Friday, September 29, 2006

Me Beating the Dead Horse

Vermont wants to secede from the Union - or at least some are embracing this movement. According to an article in the New York Sun, the First North American Secessionist Convention in Burlington, VT, organized by the pro-secession think tank, the Middlebury Institute is making plans for a November meeting.

It simply cannot hurt to keep mentioning this fact and this event and of course asking fellow bloggers to join the States' Rights Bloggers' Alliance AND asking all right minded folks to sign the Declaration of States' Rights. The American Secession Project will present the petition to our brothers-in-arms (the Middlebury Institute) in November - it is the least we can do to support their grand effort in putting this convention together.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Last Post

My last post was incomplete. I shall do all of my blogging at the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel for the foreseeable future. I am joined there by two old friends and one new. In the words of Gomer Pyle "SURPRISE, SURPRISE". I shall not tell who they really are behind the mask and if you figure it out from times past you best not let on either.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Declaration of States' Rights Petition

101 signatures to date. Have you signed the petition?

Just Walk Away

I jacked this entire thing from This is not good blogging but this article has much merit.
Just Walk Away
By Reuven Schossen Former Captain, IDF9-3-6

The idea is frightening at a very basic level. We are taught that we need a lot of things to live. We seek material comfort instead of a clear conscience. Material comfort is perceived as physical security, which we want to insure. We even want insurance against insurance companies who won't pay; like a job that will provide a safe pension. Any elder could tell you a thing or two about that illusion. We need a mortgage, and better if it is refinanced from time to time. We need usurious credit cards to allow comfortable payments for the latest hyper-gadget. We need the twenty-ton refrigerator to keep the ten gallon bottle of milk fresh. We need health insurance against a possible accident on the way to the shopping mall; but when it comes time to get coverage, some survivors will tell you a tearful story of broken promises.

The development of such a system was gradual. I don't think the first bankers could imagine credit cards and frequent flier miles earned while buying bubble gum. But it happened. We let it happen. However, it has become a system designed to make us more dependent; comfortably numb waiting for our next Coca-Coma. It transforms us into collaborators.

In a certain sense, there is nothing wrong with this. In a democratic regime, all citizens share responsibility. They have elected the government and thus they are responsible - to a certain extent - for its actions. But to what extent? Many people in my country believe their responsibility ends at the exact moment they drop their vote into a ballot box every few years. I don't think in such a way. In the same country - Israel - I was taught that all Germans shared responsibility for the Nazi atrocities.

We are daily responsible for monitoring the actions of our government, and, at the exact moment they violate their mandate, we should say so loud and clear. Otherwise we share responsibility for the crimes committed in our name. We begin buying insurance, but we end up criminals.

Sometimes even speaking out is not enough. An immoral government may decide to bomb children across the border to hide its inability to solve internal social problems. It may violate basic Human Rights in such a way that normal life is no longer possible. The government strategy to avoid a revolt under such conditions is to play upon citizens' basic fear of losing imaginary benefits. The fear of losing luxury privileges or not getting any buys complacence. "With every bottle of milk you buy for your children you are committing a crime" I told several Israeli friends, and lost them. The price of milk includes a tax that empowers a criminal government.

There are no excuses. If one pays taxes, it implies acceptance of the government's behavior and you share in its responsibilities. We were instructed by the Teacher to give Caesar that which belongs to him. But sometimes, to pay taxes means to collaborate with hideous crimes. Not paying taxes would mean to break the law. Transforming ourselves into criminals while trying to fight a criminal government is a moral error. In the long run, no matter how small the transgression, it would corrupt us. Instead, we must make every legal effort to avoid paying taxes or otherwise empowering criminality.

Am I moving in logical circles? No. We have the right and the responsibility to choose morally. We can always say "No!" and just walk away. Does this sound strange, frightening? I did that more than four years ago, and you can too. I left the borders of my ghetto-wall country; without thinking about pensions, insurance, mortgages or ultra-gadgets. Although there are of course grey areas on this subject, if each of us would take care of our own garden, we would live in a better world.

As a former captain in the Israeli Defense Forces I am also calling on all Israeli soldiers to drop their weapons wherever they are, to take off their uniform and just walk away. Don't worry, no one will harm you for acting decently.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld's Dance With the Nazis

With the Neoconservatives it is a dangerous thing to let them call you 'friend'
Read the entire article here.
"What made Mr. Rumsfeld's speech noteworthy wasn't its toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent
on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason. That's old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld's performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has now lasted longer than America's fight against the actual Nazis in World War II.
Here's how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler's appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain's hand at Munich in 1938, the only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is the December 1983 photograph of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?"

Steve Irwin: 1962-2006

May we all die doing what we love.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Kurdistan president replaces Iraqi flag

"SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq - Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani has ordered the Iraqi national flag to be replaced with the Kurdish one in his northern autonomous region in what appeared to be another move toward more self-rule in the north, local officials said Friday." Read More...

ARBIL, Iraq, Sept 3 (Reuters) - "The leader of Iraq's ethnic Kurds brandished the threat of secession on Sunday as a row with the Baghdad government over the flying of the Iraqi national flag exposed an increasingly bitter rift." Read More...

It is my hope and prayer that the Kurds achieve their goal of self-rule. I made very good friends with many Kurds while serving in Iraq. I lost two very fine men from my team, both Kurds, to horrific deaths.

During quiet times I enjoyed deep and meaningful conversations with several of my Kurdish friends. They want nothing more than what any man wants; peace, good government that represents and respects them, their values and traditions.

My desire to see the Kurds achieve that which they deserve has nothing at all to do with my desire to see the pernicious objectives of the neoconservatives flounder. This is personal; this is the hopes and dreams of one man transposed upon the aspirations of another.

