31 May 2007

Terrorists on the decline?

At American Thinker, Ray Robison looks at the problems al Qaeda is having in: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and the forces behind those problems. Each of these has different point sources and may point to a larger strategy to confront al Qaeda based on a wide and deep understanding of regional and ethnic differences between the Arab, Wahhabi oriented al Qaeda and locally oriented resistance to them. Actually, given the inability of US Foreign Policy to understand those things, I am hesitant to put that conception forward as something coming from Foggy Bottom and, with the problems of the CIA, even from Langley. What does describe this better is special forces/special ops work and that 5-sided building in Arlington, VA playing a key role. And when trying to think of how to fracture the Islamic Jihad movement from the Muslim Brotherhood side of things that is a difficult task.

Today the most adaptable part of the US Government to combat terrorism is the Armed Forces and NOT those other places that so many like to point to as places of deep thought and cogitation... I go over the problems with 'Realism' in foreign policy and still, to this day, see that as a guiding outlook on such because of the entrenched bureaucracy there. Looking at the 'group think' of the INTEL Community via the NIE reviews I did (here and here) and in this article on Taming the Turf Wars and more endemic problems government-wide in Iraq and the Turf Wars.

To get a multi-prong, coherent approach to the political, social, and ethnic atmospheres of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan requires a lot of actual on-the-ground knowledge and in some depth so as to figure out the best way to approach each area. That is not descriptive of the CIA's HUMINT capability nor of the State Dept., but is highly descriptive of all the Special Forces and Elite Forces sent over to these places by Coalition Nations. Lets take a quick look at the instances that Mr. Robison cites and see what they would entail. Thus the posited concept and its follow-ons.

The Global Islamic Jihad Movement is Breaking Up

To get an idea of what this entails, we first have to look at the mover behind the Islamic Jihad movement: the Muslim Brotherhood. My most thorough look at the MB was in Rep. Hoyer seeking moderates amongst terrorists, which drew heavily upon previous documents for integrated analysis: Follow the money.... where?, Thoughts stirred on the global connectivity of al Qaeda, Syrian weapons purchases: the unbarked dog, Iranian influence: Bosnia, Dropping the dime on the 'oil drop' , Building the Mosaic of Iraq, Getting to today in, Iran starting in 2000, Dumb Looks time on: Post-Warism!, Creating an Army, The Faultlines shifting the Status Quo, Peace in the Middle East: The Checklist, and the two foundational views on Transnational Terrorism - Template of Terror and The web of the supernote.

Not that I have been looking at Transnational Terrorism for awhile or anything!

The major part of any fraying will be between al Qaeda affiliates and the Muslim Brotherhood which acts as a sort of 'startup' and 'incubator' for Sunni Jihadis, and then as a source of 'venture capital' for establishing and expanding organizations and influence. From it nearly every other terrorist organization on the planet is at most one intermediary away and often there is a direct link for zero degrees of separation. Think of it as 'Jihadi Terror Central'. In truth it operates on a quasi-criminal basis for goods and funds and as a religious institution for radical Islamic placement (the actual putting down of Mosques or sending instructors to established ones).

Any concentrated attack to start breaking up al Qaeda *must* address MB as it is the source of the personal contact network for most of Sunni Radicalism and even has strong contacts with Iran and Shia radicals. Globalsecurity lists the known resource bases of the Hamas, which is a direct military organization of the MB, and al Qaeda would have access to those plus its own networks separate from MB/Hamas ones. That listing is as follows:

Gulf States - A considerable proportion of the aforementioned funds originate from various sources in the Gulf States (The Gulf Cooperation Council States). Most of the funding is from Saudi Arabian sources, with a total value of $12 million a year.

Iran - Its contribution is estimated at $3 million a year.

Charitable associations in the Territories - Funds are raised for the Hamas through the mosques (a convenient domain for fundraising and recruitment of members) and through charity associations and foundations.

Charity associations overseas.

Fundraising abroad and in the territories.
In addition to that, al Qaeda would also need to hit friction between its own organization and its affiliate network and wider network of associates, of which MB is only one. This network of associates and affiliates is as follows, from the Globalsecurity listing for al Qaeda:
Armed Islamic Group
Salafist Group for Call and Combat and the Armed Islamic Group
Egyptian Islamic Jihad (Egypt)
Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya
Jamaat Islamiyya
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
Bayt al-Imam (Jordan)
Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad (Kashmir)
Asbat al Ansar
Hezbollah (Lebanon)
Harakat ul Ansar/Mujahadeen
Harakat ul Jihad
Jaish Mohammed - JEM
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam
Laskar e-Toiba - LET
Moro Islamic Liberation Front (the Philippines)
Abu Sayyaf Group (Malaysia, Philippines)
Al-Ittihad Al Islamiya - AIAI (Somalia)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Islamic Army of Aden (Yemen)
Yes, a veritable panoply of organizations, that, plus the listing later cites al Qaeda getting training and support from Iran. Globalsecurity and Terror Knowledge Base both have good references for all of these organizations, between them. So with those as a 'rough and ready' we can hit the rest of Mr. Robison's article!

Problems seen in Pakistan:
First, that reporting from Pakistan showed friction among al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamic Party of Gulbudden Hekmatyar. Second, that funding to these groups was drying up due to the loss of state sponsors. While these groups (representative of, but not the entirety of global jihad) continue to receive private donations and surely some rogue regime funding, the loss of Saddam, Libyan, Pakistani and the U.A.E. support could only increase their woes.
Now Gulbudden Hekmatyar sounds familiar! And on Afghanistan Online we can get a biography of him, which is something always handy to have around, needless to say, when looking at individuals. From the opening there we learn the critical associations of him:
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, originally from Baghlan, is the head and founder of Hezbi Islami. Hekmatyar, who is now in his late forties, first studied at the military academy; then in 1968, he switched to the engineering department of Kabul University.
A very dangerous man to combine military AND engineering skills, even if he did not graduate with a degree. Now TKB has a rundown on on Hezbi-e-Islami and offers this bit:
Current Goals: The Hizb-I-Islami split in the late 1970s, with Maluvi Mohammad Yunus Khalis’s faction breaking away from the dominant group led by Hikmaytar. Recent reports suggest that the fragmentation of the Islamic Party has continued, with a group led by Khalid Farooqi proclaiming to support the transitional regime of Hamid Karzai and end their struggle against the Afghan government and coalition troops. Farooqi has claimed that his faction of the group has cut off all contact with Hikmatyar, who remains at large. The precise balance of power within the Hizb-I-Islami remains unknown.
They are undergoing internal factional strife due to the Coalition invasion of Afghanistan and trying to decide who to support. Note that in many terrorist incidents we get the leader in question refered to as a 'Warlord'. There are also connections to the Al-Badr organization of Pakistan/Kashmir from Hizb-e-Islami and this note at TKB on its funding:
Al-Badr has found it increasingly difficult to raise funds and many of its training camps have been closed. However, some Indian intelligence officials believe that Pakistan’s ISI is still feeding funds and logistical support to the group. In addition, Indian intelligence services are currently investigating links between al-Badr and al-Qaeda.
While a smaller group than Hizb-e-Islami, the support of the Pakistani ISI is very troubling as it serves as an independent State source for it. From that we can see that Hekmatyar is a critical individual for al Qaeda to get localized funding from *both* Hizb-e-Islami and al-Badr organizations. And a pass-through from Mr. Robison's citing of further fracturing between al Qaeda and Hizb-e-Islami is this article citing smuggling operations of the latter group in gems, lumber and opium. Over at History Commons we get a bit more on Hekmatyar's influence in the region and their citation of articles pointing to his connections:
Afghan opium production rises from 250 tons in 1982 to 2,000 tons in 1991, coinciding with CIA support and funding of the mujaheddin. Alfred McCoy, a professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin, says US and Pakistani intelligence officials sanctioned the rebels’ drug trafficking because of their fierce opposition to the Soviets: “If their local allies were involved in narcotics trafficking, it didn’t trouble [the] CIA. They were willing to keep working with people who were heavily involved in narcotics.” For instance, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a rebel leader who received about half of all the CIA’s covert weapons, was known to be a major heroin trafficker. Charles Cogan, who directs the CIA’s operation in Afghanistan, later claims he was unaware of the drug trade: “We found out about it later on.” [Atlantic Monthly, 5/1996; Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), 9/30/2001]
Yes, the CIA funds from 1982-1999 were going through Hezb-e-Islami to the tune of 50% of them. A bit after that we get this from 1983:
Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar emerges as the most powerful of ISI’s mujaheddin clients, just as Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) and CIA Director William Casey, along with Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, are pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of new and more lethal supplies into ISI warehouses.” Hekmatyar is among the most ruthless and extreme of the Afghan Islamic warlords. [Coll, 2004, pp. 119] He receives about half of all the CIA’s covert weapons directed at Afghanistan despite being a known major drug trafficker (see 1982-1991). He develops close ties with bin Laden by 1984 while continuing to recieve large amounts of assistance from the CIA and ISI (see 1984).
We can see connections between Rep. Charlie Wilson, CIA Director William Casey and Saudi Intelligence Minister Turki al-Faisal sending money and goods to Hekmatyar to resist the Soviets. So his 1980's funding sources are wide and disparate, stretching from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia to the CIA. This offers him a wide opportunity to find personal contacts to use later for additional funding, training and supplies. Hekmatyar meets up with bin Laden in 1984:
Bin Laden moves to Peshawar, a Pakistani town bordering Afghanistan, and helps run a front organization for the mujaheddin known as Maktab al-Khidamar (MAK), which funnels money, arms, and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war. [New Yorker, 1/24/2000] “MAK [is] nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.” [MSNBC, 8/24/1998] Bin Laden becomes closely tied to the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and greatly strengthens Hekmatyar’s opium smuggling operations. [Le Monde (Paris), 9/14/2001] Hekmatyar, who also has ties with bin Laden, the CIA, and drug running, has been called “an ISI stooge and creation.” [Asia Times, 11/15/2001]
To get to a long-standing relationship between al Qaeda and Hezb-e-Islami requires eroding the trust/patience of Hekmatyar himself. And in 2002, this is what happens to him:
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Iran is supportive of US efforts to defeat the Taliban, since the Taliban and Iran have opposed each other. In 2006, Flynt Leverett, the senior director for Middle East affairs on the National Security Council in 2002 and 2003, will recall this cooperation between Iran and the US in a heavily censored New York Times editorial. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a notorious Afghan warlord with close ties to bin Laden (see 1984), had been living in Iran since the Taliban came to power in the 1990s. Leverett claims that in December 2001 Iran agrees to prevent Hekmatyar from returning to Afghanistan to help lead resistance to US-allied forces there, as long as the Bush administration does not criticize Iran for harboring terrorists. “But, in his January 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush did just that in labeling Iran part of the ‘axis of evil’ (see January 29, 2002). Unsurprisingly, Mr. Hekmatyar managed to leave Iran in short order after the speech.” [New York Times, 12/22/2006] Hekmatyar apparently returns to Afghanistan around February 2002. He will go on to become one of the main leaders of the armed resistance to the US-supported Afghan government. Iranian cooperation with the US over Afghanistan will continue in a more limited manner, with Iran deporting hundreds of suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives who had fled Afghanistan, while apparently keeping others. But the US will end this cooperation in 2003. [BBC, 2/14/2002; USA Today, 5/21/2003; New York Times, 12/22/2006]
I am sure he was in Iran for purely personal reasons! And as for the US 'ending' the 'cooperation' with Iran, are we sure it wasn't more of a revolving door affair with al Qaeda operatives cycling in and out and only citing the outbound flow and not the inbound? Well, I am sure that ever venturesome reporters DID background that... or not.

