Wheels within wheels, hell-hot ironies.
In Salinas, California they have a serious problem: they are overrun with Hispanic gangs and gang-bangers.
On top of that, these gangs – only some of them franchises of the major, organized gangs – are comprised of youths for whom such membership “serves as an alternative primary loyalty (alternative to the state)”. Worse, a solid half of the gangs are “unstructured”, meaning that “half our violence is kids who get into a car and go out to hunt … these kids don’t know their victims … how do you stop that?” – such is the plaint of an over worked local policeman.
So says forward-thinking, clear-eyed military analyst William S. Lind. The problem attracted his notice for two reasons.
First, because the military – in the form of officers detailed to study assignments at the Naval Postgraduate School – has ‘volunteered’ to assist the Salinas police force in dealing with the problem.
Certainly, from a Constitutional point of view, this is a little disturbing. Granted, the military officers – some fresh from official counterinsurgency (mis)adventures in the Greater Southwest Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere – have ‘volunteered’. But in the military, and especially when you are in a serious academic setting that is run by the military, you don’t just ‘go and volunteer’ to do stuff; not if you want your clearly advancing career to stay on track. If you ‘volunteer’, you clear it with the command (in this case the Dean) first; your time and your life are not quite your own when you’re heading for the higher ranks of the military system.
Sure enough, the provost of the Naval Postgraduate School, blurbs happily that he had “embraced the project from the start”. Now what is true for the students under the control of the provost looking to advance their careers is also true of the provost, who is himself under the control of military superiors and wants to keep his own successful career … well, successful. So this gambit has approval from way high up, as the kids might say. Way!
The School, the provost burbles, is “in transition from just a defense institution to a national homeland and even a human security institution”. Ach ja! Even though the military has enough problems trying to do its own job – or perhaps because of that unhappy fact – the military is now looking to branch out into ‘homeland’ stuff. And billing itself, with sadly typical Beltway over-reaching, as “a human security institution”, which in this context would actually be a police academy sorta thing.
So military = police, doncha see? Ach.
That sucking sound you hear is the sound of a Constitutional firewall being punctured and the flames being sucked in.
But Lind is concerned for an even more ominous – though more ‘abstract’ – reason: what is happening in Salinas is an example of “state breakdown” (you know, like you see in Third World or Second World ‘failed governments’). And it is precisely in those conditions that Fourth Generation Warfare – waged by unorganized resistance guerilla forces against organized invading militaries – flourishes.
No news there; We’ve been seeing it for almost a decade now in that Greater Southwest Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. The kicker though is that it is now happening in California.
Perhaps the loss of an entire American city in 2005 (something the Commies had never managed to pull off) didn’t focus Our attention. Well, now there is counterinsurgency in the wake of state-breakdown in California. And the military is sending ‘volunteers’ to help an American police force that is on the way to enjoying the same efficacy as – with all respect to their efforts – Mexican police forces.
This cannot be good.
What broke down the state and the society, as it were?
Professional ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ comment would instantly blame it on the Republican economic debacle, the ‘war on the poor’ started under Reagan and continued under Bush (as if the treacherously ambivalent Clinton had never existed, or existed in an alternative universe – which can only be partly true).
But the economic debacle has only provided the kick to an already weakened door-structure. These kiddos aren’t looking for jobs, after all – they’re just gone kids gone wild. (I didn’t say ‘guys’ because I’m figuring that there are more than a few OTMs (other-than-males) in these gangs, gurls being such natural joiners and networkers, as the feministicals do assure Us).
Imagine: you impose deep ‘reform’ upon a vast culture and society by deconstructing Family, Marriage, and any such things as Tradition, Virtue, Maturity, and even Common Sense and Rationality.
Then, you allow hugely under-restricted immigration, allowing all sorts of folks to leave the structures and rhythms of their own culture in which they were raised, and bring them into a foreign land which has – as a matter of government policy – no culture at all and a society purposely fractured into official Races and Identities.
These folks start having kids, not within any sort of capable containment structure such as a family or even marriage, but simply as something that ‘happens’ to a child-bearer, who so often happens to be a female with no sufficient source of income and perhaps no sufficient skills to obtain and sustain one while also rearing children. Including man-children.
You can sort of see where, before too many years have passed, this sort of thing had to go.
Thus these kids – lacking any serious maturational formation or guidance – seek Meaning and Shape and Relationship in gangs, presided over by others like unto themselves, only with stronger personalities and maybe a couple-three more years of life in which they have more thoroughly deranged themselves.
