Gun owners are second-class citizens in America viewed with severe derision and contempt by the elites in both the halls of political and media power in the US.  Much like rednecks and pit-bull members, they are rhetorical punching bag that gets knowing sneers from the freedom-phobic salons at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Department of Fatherland Security alike.  They have been tucked into a rhetorical cubbyhole with preppers, private food gardeners and other such miscreants for whom self-reliance is a watchword if not a lifestyle.

The modern American gun owner is in the same position as the Irish and blacks of yore who not only suffered official sanction as less than equal but were subject to penalties up to death in both government and private hands.

ALL governments despise private gun ownership because it is not only a primary threat to their ability to control and harness subject populations but existentially all collectivist are perversely uncomfortable with the atomistic ability to not only a threat but to make that neutralization lethal.  The battle at Lexington and Concord that inaugurated the divorce from Great Britain was over weapons and munitions ownership – nothing less and nothing more.  Not only was the fight about guns, it was about that ultimate divorce proposition marrying guns and secession.  One can suppose that the rulers in America have an abstract fear of the individuated ability to defend and also project power but the true fear on their part is the self-reliant aspect.  If the singular American can defend himself then the most important cog in any political machine, the cop, becomes irrelevant if not an anachronism and without cops, no nation can sustain tyranny and enforce bad laws.

James Yeager, an outspoken gun trainer in TN, recently had his CCW suspended because he dared to exercise his free speech rights.  The police spoke-mouth was priceless:

James Yeager, 42, had his permit suspended based on a “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public,” the department said in a statement. 

Col. Tracy Trott of the Tennessee Department of Safety said it didn’t take him long to reach a decision after viewing the comments on the Internet.

“I watched it twice to make sure I was hearing what I thought I heard,” Trott said. 

“It sounded like it was a veiled threat against the whole public. I believed him. He had a conviction in his voice, and the way he looked into the camera, I believe he’s capable of a violent act,” Trott said. 

This from a privileged and badged member of the praetorians for the nomenklatura yet this is the modus operandi for cops everyday.  The current discussion on guns is a curious house of mirrors where the individual American gun owner must be wary day after day for new depredations against his right to defend himself yet the talking heads make no mention of the sanctioned government murder of innocents on a daily basis by cops in America and the imperial machine abroad.

The other irony is not only that Yeager is a former small town police chief himself but this great advocate of revolution and tactical savvy submitted and compromised by getting the permit in the first place so the line in the sand may be more mercurial than he lets on.

Many gun rights advocates make the critical mistake that the argument must rely upon the Constitution and the Second Amendment as the touchstone for preserving the right yet the very same documents have given the rhetorical nod to such rights atrocities as the 1934 National Firearms Act, The 1968 Gun Control Act, the 1986 McClure-Volkmer Act and the raft of anti-armament nonsense that has been endorsed by ALL the political entities in Mordor on the Potomac.  The Constitution is to the protection of individual gun rights what the crucifix is to the vampire;  the Second Amendment has the same teeth that Scalia applied to the Heller decision when he discussed “dangerous and unusual weapons”, the asteroid sized loophole the government can use to ban the possession of any weapons it considers injurious to its safety and existence.

It is fortunate the drug-addled (official government sanctioned psychotropics, of course) young man who gunned down the children and their state stewards in the government school in CT did not employ a hammer or pipe wrench, otherwise carpenters and plumbers would be rubbing their hands in angst at the possible loss or confiscation of their tools.  Joe Biden would be discussing the valorous and critical legislation necessary to prevent any more such holocausts.

This national discussion frames the argument incorrectly.  The trope concerning the need for such weapons in private hands being a question by the government is a chimera; the state is not in the business of safety of the population; its business is the safety of government interests and nothing else.  This is not about high capacity magazines and cosmetically offensive weapons, these are merely the tools of last resort that make very citizen a peer in lethality and self-ownership.

And the government will have none of that.

The mass shooting by the evil predator in Connecticut on Friday in the federal and state mandated gun-free zone at the government school is a tragedy.  Like so many of the shootings, the thousands of wrong-headed and hoplophobic regulations that promote disarmament of “non-credentialed” citizens has left thousands dead and more wounded.  The usual suspects among the government supremacists are dancing on the graves of the children by calling for more restriction on individual protection and seeking to disarm greater swaths of the population that don’t meet the approval of the government.  Mind you, this will not disarm the greatest threat to individual safety, the police nor will it disarm the greatest threat to world peace, the American military.  The legislation and regulation will only target the “law-abiding”, that vast population of earning cattle that roam the tax jurisdiction called the United States.

Not only will the plantation dwellers be stripped of arms and the articles of self-defense, they will be forced to make convincing noises about why that makes everyone safe including, of course, the children. Many observers have made the case for the absurdity of all of this far more ably than I, whether concerning the Second Amendment, criminal fear of armed citizens and the ocean of statistics that can be manipulated by both sides of the weapons debate.  That is not the distillate of what I am asking.

The central question remains:  is there a consistent meme in the government-media complex case for weapons disarmament and prohibition.  There is and it is rather simple.  The government’s primary war is one it has waged and will fight through eternity for its very existence.  Whether democratic, communist or socialist or every difference in between; the state must extinguish individual self-sufficiency wherever it finds it.

