Saturday, June 18, 2011

Four years after, "Resistance is Futile": Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules. Of simple minds and changing times.

"Resistance is Futile"? Tell it to Nicolae Ceausescu.

On 4 May 2007, David Codrea posted a guest editorial of mine: "Resistance is Futile": Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules, with the comment "Here's another gem from Mike Vanderboegh that I am privileged to present on this site. The Romanian example holds particular meaning for me." The subject comes up again now because, as David takes to task here, a York, Pennsylvania columnist named Larry Hicks writes, "Legislator shouldn't advocate armed revolt."

So I wrote the poor, confused Mr. Hicks an email, and copied him a link to the essay below. More afterward.

"Resistance is Futile": Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules

by Mike Vanderboegh

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them." --Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile." -- Star Trek: First Contact

"Resistance is Futile"

You know, the most dangerous thing about liberals in today's America is that they are always taking policy decisions based upon three fallacies:

a. Woeful ignorance of the subject at hand,

b. Extrapolation of their own cowardice onto their opponents, i.e. expecting their opponents to react the way they do, and

c. Willful refusal to grasp that the Law of Unintended Consequences applies both to their world view and to the schemes that they use to enforce that world view upon the rest of us.

They are, in a phrase, without a clue. This is not so dangerous when they are out of power. However, as they now control both houses of Congress and have a better than even chance of controlling the White House in 2009, this has the potential to get a lot of people killed by 2010. An illustrative case in point is David Prather's recent column in the Huntsville (AL) Times, entitled "In a Shoot-out, the Feds Always Win.". Mr. Prather, it seems, has second-guessed the Founders of our tattered Republic and come up with his own idea of the futility of the armed citizenry to secure their own liberty. He writes with scorn of the belief that the Second Amendment means exactly and precisely what it says:

"This argument says that keeping firearms is necessary to ensure that the public can resist government oppression should such arise. In other words, unless you can shoot back at the feds, you can't be free. That's a nice, John Wayne-type view of the world. But it's wrong. It's not just debatably wrong. It's factually wrong. And the reason it is wrong is this: The government has and will always have more firepower than you, you and your neighbors, you and your like-minded friends or you and anybody you can conscript to your way of thinking. You simply can't arm yourself adequately against a government that is rotten and needs to be overturned. Your best defense is the ballot box, not a pillbox.. . . . You can't beat 'em. You'd be foolish to try. So let's take that argument off the table. I don't presume to say that by doing so we will be able to reach a consensus or a compromise or whatever about how we should or shouldn't control firearms in modern society. I'm just saying that shooting it out with the government is like the exhibition team versus the Harlem Globetrotters as far as who is going to win. Only a lot more bloody." -- David Prather, "In a shoot-out, the feds always win", Huntsville Times, May 2, 2007


I am reminded here of the famous Dorothy Parker line, "You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think." Now Mr. Prather, who has risen to the lofty position in life of Associate Editorial Page Editor of the Huntsville Times asserts that we gunnies inhabit a "John Wayne-type view of the world (that's). . .factually wrong." As the quote from the principal Founder above clearly shows, it is in fact a "Thomas Jefferson-type" view of the world. Mr. Prather believes the ballot box is a better defense against tyranny than the cartridge box. Oddly enough I agree, as long as the tyrants are willing to play by the election laws. But what happens when they don't? In his novel Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein offered an answer:

"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."

Indeed, the Founders were only able to secure their right to the ballot box by taking up their cartridge boxes and muskets and standing against the army of the most powerful empire in the world at the time and fighting it to a standstill. What has fundamentally changed about the universe since then? Communication is faster, weapons are more powerful, but as we see in Iraq, a determined armed minority can be impossibly overmatched and still cause a good deal of trouble.

"Waco Rules"

Now I have spent a lot of time since the early days of the Clinton Administration considering the Founders' concepts of the deterrence of tyranny by the armed citizenry from the perspectives of philosophy, history, strategy and tactics. The catalyst for all this reflection was, of course, the twin menaces of the increasing Clintonista proscriptions of firearms rights (Brady and the Assault Weapons Ban) and the massacre of the Branch Davidians at Waco. The subsequent failure of the Republican congress and the courts to do anything substantive about either threat-- legislative tyranny or rogue bureaucracy-- led many of us to conclude that we had now entered a time when we could only count on ourselves to maintain our liberties.