This is a recipe for societal breakdown. And for those who read the treacherously inane puff-pieces about the latest feminist history demonstrating ‘rich creativity’ though ‘incomplete victories’ and just ‘a little bit of silliness now best forgotten’*it would be morally negligent to not-notice how this entire mess in Salinas was thoroughly predictable as a consequence of their many social-policy ‘victories’.
Now even foreign-focused military analysts are noticing that the ‘failed state’ problems the troops are running into ‘over there’ are now manifesting ‘over here’.
This problem will make swine-flu look like a momentary bad dream.
And the analysts who are not simply military-porn rah-rah, pom-pom swishers are noticing that this situation is almost inevitably going to suck the military in ‘over here’ as it has ‘over there’.
And historically, that has never worked well for a Citizenry. One recalls that the same French Army which performed so abysmally in the face of the Prussian Army at Sedan in 1870 was more than happy to vent itself upon the citizenry of Paris in 1872, deploying its new machine-guns with profound effect upon the various members of the public, the soldiers efficiently mowing down their erstwhile countrymen. And while the so-called Battle of Wounded Knee doesn’t quite apply here (the Indians herded into a killing-circle to be mowed down by soldiers with Gatling guns as well as repeating rifles were technically not American citizens), the National Guardsmen and newly-formed State Police** turned in a much better performance against American citizens than the Army did against the Filipino resistance or Pancho Villa.
It’s always easier for a military to fight, or rather to ‘conduct operations’ against, its own civilians – at least in civilized countries where civilians have learned to trust the government to use its monopoly of force and violence for the common weal. In ‘un-civilized’ countries, however, where the folks have never handed over such trust to ‘government’, it’s a whole different story: thus the Italians in World War 2 made indifferent soldiers but ruthless partisans, and thus the Afghanis … well, you already know that.
The provost continues: “The idea was not just Salinas but … is there a national model for this?” In other words, as a former Colonel of Special Forces ‘volunteer’ says of Salinas: “It’s a little laboratory”. In case you need help figuring that out, this smallish American city is a military lab to see how best to engage in “partnership” with a failed-state police force facing the chaos of social breakdown.
And again, let there be no mistake about it: these aren’t “your father’s gangs”, as Our current military feministicals might like to put it. These are disorganized, unguided packs – but far more used to gratuitous violence and far more efficient at it than the swaggery, camera-cocky baggy-pantsed inner-city kids of a couple of decades ago (though those cohorts were surely canaries in the cage, though ignored as such at the time … to recognize them seriously as representing a problem would have required acknowledging that certain ‘liberations’ and ‘empowerments’ and ‘reforms’ demanded by certain politically favored pressure groups were having awful consequences, and rather than open that can of worms Congress and the ‘elites’ and the media chose an easier path).
These are kids whose insufficient 'family' matrix resulted in a desperate lack of meaning, purpose, and self-structure. I'm not 'blaming the victim' here; I'm pointing out a rock-solid consequence that has to be dealt with. Because as it stands right now, social breakdown is starting to create a vortex that is sucking the military into 'going domestic' - as they were teaching fast-track young officers at the Command and General Staff College a dozen years ago.***
So it should be an interesting new year, and an interesting new decade – and you thought that the 00’s were baaaaad … not hardly.
*See for example my Posts on this sight here and here. Or in the December 17th ‘The New York Review of Books’, the giddy puff-piece review of Gail Collins’s new feminist history “When Everything Changed”, who – by the by – appears in a smarmy photograph clutching – wait for it – a glass of Chardonnay at a tableful of cooing and oohing feministicals. It’s a happy-fest, since she had just written a book telling them that they had ‘won’ and were ‘right and very clever’ – just what aging but tasteful cadres need to hear, especially when lubricated with enough of the blessed grape.
**The governors of the several States started to form these para-military State Police forces during the era of labor unrest, because local police were too often refusing to deploy lethal force against local laborers and their families in defense of the property rights of the Robber Barons and their corporations.
***Perhaps you are wondering if the kindler gentler military - now primarily a job opportunity and a 'right' rather than a purpose-driven combat force - will actually write a new chapter in military-civilian relations since it has been somewhat perfused with the sensible-shoed sensibility of the ladies with the buzz-cuts; I advise against such happy-thoughts. Janet Reno authorized Waco; Madeleine Albright thought that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi kids was something she could live with, thank you very much; and Hillary continues to imagine that the Israeli Realm is just an embattled settler-outpost under attack by evil Injuns, and will do whatever it takes to keep the cavalry coming.