A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Globalist Ambitions

Conservative Truth had this article by Alan Caruba detailing the ``North American Federation``, an entity that Caruba and others (notably Jerome Corsi) have been warning is under construction. Even if you disagree with their interpretation of what our government is doing, you cannot argue with the facts they present which show an internationalist tendency in U.S. policy. The government is clearly weakening border security, and is forging closer relations with Mexico.

The reality is that those who run our government-the President and his staff, the Senate, many in Congress, and much of the bureaucracy, are not members of mainstream America. They haven`t been for a long, long time. Most of them have received Ivy League educations, have spent most of their lives working in the public sector, have some ties to internationalist think tanks and organizations. Washington is the penultimate in elitist snobbery, from the journalists to the governing class, to the menial bureaucrats. These are people who have a mindset different from our own. Most of them have been educated to believe in the coming of a new world order, and that the nation-state is growing obsolete. Of course, they would never say such a thing in public, and may even deny they believe this to themselves, but the reality is that too many of those running things have more in common with elites from around the globe than with the average American.

See how far you can go in government service without having attended Yale, or William and Mary, or some such leftist academy of vacuity. How far can you go in the military without Annapolis or West Point? You have to attend the approved schools if you are to make it in government service.

The President is a Yale man, of course, and is committed to his father`s vision of ``A New World Order``. How else to explain his insane view of border security?

This does not make them evil (necessarily)-it just means they hold a view which believes that greater international cooperation is the coming thing, and that we should begin surrendering our sovereignty to multinational institutions in the spirit of the times. (Why do we keep bothering with the U.N.?)

There is an economic component to this as well; many of our leaders are successful businessmen, and they want free trade and open borders. They want cheap labor available, so are willing to dissolve the stark lines between nations to get this. They believe in internationalism because it`s good for big business.

In fact, many conservatives hold the view that economics are the only important component to life. These are the ``guest-worker`` conservatives, the people who are more interested in our economic well-being than in protecting and defending our culture. (Note to gw`s; we won`t have a good economy if we allow our culture to collapse.) Economic considerations are an important component in any society, but they are an effect and not a cause, and it should be understood that the blessings of wealth flow from the unique heritage which our forefathers bequeathed to us. Our success comes from our liberty and morality, not the other way around. Spreading wealth does not spread liberty and morality, and anyone who doubts this should examine what the ``War on Poverty`` did to the poor of this country.

That`s why
this piece by Jerome Corsi is interesting; the Chinese understand what is happening in America, and they are positioning themselves to take full advantage of our negligence. They are infiltrating Latin America in such a way that they will be deeply entrenched in our ``southern provinces`` when the time comes. How can we stop things from moving into the country if our borders are open via treaty? How can we dominate economically if the Chinese are already there?

China has been planning this fight for a long time, convinced that it will come. North Korea`s bellicosity is fully supported by the Chinese, as I have argued at the American Thinker, and there is mounting evidence that China has given active support to Hezbollah. We know they have aided other enemies of America (Saddam, for instance). Their generals have warned that war with the United States is inevitable. They are making preparations, while we continue with ``engagement``.

Bill Clinton engaged us into a nuclear gallows; he allowed his contributor Loral Aerospace to tell the Chinese how to fix their satellite launch systems-which meant they now knew how to build accurate long range intercontinental ballistic missiles. So, thanks to Clinton, the Chinese could launch a thermonuclear strike on any city in America, all in the name of trade and engagement. But they wouldn`t do such a thing, we are told, because we sell them blue jeans and cocoa-cola. They would be cutting off their supply of Brittany Spears cd`s and Air Jordan shoes! How could China live without these things?

Trade is not the Alpha and Omega of life. Were it so we would never have witnessed the First World War, which wrecked the economies of the great powers of Europe at a time of unprecedented prosperity and trade. Were it so we would not see Africa existing under the conditions it currently does; many African nations did far better under colonial rule than under the tin-horn dictators who plunder the Continent today. We would not see Venezuela elect a Hugo Chavez.

Jefferson Davis was absolutely convinced that Britain and France would intervene in the Civil War for the South because of ``King Cotton``; cotton was far and away the favored fabric for textiles in Europe, and Davis thought that the Europeans simply would refuse to be denied this valuable product. He was wrong-slavery was more distasteful to Europeans than the loss of a valuable economic asset.

Successful trading should not be our sole policy goal. It`s important, but so are many other things-such as our national security and the maintenance of our culture and way of life.

Ralph Peters, writing in the Weekly Standard, makes the argument that the return of tribalism is lashing back at the globalist vision of modernity. (Thanks, Aussiegirl!) He makes the case that the elites in society have more in common with elites from other countries than with their own citizenry, and that they work for internationalism out of what they see as logical progression, while the citizenry resist out of old tribal loyalties. He makes a strong case, even if I don`t agree with everything he says.

Human beings are tribal in numerous ways; anyone who attended high school knows this. Tribalism is innate to our psychology, and is (to those who believe the Bible) Divinely ordained; God confused the languages as a rebuke to ancient Globalism at Babel (which shows that Globalism is, likewise, an ancient Human desire.) Even if you don`t believe this story as anything but an allegory, it still illustrates that these principles were understood at the time the Book of Genesis was written, so they are very old, indeed. History can be understood as a battle between this dichotomy, between those who would build large, universal structures, and those who wish to remain free of such things.

Every Empire in history can be viewed as an early attempt at Globalization.

The Nation-State was a balance, an amalgamation of like-minded tribes united for mutual benefit. It has been the most successful, most stable such institution in history-only the city-states could compare, and they suffered from their inherent inability to cooperate and their relative weakness. The Nation-State has been the best flawed humanity has devised.

Empires, on the other hand, have never done all that well. Most only last a few decades. Some last a couple of centuries, but that is the extent of it; there are too many people pulling this way and that for an empire to last.

These new creations which the Globalists seek to create have the same flaws as the old empires; they try to amalgamate disparate peoples into a large, unwieldy structure. It just doesn`t work.

Whatever happened to Yugoslavia? To Czechoslovakia? To the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? Why didn`t the Indian Subcontinent form a single nation? Why do we see civil wars and revolutions around the globe? Because people have more in common with family, kin, church, and culture than they do with such lofty goals as commerce, international cooperation, and, yes, peace. When the chips are down, people tend to stick with their own kind.

