Archive for the 'Politics' Category



Harry Reid: “Something Will Happen” To Cliven Bundy

BY Herschel Smith
14 hours, 26 minutes ago

Communist Harry Reid:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says “something is going to happen” to get Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to stop letting his cattle graze on federal land.

“It’s obvious that you can’t just walk away from this. And we can speculate all we want to speculate to what’s going to happen next,” Reid told KSNV-TV. “But I don’t think it’s going to be tomorrow that something is going to happen, but something will happen. We are a nation of laws, not of men and women.”

Reid called militias staying at Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch “domestic violent terrorist-wannabes.

What Reid didn’t tell you is that he is gaming the system to line his own pockets and those of his son, Rory Reid, who is also a communist.  They want their crony who now heads the BLM to forcibly evict Bundy so they can use the land to spend stimulus money on Chinese communist “green” projects.  Reid didn’t exactly say that, did he?

No, because he is liar.  He comes across as a snivelling, pitiful, effete little worm.  In reality, he is an evil, rotten, despicable, loathesome, horrible, terrible, theiving, conniving, scheming, scurrilous, vulgar, opprobrious, offensive, dreadful monster and criminal who has hardened his soul so that he is no longer moved by differences between right and wrong.

There is only him.  Such is the final state of the wicked man.  And I do not believe that he is a product of the state, but rather, that the state we now live in is a function and product of men like him.

The Admixture Of Military And Law Enforcement

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 14 hours ago

My son Daniel did a combat tour of Fallujah in 2007, but his other deployment with the Marine Corps was a MEU to the Gulf of Aden and Persian Gulf (which both he and I think is a horrible way to throw away money if we’re never going to use the Marine Corps for anything on these MEUs except for humanitarian missions – but that’s another topic).

As the pre-deployment workup for this MEU, the Battalion underwent extensive training in evidence collection protocol and procedures.  At the time I dismissed this as an aberration and thought no more of it.  Then the Washington Post recently had this article, and it made me think again.

When U.S. Special Operations forces raided several houses in the Iraqi city of Ramadi in March 2006, two Army Rangers were killed when gunfire erupted on the ground floor of one home. A third member of the team was knocked unconscious and shredded by ball bearings when a teenage insurgent detonated a suicide vest.

In a review of the nighttime strike for a relative of one of the dead Rangers, military officials sketched out the sequence of events using small dots to chart the soldiers’ movements. Who, the relative asked, was this man — the one represented by a blue dot and nearly killed by the suicide bomber?

After some hesi­ta­tion, the military briefers answered with three letters: FBI.

The FBI’s transformation from a crime-fighting agency to a counterterrorism organization in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has been well documented. Less widely known has been the bureau’s role in secret operations against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other locations around the world.

With the war in Afghanistan ending, FBI officials have become more willing to discuss a little-known alliance between the bureau and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) that allowed agents to participate in hundreds of raids in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The relationship benefited both sides. JSOC used the FBI’s expertise in exploiting digital media and other materials to locate insurgents and detect plots, including any against the United States. The bureau’s agents, in turn, could preserve evidence and maintain a chain of custody should any suspect be transferred to the United States for trial.

[ ... ]

… FBI agents were regularly involved in shootings — sometimes fighting side by side with the military to hold off insurgent assaults.

“It wasn’t weekly but it wouldn’t be uncommon to see one a month,” he said. “It’s amazing that never happened, that we never lost anybody.”

Others considered it a natural evolution for the FBI — and one consistent with its mission.

[ ... ]

In 2005, all of the HRT members in Iraq began to work under JSOC. At one point, up to 12 agents were operating in the country, nearly a tenth of the unit’s shooters.

It’s been routine to watch every little Podunk Hollow across America acquire MRAPs, and we’ve all seen the horrible result of the militarizaton of police in America with SWAT raids.  With former military snipers going to work for federal law enforcement agencies and former military in general finding work with law enforcement across America (which both Daniel and I think is a horrible idea), there may as well never have been a law such as the Posse Comitatus Act.  We have virtual military enforcing law and warring against citizens of America as we speak.

