Victoria: Chapter 21

We met over breakfast at Mel’s Diner, a few blocks south of the State House. That was where our General Staff did most of its important business. The office was useful for doing calculations and research, nothing more. The old American military had loved offices and Power Point briefings because they helped avoid decisions. Our objective was precisely the opposite.

We had just eleven people at our breakfast: no horseholders or flower-strewers allowed. They were militia leaders and Guard commanders, plus the commander of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, Lt. Col. John Ross. He’d brought his whole battalion, with their families, north from Camp Lejeune to join us, on an LPH he stole from the Navy by boarding it at night and giving the squids a choice between sailing for Portland or walking the plank. The ship and the battalion together gave us an amphibious capability that would later prove useful. Father Dimitri, now our liaison with the Russians, was also there. The Tsar was friendly and willing to offer discreet help.

Over hot cider – coffee was an import we couldn’t afford – I started the session with a question. I knew most folks were thinking about what we did not have and could not do, and I wanted them to look at the situation creatively, not despairingly. So I asked, “What are our main strengths (pun intended)?”

Three militia leaders answered at once, “Our infantry.”

“That’s a good answer,” I replied. “Your militiamen are not only fine infantry, they are light infantry, which is an important distinction. They are hunters, which is what light infantrymen must be. They understand ambushes, stalking the enemy, staying invisible, because that is what you must do to hunt any game, including humans. What about our Guard infantry?”

“Frankly, it’s not as good,” said Lt. Col. Seth Browning, who led one of the New Hampshire units. “We got too much training in the American Army, which never understood light infantry tactics. They think you defend by drawing a line in the dirt and keeping the enemy from crossing it, and attack by pushing the line forward. Their tactics are a hundred years out of date, or more, if you’ve ever looked at the tactics of 18th century light infantry. Roger’s Rangers could have cleaned the clock of any infantry unit in the modern American Army.”

“How do we fix that?” I asked.

“Can we get some General Staff officers as instructors?” another Guard commander asked.

“Sure, if you need ’em,” I replied. “Do you?”

For a bit, the only sound was chewing. Then Sam Shephard, head of the Green Mountain boys (who’d learned a few things), said, “If we know the right tactics, why can’t we teach them to the Guardsmen?”

At this, the National Guard commanders looked uncomfortable. They saw themselves as the “real” soldiers, because they had uniforms and ranks and knew how to salute. I needed to break this mind-set down, because what makes real soldiers is an ability to win in combat, not clothes or ceremonies. But I also wanted to go easy on their egos. So I asked, “Are any of the militiamen also Guardsmen?”

The militia leaders chuckled at this. “Lot’s of ’em,” Shephard replied. “I guess we don’t need to keep that secret any longer. We infiltrated the Guard years ago.”

“Why not have them lead the training in the new tactics?” I asked. “That way the Guard would train itself.”

I saw the Guard leaders relax at this point. Nodding heads indicated agreement. “OK, we’ll let you make that happen,” I said. I’d just given them a mission-type order: they knew the result we needed, and that it was their responsibility to get it. I wanted to get them used to that.

“John, what about your Marines?” I asked Lt. Col. Ross. “How modern are their tactics?”

“Well, as you know, the Marine Corps never made the transition to Jaeger tactics,” he replied, using the German word for true light infantry, which translates as “hunter.” “But I’ve worked on my unit a good bit. What would help us most is some free-play exercises against militia units, using paint-ball and BB guns. Is anybody willing to play?”

“Sure,” Sam Shephard replied. “we’d love to kick your butts.”

“You may, at first,” Ross responded. “At Lejeune, when Marines played paint ball against the local kids, they almost always lost. But you’ll find we learn fast. And I suspect we can teach you a few things about techniques. The American military was pretty good at those.”

“What else are we good at?” I asked. “Is our infantry our only strength?” Silence told me folks were thinking too small. They knew we didn’t have the gear American militaries were used to, so we seemed weak. “What are we fighting for?” I added.

“Everything,” answered the New Hampshire AG, General George LeMieux. “Our lives, our families, our homes, our culture, and our God. If we lose, we lose all of them. The cultural Marxists will throw us in gang-run prisons, take everything we own away from our families, probably take our kids away and turn them over to homosexuals to rear. We’ll all be ‘re-educated,’ like the South Vietnamese soldiers were after their defeat, and forced to worship the unholy trinity of ‘racism, sexism, and homophobia.’ Our only other choice will be to grab our families and what we can carry and run for New Brunswick, and hope we can find some country in the world that will take us as refugees.”

“What are the federals fighting for?” was my next question.

“For pay, maybe. For a government most of them hate, unless they are blacks or Hispanics or gays, and sometimes even then,” was John Ross’s answer.

“Does that make a difference?” was my final question. The faces all said “Bingo” at once.

“It makes all the difference,” Ross answered. “That’s why the Vietnamese and the Lebanese and the Habir Gedir clan in Somalia and the Pashtun were able to beat us. We had vastly superior equipment. But they had everything at stake in those conflicts and we had very little. Now, we have everything at stake, and if federal forces attack us, they will have little. That doesn’t guarantee we will win, but it means we can win, because we will have the will to fight and they won’t.”

At this point Browning broke in. “John, I agree we have better infantry, and we have the will to fight. But what about all the things we don’t have? What about tanks, artillery, antitank weapons, an air force, and a navy? How do we fight without them?”

“We’ve been working on all those, Seth,” I replied. “Maine already has a Light Armored Regiment, based on technicals – four-wheel drive trucks carrying .50 cal machine guns or 90mm recoilless rifles – and other 4Xs as infantry carriers. Ross’s outfit brought a few Marine Corps LAVs, which give us a powerful core unit. We’d like to raise another Light Armored Regiment in Vermont and New Hampshire, also equipped with technicals. We’ve got the weapons, and any good body shop can make the conversion.”

“One ship has already arrived from Russia, and more are coming,” said Father Dimitri. “We are sending you machine guns, mortars, which will be more useful than artillery in your terrain, anti-tank mines, thousands of RPGs, shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-aircraft guns. And a special present from the Tsar himself for Captain Rumford: 100 T-34 tanks, which should be here next week.”

“Shit, T-34s?” said General LeMieux. “I guess beggars can’t be choosers, but those date to World War II. They can’t possibly fight American M-1s. Couldn’t you spare us something a little more modern, like T-72s?”

“T-34s are exactly the right tanks for us,” I replied. “They are crude, simple, and reliable. They always start and they always run. If they do break, any machine shop can fix ’em. We don’t want tanks to fight other tanks. That’s what anti-tank weapons are for. The best way to stop an M-1 is with a mine that blows a tread off. We want tanks for real armored warfare, which means to get deep in the enemy’s rear and overrun his soft stuff, his artillery and logistics trains and headquarters, so his whole force panics and comes apart.”

“The Tsar guessed the Chief of your General Staff would understand tanks and what they are really for,” said Father Dimitri.

“As usual, older and simpler is better,” I added. “Retroculture also has its place on the battlefield.”

“What about an air force?” Browning asked. “We’ll get killed from the air.”

“No air force has yet won a war,” I replied. “Air power is pretty much useless against light infantry in our kind of terrain, because it can’t see them. Night and bad weather still protect vehicles effectively, unless they can find columns on the roads. Our shoulder-fired SAMS and Triple-A will make them fly high, and from 20,000 feet they can’t see or do much. Plus, we have some ideas for fighting their air force in ways they won’t expect.”

“And we will have an air force of our own,” I continued. “We have mobilized ultra-light aircraft and their owners, which we’ll use to help our infantry see over the next hill. We’ll have other light planes for deeper reconnaissance and also to serve as fighters to shoot down drones. As has been the case since World War I, the most useful function of aircraft is reconnaissance. Bombing serves mostly to piss the enemy off and make him fight harder, especially when it hits his civilians, which it usually does. Remember, there is no such thing as a ‘precision weapon’ in real war.”

“And we’ve got some guys working on a navy, too,” I added. “It won’t have ships like the U.S. Navy, but it will have a sting to it.”