America has been fortunate, since those who came here became ``our own kind`` of their own volition. That is what makes this whole illegal immigration business so dangerous; despite what Mr. Peters says, these invading groups are not interested in assimilation, but in their own tribalism. They are rivals, not immigrants, and our success has always depended on our peculiar form of universal tribalism, whereby out of many come one. Modern times are fracturous, and there are many (notably liberals) who would make many out of one. This is perilous, indeed!

Peters devotes a long section of his piece to universalist religions and magic, which is interesting. I`ve long compared the liberal worldview to magic, despite their insistence that they are rationalists (in fact, Ann Coulter makes this connection in her book Godless.) They teach a series of myths very loosely based on history, myths such as ``the Crusades were a Christian attack on a peaceful Moslem people who were minding their own business``, or that people believed the world was flat until Columbus, or that Christianity was hopelessly against science until the brave heroes of rationality ripped open the gates of ignorance to expose the sunshine of truth.

I`ve often noticed that, whenever you argue with a liberal, he invariably tries to slip into some highly technical jargon (for whatever subject is being discussed.) Liberals love technical jargon, because it makes them sound intelligent. This is the equivalent of the incomprehensible pronouncements of the Oracle of Delphi, which had to be interpreted by a priest. It is the tendency towards magic in the liberal, towards maintaining a sacred language which only the initiates can understand.

You also have a slavish devotion to a particular worldview, or philosophy, which cannot be shaken by changing events. Darwinism is a classic example of this; the Darwinists grow hysterical when anyone questions the science of their theory, or the philosophy, or any other aspects of their theory. Why? Because they have built an philosophy of life based on a materialistic worldview justified by Darwin, and they must defend their faith. Ditto environmentalism, socialism, etc. No matter how badly exploded these theories are, the lefty will doggedly cling to them, just as the New Guinea Islanders believed that the White Man stole the Cargo which airplanes delivered, and that the planes would land if he made a mock airstrip. Liberal materialistic magic is no different.

At any rate, It`s important for us to realize that the current immigration crisis is part of an ancient battle, one which has been fought for centuries between two worldviews. Unfortunately, our President seems to be in a camp different from Middle-America. If we are to survive as a nation, we cannot cede our national sovereignty to these globalist ambitions.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


George Will has an analysis of the Talent-McCaskill race for the U.S. Senate here in Missouri, and he makes some decent points but I think his analysis falls short. Being a native Missourian, let me throw my two cents in.

First, I live in St. Louis and saw the Democratic vote fraud first hand; Talent`s ``loss`` in the Governor`s race was absolutely disputable, given the circumstances. He lost by 21,445 votes. A judge friendly to the Democrats ordered the polls to be open late, and busses were traveling from one poling place to another here in St. Louis. (I suspect something similiar was happening in Kansas City as well.) The polls were kept open almost an hour past closing before another judge overruled this blatantly partisan decision. Why no action was taken to impeach this judge is beyond me. I`m not at all sure Talent lost-he was just too decent to throw a temper tantrum like Al Gore.

Talent`s narrow victory over Jean Carnahan was also not indicitive of his relative strength/weakness; Carnahan was ``the widow Carnahan`` and many people voted for her out of purely sentimental reasons. She was a quiet, decent woman and had avoided offending anyone in her short Senate term. Her strong showing against Talent really did not reflect poorly on Talent so much as the strength of an incumbent non-politician who was liked and pitied.

McCaskill`s victory over fellow Democrat Holden in the Gubernatorial primary was illustrative of the abyssmal failure of Holden`s administration. Holden had been an awful governor, and was so unpopular statewide that the Democrats knew the seat was lost if they didn`t replace him. McCaskill had done some high-profile audits and was the only real alternative the statewide party machine had to offer.

The fact that she could lose to Matt Blunt- a political novice and Doogie Howser-like figure with a well-known father does not speak well of her electability. I remember seeing Blunt at a Bush rally; he looked like a sophomore in College. I fully expected the mature and dignified McCaskill to destroy him during the debates, especially because Blunt isn`t that conservative and doesn`t really sound like he knows what he is talking about. She used the ``too young and inexperienced`` card against him, too, but it didn`t help and Blunt won the Governorship (and has done a poor job, in my humble opinion.)

I can`t believe that someone who couldn`t beat a lightweight novice for the Governorship can take down an experienced and effective incumbent Senator.

Talent`s problem is that he has moved to the left on key issues-most notably the stem-cell business. He has angered many in his base by doing this, but he did it because former Senator John Danforth and a coalition of rich businessmen threatened to strangle him financially if he didn`t play ball with them. Talent`s campaign for re-election has been a ``move to the center`` approach, and his base has cooled as a result of this.

I still support him; he answered an e-mail I sent him demanding he vote against the Senate`s comprehensive immigration reform bill. He is firmly on our camp on this matter, and he made that plain in response to me (it may have been a staffer who wrote back, but it was personalized and could have been written by the Senator.)

It should be pointed out that McCaskill wants to close the barn door AFTER the horse has gotten out in regards to illegal invasions; she wants an ``enforcement`` approach which puts all the onus on employers, while not bothering to secure the borders. Stupid.

People are angry in Missouri and across the nation, and McCaskill may profit from this anger. I still suspect she will lose; I don`t think the anti-incumbent mood is strong enough to push her over the top. She tows the party line of Iraq, and that is only going to take her so far in a fairly conservative state like Missouri; even the loyal Democrats in this state are blue-collar, Truman types who aren`t pleased with the treasonous behavior of the national party. (This is why the AFL-CIO has been fracturing; the rank-and-file union men don`t like the weakness on national defense.)

I predict a Talent victory in the coming mid-terms. I hope I`m right.

The Crime of Christianity

A Polish soccer player in Scotland now has a criminal warning on his police record for making the sign of the cross!

Britain will tolerate any behavior from Moslems, but a simple crossing of onesself has become a criminal matter. Would the police have been called in if he had bowed toward Mecca? (Who were his accusers?)