But even more interesting is the citation via RAWA that Hekmatyar had links with the Soviet KGB! From their reprint of an 08 OCT 1992 article 'Gulbudden Hekmatyar had links with KGB' from The News International by Imran Akbar:

PARIS: The US House Republican Research Committee of the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare has severely criticized the Central Intelligence Agencies and Inter-Services-Intelligence for their gross negligence and cover-up of the misconduct of the Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan during the 13 year Afghan civil war.

The report also alleged that the ISI propped Hekmatyar as an ultimate Muslim choice, while knowing all along that he was actually working for the ex-Soviet KGB, the intelligence agency of the Soviet Union.

The 19-page report submitted in March 1990 and now doing rounds here, claims that the ISI had created Hekmatyar only to serve the military regime of General Ziaul Haq. The report states: "needless to say, the picture of Hekmatyar's success in the civil war created by the KGB-Khad (propaganda) closely fits the biases of Ziaul Haq and ISI. This Islamist leadership was subsequently adopted by Ziaul Haq because of the ISI's claims of tight control over the radical revivalist Islamist movements as well the ensuring ideological endorsement from Pakistan's Jamat-e-Islami and the Saudi Arabian leadership. (The new prime minister) Benazir Bhutto cannot afford to disavow and disassociate herself from the Afghan leadership built by her father, let alone confront the ISI on the conduct of its Afghan operations."

The report further states, "Given this, the reports of Hezb-e-Islami victories served the ISI's intrinsic interests so well that it had no desire to doubt them and indeed politically could not afford to. With the Zia regime wholeheartedly committed to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, any attempt to challenge or verify his (Hekmatyar's) claims was swiftly crushed by Islamabad's highest echelons. Moreover, it was in the personal interest of numerous ISI senior officers and operatives who were embezzling the ever-growing flow of US and Saudi military and financial assistance to ensure that the process should continue."

The false information from Islamabad to Washington through CIA resulted in the termination of aid in 1989 and the ISI plan to launch a massive attack on Jalalabad.

The debacle was so huge that even today the last body count has not yet been confirmed and neither the original planner brought to justice. The worse part of the story is that the Hekmatyar group was already working for the KGB and had in fact co-operated with the Soviet troops in persecution and subsequent defeat of other resistance factions.

Hekmatyar is also termed in the report as a commander who killed more Mujahideen than Soviet Afghan soldiers. The report recalls a curious incident where the ISI had to lose its two top agents in order to protest Hekmatyar and his KGB network from being exposed to the media. In the spring of 1985, a senior resistance commander's source in the Soviet intelligence network agreed to disclose the Hekmatyar dossier in Moscow in the return for the safe passage for his family. As the CIA prepared itself the task, the whole network was betrayed to the Soviets after a call for a top-level meeting by resistance commanders was intercepted by Hekmatyar.

Within twenty-four hours, a Soviet special flight IL-63M plane was arranged which flew the source to Tashkent never to be heard of again. The aftermath indicated the Hekmatyar was afraid that the credible source would expose his true identity. For the ISI, recognizing the gravity of the betrayal meant doubting the reliability of Hekmatyar and the self-serving empire built around his myth. Therefore, the ISI decided to suppress the incident eve though two of its won/operatives were amongst those arrested and transferred to Tashkent.

Hekmatyar's meteoric rise came after his expulsion from the Kabul Military Academy. Till then, he was a staunch communist and later infiltrated into Muslim fundamentalist groups on the behest of the KGB and Khad. He arranged his first professional assassination of a Maoist communist leader in Kabul in 1972 and then entered the Muslim Brotherhood as the older leadership began to be killed under mysterious circumstances.

The KGB-Hekmatyar co-operation could be judged from the fact that the resistance commanders in the Maidan area were afraid to ambush Soviet envy's for fear of reprisal from Hezb-e-Islami. Hekmatyar also managed to destroy two ammunition depots and five weapons trucks stripping Jamaiat-e-Islami leader Ahmed Shah Massoud of weapons near the Pakistani border of Garan Chashma.

The ISI, the Task Force reports states, monitored the ambush of Tekhar province where senior Jamiat commanders were killed. Some of them were brutally tortured. The communication system and messages exchanged were on the same frequency range as that of the ISI. The tussle between Ahmed Shah Massoud and ISI reached the peak in 1988, when Massoud refused to surrender to ISI pressure. In return, his aid was completely cut off forcing him to buy weapons from the black market.

The assassination of Afghan liberal intellectual, Majrooh, was orchestrated by the Hezb-e-Islami in Peshawar where the Hezb hit-team included a SPETNAZ commando from the Soviet Union. The ISI briefed Hekmatyar and with KGB KHAD assistance, the gulf between Pashtuns and other nationalities widened, Today an average of 200 people are killed daily in Afghanistan in continued battles between ethnic and sectarian minorities.
Have I pointed out that Mr. Hekmatyar is well connected? And to those worrying about the 'horrific death toll in Iraq' may it be pointed out that in Afghanistan, in 1992, the daily death toll was 200 due to ethnic and sectarian violence? Just thought you would like to see what a REAL civil war gets you. But that is what happens when you are being an 'equal opportunity' Warlord and cooperating with everyone against their enemies in the hopes of killing them all off and being the last one standing. Tricky game, but has advantages if it works out.

Now, popping up to 1994 at Cooperative Research we get this little item, which is of interest:
The Boston Herald reports that an internal CIA report has concluded that the agency is “partially culpable” for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (see February 26, 1993) because it helped train and support some of the bombers. One source with knowledge of the report says, “It was determined that a significant amount of blowback appeared to have occurred.” A US intelligence source claims the CIA gave at least $1 billion to forces in Afghanistan connected to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. More than a half-dozen of the WTC bombers belonged to this faction, and some of the CIA money paid for their training. The source says, “By giving these people the funding that we did, a situation was created in which it could be safely argued that we bombed the World Trade Center.” Those connected to the bombing who went to Afghanistan include Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, Clement Rodney Hampton-el, Siddig Siddig Ali, Ahmed Ajaj, and Mahmud Abouhalima. [Boston Herald, 1/24/1994] Additionally, Ramzi Yousef trained in Afghanistan near the end of the Afghan war, and there are claims he was recruited by the CIA (see Late 1980s). “Intelligence sources say the CIA used the al-Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn—founded to support the Afghani rebels fighting Soviet occupation—to funnel aid to Hekmatyar, setting the stage for terrorists here to acquire the money, guns and training needed to later attack the Trade Center. CIA support also made it easier for alleged terrorist leaders to enter the country.” [Boston Herald, 1/24/1994]
Isn't this just peachy? Yes, those committed anti-Soviet fighters led by Hekmatyar who would switch sides to cooperate with the KGB, helped him to fund and train terrorists for the 1993 WTC Bombing. Do remember, that the 1993 WTC Bombing was, apparently, a cooperative effort by multiple terrorist organizations and with some support from Iraq for getting things like passports and such. The full testimony on 07 OCT 1994 can be found at this link with Globalsecurity.

Any problems between al Qaeda and Hezb-i-Islami needs to be something pretty bad given that Hekmatyar and bin Laden *both* matriculated from the Muslim Brotherhood and would have a large degree of common contacts and support via that. The Jamestown Foundation has an article giving an overview of Hekmatyar's life and that he may now be trying to get into the Afghani government (dated 27 JAN 2005), which would be a major break with bin Laden. And, even worse to al Qaeda eyes, is the involvement of Hezb-e-Islami in the narcotics trade to support themselves, as seen at US News & World Report in an article on 27 NOV 2005 citing the strong involvement of Hekmatyar with the heroin trade, which is something that al Qaeda wants no part of. So while a radical Islamist, Hekmatyar is just of a slightly different stripe than that of bin Laden and al Qaeda. And as Western history can attest, the tiniest of religious differences can fester until they become the main problem in a relationship between two sects that have high degrees of similarity.

From all of this, however, we can see that Gulbudden Hekmatyar has multiple sources of income distributed across Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Kashmir region. Further, al Qaeda, itself, has distributed income sources as identified by The National Bureau of Asian Research with this paper (in pdf) on Funding Terrorism in Southeast Asia: The Financial Network ofAl Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah by Zachary Abuza (DEC 2003). From that we can get a look at the affiliate structure of al Qaeda and how those affiliates assume responsibility for self-funding while al Qaeda uses its wider ranging contacts for its own funding (pp. 7-9):

Al Qaeda’s financial network is very sophisticated and complex, and dates back to the late-1980s. Osama bin Laden set out to establish an organization that would be self-sustaining over time; in part self-reliant, but in part reliant on the ummah—the Muslim community. Beneath bin Laden and his senior lieutenants is the shura majlis, the consultative council. Four specialized committees, military, religious-legal, finance, and media, report to bin Laden and the shura majlis. The finance shura was traditionally the largest of the four, with about 20 members. As Rohan Gunaratna notes, “Al Qaeda’s finance and business committee—comprising professional bankers, accountants, and financiers—manages the group’s funds across four continents.” A Council on Foreign Relations task force notes that:
"Al Qaeda’s financial backbone is built from the foundation of charities, non-governmental organizations, mosques, websites, fund-raisers, intermediaries, facilitators, and banks and other financial institutions that helped finance the mujiheddin throughout the 1980s. This network extended to all corners of the Muslim world."

“The goal of counter-terrorism,” according to Mathew Levitt, “should be to constrict the environment in which terrorists operate,” including “their logistical and financial support networks,” which “denies terrorists the means to travel, communicate, procure equipment and conduct attacks.” This is arguably the most difficult part in the war on terrorism, as terrorist organizations use myriad ways to fund their operations, both legal and illegal, overt and covert, some with paper trails, and some without. It has also never been a priority for law enforcement or counter-terrorism officials. Terrorist financing was always seen as ancillary to counterterrorist operations, but never a priority in its own right.

How does Al Qaeda fund its operations in Southeast Asia? How does its regional affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah support itself? While Jemaah Islamiyah and Al Qaeda are linked, through some joint membership, financial support, and expertise, Jemaah Islamiyah has its own agenda and is not subordinate to Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda does not control JI operations, although it has provided financial support and expertise to JI. Malaysian intelligence officials believe that Hambali, the head of JI’s operations and a member of Al Qaeda’s shura, had approximately $500,000 in assets at his disposal for use in operations. A senior Al Qaeda operations chief, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who himself had considerable experience in Southeast Asia, was known to be impressed with Hambali’s financial management. According to Mohammed’s interrogation report, Hambali and JI, “Unlike Gulf Arabs, were poor, and therefore take great care in how they spend money for operations.”