“Don’t get me wrong,” I concluded. “The feds will have a lot more gear than we will. But there are tactical counters to most of it. The more automated a weapon or a system is, the less it can deal with situations not envisioned by its designers. And the feds are deeply into automation and “systems.” Any system is fragile, because they all have lots of pieces, and if you counter any piece the whole thing falls apart. We’ll just have to be imaginative and creative and out-think their systems. Other people have done that, like in Afghanistan. So can we.”

“It’s clear the General Staff has been doing some good work,” said Fred Gunst, who led a battalion of militia in southern New Hampshire. “But General Staffs are supposed to be about planning. I’d like to know what kind of campaign plans our General Staff is developing.”

“You’re right, and we haven’t been idle there either,” I replied. “The most important planning is for mobilization and deployment. We’ve got some stuff in draft for you to take back and talk to your people about. We need their feedback to know if where we’re going is practical.”

“But the gist of it is simple, as plans in war must be,” I continued. “We will have three types of forces. The first will be active-duty, mobile forces. We want to have the two regiments of light armor, plus one heavy armor regiment with the T-34s. With those will be three regiments of motorized infantry, in trucks, of three thousand men each. Each regiment will have some heavy mortars for artillery, but we want to keep the focus on infantry. We want lots of trigger-pullers, not mechanics and communicators and other support personnel.”

“They will be the first line of defense. Behind them will stand ten more regiments of light infantry, made up of first-line reservists. They will be subject to call-up in 24 hours. They will be usable anywhere, but long-distance transport will have to be provided with civilian vehicles. Tactically, they’ll move on their feet.”

“Finally, behind them will stand a universal militia, which will include every male citizen of the Northern Confederation between the ages of 17 and 55. We’ve got enough AKs and RPGs coming from Russia to give one of each to every militiaman, plus a machine gun and a light mortar to every squad of twelve (three fire teams). They will operate only in their local area, because we can’t transport or feed all those folks. But they will form a “web” of resistance to any attacker which will set him up for a counter-attack by our mobile forces and mobilized light infantry.”

“We’ve already done some gaming, both of deployment plans and possible enemy options. We’re looking to do more, so identify your best war-gamers and we’ll tell them what we need worked on. More minds beget more options.”

“Great,” said Gunst, “but you haven’t answered my question. What about campaign plans. We need something like the Schlieffen Plan. Aren’t you working on that?”

“No, and we won’t,” bellowed a deep voice behind me. Startled, I turned around to find Bill Kraft. Big men can move remarkably quietly. “We want to be Moltkes, not Schlieffens,” he continued. “War cannot be run by time-table, like a railroad. Like Moltke, we know what we want to do. If the federals attack, we want to draw them in, encircle them, and wipe them out. But exactly where and how we will do that depends on what the enemy does, which can never be foreseen with certainty. We are gaming some possibilities, as we should. But we must be prepared to act creatively and above all quickly when the federals move, according to the situation they create and the opportunities it gives us. The key to good planning is to understand what can be planned and what cannot.”

“I agree with that,” said General LeMieux. “It always drove me nuts in the American Army the way they would develop some elaborate operations plan, and then become prisoners of the plan because it took so much time and effort to create. When the enemy did something unexpected, we would still follow the plan as if nothing had happened. Of course, that was in an exercise, so nobody paid a price. But God help them if they do the same thing against us.”

“I suspect they will, and I also suspect He won’t,” I replied. tr favicon

The View From Olympus: The Summer of ’14

Events in Ukraine are sendingi a slight shudder down the spine of those who reflect on the summer of 1914. We appear to be a long way from war. Yet the New York Times reports the White House is considering providing targeting data to the Ukrainian armed forces.

President Obama does not want war, nor does Chancellor Merkel. The Kaiser did not want war in 1914 either, but he got it anyway. Part of the reason for the catastrophe of summer l9l4 was that no party made much effort to see the situation from their competitor’s viewpoint.

If we look at the present situation in Ukraine from Russia’s perspective, we see that Russia is on the strategic defensive. Her primary objective is to keep Ukraine out of NATO. NATO stupidly has made itself into a threat to Russia. When the Soviet Union was dissolving, Washington promised Gorbachev that if he dissolved the Warsaw Pact; NATO would not expand into central and eastern Europe. That proved to be a lie. NATO has pushed its boundary steadily eastward. It waged an aggressive and unprovoked war on Russia’s historic ally, Serbia. NATO continues to present itself to countries such as Poland as directed against Russia.

Quite reasonably, Russia sees now sees NATO as a danger and Ukrainian membership in NATO as a direct threat. American combat aircraft stationed in Ukraine would be uncomfortably close to Moscow–as they are now five minutes flying time from St. Petersburg  from airfields in the Baltics. The equivalent would be if Pennsylvania withdrew from the union, allied with Russia and invited Russia to station combat aircraft in Philadelphia. It is safe to say we would not take such a development lying down. Neither is Russia.

Operationally, Russia is on the offensive in Ukraine, using (unreliable) proxies to create strategic depth by detaching eastern Ukraine from Kiev. So long as the West refuses to take account of Russia’s interests, it is what she must do. I doubt the Kremlin considers it an optimal course, but at the moment it is all that is on offer.

Tactically Russia is on the defensive, trying to keep her irregular allies in eastern Ukraine from being overrun. Ukraine, not the pro-Russian fighters, ended the cease-fire, and Kiev’s suddenly invigorated forces (dbwtedskyktheir new (their new competence probably came from outside help) are on the offensive, attempting to re-take all of eastern Ukraine. This is a flash point, because Russia cannot allow that to happen so long as there is a danger of Ukraine joining NATO. However reluctantly, Russia will have to do whatever is necessary to keep Kiev from reasserting control.

Were Washington and the E.U. to do what statesmen in 1914 refused to do and take account of the other side’s interests, a settlement of the Ukrainian crisis would not be difficult. The basic shape of an agreement would cover four points:

  1. NATO will not invite Ukraine to join.
  2. Ukraine agrees not to seek NATO membership.
  3. Following a cease-fire and a general pardon, Russian-speakers in Ukraine will have their rights guaranteed by all parties, those rights being similar to what Francophones have in Canada.
  4. Economically, Ukraine will belong to both east and west, serving as a bridge between the two, which could be a highly profitable role.

At present, it does not appear that events this summer will follow the course of those in l9l4. But they are moving in that direction. All parties need to communicate and cooperate to ensure that movement is stopped. The capital best placed to send events on a different course is Berlin. Kaiser Wilhelm II tried, desperately, in 1914, but he was too late. Berlin needs to act now. tr favicon

Efficiency Is Not A Conservative Virtue

The word “conservative” has been warped and twisted into so many new meanings contrary to what it once meant that one can only pity it. Some attach it to the belief that any “market outcome” is for the best in this best of all possible (i.e. capitalist) worlds. That is the belief of Dr. Pangloss and his heirs, the libertarians (sorry, Herr Leibnitz), not conservatives. Others attach it to the endless quest for efficiency and efficiency’s close cousin, cheapness, that now disfigures the “Globalist” economy. Such “conservatism” elevates as its First Commandment the iron law of wages, with the ironic result that it becomes an argument for Marxism.

But efficiency has never been a conservative virtue. Conservatives’ respect for traditions, customs, and habits and their understanding of society as an organic creation of many generations mean they value and protect lots of things that are inefficient, from the tripartite division of the American government through small family farms and local businesses to Flanders & Swan’s slow trains. We recognize that a modicum of efficiency is desirable lest institutions cease to produce anything. But to us, it is markedly less important than age, beauty, and having and helping others to have an enjoyable life. Our utopia is The Shire, not the World of Our Ford.

As usual the best corrective to any notion that conservatives are Taylorists pursuing an eternal quest for the cheapest price comes from Russell Kirk. In The Politics of Prudence, the best one-volume introduction to a truly conservative politics, Dr. Kirk wrote:

An economy obsessed by an alleged Gross National Product–no matter what is produced, or how–becomes inhumane. A society that thinks only of alleged Efficiency, regardless the consequences to human beings, works its own ruin. . . In his book The Economic Role of the State, (W.A.) Orton ironically describes the cult of Efficiency:

“Let us therefore praise the great god Efficiency,” Orton writes. “All he demands is that we make straight his path through the desert and purge the opposition . . . How much more mastery is evident in the controls of a supersonic plane than in the clumsy splendor of some medieval shrine! How much higher a peak of human achievement! Human? Let us not be too particular about that . . .