The Law of Unintended Consequences decreed that there would be two unexpected results of this Clintonista constitutional misbehavior. The first was the importation and sale within a few months of several millions of semi-auto rifles (principally SKS and AK-variants) into the U.S. This was in anticipation of, and defiance of, the so-called "Assault Weapons Ban." Indeed, this was more rifles of these types than had been sold in the previous TWENTY YEARS. And it was in a political climate where it was fully expected that the next law would call for the confiscation of such weapons. Why, then, did this massive arming take place? Were we buying these rifles merely to turn them over later? When the Clintonistas realized that we were not buying these rifles to turn them in, but to turn ON THEM if they became even more threatening to our liberties, it gave them considerable pause. I am told the analysts in the bowels of the J. Edgar Hoover building were particularly impressed.

The second unexpected result of Clintonista misbehavior, although of lesser import than the millions of rifles, was the rise of the constitutional militia movement. As London Telegraph senior reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote:

"The Clinton era . . spawned an armed militia movement involving tens of thousands of people. The last time anything like this occurred was in the 1850's with the emergence of the southern gun clubs. It is easy to dismiss the militia as right-wing nuts: it is much harder to read the complex sociology of civic revolt. . . No official has ever lost a day's pay for precipitating the incineration of 80 people, most of them women and children, in the worst abuse of power since Wounded Knee a century ago. Instead of shame and accountability, the Clinton administration accused the victims of setting fire to themselves and their children, a posthumous smear that does not bear serious scrutiny. It then compounded the injustice by pushing for a malicious prosecution of the survivors. Nothing does more to sap the life of a democracy than the abuse of power." Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton

You see, what impressed us gunnies the most was the fact that under what we came to know as "Waco Rules", Catch 22 was in full swing. It was as if the Clintonistas were shouting, "We can do anything you can't stop us from doing." The constitutional militia movement, despised by the administration, caricatured by the media (and professional liars for money like Morris Dees of the Southern "Poverty" Law Center), and unjustly vilified after the Oklahoma City bombing, began to explore the question of just what could be done to stop such unconstitutional conduct on the part of the government. We realized that another way to express Catch 22 is to say, "You can do only what we let you get away with."

I think the FBI realized our power before we really understood it's full implications. For one thing, we had them surrounded. At its zenith, the militia movement had perhaps as many as 300,000 active participants, but we were backed up, you see, by the undeniable fact of those millions of rifles. Of the 85 million gun owners at the time, how many would join the militias if another Waco happened? That was the question. Both sides eventually came to the realization that in any case, it was enough. As Clausewitz observed, "In military affairs, quantity has a quality all its own."

And the first thing we noticed was that the FBI became very much more solicitous of our sensibilities and sought at every turn to avoid a flashpoint. During each little potential Waco-- the Republic of Texas, the Montana Freemen, etc-- the FBI would seek out local militia leaders and ask their advice, seeking their opinions with what sounded like real concern.

The best answer that I recall to one of these FBI queries came from Bob Wright, commander of the 1st Brigade, New Mexico Militia. When asked if he and his friends would actually go to the scene of a future Waco in another state to assist the potential victims, Bob replied, "Why would I want to do that? There's plenty of you federal SOBs around here." This was a perspective the Fibbie had not considered before, and it showed on his face.

So we got through the rest of the Clinton Administration by waging a low-intensity cold war, the history of which has yet to (and may never) be written. The principal point was this: there were no more Wacos. Although they never renounced Waco Rules, they did not again implement them.

The Three Fallacies

Which brings us to today and our armchair theorist of contemporary domestic military operations, David Prather. Let us examine his thesis: "the feds always win" by referring to the three fallacies listed above. First, let us test his woeful ignorance of the subject at hand. In fact, you CAN beat the feds in a shoot-out as was demonstrated by the Branch Davidians in the initial raid of 28 February. Four ATF agents died in this monstrous misuse of government power and far more would have, but for the fact that the Davidians, having repelled the ATF raiders from entering their home, allowed them to leave after the men in black exhausted their ammunition. In effect, the ATF asked the Davidians if they could go home and reload their guns and the Davidians, being nice guys, agreed.

Had Vo Nyugen Giap been running what the Feds later claimed was an "ambush", none of the ATFs would have left that property alive. Indeed, had the Davidians understood the full implications of Waco Rules as they were being worked out for the first time, they would have put up a far tougher fight on both 28 February and 19 April and likely could have stopped the armored vehicles in their tracks.