What is happening to ``tolerant`` Western Civilization? Nothing may be judged, no matter how evil or perverted, except Christianity. Christianity is anathema, and persecution of Christians is a moral duty these days.

Notice how the article attempts to sanitize the whole matter, not even telling what religious gesture the player made. You would think, from the tenor of the piece, that he had flipped the bird to the crowd.

If this sort of thing continues we are finished here in the West.

Monday, August 28, 2006


I`ve always said rush hour traffic is dog-eat-dog, but this is just taking it too doggone far.

Global Cooling?

Global Warming? The Oceans appear to be in a cooling trend.

Dr. Sally Baliunas predicted this several years ago; she believes the active solar cycle has peaked, and we are entering a cooling phase. This also helps explain the increase in cloud cover over the Earth in recent years; more cosmic rays are slipping past the solar wind to bombard the polar regions and generate clouds. These clouds are keeping the Earth warm by increasing insolation-just like a blanket keeps you warm on a cold night.

Thanks Aussiegirl!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Gorey Details

Dennis Avery gives the Gorey details of Ozone Al`s movie:

Al Gore`s movie An Inconvenient Truth says human-emitted CO2 will boost the earth’s temperatures enough to melt the Arctic ice cap and suddenly raise sea levels by 20 feet.


First of all, let’s understand just how cold the Antarctic is. Winter temperatures on its high, cold interior plateau range from 40 to 95 degrees F below zero! In the summer (December) it “warms,” with temperatures dipping only to 49 degrees F below zero—and sometimes rising within 25 degrees F of the melting point (32 degrees F). But even then, the ice reflects virtually all of the sun’s rays back out into space.

However, the world’s warming in the past 150 years has produced a change in Antarctica. The huge East Antarctic ice sheet, which contains nearly 90 percent of the world’s ice, has been thickening. European satellites measured the ice sheet’s thickness 347 million times between 1992 and 2003, and found it is gaining about 45 billion tons of water per year because the planet has warmed enough for snow to fall at the coldest place on earth.

The study, Snowfall-driven Growth in East Antarctic Ice Sheet Mitigates Recent Sea-level Rise was led by Curt Davis of the University of Missouri, and reported in Science on June 24, 2005.

Thickening ice in the Antarctic, in fact, is just about offsetting the meltwater being released from the edges of the Greenland ice sheet which has also been thickening in its center. This leaves us with a global warming sea level gain of about 1.8 millimeters per year or 4 inches per century. The rise has remained constant during the 20th century despite the moderate 0.6 degree C warming of the planet.

In the movie, a whole Antarctic ice sheet shatters on Gore’s computer screen. In the real world, that isn’t happening. It is only the Antarctic Peninsula 2 percent of the continent’s land area that sticks up toward the far-off equator that is warming. It recently earned headlines by calving an ice floe as big as Rhode Island, not an unusual event.

But the East Antarctic ice sheet is more than 2,000 times bigger than Rhode Island, and the ice is two miles thick! John Stone of the University of Washington, reporting in Science on January 3, 2003 says the West Antarctic ice sheet has been retreating so slowly for the past 10,000 years that it still has not fully accommodated the end of the last Ice Age, and apparently still has about 7,000 years of ice to melt and the East Antarctic ice sheet is melting even more slowly than that.

So. Al Gore says Antarctic melting will suddenly raise the sea levels by 20 feet, and the experts say 4 inches per century. Seth Borenstein, an AP science writer, did a column on June 27 headlined, Scientists OK Gore’s Movie for Accuracy. The dean of environmental studies at Duke is quoted as saying He got all the important material and got it right.

Were they talking about the same movie I saw? Gore overstated the impact of global warming on the Antarctic glaciers by about 50-fold. Or did he mean that 7000 years was sudden? How can so-called scientists applaud his accuracy either way?

Dennis T. Avery was a senior policy analyst for the U.S. State Department, where he won the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. He is the co-author, with atmospheric physicist Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years, due in October from Rowman & Littlefield

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Beer Barrell Polka

I`m not sure how any place without Ted Kennedy could win this distinction, but Milwaukee (home of the Brewers) managed to pull it off! I expect Uncle Ted will be spending a good deal of time there in the future.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Making of an Underclass

So, you think that illegal aliens are just good, hardworking folks who have come here for a better life and who benefit all Americans by their dilligence? Think again!

These statistics illustrate that we have a permanent underclass forming. Who do you think they`ll vote for?

Demographics Deadly to Democrats

The Democrats may be aborting themselves to permanent minority status, at least that`s what a professor at Syracuse believes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Whatever Happened to Elian Gonzalez?

Our old friend Steve Rankin from Free Citizen has started a scrap over at his site about the fate of Elian Gonzalez. Anyone who remembers the circus freak show that was the Clinton Presidency remembers his jack-booted thugs storming Elian`s temporary home in Florida to seize the child and give him back to Castro, er, his father-at the behest of Janet ``the Rhino`` Reno and her uberboss herr Clinton. It was a disgraceful display by the pinkish Clintonistas, but entirely predictable given the character of his Administration and the trendiness of Castro among their ilk. As was typical, Clinton refused to wait for the judicial process to play out; he, like Sylvester Stallone`s character Judge Dred, believed he was the law and that he could act in whatever way he saw fit. (And the Democrats have the gall to call Bush a fascist!)

Whatever happened to poor Elian? He was sent to ``boarding school`` where he picked tobacco 8 hours a day after 16 hours of ``education``; he went to a gulag for brainwashing would be the way a normal American would see it. But this was in the child`s best interest, they told us! He should be with his abusive father in that tropical hell! How dare WE seperate a child from his father?

There is a hot argument going at the moment-including an atheist who has some, well, interesting ideas (I mean to be kind) on the matter; don`t miss it!

What Can We Do About Leftwing Bias In The Media?