JI has wisely and effectively diversified its sources of revenue; relying on no single mechanism. There are eight primary sources of income, both internal and external, though most funds come from external sources. As Ali Ghufron (Mukhlas), the leader of the cell that perpetrated the Bali bombings, said, “Hambali is not known to have any big [local] funding sources.” To that end, Indonesian investigators unequivocally stated that “Jemaah Islamiyah’s jihad operations were funded by Al Qaeda.” The primary sources of funding include:

• Cash brought into the country on person;
• Funds skimmed from Islamic charities;
• Corporate entities
(some legitimate business, others front companies for terrorist activities);
• Proceeds from hawala (underground banking) shops;
• Gold and gem smuggling;
• Contributions (zakat and infaq) from JI’s own members and outside supporters;
• Al Qaeda investments and accounts already established in the region, especially in the
Islamic banking system; and
• Proceeds from petty crime, racketeering, extortion, gun-running, and kidnapping.
Al Qaeda, while it does have inroads to State sponsors, does not overly rely upon them and has worked to distribute its income capabilities so that no single strike or set of strikes, even on a global scale, can seriously impact its cash flow base. The Taliban, however, is more highly dependent upon such support and may be feeling a pinch in funds and trying to tap al Qaeda for same. And if Hekmatyar is trying to get in with the new government, he would be unwilling to fund al Qaeda if those funds go to help the Taliban - that indirect support would be traced back to him and ruin chances to get any sort of clemency or inroads to the new government. That is very speculative, but then that is the case with Transnational Terrorism no matter how you deal with it.

Funding does not appear to be an issue with groups like al Qaeda, Hezb-i-Islami or Jemaah Islamiyah as they have worked to get low level, continuous and sustainable sources either through local contacts, like smuggling of heroin, gold and such, criminal work such as kidnap for ransom, and via religious contributions and donations. To clear up that latter one must get the religious institutions and charities to end their funding or put them out of business entirely.

Ray Robison then looks at the Anbar Awakening phenomena and what it is doing:
In the last few months independent war reporting from Iraq has discussed the "anbar awakening." The term refers to the move by Sunni tribal chieftains in the al Anbar province to reassert power by fighting al Qaeda, allying with the Coalition and somewhat with Iraqi government forces. Even the mainstream media has begun to catch up and has reported the new development.

Recent reporting from Pakistan shows a similar but not so friendly development. There is little question that the new power broker of the Taliban, Maulvi Nazir is outwardly anti-U.S. and pro-al Qaeda. Yet at the same time he has adopted a "not in my backyard" stance as his Pashtun forces have killed and run off "Uzbeks" a colloquialism for al Qaeda used to refer to Arab and other foreign fighters (Pashtun and Uzbek ancient rivalries contribute to this designation). It is the age old story of infighting for power but this time it benefits the U.S. by reducing al Qaeda support and capabilities. The Sydney Morning Herald, in a fascinating series of interviews with different elements involved in the saga, quotes a Pakistani Governor about the treatment of "foreigners" - Arab jihadists:
"Virtually all of the tribes are ready to fight the militants. Yesterday the southern tribes held a jurga [council] and decided that any foreigner was to be shot dead and any tribesman supporting the foreigners would be banished from the area or killed too. They have declared jihad and their plan is to annihilate any of the foreigners who refuse to leave."
As a matter of fact, this sounds a lot like what is happening in Iraq. While this certainly does not make the Taliban leader a friend, it is much better to have the enemies killing each other off. It provides solid evidence that al Qaeda is losing a foothold in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The earlier reporting from the region predicted bin Laden might leave the region and now we might have a better idea why.
One of the things I noted last year starting in AUG 2006 or so was that the various weapon's caches found in Iraq had literal tons of guns, explosives and ammunition but no one to guard them. The Riverine Campaign that ended in Tal Afar started to rip up the transportation capabilities of insurgent groups and start the job of isolating them by region. Groups could often get truckloads of supplies in, but getting the people necessary to actually use them was becoming difficult. This 17 AUG 2006 post looks at a couple of weeks of MNF-I reports and in the summation this point sticks out:
4) The entire insurgency is turning into a high-cost, low personnel affair. When you have lots of extra weapons, often 2:1 or 3:1 per individuals captured, and so much damn ammo, what you are seeing is pre-preparation in *hopes* of doing something to get lots more recruits. If any of these groups could get a major foothold in Iraq to do *that* the Nation *would* descend into chaos. And this is at a time when the new Iraqi Army has *proven* itself capable of independent operations and is capable of handling tricky situations on their own. That said that is only their battle-tested groups. Green troops probably are getting rotated through Baghdad and a couple of other hot spots and then rotated *out* to the provinces they control for more normal patrol duties. But with their skill, they are now catching the individuals that are acting like insurgents. After first-hand experience they are seeing things that untrained troops would overlook.
Note that the amount of extra equipment, weapons, ammo and such, goes beyond backups for *everyone* but goes deeper than that to tertiary and more. Equipment is easy to get and put in place, but people who can utilize them are harder to come by. This was a major turning point in sapping the al Qaeda part of the insurgency and its Ba'athist attendants, who may or may not have been using stored funds to keep the supplies coming from Syria. One of the things that any manager learns when scoping out work to be done, be it ditch digging or putting together a robust database or opening a restaurant is this: Equipment is *cheap*, People are *expensive*.

The cost overhead of maintaining a staff are immense: finding them, interviewing them, training them, ensuring they understand the work rules, enforcing said rules, getting productive labor from them, ensuring that they are not doing something to ruin the business or work environment, ensuring that access to food and necessary facilities is provided... The list is endless and all of it is overhead and continuing expense to keep a workforce going. All terrorist operations must face a pared down version of this, but even the average 'walk in and blow yourself to bits' suicide bomber needs to be: found, recruited, trained in the basics of operation, trained in enough COINT work so as not to be caught, taught the basics of security for themselves and the organization and the operation, making sure that the bomber will actually *get* to where they are needed, feeding, care until last day, transportation, entertainment, etc., etc. Those are all non-recoverable costs sunk *in* to someone who will die and the time, money and effort to get those very basic things done cost the organization. Also, as effective personnel are used up, you get less effective newbies. And when skilled managers are lost, like in raids, bombings, etc. the cost to replace them with someone even approaching those skill levels is astronomical.

Buying guns, explosives, det. cord, ammo, cars, and so on is *easy* and fast.

Finding someone to guard them is slow and expensive.

Only at the very highest level of a Nation State does one begin to see anywhere near parity in cost, say with Nuclear Aircraft Carriers with all of their equipment. And that is because the sunk cost of capital is, in and of itself, extraordinary and requires a high and continuous investment in personnel and maintenance to keep it operational. At the very low end, the human costs start to rapidly exceed the cost of equipment value, and 'terrorism on the cheap' is possible only once some of the training and such can be automated or skillfully reduced to its essentials for expendable operatives. For the non-expendable ones, the cost rapidly increases over time so that their skill sets may advance with their position and allow them to become more capable at their work. One of the wonderful ideas from warfare is trying your best to not kill an incompetent general on the other side: he is of more value to you alive and operating poorly with the enemy than he is dead and a somewhat more skilled replacement taking his place. Skilled managers are the main target of counter-terrorism work - you want to get them out of the scene and have someone less skilled and able replace them.

In Anbar and, increasingly, Diyala, and now it appears in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the local tribes have had enough of having their traditional power structure threatened or killed. Especially in Afghanistan that has an ancient warrior custom, the concept of protecting skilled leaders because they have such a high value to the organization because of their skill is paramount. Any outside organization or group that threatens that is then threatening the social cohesion of the tribe, clan or family involved. I go over that sort of background in my Creating an Army document, and it is vital to understand how that tribal culture *undermines* authoritarian Arab Armies. Norvell B. De Atkine goes through that in Why Arab Armies Lose Wars, and it is vital to understand the social structure underlying that outlooks: it is used as a factional basis to pit tribes against each other but not endanger the power structure. By doing so Arab regimes can remain in power by constantly 'stirring the pot' of ethnic, religious, tribal and familial differences so as to prevent any ability to counter the regime. What it does NOT do is make an effective Army, however.

Contrarily, when the social structure of tribalism is upheld by larger government and encouraged, there comes commitment to that government for greater protection against rival tribes and, finally, against outsiders. This is something Afghanistan has had for ages as it is so remote, but this is something that in Iraq has yet to be fully formed. The strength of the Afghan warrior ethos is based upon strong tribal adherance and respect of those tribes by higher government. That is why Communism and the Taliban could only rule by force: they did not respect that basis of social autonomy and so were a threat to it. That authoritarian view at that lowest basis has been in operation for similar ages, but in the Middle East it is used for factional division and in-fighting and is pervasive across the Middle East in nearly every single government there, save Israel. Even Nations that have strong ethnic identities have similar problems with that sub-ethnic stress of tribe and family pulling away from an authoritarian National structure that sees that as a threat.

In my Building the mosaic of Iraq article I look at that via all of the reporting going on from Iraq that is dispersed, diverse and independently funded. Yes, these are bloggers 'paying their own way' and they have offered the most incisive view of Iraqi culture and problems that has ever been done for any similar situation. You cannot get ethnographers, sociologists and anthropologists that can give such good first hand reporting and documentation without turning it into a jargon-based festival of dense linguistic spaghetti. That basic sort of reporting offers us insight by giving the actual folks on the ground their direct say with *no* interpretation by journalists and editorial boards and censors and such. One of the most shocking things to hear was from Bill Ardolino of INDC Journal in this entry, on Fallujah. The town is not only insular, and has been for as long as anyone can remember, but beyond that the very first thing that people wanted rebuilt is highly telling of what has happened to them. It is not the water mains, sewers, electrical grid, streets repaired, schools refurbished, police stations opened up... not even getting shops going.

No they wanted the walls on their family compounds repaired.

I cannot imagine a society that has been so degraded by generations of fighting as to see that as the most basic form of security: the walls around the family compound. There is very little in Western tradition that has ever gotten that bad over time as to require that, although the modern 'gated communities' come pretty close to it. But even those are not actual barriers between families. That is not just 'bunker mentality' nor 'siege mentality'. That is 'the world is out to kill us and we will go down fighting' mentality. I dare say that no one in the Dept of State or CIA or even in DoD prior to getting to Fallujah even had something like that in their mental space for how bad a society can *get*. In Fallujah the Iraqi Army was trusted *more*, even with them being mostly Shia, than anyone the next town over. Yes, absolute strangers with a different religious background and unassociated with anything local could gain more trust by just trying to work with people there than their very own neighbors!

So the Anbar Awakening concept is one that has government backing and is now, from what I have read, heading towards its own autonomous political organization that has this strange idea that technocrats are needed to run things and keep the damned religion out of it. Yes, secular government so that religious minorities will not be oppressed! Damned funny how that crops up from time to time in human history.

