Wednesday, August 31, 2022

How Would we Fight a Modern Civil War in the U.S.?

 

In the Civil War of 1861, there was a clear distinction between opponents; north of the Mason Dixon Line and south of the Mason Dixon Line. The north, of course, were the federal forces being opposed by the Confederate Army in the south. Eleven southern states left the Union in 1860 and 1861 because of the long-standing disagreement over the institution of slavery...
Although the North did want to block slavery, they were also concerned that an extra slave state would give the South a political advantage.

As you can see, there is no doubt why they were fighting this war, and also no question who the players were. So, now to the question, 'How would you separate this country in a civil conflict of today?' As an example, on my street in a Phoenix suburb, I know of at least one other liberal family, but for the most part, the rest are conservatives, one known Trump supporter. We are right next door to each other so do you see the problem of opposite sides doing battle?

Of course, we don't yet know what kind of clash it would turn out to be; a violent one or a war of ideologies addressed through social media and the press. Or, a combination of both, possibly somewhere in between. This is perhaps one of the biggest unknowns that has ever faced this country. Marc Fisher's perspective in the Washington Post is...

"It’s easy and logical to conclude that the United States today stands as close to the edge of civil war as it has since 1861."

 'The Next Civil War' Looks At Our Current Divided Area And What's Ahead...



There seems to be no doubt of the imminence, but no one appears to be sure of the shape it will take. The experts surmise why...

"They point to evidence that can seem persuasive: a blizzard of threats against FBI agents, judges, elected officials, school board members and elections supervisors; training camps where heavily armed radicals practice to confront their own government; and polls showing that many Americans expect violent conflict."

What bothers me most is "that many Americans expect violent conflict." To substantiate that Science.org says...

"Firearm deaths in the United States grew by nearly 43% between 2010 and 2020, and gun sales surged during the coronavirus pandemic."

Despite all the propaganda from NRA head, Wayne LaPierre and his Republican minions, we know what more guns on the street means; more shooting violence and more innocent deaths. But not so fast says Marc Fisher, with all the violent rhetoric there may be another expectation. There are, indeed, plenty of threats...

"But the Anti-Defamation League and other watchdog groups are not seeing the kind of specific planning by private militias and online assemblages of radicals that was evident before last year’s Jan. 6 insurrection and the white-supremacist march in Charlottesville in 2017." 

There is more from the ADL...

“We are living in a country where disinformation, conspiracy thinking and lies have resulted in deadly attacks,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL’s Center on Extremism. “It’s not exactly kumbaya in this society. But we have been going through this for a long time now, and I don’t see people coming together in the more coherent organizing we saw prior to Jan. 6.”

But Robert Reich says, "The second American civil war is already happening." He thinks America is becoming "two versions of itself and wonders "how will the two be civil toward each other?" This article, although over 3 months old, still hits the mark in this issue. Reich explains it this way...

"The second American civil war is already occurring, but it is less of a war than a kind of benign separation analogous to unhappily married people who don’t want to go through the trauma of a formal divorce.
"One America is largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young. The other is largely rural or exurban, white and older."

As conservative writer Kurt Schlichter said in his book, We'll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America, "It's nice to hold cities, but if you do not also hold all the rural territory between the cities, as well as the routes to the places where you are getting your food and fuel, you have a real problem." So what's the answer? Americans are flocking together based on ideologies with animosity toward those in the opposing party higher than at any time in living memory.

Then, Marc Fisher points out there are two sets of analysts...


"those who say we’re heading toward civil strife and those who say the threat matrix is largely limited to lone rangers and small, disorganized groups whose dangerous but scattered acts don’t constitute a civil war — agree there is little chance of an organized, violent attack on the government, or of local or state authorities taking up arms against their federal counterparts. But there remains a sharp divide over whether a mounting series of individual and small-group attacks could add up to a warlike conflict that destabilizes the country."

Don't know which is worse. In one case there would be a defining difference in warring factions but near impossible to separate the two as in the Civil War of 1861. But in the second, it could be literally neighbor fighting neighbor. It would give a new name to block parties and can you even comprehend being shot at by the folks next door? There are so many issues from abortions to racism and it doesn't look like there is a peaceful way to settle this.


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