But this level of admixture is a new feature (to those of us who weren’t part of JSOC).  The professional military has welcomed both law enforcement officers and law enforcement protocol and procedures into its ranks.

The implications of this are perhaps enormous.  Quiet Man at WRSA points out that there are formal Army field manuals and doctrine and training documents for site exploitation, and remarks that “virtually everything they do will be ‘”joint” in the agency sense.”  Yes, and in the intra-agency sense as well.  The military is looking more like law enforcement, and law enforcement is looking more like the military.  For those who have been watching, this is likely not accidental, and is an evolution that is at one and the same time both immoral and lawless.  This admixture of law enforcement and military is probably irreversible and this fact will prove to be determinative as a catalyst in coming events.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 15 hours ago

David Codrea:

Putting aside reader opposition to or support for the Bundy claims, and ignoring allegations of Reid’s (and his son Rory’s) personal interests in the disposition of the land in question, what must be examined is what the senator must mean if he seriously believes his accusation.

Just another means to do what the collectivists have wanted to do all along.  Disarm us.  Bhaa.  Come and take them.

Don’t miss Mike Vanderboegh’s speech in Nevada.  Mike reminds us that he’s a Yankee by birth, but given his current station in life, we’ll forgive him for that.

So we discussed that “missing M-16″ didn’t we?  It’s been found.

An M-16 rifle missing since 2006 was found in a deputy’s home, the Davis County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Detectives said they concluded a yearlong investigation into what happened to the missing M-16 rifle after a deputy came forward and said he had forgotten about putting the gun into a gun safe in his home before deploying to Afghanistan. He had requested permission to borrow the M-16 for training purposes for the Davis County SWAT team he was a member of in 2006, investigators said.

The gun remained in the deputy’s gun safe from that time until Friday, according to the sheriff’s office. He told investigators he had not thought about the M-16 since 2006 until he saw reports of the missing rifle in the newspaper.

How many of you would “forget” about an M-16 you put in your gun safe?  Yea, that’s what I thought.

And here is the comment of the day from WRSA from Tom in Ohio.

I’m really curious….. Where were all the Tea Party supported politicians during the Bundy Ranch event? Where were all the Rand Paul’s, the Mike Lee’s, the Ted Cruz’s, the Sarah Palin’s, the Marco Rubio’s????? The conservatives in this country are searching for a leader. Where the hell are they? Why didn’t they support the Patriot Movement? Why didn’t they make THEIR stand against government over reach? I guess I’m really not disappointed because I never really expected them to really take a stand on anything like this. A case in point in why there is NO voting our way out of this mess. It is truly up to the people to sort this thing out.

Tea party politicians.  Officially UA.

UA cannot be an excuse for this load of crap from Charles C.W. Cooke, spoken like a true Brit, a subject of the Queen.

See the new featured article The Admixture Of Military And Law Enforcement.

How It Will Happen For Cliven Bundy

BY Herschel Smith
6 days, 13 hours ago

Newsmax:

Ron Paul is happy that the standoff between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management ended peacefully last week, but he fears the federal government may return in larger force.

“Governments don’t give up their power easily, and they may well come back with a lot more force like they did at Waco with the Davidians,” the former Republican congressman and presidential candidate said Monday on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”

If it happens, that’s not the way it will happen.  It will be in the dead of night, 0200 hours or 0300 hours, with SWAT team members wearing hoods so that they can’t be identified – cowards that they are.

The doors to the home will be smashed in, rifles will be pointed at men, women and children, obscenities will be screamed by SWAT team members, and the helicopters used will be brought in without a filed flight plan.  Cliven Bundy will be sent off to debtors prison, and the land he is on will then be used by the Chinese communists to build “green” projects using American stimulus dollars while Rory Reid gets rich from it all.

That’s how it will go down.

