Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Civil War of 2016

"The Civil War of 2016" is the title of an editorial in the Washington Times, dated Aug. 7, 2012, based in turn on an article from the Small Wars Journal.  The Washington Times clearly wants to suggest that the article, in the "respected" SWJ gives reason for concern that the U.S. military is making plans for wars on American soil against American citizens.

The SWJ article does indeed posit the scenario that
"In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest."
and asks what should the army do, and proceeds to give answers.

The WT editorial says
"The scenario presented in Small Wars Journal isn’t a literary device but an operational lay-down intended to present the rationale and mechanisms for Americans to fight Americans. Col. Benson and Ms. Weber contend, “Army officers are professionally obligated to consider the conduct of operations on U.S. soil.” This is a dark, pessimistic and wrongheaded view of what military leaders should spend their time studying."
What can we learn about the "respected" Small Wars Journal?  It appears to have been published electronically since 2005, and such Web-only publications are of uneven quality.    The authors of the SWJ article are  a retired colonel and a college professor/American Civil War scholar.  The editor-in-chief of the SWJ is described, without embarrassment, right in the SWJ, as
"a retired USMCR Intelligence and Counterintelligence/HUMINT officer, ...[and] a defense consultant in the private sector. He currently owns and operates Di Legge's Old City Grill, a Tampa Bay Florida area "food truck".
Now please don't say I must be an anti-entrepreneur socialist.  It just seems very likely that the SWJ is an amateur project of military hobbyists, having nothing to do with the current or future U.S. Government.  The Washington Times, which was (yes, this is true) founded by Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and currently directly owned by him, has a strong tendency to insinuate, based on the flimsiest of premises that the government or liberals is doing or about to do some shocking thing or other.  That is just what they do - at least on their editorial page.

For the sort of worldview that drives people to this, see previous article, Whittaker Chambers on Ayn Rand which he titled "Big Sister is Watching You", from a review of Atlas Shrugged published in the National Review in 1957; that's right, Wm. F. Buckley's magazine.  Chambers characterizes Atlas Shrugged as
"The War between the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness. ... Both sides of it are caricatures". The Children of Darkness at least "are caricatures of something identifiable. Their architypes are Left-Liberals, New Dealers, Welfare Statists, One Worlders or, at any rate such ogreish semblances of these as may stalk the nightmares of those who think little about people as people, but tend to think a great deal in labels and effigies.
 As an ex-communist long reviled by the left, and largely responsible for putting Alger Hiss behind bars, Chambers knew well what to expect from people who characterize some other whole category of people in such "ogreish" ways, whether it is Marx characterizing the Bourgeois, or Hitler characterizing the Jews.  It is largely a natural human tendency, so I do not want to demonize people for demonizing people, but it is one of the most dangerous tendencies in all of history.

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