The urban incubation of collectivist ideas is part of the reason.  City folk pride themselves on their lack of self-sufficiency.  They proudly open small refrigerators containing merely condiments and empty larders and brag about the sheer number of restaurants and cuisines available to them just a short jaunt away on government transit of one type or another.  Collectivism finds a natural germination here because one of the real societal divides is between urban folk and ruralites.

The urban enclaves in a democracy provide the majoritarian voice needed to rob various minorities of their rights and privileges whether these are notions of color or creed.  Unlike free(d) markets, government programs and initiatives and regulatory regimes are always a zero sum game that takes from one party to benefit another.  Unlike free(d) markets, there is always an injured party and in the case of civilian disarmament, this becomes quite literally true.

This urban voice dominates the government-media complex de jure and de facto despite the irony that the attacks and imputations against gun-owners rivals that of the Democratic fears of armed blacks at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century and the double-speak that informs the media coverage of government police savagery nation-wide.

The government hates individual ownership of guns for a basic reason that pales in comparison to their use against tyrannical behavior by said government; private ownership of defense at the atomistic level in any society lessens dependency on the government for anything; once this capability to defend against both private and public predators reaches a peer competitor level with these aforementioned forces, the balance tips in favor of individual autonomy and tips the scales toward self-sufficiency.

Self-sufficiency is the cardinal sin and self-reliance in a voluntary community from the family to friends to business associates always undermines the government’s ability to control its subjects.  Guns in the hands of the population is the first building block to this twisted and inhuman arrangement that makes all inhabitants of a nation-state not only the clients of the warfare-welfare state but the potential inmates of the established penal system through actual caging, parole or probation for regulatory statutory violations of the myriad rules of the state.

No state on Earth whether the US or North Korea or Germany or the Sudan can sustain itself absent police forces and the increasing equivalency of American private arms to the assigned weapons of the 19,000 (!) government police agencies in the US is a direct threat to these coercive arms of the state but more importantly, diminish the monopoly on protection these police forces advertise but rarely fulfill.

The US War on Self-Reliance has been going on since the formation of the Republic but started to gain significant steam with the War of Northern Aggression and the Lincolnian consolidation of federal supremacy over state action.  Scratch the surface of every regulation in the monstrosity called the Federal Register and it boils down to destroying individual self-reliance in a voluntary community.

While the government’s fear of individual armament has a component of fear for its very existence in the event of sedition, rebellion or revolution, the overweening imperative is the constant and consistent destruction of any form of behavior that divorces the individual from dependence on the government no matter how large or inconsequential. Think of this way, once the government strikes and blots out all individual initiative which is the essential building block of self-sufficiency, its only fear for existence would be the delivery of its own demise through its behavior such as the impending economic collapse authored by the worthies in the Treasury and the Congress.

Why does the government conduct raids on illegal vegetables whether drugs or organic?  Why did they fight homeschooling tooth and nail?  Why are preppers and survivalists being demonized?  Why is practically every human transaction on American soil subject to some form of rules or regulation?

Put in perspective, the War on Self-Reliance is job one for any form of government; otherwise, the ability to threaten and cajole compliance and obedience starts to diminish rapidly when the subject populace can take care of itself unassisted, thank you.

The latest Sturm und Drang on display by the government spokes-apparatchiks for individual disarmament is merely part of a larger tapestry to dissolve and eliminate individual autonomous action.

Nothing less and nothing more.

Why secession and why New Hampshire?
New Hampshire is our home. The Granite State has a “Live Free or Die” state motto and it suits us perfectly. NH is a very independent-minded state with about 41% of its voters being “undeclared” (they’re not registered with any political party). We feel this creates the best intellectual climate of any state for discussing important federal issues that negatively effect the people of the states.

While the list of reasons to declare our independence seems never-ending, one very basic concept that all NH citizens can understand is money. NH is consistently one of the biggest donor states, every year. As you know, a “Donor State” is a state that pays more to the Federal Government than it receives. From 1986-2005, New Hampshire was ranked as a Top 5 donor state out of the 50 states, every single year for 20 years. NH citizens consistently pay more to Washington DC than they receive. Independence will mean we can keep our money right here at home rather than begging Washington DC for part of our money back.

What are your prospects for success?

Success to us will mean that enough NH citizens will be informed about the benefits of independence to make a very real impact on the direction of NH. Since we’re a non-profit, tax deductible foundation, success to us will not necessarily be legislative success. If NH citizens are educated on the issues and talking about them with their friends, family members, co-workers, and classmates, we’ll be successful.

I have discovered most political solutions are unworkable if more liberty and freedom is the desired outcome. I do reserve judgment on secession as a last political act they yield positive results. What are your thoughts?
 Personally, I feel as though, historically, liberty has increased through multiple strategies. Politically, there’s the example of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which instantly increased the freedoms of American blacks. Acts of peaceful civil disobedience – like that of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Lysander Spooner’s American Letter Mail Company – have increased awareness and led to increased liberty. Jury nullification, like the kind that’s happening in NH, has also been very effective. I feel as though people should engage in the activism that they feel is most effective and that they’re most comfortable with. However, people must learn liberty before they can become activists in the area of their choice. We feel that’s the area where our Foundation can help.
What is the advantage of the non-profit status under the IRS and does that restrict your activities in any fashion?
Certainly our official tax-deductible, 501(c)3 status (which is currently under initial IRS review) has helped us already by adding credibility to our efforts and stressing the seriousness of our Foundation. By taking this route, we’re saying “we’re not just a Facebook group; we’re serious”. We’ve already been interviewed by multiple sources and more are on the way.

