"If three years ago any person had told me that at this day, I should see such a formidable rebellion against the laws & constitutions of our own making as now appears I should have thought him a bedlamite—a fit subject for a mad house." —George Washington to Henry Knox, on the subject of Shays Rebellion, February 3, 1787
To call these armed rubes a militia is quite a stretch, as that term as used in the second amendment has a vastly different intent than that of these Yosemite Sams. I agree that keeping them in the spotlight is a good idea along with a healthy dose of derision. They will be treated quite a bit better than the WW I veterans during their bonus march encampment in DC. They will also be treated much better than OWS participants. It is not hard to figure out why.
Wow! Really? What a one sided bullshit rant. Surely the author is a bedlamite. Maybe the author just has a blind eye to events like the rise of the Neo-cons that create false flag attacks on our people to engage in multiple illegal wars for resources in multiple countries while committing rape, mass murder, torture and displacement of millions from their homes. We came, we saw, he died along with thousands of the people of his country. 500,000 dead children of Iraq are worth it.
I am sure Charles that you are just a little scared while sharing tea with Henry Kissinger that the people have had quite enough of their hard earned dollars funding an attempt to take over the world and its people. We have in fact become quite aware as, daily, citizens are gunned down in our streets by our representative government which somehow has become an entrenched almost permanent position for many of our representatives. Dream on Charles about that shinning city on the hill.
The cloven Bundys apparently aren't satisfied with the fifteen minutes of fame their old man got stealing from our property down in tumbleweed country, so they glom onto a cause far from home, up in "libral Oregon." If they were holed up in an apartment in a Black neighborhood in Chicago, Swat Teams from hell would rain down on them.
Well said Mr Pierce
pepper spraying unarmed peaceful students--no problem
arresting right wing nut jobs armed to the teeth--problem
Curious, were you a part of OWS?
A good start would be stripping sheriffs of their self-assumed 4 star rank.
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO FELLOW COMMON DREAMERS
Good article by Charles Pierce. His essential argument--that the action of the self-proclaimed "militia" amounts to sedition--is absolutely correct. And I agree with him that everything taking place in Oregon is a matter of short-term and long-term US history. In the short term perspective, the right wing militias are indeed the bastard offspring of the "Reagan Revolution." When Reagan took power he "argued" (!!) that "government is the problem not the solution." He and his cronies then proceeded on a spree of systematic vandalism against the social welfare dimensions of the American government. For Reagan and his brainwashed, authoritarian followers, the government, as the police and the military, was always good, was always the solution to the problem. "The problem," as understood by the Reaganites, was any resistance or restraint on the unbridled rule of the 1% and the totalitarian corporations. The angry white men who gravitated to the militia movement from the toxic stew of white supremacy, nationalism, machismo and post-industrial social Darwinism, were very receptive to Reagan's calls for "deregulation" and "privatization," as they somehow imagined that these (neoliberal) policies would get the government off THEIR backs. At the same time, these committed white nationalists (who despised the growing muliticulturalism of American society) remained loyal to the Empire and its gargantuan military. Under the despotic rule of the terrible Obama, white nationalism has festered into a genuine fascistic movement, a right wing anarchism, whose libertarianism is most obvious in the fervid desire to carry firearms openly into every public space, including churches, bars and malls !!
As viewed in the long-term perspective of American history, it's obvious that the militia movement is a reincarnation of white terror groups like the Ku Klux Klan. In the halcyon days of the Klan, its members acted with near impunity, intimidating, whipping and murdering people to achieve their desired ends. The Federal government was timid in its response to Klan violence. It was difficult to get anti-mask and anti-lynching legislation on the books. And even when such laws were passed, they were rarely enforced. The state governments (when not penetrated by Klan sympathizers) were just as ineffectual. It's clear that the Klan was emboldened to commit greater outrages by the unwillingness of ANY governmental authority to come down on them. The white nationalist militias well understand this point: the more you take, the more you can have. Consequently, they are pushing for a confrontation in the hopes that the Federal government will refuse to take them on, thus aggrandizing their power. This strategy worked in the stand off in Nevada. It may well work in Oregon.
On the other hand, white nationalists misread the true character of the American state. Unlike Pierce, I do think there is "tyranny" in certain aspects of neoliberal governance, although I agree with him that tyranny is not to be found in the Endangered Species Act and other environmental regulations. The tyranny is mostly buried in economic policy and in the repressive actions of militaristic policing, mass surveillance and mass incarceration. The militias are blind to much of this, while obsessively focusing on the "right" of ranchers to make "wise use" of PUBLIC land! The militias are sorely mistaken if they think they can challenge the state without ultimately paying a price. If white nationalists raise the ante and threaten the legitimacy of corporatist rule, they will soon find themselves in the cross hairs of Federal agents. The corporate state will tolerate some degree of resistance, but it will eventually come down on outright REBELLION. Of course, if militia members were people of color the corporate state would not even allow resistance: a black militia would be wiped from the face of the earth in quick time, so that their resistance would never even reach the point of true rebellion. Because the militia members, holed-up in Oregon, are true American fanatics, I suspect that some of them will not be too unhappy if the Federal government comes after them, as they are more than ready to die as martyrs in the cause of White Nationalism. Pathetic people are often drawn to fantasies of ultimate heroism, just look at all the mediocrities who have martyred themselves in the name of "Radical Islam." I'm sure white nationalists hate "Muslim terrorists," but they have more in common with them than they realize.