So, when Prather says "the feds always win", he's probably thinking of Waco, but then so are we. In his ignorance, he does not realize that others observed Waco and the exercise of Waco Rules with a keener military eye, took notes, studied and learned.

Secondly, Prather is extrapolating onto others his own cowardice and unfamiliarity with weapons. He knows HE could not resist a predatory police raid, so he assumes that others could not as well. Should there come another dark time when the feds think they can resort to Waco Rules once more, both they and Prather will discover that such assumptions are deadly mistakes.

Thirdly, The Law of Unintended Consequences is still issuing forth unplanned dividends from the Clinton misbehavior of the 90s. Remember those millions of rifles? They didn't go anywhere. They haven't disappeared.

Romanian Rules

So we have the rifles and we have one other thing: Romanian Rules.

On 16 December 1989, riots in the Romanian city of Timisoara ignited a nationwide revolt which spread to the capital Bucharest. Parts of the army joined the revolutionaries, and on 25 December, after 45 years of communist tyranny, dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elene received a Christmas present from the Romanian people when they were summarily executed. Said one Romanian radio announcer, "The anti-Christ died. Oh, what wonderful news."

Ceausescu had ruled the Romanians with an iron hand, using his dreaded secret police to pick his opponents off one by one for imprisonment or execution-- until the day came when the people learned their lesson and met the secret police and the army face to face. Thousands were killed in the fighting, many because they lacked the weapons to do the job. But we're Americans. We observed the Romanian Rules and learned. We realized too that we're much better armed than the poor Romanians.

So what makes Prather think that Americans who may wish to resist our own government if it spins out of control again, will sit idly in their little houses allowing themselves to picked off one by one? In his ignorance and arrogance, Prather has committed the ultimate sin of military planners throughout the centuries: he is presuming that the straw-man opponent he has created in his own mind will sit still and wait to be beaten on his (or Hillary Clinton's) own terms. He is presuming that his opponent won't react, won't be agile, and won't be thinking.

Prather makes much of modern day weaponry that only the government may possess. But you know, artillery and nuclear bombs are of limited utility to a government when the battlefield is its own cities, towns, transportation hubs and commercial centers. Then it becomes like Iraq, only far worse. It becomes a rat hunt where the rats outnumber you, and often, at the point of decision, beat you in the one thing that is most fundamental in an up-close infantry fight: rapid and deadly accurate rifle fire. Shouting Borg-like that "resistance is futile" may scare the faint-hearted, the weak-minded and certain children under the age of ten. It does NOT scare us.

And that is what invalidates Prather's fantasy scenario: we've had almost 15 years to study Waco Rules now. Fifteen years of studying how to best direct the resources of the armed citizenry against the next predatory administration grown too big for its constitutional britches. Fifteen years of considering the lessons of Christmas, 1989. After the cold war with the Clintonistas, we gunnies began to understand the finer points of credible deterrence. Now, having completed a long and challenging curriculum, we certainly understand what Jefferson meant by "pardon and pacify them." It would be wiser if Mr. Prather and his historically foolish liberal friends did not seek to give us a final examination in this subject of study, for the results are NOT academic. Just ask Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. Of course, you'll have to go to Hell to do that.

Mike Vanderboegh
PO Box 926
Pinson, AL 35126

Elena Ceausescu, not looking her best after the application of Romanian Rules.

My email to simple-minded Larry:

-----Original Message-----
From: georgemason1776
To: lhicks
Sent: Sat, Jun 18, 2011 7:14 am
Subject: Of simple minds and changing times.

Dear Larry,

In your recent column disparaging the judgment of a better man than you'll ever aspire to being, you wrote:

But this is 2011. In this country, times have changed, I think. I hope. And even if they haven't, does anyone in his or her right mind think a bunch of citizens with handguns and rifles stand a snowball's chance in Hades against an organized military with the fire power of our government? Not me.To suggest otherwise makes one seem simple-minded.

Now, Larry, it is obvious you either haven't thought this through, are an historical amnesiac, or both. Four years ago I wrote an essay entitled "Resistance is futile: Waco Rules vs. Romanian Rules." I commend that work for your education.

I especially draw your attention to "The Three Fallacies":

You know, the most dangerous thing about liberals in today's America is that they are always taking policy decisions based upon three fallacies:

a. Woeful ignorance of the subject at hand,

b. Extrapolation of their own cowardice onto their opponents, i.e. expecting their opponents to react the way they do, and

c. Willful refusal to grasp that the Law of Unintended Consequences applies both to their world view and to the schemes that they use to enforce that world view upon the rest of us.