Our speech is definitely restricted as a tax-deductible foundation, but this can be a blessing in disguise. For example, when we’re asked which political party, political candidate, or legislation we support, we can confidently say that we’re actually not allowed to comment too much on those types of questions. This will prevent our opponents from pigeon-holing us as an arm of any political party. In some ways, we’re more free and protected.

The other obvious benefit is that all donations are tax-deductible. After we work hard and prove that our Foundation is worthy of support, we expect the larger donors to take a look at us. If we’re successful in NH, the implications are global.

In Texas v. Smith (1869), the Supremes rendered secession illegal (surprise!) but the Miller/Swayne dissent provides an interesting backdrop to why the court was wrong even from a Constitutional perspective. What do you think?

 As you say, it’s not surprising that the federal government would tell citizens that they can’t leave the federal government. That’s the equivalent of a possessive, wife-beating, lying, unfaithful husband being anointed the judge at his own divorce proceeding; he’s always going to side with himself and rule that the wife can’t leave him.

The federal constitution doesn’t specifically address the issue of a state separating, but the right to leave is implied with the 10th Amendment. Furthermore, there aren’t very many constitutions that actually specificaly give the people the option of revolting and/or leaving. However, that’s another thing that makes NH different. The NH constitution specifically mentions this right in Article 10, The Right of Revolution, which says, “…whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government”. This, to me, is another detail that helps NH in our quest for independence.

Any coordination with the Free State Project New Hampshire?

There is absolutely no coordination between our Foundation and the FSP and there never will be. Some of their members are supporting our efforts and some of their members are definitely against everything we do.

I think every state should have one of these organizations and eventually a cross-country consensus can be built. Do you anticipate a research arm to your institution; a clearinghouse for national and global secession movements and trends?

This is a great idea that would certainly help a lot of people in this world. Right now, we’re only concerned with NH independence. In the future, after we gain our independence in NH, perhaps we could transition into a more national organization.

Is America as a centralized polity too big to succeed? 

America is without a doubt too centralized and too enormous to succeed. Really, America’s fate has been sealed for several decades. When a nation grows too big – both in territory and in population – it’s inevitable that a separation is needed. One city trying to control the lives of over 315 million people, even for the biggest fan of centralized government, can’t last forever. Inevitably, when asked how the country should be governed, the people living in one area of the country are going to disagree with the people in another area of the country. A peaceful separation would solve the grievances.

Do you think that a plurality of multitude of different nations in north America will lead to more peaceful and prosperous times?

In my opinion, peace will be the ultimate benefit of a break-up of the United States. Never again will American citizens pay for wars half way around the world that have little or nothing to do with the security of the US. It’s true that without central banking and a fiat currency, there would be no chance of achieving the level of centralization currently demonstrated in Washington DC. But to me, the loss of human life is the biggest tragedy. The fewer large, centralized nations there are in the world, the lesser the odds are of war.

One of the reasons the US was so prosperous is because of a giant (mostly) free trade zone between all of the 50 states. As long as Americans realize this and continue a similar policy in the post-US world, Americans will be more prosperous than ever before.


One of the reasons why our nation has prospered is that we have been able to capitalize on our individual abilities, abilities that are diverse and unequal. It’s the differences and “unequalness” among people that allows for innovation, invention, new technology, growth, prosperity and progress. To enforce equality upon the populous is not only unnatural (equality does not exist in nature), but it prevents the very prosperity we all desire, resulting in class warfare. It’s no accident. As more “equalizing and redistribution legislation” becomes the law of the land, more poverty and class warfare develop. This will continue until the populous empirically learns the hard way that the State, no matter which party is in power, is their enemy and learns to withhold their consent at the voting booth by abstaining. Most people hate monopoly power (even the non-coercive variety), but the populous gives the State the monopoly on the use of force without even a whimper. With such power over the individual, the State will use that monopoly power to enslave us until we collapse into the Orwellian dark ages or war annihilates us all. Most people know about the danger of stepping into the lion’s den or getting burned when they play with fire, but to most people these are only allegories with no relevance in their own lives. However, all voters assume a similar great danger when they step into the voting booth. They are collaborating with their own enemies who present them with lots of goodies to lure them in, but eventually make them offers they can’t refuse, “Godfather” style. To add insult to injury, the voters revere those very same enemies with donations to their elections, and name buildings and bridges after them and build statues of their likenesses in the public parks all over the land. As long as the populous values equality over freedom and relies upon the voting booth to try to establish that equality, the societal deterioration will continue, as can be seen in today’s climate of unrest, unemployment, despair and insecurity.