David French Analysis Of Cliven Bundy Affair

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

NRO Corner:

Like Rich, I deeply respect the rule of law. As an attorney who practices in federal courts across the nation, I respect the rulings of those courts (indeed, much of my career is spent securing rulings from federal courts to protect individual liberties) and — having reviewed the pleadings in Bundy’s case — I do not fault the courts’ orders. John Hinderaker is right, “Legally, Bundy doesn’t have a leg to stand on.”

While rural America literally sustains life for urban America, many urbanites dislike large-scale farming (this parody is worth seeing), would like to see the rest of the country essentially transformed into a nature preserve, and argue that to the extent land is “used,” it should be used for selectively-defined “renewable” purposes, like solar energy or wind farms. The result — when urban regions become dominant — has been amply chronicled by Victor Davis Hanson and many others: rural regions increasingly serve urban ones and do so under comprehensive urban regulatory schemes that disrupt lives, destroy livelihoods, and lead to widespread frustration and despair.

And all of it is legal.

With few options left within conventional politics, rural Americans are beginning to contemplate more dramatic measures, such as the state secession movements building in Colorado, Maryland, California, and elsewhere. The more viable state secession movements aim to limit urban control by literally removing rural counties from their states and forming new states around geographic regions of common interests.

But until there’s a long-term solution, we may very well see more Bundy Ranch moments, where individual Americans (and their allies) simply refuse to consent to laws that destroy their way of life for the sake of regulations that provide no perceivable benefit to others. (I can only imagine my frustration if I had to end a more-than-century-old family lifestyle, arguably for the sake of a turtle that no one will see).

The long-term solution is simple to conceptualize but difficult to accomplish: de-escalate the stakes of our political disputes by limiting the power of government over American lives. Americans have always had profound differences, and we live together with those differences when victory for one side doesn’t mean inflicting real harm on the losers. But when victory for one side means the end of a way of life for the losers, instability can and will result.

I hope and pray that the dangerous standoff at Bundy Ranch was an aberration and not a harbinger, but until we can limit government’s power, I fear that respect for law will increasingly give way to contempt for the lawmakers.

French has missed the mark, attributing the event to differences in way of life to urban versus rural paradigms, instability due to the intransigence of the courts, and so on.  The reality is far bleaker than that.

The notion that federal agents should be armed is only a recent phenomenon in American history, and the idea would have been anathema to our wise founders, who would have considered them to be a standing army of occupiers.

But with Bundy we had agents dressed as “tactical operators,” who were prepared to raid the Bundy ranch for the sake of a corrupt deal between Harry Reid, his son Rory, and the Chinese communists, all funded by the taxpayer in the form of stimulus money.  Let’s consider that one more time.  Agents of the federal government were preparing to shoot civilians for the sake of crony interests and enrichment of communists.

And David French is concerned about the “rule of law.”  The comments to David’s article show how out of touch he is from readers, but this isn’t the main point.  French has elevated the law to a social religion, even if it’s majority vote or crony, corrupt judges in bed with the politicians.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such hand wringing and gutless commentary from an alleged “conservative” publication, but it does go to show that the divide between progressive and conservative isn’t that large after all.  Both sides want to game the system for what they see as the right beliefs, while the founders want to prevent gaming the system altogether.

As to the issue of an aberration and not a harbinger, as I’ve said before, this wasn’t even the first shot of the first volley of the first engagement of what is to come.  Gird your loins, because most people, despite your best efforts, don’t even understand what this is all about.  There is much more to come, and it’s all just getting started.

Prior:

Rory Reid: Liar And Traitor

Bureau Of Land Management Followup: It’s Not Over

Bureau Of Land Management Versus Cliven Bundy Post-Mortem

Rory Reid: Liar And Traitor

BY Herschel Smith
1 week ago

Real Clear Politics:

RORY REID, SON OF SEN. HARRY REID: We believe in a country in which we are subject to laws and you can’t just ignore the laws we don’t like. I think clearly if state and local prosecutors look at this more closely, they’re going to find that he broke the law and he should be prosecuted.