Reader Sid Weiner sends out this plaintive plea:

HELLO OUT THERE ,is anyone listening!
My name is Sid Weiner and I have some outlandish questions I would like to be answered. For starters,our government is made up different branches which are, to varying degrees, held responsible to the voting public.We have a system of checks & balances built into the set up by which each branch of government can counter & curb abuses by any other branch.Along comes the mainstream media with it's ability to influence & manipulate huge segments of the viewing, voting public & greatly influence government policy.These people act as a separate branch of government,they were not elected by the voters, are not subject to governmental checks & balance.Their only loyalty is to various editors,publishers, advertisers & investors who are primarily interested in profits &/or ideological agendas.They act autonomously & are rarely held accountable by the public or government for their actions. (remember Paddy Chayefsky's character Howard Beale?).In effect,through their influence over the public, they hold a hammer over the head of the government in it's attempt to govern.Take this a bit further & examine another aspect of their operations;overseas reporting.A good many of the nations on this planet are ruled by totalitarian regimes who are against honest news reporting inside of their country.The international news services have a choice of being truthful & not being allowed to work in these countries or acting as propaganda outlets for the local regime and staying on.Since there is no money for the company in being thrown out,they stay on & report what they are told to report.If, for example, a news service writes false reports favorable to Syria & these stories influence the American voting public & the public leans on the government in Washington to institute policies which are beneficial to Syria, this will in effect be American policy dictated to some degree by Syria.If the U.S. government needs to intervene militarily in some part of the world & the regime we are up against uses the media to attack American policy; The media can, to a great degree,handcuff the government in it's efforts;if left to the general public it would become military action by referendum.Since few people would vote for war over peace(they would rationalize a reason why war was not needed & learn to believe their own conclusions).This is what is happening in Iraq (who wants medicine if the alternative is candy).The end result is that the government is hampered in carrying out it's policy by the need to be approved by an unelected,untouchable,& compromised news media run by a dandified elite which holds the general public in contempt.To date, the only counter force to these huge international propaganda machines are some internet bloggers & a hand full of late night talk shows.
If you have any ideas as to how to impose some sort of oversite & restraint on these people I would like to hear what you have to say.
P.S.I have absolutely no desire to muzzle or suppress the free & independent press which is a vital service in a democratic society,what I am interested in is accountability to the public on the part of the main media.
P.S.S As to my observations concerning the news media's toadying for dictators in the past 2 examples come to mind. Walter Duranty worked for the NY Times in the 1930's in the Soviet Union & wrote glowing accounts of the Stalinist regimes glorious achievements,etc.,etc.,etc.(the period of the show trials & purges & the massive communist induced famines in the Ukraine).Duranty had to know of the suffering all around him & lied about it all,the NY TIMES had to have known about this duplicity & shrugged it off ;there was no way that the TIMES could have worked out of Moscow in the person of Duranty(if you wanted to call this degenerate a person) for all of those years unless they lied & shilled for Stalin on a steady basis.Any sort of candor & honesty in reporting would have seen a speedy exit out of the USSR on the part of the Times years earlier & they, the Times,had to be aware of this.
Another indictment of the willful falsification of events by the influential media again leads to the NY Times,this time the reporter was Herbert Mathews who virtually invented Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution. Without Mathews' articles in the Times Fidel's revolution was small potatoes & may have never succeeded.Mathews & the Times promoted Castro into the dashing revolutionary idol of the fashionable salon socialists of the time in this country & helped him win power in Cuba.Without Mathews & the NY Times Cuba might be free & prosperous today.
The list of abuses on the part of the main stream media which changed the history of the world goes on & on.
As I asked before, if you can help me with some answers I would love to hear from you!

Answers anyone?

Threads on Darwin at Free Republic

I received an e-mail from a Freeper who directed my attention to two threads at Free Republic dealing with Darwin; one was an argument about the character of Darwin in which the original piece made the case that Darwin remained a conservative English squire (and the Freepers discuss the matter in the message section) and the second discusses the supposed ``religious attacks`` on Darwin in Louisiana, and the thread argues the matter.

My thoughts on the matter are clear; anyone who bothers to read what Darwin had said knows that he was a revolutionary, albeit a gentle one. He did not call for a world uprising, nor did he lend his name to revolutionary causes, yet one cannot help but believe that a man who held the views espoused by Darwin was influenced by them in other areas of his life and work. Our worldview most definitely influences our lives, and I don`t doubt that Darwin`s theory was built on a foundation composed of his particular view. (Sigmund Freud, the other revolutionary theorist of the time certainly propagated his personal pathologies through his science, and the same tactics of accusing anyone who disagreed with being against science were used by the devotees of both theories.) Either that, or it just conveniently allowed his worldview to be propagated around the globe by sheer chance...

As for the supposed religious attacks on Darwinism, I refer you to the part about Freud above; this tactic actually goes back a ways, but Freud developed it to a fine art. It has been used by defenders of Darwin repeatedly to paint critics as green-toothed fundamentalist hillbillies who believe in God, flying saucers, the tooth faerie (they hope to get rich when all those green teeth fall out), and think jerry Springer is a thoughtful investigative journalist. That there are people who point out the problems with the evidence for Darwinism is never addressed, because it would mean an open discussion about the theory-strengths and weaknesses alike.

At any rate, these two threads are interesting whatever side you take on the issue.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Burning Kansas: Jayhawkers, Bushwackers, and the Raid on Lawrence

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth


On May 30, in the Year of Our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Four, the Congress of these United States placed a bill before President Franklin Pierce, a bill which would be lead to the deaths of tens of thousands and would nearly rip the Nation asunder. Of course, these men hadn`t the foggiest idea that they were placing a death warrant on President Pierce`s desk, nor did the good President know that his signature sealed the fate of countless Americans. What he was signing was innocuously titled ``The Kansas-Nebraska Act`` and this particular bill was intended to open the territories west of Missouri and Iowa to settlement and eventual statehood, and sought to replace the increasingly unworkable Missouri Compromise (in which slavery would be confined to territory south of the 36*30` latitude, or the southern border of Missouri) with a more open system, one which would allow the settlers to decide for themselves whether to be slave or free. This policy, titled Popular Sovereignty and championed by Stephen Douglas, granted an opportunity to the slaveholding South to maintain parity within government with the free North by allowing territorial settlers to vote on what type of state they wished. This may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was, in reality, a monstrously stupid one, the equivalent of dousing a fire with gasoline. Hordes of new settlers poured into Kansas from both North and South, absolutely determined to win this undeveloped prairie for their side. Bloodshed began almost immediately, leading Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune to name the unhappy grassland ``bleeding Kansas``; Kansas was indeed hemorrhaging, and badly.