Some argue that it is not equality that the voters seek but equality of opportunity. There is no such thing as real equality of opportunity since we are all born unequal. Take two people, for example, Bill Gates and myself. We were born with equal “legal opportunity” but actually we were born with reality-based unequal opportunity. By birth we started out in this world with unequal opportunity by virtue of the fact that Gates was born smarter, more committed to his goals, and able to take greater risks than I. I had the same “legal opportunity” to accomplish what Gates accomplished but I failed to do so. Our inequality illustrates the difference between Gates’ accomplishments and my accomplishments. Does that make Gates an undeserving evil exploiter of us all? On the contrary, Gates’ success made life better for me as it did for everyone else on the planet. The same holds true for Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt and J.P. Morgan, most of who were born extremely poor, but with great intellectual abilities. They didn’t invent or create poverty, since poverty is a natural condition of all life. They helped cure poverty for millions of people. Where the average person sees no opportunity, these great benefactors of mankind saw opportunity and were willing to take extreme risks that most of us are not willing to take.

When one analyzes the motives of the “true believers” in “equality,” we see that what they really want is equal results, which is beyond utopian. An ideology of equal results is insane and immature, an ideology that can only be implemented by law, (at the point of a gun). The one who points the gun in fact creates immediate conflict between himself and the victim, and a multitude of conflicts have flared up right before our eyes over the past 50 years. Government means guns and the more government, the more guns and the more guns, the more conflicts. It’s no coincidence that as government has grown since WWII, we have found our country involved in external and internal conflicts at a continually increasing rate.

When one nation aims its guns at another nation it is considered an act of war. When one’s own government points its guns towards its own unarmed citizens, in the attempt to coerce equality it is just as much an act of war. At least countries at war have the ability to agree on a truce and the fighting will stop. However, within a nation, a truce is never offered since the guns of the law are forever present. They hang over the necks of all of us just waiting for someone to step out of line in order to rationalize its use. Like the Sword of Damocles we now all live with a sense of foreboding engendered by a precarious situation, especially one in which the onset of tragedy is restrained only by a delicate trigger or chance. Presently our precarious situation involves our economic system veering closer to the edge of a cliff. While this very dangerous situation continues, the legislators call for more equality and redistribution legislation, condoned and sanctioned by most of the population. The delicate trigger in this case is continuing on the same path of coercive legislation.

The equality ideology is to a nation what hurricane Sandy was to the Northeastern states and what hurricane Katrina was to New Orleans. It will annihilate whatever good that has been produced by the builders, creators, inventors, innovators and investors of the past, leaving misery in its wake—witness the attitude of laziness and desire for more free stuff and equality by the people of Greece today as Greece slips into possible oblivion. America is on the Grecian path. It’s only a matter of time.

There is no middle ground between equality and freedom. For equality to even be attempted, freedom must be sacrificed upon its alter. At its very inception, the first “equality” law had to take away the freedom of someone or coerce someone to take an action that they would not have taken if they were free to follow their own judgment. The fact that equality must be coerced proves that it defies the laws of nature. The attempt to coerce equality is the very factor that will lead to its failure. Unfortunately the damage will be done in that attempt. In the long run, if 100% freedom does reign, optimum equality will take care of itself by providing prosperity and contentment to the citizens. When the entire nation is enveloped in prosperity, security and contentment, inequality stops being an issue. We must not be fooled into thinking that we have already tried freedom and that it failed. It is not freedom that failed. It has been the absence of real 100% freedom that failed.

Since the State has had control over the education system of the nation it has been very easy for the State to misrepresent what is taught. Our schools have been teaching that we live in a “free” country and everyone seems to believe it. Like the “doublespeak” mentioned in the novel “1984”, our schools teach that our coercive political system has created and is maintaining “freedom”, thus obfuscating the true culprit in the battle between freedom and slavery. That culprit is the ideology of Statism itself.

We must choose one or the other. We can’t have both at the same time. It’s either freedom or slavery. It’s true that equality will be the outcome of Statism, namely the equality of poverty, equality of despair, equality of unemployment and extreme national debt, which is the natural consequence of a system whose coin of the realm is coercion. Is that the equality we all want? It’s either peaceful co-existence among human beings or perpetual disharmony. It’s either freedom or Statism.