Put it this way in simpler terms. The Corporations are deemed as people via recent SCOTUS rulings. One thing Corporations lobby for is the unfettered use of their "Private property" without Government regulation so as to earn profits.
This in fact the same thing the Ranchers that are attending these protests are demanding.
They are in fact lobbying for the same things the Corporations want. The Corporations use money, the ranchers are using Guns.
The only issue they have with the Corporations is they wish to own the same lands the Corporations want. It nothing more than SELF interest at the cost of everyone else.
No Pierce is not my enemy. He is just a mouth piece for the rich and want to bees.
These people are not knee-jerks nor my allies but they are people who are standing up to a terrorist empire and are pointing out that the good train democracy is off the rails.
I agree with all that you say. In settler colonialist societies--like the United States--ranchers are typically the most reactionary stratum in the agricultural sector. In the name of cattle ranching, the land was cleared of "Indians," free ranging wild animals like bison, and all manner of trees and bushes. As capitalists, the big ranchers are always interested in increasing the size of their herds and engrossing more lands. They would kill every bear and wolf in sight if you gave them the chance. In Latin America, the ranchers are notoriously vicious and reactionary. In countries like Brazil and Columbia, ranchers have been major backers of death squads, involved in murdering indigenous peoples and union organizers. In the United States, the ranchers are engaged in a "war" with the Federal government because they covet federal lands. It's all about money and power. The fools in the militia mistakenly think it's about "rights" and "freedom."
Terrorism has worsened. This was proven many years ago, already, right after GWB got his way, to invade Iraq. That's when the world truly turned its back on the USA, after, surprisingly, many were able to forgive the USA for its own past terrorism. Not only has terrorism worsened in other places around the globe, whenever their is a Democratically elected Democrat into the White House, Christian Fundamentalist Militias rare their ugly, terrorist heads. We in the USA do not need threats from other countries, we have these pigs, our own American Taliban. Just look at Oregon, the most recent in many examples! "Enemies foreign and domestic", I remember reading something about that somewhere!
The US was formed by armed sedition. It is the grounding basis of the Declaration of Independence. To decry so called armed sedition is to smear the Founding Fathers! Yes, these ranchers and farmers are armed and so is half the population of the US, so what? They haven't used their arms to threaten anyone and they have not provoked violence. Leave them and the formerly empty wildlife refuge building alone. The occupation will dissolve on its own, as time passes.
The "founding fathers" deserve to be smeared. They were charlatans hiding behind fancy words like "freedom and liberty" just to advance their own self interest. They were the one percent of the day.
Do YOU really believe the 1 percent care about the working class and do you think that same 1 percent cared about them in 1776? They certainly needed to USE them as their foot soldiers so as to entrench their own power, but that the same as today.
How would joining these lunatics help get our Country back from "corporations? Have you thought this through?
I never understood how they got away with pointing guns at Federal officials a few years ago? To me, that is a fairly serious crime. This is why they are doing it again and will continue.
The wildlife refuge building was empty only because it was closed for the holidays. It wasn't permanently vacated.
Please show your support for the refuge ! Send a comment to Friends of Malheur NWF !
I think it is a little deeper then that Andrew.
The essential background to this is that this property is FEDERAL land, belonging to ALL of the citizens of this country. Our tax dollars pay for maintaining and controlling these areas. Several decades ago, some ranchers were given grazing rights to this land, at egregiously below-market rates. These same ranchers illegally poach wildlife from these areas and continually allow overgrazing, destroying these grasslands and habitat for wildlife. Recently, the government ended grazing rights in these areas, as the combined effects of long-term drought and over-grazing had destroyed these areas to the point that a it was questionable if they could ever recover. These ranchers have refused to comply and act as if this is solely "their" land to use as they see fit.
A similar situation is occurring with our federal /National Forest lands, also owned by the people of this country. The Federal Bureau of Land Management has not only allowed logging companies to clearcut huge percentages of these forests for a pittance from the logging companies, but US tax dollars pay (in entirety) for thousands of miles of roads to be built through these forests for the express purpose of allowing these loggers to reach new areas of forests to mow down. It's difficult to detect the damage done by driving through the areas, as the loggers leave strips of untouched trees along all the roadways. Instead, take a flight over the areas and you'll quickly see the immense destruction, and that our massive National Forests are no longer much but scarred land.
These federal grasslands and forests belong to the people of this country, yet our corrupt Bureau of Land Management has allowed ranchers and loggers to make exorbitant profits,via destruction of these areas at the expense of the American people. These guys are fully armed and have seized control of a federal building and federal land. Why is our government, famed for showing such military and police might in other situations, handling this act of tyranny with such kid gloves? Where is the National Guard?