I am afraid, Larry, that you have fallen into the Three Fallacies of the simple minds.

Modern American Minutemen, should they be provoked by further bad behavior on the part of the federal government, could indeed successfully resist "an organized military with the fire power of our government." Even a cursory study of modern guerrilla war, especially Fourth Generation Warfare, ought to tell you that. Ever since the misbehavior of the Clintonista administration, there are a number of us who have been studying that very topic. Studying it and training for it. Indeed, it is our sons and daughters who make up the bulk of the tip of that organized military spear. When ordered to kill their family members, which way do you think some of those troops will point their rifles, armored vehicles, artillery pieces and fighter planes?

Well, there's no need rewriting the essay. Just go and read it, Larry, and remember that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Even a simple, obviously untutored, mind like yours ought to be able to grasp that.

Mike Vanderboegh


Bad Cyborg said...

Here is my answer to Hicks' screed, posted in the comments of that piece.

Mr. Hicks, I seriously doubt that Rep. Perry was at all "carried away with himself". Neither did he forget that this is 2011. He was most certainly NOT "advocating violence against his own country" or "contemplating armed action against our own government". What Rep. Perry WAS doing was stating the plain fact that the Second Amendment is not about owning sporting arms. It is about ownership of MILITARY GRADE weaponry to be used to defend oneself - against one's own government SHOULD IT PROVE NECESSARY.

One of the "self-evident" truths listed in the Declaration of independence is that government's purpose is to secure the unalienable rights of people. Another is that WHENEVER (18th Century or 21st Century) "any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends" and "evinces a design to reduce [the people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security". Remember, this, too, is one of the "self-evident truths" about which Jefferson wrote.

Were the founders wrong? Have the intervening years somehow deprived us of the unalienable right or RELIEVED US OF OUR DUTY to replace our own government when it violates its very reason for existing? Perhaps YOU have waived your right and abandoned your duty but clearly Rep Perry - and millions of others out here in the hinterland - have not.

You asked "does anyone in his or her right mind think a bunch of citizens with handguns and rifles stand a snowball's chance in Hades against an organized military with the fire power of our government". I've not been diagnosed as being insane and I do. In fact, if only 3% of the gun owners in the country chose to exercise their right and do their duty then the pointy end of the DOD spear (most G.I.s perform support functions for the pointy end) could easily face odds of THIRTY TO ONE. As Lenin once said "Quantity has a quality all its own". Plus, do you suppose the rebels will leave all those nice automatic weapons lying on the battlefield? More telling, thousands of NCOs and commissioned officers - veterans of both the Sandbox and the Rockpile have separated since the onset of those conflicts and EVEN NOW are training the militias.

Perry used excellent judgement. You, my good Mr. Hicks, are an idiot.

Mt Top Patriot said...

I'll be damned by God to live in hell for eternity before I let any one else fight bleed or die for my Liberty.

Can you hear me know?

Mt Top Patriot said...

Got to thinking when you guys all exposed this whole Gunwalker thing it is tyranny in a nut shell breathing down our throats. Been sending links and comments to every blog and news outlet worth sending to. To me it is the paradigm of our times if justice prevails that rights this Republic, if not then it is the Rubicon tyranny crosses.

Well today after reading "Four years After", it helped with some cognitive thinking. So thanks you guys, you helped me remember those days, and if anything my resolve and wisdom about and for Liberty has only grown.
Wrote this today to a decent news blog, if only one person reads it well that works. Like Patrick Henry said:

Mt Top Patriot said...

Like you say -----, laws and the rule there of are for the little people. The ruling elite hypocrisy of these guys
beggars the mind. This ATF/DOJ/Executive cluster fuck of tyrannical abuse of power all is an exemplary example of tyranny at its highest and finest level that pervades every branch of our government.
These are the people who have made the rules, (unconstitutional in the first instance), who enforce them at the ultimate point of a gun, but who are above the law and appoint themselves a reserved position where they do not apply to them, who do not follow any of them. I can not think of tyranny any worse. There is no end to this if unchecked. It is a cancer where the only remedy is
to cut every last festered pustular out.

Mt Top Patriot said...

