Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People's Front?
Reg: F-ck off! We're the People's Front of Judea!
Michael Gaddy attacks Oath Keepers below for something he calls "comfortable patriotism." My reaction can be found below it.
Gaddy: Comfortable Patriotism
Over the course of several months I have received a large number of emails concerning the group called Oath Keepers. I have been asked to join; asked why I don’t mention them in my articles; and some emails in which the claim is made that Oath Keepers are our only remaining chance to protect ourselves from tyrannical government. Upon first being informed of the group, my inclination was to sit back and watch and see how the group addressed certain issues and exactly who would become active in the organization.
Fully understanding if a majority of military and law enforcement personnel in this country were to honor their oaths to the U.S. Constitution and the Constitutions of the individual states, real advancement towards individual freedom and liberty could be accomplished. I also understood those involved would have to uphold and defend all parts of the Constitution and not just the parts they liked or those which required nothing but lip service. I have always been suspect of those of whom I refer to as “comfortable patriots.” Those who believe all it takes to be a patriot is to join some group, send in annual dues, perhaps attend a meeting or two and then sit on their six watching sports or American Idol on TV as the world goes to hell.
Among others I consider to be members of the “comfortable patriots” are those who believe career criminals, masquerading as public servants, will actually pay attention to a multitude of letters, phone calls, faxes, or emails requesting they follow the mandates of the Constitution. One would probably be more successful sending correspondence asking a child molester to voluntarily cease his/her actions against children. How easily forgotten was the admission by those in congress that constituent correspondence concerning the illegal bailouts ran over 99% against that legislation. Did they or did they not authorize those bailouts contrary to the overwhelming wishes of their constituency?
At first blush, I was very encouraged when Oath Keepers came under attack from the Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC) for it had been my experience SPLC exists to attack any who would oppose a nose dive into complete Socialism by the US government.
Another concern I had was the inevitable infiltration of the group by various government alphabet agencies. History has shown anytime the government sees an organization gaining influence among the people concerning the government’s socialist and criminal agendas, infiltrators and government snitches suddenly appear by the busload. They use these agents and snitches to demonize the targeted group and if that does not seem to work, they buy off the leadership of the organization with money, power and sex. If an “anti-government” group is in existence for more than a few months and is not infiltrated by alphabet agencies and snitches, they must themselves be a government run operation.
My primary concern with the Oath Keepers is their propensity to support only favored parts of the Constitution. I have read their listed “Orders We Will Not Obey” found here at their website. While the member’s list of orders they will not obey is most commendable, glaringly absent is any reference to participation by their members in the undeclared, unconstitutional wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the current secret war in Pakistan being led by the CIA. They find it easy to believe their government would move against US citizens, pledge they will not participate in any criminal activities by that government against their fellow citizens, but refuse to believe the same government, under two different administrations, for eight plus years, has lied this country into wars that have taken the lives of a large number of US personnel and larger numbers of Iraqi and Afghan non-combatants: all this for a government that seized firearms from honest citizens and relocated many against their will in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Does this government actually see any difference in the citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan and the citizens of this country? Have we not been treated the same? New Orleans, Ruby Ridge and Waco certainly come to mind.
Call me an idealist, but I would hope those who are willing to pledge an oath not to obey orders that are contrary to the Constitution would also have a problem tolerating illegal activities by their associates who wear the same uniform. This could be especially beneficial among those in law enforcement who have signed on with the Oath Keepers. Such officers would gain much more respect and admiration from those whom they have sworn to “protect and serve” if they would come out publicly against those in their agencies who fail to live up to their oaths, rather than support them and their continued enforcement of unconstitutional laws and criminal acts against citizens who ignorantly believe they are being protected.
There has been an abundance of writings concerning what many see as coming civil unrest in this country. All it would take to stop that from happening would be for elected politicians to follow the dictates of the Constitution they swore to “uphold and defend.” They will not stop; we know that, for the crimes they commit are the source of untold wealth and power, far too much for people of shallow morals and no integrity to resist. Knowing such actions by our elected criminals will not occur, what is our second hope? That would be for the military and law enforcement to uphold the oaths they have taken to the letter, no exceptions. The military and police are the enforcement arm for the criminal cabal. Should they suddenly refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws and prosecute unconstitutional wars, the nation we thought we were would reappear. Short of that, civil unrest is inevitable.