REID: He is not a victim and he’s not a hero. He’s been using that he doesn’t own for over 20 years and he didn’t pay. He broke the law. There are hundreds of ranchers throughout Nevada that conduct their profession honorably. There’s thousands of them throughout the country and when they have a dispute with the BLM they try to work it out. (source: KSVN-TV)

You’d like to make this about “the rule of law,” wouldn’t you?  Anything but your own immoral behavior.  It’s called a misdirect, and we have discussed this before.  This all has nothing to do with Mr. Bundy.

It’s about you, your own greed, your own theft, your own corruption, and your own ugliness.  It’s about your taking my tax money by the power of a badge and gun, and using it for your own enrichment and pleasure.  You don’t want him prosecuted, and you don’t want to reach an agreement.  You want his land, and to top it all off, the largesse you have taken from me and my people will go to Chinese communists.

You are a liar and traitor, and you deserve a traitor’s fate.

Bureau Of Land Management Followup: It’s Note Over

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Prior: Bureau Of Land Management Versus Cliven Bundy Post Mortem

I had previously said that it isn’t over.  Harry Reid says the same thing.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid hasn’t been very vocal about the cattle battle showdown in recent days, but says “it’s not over.”

Reid tells News4′s Samantha Boatman his take on the so-called cattle battle in southern Las Vegas. “Well, it’s not over. We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over,” Reid said.

He spoke truth.  Then again, even Balaam’s ass managed to do that, and here I am probably insulting the ass by comparing him to Harry Reid.

The empire will strike back.  We didn’t witness even the first shot of the first volley of the first skirmish of the coming events.  It was merely a sign of things to come.  Posturing, if you will.

In other news, we learn that there is favoritism and cronyism at the BLM:

The Bureau of Land Management is headed by former longtime Reid aide Neil Kornze, who was confirmed by the Senate as BLM director on Tuesday, just as federal authorities descended on the cattle ranch outside Mesquite, Nevada.  Mr. Kornze issued a statement Saturday saying that the bureau would return the cattle and withdraw its agents from the ranch as a result of safety concerns after clashes between law enforcement and the Bundy family’s growing legion of supporters.

As with all tyranny and totalitarianism, this gets darker the longer you look at it.  But let’s examine for a moment what Reid said regarding what people can and can’t do.

“Violate the law and then just walk away from it.”  Here Reid is indignant that there was resistance, but it is resistance to the very agency that he funds, the very agency that his crony leads, and justified by decisions from judges that are often in bed with the politicians and police.  So in other words, he is saying that you can’t violate his will and then just walk away, or said more simply, “I am god and there is no other like me.”  I make the law, decide how it will be enforced, and ensure that the laws are best suited for my family and friends.

Is it any wonder that the BLM met resistance from hard working Americans?  As for future engagements of this or any other sort, some commenters have ridiculed by advocacy for nullification of federal statutes, saying that it cannot be done.  Who’s laughing now?  Of course it can be done, and it will be done.

Cliven Bundy was just interviewed on Fox News, where he said that he apparently has lost cattle since he has around 27 calves that have no cow, and they are trying to nurse them and keep them alive.  He further said that he is placing his faith in his local Sheriff that the BLM will be disarmed and kept away from the Bundy ranch.

The order of things should be as follows for any future presence of BLM personnel in Arizona if the Sheriffs there have any balls.  First, I have no problem with killing cattle just like I have no problem killing deer, although I like venison a little less than beef, and always like beef fat mixed with my venison.  But the killing must be done humanely and quickly, which is why shots while hunting must be ethical shots.

BLM personnel should be forced to stand in court on charges of cruelty to animals because of the lack of necessity of starving the calves.  They didn’t have to do it.  It was a choice.  Next, BLM should be forced to surrender their weapons at the state line, and arrested and thrown in with the general prison population for failure to comply.

