Djcnor’s Weblog

Predicting a Repeat of Kent State

Posted on: December 22, 2008

I just heard on Al Jazeera, which is really a much better news source than anything coming out of the US these days, that the US government is training some troups just back from Iraq to deal with expected civil unrest.

This is not funny. Several years ago, on Craigslist’s political discussion, I heard hints of this sort of thing, internal prison camps being prepared, crowd-dispersing techniques, all kinds of things to be used on demonstrators peaceful or otherwise to punish  dissent. I thought it was rather paranoid, though I didn’t quite put it past Bush and his bunch, having been among the demonstrators at the 2004 Republican Convention in NYC and seen what happened there.

I just hope that there are no huge demonstrations until Obama enters office. If folks can just wait that long, I believe things will get better, efforts will be made to minimize the suffering increasing quickly in the US because of the economic problems.

If all this erupts before Bush is out, we may just see another Kent State type incident. And if that happens, there’s no telling what might happen next.

Will Americans suddenly turn a corner as they did then and say “Hey! We don’t do that to our own kids, our own future!” Or will they keep their heads down in the hope that things don’t get bad enough for Bush to be able to use that law he had enacted giving him the option of martial law and not turning over the government should certain things happen?

I thought…I hoped…the US would just barely squeak past the Bush years ragged, with the American dream on life support but rallying. Now even that is in question. My prayers go up for the US to make it safely through the next month. Amen.


15 Responses to "Predicting a Repeat of Kent State"

You do know that Obama has stated that we wants to implement a “civilian” security force that is equal to the military? Look it up for yourself using your own sources if you don’t believe me.

After you do that, tell me how confident you are that Obama will limit the domestic task force.

I looked it up. His actual words were:

“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Note the word civilian. In other words, not using soldiers, which would be more likely to result in a Kent State type event.

Just prior to those words, he was speaking of increasing the opportunities for community service. He realizes that, in the end, each person’t security depends on the good will of his or her neighbors.

Thus, he was talking about a domestic Peace Corps organization, not an internal military force.

Obama’s words could be taken that way. They could also be taken in other ways – especially with the “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the military part.

He has also not spoken out against the troops being brought into the US for domestic use.

Civilians in uniform or the military, it doesn’t matter much one way or another.

They must be taken in context because that’s the way they occurred.

As for his not speaking out about the troops being brought home to combat internal dissent, most President Elects go out of their way not to interfere with the existing administration, knowing they would want the President Elect after them to act that same way. Reagan is the obvious exception, and it cannot be said that his deal with Iran turned out well. It especially important when there is likely to be a significant difference between the administrations because to do otherwise is to leave other nations in doubt of who’s in charge. The vacuum in this case, is large enough as it is.

Where did your civilian get a uniform? There is a significant difference between civilians and miliatary people in the tools and methods they are trained and most like to use, and the difference in the likely results of those methods. Violence applied to dissent, as has recently been shown in Greece, leads to more violence and more dissent. A community organizer is trained in and uses more appropriate methods that have better results.

We have a different set of expectations, hopes, and fears about what Obama will do with his civilian security force. You expect and hope for a purely peaceful organization and I expect and fear an increase in Homeland Security’s / FEMA’s role.

That is why I said civilians in uniform. I’m expecting something like the beginning of a national police force.

Yes we do. My expectations are based on the way he is going about setting up his administration. For example, two of my earlier posts on this thread are on healthcare. The reason I did them is that Obama asked an organization called Conversation Cafe, which simply consists of people who host “salons” with set topics of discussion, to have US healthcare be the subject one time and get back to him with what they found.

He has asked for citizen feedback on so many issues that I cannot expect him to do otherwise on the subject of internal security and what do do about civil unrest.

Why do you expect something else?

I expect otherwise because the framework for such an entity already exists and is entrenched in the federal bureaucracy in the form of Homeland Security, which includes FEMA.

Obama also voted in favor of both extending the patriot Act and FISA. This implies that he’s not above using such methods within the US.

No, I DON’T think he’s build his own SA. I DO think that he will increase the powers of federal law enforcement agencies and be more willing to use Homeland Security in an enforcement-based role.

I think that the atmosphere in which the Patriot Act and FISA were passed was such that there would have been considerable cost to any politician voting against them. I would not be surprised to see Obama dismantle them to a large degree, especially if he received feedback from activists on both sides about specific provisions we consider most corrosive of personal liberty.

We’ll soon see who’s right.

I was talking about the 2nd votes which extended him. I take no issue with anyone that voted for them the 1st time around.

sorry – “I was talking about the 2nd votes which extended them.

I agree with you that they should never have been extended. If I remember correctly, didn’t the administration trot out some “credible security threats” of some sort just before the vote to put pressure on Senators to approve the extention? I’m not excusing Obama’s vote for it, but there are any number of considerations that might make a junior Senator with ambitions vote the way his party told him to. I’ll see if I can find any recent statements on the subject.

You “fear quote” credible security threats, admit Obama’s ambition and imply his willingness to vote to serve that ambition instead of the People and use this as a mitigating factor? OK…

I’m not trying to be nasty, but reread what you just wrote.

I doubt you’ll find a new comment from him on the subject. Obama won’t touch that issue directly until either the end of hi 1st – if it doesn’t look like he’ll get a 2nd, or his 2nd “lame” term.

No, I put quotation quotes around “credible security threats” because this administration has been known to invent and manipulate and exagerate such things, but a Senator with ambitions, and not on the correct committee to know (if even that is sufficient to know in this administration) would hesitate to bet his future on those particular ones being made up. I doubt they were real.
I do see a lot of calls by Obama supporters to make the repeal of the Patriot Act a high priority. Like me, they have little doubt that he will do it. The question is how soon considering the rest of the problems he will have to deal with.
Let’s see how that first term will go, and how hard it is to achieve basics like universal healthcare before we give him trouble for not repealing it. Administrations also have the option of leaving something on the books but letting enforcers and prosecutors know that such cases are not to be pursued. In that case, there could even be a choice to use some parts but not others.
Let’s get a little further into his first term before we even mention his second. One of the things I like best about the Brit system is that at any time an election could be 6 weeks away, and it would be more adequately covered in that six weeks than the American press manages in more than two years.

You have no idea how much I wish the US system included “No Confidence” votes based on approval ratings.

I prefer the legislature. The public is far too fickle and inconstant.

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Djcnor’s Weblog

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