Victoria: Chapter 25

Summertime, and the blacks were uneasy. It had been hot in Boston over the last week, and July was the usual month for the usual riots. Now, Massachusetts would have to look to itself to put them down. There was no more 82nd Airborne standing by just in case. But it shouldn’t be all that hard. The traditional “whiff of grape” from the Massachusetts State Police usually sent the rats running for their holes, once they’d looted the Koreans and Jews. No reason it should be any different this time.

I clicked on the radio and caught a reporter speaking from the Boston Common. “A green flag is flying from the State House, and fires have broken out throughout Back Bay,” he was saying. “Columns of cars and trucks festooned with green streamers, full of armed blacks, have been moving through central Boston, heading across the Charles River into Cambridge and west on the Mass Pike toward Brookline and Suffolk. I see people dressed in white moving onto the Common for what appears to be some sort of rally. We’re told to expect an announcement soon from the State House, where General Hadji al-Malik al-Shabazz now has his headquarters.”

This didn’t sound right at all. What were the blacks doing on Boston Common and in Cambridge? That wasn’t their turf. Green flags? Some Muslim general? Did the looters bump into a Shriners’ parade and the two get mixed? I needed to get the gouge on this, fast, so I called John Kelly, our Christian Marines’ Massachusetts commander and now a colonel in the State Police.

“Col. Kelly’s not in his office at present,” said his worried-sounding secretary. “Would you care to leave a message?”

“No, I need to talk to him right now,” I replied. “Patch me through to him over your radio net.”

“I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that. Our radio net is being jammed,” she told me.

Shit, what kind of rioting blacks have an electronic warfare cell? “OK, don’t worry about it,” I told her. “I’ll get a hold of him another way.”

We had a Christian Marines satellite phone network which we didn’t use unless we had to. I punched in John’s number, and after about 20 rings he picked up. “Ire, thank God,” he panted, using an old nickname earned by my sunny disposition. “We’ve about had it here. At least you can get the word out.”

“Word about what?” I replied. “What in hell is going on? Isn’t this the usual summer ghetto free-fried-chicken-and-watermelon riot?”

“No way,” Kelly replied. “This is a Black Muslim operation to take over all of Boston. It’s organized and it’s disciplined. They’ve already moved their command element into the State House. I’m trapped with about 20 other state cops on the top floor of the left wing of the building. John, I’m afraid it’s the Little Big Horn for us.”

My mind immediately began racing, thinking of what we could do to put together a quick rescue mission. If there was one person I didn’t want to lose, it was John Kelly. “Do you have any way out of there?” I asked, which was a dumb question since he’d already said he was trapped.

“Negative,” he replied. “They’re using gas, and we don’t have masks with us. We’re trying to throw the gas grenades out the windows as they shoot them in, but they’ve already gassed us from floor to floor. I’ve lost a lot of guys, John, and I’m afraid we’re all toast unless you can get here in a big hurry. I’m expecting another assault within half an hour, and we’ve got nowhere left to go.”

How fast could we move? We had a few helos down at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. That was about 50 miles from Boston, as the crow flies. We had to get a scratch crew together, and they’d have to plan en route. About all we’d be able to do is hover over Kelly’s wing of the State House and lower some lines.

“Can you get to the roof from where you are?” I asked John.

“Negative,” he replied. That meant we’d have to try to lower the lines near windows and hope they could grab them, then pull themselves up. It would be a desperate attempt, but it was a desperate situation. Better a wrong action than no action.

“OK, John, hold on as best you can. This time Major Reno is coming through. Let me get things in motion and I’ll call you again,” I said.

“Thanks, Ire,” he replied. “Thanks for everything, not just this. Whatever happens to us, what the Christian Marines have done has made a difference. In the end, that’s all that counts. Out here.”

I immediately rang up the CO of the helo outfit at Portsmouth and explained the situation to him. He said he’d have a crew in half an hour. It would take another half hour, at the least, to get to Boston. If we made it in time, there was still an excellent chance the helicopter would get shot down as it sat over the State House, a big piñata for everybody to blaze away at. But we had to try.

I also called Governor Bowen to let him know what I was doing. As usual, he wouldn’t take my call, which saved me having to get his approval. If he’d disapproved, I would have gone ahead anyway.

I picked up the sat phone and called John Kelly again to let him know the cavalry was coming. It would be close, but we had a chance. Like last time, it rang and rang. Finally, I heard a click. “Who dis?” a voice said in an accent I recognized all too well. Maybe it was one of Kelly’s men.

“Put Colonel Kelly on,” I ordered.

“Allah is Great! Allah gon’ kill all da white devils!” the voice replied. “All da white devils gon’ burn in hell! Ha ha ha ha….”

It was over for John. I hoped it had been quick.


I canceled the rescue mission, then sat back to think. Should the Northern Confederation get involved in this? Massachusetts was not a member of the Confederation. It had remained loyal to the federal government until there was no federal government. We didn’t owe Massachusetts anything. And if Boston burned, maybe that was just desserts for all those decades of Kennedys and Welds and liberal cultural rot. Whenever anybody had tried to defend our old Western culture, they’d screamed “Intolerance!” and shut them down. Now, we could let them see what kind of “tolerance” they would get from the Black Muslims.

On the other hand, Massachusetts still held a lot of good Christians within its borders. John Kelly had been one. I remembered the folks around the table at Tune Tavern, in south Boston, where the Christian Marine Corps was founded. What was happening to them now, and to the rest of the Irish Catholics in that neighborhood? And if the Black Muslims succeeded in Boston, what effect would it have on the blacks in upper New York state’s cities, which were part of the Confederation? Islam had spread there as well, as it had among blacks in virtually every city in the old USA.

I recognized it was time for some Prussian advice. Bill Kraft was still in town, waiting for our big victory banquet that was scheduled for August 4, a date he had insisted upon for reasons he wouldn’t explain. I found him comfortably ensconced in a Victorian garret at his boarding house, his nose in Sigismund von Schichtling’s criticism of von Schlieffen.

“You hear the news from Boston, Herr Oberst?” I asked, thinking I could take him by surprise with the latest scoop.

“Indeed,” he replied. “It’s not surprising. It’s the opening of Phase Two.”

“Phase Two of what?” I inquired, slightly deflated but curious.

“America’s Second Civil War,” he answered. “You didn’t think it was over, did you?”

“Well, I guess I did,” I said. “I hoped so, anyway. You think what’s going on up in Boston is of more than local importance, I take it?”

“Very much so, as you will see,” he responded. “The war in America has just intersected the Third World War, which has been going on for at least fifty years. You know the war I mean: the war of Islam against everybody else. Have you forgotten how we ended up with Egyptians in Bangor?”

“No, but I didn’t connect the two,” I said. “Are you suggesting what’s going on in Boston has been planned elsewhere?”

“Your naiveté would be charming, were you not Chief of the General Staff,” he scalded. “I am expecting a call shortly from Geneva.” Following the demise of the United States, the UN had relocated to the old League of Nations building there. “While we wait, you might wish to rummage about the ‘Bismarck’ shelf among my books. He will be more relevant than von Moltke to what is coming.”

“Instead, why don’t you put your book down and let me tell you what I’m thinking?” I said.

Kraft obliged graciously, overlooking my shot back at him, and I shared with him the conflict in my own mind about whether we should get involved in Boston. He listened, expressionless, and let me say my piece.

“Seen only within itself, this question is difficult, as you’ve found it,” he replied once I was done. “But it is transparent if we see it in its larger context.”

“What we are, John, is the West. We are Christendom, at least its remnants. It was for the West that we left the United States, once that country was taken over by the cultural Marxists, who are enemies of Christendom. The Northern Confederation is a Christian nation, or it is nothing. We’ve already seen where nothing leads, and I do not think we will make that error again.”

“Islam is an enemy of Christendom, and a deadly one. It has been our enemy since its beginning. All of North Africa, the Levant, Turkey, these areas were once Christian. You can ask our Egyptians what happens to Christians in those places now.”

“If we are part of Christendom, then we must fight the Islamics, because they will attack us as soon as they think the odds favor them. If they succeed in Boston, they will try the same thing in every one of our cities. Nor should you think the appeal of Islam will be only to blacks. They will shape and tune their message to white audiences as well, and they will penetrate them. They will use any means that work. Saudi Arabia used to pay tens of thousands of dollars to any American citizen who would convert to Islam.”

“John, let me put it to you as a question,” Bill concluded. “We decided we were on Christendom’s side against Islam when we accepted those Egyptian Christian refugees in Bangor. Then, we took on someone else’s fight. Do you think we can walk away from the same conflict when it’s being fought on our own southern border?”

Again, I realized I’d thought too small. Bill sometimes missed some of the trees, but he always saw the forest. “I guess you’re right, because that’s the strategic perspective,” I said. “But what do we do about Governor Bowen? If he has to make a decision on this grand a scale, he’ll break out in assholes and shit himself to death.”

“The Bowen problem will soon solve itself,” Kraft answered. “He is permanently on the edge of a nervous breakdown, and one day he’ll go over it. Meanwhile, the governors of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York are for intervention. I’ve already talked to them. So is a majority of Maine’s state legislators. They are prepared to call an immediate referendum on the issue if you, as Chief of the General Staff, formally recommend the Northern Confederation intervene. The Egyptians in Bangor will go to every town and farmhouse in the state to explain what Islam is and does. I think it will carry.”

“How long will that take?” I asked.

“Two or three weeks, at least,” Bill replied.

“What do we do in the meantime?”

“Develop our plans and deploy our forces.”

“What happens to Boston before we get there?”

“The Black Muslims take it over. The whites will have to fight their way out. For reasons I don’t yet understand, the Islamics are trying to encircle the city and keep the whites in. They may be planning to use them as hostages.”

“If they do, will it keep us from moving into the city?”

“We shouldn’t move into the city,” Bill said. “Casualties would be enormous, and much of Boston would be destroyed. In fighting for our culture, we don’t want to destroy its monuments. The way to take a city is by siege. Remember, cities can’t feed themselves.”

“We’ll plan our deployment accordingly,” I concluded. “Please convey my thanks for your assistance to the Prussian War Ministry.”

Bill grinned. “I will do so with pleasure. I’m sending dispatches to Koenigsberg this afternoon.”

“Not Berlin?”

“Sadly, we Prussians remain exiles, even in Germany.”

As I was putting my cover on and walking out Bill’s door, the telephone rang. He motioned me to wait as he picked it up. “It’s Geneva,” he said in a stage whisper after the caller had identified himself. Bill said little, other than, “As I expected.” After the call was finished, he turned to me. “The U.N. General Assembly has given its approval to sending a Muslim expeditionary force to Boston, under the U.N. flag. Russia will block it in the Security Council, but that won’t matter. It’s only a fig leaf, anyway. The real actor is the World Islamic Council, made up of every Muslim nation. I’m sure the expeditionary force was on its way before the Black Muslims made their move in Boston.”

“So for the first time, a World War will be fought on north American soil,” I reflected. “I guess we couldn’t luck out forever.” I took my leave from Bill and went back to General Staff headquarters to set the new deployment in motion. It looked like there wouldn’t be any demobilization in our future for a long, long time.


