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30 January 2013

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Matthew

No outrage at all. When you think of our history, it is almost comical to have U.S. officials demanding that subject peoples (like the Palestinians) limit their actions to non-violence. I guess if the Israelis had passed a Stamp Act, cancelled some Western land sales, and stripped local officials of authority, then current US would be sympathetic to a national liberation struggle.

Instead, we join ourselves at the hip to an entity that bulldozes homes, cages in a population, kills people at rallies, and jokes about placing a whole population on a diet.

Lars

It would certainly not be humorous for those extremists who would not last long in any engagement with the National Guard.

turcopolier

lars

I am curious as to how you account for the British Regulars having done so poorly against the militia and minutemen. Their casualties were high and Smith's column might have been forced to surrender if it had not been reinforced by a relief force from Boston. Is it that you think the British Army did not try hard enough? Or is it that you think the weapons of the age gave the militia an advantage? There is also the issue of whether the Massachusetts National Guard would be a reliable force in such an operation. IMO it would be better to send for the marines. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

It happens that I am just now reading Kevin Phillips' "1775: A Good Year for Revolution", which was published late last year. The author does a masterful job of describing the political, cultural, religious and military crosscurrents in play during the run-up to the Revolutionary war. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the history of that era. http://amzn.to/XSd8mv

Lars

The Marines would maybe shorten the time frame some but the result would be the same. I read somewhere that the colonists had learned a new type of warfare from the local Indian tribes that they had battled now and then, which may account for their success. I don't think that is the only time when changed tactics prevailed.

Fred

No relation to this Fred but very humorous. Sadly too many in America don't know our own history. I believe on of the members of this committee of correspondence you so kindly host, Clifford Kirikoffe, once posted a link to a book – Border wars of New England, circa 1897. I downloaded a pdf. It is certainly enlightening history of which I knew startlingly little. It is no surprise the colonies had militia forces and that they were equipped with weaponry comparable to any standing army of the day.

turcopolier

Lars

Tory types like you argued the same way in 1775. Don't resist! It's futile, etc. The British Army was quite familiar with open order fighting and had organized a number of units for that purpose. The most famous of these was the "Royal American Regiment," now the "Green Jackets" if they have not been "consolidated" out of existence. There were also "light companies" in each line regiment trained for the same purpose. You might want to read General John Galvin's book "The Minute Men," etc... He wrote it when he was head of the Fletcher School at Tufts. He took me on a tour of the Boston, Lexington, Concord route of this fight. The Brtish lost so badly because they were "pinned" to the road by their desire to reach the militia's supplies at Concord and then their need to withdraw back down the road to Boston. They tried repeated counter-attacks from the road into the long, long string of ambushes. This did not markedly improve their situation although they shot anyone they captured on the spot. BTW "marine" is a common noun and should not be capitalized when used in isolation from a qualifier as in United States Marine Corps. pl

Tyler

Lars who do you think any paramilitary faction would be made up of at that point?

Other veterans.

You think the services are that hot to fire upon their own? You continue to display your ignorance in explosive fashion in regards to anything involving the military or military culture. I don't want to hear anything about the possibility of 'resistance' when you allowed your own country to be taken over by Somali immigrants without a shot fired.

twv

And they didn't have "automatic" assault rifles.

Tigershark

Col.,

The sad thing is your description of the British retreat to Boston could be used to describe the British retreat from Kabul or the American retreat down the MSR from Chosin.

Something about learning from history comes to mind. Hopefully the American exit from Kabul will be better.

optimax

Fred

Like all good satirists you show, with a humorous style, the fallacy of the officially sanctioned narrative.

The Founders understood the natural order of human society was for the powerful elite to oppress their subjects. A few decades of relative peace have made us forget that-- unless your roots are in the South== and allowed the chipping away of our rights, mostly because of 9/11, but also because a feral mindset has taken root in many poorly raised, media infected youth, threatening us all.

I'm naturally attracted to peace, love and understanding but know it takes vigilance to protect it from those who feel threatened by and are compelled to destroy beauty.

Anonymous

I guess the British Regulars tried to restrain their outrage in the interest of humour... half of them exploded on the spot.

turcopolier

Anonymous

I guess they laughed themselves to death. pl

Fred

I'm sure this wasn't meant to be satire but the latest email from the White House to yours truly contained this gem:

"The bond between our Armed Forces and our citizens must be a sacred trust, and upholding that trust is a moral obligation. "

I was under the impression that the members of the Armed Forces were overwhelming citizens of the Republic. What 'sacred trust' is Obama (or rather his email writers) referring too as plenty of politicians seem to be repeating the line 'health care costs are eating DOD alive' or some variation thereof?