Contrary to what many in the Tea Parties, 912 Movement, Oath Keepers, We The People and other groups believe, this country cannot be turned around and follow the rule of law until a large number of people are willing to follow the whole of the Constitution, not just the parts they find comfortable or accommodating. Acknowledgement must be made that a domestic enemy to the Constitution is just as, if not more dangerous to our liberty than any foreign enemy, especially those created by criminals in our government. Understanding must also exist in these groups to what constitutes a domestic enemy. They must be able to make the uncomfortable realization that anyone who commands others to follow unconstitutional orders, whether it be in the military or in the form of the police enforcing unconstitutional laws enacted by federal, state or local governments, is a domestic enemy to the Constitution. Also, they must accept the fact that anyone who follows those unconstitutional orders becomes a domestic enemy by doing so. The old “we were just following orders” has been tried before and rejected by an International Military Tribunal, common law and decency.
Supporting the troops who are waging an unconstitutional war, supporting police who are enforcing unconstitutional laws, and at the same time condemning other criminal acts committed by government is hypocritical to say the least and counterproductive to any effort whose ultimate goal is individual liberty. One cannot be just a little bit pregnant. If individual liberty and freedom are to ever prevail, a large number of people in this country will be required to become uncomfortable Patriots. This is going to require courage; does any still exist among our people?
When history closes its final chapter on this once great experiment in liberty, who will be given the bulk of responsibility for its demise; the criminals in government who only honored the parts of the Constitution that did not interfere with their criminality, or the people, who honored only the parts of the Constitution that were comfortable?
Suicide Squad Leader: We are the Judean People's Front crack suicide squad! Suicide squad, attack!
[They all stab themselves]
Suicide Squad Leader: That showed 'em, huh? (Dies.)
It would seem that Gaddy is fine with Oath Keepers' purpose, but it is its failure to adopt his libertarian allergy to foreign wars as an organizational plank which bothers him. Well, hell, it would bother me too if I didn't understand a couple of real-world things about practical politics and Oath Keepers that Gaddy, living in his splendid isolation, seemingly does not.
1. First and foremost, Oath Keepers is the principal vehicle by which strategic uncertainty can be (and is being) introduced into the minds of the current regime. If the Obamanoids doubt that their orders will be obeyed, even in significant part, their tyrannical hand will be stayed. If they cannot count upon which way the muzzles will be turned -- at us, at them or even merely harmlessly left in the racks in the armories -- then they will not try. Oath Keepers, AND ONLY OATH KEEPERS, (or a broad-based group like it, of which currently there are none other) is the vehicle by which this may be accomplished. Does Gaddy have enough followers to accomplish that task in Oath Keepers absence?
2. The men and women currently serving in the military, and the veterans recently returned, did not choose to start these wars, any more than the Founders, before they were founders, started the French and Indian War. Yet without their experiences in the French and Indian War, without the experience gained thereby, the Revolution would never have succeeded. (Suggested reading, The Minutemen by General John Galvin.) Whatever you think of the Southwest Asia wars, it is undoubted that they are producing hundreds of thousands of experienced, capable veterans who have heard rounds coming up-range as well as going downrange, and they are replenishing the pool of experienced armed citizens when they return. This is, to quote John Ringo, "a goodness thing."
3. The Founders were also wise enough, those who did not participate in that imperialist war, to refrain from labeling the veterans who did as "imperialist tools," or some such twaddle. They did not insist that anyone who was willing to fight for liberty not be "tainted" by ideological impurity. They were happy enough to count such experienced men as allies in a common cause. Wars, especially civil wars, are won by determined minorities which perforce are "coalitions of the willing," acting in their own self-interest even if they do not entirely agree with the opinions of their fellow soldiers. There are Three Percenters who represent a broad spectrum of political opinion, yet I would be willing to tie my flank to them for they believe in THE ESSENTIAL THING. Gaddy may indeed be correct in his entire political analysis, BUT HIS IDEOLOGICAL PURITY DEMANDS WILL NOT WIN A WAR. It will, indeed, drive off many potential allies, weakening the overall effort.
4. In some perverse life imitation of ridiculous art, Gaddy's attack on Oath Keepers resembles nothing so much as Monty Python's send-up of the factionalism of anti-Roman resistance groups in The Life of Bryan. Even if he disagrees with Oath Keepers on some points, why is it that he chooses to attack them politically and publicly, when he concedes that their overall mission is a valid and useful one? What is the compulsion to denigrate Oath Keepers to the degradation of their ability to accomplish the mission of introducing strategic uncertainty in the minds of our "domestic enemies", the would-be tyrants?
Thus, as committed as Gaddy is to liberty, and with more than a nod of respect and admiration to his position as a leader and his analysis of the problems we face -- especially his insistence upon realistic training of the armed citizenry -- his attack upon Oath Keepers is incomprehensible to me, and frankly contains to my mind more than a modicum of self-defeatism.
Gaddy is worried about "comfortable patriotism." He ought to be more worried about smug, ideologically-pure isolation. For if we are defeated, it will be a defeat in detail, because we could not find it within our ability to "unite, or die," as the old flag said.
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.