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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/14/21

Revolution: It CAN Happen Here

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San Diego woman Ashli Babbitt shot and killed inside US Capitol
(Image by YouTube, Channel: KUSI News)
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Here's why insurrection can happen here too, and it's instructive to read about the pre-Civil War era: Click Here. It's a short article, but the links are worth a read too.

Next week is going to be very trying for the country, and it may not end there.

Remember Ashli Babbitt, the woman who was shot and killed while trying to enter the Capitol building through a window. The far right is already making her out to be a martyr. Remember her name! goes the theme, adopted from the far left BLM movement, ironically and purposefully. It's hard to imagine a better martyr for the far right either: a 35-year old white, attractive, woman, 14-year Air Force veteran, struggling business owner, rabid pro-Trump fan, QAnon conspiracy fan. She is, to quote Trump's once used description of his now berated Vice President, "straight out of central casting." She is the perfect martyr, defining a cause by her person, better than the insurrectionists can themselves (ask them what they are fighting for and you will get vague answers like "freedom" or hyper-narrow answers like "to overturn a stolen election." It wasn't stolen, but that doesn't matter in the evidence-distorted world of the insurrectionists).

There will be others.

Imagine you are in charge of the police force, or even a national guard force, assigned to guard a capitol building, or a courthouse. (there are many "soft" targets, beyond the nation's capitol building). There's an overwhelming crowd of protestors, loud, angry, pushing at the barriers, mostly unarmed except for a few with flagpoles, clubs, maybe bear spray, which is worse than pepper spray. A breach of the barricades is imminent. What do you do?

Do you have enough manpower to spare to try to root out and arrest the leaders? Are there actual leaders anyway, or is the crowd acting as a collective, just being pushed from the rear, so that those in front are forced to confront law enforcement? Can you spare the men to arrest and isolate people in paddywagons (and are those protected enough to hold them?). Your forces are outnumbered maybe 100:1. Sure, you've got the firepower, but will your people open fire, more or less randomly, on mostly unarmed American citizens, whose target is not really your forces (mostly), but the politicians inside the building, whom some of your people don't particularly like anyway? After all, all year, you've been hearing "defund the police" - which means you and your people. If you open fire, there will be dozens of Ashli Babbitts the next day, and maybe you will be hauled up to explain why you gave the order to shoot mostly unarmed protestors, instead of just "holding the line," whatever the hell that means; the people who will come after you likely never served in command or put on the uniform of a police officer or soldier. They don't know what it's like to be confronted with split-second decisions in a furious, chaotic, life-and-death environment.

Modern revolutions don't kill 100s of thousands of people, the way 700,000 soldiers died in the American Civil War, except in some backwater forgotten countries like the Congo. They end when either the revolutionaries get tired of the losses, or their leaders are all imprisoned or shot...or when the police, or the military, simply refuse to fire upon their own country's citizens. It's a mistake to think it is simply a question of overwhelming firepower, which always and everywhere resides in the hands of whatever government is in power, though maybe not at the individual battle level every time. And today, when every incident, no matter how small in the overall scheme of things, is recorded, posted to the internet to be replayed, in whatever edited form is favorable to whomever wants to promote it, even a single death, like that of Ashli Babbitt, can be magnified way beyond its significance for the cause.

It can happen here. Retired and off-duty police, military men, and some women, and other law enforcement types, almost always white, like the ones defending the capitols, are a disproportionate part of the crowd. If the threats to storm the capitols in all 50 states are only half true, and the national guard and police are stretched thin, it's almost inevitable there will be fallen forces who cannot, or will not, "protect property" over refusing to fire upon "peaceful protestors" to take an apt but ironic description of many Black Lives Matter protests over the past year.

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Scott Baker Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
http://www.americaisnotbroke.net/

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)
 

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