Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dark Thoughts -- Misadventure, Spasm & Decapitation. How I spent Constitution Day.

Morgan: They pushed us too far! They didn't think we'd fight, no matter what they did!

Julian Osborne: And they were wrong. We fought. We expunged them. And we didn't do such a bad job on ourselves.

-- On the Beach, 1959.

I am ashamed to admit that Wretched Dog had to remind me that today, 17 September, is Constitution Day. I must also confess my tired skepticism that we will see another such anniversary without violence initiated by an arrogant, ignorant, out-of-control administration who see that tattered, battered old Columbia as just another prospective government gang-rape victim.

Today I read some internal ATF documents that cannot be publicized for now, yet they convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the agency is as rogue at this moment as it ever was.

The failure of successive administrations of both parties to rein in these armed bureaucrats can only lead to deadly, bloody misadventure which will trigger a murderous spasm unlike anything yet seen in this country's long history of periodic civil strife.

The thing is, once started, the regime will find it almost impossible to stop on any terms besides their own unconditional surrender as they would be fighting an enraged but dispersed network insurgency. It is likely that after a few weeks of such blood-letting, the administration will be unable to find anybody left alive with sufficient influence among the insurgents with whom they can negotiate an end to the horror. The fact of the matter is that they would have done their best to kill the folks they would need to stop what they started.

And they will want to stop it, oh, yes, out of concern for their own miserable hides if nothing else.

For they will have provoked a conflict that will not be directed at the war-fighters, the grunts, even those in the outnumbered federal police, but rather at the war-makers, i.e. themselves.

In this they have only Bill Clinton to blame. When the Philanderer in Chief, frustrated with Serbian intransigence in 1999, changed the rules of engagement to include the political leadership, news media and the intellectual underpinning of his enemy's war effort, he accidentally filed suit under the Law of Unintended Consequences. The Serbians knuckled under, yes. But the rest of the world took note, including us. I assure you, the appeal to the higher court of history in that case has yet to be decided.

Back in May, the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation held a seminar in the Reuben W. Hills Conference Room on the second floor of Encina Hall.

There, Patrick Johnston, PhD Candidate from the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University and a predoctoral fellow at CISAC, presented a paper entitled The Effectiveness of Leadership Decapitation in Counterinsurgency.

His dissertation examines the military effectiveness of civilian targeting in civil wars. He has published articles on the organization of insurgencies, spoiler dynamics in peace processes, and the political economy of civil war in journals such as Security Studies, Civil Wars, Canadian Journal of African Studies, and Review of African Political Economy. Johnston holds a BA in political science from the University of Minnesota, Morris and an MA in political science from Northwestern University.

Patrick Johnston is considered by some to be the Pentagon's "bright boy of the month." From the first page of his presentation:

Leadership decapitation is a high-profile tactic that involves the the capture or killing of top insurgent leaders. It is frequently used against guerrilla insurgencies: in the past two centuries, top insurgent leaders have been killed or captured in just under 50 percent of counterinsurgency campaigns. Yet we know little about the nature of the relationship between leadership decapitation and counterinsurgency effectiveness. Is capturing or killing insurgencies' leader(s) an effective tactic? Or is it counterproductive, radicalizing insurgent movements, strengthening their resolve, and making them more difficult to defeat? Or does it have no effect at all?

The general consensus is that leadership decapitation of guerrilla groups is ineffective. These conclusions should give scholars pause: they are based on unsystematic research designs, minimal empirical data, and incomparable units -- usually terrorist organizations or foreign leaders.

I argue that leadership decapitation is effective. Decapitation provides numerous marginal benefits, weakening and disrupting insurgent organizations and making them more likely to be defeated.

Go to the link and read if you must, but Johnston is as wrong as he can be when comparing past history to 4th Generation warfare, distributed networks and leaderless resistance, especially as will be practiced in the United States if it ever goes to war with itself.

He is wrong, but the powerful men and women he is writing for think he's right.

Unfortunately for them, in the situation the administration would find itself after Waco Two, the "decapitation" strategy would for them more resemble Russian Roulette played with an automatic pistol.

Hypothetical: They kill some of us, at first accidentally perhaps, but almost immediately thereafter intentionally. The spasm of defensive killing begins, targeted at their leadership. They spasm in return. They would not be able to scuttle into their "green zones" fast enough. For each clumsy attack on us, they receive a lesson in the 500 meter war, one bullet (or many bullets) at a time. They commit "collateral damage" of our innocents, we stay within the rules of engagement and kill only war-planners and war-wagers.

I have asked this question before. They will fight to the last ATF agent or to the last oath-breaking soldier. Will they fight to the first senior bureaucrat, the second Congressman, the third newspaper editor, the fourth Senator, the fifth White House aide? Can they stand Bill Clinton's rules of engagement?

These are the stakes for them, though they do not understand it.

And once they start it, they will find it impossible to stop, until they surrender unconditionally or personally face the music themselves.

Forgive me these dark thoughts, my friends, on this Constitution Day. They are occasioned by my glimpse today inside the minds of some taxpayer-supported jack booted thugs. They really are as venal, stupid, arrogant and dangerous as I feared.

As I read their innermost thoughts, freely expressed among themselves, I realized that all my efforts to prevent this madness from happening will very likely be mere cruel, futile self-deception on my part.

And given the arrogant, narcissistic master they now nominally serve, it is unlikely this will end with mere politics, but rather by what Clausewitz called "politics by other means."

May God forgive them.