Within twenty-four hours of the U.N. vote, the first Islamic transport aircraft began landing at Logan airport, carrying a battalion of infantry from Muslim Bosnia. That was America’s reward for helping establish a Muslim state in Europe in the 1990s. Two Egyptian squadrons of U.S.-made F-16s and one of Saudi Arabian F-35s came in to provide air cover; it was clear our New York Guard F-16 drivers would get some air-to-air action in this war. Three days later an Islamic naval task force arrived off Boston, including Iranian, Pakistani, and Indonesian destroyers and frigates, plus transports with 20,000 Egyptian and Iraqi combat troops equipped with tanks and artillery. The equipment was the best oil money could buy. As Bill Kraft had suspected, this whole thing was coordinated from the outset. Otherwise, it would have taken the Islamics months to respond with forces this large.

On August 15, the people of Maine voted for war. The rest of the states in the Northern Confederation had already done the same, in their state legislatures. A Governors’ Council met on the 16th, in Concord, New Hampshire, to make the formal decision. Bowen maintained a zombie-like detachment, saying not a word. His secretary said he was so doped up he could hardly walk. I was past anger, and felt genuinely sorry for him. He had never sought the office he now held, much less expected to be deciding on questions like war or peace. Why didn’t he resign? No one would have thought worse of him for it. War proves many men inadequate to their tasks. It usually forgives those who get out of the way so others, more able, can do the job.

On August 17, as darkness fell, we began infiltrating Northern Confederation forces into Massachusetts. I expected enemy air attack, so we moved in small groups, on back roads, at night. Speed of advance was not important. The Islamics had established a perimeter roughly along Route 128, and so far showed no signs of moving beyond it. I had begun to suspect that their planning didn’t go beyond securing Boston, and they weren’t sure what to do next.

With the enemy’s far superior fire power, I knew we couldn’t stop them with a perimeter defense if they tried to break out. Instead, we put small outposts forward, a couple miles outside of Route 128. Their job was to watch, report, help the refugees who were still slipping out in some number, and block any supplies from going into Boston. Behind them, I set up a network of light infantry ambushes running as far west as Worcester, south to Fall River, and north to Methuen. It was good light infantry country, especially against an enemy who would probably stick to the roads. I kept our LAV and tank forces dispersed in small, concealed lagers north of the border on I-95 and west of Worcester along the Mass Pike. If the Islamics tried a major break-out, there would be plenty of time to concentrate to counter it, if in fact we wanted to concentrate. In the face of their air power, I thought we might prefer to use our mobile forces in motti tactics, just like our light infantry. If the enemy comes at you with a spear, you usually do better breaking the shaft than trying to dull the point.

By the 25th, our forces were in place. The Massachusetts state legislature met in the Worcester train station and formally applied to join the Northern Confederation, putting all state forces under our command at the same time. There was no reaction from the Islamics, beyond some air reconnaissance missions. We doubted those saw very much.

Boston was now besieged by land, but the Islamics had control of the sea, which meant they could stay in Boston as long as they wanted, just as the British did during the American Revolution. I spent my days considering what we could do about that and wondering just what they were up to in Boston.


We soon got an answer to my second question, and found out why the initial Black Muslim eruption had tried to trap as many whites as possible. On September 1, 2028, “General” al-Shabazz, who until the uprising had been known as Willy Welly in the upscale Roxbury nightclub and whorehouse where he played the saxophone, called a news conference to announce that “the triumph of the Prophet will begin in Boston, on the Common, on September 3, 2028.” All news media, including those from the Northern Confederation, were invited to cover the festivities.

At ten A.M. on September 3, the General Staff gathered around the TV in our temporary headquarters in Worcester to see the show. Al Jazeera gave us a ringside seat. I figured we would get a parade of some sort, sermons from various mullahs, and maybe some indication of what the Islamics would do next. At some point the Sitzkrieg had to end.

The ceremony opened with General al-Shabazz giving a raving, largely incoherent sermon about “the sword of the Prophet” from a platform set up in front of the State House. Behind him were an array of mullahs from various Islamic countries, plus the commanders of the Islamic Expeditionary Force in their U.N. blue berets.

Then, twenty whites, obviously prisoners, were marched out in front of the platform. Several were in the torn and bloody remains of a uniform of a Massachusetts state trooper. I stared intently at the screen. My God, that’s John Kelly! I couldn’t be sure, because the prisoners’ backs were to the camera, but the way the guy carried himself was just like John, both hard and loose, ready for anything. I prayed silently, Lord, let it be John. Let us have him back. Then I stopped short, realizing we didn’t know the script for this play. John might be better off dead.

A mullah was introduced as the Ayatollah Ghorbag from Qum, in Iran, and he came down from the platform. Standing in front of the first prisoner, he said, in English, the Islamic formula: “There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his prophet.” The prisoner responded by repeating the same words back to him, making himself a Muslim. The Ayatollah then handed the new convert a crucifix, which he dropped on the ground and stomped.

The shabby little rite went on, working slowly down the line of whites. Then, after seven worms in a row had turned, somebody dropped their lines. The Ayatollah was standing before the man next to the state trooper I thought might be John. The prisoner repeated the magic words: “There is no god but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet.” The Ayatollah held out the crucifix. But the trooper drove his shoulder, hard, into the new Muslim’s arm, reached out for the crucifix and snatched it from the startled Ayatollah. I could see the side of the trooper’s face as he turned – it was John! The Christian Marines’ Massachusetts commander held the crucifix up, kissed it, shouted “Vivat Christus Rex!” and drove his big, black Mass state trooper boot into the Ayatollah’s groin. The mullah bent doubled, and John smashed both his fists and the crucifix down on the back of his neck. Ayatollah Ghorbag went down like a bag of manure.

Around the television, we all yelled, “Arugah!”

Black Muslim guards poured out from around the platform and fell on John. I expected them to kill him on the spot, but they just held him down. The unconscious Ayatollah was carried off, another mullah took his place and the ceremony resumed.

But John’s courage proved infectious. When the Muslim cleric said the formula to the next man in line, he said nothing back. So it went, until they came to the only woman in line. She was straight-backed, had certainly seen her 65th birthday, and looked every inch a Boston Brahman. Before the mullah could say anything, she announced, “I am Mrs. Elliott Cabot Lodge. I was baptized in the Church of the Advent, I was married in the Church of the Advent, and I shall be buried from the Church of the Advent. Nothing you may say to me will make the slightest difference.” If the mullah didn’t understand all she said, her expression was unmistakable. It perfectly summed up the words, “High Church Anglican.” Wisely, he passed her by. Between her example of Christian courage and John’s, only two other prisoners converted to Islam.

General al-Shabazz then took the podium again, to announce that all the “white idolaters” the Black Muslims had captured would be given an opportunity to convert to Islam. “Those who refuse,” he shrieked, “will die a dog’s death!” Uh-oh, I thought. Here it comes.

The guards grabbed those who had remained true to their Christian faith, shoved them together and marched them across the street onto the Common. There, crosses were waiting. The Islamics made sure the Al Jazeera cameras got a clear view as the prisoners, starting with John, had nails driven through their wrists and their feet into the wood of the cross, which was then erected. John said the Nicene Creed, in Latin, as the hammers pounded. Mrs. Lodge wept, but she didn’t scream.

Death by crucifixion is slow, and Al Jazeera didn’t stay for the end. An Egyptian soldier we captured later told us John Kelly took two days to die.

The Islamics set up an assembly line process on every side of the Common, where the ceremony went on all day, every day. Most whites had managed to escape the city, but we figured they had captured between fifty and one hundred thousand. Thousands converted. Thousands refused. The Common soon was crowded with crosses, to the point where it looked like a convention of short telephone poles, each holding the broken body of a Christian martyr. They even had special, tiny crosses for the children, who gasped and wheezed out their breath looking over the little lake where the swan boats used to sail.

As can happen in a siege, the advantage of time had turned. The Black Muslims could hold Boston forever, so long as they controlled the sea. But we had to do something. We couldn’t just sit there and watch our fellow Christians die horribly.

The people of the Northern Confederation were with us, every man and woman, now. They knew why this had to be our fight, and why we could not let Islam get a foothold on our shore. They would accept the casualties of a direct assault. But the Islamic Expeditionary Force had enough troops in the city that I was sure an assault would fail.

Their critical vulnerability was the sea. That’s where we had to attack.favicon

Victoria: Chapter 24

I scheduled a meeting with Governor Adams on the 19th to discuss the Confederates’ offer. I saw no reason to refuse it. So far, the war with the federal government had been going just as we planned it, at small cost to ourselves. When that happens, a General Staff officer should become wary. War never works that way for very long.

My phone rang at 7:19 on the morning of the 19th. The officer in charge of the governor’s security detail was on the other end. “John, I’ve got bad news,” he said, breathing heavily and obviously shaken up. “Governor Adams is dead. He was shot just six steps outside the Governor’s mansion, as he left to meet you down at Mel’s. It was obviously a professional job. He took one round in the head from a .50 caliber sniper rifle. We didn’t hear a report, so the weapon was either silenced or it was a long-range shot or both.”

I was stunned; John Adams was a competent leader and also a good friend. But I knew this was war, and stunned or not I had to think. “How do you know it was a .50?” I asked.

“Because there’s nothing left of his head,” the security officer, Lieutenant Bob Barker, replied.

Good reasoning, Sherlock, I thought. American Army special operators used a silenced .50 cal sniper rifle. The silencing wasn’t very effective, so the shot had to have been taken at long range. Good shooting at long range also suggested federal spec ops boys.

“OK, Bob, secure the site and get the governor’s remains in for a fast autopsy. We need to confirm that it was a .50 caliber round from a standard U.S. Army sniper rifle. I’ll take it from there.”

My job was to get the sniper team before it could leave town. I immediately sent out three messages. The first was to all local regular forces, ordering them to sweep the area, starting with long-range vantage points that overlooked the shooting site. The second was to mobilize the militia and get them searching. The third was to the Augusta radio stations – with electric power down because of the fuel situation, everybody carried a battery-powered transistor radio – announcing the governor’s assassination and requesting all citizens to search for and apprehend any suspicious parties.

As I expected, the old “hue and cry” brought the best results. When Mrs. Seamus McGillicuty heard her dogs making a racket out by the chicken coop, she got suspicious and called the militiaman three doors down. He phoned in a report, took his shotgun and covered the coop. We had troops on the scene in fifteen minutes, and they soon had in custody three very fit men in black jumpsuits with trademark Delta Force mustaches.

I ordered the prisoners taken to the town jail, then went over to meet them myself. I was 90% certain who they were, but I needed to be absolutely sure before accusing the federal government of war by assassination. The first rule of good propaganda is to make sure the facts are accurate.

A crowd surrounded the building – word always spreads fast in situations like this – and our men had difficulty getting the suspects into the jail in one piece. Governor Adams had been more than popular. He had been honored by a people grateful for a public official who had put his country ahead of himself. Under the old American republic, that type had almost disappeared.

