained on their side.
When the troops over at the San Jose base overheard the Congressman talking about an attack on the Naval troops right outside the base, commander Tom Morello shot him dead with a sniper rifle. With two of the Politician's smartest and strongest leaders killed, they turned to the Chief Justice to lead the army. Luckily, the Chief Justice was really a Rage spy, and once he had access to all of the Politician's documents and plans, he passed on the information to Morello and de la Rocha. Their base was in Sacramento, inside the Capitol, and their naval battleship was in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco.
Morello, whose base was closest to Sacramento, led 255 of his 277 troops to the Politician's compound in the Capitol. They stormed inside the building, opening fire on anyone in sight. When news of the invasion reached the Politicians in the basement, some escaped through the emergency exit, only to be gunned down by soldiers waiting outside the door. Some, however, stayed, and for the first time, tried to gun down Rage troops at risk of their own life. However, as the soldiers broke into the conference room, they accidentally gunned down the Chief Justice, who they thought was a Politician.
After the dust had settled, the Capitol building was in ruins. What was once a landmark of Sacramento was now collapsed into a pile of ashes and smoke. A spectator who witnessed the battle said it looked like "Ashes in the Fall", and from now on, that was what the mission was called. 209 of the remaining 339 Politician troops were killed, along with 52 Rage troops. With only 129 inexperienced troops, and no one else to lead their army, the Politicians surrendered, and the battle was over.
In celebration of Rage's victory at The Battle of Los Angeles
, Zach de la Rocha gave a speech in front of the entire country, broadcast on live television. It was called "War Within a Breath", and was a great conclusion to the long battle. It wasn't the best speech that he had given, but it was filled with great quotes. "Everything can change on a new years day," cried de la Rocha, "war within a breath, it's land or death!".
In the end, The Battle of Los Angeles
was a strong effort by the Rage Against the Machine army, even if it wasn't their best. They had started out great, but they had started to show fatigue and lack of effort around the "Born as Ghosts" mission, making some crucial mistakes. At points they were too predictable, and at other times they were too repetitive in their tactics. Yet when the battle had ended, Rage was on top yet again. However, their army would soon be reduced to nothing after the Renegades
, disbanding, never to fight another battle ever again...