The trash heap of history is littered with the bones of tyrants. I ask myself every day what are these people thinking. Have they no sense that they are ultimately in time, as gone as what they are trying to do to the ideas of Liberty, and people who believe in it that they are out to destroy. What where the people who vote for these tyrants and crooks thinking?
The human race is a blood thirsty self destructive species. How can so many bullshit themselves and not see just how beautiful and unique this idea of Liberty and freedom is?

Now you may be given to think I am writing you because I'm a staunch 2nd Amendment advocate. Right and wrong. I am
because there is no such thing as pick and choose Liberties, that is the dictators time dishonered method of subjugation one feather at a time. In fact if you where to ask me, I'd tell you flat out there are no such things as "Liberty's", it is Liberty, simple as that. And when one aspect of my Liberty is threatened or dissolved, and I got no use for rationale as to why or justification there of, the entire ideal of freedom and
self determination is dissolved, because the cold hard truth of human history until America, is once one thing is taken, nothing is sacred. Just ask the Jews. I Do Not Like To Be Considered As A Criminal Because Some Tyrant In Some Office Decides, Well that Liberty Can Not Be Trusted To You On The Grounds You Are Not Worthy. That has got to be the most insane thing imaginable, some bum decides I'm not to be trusted with being a responsible adult, but they are empowered to decide this whether I like it or not??
Who the fuck do these people think they are?

I'm blood spitting fighting mad. I'm ready to have a fight. I'm sick and fed up with these clowns who think they got some
special privileged place. The audacity and arrogance of these self appointed potentates is in the realm of the insane.
Sanctioned with free run to stomp on all of us with impunity, above any accountability of rule of law or concept of providence?
You know part of me, nasty and dirty and absolutely ugly as it will be, hopes there is a fight. I'm ready to exact revenge
on these people. I'm gonna stay a free man, and if I got to die to do it, I'm gonna die a free man, and I'm going to take as many traitors and tyrants with me as I can. Let me tell you, folks like me who have had enough are not to be reckoned with.
We are people who live and let live, who turn the other cheek if it is for something nobler. Who have a reservoir of tolerance, who understand the world ain't perfect. When that tolerance is abused beyond reason, when the trespasses and abuses of trust and power become obnoxious, when they threaten happiness and prosperity, when these manipulations and tactics of a strategy of destruction of Freedom and Liberty cross the Rubicon, well there's nothing for it but to stand ones ground under his feet. When or if that day comes, I do not care what others do, but I'm going to remain a free man one way or another.
I ain't wishing for it. No Sir. It is the last thing and resort, only the crazy and demented and blood thirsty would do so. But I'm telling you, a man can only put up with so much tyranny then it is time to do something about it.
The truth of the matter is I'll be damned to hell by the Good Lord himself before I let any one suffer bleed or die for
me or my loved ones Liberty. For My Country's Liberty.
You might think my hope is lost my friend, far far from it. I believe in something, something so great I'll die for it. I believe in this great idea called a Republic. In the unalienable divine providence God and our forefathers granted us with. The greatness of this human experience called Liberty, something never seen in all of the worlds history, where billions before, and to this day and all around us have never tasted or lived in. Freedom.

pete said...

Why is it that the marxist weenies believe that if they could only convince us (they won't) that resistance is futile, we would not resist. Most of us would. If, in my individual case, resitance does seem futlile, I will resist anyway.

Anonymous said...



Grateful American

Mark Matis said...

The only good pig...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the "Resistance," does anyone have a good estimates for the number of AKs and ARs that there are in the hands of the civilian population of the USA?
Our US population is 310 million and 3% of that is a nice round number. I see numbers that range from 80 to 90 million for the number of households with firearms. Then there are estimates that there are some 3 million weapons of all types in civilian hands [correct?].

When I get to the range here in Texas, the men and women on my right and left seldom have deer rifles!

So again, my question is how many "military style" weapons are in civilian hands?? Any estimates?


Old Soldier III

PS - These facts would be 'fun' numbers to put into the discussion of "Resistance is Futile."

John in MI said...

I find it ironic that these same people who mock us and call us stupid for thinking we can resist the government later publish articles calling for gun control because "assault weapons" in the hands of citizens are dangerous for cops...

Pericles said...

Larry may not have the attention span required to read all of your communication,and may miss the key point. Feel free to use Niccolo Machiavelli's summary from 'The Prince" - Good arms and good laws go together. Where the people have recourse to good arms, no Prince dare make a bad law.