“The IDF was not ready for this war.”
–         The Winograd Report
Now that Israel has declared war (again) on Gaza, its last foray in 2006 against Lebanon bears closer examination.
Hezbollah occupied an emerging intermediate spectrum capability between irregular and conventional conflict through careful preparation, intense knowledge of the threat they faced and a careful examination of past behavior to influence stratagems employed to defeat the Israeli enemy. Hezbollah employed a dual strategy to literally rain terror on Israeli settlements proximate to the Lebanese border and draw the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) into a quagmire to establish their stalemate or defeat.
The small number of non-state actors who conducted the fighting numbered at approximately seven thousand against a modern first world army and air force numbering orders of magnitude greater.  Hezbollah sought to own the operational fight and most likely succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. COL John Boyd would contend that the Hezbollah architects of the conflict compromised the enemy’s decision cycle and never let go.
Hezbollah had several advantages:
  •  They owned the defensive turf and made judicious use of years of intense preparation of the killing fields to drive home their advantage.
  •  Conducted a dual-purpose stratagem to terrify Israeli civilians through rocket attacks to draw a response and lure the forces in to isolate them and destroy in detail.
  •  Intense training and a keen doctrinal knowledge of IDF tactical behavior both mounted and dismounted.
  •  Clausewitzian friction would ensure that the un-forecasted benefit to Hezbollah would be the severe doctrinal dissonance and confusion that would cripple the IDF at the operational level.
  •  A very sophisticated information operations campaign to amplify every victory and use every setback as a means to emphasize the underdog position of the victims of the “invasion”.
The IDF had fought a self-identified successful counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign against the Palestinians in the contiguous problem areas to Israel.  Its entire force had fallen to exclusively orienting the forces to irregular warfare efforts while ignoring the full spectrum operations implications of atrophied training in conventional mechanized and armor warfare much less the basic notions of light infantry tactics beyond the practice of call for fire.  This continues to plague most Western armies even after the morbid lessons that the IDF provided for military observers around the world in 2006.
“In fact, Hezbollah inflicted more Israeli casualties per Arab fighter in 2006 than did any of Israel’s state opponents in the 1956, 1967, 1973, or 1982 Arab-Israeli interstate wars. Hezbollah’s skills in conventional war fighting were clearly imperfect in 2006—but they were also well within the observed bounds of other state military actors in the Middle East and elsewhere, and significantly superior to many such states’.” [1]
This from non-state actors, no less, and the implications for future operations by both Israel and Western nations engaging the Arab world may pause and take note.  This especially in light of the fashionable Revolution in Military Affairs the IDF foisted upon itself through the adoption of an Effects Based Operations (EBO) doctrinal shift which proved disastrous not only for its shoddy implementation but the sheer martial poverty of a vision that placed much more emphasis on expectation than tangible delivery of fight power as Van Creveld would advise. “Unfortunately, the new IDF doctrine failed to incorporate a large land maneuver component into its effects-based approach.” [2] The employment of exclusive use of air assets also assured the Israelis of tremendous civilians’ casualties both real and exaggerated which turned into a public relations nightmare for the attackers and an unexpected boon to Hezbollah.
The Israelis deployed an army and air force which entered a quasi-conventional campaign unprepared for that spectrum of conflict blinded by poor intelligence and logistical shortfalls that quickly transmitted a global picture of a once-vaunted and historically feared army reduced to a military shambles barely able to get out of its own way much that of harm.
Hezbollah had not transitioned into a world class fighting organization for its size overnight.  Through decades of careful observation and grooming of cadres and development of operational arts suitable to their notions of combat effectiveness and capability, orchestration of the offensive and defensive parameters were crafted and retooled.  One may suggest that some study was given to the first Battle of Grozny by their Islamic brethren fighting a similar mechanized and armored threat in an urban enclave:
 “ Many outright errors were committed during the hasty preparation of the force as well. For example, the operations plan omitted technical support resources (such as communication equipment) and there was no coordinating agency linked with the president’s administration to resolve political problems. The administration’s information/propaganda machinery also failed to prepare the mass media to report positively on the reasons for the intervention or to illuminate the national interests at stake. Thus, Russia lost the political and information battles in the first days of the conflict. Many of these problems were aggravated by the fact that at the time of the intervention, Russia did not have a national security concept, and only an outdated military doctrine.
In addition, three powerful ministers (Defense, Internal Affairs, and Internal Security) all had troops in the fight but failed to integrate their efforts. As one source noted, “The enormous losses of the early days were caused by the poor level of professionalism of the command/staff element, which underestimated the enemy and was staggeringly negligent in coordinating actions among individual units and subunits as well as among the various types of forces.” [3]
The Russians fought with an old and anachronistic doctrine that did not account for the enemy or terrain and the IDF fought with a doctrine that was untried and found to be severely wanting.  The doctrine made the fatal error of trying to take one operational arm, in this case, air and make it the exclusive vector of success instead of combining and synchronizing the dimensions and operating systems of battle. An over-reliance on “precision munitions” resulted in civilian casualties that simply compounded the military incompetence into a political disaster for Israel worldwide obviating their storied ability to play the underdog in any conflict.
Hezbollah prevailed through both a mostly brilliant operational plan tethered to a strategic vision and quickly adapted to opportunities the martial incompetence of the IDF presented them.  None of the authors cited in this essay find the Hezbollah forces without fault in some ways but the entire short war proved that the Western powers need to stand and take notice of the increasing operational savvy of non-state actors and armies.The recent green-on-blue violence in Afghanistan is yet another variation on the theme of an occupied or aggrieved non-state force grabbing the decision cycle at the operational level and helming it decisively.
The campaign of Hezbollah in 2006 is simply a harbinger of things to come.
[1] Stephen Biddle and Friedman, Jeffrey, “The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy.” Strategic Studies Institute, 2008.
[2] Matt Matthews, “We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War.” The Long War Series Occasional Paper 26, U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute Press Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

[3] Thomas, Timothy. “The Battle of Grozny: Deadly Classroom for Urban Combat.” FMSO. (accessed October 16, 2012).