We often refer to the awful war of 1860-65 as the Civil War, but that isn`t an accurate moniker; the people were not fighting among themselves but rather, one region was fighting another. The old Southern tradition of calling it the War Between the States is really a more accurate representation of that fight in most of the war zones-most but not all. The sad truth is that there actually was a civil war, a terrible and bloody deathstruggle between peoples of different heritage and lifestyles, and it occurred in eastern Kansas and western Missouri; the most vicious and bitter fighting of the War occurred in these parts, and there was little mercy for the enemy. Kansas was bleeding, and Death was waiting in the wings.

The Massachusetts Immigrant Aid Society was founded by abolitionist Eli Thayer for the express purpose of flooding Kansas with Free-Staters. The town they established was named after the Society`s treasurer and principle financier Amos Lawrence, and the MIAS was a source of profound bitterness to the Southerners who came to settle. Lawrence, Kansas became the focal point of the wrath which was to follow, a place of God, guns, and Puritan ethics set down on the dusty prairie, a place of theft, murder, and bloodshed as well.

Trouble stalked Lawrence from the time of it`s inception; fights, threats, and accusations lead to a territorial Grand Jury ordering the arrest of the town`s leading citizens, as well as the closing of it`s newspaper and the Free State Hotel (home to the more rabid visiting abolitionists). On May 21 of 1856 a mob of about 1000 men set out from Missouri to enforce the Grand Jury decree, accompanying a Federal Marshall and bringing 5 cannons with them. This group became known as the Border Ruffians, and they would proudly earn the right to that title; they fired several rounds from their cannon at the Free State Hotel, set it on fire along with several newspaper shops and an abolitionists house. A couple of innocent bystanders were hit by stray bullets fired by the Ruffians, and this mob generally sacked the town.

This would prompt a 50 year old former tannery owner and radical abolitionist with an apocalyptic vision and ferocious hatred toward slaveholders to launch a holy war against the men of the South.

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time.

Rev12: 7-10 and 12-13


On the night of May 24 a silent band of men, armed with swords culled from a secret society, crept through the darkness on a mission of vengeance. This band was actually a family, lead by a thin, wild-eyed father hell-bent on murdering evil Southerners to atone for the deaths at Lawrence. He had received the swords to be used in Ohio (which, oddly enough, was the home of his antithesis William Clark Quantrill) from a shadowy organization called the Grand Eagles, who turned them over to him after he proclaimed that the way to keep slavery out of Kansas was to go there and ``meddle directly with the peculiar institution``. The dark Judge had plans for those swords, plans involving the spilling of much blood onto the prairie soil.

John Brown had come to Kansas in answer to the plea of his son, who had settled there a short while before. Brown was not merely a believer in abolition, he was a man thirsting for vengeance against all who supported the institution of slavery, and he dreamed of a violent, bloody slave uprising in which the Southerners would be massacred in punishment for their sins. In his wrath he vowed the violent destruction of the evil institution of slavery, and he would begin his campaign here in Kansas, a campaign which would end with a rope at Charlestown, Va. after his spectacular but bungled raid on Harper`s Ferry. Between these two events he would torment the planters of western Missouri, beginning a fine old tradition which would lead to the vengeance of Quantrill`s Bushwackers and the burning of Lawrence.

But all of that was in the future; right this moment farmer Brown and his boys were creeping along the edges of Pottawatomie Creek, seeking prey to devour. Pottawatomie was a pro-slavery stronghold, and the ideal place for a zealot like Brown to launch his Jihad. To make matters worse, Brown and his sons received word that very night that Senator Sumner had been bludgeoned on the Senate floor by a Southerner, and this set his sons aflame.

They came to a tiny cabin occupied by a poor Southern family named Doyle. The Doyles were from Tennessee, and had migrated to Kansas to separate themselves from the effects of the peculiar institution (slavery devastated the economy and social fabric of places where it was practiced, and the Doyles may have been pro-slavery as any good southerner was at that time, but they weren`t fans of the institution.) Brown pounded on the door, ordered Mr. Doyle and his sons outside, and chopped them into pieces. Their only crime was that they were from the South.

Next they went to the house of an old man named Wilkinson, whom they murdered in a similar way. After that it was to William Sherman, known as Dutch Bill, who had been one of the leaders of the Border Ruffians. They split his head open and chopped off one of his hands, as well as hacked his chest open.

Satisfied, John Brown washed the blood from his sword and returned home.

He would launch vicious raids on Missouri farms for a couple of years after the Pottowatomie massacres, and would have a price on his head, but the abolitionists would protect him, and they would eventually win the struggle for Kansas.

The Jayhawkers

Following the lead of John Brown, groups of abolitionists would begin raiding the farms and plantations of western Missouri with regularity. The original intent of the raids was to free slaves, but they quickly degenerated into plunder parties as the thieves (Jayhawking was a term meaning theft) ``fined`` the slaveholders and their supporters for their crimes. These raiders would often steal anything which was not nailed down, including tomb stones to be used as elegant steps adorning Jayhawker homes in Lawrence. The citizenry of Missouri complained bitterly about these raids, and the Federal authorities would issue arrest warrants, but Kansas had to execute those warrants, and Kansas was now in the abolitionists hands. Furthermore, Kansas was very poor at this time, having few trees and being in the early stages of development, so the authorities in Kansas were eager to overlook the means by which such wealth poured into the territory.

Over time these raids became more violent, and eventually they were little more than acts of murder and mayhem. Farmholders were generally hanged, often in front of their small children. Women would be raped-including young slave girls, and often the slaves were robbed along with their masters. This went on for years, even before there was a state of war. Many of the men who would later ride with Quantrill had seen their fathers hanged, or their sisters raped. They had seen their mothers being forced by the Jayhawkers to burn down their own homes. It was little wonder that these young boys would become brutal and violent adults. It`s small wonder they would fight back.

Perhaps the most notorious Jayhawker was James Lane. Lane had been a Congressman in Indiana, and his vote in favor of the Kansas-Nebraska act had nearly ruined his career. He had headed west to restore his fortune, settling in Lawrence and becoming a major general in the Free State Militia. Lane would organize numerous raids on Missouri, and would become one of the men the Partisan Ranger companies most hated.