And when the provincial elections happen in Iraq, a number of provinces will have starkly different ruling organizations than that of the National Parties. And as the provinces will be getting their equal share, via population, of the oil profits, they will have significant power. There is a word for this, when local governments can wield power for their more regional areas and do it better than National government: Federalism. Strange how that crops up, too. Bill Roggio has been doing excellent work on the Iraq Rising parties in Anbar, Diyala, Salahadin and Babil. Here is a bit from Anbar Rising on 11 MAY 2007:
Col Koenig expects the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Anbar Awakening will be rival political parties. But while the rhetoric between the rival parties may be heated at times, the differences have not led to political violence. The two parties are well aware of the dangers of infighting, and are cooperating in the security sphere.

"We don't want to be like the Palestinians," Col Koenig said is a common refrain among member of both parties, in reference to the fighting between the rival Fatah and Hamas groups in Gaza and the West Bank. "[The Awakening and Iraqi Islamic Party] are like two feuding brothers who ultimately want what's best for their family, and unite against outside attacks," referring to fighting al Qaeda.

A provincial meeting

The first full provincial council meeting was held on May 3. Of the 49 members on council, 40 were in attendance for the 8 hour meeting. The majority of the provincial council is made up of technocrats - lawyers, judges, engineers and educators. Most are aligned with the Iraqi Islamic Party, however an American military intelligence source informed us eight members on the council affiliated with the Iraqi Islamic Party have defected to Sattar's Awakening party. Tribal sheikhs are also on the council, and the Anbar Awakening has been allotted eight seats.

Last week's provincial council, which Sheikh Sattar attended, is viewed as a great success. "Up until one month ago, the focus of government meetings was on security and fighting al Qaeda in Iraq and extremists," said Col Koenig. "Now the council is entering a transition phase, from fighting to governing." The security situation was considered stable enough in most of Anbar the focus of the May 3 meeting was on governance and reconstruction.

As security situation is improving, representative have left hiding or self imposed exile, and are now claiming government funding and performing their functions as government employees. The economic situation is "picking up speed like a flywheel gaining momentum... as security improves," said Col Koenig.
Local autonomy that is at odds with religious parties is taking rood in Iraq and working hard to kill off insurgents and convince neighbors that they have to stop supporting them. That is the Patreaus strategy to get things calm enoug so that other, infamous, 80% can START.

Unfortunately this, from the point of view of purely local organizations, is not something I would call a 'strategy' with a pointed aim to actually get the tribes fighting against al Qaeda.

What it *is* an outgrowth of is that of the Citizen Soldiers of the United States sharing their views on what makes democracy work and why federalism is a good thing for a Nation. It is also that strange view that all people are created equal and should have the right to associate with each other as they like without harming other groups within society. That is an outgrowth of this lovely idea of religious tolerance. It was started in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. What is seen in Anbar, Diyala and Afghanistan is the outlook towards local autonomy through localized democracy, even if it IS through traditional clan arrangements: who are we to say that our version in the United States fits all conditions at all times for all peoples?

That thing being offered is a perspective and outlook upon individuals, what it means to partake in society and why it is important to have a government that *protects* those things. That tends to come and go in Afghanistan, but the local democratic version of councils and such have been around for generations. The Taliban and preceding civil war and Soviet occupation was an interruption of that, not an ending of it. In Iraq they have had very little long term experience with localized self-rule that was *not* dictated by a government. In just a handful of years they are making a jump from tyrannized tribes being played against each other to coalescing into localized self-rule and government. In some places like Fallujah this may be the first time in living memory that has happened, and, if the written accounts are correct, this may be the first time *ever* there.

It is this thing known as 'enlightened self-interest' and 'local government being respected' that is the threat to authoritarian concepts around the world, be they Communist, Fascist or Islamic. The self-autonomous Nation State that affords religious freedom within its borders and rules itself with any sort of reciprocity internally to its People is something that is known as the advance of liberty and freedom. And there is *always* a high price to pay to create that and sustain it.

That Tree of Liberty is, indeed, sustained by the blood of tyrants and patriots.

I can't really call it an obvious strategy... but it has been going on since 1776. It doesn't always succeed the first time and its enemies are legion. And fighting against those enemies is the job of the folks at that 5-sided building in Arlington. And whenever our Citizen Soldiers arrive someplace they do not forget their Citizenship and what it takes to safeguard it. That is why this comes from there, although it is representative of America, only our Citizen Soldiers can carry that light with them to other lands.

It is too bad our political class no longer sustains that light of liberty wherever we go.

Liberty will end because of that if not addressed, and our own will be the hardest hit.

"Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission."
- Andrew Jackson

[08 JUN 2007] Just a quick post-script - Do notice that I do not see any high level friction between al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood. From that the problems are not systemic nor endemic for al Qaeda, but very localized. Problems with a key contact and his organization in Pakistan and definite problems with sustainment of operations in Anbar and tough going in the other Awakening Provinces. Those problems, especially in Iraq, may prove to me a bit too much to overcome, and the movement to use new recruits in Lebanon is actually a *good* sign that al Qaeda is realizing that Iraq is eating up their seed-funds and organization multiple times and demonstrates no weakness to it. I don't think the expected the Lebanese Army to go after their new organization structure in Lebanon, either.

So there is long-range structural weakness in al Qaeda by lack of having good middle management and even upper management. The question is where will they shift training operations to? My guess is they are trying Sudan and a few other areas. They are, however, finding their strong-arm tactics are winning enemies, quickly. I would not be surprised to see a reversion to Chechnya, Bosnia, Algeria and, perhaps, even Latin America to get those areas out of the 'recruitment for operations' and into the 'recruitment for running al Qaeda'. And that does need to be watched for... and somehow a wedge driven between al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to end a stream of interim managers. That isn't happening, to-date, and is buying vital time for al Qaeda to re-organize.

29 May 2007

An Intemperate Immigration Policy

The following is draconian in the extreme, but gets the point across. Do excuse any offense given, but I love my Nation first and we must have the right to HAVE a Nation unhindered by others before any other right can be upheld. Such was put forth by Jefferson and Franklin and the signers of the Declaration. Such is put forth by our Constitution as a statement of what We the People are to do so as to have a Nation. I will have no business, municipality or foreign individual set the Immigration Policy of this Nation, for that is what is happening and I do not like it in the extreme.

Thus my apologies for intemperate view. But I take offense at what is being done to this Nation we hold as a People, together.

As given in the US Constitution, the People of the United States have granted to Congress the following powers: Article I, Section 8 (in part):

"To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

"To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;"

"To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
Section 9 (in part):
"The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."
The States may not utilize such powers, especially those granted in: Article I, Section 10 (in part):
"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."
To Execute these powers the President is granted power to do so in: Article II, Section 3 (in part):
"; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States."
The Judicial is granted power of sole oversight and adjudication in: Article III, Section 2 (in part):
";--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects."

"In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
As all companies, corporations, organizations or other groups duly operating in the United States by grant of Law falls into all of these restrictions, including all subsidiaries of foreign companies, corporations or other groups, all such must operate under these Powers granted by the People to the Congress. All US Citizens, Nationals and those who have entered the United States by those Laws set by Congress are also bound by the US Constitution within the United States without exception.

Any corporation, group, organization or individual that passes any bill, law, contract, agreement or in any way sets to not abide by the Laws of the Land are found to be breaking the covenant between the People and their government and the powers they have assigned to it.

From the date of this passage, all corporations, groups, organizations or individuals that have passed bills, laws, contracts, agreements or is in any way not abiding by these Laws put forth by Congress, administered by the Executive and overseen by the Federal Courts, shall be found to be operating outside the confines of the agreement of the United States Constitution.

Part I
All businesses, corporations, organizations, or other duly constituted group within the confines of the United States found guilty within these statutes covering these powers, of knowingly and willfully breaking with them by their actions, and in non-adherence with these Laws in any event, shall have those things closed and sold at auction and all intellectual property made over to the Public Domain. Such sales shall pay off all debts of those organizations with any excess going to the National Treasury. Any parent group is disbarred from said auctions. If parent company is found to be in violation, and subsidiaries are not, then they are considered to be new entities under these provisions, but are disbarred from participating in said auctions.

There are no exceptions for religious institutions of any sort for any reason as this Law addresses adherence to the US Constitution and sets forth no religion before any other in this regard.

All individuals found guilty within these statutes covering these powers, who have knowingly and willfully broken such Laws, shall suffer penalty of a minimum of 10 years imprisonment and shall not exceed 25 years per each count.

Part II
Any and all municipalities, counties, cities, towns, or States found in violation of these statues covering these powers is declared in secession from the Union. All Federal aid, oversight and help will be immediately discontinued. Such governments that sponsor such shall be abolished and temporary military government installed.

Those found to have voted for passage of such things found in violation of the United States Constitution shall be imprisoned for life without possibility of parole if they give themselves up willingly and in a peaceful manner. Those that do not willingly give themselves up shall be tried for Treason.

Citizens within such areas are to swear Oath to the United States Constitution and agree to that in writing. Such Citizens will be subject to loss of their franchise rights for life. Minors are granted their franchise upon reaching Majority.

Part III
All individuals from foreign Nations who have entered the United States illegally or who have overstayed their visas or who have otherwise sought refuge without consent of the government of the United States have two weeks to leave. Those that are in poverty may petition to be given one-way tickets to their Nation of Citizenship up to two weeks from passage of this bill.

Thereafter, those still found to be in the United States, save those suffering dire health needs or incapacity, when found shall be tried and sentenced according to the Laws of the United States as set forth by Congress. All fines and prison sentences for any and all crimes committed within the United States are tripled. After such trial and detainment such individuals will be deported.

Those that are too ill or incapacitated to move shall be cared for until they can be transported, or other means found to take them to their Nation of Citizenship. All costs for such care will be billed to that Nation, if the US has regular relations with it.

For those Nations that the US has branded as "Rogue", "Outlaw" or "working with Terrorists", such individuals may apply for asylum. After thorough background check, not to exceed two years in length, and with no problems to their record, they are to be granted 'landed immigrant' status.

Part IV
To be born a Citizen of the United States a child must have at least one parent who is a Citizen of the United States.

Part V
NORTHCOM is to be given full control over border security and integrate that set of security controls with the Borders Services. The Border Services, ICE and other organizations will only need to track down anyone in the Nation illegally and serve at the ports of entry to the United States which shall be the ONLY designated entry points for the Nation. NORTHCOM will ensure that the borders are fully and finally secured for all land based approaches and for sea/air space via the High Seas regulation power granted to Congress.

Additionally a zone of lethal force is included for securing such border areas, and any Citizen who has property that is impacted by such shall be paid full value for their land. This zone shall be 100 feet in depth starting from the border at minimum and a maximum of 300 feet in rugged terrain or other offset to otherwise cover such terrain in unpopulated areas. This zone fully covers the border from sub-surface to the edge of the atmosphere and is within the control of NORTHCOM.

All Civilian transport needing to pass this zone shall do so through approved methods worked out with the Dept. of Transportation and NORTHCOM.

Any water needs shall be identified at the *start* of the project and pumping and sanitation ability integrated with the border protections.

Thus ends the proposal.

Notice that it singles out NO nationality, race, ethnic group and is blind towards religious affiliation.

Notice that this uses the actual powers granted from We the People to the Federal Government.