The notion of unconditional surrender for either Germany or Japan is a popular notion and it in fact extended the length of the conflict. Like all of its historical antecedents, it stiffens the spine of resistance and more so in cultures attuned to a warrior ethos. Peace entreaties from the Japanese government emerged as early as January 1945 and they were apparently ignored. It looked like this:

Specifically, the terms of the Japanese peace offers of late January 1945 were as follows:

  1. Full surrender of the Japanese forces, air, land, and sea, at home and in all occupied countries.
  2. Surrender of all arms and ammunition. 
  3. Agreement of the Japanese to occupation of their homeland and island possessions. 
  4. Relinquishment of Manchuria, Korea and Formosa.
  5. Regulation of Japanese industry.
  6. Surrender of designated war criminals for trial.
  7. Release of all prisoners. [1]

I suspect Truman’s intended audience for the nuclear bombs was a cautionary tale for Russia since even he realized a bipolar world was emerging and he knew who the contestants were. The revisionists and mainstream historians both argued over the casualty figures proffered by the Truman administration after the war.

If you look at the annihilation of huge Japanese forces on the mainland in Russian East Asia in the Soviet-Japanese campaign in August 1945 you see the scale of conventional force dissolution the Japanese were suffering.

There are a number of revisionist challenges to the conventional interpretation and I find them compelling.

“The revisionist challenge to the traditional interpretation became a source of fierce debate after the publication of Gar Alperovitz’s book, Atomic Diplomacy, in 1965. He contended that the United States used the atomic bomb primarily for diplomatic purposes rather than for military requirements, particularly to impress and intimidate the Soviet Union in the emerging Cold War. The argument that Truman ordered the atomic bombings of Japan primarily as an anti-Soviet weapon for fighting the Cold War became a prominent, though not unanimous, feature of atomic bomb revisionism.” [2]
We have to be careful to suggest casualty figures as high as one million when even MacArthur scoffed at their accuracy.  I am not even proposing an invasion would have been strategically sound but at our level of inquiry it is incumbent upon us to always remain skeptical.

I recommend a careful reading of Walker, very instructive.
[1]  McLaughlin, John. “The Bomb Was Not Necessary.” The Cutting Edge. (accessed September 21, 2012).

[2] Walker, J. Samuel. “Historiographical Essay Recent Literature on Truman’s Atomic Bomb Decision: A Search for Middle Ground.” Diplomatic History Winter 1990 (1990),

Here are some numbers to celebrate:

Total war dead acknowledged since 9/11/2001:  5.225

Total battle wounded: 50,159

Total amputees: 1,572 (486 with multiple amputations)

Total PTSD (Army): 73,674

Traumatic brain injury:  Overall, 253,330 servicemen and women have suffered traumatic brain injury on the battlefield or elsewhere, including 3,949 with penetrating head wounds and 44,610 with severe or moderate brain injury.

The data released Wednesday indicates that 2,542 servicemen and women have suffered traumatic burns; 142 have lost at least one eye, and five lost both eyes in combat.

A hearty thanks to all the politicians and bureaucrats who made this government program possible.


“Happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service” or “thanks for protecting our freedom.”

What!  I hear this familiar refrain again and again every November.  I am appalled whenever this unthinking salutation is proffered.

I am a retired career Army officer and like USMC General Smedley Butler before me, I find these sentiments to be hogwash.

The only service rendered was to the American political power structure in the dishonorable hands of the Democrats or Republicans; the former, despite their protestations to peace, have gotten America involved in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Starting with the shameful expropriation of the Mexican territory from 1846-48 to the War of Northern Aggression from 1860-65; the United States went into hyper-colonial overdrive in 1893 in the Hawaiian Islands and has not stopped since. The entire history of American arms on Earth has been a shameful and expansionist enterprise culminating in the first ever post-WWII (the Japanese attack on American territories in the Aleutians during the War to Save Josef Stalin and the minor coastal skirmishes in Oregon) attack on American state soil in 2001 .  I am frankly astonished at the length of time it took for a substantive attack of any kind to be initiated on American soil with the breadth, ferocity and long sordid history of American mischief and mayhem abroad.

The sheer number of military expeditions the US has embarked on over time is breathtaking.  One worthy notes there have been 234 military expeditions from 1798-1993.  Another posits 159 instances of the use of United States armed forces abroad from October 1945 through December 2006. “This list does not include covert actions and numerous instances of US forces stationed abroad since World War II, in occupation forces, or for participation in mutual security organizations, base agreements, and routine military assistance or training operations.”

Good God, if I were a Martian who landed on Earth ten years ago and found myself attending government schools, to include college, and watching television for any additional cultural education,  I would not be aware of any of this.  The constant drumbeat emanating from the State is the Orwellian chorus about America making the world safe for freedom and liberty and never using force abroad except in self-defense.  The history proves otherwise.

America, next to Rome in the Western world, ranks as one of the world’s most aggressive nation states when one examines the evidence.  A country sheltered from the tempestuous and constant warring on the European continent by one ocean and the turbulence in Asia by another ocean yet it simply cannot mind its own business nor resist the temptation to maim and murder abroad for expansion of political power and control whether for mercantilist or colonial aspirations.

One can even see that the brutality practiced by American soldiers abroad is not recent but a long-standing tradition.