I had the prisoners marched into the interrogation room. “Gentlemen,” I began, “I regret to say you have been caught out of uniform. Black jump suits may be your unofficial uniform, but I am afraid unofficial doesn’t count. Under the laws of war, I can have you taken out and shot right now. However, I am prepared to be lenient. If you will give me your names, ranks, and serial numbers, as the laws of war require you to, I will grant you POW status and treatment.” Names, ranks, and serial numbers were all I needed to confirm they were from the American military.

I got back nothing but distant, silent stares.

“Very well, we’ll do this the hard way,” I continued. “Until you are prisoners of war, you have no protections.” I pointed to the shortest member of the group. “Rack him.” I ordered.

A few months back, a grizzled old Yankee in worn but clean overalls had approached me down at Mel’s. He said he was too old to fight, but he wanted to do something for the cause. So he’d turned his skill as a cabinet-maker to creating a device he thought our military intelligence branch might someday find useful, namely, a rack. Would I accept it as his service to the Northern Confederation?

His patriotism touched my heart, and my head remembered a line from one of my favorite lieder, the auto-da-fe song from Leonard Bernstein’s Candide: “Get a seat in the back near the rack but away from the heat.” So I thanked our good cabinetmaker and asked if he could deliver his rack to the old town jail, one of those marvelous 19th century prisons with crenelated battlements and damp stone walls that hint of dungeons and people hanging by their thumbs.

We marched all three probable-Deltas down to the rack room. I’m not sure they believed we really had a rack until they saw it. When they did, they looked rather grim. “Perhaps you’ve heard of the Retroculture movement?” I inquired gently. “We find it has wide potential application.”

Our rack operators were members of the Society for Constructive Anachronism, who had never had anything more lively than department store manikins to experiment on. The prospect of real groans excited them to no end, so they were quick about getting Shorty strapped in. A few preliminary twirls of the capstans took the slack out, and the boys were grinning as we heard the first snap, crackle, and pop. “Shame he’s not a Chinaman,” quipped the Torturemaster. “We’d soon have Rice Crappies.”

To the disappointment of the torture team, it was over quickly, after the first few screams. The assassin on the rack didn’t give in. One of his friends did. “His name is Glenn C. Pickens, his rank is First Sergeant in the United States Army, and his serial number is 199-66-6703,” sang out the youngest looking soldier, who was turning rather green. This was just what I’d been counting on. It is easier to suffer yourself than to see a friend and comrade suffer.

“Thank you very much,” I answered. “Release him,” I ordered the rackateers, “Now, do we have to go through this again, or are you two willing to give what the law requires you to?” They were, and did.

By noon, we had the official announcement out: the federals were waging war by assassination, and we had the names, ranks, and serial numbers of their assassins to prove it. Our people’s anger over the assassination was channeled into supporting the war effort even more strongly. The American people were made more uneasy about their own government. In Tokyo, the Diet dissolved in a riot as the opposition demanded an end to the subsidies. Those results were my personal memorial to my friend, John C. Adams.

Our lieutenant governor, Asa Bowen, stepped into the governorship, and the governments of New Hampshire and Vermont agreed that he should continue to be unofficial head of the joint war effort. He did not have John Adams’ mind or voice, but few did. I hoped he could recognize good advice and make decisions.

As always in war, time was precious and pressing. I met with Governor Bowen the evening of the 19th, amidst preparations for his predecessor’s funeral, to discuss the Confederacy’s proposal for a joint advance on Harrisburg. I recommended we agree.

I explained to the governor that the federal government was disorganized by its move from Washington, more and more of its forces were being sucked into the guerrilla war in the trans-Mississippi, and the citizens of what remained of the United States were tiring of the war. We could almost certainly achieve an operational victory, cutting the U.S. off completely from the Atlantic seaboard. A strategic victory was possible, because the American government might not survive another major defeat.

Governor Bowen said he agreed, but he could not make a decision without the agreement of New Hampshire and Vermont. I hoped we didn’t have a leader who wanted “councils of war,” but I made allowance for the fact that he was new and seemed somewhat nervous. Had we made any plans with the Confederacy, he wondered?

We had. The Confederates would advance with one armored and two mechanized divisions up the valley of the Shenandoah, cross the Catoctin mountains, and, following Lee’s route through Gettysburg, move on Harrisburg from the south. I thought they would do better to follow I-81, which would allow the Catoctins to protect their flank much of the way, but they wanted to avenge the wrongs of history by having Lee win this time. Making allowances for cultural differences among allies – southern Cavaliers and Yankee Roundheads – I agreed.

In turn, we would play the chi force to their cheng, using our better operational mobility (their mech forces were tracked, most of ours were wheeled) to strike indirectly. We would concentrate in the westernmost counties of New York, then with all our LAV and motorized infantry units cut into Pennsylvania on I-90. From Erie, we would strike straight south at Pittsburgh via I-79. That would cut the federals’ east-west road and rail connections. Once Pittsburgh was liberated – we expected its white ethnic communities would welcome us – we could move east on Harrisburg on the old Pennsylvania Turnpike, go west toward Columbus, Ohio to stir up trouble there or just wait until we saw what the federals were going to do. In any case, we would make sure the feds faced a threat to all of Pennsylvania, not just one city, which would tend to fragment their response.

Governor Bowen nodded, saying only that he wanted to run the plan by a few other people before signing on. Another sign of indecisiveness, I thought; great. He probably meant Bill Kraft, who had been part of the team designing the operation, so that wasn’t a problem. The General Staff advisors to the other governors would pull them along. But we would lose time. How many days, I wondered?

By the 23rd, I still didn’t have a decision, and I knew Governor Bowen was not the right man to lead a war. That was the day the federal government formally departed Washington for Harrisburg. We wanted to strike while they were in transition to use the chaos of the move to our advantage. Our forces were in place between Buffalo and Chautauqua, and the Confederate Army wanted to roll. All I needed was a green light, but I couldn’t even get an appointment with Bowen. His secretary told me privately that he was in a state of nervous collapse and wouldn’t see anyone.

At 3 PM on the afternoon of the 23rd, Warner, the last president of the United States, gave a final speech on the White House lawn. After pledging to “fight the forces of racism and bigotry wherever they may appear,” he joined the vice president, senior cabinet members and the majority leaders from the House and Senate on the presidential helicopter for the flight to Harrisburg. The feds had organized a rousing welcome for him there, paying every bum, drunkard and whore for miles around to turn out and cheer.

Just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, a single engine light plane had been cruising in lazy loops over the Monocracy River, which marked the most direct route from Washington to Harrisburg. At 3:27 PM, its pilot spotted the HMX-1 V-22 following the river about 3000 feet below him, and dove on it. The crash turned both aircraft into a fireball that could be seen as far as Hagerstown.

The kamikaze pilot, Mr. Montgomery Blair of Clinton, Maryland, had sent an email to the Washington Post, marked to arrive at 4 PM. In it he wrote, “I have given my life that the Tyrant’s heel may finally be lifted from Maryland’s shore, and in revenge for the murder of the Northern Confederation’s brave leader, Governor John Adams of Maine. Sic Semper Tyrannus.” Leaderless resistance had struck again.

In Harrisburg, as soon as the news was known, General Wesley, Chairman of the federal JCS, appeared on a balcony above the crowd that had been gathered to welcome President Warner. After announcing the death of the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House, and most of the cabinet, he said, “The line of succession envisioned in the U.S. Constitution had been broken beyond repair,” which wasn’t true since there were still some cabinet members, but that didn’t matter. “I’m in charge here now,” he went on, “and the United States is under martial law. Civilian government is suspended for the duration of the war for the union. The duty of every citizen is to remain quiet.”

Ever since the presidency of Jimmy Carter, way back in the 1970s, the United States had made an international pest of itself by insisting that every other country conform to its notions of democratic government. Now, it was payback time.

In New York, at the U.N., the speakers were lined up at the rostrum to demand that all subsidies to the American government be cut off, since America was no longer a democracy. China led the charge in the Security Council, its ambassador unable to conceal his glee at the chance to hoist the canting Americans on their own petard. Tokyo had its own unpleasant memories of military rule, and made it clear its days as paymaster for Washington were over. The Tsar’s representative worked quietly behind the scenes to line up the votes. General Wesley’s request to speak to the U.N. was turned down. On the 25th, the Security Council voted to end all grants and aid to the United States, and the General Assembly passed its own resolution of agreement. The liberals’ and neo-cons’ chickens had finally come home to roost.

And that was the end of the United States of America. It’s epitaph was that of all states dependent on mercenary armies: pas d’argent, pas du Suisse. The remaining states, defying a martial law that had no soldiers to enforce it, declared their independence. General Wesley’s “government” was quietly interned at the Shady Acres home for the mentally indigent by the government of Pennsylvania.

It was over. We were free.

On the 28th, as I sat in my office enjoying a victory cigar and going over the plans for demobilization, Captain Vandenburg stuck his head in. “The Black Muslims are taking over Boston.”

Victoria: Chapter 23

As usual, we gathered around the coffee-stained, ring-marked back table at Mel’s. The General Staff had grown somewhat with the addition of men from Vermont and New Hampshire, but the Operations Section was just twelve officers, which was the most who could fit at the table. I made sure Mel didn’t get a bigger table.

We had Washington’s invasion plan. The question was, how could we take advantage of it? Once everybody had downed their buckwheat cakes and venison sausage, I asked for ideas.

“I know the 42nd Division,” said one of the new guys from Vermont, Fred Farmsworth. “Our Marine Reserve unit played against them in an exercise a few years ago. It was a joke. When we attacked, they broke and ran – and everybody knew we were just shooting blanks. I could keep the 42nd Division out of Vermont with a couple of Boy Scout troops armed with slingshots.”

“Do we want to keep them out?” I asked.

The old hands smiled; they knew we had an opportunity to use the “let ‘em walk right in” defense, and on the operational level too. Seth Browning, who had traded his Army National Guard rank of Lieutenant Colonel for Hauptmann im Generalstab and a pay cut, laid out the obvious. “The 42nd Division can only come on two routes,” he said. “They can come up I-91, or they come up via Whitehall and the east shore of Lake Champlain. I’d bet on the Champlain approach, because I-91 is hemmed in by mountains and they’ll be scared of our infantry in the mountains. They’re flatlanders, and the land east of Champlain is fairly flat. Plus, they can get into Vermont directly from New York state, and they’ll be more comfortable with that. If we guess wrong and they do come up I-91, our militia can keep ʻem on the road and our mobile forces can shift quickly and cut them up with motti tactics.”

“A good analysis,” I replied. “What should our intent be if you’re right and they attack via Whitehall?”

“That’s easy,” said John Ross, who I had dual-hatted as commander of our motorized forces and member of the Grossgeneralstab. “We let them come well in, then pocket them with their backs to Lake Champlain. Being Army, they’ll see water as an impassable obstacle rather than a highway. Once we have them trapped with their backs to the lake, they’ll cave.”

“What about the folks in Vermont between West Haven and Burlington?” said Sam Shephard. “They’ll take this kind of hard.”

