America on the Abyss: Insurrection, Sedition … And Civil War?

ER Editor: We also offer Tom Luongo’s different take on Trump’s decision not to send in federal law enforcement on the rioting that started in Minneapolis under the 1878 Insurrection Act and spread elsewhere. See Did Trump’s Federalism Just Win Him the Election? Luongo argues that it was too early in the overall event cycle to have done so, that letting things get out of hand was the better play, and that Trump looks set to win in November – if, indeed, an election will actually take place.




Most of us have had those indefinable nightmares filled with incongruities, seemingly inexplicable people and events, and a sense of being adrift in some sort of a house of horrors, with no real understanding of how we got there, or why. In the worst of cases, we awaken either chilled to the bone or soaked with sweat, depending on the character of the nightmare itself. If we are in danger, we generally awaken before catastrophe strikes – although I have been told that if we die in our dream, we die in reality as well – at least that is what some who have near-death experiences in the aftermath of their dreams recount.


The United States today finds itself in the early stages of just such a potentially life-threatening nightmare that has an all too good chance of ending in disaster for the country. The drama unfolded in a manner that would have been unbelievable in a low-end script. The proximate spark that ignited months of nearly continuous violence was the death while being arrested by Minneapolis police of George Floyd, a 40 year old black man. He was at best an unlikely martyr, as have been virtually all of the handful of blacks whose deaths have set off racial violence in the past: a lifelong criminal and addict with multiple incarcerations, whose principal accomplishment was threatening to shoot a pregnant woman in the abdomen in the course of an armed robbery.

Civil disorder and violence quickly flared up across the country. It will take time to fully evaluate what happened, but some preliminary conclusions can now be drawn. First, the nationwide explosion was too nearly simultaneous to be coincidental. Almost all of the 400-odd cities afflicted by violent protests, rioting, looting and arson had Democrats as mayors who did little or nothing to stop the riots, as did most of the states whose governors also did nothing. This suggests collusion if not coordination by the DNC (Democratic [Party] National Committee) with the Antifa and BLM (Black Lives Matter) “street soldiers” committing the violence, compounding the disorder caused by the COVID-19 social and economic lockdowns – also most draconian in states and cities run by Democrats.

Second, there is abundant evidence that the self-proclaimed Marxists running both Antifa and BLM have objectives far beyond the notional basics of racial justice and largely contrived police “brutality.” They want nothing less than the abolition of existing police departments, a complete restructuring of the criminal justice system, the “cleansing” (as they define it) of American history and culture, and the replacement of the American political and economic system with something more attuned to their Marxist ideals. With few exceptions, the MSM (Mainstream Media) have been unanimous in their positive endorsement of what Antifa and BLM have been doing – supporting their objectives and either ignoring or minimizing their violence.

Third, this is not simply a matter of protests: it is open insurrection by Antifa and BLM, combined with sedition on the part of Democrat mayors and governors, who failed in their responsibility to restore order, and in many cases, blatantly endorsed what the rioters were doing, refusing to call for armed assistance from the Federal government.

Here is where President Trump made what is likely to be a fatal error. What was happening in these cities and states racked by violence was all too clear. He needed to invoke the Insurrection and Sedition Acts (admittedly a dicey gamble), send Federal law enforcement to arrest some of the most overtly recalcitrant mayors and governors for sedition, and use Federal troops (probably Marines and Airborne) to crush the insurrection in the streets. Done promptly in late May, much of the violence might well have been averted. But he blustered and procrastinated – the generals (Flynn, McMaster, Mattis and Kelly) who might have helped him act decisively were long gone from his Administration, and on bad terms at that. So he intermittently did too little too late – and now we stand on the edge of civil war.


I never thought I would ever see the United States in this position. America’s enemies have to be ecstatic. When the USSR disintegrated, it did so with remarkably little violence. But the U.S. civilian population is easily the most heavily armed in the world, with literally tens of millions of veterans. Most do NOT support Antifa and the BLM, most detest the violence and lawlessness, and have been restrained from taking direct action against the rioters by two things: their faith in law enforcement and their belief that President Trump would ultimately put things right.

That restraint is failing, as both pillars are generally seen to be failing as well. Some armed resistance is already happening, and many now discuss openly the need to be ready to fight – something none of us really wants. If the Democrats and their puppets in the MSM called Antifa and the BLM to heel, stopped supporting whatever they do, and actually tried to put things right, the US might escape this impending disaster. But continued chaos – while a potential political danger to the Democrats at state and local levels – also offers them their best chance of winning the White House in November, by combining economic downturn due to the COVID-19 lockdowns with internal social collapse due to continuing riots.

It is a chancy thing at best. But my sense is that the only questions now are whether a multi-sided civil war breaks out before or after the November elections, IF they occur at all – by no means a sure thing – and how the fighting begins. One thing is absolutely certain: If this occurs, it will be unbelievably brutal and bloody, and the America that emerges from it will be far more dangerous to everyone else than anything they have ever seen before from what Raymond Aron once called the “Imperial Republic.” All that remains is to await our “Lexington Green.”


Alan Ned Sabrosky (Ph.D, University of Michigan) is a ten-year US Marine Corps veteran. He served in Vietnam and is a graduate of the US Army War College.


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