Later in the same volume, Dr. Kirk personifies the quest for cheapness as Cyrus P. Whittle, a Yankee schoolmaster in George Santayana’s novel The Last Puritan. He writes,

So America’s contribution to the universal “democratic capitalism” of the future . . . will be just this: cheapness, the cheapest music and the cheapest comic books and the cheapest morality that can be provided. This indeed would be the revolution of revolutions, the Gehenna of universal monotony and mediocrity. This is Cyrus P. Whittle, telling himself that not only is America the biggest thing on earth, but America is soon going to wipe out everything else;…

Substitute “Globalism” for America (though with America’s elite Globalism’s greatest proponent) and you have something pretty near our situation. What brings Dr. Kirk’s denunciations of cheapness and efficiency to mind is the current quest of the conservative movement for a new agenda, one that speaks to the problems of today and tomorrow, not yesterday. My modest proposal is that opposition to efficiency, the quest for ever-greater cheapness and the resulting destruction of the American middle class, should be part of that new agenda.

All of us who live in the nation’s heartland know the real story. There has been no economic recovery. Why? Because the number of good jobs, jobs that pay a man enough to give his family a middle-class standard of living, continues to shrink. Young people entering the labor market find nothing but minimum-wage jobs that offer only 28 hours a week (more and the employer is into Obamacare). They cannot make enough to leave home and begin an adult life, much less start a family.

The quest for efficiency not only lowers wages and hours, it increasingly turns the lucky person who gets a job into a wage-slave. All his time, 24/7, belongs to his employer, who demands it through the incessant ringing or beeping of some hellish electronic device, a human leash. Any failure to respond risks a return to joblessness. The iron law of wages, indeed.

Conservatives should be in the lead in demanding government regulation of employers’ demands on employee’s time, the bleats of the libertarians be damned. Such a movement is underway. The July 16 New York Times reported it in a front-page story:

As more workers find their lives upended and their paychecks reduced by ever-changing, on-call schedules, government officials are trying to put limits on the harshest of those scheduling practices.

The actions reflect a growing national movement–fueled by women’s and labor groups–to curb practices that affect millions of families, like assigning just one or two days of work a week or requiring employees to work unpredictable hours that wreak havoc with everyday routines…

Women’s and labor groups, very well, but where are conservatives? In Washington, no doubt licking the boots of their Wall Street donors, who endlessly chant “efficiency, efficiency.” But efficiency is not a conservative virtue.

Ironically, treating workers so badly they hate their jobs and their employers is not even very efficient. Another New York Times piece, from the July 5 “Business Day” section of the newspaper, “Paying Employees to Stay, Not to Go,” relates how some fast-food chains have improved their bottom line by paying their workers decent wages. One of those chains, the quality of whose burgers I can personally attest to, is In-N-Out Burger, based in California. Their hamburgers are competitively priced, but they pay all their employees a minimum of $10.50 an hour. A nascent chain in Michigan, Moo Cluck Moo Burger, starts everyone at $15. The Times reports that, the iron law of wages to the contrary, these restaurants find paying decent wages benefits them because their employees remain with them, saving on training costs, and they provide much better customer service. Any businessman will tell you it is far more efficient to keep a customer than to try to attract a new one.

Not only should conservatives be in the lead of movements to pay living wages and respect employees’ right to private time, we have something unique to contribute. What? When Big Business (conservatives are suspicious of anything big) replies, “We won’t be competitive internationally unless we continually cut wages and (to avoid benefits) hours,” conservatives have an answer: bring back tariffs

The destruction of the American middle class can be explained in two words: free trade. Free trade averaged our wages with those of countries such as China and Korea. They went up, but we came down. Wall Street didn’t, of course; it profited vastly from free trade, by moving jobs overseas. That too can be subject to tariff, in the form of an export duty of, say, 300% of the wage paid to the worker in India who replaced an American. The Establishment has made the word “tariff” unacceptable in polite society, but conservatives are in a position to change that. If we pronounce tariffs acceptable again, to whom will Wall Street turn

America built its industry and its comfortable middle class under tariff protection. Now, we need tariff protection to rebuild both. As a 19th century Republican might have said, “Here’s to the tariff, the gold standard, and prosperity! Huzzah!” tr favicon

Victoria: Chapter 20

Book 2: War

On July 27, 2027, the blacks of Newark, New Jersey rose against their oppressors and took over the city.

The rising itself was hardly unusual. For years now, urban blacks had regularly celebrated the coming of summer by rioting. It followed a standard pattern. After about a week of hot weather, the Boyz of the F Street Crew would drop in on their G Street opposite numbers and toss a Molotov cocktail into an abandoned building. Since most buildings in  American cities had been abandoned, this was no big deal. To keep face, the G Street Roaches would return the favor. Then, honor assuaged, the two Crews would band together and visit another neighborhood, where a few more buildings would be set ablaze. By this time, others were getting the message, and the gangs began to move out beyond their usual turf. A general Pax Diaboli prevailed when it was time to riot, and the borders were relaxed so everyone could join in.

The real sport was not the rioting and burning, but the looting. In effect, the whole city had a blue light special going. The merchants were cleaned out, but unless they were Koreans or Jews they usually weren’t burnt out; the gangs wanted them around next year so the street fair could continue. The merchants still made money, thanks to the hundreds of percent markups on the stuff they sold the rest of the year.

Where were the police and the government? The police, like most else, had long since divided along white/black lines, and white cops no longer went into black sections of town, for the good reason that they might be shot if they did. Many black cops and local black politicians were in bed with the gangs, who really ran the place because they controlled the streets. All the politicos wanted was a portion of the take, which they got. In return, they did the “Oppressed Victims’ Boogie” anytime higher authority threatened to mess with the gangs. One hand washed the other.

The real losers in all this were the honest, working blacks, still a majority, who lived in a state of perpetual terror. They hid during the riots, swept up afterwards and otherwise kept their mouths shut. Until that 27th of July.

The rioting started in the usual way. It had been blazing hot in Newark for more than a week, with nighttime temperatures staying in the 90s. On the 25th, a few fires were set. The tomtoms beat through the night, and on the 26th the looting began. But that evening, outside the Mt. Zion A.M.E. church, the script changed.

The congregation had gathered at about 5 PM, more for safety than worship; black rioters usually didn’t fire-bomb black churches. The preacher, one Rev. Ebenezer Smith, delivered an unusual sermon:

For more than a century and a half, black people in this country have been battling their oppressors. But we have forgotten something important. We have been so busy fighting oppression that we have forgotten to ask just who our oppressors are.

Maybe at one time our oppressors were white people. But that is not true any more. I have never seen a slave owner, or a slave dealer, or even a slave. They were all dead long before I was born, before my father and his father were born.

I have never met a member of the Ku Klux Klan. There may still be a few of those somewhere, but I doubt if there are any within a hundred miles of Newark. If I did meet a Klansman in his white sheet, I would laugh.

I have never been oppressed by a white person. But I have been oppressed by other black folks almost every day of my life. So has everyone in this church.

We are oppressed when we fear to walk home from the bus stop, because another black man may rob us. We are oppressed when our schools are wrecked by black hoodlums. We are oppressed when our children are shot by another black child for their jacket or shoes. We are oppressed when our sons are turned into crack addicts or crack dealers by other blacks, or our daughters are raped by other blacks, or taken into prostitution by other blacks.

We Christian black people are oppressed today worse than we have ever been in our history. Our lives are worse than they were in the deep South under segregation. They are probably worse than they were when we were slaves, because then we were at least a valuable piece of property. The black toughs with guns who terrorize this city and every black city in this country do not value us at all. They shoot us down for any reason, or no reason at all.

It is time for us to fight our real oppressors, the drug dealers, the whore-mongers, the gang members. The fact that they are black makes no difference. They are our black oppressors. They are not our brothers. They are worse enemies than whites ever were. It is time for us to battle them, and to take our city back from them.

He then equipped his congregation with baseball bats and led them out into the street.

