Louisville police say an officer has been shot amid protests over a lack of direct criminal charges for officers in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death.
The statement did not elaborate on the condition of the officer or the circumstances of the shooting.
That development came amid a fast-changing scene in Louisville, where police had earlier fired flash bang devices to clear demonstrators from a downtown square Wednesday evening. The protesters had gathered there to protest a grand jury’s decision to not indict police officers on criminal charges directly related to Taylor’s death.
Taylor, a Black woman, was fatally shot during a police raid gone bad earlier this year.
I’m a wargame designer. I co-developed the first reboot of Axis & Allies and its D-Day edition, made a mythological Risk game called Risk Godstorm, and burned down both the Roman Empire in Gloria Mundi and medieval France in Veritas. I write about game theory learned from simulating war outcomes. Like many people, I’m stuck on this as the likely outcome of our situation:
We’re facing a civil war.
Up until yesterday, I wasn’t thinking a civil war was probable. But then Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. With her likely went the last chance the 2020 election will end peacefully. She told her granddaughter:
“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”
It seems unlikely that wish will be heeded, though with everything this year you never know. Republicans now have a three-and-a-half-month window to install an unbreakable 6–3 majority on the Supreme Court. If they do, abortion rights, voting rights, and gay rights—actually, just all civil rights in general—are doomed.
But it’s worse than that, because we expect this election to be contested. If they have that majority before then, it doesn’t matter who wins the election, because a 6–3 court will kit-bash some reason to hand Trump a second term. So the Democrats are threatening that filling Ginsburg’s seat means they will create two to four more seats right after they win the Senate, if that happens. They might add D.C. and Puerto Rico as states, or even change the rule of apportionment. They might, as my friend Cyndi calls it, “act Ruthlessly.” This is the stuff that wars are made of.
We find ourselves in a country where both sides can’t imagine their loss would be legitimate. If Biden loses, his supporters will blame GOP trickery and voter disenfranchisement. If Trump loses, his supporters will blame voter fraud and riots. It doesn’t matter that the first one of those is real and the second isn’t. We are heading toward a reckoning.
The September 2020 issue of the Marine Corps Gazette announced a series of articles titled The Maneuverist Papers and offers the first, “Marine Corps Maneuver Warfare: The Historical Context,” by “Marinus”, whose initials I suspect are J.S. The history it discusses and its analysis of the maneuver warfare movement’s “success” is generally accurate and thoughtful. I put “success” in quotes because, while maneuver warfare was adopted as official Marine Corps doctrine, the Corps left its personnel system, education, and training largely unchanged, which means it can talk about maneuver warfare but not do it. The Italian Army did the same thing in the late 1930s; hopefully, the Marine Corps’ results will be happier.
Marinus’s article concludes by asking,
Will there need to emerge another Gray, Boyd, Wyly, or Lind? Should or how should maneuver warfare adapt to recent and emerging changes in warfare? Or, more fundamentally, has warfare changed sufficiently that the Marine Corps should reconsider its basic doctrine? Most Marines would instinctively and emphatically say, “No!”–but does that mean the question should not be asked?
I appreciate his acknowledgement–I did after all start the debate over maneuver warfare with a piece I wrote in 1976- and I would also note that with the exception of John Boyd, the rest of us (including Jeff Grelson, whom the article forgot) are still alive, functioning, and probably have one last campaign in us.
But war is evolving in such a way that the situation is wholly different. In the 1970s through the early 1990s, the Marine Corps could choose whether to stick with Second Generation (firepower/attrition) warfare or shift to the Third Generation (maneuver warfare). Fourth Generation war offers no such choice, because it moves in next door.
But what does this potential chaos mean for working-class and poor communities? While non-profits and organizations tied to the Democratic Party are already organizing, what do everyday people do in the face of such uncertainty? The following editorial offers some ideas as to what we may expect to see play out over the coming weeks and months.
It has become increasingly clear, even to the ruling elite, that the November election will present the American political system with its most serious crisis in well over a century. The choices presented―Donald Trump and his fascist clique versus right-wing neoliberal Joe Biden―offer essentially nothing to either autonomous social movements or the working-class caught up in the hellscape that is 2020. Nevertheless, this spat between two factions of billionaires threatens to devolve into a blood feud. In this environment, people must be organized to keep themselves and their communities safe from both the looming threat of dictatorship and paramilitary violence.
I disagree with aspects of the ideological flavor reflected in this article. But its core thesis seems to be cogent enough. A multi-dimensional insurrection (consisting of distinct but overlapping sectors such as the lumpenproletariat, middle-class radicals, ordinary hooligans, the far left, and sectors of the far right) is being co-opted by the state and the ruling class, which fears an insurgency by the nationalist right and the authentically anti-capitalist left to an even greater degree.
By Pedro Gonzalez
There is no proletarian,” wrote Oswald Spengler, “not even a Communist movement, that has not operated in the interests of money, and for the time being permitted by money―and that without the idealists among its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.” What the German prophet of pessimism meant was that revolutions generally boil down to the whip passing from one hand to another equally or even more eager to exercise the lash.