Cliven Bundy said that the Sheriffs boys should get up from behind their desks next time and protect him.  Local LEOs may or may be be reliable allies in the coming struggles.  But every LEO must make a choice.  It is unavoidable, it is coming to their doorsteps – each and every one of them, individually.  Eternity hangs in the balance.  Here’s an important note to LEOs: choose wisely.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

David Codrea:

Corroboration could cause allegations against anti-gun California State Senator Leland Yee, for attempting to broker illegal arms deals, to pale in comparison, particularly since Sharpton is a national figure with the ear of the administration and a national voice via his opinion show on MSNBC.

Well, when you bed down with criminals, you lose moral authority.  And this administration lost it a long time ago with sundry things, like Fast and Furious, the Gibson Guitar scandal, Solyndra, and the list could go on a long time.

Mike Vanderboegh:

One of them (also probably in diapers when the FBI was immolating those innocents that he figured had it coming) said that I was a “crazy old douchebag,” or words to that effect. I indicated that when they got ahold of the guy who had invited me to come up from Alabama to speak that he should get in touch with me and let me know if it had been a waste of time. Then I left.

So, having learned nothing that I needed to know and as ignorant as before I drove back to where I am staying. My speech, it would seem, is entirely up in the air. In truth, they had not invited me to their meeting and it was well within their rights to ask me to leave, so I really bear them no rancor. But some of them sure don’t know shit from shinola about Waco.

What a strange meeting.  David Koresh was a rapist and child abuser and I have no connection to him, ideologically or in any other way.  But there were other ways to handle this than the way the ATF chose.  Burning an entire township down and harming innocent folk is the mark of rapists, and so the ATF became (or already were) the very man they sought to arrest.

Mike Vanderboegh:

I congratulated Ammon and told him that this was perhaps a pivotal moment in American history. He also agreed with me that it is impossible not to see the hand of God in all of this. I told him that it was my opinion that the empire would surely strike back, but that they would likely come at the Bundys and their supporters sideways next time. Still, it was a great victory, a pivotal moment, in the relationship between the federal government and the American people. Nothing will be quite the same after this, mostly because it has demonstrated to those whom the government would victimize that they only require someone with the guts to stand up to leviathan — and the armed friends to back them up in the argument.

Read the entire communication.  It is indeed a great victory, but the empire will indeed strike back.

WRSA:

Enjoy this #bundyranch thread at PoliceOne.

Go at it, boys.

In public.

Please.

LMAO.

Must read.  You’d better figure it out, boys.  Each and every one of you, individually, after talking with your wives and loved ones, after much prayer.  Your souls are at stake, and it will come to your doorstep.  You can’t avoid it.  Ponder the deep thoughts now.  Pick your sides soon and be faithful.

On Giving Up Control Over The Internet

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

The Daily Caller:

In response to months of mounting criticism from the global community over sweeping National Security Surveillance programs leaked by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, the administration surrendered to allegations it had too much influence over the Web through ICANN, which designates the roadmap from web-connected devices to websites and servers across the globe.

“While the Obama administration says it is merely removing federal oversight of a non-profit, we should assume ICANN would end up as part of the United Nations,” Whiton said. “If the U.N. gains control what amounts to the directory and traffic signals of the Internet, it can impose whatever taxes it likes.  It likely would start with a tax on registering domains and expand from there.”

Edward Snowden’s name is mentioned in the DC article.  Forget about him for a moment.  You can blame the loss of influence over ICANN on our creepy 3-letter agencies.  It’s their fault.

But you can blame loss of control over the internet on Obama.  It’s directly his own fault.  WRSA remarks that this likely won’t end well.  No, it won’t.  A tax to the totalitarians will likely start in the form of registering domain names, but it won’t stop there.

Eventually there will be homage for domain usage paid to the gun-hating, globalist, wealthy totalitarians at the U.N., likely paid by corporations based on something like traffic, pingbacks, time on domain, page views, etc.

It will likely end in a tax for just visiting domain names paid by the user.  A final word to the corporations who are in favor of it.  Americans will only go so far in the abuse hurled at them.  If this is the straw that breaks the back of globalism, look for Americans to shut down their online banking, online purchasing, and in fact most internet visits.  It would wreak havoc on the financial system of the nation.