“Sadly, that is war,” said Father Dimitri, now the informal Imperial Russian advisor to the Northern Confederation General Staff. “We Russians know well the cost of letting an invader come. But we also know it can bring decisive victory to the defender. Their sacrifices will be well-rewarded. The Tsar has authorized me to tell you that he will follow your first major victory with diplomatic recognition of your country. I think the destruction of the 42nd division will count as such a victory.”

“OK, then, we know our intent: pocket the whole 42nd Division against Lake Champlain and wipe it out. The Plans section can lay out our deployment accordingly. What else do we need to decide here?” I added.

“What if they try a naval blockade? Our report from the White House meeting leaves that unclear,” asked Don Vanderburg, also a recruit to the General Staff; he’d shown earlier that he could make decisions. “And what if they go through with the JCS proposal for an air campaign?”

“Our satellites indicate they may attempt to intercept the next Russian ship bringing arms into Portland,” answered Father Dimitri. “They have stationed two American destroyers and an Aegis cruiser off the Maine coast. If they try to stop our ship, the Imperial Russian Navy will uphold the principle of freedom of the seas. You do not have to worry about that.”

“An air campaign does face us with some problems,” I added. “They can unquestionably do serious damage to civilian targets. History tells us that will just make our folks fight harder, but of course we want to prevent it if we can. Militarily, an air threat is only significant if we have to move operational reserves fast, by road or rail. I don’t anticipate that here. Plus, our anti-aircraft guns and shoulder-fired SAMS will make most of their pilots fly too high to see or hit much.”

“I think we may have some operational, not just tactical answers to their air,” said Captain Ron Danielov, a former Marine Corps Scout/Sniper sergeant who was in charge of special operations. “As you know, a special operation is an action by a small number of men that directly affects the operational or strategic level. I think we may be able to do one targeting their air power. I’m playing around with some ideas, talking with Ross’s guys and a couple of the trash haulers from the Air Guard.

“Fine,” I replied, “but we need to move fast. How soon will you be ready to pull something off, or tell me that you can’t?”

“One week,” Ron answered.

“In war, one week is a long time,” I said. I allowed my subordinates to come up with their own solutions to problems, but I insisted they be quick about it.

“Sorry, but that’s what it takes,” Ron responded. “We’re not just doodling and day-dreaming, we’re rehearsing some stuff to see if it works. You can’t make a special operation up as you go along; it’s too fragile for that. You’ve read McRaven’s book too. You know that.”

I had and I did. His reference was to a book by a U.S. Navy SEAL officer, Bill McRaven, The Theory of Special Operations, published way back in 1993 by the old Naval Postgraduate School. That and the U.S. Special Operations Command’s Pub 1, Special Operations in Peace and War, were good guides to a kind of war where smarts could make up for numbers and equipment. I knew Ron was right.

“OK, you’ve got your week,” I replied. “If they start bombing before then, we’ll just suck it up and take it.”

The first bombs fell three days later, on June 19, 2028. Cruise missiles came in just before dawn, targeting the State Houses in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, National Guard armories, and power plants. The damage was extensive but largely symbolic. The State Houses and armories were empty, and the power plants were down for lack of fuel. Three waves of bombers hit us after the cruise missiles, going for bridges, rail lines and railway shops, fuel depots (also empty), and the Portland docks. In Washington, President Warner announced “the beginning of precise, surgical air action to compel the northern rebels to surrender to lawful authority.”

In Augusta, a precise, surgical cluster munition dropped by a U.S. Navy F-35 hit the schoolyard of St. Francis Elementary during noon recess. Thirty-three children died, along with seven teachers and the parish priest.

We had expected the hits we got, other than the schoolyard. Railroads are easy to blow up but also easy to repair, and we had the trains moving again by midnight. Engineer bridges were ready to go in strategic places, and those were up quickly too. Railroad rolling stock was hard to replace, but we had scattered it around the country and didn’t lose much.

Video of the St. Francis schoolyard was on the Internet within forty-five minutes of the attack, and the images broadcast around the world brought further air attacks to a screeching halt. Japan said in no uncertain terms that if there were further civilian casualties, there would be no more yen.

We also had an amazing stroke of luck – or perhaps something more than luck, since St. Francis was involved. The F-35 that dropped the cluster bomb was shot down. Our few anti-aircraft weapons were deployed to protect our mobile ground forces, not our cities. But a Russian instructor happened to be showing some of our troops how to use the SA-18 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile at a small base just south of town. They heard the bombs hit Augusta, and when one of the American jets screamed overhead on its way home, the instructor took a shot and got it. The pilot came down alive.

I immediately sent one of our few helicopters to pick up the U.S. Navy pilot and bring him to St. Francis. Pilots seldom see their handiwork up close. They pickle their bombs, run for home, and its beer:thirty at the club. It’s all a video game for them. Unlike infantrymen, they’re not prepared to see the other guy’s eyes bug out when you twist a bayonet into his guts.

I called the school and stopped the removal of the bodies. Then I went over there myself and met the helo as it came in. The helo crew had told the pilot what he’d hit, and he was already shaking when I met him at the bird. With a video camera stuck in his face, I forced him to walk through the blood, guts, and tiny severed limbs, lifting each sheet and staring at his handiwork. He managed to maintain his composure until the third kid, a little blond girl whose torso was ripped half away. He had a little blond daughter about the same age, and he came unglued. The camera caught his face in an unforgettable image of horror and agony, just before he puked himself dry. By the tenth kid, he was begging me to shoot him rather than look at any more. I made him keep looking. When he’d stared into the eyes of every tiny corpse, I ordered him locked up in the town jail under close watch, not so he couldn’t escape but so he couldn’t kill himself.

I got back to headquarters to find a message from Governor Adams, asking me to meet him down at Mel’s as soon as possible. When I got there, I found the mayor, a couple of the Governor’s advisors, and Bill Kraft already with him. The subject of discussion was what to do with the Navy pilot. The two most popular alternatives were putting him on trial as a war criminal or hanging him that afternoon in the St. Francis schoolyard.

“Well, what does the General Staff advise in this case?” the Governor asked me.

“Waal, I don’t know,” I said in my best Maine accent. “Since we seem to be deciding to hang him now or hang him later, I guess I’d as soon hang him now. It’d make the people of Augusta feel a little better, anyway.”

“It sure would,” the mayor added.

Bill Kraft had been sitting to the side, smoking his pipe, looking into a book and making it clear that he didn’t much care for meetings like this. I expected he’d also favor a prompt hanging. Instead, he gave me a look of icy contempt and said, “I would have expected at least an attempt at military reasoning from someone in the uniform of a General Staff officer.”

After that face shot, I knew I was going to get a lesson in military reasoning. Bill’s lessons were usually good ones, even if they sometimes felt like a broken-glass suppository wrapped in sandpaper.

“Here as elsewhere, the correct question is, how do we use this situation to strike most powerfully at our enemy?” he went on. “Merely doing what makes us feel better betrays a lack of self-discipline. Our object is not to feel good, but to win.”

“I thought we’d already done that by putting this guy on YouTube as he cracked up,” I replied.

“That was an excellent start,” Kraft said. “But why not carry it further?”

“How?” asked Governor Adams.

“Send him home,” Kraft replied.

“You mean just let him go after he killed our kids?” the Mayor asked.

“Exactly,” Kraft answered.

“How does that help us?” the governor inquired, knowing Kraft well enough to realize he was probably on to something.

“The Chief of our General Staff should be able to answer that question,” said Kraft. “Regrettably, in his hurry to get here he seems to have left his brain in his wall locker, so I will explain.” There was the suppository.

“If we send the pilot home, we toss a hot potato into the lap of the federal government. They have three choices, all bad. They can let him out in public, in which case he will tell a story of horror that will undermine public support for the war. They can arrest him for war crimes, which will let all their military personnel know that if they make a mistake, their own government will sacrifice them. Or they can send him back to his unit, where he will undermine the will of his fellow pilots to drop bombs anywhere but in the ocean or open fields. Whatever they do helps us, while the pilot is no further help to us if we keep him here. So we should send him home.”

As usual, Bill was right. We all saw that, and we all knew he was right about self-discipline as well. As the weaker party, we had to do what would hurt the enemy, not what would make us feel good.

So that’s what we did. We announced that as a humanitarian gesture to the pilot’s family, we were releasing him, and we invited the federals to send a plane under a white flag to pick him up. That made us look like the good guys to the world, and the video of a U.S. Air Force transport coming into the Augusta airport with its insignia covered by white patches didn’t hurt either.

The pilot gave a weepy interview to the press on his departure on June 20, saying that the war was a terrible thing and he hoped nobody would drop any more bombs.
He said the same thing to a bigger clutch of newsmen when the plane landed at Andrews.

Then, to our delight, facing three unpalatable choices, the federal government did the worst possible thing. It chose all three.

First, it let the pilot appear on all the TV talk shows to cry about what he had done. Then, it arrested him. When the military screamed, it dropped the charges, so it looked like it was condoning war crimes. Finally, it sent him back to his unit, where he spread his horror story to everyone he could talk to, so those pilots dropped their bombs in the ocean from then on.


It was not the end of the air campaign. For several days the sky was quiet. Then, on June 23, federal aircraft began buzzing our towns at night with sonic booms, not dropping any ordinance but reminding us they still could. On the 25th they hit two bridges with laser-guided bombs, after warning us well beforehand so all traffic could be stopped. On the 26th, they began hunting our locomotives with anti-tank missiles. We didn’t have many engines; we needed every one of them and couldn’t let this continue. I called in Ron Danielov. He’d had more than his week, and it was time to see if a special operation could help us out.

“Waal, what’ve you got for us?”

“I’ve got three operations set up and ready to roll. You can use any of them or all of them,” Ron replied.

“What are they?” I asked.

“The first, and most powerful, is aimed at Washington itself. We’ve got six moving vans sitting in southern Virginia, each with about 10,000 pounds of explosives in it. The drivers are our men. On signal, they will take those trucks on to the six bridges that connect Washington with Virginia, park ’em, set the timers, and dive into the Potomac. They’re all good swimmers who can reach the Virginia shore. When the bombs go, they’ll take several spans out of each bridge, cutting Washington off from the south.”

“What about civilian casualties?” I asked. “We can’t ignore that problem without giving the feds license to ignore it too, and it’s our best air defense.”

“The trucks have powerful loudspeakers that will play a recorded message, ‘This is a bomb. Get off the bridge immediately.’ That starts as soon as the drivers punch out, and goes for fifteen minutes before they blow. If anyone tries to enter the truck or move it, the bomb goes off automatically, so the delay won’t effect the operation.”

“How long will the bridges be down?”

“A few days, but that’s enough. As soon as the Confederate government knows they’re blown, Confederate forces will enter Virginia and the governor will proclaim the state’s secession from the Union.”

“Holy shit, you set that up?” I replied, astounded.