Singing “Onward Christian Soldiers,” they proceeded to beat the crap out of any gang member they caught. Other honest blacks, seeing what was happening, came out and joined in. Some had guns, others had ropes, kitchen knives or tires and gasoline cans.

When they turned the corner onto Newark’s main street, a bunch of gang members opened fire on them. A few fell, but the rest came on. They mobbed the gang members, hanged a few from the nearest lamppost and “necklaced” the rest, stuffing a gasoline soaked tire around their necks and setting it on fire.

The Internet was the command and control system. Video of burning Boyz soon filled the cell phone screens, and more decent blacks poured into the streets. By midnight, it was full-scale war, blacks against orcs. It turned out there were still a lot more blacks. The gangsters, pimps, whores, drug-dealers, and drug-users ended up lumenaria, in such numbers that the street lights went out, their sensors telling them that it was dawn. It was.

The next day, for the first time in decades, Newark knew peace. The citizens had taken back their city. The corrupt mayor and his cronies fled, and the Rev. Ebenezer Smith was the city’s new “Protector.” He appointed a “Council of Elders” to help him run the place, and ordered armed church ushers and vestrymen to patrol the streets.

Across America, people of every race cheered. When the good Reverend Smith appealed for help restoring his city, it came. Every part of the country sent shovels, bricks, mortar and money. Construction workers, white and black, came with bulldozers, trucks, and cranes. The NRA offered a thousand pistols to help arm the new City Watch, and the Carpenters’ Union built gratis a handsome gallows on the town square – with three traps, no waiting. The Council of Elders voted to make car theft, drug and handgun possession, and prostitution hanging offenses.

***

It took a while for the politically correct establishment to react. But they did, because they had to. One of their most useful lies was that they represented the “oppressed.” Now, their own slaves had rebelled and taken over the plantation.

On August 3, 2027, as Newark was beginning to pick itself up off its knees, the Establishment tried to kick it in the head. The governor of New Jersey, a Republican woman, with the former mayor of Newark standing beside her, announced that “the rule of law and due legal process must be restored in Newark” (a place where for decades all the law and due process had protected was crime and criminals). To that end, she was ordering the New Jersey National Guard to occupy the city, restore the mayor to office and arrest Rev. Smith, his Council of Elders, and his City Watch. They would be charged with “hate crimes.”

The next day, the lead elements of the New Jersey Guard, with the mayor hunkered down in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, entered the city. They were met by a vast crowd of Newark’s citizens, carrying Bibles and hymnals, led by their clergymen. They laid down in the street before and behind the convoy to block it, then approached the Guardsmen, not to threaten them but to plead for their help.

The moral level of war triumphed. Faced not with rioters but with crying, begging women and children quoting Scripture to them, the Guard fell apart. The Guardsmen were ordinary citizens themselves, and like most normal people, they thought what had happened in Newark was great. The black Guardsmen took their weapons and went over to their own people, and the whites and Hispanics went home, with the sincere thanks of Newark’s citizens. The mayor was dragged out of his Bradley, marched by Newark’s new soldiers to the town gallows, and hanged.

In Washington, the Establishment sensed that if they lost this one, it was over (they were right about that). So on August 5, President Sam Warner, a “moderate” Republican who had won with 19% of the vote in a 13-way race, announced he was sending the 82nd Airborne to take Newark back for the government. In a move so politically stupid only a Republican could have made it, he waved around a Bible and said, “The United States Government will not allow this book to become the law of the land.”

That was the final straw. All across the country, Christians held rallies for Newark. Bus loads of militiamen, mostly white, headed for New Jersey to help the city defend itself. Military garrisons mutinied, with the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune moving on Ft. Bragg, the base of the 82nd Airborne. That didn’t come to a fight, because the Christians in the 82nd took over the post and said they would not obey orders. In New York State, the Air National Guard painted Pine Tree insignia on their aircraft and said they would bomb any federal troops approaching Newark.

Here in New England, our friends in Vermont beat us to the punch. On August 8, Governor Ephraim Logan of the Vermont First Party addressed an emergency session of the State Legislature. In Vermont fashion, his words were few but to the point:

Vermont was once an independent republic. We joined the new United States because they represented what most Vermonters believed in: limited government, serving the people, guided by virtue.

The government now in Washington represents none of these things. It seeks to run and regulate every aspect of every person’s life. It lords over the people, far worse than King George ever did, and it regards citizens as nothing but cows to be milked for money. It lives and breathes vice of very kind, and holds virtue in contempt.

The federal government no longer represents the will of the people of Vermont or the United States. I do not know what other Americans will do, but I know what Vermont should do. It is time for us to resume the independence we won and voluntarily surrendered. I ask you for a vote of secession from the United States and the restoration of the sovereign Republic of Vermont.

The Vermont First Party held a large majority of the seats in the legislature, so the outcome was foreordained. It was the moment they had long been waiting for. Most of the legislators from other parties joined in too. On August 9, 2027, Vermont became a republic again.

In Maine, we moved swiftly to follow Vermont. Our Resolution of Secession was passed on August 22, by a referendum, with 87% of the voters saying “Yes.” New Hampshire’s legislature had already voted secession on August 14.

We knew we were all in this together, so when the governors of the three states met in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on October 12, Columbus Day, and recommended we join together as the Northern Confederation, it was accepted by our people. Our flag was the old Pine Tree flag of America’s first revolutionaries, with its motto, “An Appeal to Heaven.”

The Confederation would be a loose one, like the original American Confederation; we had all had enough of strong central governments. We would have a common defense, foreign policy, and currency, and no internal tariffs, but otherwise each state would continue to handle its own affairs. The three governors would make up a Council of State to handle common problems; that would be the only federal government, and the capital would rotate every six months among the states so no federal bureaucracy could grow.

Elsewhere in the old United states, South Carolina seceded on August 24, followed quickly by North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Their representatives met in Montgomery, Alabama in early September and formed a new Confederate States of America. Virginia, dominated politically by the non-Southerners in northern Virginia, held back this time, as did Florida and Texas; the latter two feared the reaction of their large Hispanic populations if they left the Union, and for good reason. As it turned out, the Union wasn’t much help.

The Rocky Mountain states pulled out too, and established a new nation named Libertas. Oregon, Washington and British Columbia had long been calling themselves Cascadia; they had had their own flag since the 1990s. They quickly made it official. A few more states set up independent republics, while the rest waited to see what would happen.

At General Staff Headquarters in Augusta – now the General Staff of the Northern Confederation – we knew what was going to happen; war. We also knew it wasn’t going to be a War Between the States, not this time. That would be part of it, but probably just the beginning. The deep divisions that ran through America’s “multicultural” society in the early 21st century did not follow state boundaries. Yet those divisions would be the most important ones in the war that was to come.

As Chief of the General Staff, I faced two main responsibilities: getting the Northern Confederation’s forces ready for war, and developing contingency plans. To that end, I called a conference of our principal officers, including the Guard leaders from Vermont and New Hampshire, in Augusta on October 30, 2027. tr favicon

The View From Olympus: Two Wars

The crisis over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine continues to escalate in ways that suggest part of the Western reaction is agenda-driven. While it appears the airliner was shot down by a Russian-made SA-11, no other Russian involvement has been yet been found. The July 23 Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that senior U.S. intelligence officials “offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.” The officials said

they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia… In terms of who fired the missile, “we don’t  know a name, we don’t know a rank, and we’re not even 100 percent sure of a nationality.”

Despite all these uncertainties, voices in the West howling for a confrontation with Russia grow louder, with both neo-libs and neo-cons heading the pack. At the same time, the most interesting question hanging over the shoot-down continues to be ignored: did the Ukrainian government have foreknowledge of  the event?

As I pointed out in an earlier column, the speed and choreography of Kiev’s reaction suggests prior preparation. That in turn suggests foreknowledge. While it is unlikely Ukraine itself shot the plane down, if it knew the shoot-down was coming and did nothing to stop it, it shares responsibility with those who fired the missile.

Ukrainian foreknowledge of the event could have taken many forms. Kiev may simply have known that the pro-Russian forces had SA-11s and calculated that if it kept the airspace open, an airliner was likely to get hit. Ukraine may have had agents on the scene. Those agents could have acted as agents provocateur, encouraging the SA-11 operators to shoot at anything flying.