Corporate elitists see dollar signs rolling up in their eyeballs.  Reality has a different elixir whipped up for us.  Welcome to twenty first century dystopia.  Elections have consequences.

Lessons Of The Ukrainian Revolution For American Dystopia

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

There is no need to rehearse the Ukrainian revolution in blow by blow fashion.  The best up-to-date coverage is happening at this reddit thread.  But there are more than a few lessons for patriots who want to be prepared for dystopia in America.  I’d like to start a conversation about this topic, with my thoughts being in “stream of consciousness” prose rather than rehearsed talking points.  This will be a breezy discussion from gasoline and guns to the redoubt and littoral regions.

First there are the immediate stages, or the follow-on to the crisis.  The first observation I would make is that each of us should find someone to love.  Or another way to say it is that we need tribe – close and extended family for whom we can care and who can care for us.  We weren’t made to be lone rangers.  We were created to work, provide for, protect, and lead our families, while we also respect the gray heads among our clan and defend and protect them (Leviticus 19:32).

Having tribe means that there are immediate concerns beyond our own safety and security.  It means planning ahead for food, potable water, communications, guns and ammunition, and even in the short term power (or a replacement for power).  As a boy scout I saw one scoutmaster use a light that burned oil on a wick with a reflecting back, almost as effective as a flashlight.  It worked for days on a single can of oil.  Our 123 batteries will soon run out.  As I said, I’ve looked in vain for this kind of light.

For some in our clan, that may make the difference between life and death for certain medical conditions.  This is why Jim Rawles expends so much effort to help others with medical issues and what may seem mundane to us.  Medicine and even rudimentary medical care can save lives, while preparation for the mundane can affect the psychology of survival.

Do you have emergency cash on hand?  My oldest son does, and I am ashamed to say that I don’t have as much as I should.  Has your gasoline supply gone past its shelf life?  Do you have firearms and ammunition, food and water for those around you who have not planned, and to whom you wish to extend grace?

If you successfully protect your tribe during the initial stages of the crisis, there is the longer term, or intermediate stage with which to contend.  The government will no doubt be a player, and they may even be now studying Dave Kilcullen’s recipe for twenty first century stability operations.

This era’s unprecedented urbanization is concentrated in the least developed areas of Asia, Latin America and Africa.  The data shows that coastal cities are about to be swamped by a human tide that will force them to absorb—in less than 40 years—almost the entire increase in population absorbed by the whole planet, in all of recorded human history up to 1960. And virtually all this urbanization will happen in the world’s least developed areas, by definition the poorest equipped to handle it—a recipe for conflict, crises in health, education and governance, and food, energy and water scarcity.

Rapid urbanization creates economic, social and governance challenges while simultaneously straining city infrastructure, making the most vulnerable cities less able to meet these challenges. The implications for future conflict are profound, with more people fighting over scarcer resources in crowded, under-serviced and under-governed urban areas.

[ ... ]

The food security effects are equally severe, as pollution from coastal urbanization imperils fish stocks, and peri-urban areas surround city cores whose infrastructure is scaled for populations far smaller than they now support. This newly settled peri-urban land was once used for farms, market gardens and orchards, but as cities expand into this space, the distance between the city core and its food sources increases significantly. Food must now be produced further away and transported over ever-greater distances, increasing transportation and refrigeration costs, raising fuel usage and carbon emissions, exacerbating traffic problems, and creating “food deserts” in urban areas.

[ ... ]

The three megatrends of urbanization, littoralization and connectedness suggest that conflict is increasingly likely to occur in coastal cities …

[ ... ]

The implications for civilian agencies of government are equally obvious—the ability to expand social services, city administration, and rule of law into peri-urban areas are clearly important …

Kilcullen recommends that the U.S. military prepare for even more stability operations in littoral, urbanized areas rather than jettison that as a paradigm for the present century.  [Note: I appreciate the exchanges of e-mail I had about Kilcullen with Dan Morgan].  The redoubt will be more manageable for us, but the urban, littoral areas will be where hearts and minds are won.

