Where should the militias make their next stand?

Washington, DC (TFC) – It’s the question that’s popping up all over Facebook. It’s also the question that proves the militia movement, as it is today, is doomed. The definition of insanity is to repeat the same behavior and expect different results. Static positions and stand-offs are referred to as “last stands” because when they are over, the people involved are either in a cage or a grave. This article may upset many within the movement, but it needs to be said before more life is wasted.

The stand-off scenario is just a symptom of a disease spreading like cancer through the militias. Some in the militia movement have taken to flocking around those with a flare for racist rhetoric, over-the-top Facebook leadership, and sensationalist behavior. They follow the pronouncements of these individuals and exist inside an echo chamber where those who disagree are shut out. All of these things are crippling to a movement attempting to establish itself.

There had been a concerted effort within the movement to stamp out racism. Lately, it’s rearing its ugly head again and propelling the most flamboyant racists into positions of influence. Racists are not smart. They are people who need to over-generalize and over-simplify to process the things around them. This isn’t some method of mocking racists. It’s scientific fact. Racists aren’t bright. These people should not be leaders. They certainly shouldn’t be at the helm of organizations where life and liberty are at stake.

Image Source: NickGourlie, Flickr, Creative Commons NWATT-TFS Meetup_127

Image Source: NickGourlie, Flickr, Creative Commons
NWATT-TFS Meetup_127

Over-the-top leadership comes in the form of those willing to pronounce how ready they are to die for the cause. American culture has equated dying for a belief to an act of heroism. It’s not. It’s waste. It’s a waste of life, a waste of resources, and a waste of time. A large percentage of this overtly militant talk comes from people who have monetized the movement. They engage in this type of speech in YouTube videos or articles or podcasts because they know that’s what the movement wants to hear. The movement wants to be reassured that victory is right around the corner and those that die will be martyrs sacrificed on the altar of freedom to reclaim America. That type of rhetoric gets more clicks than informing readers of the truth: the militia movement is in its infancy and does not have the skill set or strategic sense to take on the federal government. These people who rant and play on emotion to induce anger-driven shares of their content are filling bodybags.

Several of the organizations which are seen as leaders within the movement suggested the US Government was going to use “Delta Force” or some other elite military unit to attack those in Oregon. It’s sensationalist. It’s designed to convince the reader the US government needs to deploy the US military’s most elite unit to deal with a group of men who didn’t think far enough ahead to bring food when they volunteered to place themselves under siege. Elite units are not needed to take down people who willing pin themselves down and allow their opposition to choose the time and place of the battle. Any local SWAT team will be able to handle that.

The echo chamber that has formed around the militia movement is staggering. Dissenting voices are removed. A person needs to conform or they are shut out.

The end result of these four critical issues in the movement is a group of people led by the less intelligent, inflamed to anger by those profiting from it, encouraged by organizations that don’t have a clue what they are talking about, and lacking an outside voice to provide a reality check. Does this sound like a cohesive paramilitary organization?

The American militia movement has deteriorated and been led astray by those who seek to use it for their own ends. It has lost its tactical edge because it is following people who want to be internet famous and be seen as leaders of a revolution. They’re more interested in talking about than they are in preparing for it. I know of several organizations and individuals who still maintain their tactical wits. They aren’t livestreaming their conversations and they don’t pay yearly dues to an supposedly militant organization via credit card. Think about the fact that the “security detail” in Oregon didn’t have the common sense to stop people from livestreaming conversations. The FBI has the internet too. They didn’t know it was tactically unsound to provide their opposition with a detailed inventory of their supplies. They didn’t know it was bad form to adopt a position that could be completely and totally controlled by their opposition. These are not the actions of a force that is ready to go toe-to-toe with the most powerful government in the world. These aren’t even the actions of  a force ready to go toe-to-toe with a decent community paintball team.

Many within the movement have visions of some great heroic feat restoring liberty to the nation. Here in the real word, that isn’t how it works. The federal government is seen by many militias as the enemy. A matured movement would understand their enemy. They would understand that it has redundant command and control aspects and that no single engagement will bring it to its knees. The US government has a plan to maintain continuity of government even if a nuclear war destroys the major cities and kills half of the population. Is it even remotely feasible that some Alamo-style siege can bring it to its knees?

The reality of what it would take to bring the federal government down is something so horrible, nobody who understands what it would take wants it to happen. It would be a lengthy civil insurrection lasting years. Tens of millions of dead. Bombings that hit civilian targets. Rampant famine and disease. Snipers that shoot people trying to make it across the street simply to take their supplies. Mass graves. War crimes unlike anything the US has ever seen. The complete breakup of the nation. This is the scene that will take place before a government collapse. It would make Rwanda and Bosnia look like a simple bar fight.  The reality of what it would take to force the US government to make concessions is almost as bad and involves murderous tactics on a scale never seen here before. If you expected the Oregon situation to turn out any differently, you probably need to stop reading blogs written by people who fear-monger for profit and start reading some history books.

Those who write these fear-mongering blogs calling for armed action while safe behind a screen, are the movements politicians. They help shape policy and planning. What would you think of a politician that helped place people in harm’s way without the resources to back them up? How many of those blogs call Hillary Clinton a traitor for engaging in the same behavior during the Benghazi fiasco?

Calling for the militant overthrow of the government is not a game. It’s not a hobby. It certainly isn’t a business. It’s something that has life and death consequences. This movement is sending people into a situation they aren’t ready for without the tools or training to win, and it’s all being done for the sake of YouTube clicks. The people in this movement need to take a look at their leadership before they end up being the next ones bleeding to death in the snow for engaging in an unwinnable mission.