“Well, I pushed it over the edge, anyway,” Ron replied. “Virginia has wanted out, and the Confederates have wanted Virginia in, so the ground was already laid. When I told them we’d cut Washington off from Virginia long enough for them to move, they decided this was the time. Remember, that’s what special operations are about: hitting on the strategic level, or at least the operational level. Blowing the bridges would just be tactical, and that’s not a special op.”

“If Confederate forces are on the Potomac opposite Washington, the feds’ capital will be untenable. They’ll have to move it which will be an enormous problem for them, given the size of that government. It will effectively incapacitate them for months,” I said, thinking aloud.

“Now I hadn’t thought of that,” Ron admitted.

“If that’s your first act, and it’s a good one, I’m almost afraid to ask for the second,” I said. “But bombing them won’t keep them from bombing us. Have you got something that will?”

“The second operation helps with that, and also assists the Confederates’ entry into Virginia,” Ron answered. “We’ve done a little recon at the Oceana Naval Air Base and at Langley Air Force Base, near Norfolk. One of our guys got into both, driving a beer delivery truck. You know a beer truck will never be stopped on an air base. Anyway, they’ve got the planes lined up wing-tip to wing-tip in nice straight rows on both bases, so they look pretty. I’ve got four teams down there with an 81 mm mortar each, and they can just walk their fire up and down the rows. I figure they can take half, maybe three-quarters of those aircraft out.”

“Not bad,” I said, “but the feds will still have plenty of aircraft. That will disrupt them for a few days, maybe a week, but no more.”

“We know that, which is why we have a third operation planned,” Ron replied. “The target is the other base where most of the sorties against us are flown from, Dover, in Delaware. We’re gonna hit the single most vulnerable point on any air base: the Officers’ Club on Friday night.”

“Now that’s better,” I reflected. “Pilots are a great deal harder to replace than aircraft. How many of the fly-boys do you expect to wipe out, and how are you going to blow the place?”

“Our intel is that there are usually 100 to 150 aircrew, pilots and NFOs, at the Club on the average Friday night. But we’re not going to blow it. We’re going to take those guys and bring them home.”

“Home? What do you mean? I don’t get it,” I said.

“Here,” Ron replied. “We’re going to bring them here, to the N.C. When we take the place, we’re going to hold the federal aircrew hostage and demand a transport aircraft to bring them here. When they get here, they’ll serve as hostages. We’ll chain one to every locomotive, every factory, every strategically important target, so if the feds hit those targets, they’ll kill their own men. My guess is that the federal government will order them to do that, but their pilots’ accuracy will diminish drastically.”

“I love it! I love it! That’s brilliant! Shit, if you make that one work, you’ll get the Blue Max!” I cried. “Skorzeny himself would shake your hand if you can pull it off. Is that the kind of thinking they taught you Scout/Sniper guys?”

“We didn’t write it with the runes for nothing,” Ron said.

“OK, my answer on all three is GO! And the ideas are good enough I’ll back you up even if they don’t work,” I said.

“Aye aye, sir,” Ron replied. “And they will work, subject to the old German artilleryman’s caution: all is in vain if an angel pisses in the touchhole.”


This time, the angels were on the side of the smaller battalions. One of the trucks broke down, and we’d overlooked the railroad bridge which was sloppy map work on our part, but the attack on the Washington bridges did what it was supposed to. It triggered the move of Confederate forces into Virginia and that state’s joining the Confederacy, which made Washington untenable for the federal government.

The feds picked Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as the new federal capital. Not only did the move prove disruptive, they lost their local support base of government employees, most of whom couldn’t move because there was no place to put them. Deprived of the federal payroll, much of northern Virginia became a ghost town. The Pentagon was turned into the world’s largest nursing home, specializing in patients with Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t much of a change. In the former District of Columbia, the Capitol and the White House were vandalized, partly burned and finally taken over by bums and crack heads as places to squat. Having ruined the nation, they became ruins themselves.


The mortar crews at Langley found the aircraft still parked in tidy rows and walked their fire from one end to the other. They destroyed about fifty airplanes.

At Dover, our team of special operators found almost 300 guys in the club. It seems the base CO had called a meeting of all aircrew for a mandatory lecture on sexual harassment, in response to a complaint by the bar girl that some pilots had been “looking at her.” It took two C-17s to carry them all to Portland. The feds howled when we staked them out at all the worthwhile air targets, but the tactic worked even better than we expected. When President Warner ordered the air attacks continued, the remaining American pilots simply refused to fly. The air campaign was over.

As Father Dimitri had promised, the Russians took care of the threat of a naval blockade. On July 4, 150 miles outside Portland, the American destroyer USS Gonzalez ordered the Russian freighter White Russia to stop. The ship, which was loaded with RPGs, machine guns, and ammunition intended for us, refused. The American ship put a five-inch round into the White Russia‘s bridge, killing the captain and seven crew members. Ninety seconds later the Gonzalez was blown out of the water by three torpedoes from the Russian submarine which had been escorting the White Russia.

In Washington, where the federal government was beginning the process of packing to move, the Navy demanded immediate and forceful military action against Russia. President Warner, remembering the Trent Affair in the first American Civil War, demurred. “One war at a time, gentlemen, as President Lincoln said,” were his words to the JCS. It was a wise decision, but it effectively took the U.S. Navy out of the war against us.


That left us to face the renowned 42nd Division (as it continued to be called by everybody except the American Secretary of Defense). That wasn’t a threat, it was an opportunity.

The deployment of our own forces was complete. The militia was mobilized in western and southern Vermont and southern New Hampshire, to provide a “web” within which the regular forces would maneuver and to guard against an attack up I-91.

We knew the first enemy objective was Burlington, where they intended to turn inland away from Lake Champlain and follow I-89 to the Vermont capital, Montpelier. After a thorough reconnaissance, the General Staff determined that we would attempt to pocket the 42nd Division around Vergennes, trapping them between Otter and Lewis Creeks with their backs to Lake Champlain.

Accordingly, we moved a regiment of light infantry, with our few artillery pieces, into the area along Lewis Creek, stretching east to Monkton Ridge. Their mission was to prevent any advance north. They did not entrench, but set up a mobile defense in depth based on small teams that could ambush enemy infantry and call in fire on enemy vehicles. Another light infantry regiment plus the local militia held the eastern flank from West Rutland, along Lake Bomoseen and Lake Hortonia, through Middlebury to Monkton Ridge. Their mission was to prevent the enemy from going east. Vergennes lay too far west to cover, so we evacuated the population and garrisoned it with light infantry who had been trained in urban combat. They expected to fight cut off from our other forces. Operationally, their mission was to draw as many enemy as possible into the area and hold them while we encircled.

I established the headquarters of the General Staff in Middlebury, about fifteen miles from where Lewis Creek empties into Lake Champlain. Here was stationed our Mobile Force, under John Ross. It consisted of his Marine battalion on dirt bikes, both of our light armor regiments, our heavy armor regiment with its T-34 tanks, and a regiment of motorized infantry. The mission of the Mobile Force was to undertake the actual encirclement of the 42nd Division. It was the focus of efforts, or Schwerpunkt, of the whole operation.

The 42nd Division had been mobilized in late June, but had done virtually no training. Its encampment, at and around Camp Smith on the Hudson River, had been a circus of drugs, drinking, and debauchery. After three white officers were murdered, most of the rest went home; blacks were promoted from the ranks to replace them. On July 10, three “Death Battalions” of gang members were added to the division, which turned mere chaos into complete pandemonium. Finally, on the 21st of July, 2028, the monster started crawling north.

For the New York towns in its path – towns on “friendly” soil – the passage of the 42nd Division was an envelopment by hell. Stores were looted. Whites were mugged, raped, or shot. Homes, barns and businesses were burned. The division’s march was a traveling riot.

Since the federal government could not control the Internet, the images of rape and pillage were broadcast into every American home. Secretary of Defense Mowukuu, when asked to explain the depredations of “her” division on its own citizenry, replied truthfully that they were no worse than what the people who made up the division had been doing for many years in the areas where they lived. Americans failed to find that reassuring.

Vermont actually got off easier than New York. We had evacuated the towns we knew the 42nd would pass through. The remaining homes and businesses were put to the torch, but none of our civilians were hurt and movable property was saved.

Our militia was sure they could hold a line against an invasion as pathetic as this one, and they were right. But I would not let them, because I didn’t want to stop the 42nd Division. I wanted to destroy it. Once they understood that, they went along.

On July 31, the lead element of the enemy force hit the forward edge of our defense in front of Lewis Creek. We let them penetrate as far as the creek itself, then started chewing them up in small ambushes. The main body of the division did exactly as we hoped when it hit resistance in Vergennes. It figured this would be the decisive battle, and halted while its reserves came up. On the morning of August 2, I told John Ross to attack.

John put the T-34s right up front, figuring they would cause “tank terror” among the drunken, untrained, undisciplined horde. They did, and the enemy fled back toward the Lake. By the evening of the 2nd, the encirclement was complete.

That same afternoon, I went out to find John. He was down by the southern end of the pocket, figuring that if a breakout was attempted that was where it would come.

When I stuck my head into Ross’s CP, which was a single command version of the LAV, I was almost impaled by a German spiked helmet coming out. Below the helmet was a vast, rotund figure that could only be Bill Kraft, clad in the dark blue uniform of a 19th century Prussian officer. Down the trouser legs ran the wine-red stripe of an officer of the Prussian General Staff. I must have done a double-take, because Kraft looked at me and said, “Don’t you remember why I turned down your kind offer to join the Christian Marine Corps?”

I had to think back a bit, but I did remember. Bill had said, “I wear a different uniform.” Now I knew which one.

“We were wiped off the map in 1947.” Bill said, “but Prussia is more than a place. As Hegel understood, it is also an ideal. Prussians still exist, and so does the Prussian Army, a bit of it anyway. Now, it’s fighting again, here, for what it always fought for: for our old culture, against barbarism. Someday, we will win.”

“Well, this is a good start,” I replied, with what I thought was suitable New England understatement.

“It’s only that,” Bill said. “What do you intend to do next?”

At that point John Ross stuck his head out of the LAV. “We’ve just gotten a radio message from someone claiming to be the commander of the 42nd Division. They want to surrender.” “I guess that answers your question, Bill. It’s over, and we can go home,” I added.

“Wrong answer,” Bill shot back. “All that means is you’ve won a tactical victory. The operational question is, what are you going to do with it?”

I saw immediately that Kraft was right. I’d gotten too wrapped up in the immediate situation and was failing to think big – a serious mistake for a General Staff officer.

“Since you are our Prussian advisor, can I start by asking your advice?” I responded.

“Strategically, just as restoring the union is the federal government’s objective, ours is fracturing it further,” he replied. “I think this battle, and the conduct of the 42nd Division on its march here, gives us an opportunity to bring New York state into the Northern Confederation.”

“Do we want New York in the Confederation?” I asked. “We want people who share our traditional values, and I’m not sure they do.”

“Most of the people in upstate New York do,” Kraft responded. “We don’t want New York City. But most of upstate is conservative, and it is also rich in land and industry. It would be an asset.”

“OK, then, how do we go about it?” I inquired.