As Congress has the power and responsibility to fund such things, and in that World War II saw 50% of GDP devoted to creation of war material, it is expected that is something of an immediate upper limit on funding needs and that, in actuality, something much smaller can be done. I place a permanent border security set-up at around $5 billion, or the cost of the superstructure of a nuclear aircraft carrier *before* it is outfitted and finished. Concrete and steel rebar is *cheap* and so are sensors and they offer a combined effectiveness that allows for remote observation with a lessened need for physical patrols. Throw in some close-in weapon's systems for active interdiction and you get something that really does give folks a second thought about crossing the border. Even at $50 billion it would be a good 10 year project... and cost far less than trying to save the sinking City of New Orleans.

After 21 years of doing nothing, then saying that nothing has been done and using *that* as an excuse for the absolute incompetence of ALL INVOLVED since 1986 and is reprehensible as it puts forth that Congress does not value its job, protecting the Nation or actually honoring its committments to We the People. As a Nation we actually have no idea of what WILL WORK as NOTHING has been proposed nor tried by Congress.

Those proposing that NOTHING WILL WORK must demonstrate exactly all the things that have been tried and then either find a way forward to something that works OR to then put forth that the United States is not only undefendable but not worth defending. Right now, compared to 'entitlements', a miniscule portion of the budget is given to actually securing the Nation. "Open Borders" means we have NO National identity worth having and that we then expose ourselves to every thug, terrorist and bureaucrat to harass us, remove our rights or just plain kill us as individuals if we speak up against things that go wrong in the Nation. If you really *want* a borderless world, then why don't you start at some of the really horrific areas that could benefit from an influx of freedom? North Korea would be a prime place. Iran is in need of that. Venezuela looks to be in need, too. As does Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Somalia, Vietnam... you might get killed going to those places and supporting such things.

Or just get arrested and thrown in jail.

Like in Mexico.

Perhaps if the rest of the world was freer, then proposing for a Free People to put their freedom and liberty to make a good life at risk might gain some traction. But the rest of this sorry planet's so-called sentient population doesn't seem to be up to that task. A bit of education might help them. Perhaps, instead of protesting *for* open borders those wanting such could head to these other Nations and *teach* them the basics of freedom and liberty, instead? That would help your fellow man quite some bit.

And the Nation, come to think of it.

Until that lovely future time when all of mankind is Free with personal Liberty to prosper and invest the fruits of their labors as they see fit, this Nation will need to safeguard ITS Liberties and Freedoms. And abide by the Laws we hold in Common so as to *have* a Nation. And if you don't like that and propose that this Nation is in some way so incredibly horrid that it is not worth having, may I point you to those other Nations I mentioned and ask you what would happen if you tried to espouse such things in those places?

And then answer: why do you want to give THEM free entry to destroy the Liberty and Freedoms we currently have?

For that is *exactly* what those proposing "open borders" seek.

26 May 2007

The People are Alienated, not the illegals

My thanks to Powerline for pointing out this screed by Michael Gerson on "Letting Fear Rule".

The arguments that Michael Gerson puts up tries to tie legal immigration with illegal immigration and paint with a wide brush on that basis so as to demean and slander those who wish to see the Laws of the Land actually *enforced*. To this modern era the wrong-headed view that 'everything is political' is absolute garbage: the Nation puts government in place so as to secure the liberty and freedoms of the People so that we may have the widest possible view on all issues INCLUDING the non-political views. To assault the common ground of society and fence it off in totality TO politics is a repudiation of the foundations of representative democracy and the ability of the common man to lead a good life secure that the laws held in common are upheld for the safety of individuals and society.

That is NOT a racial nor cultural positing of the question of illegal immigration: it is upholding the powers granted to Congress by the People so as to secure this Nation State we call the United States of America.

It is a NATIONALIST argument in FAVOR of the Laws of the Land being upheld via the Constitutional mandates put upon said government by the People. It does not matter the color nor beliefs of the Nation that has this system as it is the system which allows the People to have representative government that reflects their wishes and to have knowledge that such powers are granted to uphold laws passed that reflect those wishes.

Perhaps Mr. Gerson has never heard of Nationalism?

How about the US Constitution?

The power directly granted TO Congress to cover this are straightforward and clear in Article I, Section 8, of which I shall highlight those things that Congress is currently ignoring much to the woe of the Nation:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Is Mr. Gerson familiar with this part of the US Constitution?

To reinforce that, the very first part of Section 9 then reinforces it:
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
Has he ever bothered to read the Constitution which makes the ever-so-precious political parties POSSIBLE? Do we see that Congress is given the power and responsibility to actually regulate immigration and to secure the Nation via its powers to the point of calling out the militia to protect it? Is this unfamiliar ground for a Republican? To not acknowledge the foundation of liberty and freedom in the United States that rests upon the Congress for domestic affairs points to something seriously lacking in the debate about what to do with illegal immigrants.

We the People handed awesome powers to Congress to defend the Nation, secure its borders, call out the militia and put us deeply into debt after collection of monies when We the People fell short on available funds. These are not puny powers.

These are powers now backed by the mightiest economy on the planet that makes the next few of them, together, seem small in comparison. When Congress says that something is *impossible* to do given those magnificent resources that We the People put at its disposal, all the way to long term debt above and beyond what can be put forward by the People, it is expected that the Nation is at an end. I wrote about that in humorous fashion previously, but the point is absolutely and deadly serious:
The exact same all-encompassing powers used by the Federal Government in World War II to devote 50% of the economy to war production and to collect War Bonds so as to build *more* and owe debt to the People, are the exact same powers Congress wields for each and every one of its responsibilities.
By trying to cast this into a racial, sociological, demographic or political arena, Mr. Gerson is saying that the Nation State of the United States has no legitimate means to back up its National Laws enacted by Congress and that We the People should just *take it*.

It is pure and outright slander upon the People to call the upholding of the Federal Laws, duly made and enacted via the Constitution, upheld by the Supreme Court and fully backed by the faith of the American People to properly do those things We deem necessary to do to be: racist, politically oriented, cultural or any other thing.

If you do not like the way We the People have spoken, and wish to destroy the Nation by undermining its Laws held in common and to hold NO accountability to them then you, Mr. Gerson, are making an argument *against* the Nation for those exact same reasons and NOT on behalf of upholding the Laws of the Land. To date Congress has not bothered to properly fund the Federal Forces to Protect the Nation and back them with the full faith and power of the American People, and you, Mr. Gerson, are saying that those proposing such are RACIST?

The Nation does not close its doors to those who apply for Legal Entry into the United States, although there are requirements placed upon those individuals so as to ensure that the Nation is not undermined by them. Even back in the heady days of the open-immigration era, before 1920, there was a mandatory QUARANTINE against infectious diseases. Perhaps Mr. Gerson is unfamiliar with a place called Ellis Island? And while not many were turned back, some few WERE as was dictated by the Laws established by Congress.

Does that ring a bell?

When I see Congress after Congress doing *nothing* about this situation and then, 21 years after swearing that Congress would, indeed, figure this out and Uphold the Laws of the Land we now hear that they can't DO SO?

When Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 26 talked of Congressional conspiracy to continue on armies in perpetuity, that basic outlook fits with ANYTHING multiple Congresses does to weaken or undermine the republic, and I will break out each sentence so as to spell it out for Mr. Gerson:
"Is it probable that it would be persevered in, and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body, which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses?"
It appears that the biennial system has produced a continuing laxity in Congress to actually perform their duties handed to them by the People to which each member swears an Oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. I do not have to imagine that - it is evident from the actual Congressional Record.
"Is it presumable that every man the instant he took his seat in the national Senate or House of Representatives would commence a traitor to his constituents and to his country?"
It seems that the moment an individual steps up to their elected office 'everything becomes political' although their seat is devoted to the United States first and above all. We have documented evidence by the FBI on one Congressman in 1980 stating that basic point of view and that is how he sees the normal course of business in Congress and he expects to benefit from it for at least 20 more years. I do not have to presume such corruption is rampant as Congress no longer funds that sort of investigation and the FBI has been 'brought to heel' by Congress on that issue. It is not seen as it is uninvestigated at the behest of Congress and by its power of the purse over that Agency.
"Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy, or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger?"
When such individuals who make a case for upholding the Constitution are immediately branded: racist, nativist, extremist, or just 'not acknowledging the imperative of demographics', then using mass media to impugn the character of those making purely National Security and National Law Enforcement arguments, then one does not have to wonder what happens to 'discerning individuals'. When the power of mass media is deployed by the political elites in Washington, DC to say that the voice of the People does not matter to them and that those putting forth for the upholding of the Laws of the Land should be derided and ridiculed, then even BOLDNESS and HONESTY OF APPRAISAL falters as it is delegitimized before the argument can even be MADE. And I can trot out hundreds of newspaper articles and the speeches of politicians and demagogues to demonstrate that if you wish, Mr. Gerson, although I would appreciate keeping some of my last few meals down because of the disgusting nature of those opinions. Although an organization like La Raza, which I will not link to, ought to make that clear - 'The Race'. They are on YOUR SIDE, Mr. Gerson.
"If such presumptions can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority."
Alexander Hamilton calls for this and I, at this point given the nature of the debate about warfare and immigration, do agree, wholeheartedly. The nature of democracy is being so distanced from the People of the United States and the power so collected to a few individuals in Washington that the entire concept of Federalism is being destroyed. To safeguard democracy and hold Federal Government accountable, withdrawing the State's Representatives and Senators is something I would encourage each State to do as NONE of them are being protected by this Government.
"The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person."
The argument that Mr. Gerson is making along with all other grandstanding sycophants of Washington and the demagogues of race *against* the American People who are diverse in background and character, is one to remove the legitimacy of democratically elected representation to a republic and change the basis for the United States to one devoted to the separation of the races, separation of the peoples, separation of the laws between peoples and to unequally uphold the laws and instigate absolute favoritism AGAINST the very process outlined in the US Constitution. And I stand by another of the Founders who had this to say about human liberty and government:
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world."
Yes, Thomas Jefferson and some editing by Benjamin Franklin.

Apparently the Founders of the United States believed in democracy as the best way to ensure that happiness and safety for the People was secured. So did Alexander Hamilton and many another that went through the Revolution, designed and argued about the Constitution and then ensured that the basic freedoms were ensconced in the Bill of Rights for the Citizenry. The word for a Congress that will not uphold its powers, not reflect the Will of the People, not steadfastly stand by commitment to War when Congress so allows, will not back the fighting forces of the Nation, will not fund the enforcement of the Laws of the Land, will not protect the borders against invasion by ANYONE, and will then move to deride and denigrate the population of the United States is:


Is that clear?

23 May 2007

What is the bedrock of the Republic?

Over time one of the fascinating ideas that arises time and again is that of 'what is the foundation of the United States?' Normally it is put forward by an individual or group from a religious community or part thereof and an assertion that the government rests on the outlook of same at basis. Reading through some of the Revolution-Constitution era articles a theme starts to come across of just what the People looked to found the Nation upon. Thus some selected readings from them and my thanks to Teaching American History for collecting same together!