The most likely way Kiev may have set up the incident, from what we know now, was to fly a Ukrainian military aircraft near the Malaysian airliner. The July 23 New York Times, reporting on the same conference with U.S. intelligence officials noted in the Plain Dealer, reported that

The officials added that the current American assessment was that the separatists had mistaken the civilian plane for a Ukrainian military jet. The most plausible explanation to me is a mistake,” said one of the intelligence officials . . .

According to the previous day’s Times, during a briefing by two senior Russian military officers,

the Russians said a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet that was airborne at the time briefly approached the same 33,000-feet altitude as the Boeing 777 and was within range to bring it down with an air—to-air missile.

The Sukhoi-25 is a ground attack aircraft, not a fighter, and the only air—to-air missile it would carry would be short range. If the Russian statement is correct, the Sukhoi would have been close enough to the airliner to make misidentification easy.

A Sukhoi 25 attack plane
A Sukhoi-25 attack plane

Why aren’t we hearing more about Kiev’s possible role while demands for “getting tough with Russia reverberate? Because Russia is re-emerging as the most conservative great power, in defense of Christian culture and against political correctness. Both neo-libs and neo-cons accept the cultural revolution of the 1960s, so they see Russia’s role under President Putin as defender of the Faith as a threat. There is an agenda here, and it is one conservatives should oppose. As they used to say on Dragnet, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

The other war of note is that in Gaza. Despite its far higher casualties, Hamas is currently in the stronger position strategically. Israel can only meet its stated war goal if it completely stops the rocket fire from Gaza. That is almost physically impossible, even if Israel occupies the whole place–at a high cost in IDF casualties that will continue so long as they stay there. Hamas wanted an Israeli ground invasion, because that allows them to get at the IDF. The only way Israel can achieve its war aim is with a negotiated agreement, and Hamas is so far sticking to its war aim of lifting the blockade of Gaza. In that sense, this war is aimed as much at Egypt as Israel, since the blockade is enforced by both countries. Unless Hamas relents and agrees to a cease-fire with the blockade still in place or is overthrown and replaced by a different regime, it is likely to get what it went to war for. As usual, comparative attrition is a poor way to judge who is winning. At the moment, it’s Hamas. tr favicon

Rand Paul’s Reading List

The neocons and other assorted interventionists clearly have Rand Paul in their cross hairs. Paul is currently leading GOP presidential primary polls, and he apparently has the interventionists spooked.

I have been critical of Paul on immigration and foreign policy from the paleo-Right, but he has the right enemies, so I find myself in the difficult position of frequently desiring to defend him against the attacks of his enemies without endorsing his approach in total.

The first volley in this latest battle was fired by Texas Governor Rick Perry in a Washington Post editorial accusing Senator Paul of “isolationism.” Paul fired back with a reply in Politico.

Now comes round two. The Weekly Standard published an article criticizing Senator Paul’s suggested reading list for the thoughtcrime of including books that don’t conform to neocon standards of acceptable opinion. Paul quickly removed the list which was a mistake, because it gives the appearance that there really was something to be ashamed of, as this gloating column from the same Weekly Standard author shows. It would have been better for Paul to defend the list and attack his enemies for thought-policing. Then perhaps the list could have been taken down later if Paul and his team judged it to be more trouble than it’s worth, but taking it down right away empowers his interventionist critics.

Now The Washington Free Beacon has jumped into the fray with a typical “point and sputter” hit piece. The Free Beacon appears to specialize in enforcing neocon hive mind Right-think. Tom Woods calls it, in his wonderfully sarcastic way, a “thought-monitoring website in the mold of ThinkProgress on the left.” You may recall that it was the Free Beacon, and this same author, Alana Goodman, that “broke” the story that Jack Hunter/The Southern Avenger had once written and said things that neocons found objectionable.

Someone needs to inform Ms. Goodman that the “point and sputter” hit piece is an increasingly tired cliché. The “point and sputter” is characterized by its practice of simply dropping statements and quotes in an article, often short and without context, as if they are self-condemning. If someone says, for example, that we are controlled by reptilian aliens that reside inside the spaceship Moon, then I’ll accept that as self-condemning and we can move on. But if someone suggests, for example, that our interventionist foreign policy plays a role in Muslim hostility to America, then you have to be living in some sort of neocon Beltway bubble to think that is self-condemning. In fact, that our foreign policy plays a role in Muslim hostility is not really a debatable assertion, as that expert in Muslim hostility, Osama Bin Laden, made clear following 9/11. It clearly does, and I dare any interventionists to forever sacrifice their intellectual credibility and say it doesn’t. So what is at issue here is not the truth of the statement but what to do with the information. Keep doing what we are doing despite the costs because it is necessary and proper or stop doing it because it does us more harm than good. Implications that such a statement of obvious fact is instead “blaming the victim” or “moral equivalence” are shameless and unworthy of anyone claiming to be a serious commentator.

neocons everywhere

I don’t have the word limit to refute Ms. Goodman’s hit piece point by point, but I’ll point to a few examples of the “point and sputter” technique to demonstrate the intellectual bankruptcy of this lazy slur tactic.

First, note the title of the hit piece, “Rand Paul Scrubs Anti-Israel Reading List from Website.” The reading list was not “non-interventionist.” It wasn’t even “isolationist.” It wasn’t “dangerous” or “naïve,” also favorite interventionist charges. It certainly wasn’t “radical” or “liberal.” It was “anti-Israel.” Really Alana?

Then there’s this beauty: “One of the recommended titles, Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency by Patrick Buchanan, has been criticized by the Anti-Defamation League for containing ‘anti-Semitic rhetoric.’” Oh well then, if the Anti-Defamation League says it’s anti-Semitic, then I guess that settles it. It must be anti-Semitic. Again, what kind of neoconservative bubble do you have to live in to believe that the ADL deserves to be the final authority of what is anti-Semitic and to accept such an accusation at face value? The ADL supports gun control. Does that settle the issue for Ms. Goodman? The similar “hate” watchdog group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, designates the Constitution Party and the Family Research Council as hate groups? Does she accept those designations at face value?

And what is some of the evidence presented that Buchanan’s book is anti-Semitic? “In the book, Buchanan accused ‘the Beltway Likud’ of plotting the war in Iraq ‘long before 9/11.’” The phrase “Beltway Likud” was unhelpfully provocative, but that neocon hawks were itching for military intervention in Iraq before 9/11 is a matter of undisputed fact. Is Ms. Goodman not familiar with the “Clean Break” report? Is she not familiar with the Project for a New American Century? This is not obscure stuff. If Ms. Goodman is unaware of them, then perhaps she shouldn’t be writing about foreign policy.

I could go on, but here is the point. For thoughtful, reasonable, well intentioned people, it is not enough to just scatter shot a bunch of short quotes without context in an article and pretend they are self-condemning. It’s a cheap shot, it’s PC grandstanding, and it’s intellectually lazy and dishonest. It’s not how civilized ladies and gentlemen conduct a debate. If you are going to make an assertion, you have to back it up. Responsible journalists and commentators who cover foreign policy should not act like agents of Madison Avenue and make cheap appeals to emotions. They should engage in an honest intellectual debate. Articles in the Free Beacon about “anti-Israel” reading lists are not up to that standard, and discredit both the author and the website. tr favicon

Dan E. Phillips, MD is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. His work has been published at Lew Rockwell, Chronicles Magazine, Intellectual Conservative, the Abbeville Institute blog, and several other places. He can be contacted at danphillipsmd@gmail.com.

The View From Olympus: South Wind

Photo credit: David Boté Estrada

As I have written many times, Fourth Generation war is such a vast phenomenon that it will take a century for it to reveal itself fully. A new and surprising manifestation is the flood of unaccompanied children across our southern border, a surprise that uncomfortably suggests The Camp of the Saints. The children are fleeing gang violence. A story in the July 10 New York Times reported that

“While many children and parents say the rush of new migrants stems from a belief that United States immigration policy offers preferential treatment to minors, studies of Border Patrol statistics show a strong correlation between cities . . . with high homicide rates and swarms of youngsters taking off for the United States.”