Another infamous Jayhawker was Charles ``Doc`` Jennison. Jennison would lead the 7th Kansas Cavalry ``Jayhawker`` regiment, which sound respectable enough, but in reality his was a band of thieves and brigands who would terrorize the Missouri countryside and steal mountains of bootie. William ``Buffalo Bill`` Cody and Wild Bill Hickock rode with Jennison, and Cody once called the 7th Jayhawkers ``the biggest bunch of thieves on Earth``. (On a personal note, I once met Cody`s grandson in, well, Cody, Wyoming where my cousins had a cattle ranch. I was a young`un at the time.)

Silas Soule was a friend of the Brown family and participated in the Sand Creek Massacre as part of the 1st Colorado Cavalry.

The Jayhawking raids greatly intensified after the opening of hostilities, and even the Union commanders hated the Jayhawkers because of their brutality and vile character. On more than one occasion formal complaints came to Gen. McClellan, who passed them along to Secretary of War Stanton recommending the disbanding of the Jayhawker regiments, but Stanton hated the South and was only too happy to see the raids continue.

These raids did more to recruit for the Confederacy, and for the Bushwackers than anything the South could possibly have done; fate delivered them into the band of the damned. A casual look at some of the men on Quantrill`s roster makes this all too plain:

Andy Walker-25 year old newlywed who was attacked by Jayhawkers in December of 1861 and lost his stock and witnessed them burn his farm to the ground.

George Todd-Quantrill`s captain, Todd`s father refused to be impressed into service to build Fort Union in Kansas City. The army imprisoned the younger Todd at starvation rations until his father (an engineer) started work. Todd joined Quantrill shortly thereafter.

William Gregg had served as an enlisted soldier in the Confederate Army. When his enlistment expired he returned home to find his uncle had been hanged for having Southern sympathies.

Nathan Kerr became a guerilla after Federal troops hanged his father.

George Wiggington-father murdered in front of the family, house burned to the ground.

Jesse James-whipped by Kansas Jayhawkers for refusing to divulge the whereabouts of his brother Frank, he returned home to find his stepfather had been hanged (he survived, but was mentally incapacitated by the attack), and his mother beaten into a miscarriage.

Dave Poole-Lived with his Uncle until Jayhawkers attacked and killed him while robbing their house.

James Poisal-father murdered in retaliation for Federal defeat at Odessa, Mo. battle.

John Brown-No relation to the notorious Jayhawker, Brown`s father was killed while trying to retrieve cattle scattered by the Jayhawkers. His home was burned to the ground.

Dick, James, and Isaac Berry-Their sisters aged 20, 14, and 11 raped, and father killed.

Frank Dalton-Cousin to the James brothers, witnessed Jennison`s men strip Frank and Jesse`s mother and sisters to the waist, tie them to a tree, and beat them into unconsciousness in retaliation for Quantrill`s raiding. The slaves had to take them down and tend them for months. Dalton rode with Quantrill after that.

Coleman and James Younger-Their father was murdered, sister arrested, and their mother forced to burn down their house at bayonette point.

So, you see, these men sought vengeance, and were willing to ride under the Black Flag. They were desperate men, men who had lost the things they loved. These were furious men, hardened by rage and suffering. They were prepared to spill blood.


If vengeance is a dish best served cold, then Charlie Hart was the executive chef of Antenorra. Born not of woman but of violence; the result of a Jayhawker attack on two quiet cowboys returning from a drive to Utah. One of the cowboys was a mild, thoughtful young man from Ohio who had been a schoolteacher but couldn`t find work, while the other was a Southerner trying to return home to Missouri. Lane`s Jayhawkers, flushed from their most recent conquest, fell upon the two furiously, killing the Southerner and leaving the second man for dead along the banks of a Kansas river. Across the river was an Indian reservation, and a kindly Native American who had been fishing along the shore came to the rescue, taking the wounded man into his home and sheltering him for close to a year. The injured man was one of the settlers who had come to keep Kansas a free state, but he had become friendly with Missourians on his cattle drives and had come to believe that what the Jayhawkers were doing was wrong. This man`s name was William Clark Quantrill, an immigrant from Canal Dover in Ohio, and he had early on given up the hardscrabble life of farming. He was a quiet, intelligent man, always known to be mild of speech and slow to anger.

But anger was kindled in him now, an anger which would lead to a vengeance of breathtaking proportion.

After leaving his host, the young man went to the town of Lawrence under the name Charlie Hart, where he managed to get a job teaching school (thanks, no doubt, to his new radical abolitionism.) Charlie Hart worked his way into the good graces of James Lane and the Jayhawkers, who came to trust him and took him along on a number of raids. Hart was a fine horseman, a crack shot, and an able man whose behavior on these raids was without reproach. The trouble was, strange things seemed to happen on these raids; men often disappeared not to be found or, if they would happen to turn up, with a bullet in their heads. Eventually the Jayhawkers began to put the pieces together; the dead men all had been on the raid in Missouri, the one where they shot those two men on the river.

But before they could deal with Charlie Hart, he lead them into a trap. He planned a raid on a wealthy farmer in Missouri, but had tipped the Missourians off as to the plan. He then went out to scout with a couple of other Jayhawkers, taking them into an ambush. The main body of raiders, hearing that the scouting party had been killed, retreated to Lawrence. Hart, not realizing he had been compromised, went back to his unit-only to be seized and nearly lynched by the enraged Jayhawkers. A Judge had him removed from Lane`s hands, and helped spirit him out of Kansas to avoid mob justice.

Charlie Hart had successfully killed every member of the squad which had attacked him.

Years later Quantrill would refer to his murdered companion as his brother when telling this story. Why he did this (except to make himself look less vengeful) is a mystery to this day. Suffice it to say that this began the long and terrible career of the greatest guerilla fighter of the Civil War-a man of whom Gen. Lee would claim that if he had 5 Quantrills the War would be over in 6 months.