From Luther Martin's Objections to the Constitution, 27 JUN 1787:

"The first principle of government is founded on the natural right of individuals, and in perfect equality. Locke, Vattel, Lord Somers, and Dr. Priestly all confirm this principle. This principle of equality, when applied to individuals, is lost in some degree, when he becomes a member of a society, to which it is transferred; and this society, by the name of state or kingdom, is, with respect to others, again on a perfect footing of equality: a right to govern themselves as they please. Nor can any other state, of right, deprive them of this equality. If such a state confederates, it is intended for the good of the whole; and if it again confederates, those rights must be well guarded. Nor can any state demand a surrender of any of those rights; if it can, equality is already destroyed. We must treat as free states with each other upon the same terms of equality that men originally formed themselves into societies. Vattel, Rutherford, and Locke are united in support of the position, that states, as to each other, are in a state of nature."
Here the principle of government of Locke and others with the basis of the natural rights of the individuals and those being equal. John Locke looked towards the natural rights of the individual and how things would work corresponding to those rights in economics and government, via the outlook on the theory of value and property, social contracts, price theory, accumulation of wealth and durable goods, and even consciousness of self and where that leads. Reading the Declaration of Independence and one sees the thoughts of Locke throughout the document and the attempt to state clearly how these theories apply to the actual world.

This view was used against the Constitution by Luther Martin, but the concept of Sovereign State to ensure individual rights is part of that outlook. No matter what the form of government it must ensure the free play of such rights and not infringe upon them to the deletirious effect of the individual.

Nicholas Collin writing A Foreign Spectator I on 6 AUG 1787 has this concluding paragraph:
"By various excellent improvements in the public education, the institution of political societies throughout the continent, much may be done. We must however not form a Utopian scheme of making every citizen an enlightened patriot. God has not granted such perfection to human nature in the present state; but ordered the wise and good to direct their weaker brethren, and to chastise refractory members of society. Far be it from me, to recommend passive obedience, or too mechanical habits of discipline: I would rather have the people turbulent than servile. But if men submit to the fidelity and better knowledge of others in their greatest concerns—if they trust their lives in the hands of a physician—if they commit themselves, their families, and properties to the care of an experiences mariner; it is unreasonable to deny their best fellow-citizens, whom they freely chose, those powers of Government absolutely necessary for the well-being of the community, and their own. The majority of a Legislature may indeed sometimes do wrong; but it is very improbable, that there should be less wisdom and integrity in the flower of a nation, chosen as such, than in tumultuary multitudes, or the discontented individuals scattered over the country, whose number and grievances often appear greatly only from the loudness and frequency of their complaints. The necessity of human affairs requires even obedience to laws evidently wrong; and nothing but measures atrociously and immediately pernicious can justify resistance, when the people have the right to remonstrate, and to change the Legislators in a short time. These principles are the plain dictates of sound common sense, and should be engraved on every American heart. Religion itself sanctifies them: it commands us to be subject for conscience sake, to regard the civil power as the minister of God for our good. Rom: 13, and not to use liberty as a cloak of maliciousness I Pet: 2. If the almighty has made civil Government an indispensable means for human felicity, and if the greatest miseries and most horrid crimes are the certain fruits of anarchy; loyalty to a legal Government is a sacred duty to him, and disobedience an atrocious sin. This doctrine should be held up in the pulpit, and taught in the catechism of every denomination. Grown children will understand it equally with the first principles of morality. I would even insert the words to honor and obey the Congress, &c. Sentiments of loyalty this imbibed with the first ideas of religion, among the best and happiest sensations of a young heart; and afterwards confirmed by reason and experience, will be dear and sacred through life."
That is a very deep view of his religion and background and what needs to be done to ensure that a common society is kept together. His trust in God, however, is placed within 'the flower of the Nation': Congress. Support of civil government and adhering to it comes so that good work has the possibility of being done. It does not insure good work *is* done and when those deepest rights are violated, then is time to protest. Mr. Collin was obviously familiar with the rabble rousers of his day inciting against *anything* that might have any harmful effect. When ill is done, however, the right of the People to change Legislators is seen as the remedy.

One thing to remember is that the Treaty of Westphalia moved the realm of the religious so that the State could not control the actions of individuals in that regards. To have a common government it must be understood that Westphalia is *also* an underpinning of understanding the US Constitution and that this division between the right of the People to have variety of religion without State mandate is to be sustained by government. That is why acting in conscience when things that are horrific are put forward is necessary, but things merely contrary to an interpretation or precept not held in common is also necessary.

And yet there must be a safeguard for freedom and in that Atticus No. 1 from 9 AUG 1787 puts forward the following:
"Republicanism, a few years ago, was all the vogue of politicians. "A government of laws and not of men." But now the aristocratics and monarchy-men on the one hand, and the insurgent party on the other, are with different views contending for a "government of men, and not of laws." The weakness of republics is become the everlasting theme of speculative politicians. While a man of less enthusiasm, on remarking the extravagancies of parties, is ready to say,
For forms of government let fools contest,
Whate’er is best administ’red is best.
But even this is not strictly true. A government may be deficient in its form: and afford no principles on which the executive power shall proceed. We may therefore define a good government thus. It is that which contains a good system of laws, with provision suitable and sufficient, for the putting them into execution. By whatever name such a government be called, it is a good one. The goodness of forms of government is, however, almost wholly relative. Some agree with one nations, with respect to their temper and circumstances, some with another. Habit and actual experience alone, can absolutely determine that which is fit for any individual State.

Liberty, when considered as a power, is the unrestrained power of acting reasonably: As a privilege, it is the security which a man feels in acting rightly and enjoying the fruit of his own labor. When either of these are wanting, the people are not free, although their government may be called a democracy. When these exist, the people are free, although the government may be stiled an absolute monarchy. For an absolute, and arbitrary government, are very different things."
Liberty is the securer of freedom by acting with reason and reasonably. With this view returns Locke and the concept of an individual making the best of their own labor for advancement and acting rightly in life. That is individual freedom to do good by doing right. And what is good for one People and State is not necessarily good for another, but any State that denies the ability of an individual to act to the right within their society and to ensure that they get reward for their labor is seen as a *bad* government. Again this is a voice for Federalism and the Constitution, and it looks to the individual to decide what is right for themselves so as to exercise liberty and have freedom in those things that allow a good life to be had.

On the other side come Federal Farmer No. 6 on 25 DEC 1787 to look at what makes government:
"Good government is generally the result of experience and gradual improvements, and a punctual execution of the laws is essential to the preservation of life, liberty, and property. Taxes are always necessary, and the power to raise them can never be safely lodged without checks and limitation, but in a full and substantial representation of the body of the people; the quantity of power delegated ought to be compensated by the brevity of the time of holding it, in order to prevent the possessors increasing it. The supreme power is in the people, and rulers possess only that portion which is expressly given them; yet the wisest people have often declared this is the case on proper occasions, and have carefully formed stipulations to fix the extent, and limit the exercise of the power given.

The people by Magna Charta, &c. did not acquire powers, or receive privileges from the king, they only ascertained and fixed those they were entitled to as Englishmen; the title used by the king "we grant," was mere form. Representation, and the jury trial, are the best features of a free government ever as yet discovered, and the only means by which the body of the people can have their proper influence in the affairs of government.

In a federal system we must not only balance the parts of the same government, as that of the state, or that of the union; but we must find a balancing influence between the general and local governments — the latter is what men or writers have but very little or imperfectly considered.

A free and mild government is that in which no laws can be made without the formal and free consent of the people, or of their constitutional representatives; that is, of a substantial representative branch. Liberty, in its genuine sense, is security to enjoy the effects of our honest industry and labours, in a free and mild government, and personal security from all illegal restraints.

Of rights, some are natural and unalienable, of which even the people cannot deprive individuals: Some are constitutional or fundamental; these cannot be altered or abolished by the ordinary laws; but the people, by express acts, may alter or abolish them — These, such as the trial by jury, the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus, &c. individuals claim under the solemn compacts of the people, as constitutions, or at least under laws so strengthened by long usuage as not to be repealable by the ordinary legislature — and some are common or mere legal rights, that is, such as individuals claim under laws which the ordinary legislature may alter or abolish at pleasure."
The securing of the right to trial by jury and here, again, liberty is seen as being able to secure one's own gain by one's hand. Restraing of government and mild government that acceeds to the wishes of the governed is seen as paramount. The People are the Sovereign and soul guide in a Federal Republic with representative democracy as its means of wielding power. That is where the power of the State comes from: the People.

From both the pro and con side of the Constitution is coming together the ideas that government is made by consent of the governed. Neither the pro nor con side is appealing to 'higher power' although many hold that America is divinely inspired, but the direction of that inspiration is often one that is missed by those looking to her past and deep roots in this or that document from religious past. The individuals of the Revolution-Constitution period well knew those documents, their outlook and their basis for being. And they also remember the Protestant Reformation and its basis, along with Counter-Reformation and the bloody wars that deeply divided Christianity across Europe to the tune of 15%-20% of the population dead due to the 30 Years War alone. The Peace of Westphalia would end religious basis for enforcing State religion upon the people of a State and start the long, slow process of Civil Government via the Nation State system.

John Jay in Federalist No. 2 on 31 OCT 1787 would point to the providence that led these diverse people to a new land:
"It has often given me pleasure to observe that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, widespreading country was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities.

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people—a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence."
A firmer view of the Providence leading people to America is hard to find! Yet even he recognizes that while religion may join those people they are only similar in manners and customs and must work jointly with each other so as to win independence for all. For all that Providence led people here, there is one thing that it could not do: guarantee success. John Jay goes on to write:
"A strong sense of the value and blessings of union induced the people, at a very early period, to institute a federal government to preserve and perpetuate it. They formed it almost as soon as they had a political existence; nay, at a time when their habitations were in flames, when many of their citizens were bleeding, and when the progress of hostility and desolation left little room for those calm and mature inquiries and reflections which must ever precede the formation of a wise and well-balanced government for a free people. It is not to be wondered at that a government instituted in times so inauspicious should on experiment be found greatly deficient and inadequate to the purpose it was intended to answer.

This intelligent people perceived and regretted these defects. Still continuing no less attached to union than enamored of liberty, they observed the danger which immediately threatened the former and more remotely the latter; and being persuaded that ample security for both could only be found in a national government more wisely framed, they as with one voice, convened the late convention at Philadelphia, to take that important subject under consideration.

This convention, composed of men who possessed the confidence of the people, and many of whom had become highly distinguished by their patriotism, virtue and wisdom, in times which tried the minds and hearts of men, undertook the arduous task. In the mild season of peace, with minds unoccupied by other subjects, they passed many months in cool, uninterrupted, and daily consultation; and finally, without having been awed by power, or influenced by any passions except love for their country, they presented and recommended to the people the plan produced by their joint and very unanimous councils."
All of those same patriots with all their wisdom had *failed* at their first try to get a good government put together. Apparently Providence didn't see too fit to inform folks on what the nature of government should be. For hearing the grandness of past religious documents and their outlook, the plain and simple fact that 'government is instuted amongst men' and should rule with 'the consent of the governed' did not guarantee it would do this thing known as 'work out'.