“You are Chief of the General Staff. You should be able to answer that question. I gave you a hint of where to start,” Kraft replied in good Prussian style.

I took some time to ponder the matter, while Herr Oberst i.G. Kraft filled a fresh pipe and Ross prepared to move up to meet with the 42nd’s commander. I knew what Bill Kraft meant by his hint: the reference to the 42nd’s conduct on its march. The people who lived in the area it passed through hated its guts. Now, the 42nd was ours. Bingo!

“I guess the first thing we do is turn what’s left of the 42nd over to the people of New York,” I said to Bill.

“Right,” he replied. “That takes the moral high ground. We become the agents of justice.”

“I suspect they’ll hang every one of them from the nearest tree,” I said.

“Right again, and that will split them from the federal government,” Kraft said. “The feds will scream that they’re all guilty of murder, which means their own government will be a threat to them. What do we do then?”

“We move in to protect them from their own government.”

“I think you’ve got it,” Kraft concluded.

It worked out pretty much the way we had outlined it. It took us a couple days to round up the POWs. Then, with one light armored regiment and two motorized infantry battalions, we escorted them back into New York. We followed the 42nd’s own route of advance in reverse, and along the way we dropped off batches of POWs for the locals to deal with as they saw fit. Mostly, they saw fit to slaughter them on the spot. CNN covered the whole thing, and after what people had seen of the division during its advance, most Americans cheered.

By the 5th of August, we were in Rensselaer, just a few miles up the Hudson from the state capital at Albany. We had about 1000 POWs left.

That evening, President Warner delivered a televised speech to his nation. After denouncing the vigilante justice taken by the New Yorkers as the usual “hateful, racist, etc.” stuff, he promised that “this government will not rest until every American citizen who participated in this lynching is brought to justice. I have directed the FBI to move in force into New York state as soon as the military situation permits.” Every New Yorker knew that the forces of the Northern Confederation were now their best protection.

Just after midnight, Governor Adams rang me up on the satellite phone. “John, Governor Fratacelli of New York just called. He and his cabinet are prepared to secede from the union if we can protect them. What should I tell him?”

“The federals don’t have any significant forces in position to invade New York,” I replied. “If they are prepared to mobilize their state to fight, we can protect them in the interim. But what about New York City? We sure don’t want that.”

“Neither do they,” he replied. “I’ve already discussed that with him. We cannot decide on admitting them into the Confederation. New Hampshire and Vermont would have to vote on that, as would the people of Maine. But New York does want in, and it also knows it can’t get in unless it dumps Babylon on the Hudson. They are ready to do that.”

“Then tell him I can have a battalion in Albany by daylight.”

“Do it,” Governor Adams ordered. So we did.

By the time the legislature met to hear the governor at ten in the morning on the 6th of August, our troops were patrolling the city. The legislature, with the images of the 42nd Division’s march fresh in its mind, voted overwhelmingly to secede. In an ingenious move, they gave the city of New York to Puerto Rico, on the grounds that it had far more in common with that place than with the rest of the people of the state of New York. Puerto Rico was too smart to take it, but at least New York state was free of it.

I brought up two more motorized infantry battalions to secure the new border, which was set at the George Washington bridge. Following the vote for secession, the governor mobilized the Guard, called upon the local militias to help defend the state and began setting up a state military. Unlike the Northern Confederation, the New York Guard included a potent air force: a whole wing of F-16s, trained in ground support.

In the east, the federals were now reduced to a narrow belt made up of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware, connected by a thread through New York City with Connecticut and Massachusetts. That connection was lost on July 15, when Connecticut seceded.

On July 18, I received a discreet inquiry from the Confederate military staff in Richmond. Would we be interested in a joint offensive on Harrisburg? Quietly, they had been moving strong mobile forces into the Shenandoah Valley, preparing to roll north.

Victoria: Chapter 22

The federal government in Washington believed in only one thing, but it believed in that strongly. It believed it wanted to remain a government. All the privileges of the Establishment depended on that, and the people who ran Washington couldn’t imagine living without those privileges. So they were prepared to fight for them – at least so long as they could hire someone to do the actual fighting for them.

They quickly found an important ally in the United Nations. The Washington Establishment was just one part of the Globalist Establishment, and they all stuck together. They shared a common belief in three things: A New World Order that would replace the state with an international super-state, in effect a world-wide European Union; cultural Marxism; and that everything, everywhere, should be decided by people like them. Globalism still faced a serious opponent, Russia, and Russia blocked any armed action to support Washington by using her veto in the Security Council.

But by working through the General Assembly, the U.N. came through in September with what Washington needed most: money, real money, not worthless greenbacks. It provided Washington a ten trillion yen loan, with more to follow.

The Feds used the money wisely. They started paying what was left of the old U.S. armed forces in yen. Virtually all the Christian soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen had resigned, and what was left were willing to fight for Washington, as long as they got paid.

The flow of yen also brought the federal army new recruits, mostly black gang members from the inner city, immigrants straight off the banana boat, and women. The gangs demanded they be accepted whole and designated as military units, with names like the Bad Boyz Battalion and the West Philly Skullsuckers, on the grounds that “forcing them into a white male structure would deny their unique cultural richness.” The result was units that spread drugs and mayhem throughout the federal army but ran as soon as someone shot at them. The immigrant outfits had Spanish as the language of command, and their officers would do anything for a bribe and nothing without one. The all-female infantry battalions were issued cardboard penises so they could take a leak in the field without wetting their drawers.

With a motley collection of remnants of regular units, some urban National Guard outfits happy to get paid in yen and assorted other rabble, the federals made their first moves. In October, they invaded Indiana, which had declared itself a republic. The Indiana government had forbidden any defensive measures as “provocations,” with their Republican governor promising that “my good friends in Washington are wholly opposed to violence in any form.” He was first on the list of sniper targets when the two remaining battalions of the 82nd Airborne dropped on Indianapolis; they got him as he ran for his limousine. A “brigade” of black gangs from Baltimore and Philadelphia took Fort Wayne and spent three days looting and burning the place, with the enthusiastic help of some local Boyz. The videos of panic-stricken whites fleeing their burning suburbs and “necklaced” Koreans’ blackened corpses outside their looted stores told the rest of us what to expect.

Other states that had seceded but not organized a strong defense got the same treatment: Iowa in December, Nebraska and the Dakotas in January and February, Kansas in March. Taking these rural states proved easy; all that was required was a coup de main in the capital with some airborne forces, followed by show trials of secessionist leaders and their public executions (the favored method was all-female firing squads).

But news soon began filtering out that the capitals and a few other cities were all that the feds controlled. Local militias sprang up in the countryside, and any federal troops who ventured far from town were found swinging from trees or impaled on pitchforks. Soon, the cities and towns emptied, as people went to live with relatives or friends or fellow church members who had farms. Federal garrisons and their Quisling politicos had to be moved and supplied by air, and the planes and helicopters accumulated lots of holes from hunting rifles. But the U.N. kept real money flowing in, and Washington grew more confident.


On March 25, 2028 President Warner announced a major coup. He had negotiated a treaty with Mexico recognizing Mexican “co-sovereignty” over Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In his speech to Congress, Warner said, “We are recognizing and healing an old wrong, that hateful war in which white male North Americans tore these states from the bosom of Mexico. Mexican-born citizens now make up more than 50% of their populations, and it is only just that they should feel part of their homeland. To insist otherwise would be to deprive them of their human rights. We have no doubt that Mexican co-governance will benefit all the citizens of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, as they may now fully share the vibrant culture of our southern neighbor.”

As the treaty allowed, on March 27, the Mexican Army moved north across the Rio Grande. In Brownsville, Laredo, Las Cruses, and Nogales, they were met not by smiling senoritas and Mexican hat dances but with bullets and Molotov cocktails. It wasn’t just the Anglos who fought them, so did many of the Hispanics. These people had emigrated to get away from the brutal Mexican Army and the corrupt and incompetent Mexican government. Unlike liberals in Washington, they had no illusions about what Mexican “co-rule” meant. It meant rule by torture, ballot-box stuffing and la mordida –the bribe.

The state governments reacted fast and well. They mobilized their National Guards (the remains of the two American Armored Divisions at Ft. Hood joined in), called for volunteers and seceded from the Union. In Houston, Governor John Dalton spoke of “a treasonous and tyrannical regime in Washington that has plunged Santa Ana’s knife into the back of Texas.” Washington responded with a drone strike that destroyed the Alamo.

From Mexico City, U.S. Ambassador Irving P. Zimmerman emailed Washington that “the regular Mexican Army, which has benefited greatly in recent years from American aid and training, will quickly suppress such disorders as nativist-extremist elements may generate.” The reality was that the Mexican Army was the same inept outfit it always had been, useful only for massacring unarmed peasants. Texans weren’t peasants, and they most certainly weren’t unarmed.

The Mexican troops never made it beyond the border towns. Hemmed in by roadblocks made of trucks and buses, their vehicles set on fire by gasoline bombs and their troops shot at from rooftops and from behind every door and window, they melted into a panicked mob. A few managed to surrender, and a few more made it back across the Rio Grande. The rest littered the streets like dead mayflies.

But the war didn’t stop at the border. Texas swiftly organized its forces and counterattacked into Mexico, with Arizona and New Mexico providing diversionary attacks. The government of the Republic of Texas had the good strategic sense to announce that its only enemy was the despised government in Mexico City, not the people of Mexico. It invited Mexicans to join its march, and thousands did. A mixed force of Texans and Mexican rebels took Monterrey on April 24, and by May 11 they were in San Luis Potosi. What was left of the Mexican Army concentrated at Queretaro for a battle to defend the capital.

But that battle was never fought. The Texan invasion gave the Indian population in southern Mexico the opportunity for which it had long waited. On April 25, with the fall of Monterrey, Indian rebels in the Yucatan proclaimed the rebirth of the Mayan Empire at Chichen-Itza. Nahuatl-speaking Indians, the remains of the Aztecs, announced the rebirth of their kingdom in Tenochtitlan three days later. Indian columns, some led by feather-clad priests and Jaguar warriors and others reciting the Popul Vu, marched on Mexico City. The Texans pinned down the Mexican Army, so there was nothing to stop them. Mexico City fell on May 21. On the 23rd, an Aztec high priest cut the beating heart from Mr. Ambassador Zimmerman and offered it to the Hummingbird Wizard atop the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.


Reeling from the fiasco in the Southwest, Washington cast about for something it could do that might work. The U.N. was not about to cut the money off, but the federals wanted more than money. They were working hard to persuade the U.N. to send troops.

The Security Council was still a non-starter. Russia did not want to appear to side too openly with the rebels in an American civil war, but it had used its veto once and could do so again – which is why the U.S. Navy made no attempt to block the arms that were arriving in Portland on Russian ships. In Washington, the feeling was that if Federal forces could win a major victory, Russia might have to go along with sending a U.N. “peacekeeping force” that would define “peace” as putting the federal government back in control.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff met with President Warner on June 15, 2028, to give him their considered advice. The seceded Rocky Mountain states, they opined, were effectively protected by the guerrilla war in the Midwest. To support a major offensive in the Rockies, federal forces would require secure supply lines, highways and railroads, in the conquered states west of the Mississippi. Those they did not have.