The idealists tend to be blind to this and serve their new masters just as well as the ones they endeavor to throw off.
These folks who travel from city to city for the purpose of escalating left/right conflict need to stay at home and mind their own business. If all of the different political factions worked toward the purpose of turning their local communities into their ideal model of a startup society, then they would have something. Naturally, places like Portland and Seattle will have a more “left-wing” orientation just as rural counties would presumably have a more “right-wing” orientation (with suburbs being the center?). Unfortunately, too many people are ignorant enough of history that they do not understand that tribal warfare is always a dead end. But they’re Americans, so I suppose we should expect some handicaps in this area.
I can’t really see any principled objection to firebombing police cars (enemy military vehicles). The problem that I have with both conservative anti-protestors like Saager Enjeti and Tim Pool or liberal pro-protestors like Krystal Ball and Kyle Kulinski is that they all believe in the fundamental legitimacy of the system. I reject the “pro-protest/anti-violence” stance. That doesn’t mean I necessarily like all the protestors, violent or non-violent, as much as I simply view them as necessary chaos agents for the purpose of undermining the system. It’s about creating a critical mass that prevents the system from functioning while preventing any of the factions from gaining a concentration of power. It’s not so much a “three-way fight” as the “antifascists” claim as much as “twenty-way fight” with more teams being added all the time. A civil war in the US would have as many teams as the NFL, NBA, or MLB.
There is a little too much “law talk” in this segment for my tastes. The ideal situation would be for the center-right, center-left, far-right, and far-left to fight, both in the electoral system/political institutions and in the streets, to the point that none of these can achieve anything approaching a monopoly of state power. The enemy is all around. The objective is for them to keep fighting each other to a permanent stalemate.
Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti weigh in on the controversial comments made by Attorney General Bill Barr advocating for criminally charging certain protesters with sedition.
Opinion has been sharply divided about Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old who killed two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in what many say was an act of self-defense. In this episode I’m joined by Kristan Harris, the man whose footage from that night has become the standard footage used in the mainstream media
The former UK ambassador in Washington, Kim Darroch, has warned of a “genuine risk” of violence in the aftermath of a close-run US election in November.
Darroch noted that although Joe Biden is maintaining a significant lead nationwide, the margins in some battleground states are shrinking, and he suggested pollsters could be systematically undercounting Donald Trump supporters.
“I’m not sure the pollsters really know how to count Trump voters,” Darroch said in an interview.
He pointed to the recent violence in Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of police shooting of unarmed Black Americans, and the case of Kyle Rittenhouse, a fervent police supporter facing homicide charges after a shooting incident in Kenosha that left two people dead and a third seriously injured. Rittenhouse has since been hailed as a vigilante hero by the far right.
It is never a good thing when people in a society start killing each other with a greater degree of frequency. But incidents of this type are the natural consequence of 50 years of economic and social policies that have turned the USA into a Third World society with First World technology. We now have the class relations and governmental incompetence of Latin America and the number of Americans who have had unpleasant encounters with members of state security forces is now approaching that found in traditional oligarchies and dictatorships as well.
The world-historical norm is stratified societies in which periodic mass rebellions and ongoing localized rebellions take place. Terrorist/guerrilla/lone wolf violence against members of state security forces are common in many societies. During the Roman occupation of the Judaic region, Zealots would engage in knife attacks on Roman soldiers. Medieval peasants would attack the king’s knights. Many Latin American, African, Middle Eastern, Pacific, and Asian countries experience this all the time, including regions within major powers like Russia, China, and India. Americans are used to living in a predominantly middle-class affluent society where political violence rare. Now that’s starting to change.
“The most interesting political questions throughout history have been whether or not humans will be ruled or free, whether they will be responsible for their actions as individuals or left irresponsible as members of society, and whether they can live in peace by volitional agreements alone.”
“We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity.”
Solidarity is a bitch when everyone who can afford a knife is slitting each other’s throat. That’s the nasty little limerick that keeps playing on repeat in my skull like a mantra as populist grassroots uprisings devolve into bitter proxy wars between roaming tribes of bitter proles, killing each other over which oligarch’s name they have scrawled across their battle flags. Everyone wants to pick sides. Everyone is trolling for convenient scapegoats. I just see poor people killing poor people while two sick rich candidates arrange their corpses into clever platforms to stand on and promote more war from. The splintering of the George Floyd Uprisings into partisan turf warfare doesn’t just rip up my already bleeding heart because I had so much hope for the revolutionary potential now being squandered. It kills me because I have people on both sides of these gorey shenanigans and they should both be on the same damn team. All poor people should be, regardless of race or even politics.
What I find most interesting about this piece is how it illustrates that the various factions of the “Left” and “Right,” broadly defined, not only have different philosophies and political preferences but different realities as well. Can people who have totally different ideas on what reality even is co-exist in the same society? I tend to think not.