Nicholas Collin in A Foreign Spectator XXVIII on 28 SEP 1787 looks into the role of religion amongst the States and in the proposed Union:
"The rational opinion, that sincere worshippers in whatever religion are pleasing to Almighty God, is now pretty generally established in all civilized nations. It is of the highest consequence, because the belief that eternal happiness depends on a particular creed or mode of worship, will prompt even good men to establish such at all adventures. We must not however imagine that this species of bigotry has alone produced the many religious wars and tumults; for there are antipathies arising merely from the peculiar genius of a religion, capable of doing much hurt. Any thing that appears to another sect very absurd, mean, unsocial, &c. has an ill effect. A bad influence on manners and government is a serious affair. If it cannot be helped, divide et impera is a good maxim with religious as other parties—where any sect has a decided superiority, or a rapid increase, others may be encouraged. Indifferency is not the proper remedy against superstition; for a very defective religion is better than none. Let then the several professions respect the advantages of each other, and with candid benevolence criticize mutual infirmitiesLet the bright luminary of reason gradually rise, and shed its majestic radiance over this western world; it will manifest to all the same great God, and the same road to happiness here and hereafter."
That era before 1648 was not forgotten and the Founders read about it and its horrors and did not want that repeated in this new land. By putting forth that the differences between religion should be respected and that benevolent criticism help in dialog to find problems, the ability to have discourse upon religion is achieved. Even and especially since there is no one, single view on what the Divine *is*. And as Europe was torn by wars over interpretational disputes on one particular religion and the diversity of that opinion caused many more outbreaks of violence, then it is perhaps best to recognize that there is no solitary view of it and that all should be respected so long as their practitioners keep a civil tongue. Yes, dialog seen as a cure for religious hatred... now if only all religions would take up that 'live and let live' attitude.

Noah Webster writes as A Citizen of America on 17 OCT 1787:
"Of all the memorable eras that have marked the progress of men from the savage state to the refinements of luxury, that which has combined them into society, under a wise system of government, and given form to a nation, has ever been recorded and celebrated as the most important. Legislators have ever been deemed the greatest benefactors of mankind—respected when living, and often deified after their death. Hence the fame of Fohi and Confucius—of Moses, Solon and Lycurgus—of Romulus and Numa—of Alfred, Peter the Great, and Mango Capac; whose names will be celebrated through all ages, for framing and improving constitutions of government, which introduced order into society and secured the benefits of law to millions of the human race.

This western world now beholds an era important beyond conception, and which posterity will number with the age of Czar of Muscovy, and with the promulgation of the Jewish laws at Mount Sinai. The names of those men who have digested a system of constitutions for the American empire, will be enrolled with those of Zamolxis and Odin, and celebrated by posterity with the honors which less enlightened nations have paid to the fabled demi-gods of antiquity.

But the origin of the AMERICAN REPUBLIC is distinguished by peculiar circumstances. Other nations have been driven together by fear and necessity—the governments have generally been the result of a single man’s observations; or the offspring of particular interests. IN the formation of our constitution, the wisdom of all ages is collected—the legislators of antiquity are consulted—as well as the opinions and interests of the millions who are concerned. In short, in it an empire of reason."
That is pretty forceful stuff, to say the least. And *still* radical in parts of the Middle East!

Yes, this was on the PRO side of the Constitution, putting forth that past empires under religious doctrine will be lumped together in the view of this new American Republic which shall be highly different from all of them as it distills that which is best and reasonable from all of them. Thus there is no one source for creating good government, but it comes from a diversity that stretches far and wide across cultures and history.

In Federalist No. 3 on 03 NOV 1787, John Jay actually looks to what is expected of a Nation in the way of Treaties and mentions 1685:
"But not only fewer just causes of war will be given by the national government, but it will also be more in their power to accommodate and settle them amicably. They will be more temperate and cool, and in that respect, as well as in others, will be more in capacity to act circumspection than the offending State. The pride of states, as well as of men, naturally disposes them to justify all their actions, and opposes their acknowledging, correcting, or repairing their errors and offenses. The national government, in such cases, will not be affected by this pride, but will proceed with moderation and candor to consider and decide on the means most proper to extricate them from the difficulties which threaten them.

Besides, it is well known that acknowledgments, explanations, and compensations are often accepted as satisfactory from a strong united nation, which would be rejected as unsatisfactory if offered by a State or confederacy of little consideration or power.

In the year 1685, the state of Genoa having offended Louis XIV,, endeavored to appease him. He demanded that they should send their Doge, or chief magistrate, accompanied by four of their senators, to France, to ask his pardon and receive his terms. They were obliged to submit to it for the sake of peace. Would he on any occasion either have demanded or have received the like humiliation from Spain, or Britain, or any other powerful nation!"
Here the reciprocity between Nations is upheld as Primary amongst Nations. And there you also have one of the limits of men: pride. I do suppose that some may have noted it strange to point out that a National Government will not have pride of itself and then turn around to point out that this will be a strong Nation able to command respect. Still, even with that dichotomy there is the view of the reciprocity amongst Nations being paramount and that is put forth by Jay as necessary in the realm of Nations.

The basis of the Nation State known as the United States, then, so far:

  1. Government is founded on Natural Rights of Man.

  2. Respect for religion in the commonality of it held by the People.

  3. Government of Laws amongst men, not of Men dictating Laws to the People.

  4. Accountability of government to the People is paramount.

  5. Liberty is the protection of men by Law so that men can partake of their industry and work.

  6. Government by the People must have limitations upon it and have the greatest voice possible in a democracy.

  7. Understanding the imperfection of Man even when brought together by Providence.

  8. Reciprocity between Nations is from the smallest and weakest to the most powerful is paramount in how a free People act with the world.
More or less in that order, from what I can tell. I think Andrew Jackson summed it up with this quote, pretty well:
"Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission."
Bear with me on this, if you can. We have made the slide from religion to civil government to control of the forces of a Nation State. That damned foundation thing is slippery, but always there. Given how history has shifted, it is a natural change in course and one, apparently, that we have forgotten in the modern era.

Now comes the hard part on warfare and when a Nation must resort to it. For this we look to John Jay in Federalist No. 3:
"Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their safety seems to be the first. The safety of the people doubtless has relation to a great variety of circumstances and considerations, and consequently affords great latitude to those who wish to define it precisely and comprehensively.

At present I mean only to consider it as it respects security for the preservation of peace and tranquillity, as well as against dangers from foreign arms and influence,, as from dangers of the like kind arising from domestic causes. As the former of these comes first in order, it is proper it should be the first discussed. Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion that a cordial Union, under an efficient national government, affords them the best security that can be devised against hostilities from abroad.

The number of wars which have happened or will happen in the world will always be found to be in proportion to the number and weight of the causes, whether real or pretended, which provoke or invite them. If this remark be just, it becomes useful to inquire whether so many just causes of war are likely to be given by united America as by disunited America; for if it should turn out that united America will probably give the fewest, then it will follow that in this respect the Union tends most to preserve the people in a state of peace with other nations.

The just causes of war, for the most part, arise either from violation of treaties or from direct violence. America has already formed treaties with no less than six foreign nations, and all of them, except Prussia, are maritime, and therefore able to annoy and injure us. She has also extensive commerce with Portugal, Spain, and Britain, and, with respect to the two latter, has, in addition, the circumstance of neighborhood to attend to.

It is of high importance to the peace of America that she observe the laws of nations towards all these powers, and to me it appears evident that this will be more perfectly and punctually done by one national government than it could be either by thirteen separate States or by three or four distinct confederacies. For this opinion various reasons may be assigned."
He is restating the Jus ad bellum concept here with respect to the United States and what it should do in its foreign affairs. And the just causes of war are: breaking of Treaties and violence directed at the Nation. This was not the only view of when war should be waged or even of how to protect the Citizenry in a diverse Nation. Another theme struck up is done by Brutus in Brutus No. 7 on 03 JAN 1788:
"The pretended demonstration of this writer will instantly vanish, when it is considered, that the protection and defence of the community is not intended to be entrusted solely into the hands of the general government, and by his own confession it ought not to be. It is true this system commits to the general government the protection and defence of the community against foreign force and invasion, against piracies and felonies on the high seas, and against insurrections among ourselves. They are also authorised to provide for the administration of justice in certain matters of a general concern, and in some that I think are not so. But it ought to be left to the state governments to provide for the protection and defence of the citizen against the hand of private violence, and the wrongs done or attempted by individuals to each otherProtection and defence against the murderer, the robber, the thief, the cheat, and the unjust person, is to be derived from the respective state governments. — The just way of reasoning therefore on this subject is this, the general government is to provide for the protection and defence of the community against foreign attacks, &c., they therefore ought to have authority sufficient to effect this, so far as is consistent with the providing for our internal protection and defence. The state governments are entrusted with the care of administring justice among its citizens, and the management of other internal concerns, they ought therefore to retain power adequate to the end. The preservation of internal peace and good order, and the due administration of law and justice, ought to be the first care of every government. — The happiness of a people depends infinitely more on this than it does upon all that glory and respect which nations acquire by the most brilliant martial achievements — and I believe history will furnish but few examples of nations who have duly attended to these, who have been subdued by foreign invaders. If a proper respect and submission to the laws prevailed over all orders of men in our country; and if a spirit of public and private justice, oeconomy and industry influenced the people, we need not be under any apprehensions but what they would be ready to repel any invasion that might be made on the country. And more than this, I would not wish from them — A defensive war is the only one I think justifiableI do not make these observations to prove, that a government ought not to be authorised to provide for the protection and defence of a country against external enemies, but to shew that this is not the most important, much less the only object of their care."
You thought this argument was relatively new and limited to the modern era? No, for a democracy looking at defensive war as the only justifiable sort has been present since the Founding era. It is, in general, an Isolationist view that unless one has been attacked there is no compunction for offensive force. But no government, in this view, is to stand between the individual to defend oneself as that is considered to be a matter for the States (plural) to decide each to their own liking. Thusly, from that view, is that the Citizen should *also* be ready to jump to the defense of their Nation if it is invaded.

Radical stuff, huh?

For those arguing, today, that defensive war is the only justifiable sort, then they must *also* put up that the Citizenry must be armed under their own cognizance to do the work of defending the Nation on their own within their States. That is a wholly and self-consistant line of reasoning clearly stated by Brutus: men do not give up arms to the State and must defend themselves and their Nation. Can we get some of that heady stuff today from those who argue only FOR defensive war? Will they all sign pledges to learn arms, take them up, protect themselves and their Nations in that doing so as to secure the Nation's Laws for the greatest possible freedom and liberty for all?


Why not?

It was put INTO the Constitution in Article I, Section 10 along with Amendment II!

It is along this line that Brutus No. 1 looks at other Nations and the power they wield with their militaries:
"The magistrates in every government must be supported in the execution of the laws, either by an armed force, maintained at the public expence for that purpose; or by the people turning out to aid the magistrate upon his command, in case of resistance.

In despotic governments, as well as in all the monarchies of Europe, standing armies are kept up to execute the commands of the prince or the magistrate, and are employed for this purpose when occasion requires: But they have always proved the destruction of liberty, and [are] abhorrent to the spirit of a free republic. In England, where they depend upon the parliament for their annual support, they have always been complained of as oppressive and unconstitutional, and are seldom employed in executing of the laws; never except on extraordinary occasions, and then under the direction of a civil magistrate.

