26 July 2007

Apathy, Organisation and Revolution

Yep, another re-posted MySpace political rant from Yours Truly.

Skim it if you want, read it if you must, or ignore it entirely. Whatever floats your boat.

If you make it all the way through this, and find anything resembling the ghost of a coherent argument with semi-solid backing, you're either a reader and reasoner of the most heroic kind, or you've been taking some DAMNED good drugs!!!!

Either way, hope it's of some interest.

Here goes.

On Sunday evening, I re-posted a blog entry from a friend of mine about the latest Presidential directive authorising the seizures of money and property belonging to those individuals whom the Administration felt are hampering the war and peacekeeping efforts in Iraq, and, yes, this includes US citizens, Folks.

My friend was, to say the least, more than mildly disappointed that the numbers of responses to this particular post were far lower than to the Harry Potter related posts on her blog.

As for the re-post here, I can tell you precisely the number of comments it got here, and that's ZERO.

Par for the course with most of my stuff, and, while I can find it irritating, am not going to let that get me down, at least not to the point of not blogging anymore.

Anyhow, here's my response to her latest blog entry, containing a number of, yes, guesses, as to why the public response has been so muted to this latest piece of news.

Below that, am going to enclose a few thoughts on revolution, civil war, and what they would mean for you, me, and everyone else living here.

D. : Dunno what to tell ya, except that perhaps, PERHAPS, some of the reason the reception of this news has been so generally underwhelming, is because the Administration very cannily took advantage of the fact that most people don't really pay attention to the news on week-ends, and especially on Sundays.

Please notice when that release was made, and that was on Sunday last.

Some of it as well may be, and I include myself in this camp, attributed to an unwillingness to believe that the arseholes actually mean this, and mean to do it.

On the other hand, have no doubt they do.

Some of it may be general weariness with news about an Administration and its products, mainly the Wah On Tewah(Heh, heh, heh!!!)and the Iraq War, that only keeps getting worse by the second, minute, hour, day, week and month.

Some of it may also be just plain old-fashioned complacency, indifference, and the sense of "WhudkinIdoaboudit??" on the part of many Americans.

There's also the fact that, all rhetoric to the contrary aside, neither the American Left(and yes, I am painting with an extremely broad brush here), much of the American Centre, or the Libertarian Right have the organisation, financing and other resources, the discipline needed, nor the will and commitment to launch much of a tough, victorious, election campaign, much less an armed struggle against the US government and its supporters, if that's what need be.

Organising and maintaining any sort of organisation, particularly when resources are scarce and many of the participants dislike each other on ideological or inter-personal grounds, or both, is a difficult job.

It's not impossible, just damned difficult, and it requires a level of commitment that many people either don't have, nor are willing to give.

During the Maoist era in China, there was a popular saying among the peasants, which was "Under the Guomindang(the Chinese Nationalists), too many taxes; under the Communists, too many meetings", and, particularly in establishing, running and maintaining an organisation of any real size, it takes a LOT of meetings and time spent away from family, friends, hobbies, etc to get it up and keep it going relatively harmoniously.

I don't know what it will take, if it ever does, for many Americans, beyond a relatively small minority of the population, to actually ever develop the desire to get involved, in whatever form, in the political process, if it isn't already too late.

That said, that doesn't mean that those of us who are even somewhat aware of what's going on should give up, go to our local drinkin' places, and start downing liquid anaesthetic.

It means, though, that we're going to have to keep on keepin' on, doing what we do, until such time as we gain even half the results we want.

It means having the tenacity of a bulldog, an iron will to survive and prosper, and, most importantly, well-developed senses of perspective and humour, 'cos, to borrow a saying I got from a radio talk-show host in Reno many moons ago, "He(or She)who laughs, lasts", and, especially given the nature of much of what goes on in politics, that's so bloody true.

Stay strong, hang tough, and don't forget to laugh often and loudly.

Yep, Folks, it's better to organise, mobilise and take effective, non-violent action NOW and in the days to come, rather than let the situation get so bad that violent action's the only feasible way out of this mess.


