A retired U.S. Army colonel who now teaches modern warfare to soldiers at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. has co-written an article with a Civil War expert that has ignited a firestorm today among those increasingly concerned about what some say is a distinctanti-civilian tone that has infected much of the military and Homeland Security since 2009.
Retired Col. Kevin Benson and Jennifer Weber, Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas, co-wrote an article for Small Wars Journal on a 2010 Army report titled, “U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, The Army Operating Concept 2016 – 2028.”
The report describes how the Army will respond to threats “at home and abroad” in the coming two decades and in doing so has made clear that a monumental cultural shift has occurred in the thinking of those at the top levels of military command. This shift has some government watchdogs worried, particularly given that Benson is using the platform provided at Fort Leavenworth to educate military personnel in his vision of the nature of modern warfare in America. According to the vision articulated by Benson, future warfare will be conducted on our own soil. The military will use its full force against our own citizens. The enemy will be average citizens whose values resonate with those articulated by the tea party.
The fictitious scenario used in the Army report as a teaching tool is a future insurrection of “tea party activists” in South Carolina. As the scenario goes, the tea party group stages a takeover of the town of Darlington, S.C. The mayor is placed under house arrest and prevented from exercising his duties. The police chief, the county sheriff, and other law enforcement officials are removed from office and told not to interfere. The city council is dissolved. The governor of the state, who had previously expressed solidarity with tea party goals, does little to address the situation.
A news conference is called by the new town leaders, all tea party activists, who tell the media that due to the failure of central government to address the concerns of the citizens, the Declaration of Independence has been re-imposed and the local government has been declared null and void. From the report:
When the leaders of the group hold a press conference to announce their goals, they invoke the Declaration of Independence and argue that the current form of the federal government is not deriving its “just powers from the consent of the governed” but is actually “destructive to these ends.” Therefore, they say, the people can alter or abolish the existing government and replace it with another that, in the words of the Declaration, “shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” While mainstream politicians and citizens react with alarm, the “tea party” insurrectionists in South Carolina enjoy a groundswell of support from other tea party groups, militias, racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, anti-immigrant associations such as the Minutemen, and other right-wing groups.
Several items of interest are to be noted in the scenario the Army uses to describe the tea party activists — “right wing,” “extremists,” “insurrectionists,” all of whom are lumped together with militias and organizations that are considered “racist” and “anti-immigration.”
By contrast, those who oppose the tea party are referred to as “mainstream.”
The obvious question that arises is why would this sort of scenario, with its obviously biased and skewed portrayals, be presented as a teaching tool to military personnel? Why would the U.S. military consider the tea party to be “extremist” or “insurrectionist?” And why would the tea party be classified together with groups that are “racist, “anti-immigration,” and “extremist right wing?”
In the numerous tea party rallies that have occurred across the nation no racism was noted by any observer. Speakers included persons of all races and ethnic backgrounds. No sentiment was expressed against legal immigration but outrage was directed toward those break the law and enter the country by illegal means. And the charge that the tea party is extremist right wing is difficult to justify given that the main thrust of the movement is the protest against runaway government spending that has placed the nation on the brink of economic ruin due to its enormous and unsustainable debt.
Yet repeatedly since the election of Barack Obama in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has referred to the tea party as “potential homegrown terrorists.”
Why? Not a shred of evidence remotely suggests that the tea party has any connection whatsoever with terrorists. Yet some of President Obama’s closet longtime friends have not only been associated with terrorism but actively participated in it, such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, who as members of the Weathermen from the 1960s and 70s bombed federal buildings that resulted in the deaths of police officers.
But if one listens to the rhetoric emanating from the White House, DHS, and now the U.S. military, one gets the impression that none of the president’s friends ever posed a threat to the country but hundreds of thousands of tea party activists are ticking time bombs lying in wait to unleash a nuke on an American city at the drop of a hat.
The brainwashing against conservatives by this administration has had a definite impact on the military. One analyst who works for retired U.S. Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely told this reporter that now over half of Pentagon personnel are solidly in Obama’s corner and share his values and world view.
And with the publication of the Benson and Weber article, it is now clear that the U.S. Army considers it a valid proposition to assume that a future civil war will be sparked not by extremist Islamists with dirty bombs or left wing insurrectionists inspired by Alinsky or Ayers but by the tea party and the conservatives who participate in it.