Children are given two choices by the gangs: join or die. However, joining also probably means dying at an early age. Because children mimic what they see elders doing, they are not only joining gangs but copying their behavior. The Times reported that “Last week, in . . . Santa Barbara (Honduras), an 11-year old boy had his throat slit by other children, because he did not pay a 50-cent extortion fee.”

Welcome to the world without the state. Life is, as Thomas Hobbes put it, nasty, brutish, and short. Gangs are a common element in 4GW, which is what these children find themselves caught up in. Childhood as we know it, which is a Victorian creation, vanishes. Child fighters were common before the Victorian period; 18th century Royal Navy warships often had 12-year old midshipmen and children as young as eight serving as powder monkeys. In other parts of today’s world where the state has broken down, child soldiers are normal.

Gangs are inherent enemies of the state. Where the state still functions, gang membership itself should be illegal and possibly a capital crime. But in places such as Honduras, the gangs are more powerful than the state. The state cannot outlaw them; indeed, they are in effect outlawing the state. The police themselves have become just another gang.

What can the United States do about it? In other countries, nothing. In theory, we could invade and occupy places such as Honduras. But once we had done that, we would quickly find that eliminating the gangs requires summary execution of most males between the ages of ten and thirty. We don’t have the stomach for that.

On our own soil, we need to take the gang threat much more seriously. It is time and probably past time to make gang membership itself illegal. Since we also lack the fortitude to make it a capital crime, it needs to be punished by sentences to hard labor. Contracting the job out to Russia would add a further deterrent; few gang members fancy Siberia. First sentence should be ten days, second sentence ten years.

The more immediate question is what to do about the flood of children across our southern border. The numbers are such that they cannot be ignored. The lead article in the July 13 New York Times Sunday Review section, by Sonia Nazario, stated that

“Three years ago, about 6,800 children were detained by United States immigration authorities and placed in federal custody; this year, as many as 90,000 children are expected to be picked up.”

What should we do? Mrs. Nazario, with many on the left, argue that these children are not immigrants but refugees:

“we must recognize this as a refugee crisis, as the United Nations just recommended . . . Many Americans, myself included, believe in deporting unlawful immigrants, but see a different imperative with refugees.”

As refugees, Mrs. Nazario, citing an organization called Kids in Need of Defense, estimates 40 to 60 percent of the children qualify to stay in the U.S.

Here is where a correct understanding of Fourth Generation war is necessary. Mrs. Nazario is right: these children are refugees. As the number of failed states grows and disorder spreads, we will see vast floods of refugees, millions and tens of millions, all trying to get into one of the ever-smaller number of places that remain orderly. Those states, including our own, dare not admit them. Why? Because they will bring the behaviors they are fleeing with them. It was just this sort of immigration that brought down the Roman Empire. The barbarians (except perhaps the Vandals) were not invading Rome to destroy it; they were moving in, during the same sort of movement of whole peoples, Volkerwanderung, we now face, seeking the order Rome offered. But their numbers were so great they overwhelmed Rome. The Dark Ages began as a refugee crisis.

So what is to be done with all these children? In his novel South Wind, Norman Douglas offered an answer. Once a year, the Good Duke Alfred put out a flag that signaled the Turks to come in and pick up all the children who had been bad. Were the children now coming en masse across our southern border promptly sold in the slave markets of Khartoum, the refugee flow would stop.

Since we cannot do that, the next best option is to send the children home, volens nolens, as quickly as possible after their arrival. Is that harsh? Undoubtedly. Does it doom most of them to become fodder for the gangs? Probably, although most of them will probably end up in gangs anyway if they are allowed to stay here because that is the culture they know.

Harsh, cruel measures, especially in blocking the flow of refugees, are what survival as a state will require in a 4GW world. We need to send the kids home. The Italian Navy needs to be sinking the boats refugees are using to cross the Med, not helping them make it to Italian ports. Norway needs to send its Somalis back to Somalia (the Norwegian government had to print a brochure in Somali saying, “No, it’s not OK to rape Norwegian women who are out in public without a male relative.). To be or not to be, that is the question facing the state. tr favicon

The View From Olympus: A Quick Look At The MH17 Shoot-Down

A quick look at the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine raises some interesting questions. On the surface, it appears most likely that Russian separatists shot the plane down after mistaking it for a Ukranian military transport. But if we dig a bit, a different picture starts to emerge.

Of course, it is entirely possible the separatists did it. It makes no strategic sense, but if we understand 4GW we also realize that the separatists are not an army. Even the term “militia” may overstate their degree of organization. By this point, much of what is left of the separatist movement is just gangs. Their discipline is poor if it exists at all. Being Russians, they are also drunk most of the time. Could some inebriajed gang members amuse themselves by taking potshots with SAMs at anything that flies? Easily.

But there is another layer to this incident. Ukraine will benefit strategically from it if it gets blamed on the separatists. That means a pseudo-op makes sense. Would the Ukranian government shoot down a civilian airliner if it were convinced it could blame it on the separatists and thereby increase international pressure on Russia to pull the plug on its Ukranian allies (who are now operating out of control)? Very possibly.

One piece of the puzzle says this may be the case. The speed of Ukraine’s reaction and its highly organized nature suggests foreknowledge. Within less than twenty-four hours, Ukraine had not only blamed the separatists but provided “evidence” they did it. According to the New York Times

“Ukraine’s intelligence service . . . known as the S.B.U., released what it said was audio from intercepted phone calls between separatist rebels and Russian military intelligence officers on Thursday. In the audio, the separatists appeared to acknowlege shooting down a civilian plane.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent reporters a link to the edited audio [that word “edited” is important] of the calls, with English subtitles, posted on YouTube by the S.B.U.”

What speed! What efficiency! In just a few hours, all this was put together in a neat and tidy package, despite the fact that the event was totally unexpected.

This smells. The Ukrainian government is not noted for its efficiency. In any government, all these actions, statements etc. have to be approved by many layers of authority. How did all this happen so fast? Perhaps because the event was not unexpected.

Both the E.U. and the U.S. government are likely to get involved in the investigation of this incident. Remember that neither is a disinterested party. Both are strongly pro-Ukrainian government and anti-Russian. They have large axes to grind.

As newspapermen say, this story is likely to have legs. tr favicon

Victoria: Chapter 19

The next two years, 2026 to 2027, were the last of the American Republic. In Maine, we were effectively running our own show. We still sent tax money to Washington, but those taxes were paid in U.S. dollars, not Pine Tree Dollars, so they didn’t mean much to us. In effect, we just shipped some green paper south for recycling.

In Augusta, Governor Adams and the Maine First Party put through a change to our state constitution. It required that every major issue be put to the people of Maine in a referendum, and it also allowed Maine citizens to put on the ballot any issue for which they could get 5000 signatures. That gave the government back to the people, where it had originally come from. It also meant that whenever government did something, it had a majority of Maine folk with it.

The Maine First Party in addition set a rule that it would only consider an issue in the legislature if a majority of Maine towns said they couldn’t deal with it in town meetings. That moved most decisions back to the local level, where they belonged.

We were all poor, but thanks to the Pine Tree Dollar, we weren’t getting poorer. We ate a lot of cabbage and potatoes – the Eastern European diet – and we huddled around the wood stove in winter, but we didn’t starve or freeze. As we had hoped, Asian firms lined up to bid for leases on what had been the national parks in Maine, and the foreign tourists came – and spent. Our economy began to revive.

We knew we had one serious, long-term problem: energy. The only oil in Maine is that left over from frying fish, and our gas was a product of Boston baked beans. Bio-diesel or ethanol wasn’t a solution, given our poor soil, which we needed for potatoes anyway. But electricity was.

In a referendum on March 11, 2026, 83% of the people of Maine voted to open negotiations with the independent Crown provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on damming the Bay of Fundy. With the strongest tides in the world, the Bay of Fundy offered a vast reservoir of power which could turn electric turbines. Both of the former Canadian provinces were agreeable; they were also desperately short of energy, along with almost everything else, now that the rest of Canada was no longer there to subsidize them.