Do you doubt the relevance of this?  Putin has played Kilcullen’s playbook like an expert.  His invasion of Crimea – which began before the Olympics were finished – does three things.  First, it focuses Russian forces in high population density, urban and littoral regions.  Second, it surrounded significant Ukrainian military assets, and third, it plays the psychology of occupation and control.

Putin now has control over troops who cannot survive without food, water and power, and who will likely be conscripted into military service with the Russian Army should they surrender.  But if they don’t, the people of the the Ukraine will possibly blame the revolution for the deaths of the sons of the Ukraine in Crimea.  Putin’s game isn’t just one of the clash of forces.  He is playing Sun Tzu with the people of the Ukraine.

The Ukrainian revolutionaries had one thing right in the initial stages of the fight.

… behind the barricades, there were thousands of people working together to support the front lines. It’s an important lesson that logistics is what ultimately wins battles.

While the demonstrators at the barricades skewed younger, older Maidan activists ferried supplies and filled sandbags.

Others staffed portable kitchens set up at the main encampment at Kiev’s Independence Square. When there was ample snow on the ground, they shoveled it into bags to bolster the barricades up to 10 feet high.

But they are now facing a master strategist in Putin, and control over water, food, roads, rural areas, transportation and power work in favor of those who have planned and armed well.  People need these things to survive.  The Ukrainians have a long, hard haul ahead fighting against attack helicopters and APCs.

In the very long term there are other concerns.  Rachel Marsden observes:

Ceding to protestors’ demands, Ukrainian parliament members voted last week to impeach President Viktor Yanukovych and hold early elections, which have been set for May 25. Online “slacktivists,” keyboard warriors and various media outlets responded by breathlessly declaring the situation a “revolution” — and in some cases even proclaiming it a successful one. Except that it isn’t at this point. Far from it.

Proponents of freedom and democracy would love nothing more than for Ukrainian citizens to fully control their own destiny. However, mere wishful thinking is no substitute for manifest reality, and semantics shouldn’t replace substance. Otherwise, there’s a danger of never actually getting anywhere. There are historical standards for revolution, and they shouldn’t be lowered just because those standards predate the advent of social media.

Some have already made that mistake in the case of Ukraine. The “Orange Revolution” of 2004 was prematurely named, then prematurely declared a successful revolution. In retrospect, it was merely a rebellion — and ultimately a misnomer. If it had been a revolution in substance, the country would not be where it is now, with parliament having to reinstate the Orange Revolution constitution that was adopted in 2004 but then gutted by a constitutional court in 2010.

There’s a reason that the French Revolution started, rather than ended, with the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. It wasn’t considered complete until 10 years later. A revolution, by definition, is the replacement of one political system by a significantly different system. In the case of an authoritarian or totalitarian status quo, it has always required many phases of rebellion over a number of years, and much bloodshed.

The only revolutions that end quickly are those that result in totalitarian or authoritarian regimes, as with the Cuban Revolution. Democratic revolutions are much messier. Moreover, they inherently require democratic legitimacy, which is why even a democratic rebellion such as the one in Ukraine needs to occur within the context of an election cycle and be ratified through a democratic process. Democracy can’t start ironically with a coup. The results of the May 25 elections will retroactively determine the democratic legitimacy of the rebellion.

Now, I think Rachel overplays her hand badly, and I’m not certain that an election is necessary to legitimize anything.  I would rather think that the best form of government is a constitutional republic rather than a democracy.

But her point presses for an answer.  Revolutions need stability operations.  There is no need for the illegitimate government to be the only ones who think of and plan for stability operations.  Stability operations can and should occur within the context of neighborhoods, townships and areas of operation.  In fact, working to this end would be a much better use of time for most people than any sort of lone wolf scenario.

From the short to the long, there are many concerns in such an endeavor as undertaken by the Ukrainians.  As one final pedestrian observation, I would say that shooting is a perishable skill.  If you and I are not doing it regularly, we have no basis on which to believe that we can protect our tribe.


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