19 August 2006

Name them time: popular armed political parties!

Yes, the 'moral equivalence' has reared its ugly head so lets get down to the brass tacks: name those political parties with 'armed wings' (or similar affiliation) that will respect the rights of the individual to make their own choices and *not* resort to force or terrorism against them! I will leave out one-party or dominant party States: they are ALREADY a law unto themselves.

Come on! This should be EASY!

Sinn Fein! Sorry, the IRA proved to be equal opportunity enforcers and are now going purely criminal. Disagree enough, and you got hit. Yes, the old 'but WE don't control THEM' just doesn't wash the red of blood away.

Ummmmmm.... this is harder than it looks.

Hezbollah... no they are out. Can't even respect the Nation they are in.

Hamas... nope, can't even govern once they get in, had no platform and loved getting rid of their opposition.

PLO... see Hamas.

Sandanistas! Except for all the insurgents they killed and then proceeded to *lose* legitimate elections after they got into power. Sorry, the red of Communism was made from a brighter red still.

Starting to think of all those glorious 'revolutions' of the 1960's and 1970's? Remember what they did and many didn't even get into power? Lots of revolutionary red for Reds, it appears.

People power of the Philippines! Bzzzzz! Not an armed organization nor party.

National Socialists had their brownshirts in Germany...

Pre-WWII Communists in Germany... no, they and the brownshirts had open war on the streets between them...

Fascists had their folks in Italy.... nasty by all accounts.

Pre-USSR Communists? Yes, the Bolsheviks... Military Revolutionary Committee ring any bells? How about Red Guards? Ok, 1905 and all that. In truth, they didn't have much of one as Russia was a damn poor Nation. After the February 1917 Revolution the Nation fell apart and, as Lenin described it, 'power was his to pick up from the streets'. With some help of Trotsky. And some of those aforementioned Red Guards. AFTER that, they became the lovely repressionist, totalitarian force that became the hallmark of Communism. So, yes they had armed groups, but it didn't matter that much.

Say! Would *that* be something to worry about? You know, Nation falling apart, armed groups roaming around, power to pick up off the street? Kinda, almost like... a 'template' of how to take power?

Cause chaos and have a delegitimized government because of the chaos you are causing.

Use armed folks to round up a 'revolution'. Or just declare yourselves in power by fiat.

Install that wonderful party into power... and see it replicate its power structure in a Nation.

And because you used, you know, 'legitimate' grievances to cause social disruption and intimidate people, you are 'authentic'!

Even better if the current government is weak because it is the first elected government there in a long, long, long time.....

'Legitimate' armed party?


And, exactly, which one of the above actually established that the people were, indeed, sovereign.... BEFORE they took power? Or after, for that fact... Yes, they do exist, but are damned rare and usually come *after* a party disarms when taking power. That is why it is rare.

'Legitimacy' does not come from repression nor coercion.

An 'armed' political party is basically saying: my way, or else we kill.

A generalization, yes. But more than a good rule of thumb, and very close to a working definition of 'armed political parties'.

And, again, I separate out those guerilla armies that actually stand up a new government and support it openly as something *separate*. That is honorable, though most of those movements that succeed turn out to be as bad as the one they overthrew.

If you are OK with Hezbollah and Hamas as 'legitimate' parties because they run hospitals and such... then you would be absolutely fantabulous if, say, the Shriners handed out AK-47s, RPG's and plastic explosives from their hospitals. Right?

'But they aren't a political party!', I can hear the screaming...

That is absolutely correct and *exactly* my point.

NO 'legitimate' political party would do that, would they?

The duly armed and controlled armed forces of a Nation may do that for their legitimate personnel. And firearms are a real BAD idea around oxygen tanks. These forces are held ACCOUNTABLE for their actions by their Government.

Now, about those Hezbollah and Hamas run hospitals....

Duly designated armed forces of a Nation?

Or 'legitimate' armed political party?

How about: terrorists with good PR?

That fits.

'Legitimate' armed political party: the new oxymoron.

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