Of course, none of us could afford to build such a vast engineering work. But private industry could. We offered the concession on a build-and-operate basis, with a 99-year monopoly on selling the power. On February 28, 2027, the State of Maine, with New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, signed an agreement with the Great Wall Construction and Power Company, a Chinese consortium. Work began that Spring, on a project that would take thirteen years before the first electricity flowed. In the meantime, we would continue to burn wood in our stoves and locomotives (we started building steam locomotives again, at the old Boston & Maine Railroad shops in Waterville) and see our way around the barn with a tin lantern, as our ancestors had.

We even told a good New England joke on ourselves. What did Yankees use for light before they had candles? Electricity.

Thanks in part to our poverty, we began to rediscover real life. Family took on renewed importance. If people were to survive, they had to look after each other, and the family is where that starts. Family members still on the farm sent food to those in town. The kids working in the Asian-owned resorts sent money back to the old folks on the farm. Families set up new businesses to make the basic tools we needed again; plows and buggies proved more useful than computers.

Real life has always meant working, not waiting to be entertained, and there wasn’t much time for entertainment when fields were waiting to be cleared, plowed, sown, and reaped. That was healthy and good. So was the kind of work we did as we returned to the soil and the sea. Dirt is what used to flow from the video screen, not what you run through your fingers as you decide when to plant or water. Maine’s cold sea was cleansing to her sons who turned to it again, in wooden boats propelled by sails or oars, seeking the cod that were once again essential to our survival.

With automobiles stopped for lack of gas, the people who lived nearby took on new importance. What had been mere places again became communities. Families helped other families, trading skills; one could farm, another could teach, a third could saw and hammer. As in the Great Depression of the 1930s, the local doctor took his fee in vegetables and eggs.

Life had gotten harder, but somehow also cleaner. We didn’t know it then, but this was the beginning of the Recovery.

Up in Hartland, still at the Old Place, I worked the farm. Now, there was no EPA to tell me I couldn’t plant, and the town needed whatever I could grow. A neighbor was breeding work horses, solid, gentle Belgians, and I got a team from him. I built a wagon, and, with the help of our local blacksmith, a plow, and went to work clearing stones and planting. It was nothing fancy, just corn, potatoes, and cabbage, but it fed the folks working in the tannery, who in turn made leather we could sell overseas.

***

To my regret, it proved too soon for me to play Cincinnatus. In October, 2026, after the harvesting was done, Governor Adams called. Would I venture the trip to Augusta again? He and a few other folks needed some help thinking about Maine’s future, and felt the Christian Marines had a role to play in that. Of course, I said I’d go. At least this time I could drive a wagon to the train in Pittsfield instead of walking.

We met on October 28, in the governor’s living room. He understood that informal meetings usually get more done than formal ones. Besides the governor and myself, the gathering included General Sam Corcoran, who was the Adjutant General of the Maine Guard, a few of his unit commanders, and some leaders from the various militias around the state.

Governor Adams made sure we each had a bottle of hard cider lying easy to hand, to lubricate the flow of ideas. Then, his back to the fire and his meerschaum pipe in his hand, he explained why he had called us together.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “I do not know what the future has in hold for the United States of America, but I cannot believe it is happy. We have already seen things that, merely twenty years ago, would have been unimaginable to most citizens. Through our own efforts, we in Maine have escaped the worst of it, so far.”

“But we have already had to defend ourselves with force,” he continued. “We must presume we shall have to do so again. As I see it, that means Maine needs an army. I have asked you here today to begin the process of creating one.”

“Of course, I realize we have some military units,” the Governor went on. “We have the Guard and Reserve units of the U.S. armed forces. We have our militias. And, not least, we have the Christian Marine Corps. But I wonder if these separate units constitute a real military – the kind Maine will need if she has to fight a war?”

General Corcoran replied first. “Governor, as you know, the Guard’s first loyalty is to Maine, now. We swore an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, but Washington abandoned that Constitution long ago. It abandoned it when the Supreme Court began finding things in it that just aren’t there, like a “right” to an abortion. It abandoned it when Congressmen became professional politicians instead of the citizen legislators the Founders envisioned. It abandoned it when the Executive branch bent the powers of government to force political correctness down everyone’s throat.”

“Above all, the government in Washington abandoned the Constitution when it deliberately misread it to rule God out of public life. The Founding Fathers committed the nation’s future to God. I have no doubt that if those men could come back now and see what the federal government has become, they would say it is the very opposite of everything they intended.”

“I think there is an easy solution to your problem,” he continued. “Just turn the Maine Guard into our army. Let us take over these militias and other groups here. We’ll teach them how to be real soldiers – to salute, march and drill, to wear the uniform right. I’ll give you a better-looking army than anybody else has got, I promise you that.”

At this point I realized we were on the verge of making a big mistake. It was time to speak up. “General,” I said, “I appreciate your loyalty to Maine and to what we all believe in. But quite frankly, Maine needs a fighting army for what is coming, not a parade-ground army. Remember the Sukhomlinov Effect: the army with the best looking uniforms always loses.”

“What would you recommend?” Governor Adams asked.

“I agree we should bring all our units together – militias, Guard, Christian Marines, whoever is willing to fight for Maine,” I replied. “But forget about uniforms and drills. The first thing we need is training. Real training is free-play training, where you go against someone who can do whatever he wants to defeat you. That’s the only way to train for real war. Do it with paint guns, BB guns, and eventually live fire.”

“Live fire force-on-force training? You’re nuts,” the AG replied.

“Other countries have done it, and do it today,” I shot back. “Go train with the Chileans some time. They do it. They learned it from the Germans. The rule is, ‘Offset your aim.’ It works, if you trust your troops. And if we want an army for modern war, the first rule has to be, trust your troops.”

“That’s only the beginning,” I continued. “We need all promotions to flow from exercise results: winners get promoted, losers don’t. Otherwise we’ll end up with leaders whose best ability is kissing ass. I saw enough of that in the Corps to last me a lifetime.”

“We need to reward initiative, not obedience: everyone, at every rank, must be expected to take initiative to get the result the situation demands. Discipline is key, but the modern battlefield requires self discipline, not imposed discipline. Armies of automatons lose.”

“We need soldiers who love their weapons, not soldiers who are afraid of their weapons, like those in most U.S. units. We need leaders who love making decisions and taking responsibility. We need to reward people who take initiative, even when it doesn’t work, instead of those who do nothing in order to avoid mistakes. We need units that can move, shoot and fight fast – faster than any enemy, because in war, speed and time are everything.”

“Pardon me, but just where did you learn all this stuff?” the AG asked. “I know you were a Marine captain, but I can tell you Army captains don’t think this way. Frankly, it’s new to me too.”

“There were a bunch of us pushing this way of thinking and fighting in the Marine Corps,” I replied. “We called it ‘maneuver warfare’ or Third Generation war. Historically, it is the German way of war – or the Israeli way, if you prefer. The Israelis got it from the Germans, though they don’t like to talk about that.”

“What you and your men learned in the U.S. Army, general, is the French way of war, Second Generation: focused inward on process instead of outward on results, prizing obedience over initiative, centralizing decision-making, and seeking strength through brute force instead of through speed and tempo. When the French and German styles of war clashed in 1940, the French army went down to defeat in just 43 days. It had more tanks than the Germans, so the cause wasn’t equipment. The reason was doctrine: the way each side thought about war.”

“It seems to me you have a point,” Governor Adams said. “What you are describing as the German army is also the way the most successful corporations have learned to do business: lots of initiative at every level, always trying something new, moving fast and focusing on the customer. Are you saying that Maine’s army needs to be like silicon valley instead of General Motors?”

“That’s right,” I responded. “The American armed services follow the old industrial model: Henry Ford’s production line. Instead, we need to be military entrepreneurs. The tie-in with military doctrine is direct. Around 1990, the Marine Corps put out a field manual on maneuver warfare called FMFM-1, Warfighting. Somebody else slapped a new cover on it and put it out as a guide for businessmen – without changing a word in the text.”

“Well, before I became Governor of this state, I was in the business of making paper,” Adams said. “We learned to run the paper mill just the way you describe running a military, and we beat the pants off our competition. I think if a small state like Maine is to have an army that can win, it needs to go at it the same way.”

“As I said, it’s all new to me,” the AG allowed. “But I do know that Maine cannot afford the equipment or the logistics I was taught to depend on. So I guess we have to do something different. Captain, can you show us how?”