Afghanistan, now:

All told, five soldiers were charged with killing civilians in three separate episodes early last year. Soldiers repeatedly described Sergeant Gibbs as devising “scenarios” in which the unit would fake combat situations by detonating grenades or planting weapons near their victims. They said he even supplied “drop weapons” and grenades to make the victims appear armed. Some soldiers took pictures posing with the dead and took body parts as trophies. Sergeant Gibbs is accused of snipping fingers from victims and later using them to intimidate another soldier.

He also pulled a tooth from one man, saying in court that he had “disassociated” the bodies from being human, that taking the fingers and tooth was like removing antlers from a deer.

Sergeant Gibbs said he that was ashamed of taking the body parts, that he was “trying to be hard, a hard individual.” But he insisted that the people he took them from had posed genuine threats to him and his unit.”

Philippines, then:

“Like many of their officers, American troops also showed incredible callousness toward the Philippine civilian population.  A man named Clarence Clowe described the situation as follows in a letter he wrote to Senator Hoar.  The methods employed by American troops against civilians in an effort to find insurgent “arms and ammunition” include torture, beating, and outright killing.

At any time I am liable to be called upon to go out and bind and gag helpless prisoners, to strike them in the face, to knock them down when so bound, to bear them away from wife and children, at their very door, who are shrieking pitifully the while, or kneeling and kissing the hands of our officers, imploring mercy from those who seem not to know what it is, and then, with a crowd of soldiers, hold our helpless victim head downward in a tub of water in his own yard, or bind him hand and foot, attaching ropes to head and feet, and then lowering him into the depths of a well of water till life is well-nigh choked out, and the bitterness of a death is tasted, and our poor, gasping victims ask us for the poor boon of being finished off, in mercy to themselves.

All these things have been done at one time or another by our men, generally in cases of trying to obtain information as to the location of arms and ammunition.

Nor can it be said that there is any general repulsion on the part of the enlisted men to taking part in these doings. I regret to have to say that, on the contrary, the majority of soldiers take a keen delight in them, and rush with joy to the making of this latest development of a Roman holiday.[16]

Another soldier, L. F. Adams, with the Washington regiment, described what he saw after the Battle of Manila on February 4-5, 1899:

In the path of the Washington Regiment and Battery D of the Sixth Artillery there were 1,008 dead niggers, and a great many wounded. We burned all their houses. I don’t know how many men, women, and children the Tennessee boys did kill. They would not take any prisoners.[17]

Similarly, Sergeant Howard McFarland of the 43rd Infantry, wrote to the Fairfield Journal of Maine:

I am now stationed in a small town in charge of twenty-five men, and have a territory of twenty miles to patrol…. At the best, this is a very rich country; and we want it. My way of getting it would be to put a regiment into a skirmish line, and blow every nigger into a nigger heaven. On Thursday, March 29, eighteen of my company killed seventy-five nigger bolo men and ten of the nigger gunners. When we find one that is not dead, we have bayonets.[18]

These methods were condoned by some back at home in the U.S., as exemplified by the statement of a Republican Congressman in 1909:

You never hear of any disturbances in Northern Luzon; and the secret of its pacification is, in my opinion, the secret of pacification of the archipelago.  They never rebel in northern Luzon because there isn’t anybody there to rebel.  The country was marched over and cleaned in a most resolute manner.  The good Lord in heaven only knows the number of Filipinos that were put under ground.  Our soldiers took no prisoners, they kept no records; they simply swept the country, and wherever or whenever they could get hold of a Filipino they killed him.  The women and children were spared, and may now be noticed in disproportionate numbers in that part of the island.[19]”

And countless incidents small and large in between from the only nation state in the Western world that not only endorses the use of torture but makes it an official means of projecting power abroad.

I have often remarked that cops are the only reason freedom and liberty is and has been in the hazard in America, and unfortunately, the same standard applies for military power abroad.

The only just war is one fought to defend one’s own soil from invasion.  There is no other.  Every other conflict reeks of statist opportunism and yen to expand tax jurisdictions and the power to rob others of their wealth and resources.  Some may mistake this for a pretense of the Left.  Not only do the progressives and the collectivists in America have a rich history of cheer-leading wars such as WWI and WWII but they also wish to employ military-style violence domestically to achieve their government supremacist dreams.

The notion that foreign wars and entanglements are wrong still emanates from a sparsely populated philosophical quarter that has no majority presence in the academy or the government–media complex.  It is a true voice in the wilderness.  That voice has one signature message:  you cannot thank a veteran for your freedom because they have actively done nothing more than endanger its very existence.  In fact, American military power abroad (and increasingly, at home) has made civilians more unsafe than they have ever been.  The threat not only emerges from aggrieved victims of American brutality abroad but a government desperate in bad times to ensure that not one dollar of military expenditures is reduced.  America is now a national security garrison state.  Think about that the next time you take a flight.

Veterans don’t need gratitude but a self-realization on their part that the machine they worked for was never an engine for liberty but a device whose single purpose was aggrandizement of American political power at home and abroad.  And that political hammer always extinguishes liberty and never expands it.

And that hammer is coming home.

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”

– Gandhi


That is all you need to know.

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.” 