Quantrill went on to join Gen. Sterling Price at the Confederate victory at Lafayette, Mo. (where Lincoln`s point man in the West-Nathanial Lyon-would fall), making a name for himself by racing up and down the lines on horseback, daring the Union Army to shoot him. Quantrill wore a red ruffled shirt, marking himself plainly; this would be his attire through his entire career. He gained the attention of Price, who had just received orders authorizing the creation of a Partisan Ranger company. This dashing and brave young man seemed a good choice to head up the first of these companies.

Most of these partisan outfits elected their commanders, but Quantrill actually held a Confederate commission; he was a full Colonel in the Confederate army, probably conferred on him by Confederate Secretary of War James A. Seddon when he met with Quantrill in 1862. It is also possible that Gen. Price gave him a field commission before that. At any rate, Quantrill was a rare case, since he had the right to requisition men and supplies from Confederate stores. His critics (of whom there are many) often ignore this fact, which bolsters their argument that the Partisans were merely a gang of thieves and murderers. This was not so, and Quantrill was always careful in the way he conducted the war. Women and children were not to be molested, nor were noncombatants who did not resist. Furthermore, they never harmed a prisoner until after March of 1862 when Union General Halleck issued orders placing them under the ``black flag``-meaning they would not be allowed to surrender, but would be killed. Quantrill did charge for returning stolen cattle and horses to their owners, but this was done out of necessity for operating costs, and, given their spartan lifestyle hiding in the woods, it was obvious that, unlike the Jayhawkers who could live well in Lawrence on their plunder, these men were not personally profiting from their raids.

And raid they did; they stopped stagecoach traffic, cut telegraph and rail lines, raided barge docks and warehouses, and generally made it impossible for the Union to secure the State of Missouri. They raided Olathe, Kansas, Shawneetown, Baxter Springs, Mo., Lone Jack, Mo., Fayette, Wellington, Liberty, Lamar, and Carthage, Mo. In a spectacular raid they captured the Union garrison at Independence, Mo., holding the town for several hours before Union reinforcements could chase his band out.

There were a number of factors which made Quantrill`s band so successful; they were outstanding horsemen who knew the country and, more importantly, the citizens, they were all personally instructed in marksmanship by Quantrill himself, they planned their attacks extraordinarily carefully, and they employed strategies which would be used in the Indian Wars to come, and are still used today in similar circumstances by the United States military. Quantrill seemed to have picked up some tactics which were employed by a number of the more successful Indian tribes-such as the Comanche and Kiowa. He taught his men how to ``knee rein`` their horses-guide their animals with their legs while holding the reins in their teeth. This allowed the raiders to hold pistols in both hands. Often they would hang on one side of the animals and shoot around them (an old Comanche trick). The use of pistols is what made the Bushwackers so effective; they would raise a trilling, Indian style rebel yell and charge at full gallop. (I often wonder if Quantrill`s friend and nurse, the Indian who saved him after he was attacked, perhaps did more for him than tend his wounds? Quantrill had to get these tactics from somewhere.) The Union troops would fire their single-shot rifles while Quantrill`s band was out of range, and they would not have time to reload before the Bushwackers were on them, firing repeatedly with their 6 shot Navy Colts pistols. Each of Quantrill`s men carried a minimum of 4 pistols into action, and some had as many as 8 available.

(It must have been a terrifying sight; Quantrill`s band emerging like ghosts from the woods, screaming like banshees while riding at full gallop; moonlight glinting off their pistols while their customary scarlet shirts rustled in the breeze and the horses pounded the damp Missouri soil. The flare of their pistols discharging in the night, and the knowledge that you only have perhaps two minutes to live...)

The raid on Independence was an embarrassment to the Union forces in Missouri, and it illustrated their impotence in the face of this small (400 man or less) Confederate force. The time had come to take severe measures.

And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlong.



General Thomas Ewing, commander of the military occupation of Western Missouri, at the urging of James Lane, ordered the arrest of anyone who had any association with the Bushwackers, or who even expressed Southern sympathies. His infamous General Order 10 reads in part:

Such officers will arrest, and send to the District Provost-Marshall for punishment, all men and all women, not heads of families, who willfully aid and encourage guerrillas with a written statement of the names and residence of such persons and of the proof against them. They will discriminate as carefully as possible between those who were compelled, by threats or fears, to aid the Rebels and those who aid them from disloyal motives. The wives and children of known guerrillas, and also women who are heads of families and are willfully engaged in aiding guerrillas, will be notified by such officers to move out of this district forthwith. They will be permitted to take, unmolested, their stock, provisions, and household goods. If they fail to remove promptly, they will be sent by such officers, under escort, to Kansas City for shipment south, with their clothes and such necessary household furniture and provisions as may be worth removing.

(From Quantrill of Missouri by Paul R. Peterson)

Union troops quickly began rounding up the families of Quantrill`s men, and shipped them to a concentration camp in Kansas City.

While the lion`s share of the civilians were herded into a dirty camp along the banks of the Missouri river, one group was singled out for special imprisonment; close relatives of Quantrill`s men were place under guard on the second floor of a retired Union General`s building. This structure (only 5 years old, contrary to published accounts claiming the building was decrepit) had a dry-goods store on the first floor and was unoccupied on the top level, while the Union headquarters occupied the building adjacent. The women were detained on the the second floor, with no means of egress, and nobody making sure they were safe.

What happened next has been the subject of heated argument; the building collapsed, killing a couple of the women. The Union argued that a strong wind collapsed the structure, but this flies in the face of the structural engineers report five years later, as well as the insistence by the retired general that the building had been purposely destroyed. The women all claimed to hear people sawing and pickaxing in the basement, and the dry-goods company packed up their stuff and left the night before the collapse. In short, it looks as though the Union army murdered the Bushwacker`s women.

This, along with the great bitterness leftover from the burning of the Missouri town of Osceola a year or so before, set Quantrill`s men into a fury! (I visited Osceola this summer, and there was a plaque with a vague reference to a Civil War battle-the winners definitely write history!) ``Bloody`` Bill Anderson, one of Quantrill`s ablest (and most violent) Captains, argued for an immediate attack. The air was thick with vengeance.

Men at war never war with women, but women from the South
they take,
to an ancient cell which killed as it fell, with the aid of
the Union`s weight
We`re gonna ride and track you down. We`re gonna burn Lawrence
to the ground.

