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The Threat of A Blonde Egotist With Bad Haircut
23 August 2017, 18:05,
RE: The Threat of A Blonde Egotist With Bad Haircut
The New Yorker ran an irresponsible article by Robin Wright that asks whether America is headed for "a new kind of civil war," asserting that the "sobering consensus" of a group of national security experts puts the risk of this at 35%. This claim is scary — and based on Salon's experience, it's the sort of inflammatory claim that's likely to do very well on Facebook. But it's utter nonsense.

Wright's article is based in large part on a short blog post for Foreign Policy from March,
in which Thomas Ricks mused on the risk of "another civil war breaking out in this country over the next 10 to 15 years." But Ricks defines "civil war" very strangely:

"By 'civil war,' I don't necessarily mean set-piece battles and Pickett's Charge. I do mean widespread political violence with parallel (though not necessarily connected) efforts to reject current political authority in certain legal domains or physical spaces."

By this definition, America experienced a civil war from the late 1950s to the early 1970s, when race riots engulfed major American cities, four major political figures were assassinated, and the federal government had to send National Guard troops into Southern states to enforce integration over the objections of both local officials and violent white mobs.

According to the FBI, there were 2,500 bombings in the United States in 1971 and 1972 alone, often carried out by left-wing groups like the Weather Underground. I agree there is a real risk that the US will return to 1950s-1970s levels of political violence and social upheaval. I'm worried about this. But calling such a situation a "civil war" just makes everybody dumber.

National Review neatly summarizes what the leftist press has to say:

Using Fake News to Foment Sedition and Incite Open Rebellion!

America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. Earlier this year, I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville.

73 de KE4SKY
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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