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Civil War 2016
Next time you see me out and about, ask to see my copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. They are two documents I care deeply about. As a Soldier, I took an oath to “support and defend” them. How can I support and defend something I’m ignorant about? Therefore, I carry one with me all the time and read it often.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
That is the first paragraph of the Declaration. By the mid 18th century, the American colonies had enough. King George was flaunting the laws of the land. Sound familiar? He created numerous bureaucratic offices and populated them with officials that harassed the populace through arbitrary rules and regulations. Sound familiar? He imposed crushing taxes and debt upon the colonies without the approval of the citizenry. Sound familiar? All in all, King George was destroying the livelihood of the people. Sound familiar?
Let me be clear about something. I am not in any way saying that the conditions Americans face today are even remotely close to those found in the mid-1700s. Not at all. I am merely pointing out similarities between the events that LED to the American Revolution and events today. And I’m not alone in pointing them out.
The Washington Times recently published an editorial posing the question of whether American military officers were being trained to fight the very people they are sworn to protect.
At issue is an article in the respected Small Wars Journal titled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future.” It was written by retired Army Col. Kevin Benson of the Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Jennifer Weber, a Civil War expert at the University of Kansas. It posits an “extremist militia motivated by the goals of the ‘tea party’ movement” seizing control of Darlington, S.C., in 2016, “occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council and placing the mayor under house arrest.” The rebels set up checkpoints on Interstate 95 and Interstate 20 looking for illegal aliens. It’s a cartoonish and needlessly provocative scenario.
I think it’s important at this point to note that I have absolutely no knowledge of any actual, perceived, anticipated, real or fictional training that comes even close the insinuations of the Times article. So, this post is being written strictly as someone with an opinion about the contents of the story, whether they are fact-based or not.
The article is a choppy patchwork of doctrinal jargon and liberal nightmare. The authors make a quasi-legal case for military action and then apply the Army’s Operating Concept 2016-2028 to the situation. They write bloodlessly that “once it is put into play, Americans will expect the military to execute without pause and as professionally as if it were acting overseas.”
They claim that “the Army cannot disappoint the American people, especially in such a moment,” not pausing to consider that using such efficient, deadly force against U.S. citizens would create a monumental political backlash and severely erode government legitimacy.
In the Army’s Operation Concept – which is available to anyone online – the Army poses a few challenges dealing with homeland defense or civil support operations:
(1) Unity of command is potentially problematic due to split authorities, particularly when conducting simultaneous homeland defense and civil support missions. DOD is the lead agency for homeland defense, and a supporting agency for civil support.
(2) Army forces conducting homeland defense and civil support missions require extensive integration and must coordinate closely with multiple local civil and law enforcement authorities.
(3) When operating on U.S. soil, leaders and Soldiers must understand the legal authorities and caveats related to military operations such as those pertaining to collecting and maintaining information on and detaining U.S. citizens.
(4) The integration of Title 10 and Title 32 forces will require planning and training to best utilize the capabilities of each.
I would add a number 5 there: the constitutionality of the presidential order calling on the Department of Defense to engage in such operations, especially civil support operations. I’m not taking a position one way or the other. All I’m saying is that I have a duty as a Soldier who was enlisted under oath to support and defend the highest law of the land – the United States Constitution. My oath says, “I, CJ Grisham, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
The question, therefore, becomes what is a “domestic enemy?” Surely, no one would argue that Nidal Hassan, Timothy McVeigh, and Nasar Jason Abdo could be considered domestic enemies. But what about these guys?
Look, here’s my personal opinion. I think the media is setting up veterans for a fall. What do I mean by that? For the past few years, they have been painting us as victims of combat. We are angry, unhinged combat veterans plagued by PTSD. In the media vernacular, PTSD is a synonym for crazed, violent, gun-toting extremist. Every single story about a psycho going on a shooting rampage is instantly framed by whether or not the shooter was a vet.
In Colorado, the media was almost rabid about making the shooter a veteran. When that didn’t pan out, you could almost feel the disappointment. The Gabriel Giffords shooter was equally trumpeted. Finally, in the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooter, the media has found its scapegoat – a veteran. Why do they do this? I mean, even the military is trying to crack down on the privacies of its troops by demanding to know very specific information that could be potentially used against them under the guise of “keeping them safe.”
I think it’s because in our lifetime, our troops may very well be called to quell a constitutional insurrection. It’s become quite apparent that both parties in power seem to have neglected the people they are charged with serving. The government has grown to such bloated proportions and the oppressive regulations placed on the people are nearly insurmountable.
We are getting virtually raped at airports by the TSA and if we refuse their 4th Amendment violations we are treated like felons. We’re creating laws that violate our 1st Amendment rights, setting up a comfort zone in America the pacifies its citizens into thinking it’s okay because they disagree with the targets of these laws. Our electoral system is built and based upon fraud in which illegal immigrants, felons and dead people are allowed to vote. There are no checks in the system to ensure citizens only cast one vote. Citizens exercising their rights to self protection are being arrested and viewed as the problem, not a part of the solution. Our government is excoriating businesses and organizations that choose to support traditional values while supporting fringe elements of our society and their abhorrent practices. It is adopting nazi-style, oppression on regular citizens doing absolutely nothing wrong simply because they don’t like the way we look.
Now, let me state AGAIN for the record that I’m not calling for, supporting, or opposing civil disobedience in any form. I’m merely drawing comparisons to the road on which we’re traveling that led to the birth of this nation. The same perceived wrongdoings are present today that were present in the 1700s. The only difference is that we don’t have a king…at least not officially. They may come a day where our troops are called to take a side in the battle for our country. I hope we choose the right one.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of any branch of the government, the military, or any other official capacity.