The Twisted Genius

The militia and the British regulars were matched in arms technology back in the day - flintlock against flintlock. The Brits did manage to find and destroy a couple of 24 pounders that belonged to the militia that day. That was the only serious loss of arms suffered. IMO a commensurate situation today would involve the "paramilitary extremist faction" having the same select fire assault rifles, machine guns and mortars available to the National Guard. They might also have a goodly amount of mines and explosives cached away.

I wouldn't have a problem with that scenario. IMO the NFA of 1934 is an egregious infringement of our right to keep and bear arms, even if it is fairly well crafted and effective public safety policy. Why the NRA is not raising a stink about it is beyond me. I'd rather see a strict, effective background check system coupled with a competency licensing system financed by a heavy tax on the manufacture and importation of magazine fed semiautomatic weapons, automatic weapons and other destructive devices.

harry

Local guerillas often have an advantage over foreign imperialist forces. They know the land. They can re-supply better. Better intelliggence. This advantage becomes telling when the local population is already skilled with small arms as a matter of course and the land in question is vast and badly mapped.

So remind me, whose bright idea was it to put substantial US land forces in Afghanistan. Whoever did it cant have good grades on his US history tests.

turcopolier

harry

As you know I opposed the adoption of a COIN strategy for Afghanistan and tried to influence the outcome. I failed as did many others and BHO adopted this ruinous campaign plan. I opposed this for the very reasons you mention.

I have bee nwatching the British cop show called "Vera." This drama concerns the activities of a woman DCI in Northumberland. It is well done. Are you from the north of England? pl

David Habakkuk

The Royal Green Jackets Regiment, as it then was, was ‘consolidated’ into The Rifles in 2007. It itself it was the product of a previous consolidation, in 1966, in which the three separate regiments of what was then the Green Jackets Brigade were amalgamated. One of these, as I understand it, was the lineal descendant of the Royal American Regiment.

Another was the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the ‘Ox & Bucks’, my home town regiment. One of The Rifles battle honours is Pegasus Bridge, where shortly after midnight on the night of 5-6 June 1944, D Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Ox & Bucks under Major John Howard landed in gliders, the first Allied troops in Normandy. Reinforced by paratroopers from 7 Para, they held the bridge until relieved by Lord Lovat’s commandos at a little after one p.m.

In the film ‘The Longest Day’, Howard was played by Richard Todd, who had been one of the first to land of the paratroopers. Ironically, Todd was quite posh – the son of an army doctor, he had horrified his mother by going on the stage before the war. The actual Howard wasn’t. An NCO in the pre-war army, the impossibility of becoming an officer had caused him to leave and join the Oxford police force. But of course Lovat was very posh indeed – the twenty-fifth chief of the Clan Fraser. In defiance of specific orders, he had instructed his piper to pipe the commandos ashore on Sword Beach.

turcopolier

David Habakkuk

Thanks for that. All these consolidations are sad things. Once upon a time I visited the "Sherwood Foresters" and the "Green Howards" at their home stations as part of an exchange program. Both these regiments are gone, amalgamated into oblivion. pl

walrus

"Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as "ringleaders" of the extremist faction, remain at large."

Now bookmarked. Thank you Col. Lang. It is always good to see how labels alter peoples perceptions.

Eric Dönges

I would add that in case of the American revolution against the British crown or the war in Afghanistan, the dominant military power was (is) not in a do-or-die situation and could (can) afford to withdraw. In the case of a revolution against a tyrannical U.S. government, the powers that be are quite literally going to be fighting for their lives. I would argue that in this respect, a new American revolution would be more like the situation in Syria than that in Afghanistan or 1776.

As to your second point, I think the NRA doesn't make a stink about the NFA because they know that after the first nutjob goes on a rampage with a mortar or something similar (and you know someone will eventually, no matter how good your background checks are), there is a good chance the ensuing panic would create a sufficient majority to repeal the 2nd amendment completely.

kao_hsien_chih

I just thought it was kinda funny that some of the British units that marched on Lexington and Concord were from the Royal Marines, given this exchange about marines....

kao_hsien_chih

My understanding (based on wikipedia entry) was that Todd was originally asked to play himself in the film, but he chose to play Howard b/c he thought the latter was more famous. Is this just a story? It seems, given your description, that Todd was not an insignificant participant at the Pegasus Bridge....

harry

No, Im very much from the South. A London boy. Northumberland is a rugged place with tough people. The ladies can go out in mid winter wearing mini-skirts.

Population was tough enough to resist border incursions by Scots raiders on a regular basis, and mad enough to launch their own incursions occasionally.

turcopolier

harry

Northumberland seems to me to be a place much like the Maine of my youth. Grim. I prefer the mythical county of "Midsomer." It is more like Virginia. I might like living in in "Badger's Drift" as the eccentric American. My actual English forebears were from Lincolnshire. pl

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