Let's be blunt; assuming for one hot second that the various Left groups in this country, as well as outraged moderates, libertarian conservatives, etc, had the financial means, loads of resources, willing, experienced and able people ready to go, and a political, military and economic plan that was sound enough to survive, at least in part, the shocks and set-backs of a revolutionary war here, it would also require the commitment, discipline, and sheer bloody-minded will to see the task through to a victorious end, and I am not sure that these groups, at least at present, have those in sufficient quantity.

That said, what a revolutionary war in the US would mean would be the kind of widespread social, economic, and political disruption that would impoverish large numbers of Americans, and push those already in poverty right into the gutter, if not the grave.

It would mean revolutionary and counter-revolutionary terror of various sorts, whether committed by Regular Army, Reservist or National Guard soldiers, police agencies at every level, or citizen auxiliaries of various kinds and official, semi-official, or unofficial natures on the latter side, or by whatever "regular" or irregular formations on the former side.

It would mean curfews, restrictions on travel of all sorts, arbitrary detentions, arrests, trials and executions.

It would mean massacres, carried out by one side or another, of the other side's partisans, or of even relatively uninvolved civilians.

It would mean sieges of communities of various types and sizes, with all the horrors of privation, malnutrition, starvation, disease, madness, and premature death by a variety of causes.

It would mean looting, burning, rape, torture, mass murder on a scale that would make the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-90 and the Yugoslav civil wars of the '90's look small and tame by comparison, and might even make the current Iraqi conflagration look anemic, and that'd be tough to do, in my opinion.

But, our country and population are large and diverse enough, and weapons are plentiful enough to get, so it's entirely possible that, given the right or wrong incentives, we could quite easily turn the US into a big version of Somalia in a relatively short period of time.

Think social inequality's bad now????? Wait 'til you find yourself living in one enclave or another, held by one of the various sides, and watch the shortages of food, medicine, potable drinking water, and other goods and services pile up one on top of the other.

Those who are either members of one of the various ruling groups or another, have connections to them, or who are in one kind of black market ring or another, are going to have the lion's share of whatever there is to go 'round, and everyone else will have to muddle along as best they can with they have, or go without.

If that means a few hundred, or a few thousand, poor bastards die, so that the war effort, and the ruling elite's control of a given area of the US can go on, that's what happens.

Think the levels of outright lying and other forms of deception coming to you from the government, "mainstream" media and other sources are epic????

Just wait and see the glorious new levels of wartime(and, depending on who wins, extended long into peacetime)censorship of every form of media, and the attempts, some successful, some not, at cutting off any sort of differing opinions than their own by the various elites, and that includes the 'Net.

Have no doubt that at least some of these clowns will take their cues from China's attempts to block various forms of 'Net sites, and other 'Net features that communicate points of view differing with the official Chinese government line, and attempt to implement similar measures of their own.

Ain't gonna say that they'll be entirely successful, but they will try, nonetheless, 'cos we don't wanna have the punters out there doubting whatever our glorious leadership says, now, do we????

You bet yer sweet arse, we don't, Sugar-Plums.

As for lying and secrecy-mongering, well, our current government, like just about every other government in war-time throughout human history, has certainly tried its share and then some, and then some again.

But, in many respects, these jokers really haven't been all that terribly successful at those tactics as they might have been.

In this projected revolutionary war, the various sides may or may not be more successful at it than this current government, but, believe me, they will try their damnedest to be such.

One of the hardest tasks in any country at war, and I think it was George Orwell who first observed this, but I could be wrong, is for so-called ordinary citizens to find reliably truthful information sources in a social atmosphere characterised by tremendous amount of cant, mis-information, dis-information, propaganda of all sorts, and outright lying.

Have found this rule borne out over the past nearly six years, and also have no doubt that, in any revolutionary war situation, the various sides, Yours, Mine, Ours, Theirs, and The Other Guy Way Off In the Far Left Corner's, will also do their very best to bring you, The Little Guy or Gal, the absolutely worst, most un-trustworthy information they can, as long as it serves their interests.

