Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Red Ant's Opinion Of The Current Political Moment

As the republican party detonates before our eyes the core of the right which has deeply bought into the above is not going away.  So what are they going to do?

Remember in 2015 Mike Pompeo said:
“‘America had worshipped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.'”

So how do you get from that to jointly running a country?  You don’t unless folks like him change their minds as the only other option is to give up your identities. Democracy is a very fragile thing and unnatural in the light of history. We are in serious trouble……

A tweet from Mike Pompeo today:

Having a fair amount of direct experience in helping foment revolutions (to overthrow an existing govt that the US wanted removed – frequently democratic in nature), helping suppress anti-government movements (normally seeking what we consider ‘freedoms’ – thus keeping an authoritarian/dictatorial regime in place), and spending about half of my US govt career (in one of ‘those’ orgs) working operations targeting various terrorist groups…I can say Mr. Black Ant is dead wrong.

The Juan Cole article is very accurate. If one has experience in these things it is pretty obvious it is real and about what stage it is in – we who live here in the US can be thankful it has not progressed to much more violent acts, but it is likely they are on the horizon.

I understand the strong desire for it not to be true and the natural reaction to deny its existence – it is frightening. To someone who has been there and done that it is clear America is in the early stages of a civil war. Whether this development continues is to be determined of course and we need to reverse it if possible – personally I am not optimistic. There are a host of actors in the nascent right wing terrorist groups in the US who are determined to further its progress. They are backed up (or led to some extent) by visible media personages, politicians, some from the 1% who are helping formant in many minds the beliefs which will help gain supporters, structure a mythology around their movement, and so on.

What is happening is not an overreaction in any way. It is actually an underreaction – govts almost always react slowly to internal dissolution and that gives a big advantage to those trying to overthrow them. When you have not been burrowed into these kinds of activities you don’t see the steps being taken as being serious and incremental progress towards that break. Not being a citizen of the culture means one does not pick up the subtle clues as to what some things actually mean as opposed to what they might be interpreted from an outside perspective. As someone who has direct experience in these things and who also has lived for decades in right wing American culture I can guarantee this is very serious. There were people in the Capitol building who would have killed Pense, Pelosi and others should they have caught them. That kind of action is one of the next most likely steps in this kind of process.

Political assassination is clearly on the table – I have heard some of my militia neighbors talk about killing ‘liberals’ many times down at the local gun range. It is common talk among those types and as one should be able to see from recent events they are serious about the ‘need’ to do this. And that makes it likely there will be some level of such actions soon as there are people in these groups who are very committed to changing how America is run.

What makes it more likely is when it is not directly addressed. The perpetrators/supporters always say something about getting on to the ‘healing’ process, or not to overreact as they are just blowing off steam and such. We are way past that here in the US. The citizenry is very broken and divided. That families are broken to the point that they are taking actions against each other is a perfect example of that. It is much easier to take action against strangers than family. Family frequently will protect members who are way out of line and even into serious criminal activity. But that only goes so far. In the American Civil War it was not uncommon for family members to fight on opposite sides as we are seeing signs of here now.

The linkages to outside (non-US based) organizations that the article details is actually very important and should not be discounted. Thinking that the very limited number of Americans who went to the Ukraine and have come back add any meaningful amount of military expertise to the these radicals is just mistaken. They are a drop in a giant bucket. American is chock full of men (and a some women) who are combat veterans (far more than any other country on earth). Counting up just those who have been in the military and wars since 9/11 is in the millions and when you go back further there are millions still hanging around from Vietnam (and if you watched the videos of the Capitol attack some of them were there), not to mention the huge numbers from in between those 2 large scale events. And these people are NOT separate at all from the ‘gun-nut Trumper in Omaha’ as they are all part of the same mozaic. America is armed, trained, has experience, and is motivated and it is ripe for real disruption.

It is not relevant to this discussion but I cannot help it since you brought it up. Having been involved in the immediate response to 9/11 and having friends who hit the ground in Afghanistan within days and having knowledge of the state of Afghanistan at the time the Taliban was in no way a spent marginal force (they were totally in charge of the country for all intents and purposes). Now it certainly did not take long before that situation changed. But the only relevant thing about Afghanistan to this discussion is the lesson we need to keep in mind about how terrorist groups can use contacts in other countries to garner support for their activities elsewhere – a key point of the article.

To sum up (this explanation/discussion could go on for hundreds of pages obviously) what is happening in the US is typical of events which have occurred in other countries which fell into open violent civil war. We are on the cusp of it right now and there are a large number of actors who are trying to make it happen. The current state of the situation is in their favor, but not by a huge margin (I think). The country has to track down everyone it can who is actively trying to overthrow the government (it is breaking the law after all) and to put lots of pressure on those supporting it to stop (with in generally legal guidelines – but be careful not to fail at this). Our security services must get a handle on the leaders and members of the organizations who will be the troops which go violent and be prepared to stop them.

This is their duty and one of the prime reasons for their existence – and yes I know that this activity will be problematic and there is no way to avoid that. The other side is bent on revolution and what they are doing is treason and will lead to great suffering. Thus my pessimism about getting out of this intact. One cannot fight an active insurgency except by fighting and this always hardens both sides further. Once the real fighting starts (and it hasn’t yet) there is no viable solution other than defeating the opposition – you have to choose sides at that point. So let’s treat this with the seriousness it deserves and try hard to contain it short of open warfare. That is the only option we actually have.