Going Rogue in Combat Boots, Indeed

This piece is one of the best pieces I have seen in a long time on the state of the U.S., and where we might be heading:

Angry and desperate veterans and mercenaries already conditioned to violence, merging with “tea baggers” and other alienated groups, could one day form our own Freikorps units, rioting for violent solutions to national decline. Recall that the Nazi movement ultimately succeeded in the early 1930s because so many middle-class Germans were scared as they saw their wealth, standard of living, and status all threatened by the Great Depression.

If our great recession continues, if decent jobs remain scarce, if the mainstream media continue to foster fear and hatred, if returning troops are disaffected and their leaders blame politicians for “not being tough enough,” if one or two more terrorist attacks succeed on US soil, wouldn’t this country be well primed for a coup by any other name?

Read it all.

4 Replies to “Going Rogue in Combat Boots, Indeed”

  1. Don,

    This piece, from four years ago, is a relatively plausible nightmare, and shows a horrible vision I think all Americans need to think about from time to time.

    Still I think it’s only a nightmare, not an actual threat.

    I have stayed fairly well informed on both America’s armed forces and its intelligence community over the years, and have even done some small bits and pieces of useful work with both, and all of my experiences and contacts speak well for the health of the republic and its democracy.

    1.) America’s officer corps are led by graduates of the Service Academies, which now have the SAT cut-offs historically traded around by MIT, Caltech, Harvard and one or two other civilian schools. Because free market economics make governmental aid to education flow through directly to the administrariat, capable kids compete for socialist education the one place it’s still available, West Point, Annapolis, and the Air Force Academy; this last still gives good education as long as it can stay out of the clutches of the flatheads of Colorado Springs.

    2.) Officer candidates are politically appointed, by members of Congress. For every MacArthur, an Eisenhower and a Marshall or two.

    3.) The intelligence agencies — would you believe there are something like 28 of ’em? — or at least the important ones, are extraordinarily careful to stay legal and Constitutional. They have made what I consider great mistakes over the years, but these have always, imho, been mistakes of the elected Administrations, not of rogue spooks.

    Yes, I know there’s a lot of press that contradicts this: I’ve looked into a lot of it, and it’s all persiflage. There was also a serious attempt by elements of the Junior Bush Administration to create their own intelligence services when the ones in place wouldn’t deliver the constructed news they wanted. These failed.

    4.) There are insane numbers of guns in the hands of loons, drunks, and ideological weirdies. There is also a very well financed commercial lobby dressing itself up in hilarious Second Amendment play clothes working to increase their numbers. This will continue to cost America a few thousand lives per year. It is of no Constitutional interest: these folks are, as I said, loons, drunks, and weirdies. Hell, if they had the elementary competence to register to vote, Mitt would be your President right now. So nothing to worry about.

    Well, plenty to worry about,* but Kristallnacht and all that are not on the list.



    * You just elected a Congressional majority who don’t realize that the loaves and the fishes left over were the natural result of Keynesian policy applied to the Picnic On The Mount. 🙂



      1. America’s debt is in dollars. Not a problem.

        Irritating to us libs to see so much in interest payments from working people to coupon clippers, but what else is new?

        Note that it was a liberal who last balanced the budget, and a “compassionate” “conservative” who destroyed that, before 9/11, by setting out to borrow dollars from China to pay off his Skull and Bones buddies with tax cuts — and retroactive reductions in the corporation tax targeted by individual company, a genuinely new and original bit of compassionate public policy.

        I’m reading fairly widely on “dollar hegemony,” a curiously Marxist phrase you use, and have no opinions on the subject. I find Sinocism, which represents New York, and Caixin, Beijing, a plateful.

        Of the economists, Barry Eichengreen seems to me sound. The last thing I read of his, a book with a good deal about this hegemony thing, seemed to me rather along the Gibbon line: there’s a good deal of ruin in an empire.




      2. With interest rates so low, the “coupon clippers” aren’t clipping much these days. That’s shifted money into the stock market.

        One of the key reasons why the Fed has held off for so long on raising interest rates is that, if rates go up, the federal debt service becomes very expensive very quickly. There’s rumours afoot that they’re about to do just that; it will be interesting.

        If John Kerry had won the 2004 election, we would have simply swapped one Skull and Bones Yalie for another. But that’s another distasteful aspect of American politics and life.

        I’m not averse to using a “curiously Marxist phrase” when the situation calls for it.


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