Free Kurdistan from the shackles of the false nation of Iraq (not a nation at all but rather a remnant of British imperialism), let liberty live. If our fight in Iraq, the sacrifice of brothers, the blood, the horror, the nightmares are to mean anything let it be the freedom of the Kurds. Let the Sunnis and Shittes in the south find their own way.

Here are some facts (just the struggles of the Kurds in Iraq): There are 30 million Kurds but no Kurdish homeland with Kurdish self-rule. The Kurds fought a 15 year struggle against Iraq for their independence from 1960-1975. From 1960-1990 the Kurds suffered numerous episodes of ethnic cleansing. The Kurds rose up on 1991 (with encouragement from Bush I) and were gassed, machine-gunned and forced to relocate while the US stood by and watched. In 2003 the Kurds again rose up (with encouragement from Bush II) and ensured that Northern Iraq was tranquil and peacable. In fact the only major airborne operation conducted by US forces since WWII was conducted in Kurdish territory, primarily because US war planners knew the Kurds had the area secured. The Kurds have been a friend to the US, the US has done little or nothing for the Kurds.

To my fine brothers in arms from the 1st IIF and the 3rd Brigade and all the other fine Kurdish warriors I have been privileged to know my prayers are with you, my hope for the independence and liberty of my people is no more intense than my hope for you and your cause.

Deo Vindice (God is Our Defender or God will vindicate) and Imshallah (God willing)

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Sun Tzu for Secessionist

Here is something inflammatory and dangerous, the most dangerous thing I have ever written. Now do not take me wrong, I am not advocating violence as the solution to achieve political freedom. My point here is to dispel a constant argument I hear articulated in opposition to secession or for that matter any real discussion of taking back liberties and freedoms that are rightfully ours.

The counter-argument goes something like this. 'Ok so let's say you secede, then what? The Federal government would never allow it and it would only result in another Civil War that you would lose'.

The counter-counter argument that the secessionist provides to this generally ignores the point and states something to the effect of: 'Wow, do you really think the Federal government would actually use force again against a group of Americans exercising their democratic will?'

Good counter argument but it ignores the detractors point, they leave the discussion with a sense of victory and the pro-secessionist is left with a sense of inferiority. After all what if they are right and it is impossible to secede without the permission and consent of the federal government? What if freedom depends entirely upon the Federal government using restraint and refraining from violence? History as well as current trends makes this a pretty dubious hope to hang one's dreams upon.

Fourth Generation warfare(4GW) has changed all of that. The age of the state having the exclusive right to the use of violence has passed. Asynchronous warfare enables a numerically inferior, technologically disadvantaged antagonist to best a well-equipped, well-trained superior force. There is nothing really new about this type of warfare, it has always existed. The Huns used it to successfully, a portion of the American Revolution included this type of warefare. It has had many names but the current incarnation is a direct adaptation to the prevalence of 3GW (i.e. maneuver warfare).

Total war reentered the Western mind in the 1860's with Lincoln, Sherman and Grant. As much as Southerners loathe those despicable creatures the fact is total war, the idea of fighting not just the armies of your enemy but his capacity to wage war also, was something bound to find its way into the thought processes of western leaders. I suppose the fact that the US government is the only modern government to ever successfully wage total war (against the South, Germany and Japan) is something that future historians will certainly comment upon.

In the early 20th Century German military thinkers developed real maneuver warfare (3GW). The French in 1939 were a technologically superior Army but they were based on 2GW tactics and strategies. The Germans sliced through the numerically and technologically superior French forces in mere weeks. Of course today all nation-states maintain 3GW armies to one degree or another. Some maintain 4GW capability but most lack the ability to successfully engage in sustained 4GW and win.

4GW is total war, fought on the ground and in the hearts and minds of the people. The very notion of Jus ad bellum (Just War) in terms of rules and laws simply does not apply in 4GW. The rules that nation states apply are relics that maintain their legitimacy and claim to exclusive use of violence in the furtherance of their aims. The only rules that apply in 4GW are the rules that bind the participates to their own sense of morality and decency, everything beyond that is fair game and must be included if a disadvantaged foe hopes to prevail.

By any assessment Israel took a good hiding in Lebanon. The US experience in Iraq has proven that 4GW is more than a match for the best equipped Army in the world. Sure the US pacified Afghanistan for the most part, but this was largely due to the fact that the population (or at least a large enough portion of the population) was willing to cooperate. Do not forget the Soviet experience in that country when the population was not so supportive. Also recall the Russian experience in Chechnya. (and yes the Soviets/Russians were at best second string in the big picture but their doctrine was 3GW vs 4GW and they were hammered).

The point being that if a people are truly dedicated to their cause they ought not fear large, technologically superior militaries of nation-states. Neither should secessionist fear answering the straw-man counter argument presented above. If freedom is worth having and a people seek it then the decision to seek it ought not depend on the charity and restraint of the government that holds them hostage. Neither should it depend upon the potential costs and sacrifice. A people dedicated to their freedom can win it if they persevere and stand fast on their convictions.

I hate to use a line that has become cliche but one particular scene in Braveheart pretty much sums it it (I paraphase as I have not exactly memorized the line):

"Fight and you may die, run and you will live. But someday as you lay frail and weak in your bed, dying, you will willingly trade each day from today to then for the chance of freedom."

There is truth in that line. Nobody, especially those that have seen first hand the horrors of war, seeks violence. There are however greater tragedies than death. Sitting idly by while our republican form of government is taken away, day by day, and liberty vanishes from the earth; that is a tragedy worth fighting to stop.

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