“Sir, it isn’t just me,” I replied. “All Christian Marines understand maneuver warfare. Plus, the Jaeger or ‘Hunter’ tactics infantrymen use in maneuver warfare will be natural to most of your Guardsmen. After all, most of them are hunters. I’m sure some of your officers and NCOs have studied the Germans on their own. I can’t do it for you, but together, I know we can make this work with Maine soldiers.”

“Captain, it seems to me the man who understands this new way of war best ought to lead us into it,” Governor Adams said. “I am prepared to offer you the command of Maine’s forces if you will accept it.”

“Thank you, Governor, I am honored,” I replied. “But I think General Corcoran should be the commander. I would suggest that I serve instead as Chief of the Maine General Staff. In that role, I would advise General Corcoran, as other members of the General Staff would advise commanders of other Maine units. We would also establish a central office of the General Staff here in Augusta to do contingency planning. But we would not replace the commanders the units now have – that goes for leaders of our Maine militia units as well.”

“Is that agreeable to everyone?” the Governor asked.

It was. I knew the militia leaders would appreciate not being bumped downward in units they had created. And the AG’s dignity was intact. The meeting had shown he was open to new ideas, though he wasn’t likely to come up with them himself. That’s OK, I thought: I can play Max Hoffman to his Hindenburg.

“That settles it, then,” Governor Adams said. “That’s the kind of meeting I like, short and decisive. I trust you’ll also be available to advise me, Captain Rumford – or should we make you a general now?”

“Captain is enough for me, Governor,” I replied. “In the German Army, authority went with position, not with rank. I think that’s a good way to do it. It keeps people from thinking too much about getting promoted.”

“Fine. General Corcoran, I trust you will be accepting of the captain’s advice?”

“Yes, sir. It’s clear he knows a lot of stuff I don’t. I just want to serve Maine as best I can,” the AG replied.

Was er rath, musst du tuun.” Where had I heard that before? Oh yes, it was what the Kaiser had said in August of 1914 when he introduced the Crown Prince to his General Staff officer. “What he advises, you must do.”

The next day, I traded my hotel room for a boarding house in Augusta. It was clear I’d be spending the winter there, working with the Guard to integrate the militia units into our new armed forces and getting the training program going. Of course, we already had our Maine General Staff: the Christian Marines.

We didn’t announce any of this, not yet. No reason to give Washington something else to howl about. By the time they found out, we’d be more than ready for them – or anything else that might come our way as the old U.S.A. dissolved.

For the melting pot had become the refinery. The United States boiled and bubbled and flared with fear and loathing: black against Hispanic against white, woman against man, gay against straight, neo-pagan against Christian, enviro-freak against corporation, worker against boss, west against east. It cracked and separated along every line imaginable, and some not.

Ex uno, Plura. Thank you, multiculturalism. See you in Hell. tr favicon

Victoria: Chapter 18

In September of 2025, little Suzy La Montaigne, age seven, came home from her elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a headache and sniffles. Three days later she was dead. Ten days later, so were all but three of her classmates and her teacher. A week after that, only a handful of the students in her school were still alive, and people of all ages were dropping dead on the streets of the community her school served.

When scientists first began fooling around with genetic engineering in their labs, real conservatives warned there would be consequences. When man plays God, bad things happen. But companies perceived that money could be made, so genetic engineering took off. It quickly permeated the food supply. As the technology continued to be developed, word of how to do it spread. Unlike nuclear weapons, genetically engineered diseases did not require much in the way of facilities to develop. Kids could do it in the basement – and soon some were.

No one ever figured out whether N’Orleans flu, as it came to be known, happened as an accident of genetic engineering or was deliberately created as a weapon of war. If it were the latter, we never determined who used it on the American South, or why.

People did figure out, fast, that N’Orleans flu spread easily, like other flu, but it had a mortality rate of about 80%.

The Plague was back. Contrary to what Americans had been taught, the Middle Ages were a highly successful society. What brought them down was disease. Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down. Dead. It’s an old rhyme about the Plague. You still hear children sing it, not knowing what it means. When N’Orleans flu hit, they found out. In response, people did the only thing they could. They panicked.

***

To understand the Great Panic of 2025, you have to realize that by that time, no one trusted any American institution. The hyper-inflation had destroyed what little remained of the federal government’s legitimacy. The media was equally mistrusted. People had figured out what it called “news” had been reduced to another form of entertainment. The culturally Marxist academics and mainstream clergy were taken seriously only by each other.

The average American’s life was dominated by one emotion: fear. He feared crime, he feared for his job, he feared the government, he feared for his children, and, most of all, he feared the future. His fears were realistic. They reflected the reality that pressed in on him from every side.

So when this new fear arose, the fear of plague, of a new Black Death lurking in every bus and elevator, shopping mall and office building, he panicked. The Establishment tried to reassure him, to deny the evidence, to damn those who had warned about genetic engineering as “Luddites.” But it was all lies and he knew it. He knew the Establishment lied about everything.

People simply fled. They gathered up their children and ran for the country. It was the only reasonable response, the only possible response. It didn’t work, because the country soon filled up with people, which is what other people were trying to avoid. So they fled further. Woods and fields became gypsy camps. Like the gypsies, when they needed food or clothing or weapons, they stole them. Their money wasn’t worth anything anyway.

The woods were pretty in autumn that year; the East had one of its most spectacular seasons for color, the maples decked in brilliant oranges and scarlets. Soon, there were less attractive sights under the trees.

At first, the country people welcomed and helped the refugees. Rural areas were still largely Christian. People there helped each other, and felt it their duty to do the same for the newcomers. But too often, the city people brought their ways with them – crime, drugs, noise, and dirt – as well as N’Orleans flu. The rural folk caught the scent of fear, and feared themselves. Soon, militias were being organized in church basements, and bends in country roads became the settings for ambushes. The red and yellow leaves, dying, offered themselves as cheerful shrouds for human dead; no one would bury the bodies for fear of contamination. The carrion-eaters had a feast that winter.

The panic was finally suppressed in 2026 by two old Russian generals, General January and General February. The winter was a harsh one almost everywhere. Just another sign of climate change, the experts said. As the snow fell and the mercury plunged, people started walking home. The risk of a rapid death by disease seemed preferable to a slow and agonizing death by starving and freezing, or murder. By Spring, the country people had their woods and fields to themselves again. However, they did not disband their militias.

Citizens demanded that the government do something, now that they couldn’t run away. And government did. It got a ruling from the Supreme Court that said people with disease were “disabled,” so that any preventive measures like a quarantine would be illegal discrimination. No one was surprised. And they all knew there was nothing they could do about it.

***

In Maine, of course, things were different. The government in Washington was merely a polite fiction for us, and we paid as little attention to its Supreme Court as to a headline in a supermarket tabloid. We moved promptly to protect public health.

Anyone who showed early symptoms of N’Orleans flu was quarantined, along with all other members of their household. We had very few cases because we also put controls on entry into Maine. The lack of motor traffic due to the price of gas meant most people coming in came by train, and there weren’t many of them; the American tourist was an extinct animal. All trains had to stop while passengers got a quick blood test; those who didn’t pass were put on the next train back. The airports and the Interstates had a similar rule; the rest of the roads we closed. Washington squawked, of course, but we didn’t bother to reply. Vermont and New Hampshire soon joined us, which reopened the border roads. The deep South states also adopted a policy of quarantine; they too were starting to act in concert.

The fact that we learned early how to control our borders and who and what crossed them was central to our survival. As the 21st century moved on and the world was engulfed by wars, every surviving state had to shut their borders down tight. Anyone who had the slightest laxness in border controls was quickly hit by a genetically engineered disease. Those growing parts of the world where the state had disintegrated were depopulated.

It’s funny how all the “experts” in the early 21st century were predicting a future of “globalism” and “international economy,” where people and goods moved freely throughout the world. The reality is, it now takes two years to get a European visa, and when you get there, you face two weeks of medical tests at your own expense followed by six weeks of quarantine even if you pass. And that’s if you’re coming from another state. If you’re from someplace where the state has disappeared, you can’t go there. Illegal immigrants are shot on site. tr favicon