– Alexander Fraser Tytler

Thanks to PNAR for the delightful images above:

Skyler Collins of Everything-Voluntary wrote a great column on non-voting:

Late tomorrow night will mark the end of the latest show of the political circus here in the United States (pending another hanging-chad-like controversy). Millions will go to the polls to vote on Federal, State, and local politicians and issues. The “changing of the guard” will commence, and unpopular rulers will be replaced by new ones. If the media is any indication, most Americans participate, thereby consenting to the entire political process no matter the outcome. It is true, that “most” Americans do participate, but in actuality “most” hovers around 55%. Of all elections, roughly half vote for Democrats and the other half Republicans. That means that of everyone of voting age in the United States, 25%~ give their consent to Democrats, 25%~ give their consent to Republicans, 5%~ give their consent to a third party, and a whopping 45% keep their consent for themselves. An interesting statistic, and the primary reason that so many engage in “Get out the vote” campaigns. Our rulers know they are illegitimate. Voluntaryists know they are illegitimate for a myriad of other reasons, but what I wanted to examine here is the voluntaryist’s position to abstain from electoral politics. The following arguments are the fundamentals of the nonvoting position.

See the rest:

Some great quotes:

“I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don’t vote. On Election Day, I stay home. I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,’ but where’s the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote — who did not even leave the house on Election Day — am in no way responsible for that these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess that you created.”

– George Carlin

“Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

~H.L. Mencken, 1956

“In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.”

~Charles de Gaulle

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”

~Emma Goldman

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”

~Karl Marx

“Voting is not an act of political freedom. It is an act of political conformity. Those who refuse to vote are not expressing silence. They are screaming in the politician’s ear: “You do not represent me. This is not a process in which my voice matters. I do not believe you.”

– Wendy McElroy

Why You Shouldn’t Vote:

Not only has the Haqqani Network (HQN) contributed to the instability of the AfPak region against the occupation forces but appears to employ a global reach through a sophisticated network that facilitates and orchestrates both the auxiliary and military functions to contribute to a global jihad.  The decades long existence of the HQN creates a rather impermeable cellular organizational structure that reaches deeply into both non-state functionalities and investment in government relationships in Pakistan and beyond.

HQN appears to be masterful at “bridging” factional gaps to apply fighting power where it is needed most and takes a rare hands-on interest in suicide bombing and other harassment in Kabul.  Like so many emerging entities around the world, it is giving nationalist aspirations a back seat to non-state independence; this may be a harbinger of things to come. These tribal entities that straddle the Durand line are nation-state agnostic and will use whatever Machiavellian intrigue or means necessary to secure their goals and satisfy their strategic aims.  I would suggest that HQN even employs a grand strategic framework to paln for future operations. The tribal and blood-centric subsidiary structures that comprise the disparate resistance organizations in Afghanistan/Pakistan and the global outreach programs for jihad are extremely resilient and resist Western penetration at every turn.

The singular focus on the Quetta Shura Taliban by the Coalition forces in Afghanistan have left the HQN networks relatively intact and increased its strength and influence by actively degrading the Taliban.  Some observers nonetheless see the HQN having a tremendous regenerative power no matter how badly mauled by Western forces. Power loves a vacuum and the Coalition has behaved in the normal fashion of caring not for second and third order effects of pressures applied in certain regions of the Afghan theater.

“The Haqqani Network represents the most severe threat to U.S. national security interests and objectives in Afghanistan. The network’s practical and ideological partnerships with international terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and their affiliates will undoubtedly continue and likely even increase as U.S. and coalition forces begin to withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Haqqani Network’s growing geographical footprint in concerning because it will allow for the facilitation and sheltering of al- Qaeda and its affiliates on a much larger scale. The Haqqani Network’s cross-border linkages with the Pakistani tribal areas will allow for the maintenance and expansion of a robust facilitation pipeline between the two countries in order to allow for regional and international terrorists to reconstitute and re-energize after years of punishing attacks from U.S. and coalition forces on both sides of the border.” [1]

Rassler and Brown are even more emphatic about the threat it poses to future Coalition activities in Afghanistan:

“Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan the Haqqani network has been essential to the rise — and geographic spread — of the Taliban insurgency inside Afghanistan. The value of Haqqani network contributions to the Taliban has been acknowledged by senior Taliban leaders, such as Mullah Dadullah, who — before his death in 2007 — confirmed the Haqqanis important role: “There is no doubt that Shaykh Haqqani and his son lead the battles and draw up military plans.”131 The Haqqani network’s leadership of the Miranshah Shura, and its representation on the Rahbari Shura — the Taliban’s central coordinating body, highlights the organization’s value to the Taliban as a trusted partner with primacy in Southeastern Afghanistan.” [2]

All of this assumes a continued US/Coalition presence in Afghanistan and the region which leads to observer effects and influences on the behavior of regional players to include the HQN.

HQN continues to yield a disproportionate influence in the region and by extension the world.  In the end, HQN may grow to be a more potent threat to American and Western interests than al-Qaeda especially if the US continues to think that meddling in the internal affairs of Middle Eastern nations is the only way to secure its safety or wield its influence.

The HQN provides an instructive model to resistance organizations around the globe.

[1] Dressler, Jeffrey. “The Haqqani Network: A Strategic Threat.” Understanding War.

[2] Brown and Rassler. 2011. The Haqqani Nexus and the Evolution of Al-Qaeda. Harmony Program. The Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point. .