The Confederacy was too strong to take on until Washington had the rest of the U.S. back under its control and had major U.N. help. Talks were under way in Beijing about securing large-scale Chinese assistance; an expeditionary force of as many as 20 Chinese divisions was a possibility. Mao’s successors had little liking for regional rebellions elsewhere, given their own vulnerability to the same. But they would only act as part of a U.N. mandate, which brought the problem full circle.

That left us.

The Joint Chiefs recommended initiating a full naval blockade of all Northern Confederation ports, coupled with round-the-clock air, drone, and cruise missile attacks. After about 30 days, the ground war would begin. The main attack would be up I-95, roughly along the New England coast; once Maine was beaten, New Hampshire and Vermont would be cut off from the sea and surrounded on three sides. Their situation would be hopeless.

The best of the federal regular forces, the remains of the old U.S. Army and Marine Corps, would carry out the main attack. A supporting attack would be launched from New York state into Vermont by the 42nd National Guard division, an outfit recruited almost entirely from Harlem.

President Warner noted that the naval blockade would be difficult politically, because of probable Russian reaction. Otherwise, he seemed ready to approve the plan.

But his Secretary of Defense wanted to say something. She had represented Harlem in Congress, and after her defeat by a Black Muslim candidate the administration had given her the defense job to maintain her visibility; she was one of its biggest supporters in the black community. The 42nd Division was her baby – in fact, she had carried several of its babies, until the abortionist had restored her shapely figure – and she wanted it to have its chance to shine.

“Mr. President,” said the Honorable Kateesha Mowukuu, “I am the only black woman at this table. We have heard what these white men have to say. I would remind you that in this war, white men are our enemy. Now you will hear what a black woman has to say, and I expect all of you to listen with respect.”

“Black people have been the only warriors in history. White men can’t fight. It’s because their noses are too small. Courage comes from the nose, not the heart, as the African spiritual healers you call witch doctors have long understood. That’s why black people eat their snot. What do you white folk do with your snot? You wrap it up in a little white surrender flag and put it in your pocket. So you don’t have no courage.”

“All the great warriors in history have been black. Caesar was a black man, and so was his enemy, Hannibal. The Spartans were black. They just dyed their hair blond, to fool their enemies into thinking they were weak white people. Charlemagne was a black man. In French, ʻcharlemagneʼ means ‘kinky hair.’ The Vikings came from Africa, which is where they got those helmets with horns on them. Gunpowder was invented by ancient Zimbabwean scientists, who made it from elephant shit. You ever hear an elephant fart? Black scientists knew there had to be some juju behind that.”

“All of America’s military heroes were black people. Washington was a black man. We know that because he came from Washington, D.C., which is a black city. General U.S. Grant had a black grandmother, and so did Robert E. Lee. In fact, it was the same black woman, which is why they looked so much alike. Eisenhower is really a black name, and General George Patton got his pearl-handled revolvers from his black grand-daddy, who took them off Simon Legree.”

“This racist white-boy society of yours has dissed black men big-time. You’ve throw’d ‘em in jails and cut off their tails. You’ve put AIDS in their veins and cocaine in their brains. You’ve made black mean slack and crack, Jack, and we ain’t gonna take it no more.”

“And now the black warriors of our black 42nd Division, which I will rename the 1st Division, will teach these Yankee racist, sexist, crackers what happens when they mess with black people,” Ms. Mowukuu concluded. “And they don’t need no help from nobody.”

President Warner was torn. His mind told him the Joint Chiefs’ plan made more military sense than did that of his Secretary of Defense, but he had long ago conditioned himself to turn his mind off when dealing with matters touching “racism.”

“Thank you for that helpful contribution,” he replied. “I am sure all of us respect what a black woman has to say.” The Joint Chiefs’ heads nodded in unison. “Would the Chiefs care to comment on the Secretary’s proposal?”

“Mr. President, may I make a suggestion?” said the Army Chief of Staff, General Wesley. “We all deeply appreciate the Secretary’s brilliant remarks. But the Army already has a First Division, with a long and distinguished history. May I recommend that the 42nd Division be renamed the Numero Uno Division instead? That would avoid any conflict and also honor its members from Spanish Harlem.”

“Ms. Mowukuu, is that agreeable to you?”, asked President Warner.

“I believe deeply in multiculturalism, Mr. President, as you know,” replied the Secretary of Defense. “I am prepared to accept that modification.”

“Are there any other comments?” asked the President. There were none.

“The Secretary’s proposal is therefore unanimously approved,” he said. “I think we have seen here how we can all learn if we open ourselves to what our sisters and brothers from diverse backgrounds can offer us. Ms. Secretary, you have the deep respect and gratitude of your country.”

The gratitude of what remained of America was small compared to that offered by the General Staff of the Northern Confederation, once “Ms.” Mowukuu’s plan became known to us.

That took about 24 hours. One of the Massachusetts State Police who was a Christian Marine had a brother on the White House Secret Service detail. He was in charge of the electronic security of the Oval favicon

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

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

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

Victoria: Chapter 17

The crisis that occupied the feds’ attention while Maine reestablished the doctrine of Nullification was one that usually comes in the last days of ancien regimes. The currency was collapsing.

In October of 2018, a Big Mac cost $5.95. By October of 2023, it cost $99. For $150, you also got a small order of fries and a Coke.

The warning signs had been flashing for many years, but everyone in Washington ignored them. As late as the year 2000, the federal government had showed it could balance the budget. But for politicians, doing so had no payoff. The Republicans wanted tax cuts and the Democrats wanted more spending. So they cut a deal where each party would get what it wanted, and we would just borrow the money to pay for it all.

Through the 2000s and 2010s, the deficits soared, as did the national debt and the international trade deficit. Washington ignored all three. Then, in response to the financial panic of 2008, the Federal Reserve bank began printing money. Actually, it no longer had to print it. It could just enter a few keystrokes on a computer and presto!, trillions of dollars came into being. No one considered that something created so easily couldn’t be worth much.

Wall Street got even richer from all the phony money, but the real economy, where real people had to try to get jobs, remained in the tank. That kept down inflation, for a while.

The first people to realize that dollars had become green confetti were foreigners. Starting in the mid-teens, the dollar began to lose its position as the world’s reserve currency. Gold came back into its own as the only real money, at least internationally. The dollar’s role as reserve currency had given the American economy a huge subsidy. When it lost that subsidy, it tanked.

The Federal Reserve responded by creating dollars even faster, by the tens of trillions. All they knew how to do, when a bubble burst, was generate more liquidity to create yet another bubble.

But this time, the bubble was the dollar itself. When that bubble burst, beginning here at home in 2019, creating more dollars made the problem worse. But since that is all the Fed knew how to do, that is what it did.

By 2023, the Fed was creating dollars by the quadrillions. By March of 2024, that Big Mac cost $500,000. By July, it cost $50 million. Financial Weimar had followed cultural Weimar. The middle class was wiped out.


In Washington, Republicans and Democrats pointed fingers at each other, each hoping to ride the wave of middle class fury into long-term power. The public remembered that both parties had voted for the policies that brought the dollar down to where it took ten million to buy a single Mexican peso. That meant the political system offered no hope of a solution.

Revolutions and civil wars are the suicide of states. Men and women commit suicide when they are convinced their problems are overwhelming and there is no other way out. Nations rise in revolution or divide in civil war in response to the same conviction: continuation of the status quo is intolerable, and nothing but the death of the state offers any hope of escape from it.

The Federal government’s destruction of the dollar, and with it every American’s way of life, solidified the public against it. Not only solidified – radicalized. Afterwards, most Americans felt continued rule by such a government was unbearable. They did not yet know how to escape from under it. But they were ready to embrace any possibility. Including suicide.


The government’s response to the economic catastrophe it had created only deepened the public’s alienation. First, Congress indexed its own salaries and those of government employees. That meant their salaries went up week-by-week to keep up with the inflation. The rest of us were left to live as best we could on incomes that fell steadily, in terms of what they would buy.

We weren’t the first country to experience hyperinflation, and while everybody’s savings were gone for good, it was possible to stabilize the currency by the usual tough measures: stop printing more money, drastically cut government spending, run a budget surplus, and so on. The Feds refused to do any of it. It would have meant cutting off the parasites, the welfare queens, Wall Street bankers, government contractors, and all the rest. Those folks were the politicians’ base. The Fed kept on inventing money.

People tried to cope in the usual ways, by buying gold, hoarding foreign currencies, bartering, etc.

The government’s next response was to make ownership of gold illegal. If you already owned some, you had to sell it to the government at a fixed price – for paper dollars that in one day were worth half as much as when you got them, a day later a fourth as much, and so on. By this time, people were using $100 bills for toilet paper. It was cheaper than buying the real thing. Maybe that’s what economists mean by a “soft currency.”

Then, the feds ordered everyone to turn in all their foreign money as well. Banks were commanded to convert all foreign currency into dollars and send the renminbi and yen and pesos to Washington. By a secret government order, on December 7, 2024, the banks opened all safety deposit boxes and confiscated any precious metals and foreign money found in them. The rightful owners were not compensated, but fined.

Finally, Washington tried to outlaw barter as well. That was hopeless, but they tried. President Cisneros proposed and Congress (with a Republican majority, but in times of crisis the Establishment knows how to stick together) passed a law requiring all citizens to show receipts for any new goods in their possession. Failure to do so resulted in immediate confiscation, plus fines. Enforcement was given over to the IRS, on the reasonable grounds that it had always presumed guilt unless innocence could be proven by documentation. Armed teams of IRS agents would burst into a home, demanding receipts for anything they thought looked new. They still went through the motions of getting a warrant, but “probable cause” included the fact that the family was not starving. If they had food, they were presumed to have bought it. If they had no receipts for it, the food was confiscated too. And they were fined for having it.

Down east, we suffered along with the rest as our money turned into litter. But the Christian Marines’ notion that most crises were also opportunities had caught on. Just before Christmas, 2024, I got a letter from Bill Kraft asking if I would join him and a few others in a meeting with Governor Adams on December 27.

I went, though going wasn’t easy. Like most people in Maine, I had food and wood for heat, but gasoline was $1.5 billion a gallon by December, so my truck was up on blocks in the barn. I hiked down to Pittsfield, where I got a train for Augusta. We’d gotten passenger trains running again and, like most retro things, found we liked them. The one I rode was pulled by a steam engine converted to burn wood, of which we had plenty, so the fares were affordable.

There were about twenty people at the meeting, most of whom I more or less knew. They were the folks, up from the grass roots, who had put the Maine First Party together. I wasn’t sure what I would have to add to a political gathering, but I knew I’d learn a few things.

The governor began by saying something a lot of Mainiacs had been thinking. “Gentlemen, we’ve let this whole thing go too far already. Maine has shown it can act independently of Washington. The inflation problem has stymied us, because the currency is controlled from Washington. But we have to be able to think our way around that – and then do something. We cannot get peoples’ savings back, but there must be a way we can give them a currency that doesn’t lose value faster than it can be printed. I called you here to get your ideas on how we might do that.”

