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View Diary: The Law of Unintended Consequences: 29% of the Country Think Armed Rebellion Might Be Necessary (106 comments)

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  •  Well, unless they're buying heavy machine guns, (11+ / 0-)

    Anti-Aircraft Artillery and missiles, regularly artillery, mortars and other man portable crew served infantry squad's automatic weapons, tanks, APC's etc... it is unlikely that any armed insurrection is going to be successful. The reason this nation had a civil war, was partly because President Buchanan handed over control of the federal arsenals in the various states to control of the Governors of those states in 1859. This is unlikely to happen in the modern era.

    People who believe that they could successfully carry out an armed insurrection against the federal government with small arms and gutsy action are ignorant fools. The savagery of modern industrial warfare is beyond the comprehension of most people. Such warfare would require a commitment to an asymmetrical warfare response by the insurgents over at least a decade, which would embitter and divide this nation irreparably. Who would be the terrorists then?

    Encouraging this type of speculation is dangerous and absurd, even polling on this question is inane.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:56:46 PM PDT

    •  Is your argument that the Afghanis lost (7+ / 0-)

      to the Soviets?

      Are you trying to claim the Iraqi resistance failed to drive us out?

      I do not advocate armed struggle against our government.  We are no where near a place where it would be remotely preferable to non-violent resistance.  

      That being said, the history of the 20th century consists of rag tag  militias equipped in the main with small arms defeating major empires.  Not just once, but time and time. again.

      In the end, we'd stagger out of the chaos three or four different nations, after 10 or 20 million people died.  It's very unlikely that anything positive - by your standards or mine - would be achieved.

      But many of the people answering "yes" to this question would see that outcome as success.

      Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

      by JesseCW on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, not quite (5+ / 0-)

        "the history of the 20th century consists of rag tag  militias equipped in the main with small arms defeating major empires.  Not just once, but time and time. again."

        It's easy to overestimate the concept of "rag tag militias", but most 'guerilla' victories actually involved conventional forces, and the rest involved massive aid from outside... neither of which any American rebels are likely to get. Successful guerilla campaigns require real military resources.

        For instance, the Afghans against the Soviets were supplied with heavy weaponry by outside powers, relying mainly on bombs, rockets, and land mines.   the Finns stopped the Soviets with their own army (and German help), the Vietnamese had a real army and artillery against the French, and against us had a real army and an air force that shot down more of our planes than vice versa (the VC guerillas were not effective).

        Even in this century, the insurgents rely almost solely on IEDs made with stolen caches of military-grade high explosives. They avoid gunfights when at all possible.  Because our troops don't stop at guns.  

        If you want to see what small arms can do against an army, ask the Native Americans.  They fought their asses off, sometimes for decades.  But all they had were their own personal guns. Without heavy weaponry, your days as a fighting force are numbered.

        Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

        by nominalize on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:27:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The forces that actually defeated the (3+ / 0-)

          Soviets weren't the brutal backward clowns we were equipping with stingers and Chinese AK's.

          Rather, it was Massoud's forces, with very little outside help, that did the lions share of the fighting.

          The Viet Cong were highly effective at doing exactly what they set out to do.  If you think wars are decided by kill ratios you're profoundly confused about the purpose of war.

          Fallujah wasn't a block by block slog only because of IEDs (and it's kind of a trip to think anyone actually believes explosives are hard to come by in the chaos of a civil war) but also because of ongoing fire.  

          The Iraqis had no better parity of arms when they drove out the British 90 years earlier despite being gassed.

          Native Americans were defeated by (almost entirely unintentional) biological warfare and by overwhelming numbers.  They would not have prevailed against 10 to 20 times their numbers even if they had been similarly equipped, and very few battles in the Indian Wars until the last 30 years of the 19th century saw cannon playing a very big role.

          From Algeria to Ireland, colonial powers have in fact been driven out time after time by poorly armed peoples willing to die have defeated heavily technologically superior adversaries who were much, much less willing to die.

          Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

          by JesseCW on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:49:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RUNDOWN

            Massoud's forces were a highly-trained, uniformed army, equipped with heavy weaponry bought via trade from other countries.  Asymmetric, sure.  But nothing like a ragtag militia of dudes with their hobby arsenals.

            Going by kill counts is precisely why you might think the VC were effective.  What they were effective at was turning South Vietnamese against them through brutal terror campaigns.  Even the North Vietnamese leaders got sick of them, and by the end of the war they were marginalized and folded into other groups.  The NVA did far more damage to us than the VC did.

            Mentioning rebellions of decolonization are a red herring, for the simple reason that the colonizers generally quit because the colony wasn't worth keeping anymore.  That's not the case in a civil war, and indeed, Algerian guerillas had a much harder time against other Algerians in the '90's.

            But even so, the Algerians had basically lost their war of independence by 1958, and it was only attempted coups in France that led to a weakening they could exploit.  The Irish did have success in the 1910's and 20's (financed by their large American diaspora), but they only succeeded once the British were exhausted and broke after World War I.   That's hardly a recipe you can count on.

            Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

            by nominalize on Wed May 01, 2013 at 08:06:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Only because they are fighting in their home (4+ / 0-)

        turf.  The Russians could go home as soon as they realize that it's not worth their while to stick around.

        Also- the critical thing to remember about the afghans is that they have killed far more of their own people, than they have any foreign invaders, be it soviets or americans. That's what guns are great for. Not for killing invading armies. But for killing your own kind and killing your own civillian womena nd children. Afghnistan and Iraq have illustrated that quite clearly.

        •  I think I was pretty clear that we'd be talking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bruddaone

          about a massive bloodbath and tens of millions of people being killed.

          What doesn't seem to sink in is that this is exactly what a lot of these people envision when they talk about armed revolt.

          They'd be happy to see the whole nation in ruins and 20 or 30 or 40 million dead if it meant the North East and West Coast were severed from the rest of the US.

          Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

          by JesseCW on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:52:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Bad analogy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KJG52

        The soviets were a foreign occupation army.  The US in Iraq was/is a foreign occupation.

      •  The Afghan-Soviet War was a localized tribal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glen The Plumber

        conflict until the US and Saudi Arabia started funding the insurgents and supplying modern anti-aircraft missiles and guns to the Afghans. The idiocy of believing that there are insurgents capable of supporting an insurgency in the US comparable to the Mujahadeen's fight against the Soviets is laughable. Where is the Pakistan surrogate in this insurgent scenario, Canada, Mexico... This whole line of argument is laughable, we conducted a limited war in Iraq, continue to in Afghanistan and neither country posed an actual existential threat to the US. A domestic insurgency would threaten the very existence of the country, the government would have little choice but to react as Lincoln did- all out war.

        "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

        by KJG52 on Wed May 01, 2013 at 07:06:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem I have when people present this... (5+ / 0-)

      is that the military will stay intact, and that the chain of command will remain unbroken....I would think that's a foolish assumption.

      29% of the U.S. population is 69 million people roughly...the size of the U.S. Military in whole is roughly 3 million.

      Even if 1% of that 29% take up arms, that's still double of what the military has in personnel....

      Let's say 1% of those are Vets with prior military service who know how to use the weapons you listed....that would be a big problem.

      I wouldn't be so quick to be so dismissive....

    •  Rec'd for the last line: (4+ / 0-)
      Encouraging this type of speculation is dangerous and absurd, even polling on this question is inane.

      To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

      by Eyesbright on Wed May 01, 2013 at 06:37:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you think it's a given (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bruddaone, Yasuragi

      That the US military, regardless of orders, will turn their weapons on the American people?  I've had conversations with some of these crazies and its about the only thing I see as being true.  I'm not convinced they'd drop bombs or fire into neighborhoods where their parents or children live.  If that's what you base your security on, I'd think of a plan B.

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