A free republic will never keep a standing army to execute its laws. It must depend upon the support of its citizens. But when a government is to receive its support from the aid of the citizens, it must be so constructed as to have the confidence, respect, and affection of the people." Men who, upon the call of the magistrate, offer themselves to execute the laws, are influenced to do it either by affection to the government, or from fear; where a standing army is at hand to punish offenders, every man is actuated by the latter principle, and therefore, when the magistrate calls, will obey: but, where this is not the case, the government must rest for its support upon the confidence and respect which the people have for their government and laws. The body of the people being attached, the government will always be sufficient to support and execute its laws, and to operate upon the fears of any faction which may be opposed to it, not only to prevent an opposition to the execution of the laws themselves, but also to compel the most of them to aid the magistrate; but the people will not be likely to have such confidence in their rulers, in a republic so extensive as the United States, as necessary for these purposes. The confidence which the people have in their rulers, in a free republic, arises from their knowing them, from their being responsible to them for their conduct, and from the power they have of displacing them when they misbehave: but in a republic of the extent of this continent, the people in general would be acquainted with very few of their rulers: the people at large would know little of their proceedings, and it would be extremely difficult to change them. The people in Georgia and New-Hampshire would not know one another’s mind, and therefore could not act in concert to enable them to effect a general change of representatives. The different parts of so extensive a country could not possibly be made acquainted with the conduct of their representatives, nor be informed of the reasons upon which measures were founded. The consequence will be, they will have no confidence in their legislature, suspect them of ambitious views, be jealous of every measure they adopt, and will not support the laws they pass. Hence the government will be nerveless and inefficient, and no way will be left to render it otherwise, but by establishing an armed force to execute the laws at the point of the bayonet — a government of all others the most to be dreaded."
Beyond the general disbelief of the last part of distance being a problem for the Republic in the way of knowing one's representatives, the previous point on the use of force by magistrates is pointed. When government becomes non-representative and one does not have a chance to actually *know* their representative, democracy starts to fail. A standing army must only be used in the extremest of circumstances to uphold the law in a free republic, because the foundation of that republic is not upon force but upon the People. Once there is a disjoint in democracy, those in power will seek to abuse their power to enforce their rules and edict and will pay for force to be used.

That is a very, very worrying part of democracy and it has, indeed, fallen apart that way in many Nations and led to World Wars after that failure in Germany and Italy, in the 1930's, and the inability of the Russian February Revolution to prove capable in 1917. The easy and ready resort to force in Lebanon caused problems after its Civil War and continues to be a major problem to this day.

In Federalist No. 6 on 14 NOV 1787, Alexander Hamilton uses the entire tract to point out that disunited groupings of States tend to go into internecine warfare and that even republics have done so in the past. That continues on in Federalist No. 7 on 15 NOV 1787, Federalist No. 8 on 20 NOV 1787, and so on until James Madison in Federalist No. 14 on 30 NOV 1787 finally puts the size argument to the test and demonstrates the smallness of the proposed Union. Both then go on to look at other Confederacies and their failures and look to a Federal Union that would unite the States together. In Federalist No. 23 on 18 DEC 1787:
"The principal purposes to be answered by union are these—the common defense of the members; the preservation of the public peace, as well against internal convulsions as external attacks; the regulation of commerce with other nations and between the States; the superintendence of our intercourse, political and commercial, with foreign countries.

The authorities essential to the common defense are these: to raise armies; to build and equip fleets; to prescribe rules for the government of both; to direct their operations; to provide for their support. These powers ought to exist without limitation, because it is impossible to foresee or define the extent and variety of national exigencies, and the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them. The circumstances that endanger the safety of nations are infinite, and for this reason no constitutional shackles can wisely be imposed on the power to which the care of it is committed. This power ought to be coextensive with all the possible combinations of such circumstances; and ought to be under the direction of the same councils which are appointed to preside over the common defense."
By not having 13 separate responses to National problems, there is a stronger and single unified response that is under care of one government. Thus the gamesmanship against other Confederacies, to subvert or vex one or two members cannot be done. Threats over time must be addressed and countered and only one, single government can do the necessary work to meet such future threats. Hamilton did not have to *invent* such dangers and put forward that danger was already close at hand from foreign Nations in Federalist No. 24 on 19 DEC 1787:
"Though a wide ocean separates the United States from Europe, yet there are various considerations that warn us against an excess of confidence or security. On one side of us, and stretching far into our rear, are growing settlements subject to the dominion of Britain. On the other side, and extending to meet the British settlements, are colonies and establishments subject to the dominion of Spain. This situation and the vicinity of the West India Islands, belonging to these two powers, create between them, in respect to their American possessions and in relation to us, a common interest. The savage tribes on our Western frontier ought to be regarded as our natural enemies, their natural allies, because they have most to fear from us, and most to hope from them. The improvements in the art of navigation have, as to the facility of communication, rendered distant nations, in a great measure, neighbors. Britain and Spain are among the principal maritime powers of Europe. A future concert of views between these nations ought not to be regarded as improbable. The increasing remoteness of consanguinity is every day diminishing the force of the family compact between France and Spain. And politicians have ever with great reason considered the ties of blood as feeble and precarious links of political connection. These circumstances combined admonish us not to be too sanguine in considering ourselves as entirely out of the reach of danger."
We usually think of the Atlantic Ocean as being an isolationist barrier, but at the time of the Founding it had many stepping stones from other Nations that were right near the US coastline. One did not have to imagine such as Piracy had played a large part in harassing the US coastline in the century preceding the Revolution. The ocean was not a moat to cross, but already had bases from foreign powers with interest in America. Hamilton goes on to argue in Federalist No. 25 on 21 DEC 1787, that purely State militias are not enough:
"Here I expect we shall be told that the militia of the country is its natural bulwark, and would be at all times equal to the national defense. This doctrine, in substance, had like to have lost us our independence. It cost millions to the United States that might have been saved. The facts which from our own experience forbid a reliance of this kind are too recent to permit us to be the dupes of such a suggestion. The steady operations of war against a regular and disciplined army can only be successfully conducted by a force of the same kind. Considerations of economy, not less than of stability and vigor, confirm this position. The American militia, in the course of the late war, have, by their valor on numerous occasions, erected eternal monuments to their fame; but the bravest of them feel and know that the liberty of their country could not have been established by their efforts alone, however great and valuable they were. War, like most other things, is a science to be acquired and perfected by diligence, by perserverance, by time, and by practice."
Dupes? Well, there was certainly a need for a continuing Army, that is to be sure, and the personal strength of character in the person of Washington ensured that there would be men staying on past initial one-year enlistment. That said even with three major Armies to cover North, Central and Southern Colonies, Washington was to depend upon militias and broken regulars to back up his forces. And smaller bands would play decisive roles, like the Battle of Cowpens. The long term, National outlook is correct, however, although the reliance on heavy forces is no guarantee of victory, as the British can also attest to.

Yes, this does have a point to it! Really!

One of the most vital arguments that Hamilton puts forth for the restriction of the militia is that it will not last beyond two years and needs to be re-affirmed, by Congress, on that basis so that the Union can have ANY armed forces. Yes, strange as it may seem, that is what the two year language is all about in the Constitution and here is the rationale behind it from Federalist No. 26 on 22 DEC 1787:
"The legislature of the United States will be obliged by this provision, once at least in every two years, to deliberate upon the propriety of keeping a military force on foot; to come to a new resolution on the point; and to declare their sense of the matter by a formal vote in the face of their constituents. They are not at liberty to vest in the executive department permanent funds for the support of an army, if they were even incautious enough to be willing to repose in it so improper a confidence. As the spirit of party in different degrees must be expected to infect all political bodies there will be, no doubt, persons in the national legislature willing enough to arraign the measures and criminate the views of the majority. The provision for the support of a military force will always be a favorable topic for declamation. As often as the question comes forward, the public attention will be roused and attracted to the subject by the party in opposition; and if the majority should be really disposed to exceed the proper limits, the community will be warned of the danger, and will have an opportunity of taking measures to guard against it. Independent of parties in the national legislature itself, as often as the period of discussion arrived, the State legislatures, who will always be not only vigilant but suspicious and jealous guardians of the rights of the citizens against encroachments from the federal government, will constantly have their attention awake to the conduct of the national rulers, and will be ready enough, if any thing improper appears, to sound the alarm to the people, and not only to be the VOICE, but, if necessary, the ARM of their discontent.

Schemes to subvert the liberties of a great community require time to mature them for execution. An army, so large as seriously to menace those liberties, could only be formed by progressive augmentations; which would suppose not merely a temporary combination between the legislature and executive, but a continued conspiracy for a series of time. Is it probable that such a combination would exist at all? Is it probable that it would be persevered in, and transmitted along through all the successive variations in a representative body, which biennial elections would naturally produce in both houses? Is it presumable that every man the instant he took his seat in the national Senate or House of Representatives would commence a traitor to his constituents and to his country? Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy, or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger? If such presumptions can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person."
Armed forces in perpetuity would just not happen as the entire shebang would be argued over every two years. He is serious. Deadly serious.

Heard any of that recently?


Just isolate that last bit now and read it very, very, very carefully:
"Can it be supposed that there would not be found one man discerning enough to detect so atrocious a conspiracy, or bold or honest enough to apprise his constituents of their danger? If such presumptions can fairly be made, there ought at once to be an end of all delegated authority. The people should resolve to recall all the powers they have heretofore parted with out of their own hands, and to divide themselves into as many States as there are counties in order that they may be able to manage their own concerns in person."

There we have it: one of the foremost proponents for the Federal arrangement and Federalism describing a conspiracy to continue on armed forces without much if any debate being the GROUNDS to recall all authority from the States to the Union. As in 'forthwith' and 'immediately' and then to break up the entire establishment of the Union all the way down to Counties so as to establish democracy *again*.

And there you have the foremost thinker on Federalism for the founding of the United States now describing a military in perpetuity with little or no debate on having one *and* acting together to do so. To put it into modern parlance - the sovereign right of the People to recall their authority is paramount to *having* a republic of free people. When abuse of that National Government gets so high the people should recall their representatives and declare themselves FREE from such compact as allows that to continue onwards.

Here the argument of: 'different era, different needs' always arises. If you enjoy freedom and one of the foremost thinkers on how to build a free republic puts in that one very, very particular part of the accountability is vital for all future times, then do you just *ignore it* and try to explain it away?

And if you don't adhere to keeping to the outlook given, then how will you ever discern between limited and unlimited authority in Federal Government?

Hamilton, with that, is not looking to safeguard Federalism. It is democracy and having government accountable to the people that he is safeguarding. Federal government is one form of democracy, accomplished with the Constitution via representation. When the representatives no longer are *known* to the people as individuals, when they become so distant as to accrue power to themselves and treat free people as *subjects*, and when they do not even debate one of the principles of accountability in the entire federalist system it is time to recall the representatives and revoke their power.


And get back to purely local democracy and *start over* for that is the foundation of democracy.

Hasn't it ever been mentioned that the founders were Revolutionaries?