Another thing to consider, and that's the destruction of all kinds of infrastructure, physical and social, that would take place during such a war, because, beginning with Sherman's March Through Georgia during the American Civil War, governments, military planners, and even the urban guerrillas of the 1960's and '70's, have understood that one of the quickest ways to defeat your opponent isn't on the battlefield, but by targeting his physical, economic and social infrastructures, and inflicting on them the maximum possible amounts of damage and destruction, so that yon opponent's war activities cease, because the society, both at the front and behind it, has suffered so much damage that it either barely sputters along, or falls apart entirely.

This means that NO areas of human activity, even hospitals and other medical facilities, churches, synagogues, mosques, whatever house of worship you fancy to name, and similar non-warlike institutions get targeted, and get it, right in the neck, but good.

You want your opponent so entirely and utterly broken that he or she couldn't get up on his or her feet, even if he or she had a hundred people helping.

That's what total war is, and means-TOTAL war, in which every part of a nation's society, and every person therein, is a military target, period.

There are no dividing lines between military and civilian, combatant and non-combatant, the front line, the rear area, and civvy street.

Every area, and everyone in it, are part of a massive free-fire zone, where anything and everything goes.

This observation sure as Hell ain't original to me, as this form of warfare's been practised since at least the American Civil War and has only grown stronger in influence and power ever since.

When the hi-jackers piloted the jets into the Twin Towers in New York City and into the Pentagon on 11th September, 2001, they were practising total war, and bringing it to their most hated opponents-us.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols did the same kind of stunt to the Alfred P. Murragh Federal Building on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on 17th April, 1995, for very similar reasons to those held by the 11 September hi-jackers, and because they believed they were at war with a Federal government that they neither recognised or thought of as their own. So, anything and everything was justified, including the deaths of men, women and children whom they'd neither met, or who had done either one any harm.

Total war means total terror, especially for the enemy and his or her supporters, and it means that, in the end, if your mama's on the opposite side of the barricades from you, and you're ordered to kill her because that's what you've been ordered to do because your superiors have deemed it a military necessity, you waste her, or pay whatever price you'll have to for not doing so.

It means being as ruthless, if not more so, than your opponents, and not just towards your opponents, but to your supporters, immediate, intermediate and subordinate, and the populations beneath them, in turn.

If you have to purge the ranks of your supporters to weed out those who may be traitors or spies, you do it.

If you have to order the deaths of hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people, regardless of whatever involvement or non-involvement they have with your opponent's war efforts, you do it, if it will bring ultimate victory to you and yours.

If you have to carry out those orders, you do it, whether you know and understand the reasons why or not.

If not, someone else can always be found to cheerfully do it, and don't think they can't or won't be found.

No one is indispensable in war, especially in revolutionary warfare.

In the end, even if it takes massacring millions of people and turning large portions of the US, or any other part of the world into a wasteland, you do it, and you live with it.

It's been a little over a century since our last experiences of guerrilla and partisan warfare on US soil came to an end at Wounded Knee, the last massacre of the Indian Wars, but, especially during those wars, as well as the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, we had episodes of war-to-the knife, cutthroat partisan warfare that World War Two-era Yugoslavs, Albanians, Greeks and Soviets would have recognised in character, if not form, as not so different from their own styles of making war.

The riots of the 1960's, and, to an extremely limited extent, the urban guerrilla movements of that same period worldwide, gave us a glimpse of what an urban civil war would be like.

Make no mistake, whatever plans and high ideals you have at the beginning of whatever revolutionary struggle you make, those plans and ideals will be changed by the realities of warfare, its changing circumstances and policies, the million great and small compromises and deals that violate your ideals, but need to done along the way to victory, and, finally, the realities of governing whatever areas you have at war's beginning, the ones you take and hold during the war, and, in the end, a nation at peace.

Shattered, busted to bits in every way, and poorer than Hell, but, at peace, nonetheless.

Then, the TRULY hard work starts for you.....

That's why I say that it's better to organise, mobilise, and work for change peacefully now, because, once you pick up the gun, and especially after you use it, there's no "Sorry", no way you can make up for the death, injury and destruction you and your opponents inflict, and surely NO turning back.

If you MUST go down that road, please be aware of these facts and more, and make damned sure you are both prepared and willing to pay whatever price, even your life and the lives of your loved ones and revolutionary comrades, that it takes.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Be seeing you.

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