For whoever is left standing with a rifle after the initial spasm that they start certainly won't.

"Leadership decapitation" indeed.

Their leadership. . . and their decapitation.

There's a fight coming.

They will start it.

Let's win.



drjim said...

If (or when) it starts, I can see it growing quickly to epic proportions.
I would imagine the street gangs would take this opportunity to either consolidate, or start open war among themselves for control of "their turf". I've been around enough of them to know that if the threat of police involvement isn't there, they'll go nuts whacking each other, and taking out a lot of innocent bystanders in the process.
I can see the national Guard being mobilized in large cities, martial law being declared, and a massive gun grab attempt.
God bless and help the USA....

Anonymous said...

I'd sure like to read what you were reading. What is keeping you from posting it here?

Larry said...

Hi Mike,

I'm still here, just haven't had much to say lately.



Happy D said...

Mike Said, They really are as venal, stupid, arrogant and dangerous as I feared.
I have to admit that I am surprised. I would have figured they would be more venal, stupid, and arrogant. Also evil and poorly dressed.

Now take care of your feet, we still need you dearly.
III Happy D

Anonymous said...

Decapitation does not seem to have served the Israelis very well (or it has served them extremely well, depending on view point of whether some in Israel actually want ongoing conflict).

For Israel's enemies, It provided rapid promotion for young keen radical palestinians, and a flow of new ideas, it stopped their organisations going stale the way arafat's fatta did.

Other places, decapitation has lead to local war lords, who deffinitely have a vested interest in keeping trouble going.

Tangalor said...

They commit "collateral damage" of our innocents, we stay within the rules of engagement and kill only war-planners and war-wagers.

It is important to note that this won't be covered in the media unless they're dealt with accordingly, or it is caught on tape.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike you are so right on decapitation that it is scary. No matter what they do it will not help them, there is not enough dogs in their camp to control the whole nation even martial law will not work here, but stupid and overvhelmed by their imaginary power they will always do the wrong thing. I just hope it will happen soon so we can clean up this garbage we call government it may take a lot of casualties on our side buit it will be well worth it. Thanks for great insight.

Santander said...

If I were writing a book about such a hypothetical situation, I would write the scenarios using the following assumptions:

The bureaucrats and propoganda (er, media) editors will be allowed into the "green zones".
I would further expect that the most "protected" individuals will be the elite of the power center of government (Federal level "representatives" and elected executive branch... maybe some appointees) plus the military itself. Federal police & ATF not so much.

Santander said...


I meant to say that the bureaucrats and propoganda (er, media) editors would ***NOT*** be allowed into the "green zones".

ie. cannon fodder

Anonymous said...

Leadership decapitation works only when there are leaders.

It seems these people are forgetting about the Chinese resistance movement during the Anti-Japanese war. The guerillas in the urban areas practically had no organization. Even a shoe shiner boy is probably a guerilla by night, and despite his size he is deadly swift with that Bowie knife.

Killing innocent bystanders will be the ultimate downfall for the JBTs. Remember the lessons of Iraq: most of these "insurgents" would not have became insurgents had their family members had not been killed in crossfires or aerial bombings gone horribly wrong.

One Phil Gordon will produce at least three Charlie Quintards.

I suggest these JBTs go watch "The Patriot" and realize that the events in that movie are what happens when "authorities" get too froggy.

Anonymous said...

A comment upon the Street Gangs reference:

Once the DEA is no longer funded, street gangs will whither quickly. Their money comes from the drug trade, which enjoys greatly-elevated profits due to outlawed supply.

Once supply is no longer restrained, drug profits will crash, and all the thugs who get rich off them will have to look for something else to do. Street gangs will go back to their (still objectionable) 1950s levels.

Anonymous said...

Remember, the Agorists are your friends.

You may disagree with them in wide areas, but they will be useful to you, and you to them.

Anonymous said...

The gubmint thugs must realize if they start something, odds are patriots will finish it.

1. We have no distinct 'leaders' to be targeted. Even so, another will quickly rise to the occasion and replace the one(s) lost.

2. There are more of us than them.

3. We don't have rules of engagement.

4. We are prepared and motivated, as are many of our friends and families. More so every day...

5. We don't wish direct conflict and are trying desperately to avoid it, but if it comes our way, we won't run.

6. We don't wear uniforms and thought you might think so, you don't really know who we are...remember we grossly outnumber you.

If you, the obtuse gubmint thugs, don't see the light and stop trouncing our liberty, there are consequences to your actions. Let's hope they can be resolved politically to the advantage of the liberty of all and the restoration of the Republic, otherwise you will most certainly lose more than a political debate...

Concerned Citizen
(more than one of us)

Anonymous said...

The enterprise leads in several possible directions. (1) Perhaps the insurgents will have struck off their chains while The Others are still trying to construct organizational charts; (2) The numbers of insurgents will mandate a massive recruitment and call-up by The Others, which will result in the recruits' being slaughtered as they enter the induction centers; (3) The Others will very likely not learn as the U.S. Forces have not that insurgents needn't be taken prisoner and that the laws of war sanction killing them following a summary hearing in the field.

All sorts of possibilities can work to the benefit of the Great Unwashed (read, us).

Anonymous said...

Many don't understand our "world view" as Mike puts it.

If my wife and I die in our fight to Restore the Republic, but my children and grandchildren live because others in the cause win, I have fulfilled that which I feel is my responsibility. Local slang: I am good to go.

Anonymous said...

decapitate the leaders:

Pour encourage les autres?