“Why don’t we just print our own money?” asked a fellow from Skowhegan.

“We’ve thought of that,” the governor replied. “We’re willing to do it; I don’t care whether Washington likes it or not. The problem is, what do we back it with? The ‘full faith and credit’ of a government, even our government, doesn’t mean anything any more. Our economists tell me any paper currency we issue will quickly lose value, the same as the dollar has.”

Bill Kraft spoke up. “As usual, history shows us the way to handle this. In the 1980s and 1990s, a number of other countries, faced the same problem. They solved it, and we can solve it by doing what they did.”

“What did they do?” Governor Adams asked.

“They established a new currency,” Kraft replied. “But to maintain its value, they only issued as much of it as they could back with foreign currency or gold. To guarantee that, they gave all authority to issue the new money to an independent Currency Board. The government could not give an order to run the presses. Once people understood that, they came to trust the new money. And it held its value.”

“Where do we get the gold or foreign currency to back our new money?” the Governor responded.

“We seize and sell or lease abroad all the federal assets in Maine that might be worth something,” said a fellow I didn’t know. He turned out to be Steve Ducen, an economist who had worked in Washington as long as he could take it, then fled up here. He had a prosperous apple farm near Lewiston now. “Start with the national parks; Japanese hotels will lease them in a heartbeat and put in golf courses. They’ll bring in Japanese tourists by the planeload, and we’ll feed ’em all the raw lobster they can eat.”

“Asia is booming, and we can cash in on that,” he continued. “American antiques are all the rage among wealthy Chinese. Maine has plenty, and we can make more. I’m already selling more than half my apples in Japan, Korea, and Singapore. With some clever marketing, we could sell potatoes, maple syrup, you name it. People who eat dogs and sea cucumbers will eat anything.”

“We don’t need to look just to Maine folks for foreign currency,” added John Rushton, President of the First Bank of Portland. “We can allow any American citizen to set up a gold or foreign currency account in a Maine bank. They bring their dollars up here, sell them for whatever they’ll bring in foreign currency, and set up an account. And, if they export, instead of having the feds turn the payments they get from abroad into worthless dollars, they can have them paid right into one of our banks. They can withdraw either the foreign money, or ours, as they choose.”

This sounded good to me, but I saw one question no one had addressed. So I asked it. “How do you keep the feds from getting into these accounts electronically and sucking the foreign money out?”

Bill Kraft had the answer – a perfect Retroculture answer. “There won’t be any electronic records,” he said. “Remember, we had banks long before we had computers. We just go back to doing it manually, with passbooks and account ledgers and the like. We run these accounts just the way they would have been handled in 1950 – or 1850, for that matter. In effect, we just pull the plug.”

I had to admit that was the ultimate electronic security system.


We did it. Maine began issuing Pine Tree Dollars in March, 2025. We soon got the kind of prices people remembered from before the U.S. dollar began its long slide. A loaf of bread again cost 15 cents. A pound of hamburger cost 20 cents. Gas stayed expensive at over $50 per gallon; we had no Maine oil. But horse feed was cheap because we grew our own.

Within six months, Pine Tree Dollars were in demand throughout the United States. Foreign currency flooded into Maine from the rest of the country, most of which was exchanged for Pine Tree Dollars. Within Maine, prices were stable, for the first time anyone could remember.

Washington was unhappy, of course, but it was now too weakened morally to dare any serious countermoves. Beyond denouncing us all once again as “racists, sexists, and classists,” the only action the Feds took was to order the U.S. Customs Service on Maine’s borders with Quebec and New Brunswick (both now independent) to seize all Pine Tree Dollars as well as gold and foreign currency held by people trying to cross.

Bill Kraft asked me if the Christian Marines could help out on this one. I said I thought we could. I had preached all along that we had to wait for the Federal Government to fall of its own weight. Now, it was down for the count. It would thrash around on the mat for a while, but I knew it would never get on its feet again. So we could be bolder.

On July 2, 2025, a mixed force of Maine Guard and Christian Marines arrived at the border crossings and rounded up the Customs officers. We gave them a choice. They could join the new Maine Customs Service and follow Maine laws, or stay with the feds and get shipped south. Most lived in Maine and were happy to join us. They despised Washington as much as any of us.

Just thirteen Customs agents said they wanted to remain with the feds. We took them down to Augusta, where on July 4, in festive fashion, they were paraded in their U.S. Customs Service Uniforms. We then bent them over, cut the seat out of their trousers, painted their backsides red and bundled them all into a boxcar with waybills for Washington, D.C. As their train pulled out of the station, the Governor led the crowd in a rousing toast to Maine, a sound dollar, and liberty. tr favicon

Victoria: Chapter 16

By the third decade of the 21st century, the dissolution of the United States had reached the point where each year brought a new crisis. The crisis of 2023 began with the Persell Amendment to the Clean Air Act, a measure intended to prevent the smoking of tobacco.

I am not making this up. I know it sounds like satire, but it happened.

In the 1990s and 2000s, as the greatest country in the world turned itself into a cultural toxic waste dump, one of the great issues that absorbed the federal government’s attention was – tobacco smoke.

The government and the “health industry” that lived off the government whooped it up that tobacco smoke was second only to Xyclon B as the worst thing you could inhale. At first, they just tried to get smokers to quit. But like all bandwagons of the absurd, once their campaign got rolling it rolled over everybody. Soon, they were shrieking that just smelling the smoke from someone else’s pipe, cigar, or cigarette was enough to put you in the grave tomorrow, or by next week at the latest. They called it “second-hand smoke.”

Of course, you got far more crap in your lungs just walking past a bus, but that didn’t matter. Smoking was outlawed far and wide where anyone might smell the smoke. Smokers were literally driven out, into back alleys and onto loading docks for a furtive puff.

A reasonable man, or even woman, might have considered that people had been smoking for some centuries, yet by a miracle the human race had survived. Smokers and non-smokers had even managed to get along, quite nicely in most cases. The secret was etiquette. Good manners dictated that some places were for smoking and some were not, and that where the lines were uncertain, smokers asked the assembled company for permission before they indulged. Previous to the hysteria, permission was usually graciously given, and no one seemed the worse for it.

But by the early 2000s, anti-smoking militancy was the “cause” of the day. Avoiding tobacco smoke had become the equivalent of Fletcherizing – the 19th century movement that promised sparkling health and a Methuselah lifespan to anyone who chewed each bite of food one hundred times. Americans always were suckers for health crazes.

And politicians were always on the lookout for suckers. So when the Clean Air Act came up for renewal in 2023, Senator Whitman Persell (“Wimpy” to his friends), Democrat of California, saw a chance to score some points with the anti-tobacco harpies. He proposed an amendment whereby anyone who smelled tobacco smoke anywhere might sue any nearby smoker. The plaintiff did not have to prove that the smoker was smoking at the time; the fact that he or she was an admitted smoker was considered proof enough. The amendment encouraged triple damages for “pain and suffering.” With the enthusiastic backing of the Cisneros administration and the usual craven collapse by Congressional Republicans, the amendment was signed into law. The Health Nazis triumphantly proclaimed “the end of tobacco smoking in America.”

As the law intended, smokers found themselves hunted like rats. A smoker, placed under oath on the witness stand, had to admit smoking or be guilty of perjury. But if they admitted they smoked, they lost the suit, along with their life savings and most else they owned. Repairmen, neighbors, even family members would come into a smoker’s home and promptly file a lawsuit, which they won. If someone smelled smoke in someone else’s clothes, they sued and won. The Surgeon General even issued a pamphlet suggesting ways smokers could be trapped into revealing their filthy habit, and then sued. It was a virtual reign of terror, enforced by impoverishment.

But the result was not the end of tobacco smoking in America. The result was war. Smokers fought back.

It started about six months after the Persell Amendment took effect. In Pasadena, a little old lady had been sued by a Meals on Wheels deliverywoman who had spotted a telltale cigarette butt in her kitchen garbage. As usual, the smoker lost, and the court ordered her home seized and sold to pay the deliverywoman her winnings. In the final court session on the case, the little old lady pulled a Saturday Night Special out of her handbag and blew away the judge and the plaintiff.

She was shot down herself by a sheriff, but on her way to court she had sent a letter to the L.A. Times explaining her action. “I had nothing more to lose,” she wrote. “I would rather die quickly than be left on the street, penniless. And I won’t stop smoking. I was born and grew up in England, and I remember how, in 1940, when a Nazi invasion seemed certain, Churchill had posters printed up saying, ‘You Can Always Take One With You.’ So that is what I will try to do.”

Her story was picked up by the rest of the media, not in sympathy but to demonstrate how all smokers were dangerous extremists. However, smokers got a different message. “You Can Always Take One With You” posters appeared on walls and street signs. Other smokers who had lost everything, or feared they soon would, began shooting. They shot judges and lawyers. They shot the people who had sued them, or other members of the plaintiffs families. They shot government health personnel. One of them shot Senator Persell; regrettably, he survived. They all left the same message: “I had nothing more to lose.”

Up in Maine, our Maine First state government saw an opportunity. The Governor proposed, and the legislature adopted, a “Resolution of Nullification” that stated that hereafter, the Persell Amendment would not apply in Maine. Maine folks still had good manners, and we would handle tobacco smoke the old way, as a matter of etiquette.

The feds understood quite well what nullification meant for them; that battle had gone the other way in the 1830s, and the long-ago victory was still an important part of their power. They went to the Supreme Court and Maine was overruled.

But our Governor, John C. Adams, stuck to his guns – or rather, our guns. He wrote to the President and told him the Nullification Ordinance still stood, and that whatever a federal court might rule, no monies based on a Persell Amendment judgment would be paid in Maine. If Washington didn’t like it, they could try to send in federal agents again. We Christian Marines made it clear we were not averse to another meeting like the one at Lake Sebasticook, and the state militia raised on the occasion was still available.

Under normal circumstances, Cisneros probably would have sent in federal agents, or troops. But the federal government was by this time caught up in a real crisis, and it didn’t have much attention to spare to the tobacco question. Once it was clear we had successfully nullified Persell, Vermont and New Hampshire did the same, as did the states of the deep South. Elsewhere, smokers kept shooting.

The smokers’ defiance had showed the power of leaderless resistance. In former wars and revolutions, effective, sustained resistance required leadership and organization. Without a Continental Congress or a Jacobin Directorate or a Bolshevik Party to guide and direct and order, action could not be sustained. Now, in the 21st century, the Internet supplied “virtual organization” by allowing the actions of one to inspire others, and the actions of those others to instruct and animate more. From the standpoint of the government, it was a nightmare; the rebellions (there were soon many) had no head that could be cut off, no junta or central committee or official spokesmen who could be arrested or assassinated. The ubiquity of the Internet meant it could not be silenced, and it could not discipline itself to pass over stories that people wanted to see. For good and for ill, the Internet was the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Now pardon me, if you’ll be so gracious, while I light a fresh cigar. tr favicon