By William S. Lind
The Left is wrong, but it is not stupid. If we are to defeat it, we must study and understand its tactics. Three are of special importance.
From other totalitarian ideologies the American Left has adopted the tactic of telling a big lie fast, immediately after or during an event, and figuring the truth, which usually comes out more slowly, will never catch up. We’ve seen this both in Minneapolis and in Kenosha. In Minneapolis, the lie is that a cop killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck so he could not breathe. The Wall Street Journal subsequently reported the facts:
In an ideal situation, right-wing vigilantes would provide protection to residential neighborhoods, mom and pop shops, and the general public, while left-wing vigilantes burned down police stations and the lumpenproletariat looted Wal-Mart. But I’ve noticed that many situations tend to be less than ideal.
There’s a scene in Christopher Isherwood’s novel Goodbye to Berlin where the author goes to visit Bernhard Landauer, the owner of a prosperous department store in Germany. The year is 1933 and Bernhard shows Christopher a vicious message he’s received, threatening to kill him and all his fellow Jews. Bernhard shrugs this off but Christopher insists he go to the police: “The Nazis may write like schoolboys,” he says, “but they’re capable of anything. That’s why they’re so dangerous. People laugh at them, right up to the last moment…”
Here in America, it’s been easy to laugh at those who have threatened political violence over the past four years, and even at those who have carried it out. Their rogue’s gallery can look like something out of a campy video game: ninja-like black masks who run through the streets LARPing revolution? Mostly white college students screaming “black lives matter”? I still haven’t figured out exactly what a boogaloo boy is supposed to be. Even after the horror in Charlottesville, the white supremacists yodeling about “the Jew” on their way back from the latest Wolves of Vinland potluck come off as more sad than dangerous. It’s easy to laugh at these people, to dismiss them as dorks and thumbsuckers; it’s easy to laugh until it isn’t, until your cities are burning, until you look down and realize you’ve been dancing on a volcano.
From what I can tell, there is literally no one in any of the factions of US politics that has the slightest interest in anti-authoritarian values of any kind, except for isolated individuals. Obviously, this is true of the ruling class parties, but it is apparent enough that none of the “fringe” factions would create a less authoritarian society than the one we have now. Not Proud Boys, Boogaloos, Patriot Prayer, Antifa, SJWs, “anarcho”-Marxists, Alt-Right/Lite, commies, fascists, WNs, Nazis, BLM, etc. Most of these would create a worse society than the one we have now. The best we can hope for is either an ongoing balance of power between contending factions or the collapse of the United States into localized enclaves.
By Jason Wilson
Over the last three months in Portland, mass protests against police violence and racism gradually gave way to nightly often violent standoffs between a core of pro-Black Lives Matter and anti-fascist protesters and law enforcement.
But in the past week the city has fallen back into a pattern of more politically polarized street violence which has marked the city throughout the Trump era, with broadly leftwing and anti-fascist activists sometimes facing off against far-right groups.
Last weekend a rightwing “Say no to Marxism in America” rally saw serious, widespread violence. Much of it came from rally attendees – who included members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys – and was directed not only at leftist counter-protesters, but also reporters.
The US Marshals said a task force was attempting to arrest Michael Forest Reinoehl in Washington state. He was wanted by the Multnomah County Circuit Court on a charge of murder.
“Reinoehl was allegedly involved in an August 29 shooting incident in Portland, Oregon, that resulted in a death,” US Marshals said.
The task force located him in Olympia and attempted to arrest him peacefully.
“Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers. Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene,” the statement said.
Ever since a member of the right-wing “Patriot Prayer” group was shot and killed during a violent rally in downtown Portland August 29, the police investigation has reportedly focused on 48-year-old Michael Forest Reinoehl, an Army veteran and father of two who has provided what he called “security” at Black Lives Matter protests.
The Wall Steet Journal reported earlier that Reinoehl was a person of interest in the killing of Aaron “Jay” Danielson, who was taking part in a massive pro-Trump caravan that began in Clackamas earlier in the day.
In a conversation with freelance journalist Donovan Farley shared with VICE News, Reinoehl said he believed he and a friend were about to be stabbed, and that he acted in self defense. VICE News has not independently verified details of his story.
If only it were true. We need many CHAZs, and for the CHAZs to become Cherons, and for the Cherons to become MAREZs, and for the MAREZs to become Rojavas, and for the Rojavas to become Hezbollahs.
By Matthew Choi
President Donald Trump ordered a review of cities’ treatment of law enforcement Wednesday, potentially holding back federal funds if the administration finds a jurisdiction “disempowers” or “defunds” its police department.
In a memorandum released Wednesday, Trump directed the White House Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance for federal agencies on curtailing funds to areas the memo calls “anarchist jurisdictions” within the next 30 days. The memo also directs Attorney General William Barr to publish on the Department of Justice website a list of jurisdictions that have “permitted violence and the destruction of property.” Federal agencies will also receive guidance on reporting on federal funds they distribute to several Democrat-led cities.