James Edwards

Quantrill unveiled his plan.

For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts.



``Carthago delenda est``

Marcius Porcius Cato

No one else could have done it. He was going up against a wary enemy, and enemy who had troops stationed along each mile of the Missouri-Kansas border, and enemy who was actively hunting him. His plan was so daring it smacked of folly, yet he had always been a cautious and meticulous leader who never lead his men into unnecessary danger. His plan was so bold that nobody believed-especially after Gen. Lee`s defeat at Gettysburg-that anyone would be daring enough to try such a thing. Only Quantrill could have done it, only William Clark Quantrill could have launched such a raid on the citadel of the Jayhawkers and pulled it off.

Civil War historian Shelby Foote once claimed that the War produced one true military genius-Nathan Bedford Forest. Forest, like Quantrill, was a partisan ranger and brilliant guerrilla commander, and he gets all the good press because he fought in the eastern theatre, the places everyone remembers when discussing the Civil War. The fact is, Quantrill was fighting under far more difficult circumstances and he accomplished every bit as much (if not more) than Forrest. I will be generous and agree that the war produced TWO great military geniuses; Quantrill was certainly one of them, and the planning and execution of the Lawrence raid was certainly one of the all-time masterpieces of military action. It was also one of the bloodiest.

The raiders set off from Blue Springs, Mo. on August 19, 1863 with Captains William Gregg and George Todd leading a zig-zag course through the Missouri brush. They crossed the state line just north of Aubrey, Kansas; three hundred men riding silently through the pre-dawn light towards the sleeping town of Lawrence, 45 miles to the west. A Union commander at Warrensburg had learned that Quantrill`s band was on the move, and they had to be dealt with, so Quantrill sent a diversionary party of 16 men to move into Johnson county, successfully drawing the Union troops away from the main body of raiders. Fortune was with the Bushwackers; the telegraph office was closed, so word that Quantrill`s men were on the move did not get out until morning-by then they were well into Kansas.

The plan was to arrive before dawn, but they were tardy and arrived well after daybreak on August 20. Coleman Younger, scouting ahead, reported that he was informed there were 300 Union regulars as well as 300 militia, so the odds were 2 to 1 against the raiders, but Quantrill`s band had faced odds as heavily as 5 to 1 in the past, so they were not overly concerned. Also, some of the regulars were out on patrol (looking for Quantrill), and the remainder-along with the Jayhawker companies-were encamped across the river which bordered Lawrence. Bill Anderson was able to keep these troops pinned down throughout the raid, while the main body of Quantrill`s men extracted their awful vengeance.

They had composed a list of 93 men marked for execution. They had orders to shoot any man who resisted. They had orders to shoot any Union soldier or Jayhawker. They had orders to kill any man using a tombstone for a doorstep. Women and children were not to be hurt, but the town was to be put to the torch.

James Lane was eating breakfast in his nightshirt that morning when he heard Quantrill`s men coming for their vengeance. He did not hesitate; he jumped out of his window and fled into a cornfield. Lane managed to elude his would be executioners, thus denying the raider`s their greatest prize.

But he was one of the few who managed to get away. Quantrill`s men went door to door, dragging out the men on their list and shooting them like dogs in the streets. They shot soldiers and men who resisted, and set fire to the Free State Hotel. In fact, they set so many fires that the parts of the town they hadn`t intended to burn caught fire anyway-including the Eldridge Hotel which was owned by a close personal friend of Quantrill`s and was used by him as his headquarters during the raid.

In all 184 men were killed and 87 buildings burned to the ground. Blood ran in the streets and alleys of Lawrence, and the city was reduced to ashes; it was the worst massacre of civilians in American history. A great black cloud roiled unto the Heavens, a burnt offering to Molok, or the ancient serpent. Lawrence was dead; butchered by Quantrill and his men. When the Bushwackers left it was a silent, empty place.

Quantrill didn`t think they would be able to escape, not after what they had done, but his men had all given their assent to the raid. He knew that Union forces were close and would pursue him like the Furies, so the raiders set out for Missouri with all dispatch. They had a number of wagons loaded with booty which they had taken out of warehouses in Lawrence but which had originally been stolen from Missouri by the Jayhawkers, but they were forced to dump this in order to make their escape.

Bill Anderson fought a rear-guard action against pursuing Federals, who nipped at the raider`s heels throughout the entire flight to Missouri, but the Union forces, exhibiting that fear that can only be understood by those who have looked great evil in the eye, were too frightened to engage Anderson in open combat, preferring to snipe at his troops from a distance. Anderson lost his voice from shouting commands to his men, and had to be replaced before the Bushwackers made it to the state line. Once the band was ``safely`` in Missouri, Quantrill disbanded and his men scattered into the forests.

There was little left of Lawrence; like Sodom, Babylon, or Carthage, it had been reduced to ashes.


General Order 11

First, all persons living in Cass, Jackson, and Bates counties, Missouri, and in that part of Vernon including in this district, except those living within one mile of the limits of Independence, Hickman`s Mill, Pleasant Hill, and Harrisonville, and except those in that part of Kaw Township, Jackson County, north of Brush Creek and west of the Big Blue (river), embracing Kansas City and Westport, are hereby ordered to remove from their present places of residence within fifteen days from the date hereof (Aug. 25, 1863).

Second, all grain and hay in the field , or under shelter, in the district from which the inhabitants are required to remove within reach of military stations, after the 9th day of September next, will be taken to such stations and turned over to the proper officer there, and report of the amount so turned over made to district headquarters, specifying the names of all loyal owners, and the amount of such produce taken from them. All hay and grain found in the district after the 9th day of September next, not convenient to such station, will be destroyed. Third: The provisions of General Order no. 10, from these headquarters, will at once be vigorously executed by officers commanding in the parts of the district, and at the stations not subject to to the operations of paragraph First of this order-and especially in the towns of Independence, Westport, and Kansas City.

Fourth: Paragraph 3, General Order No. 10, is revoked as to all who have borne arms against the government in the district since August 20, 1863.


Gen. Thomas Ewing

With this order the Union military commander of Western Missouri expelled all of the residents of 4 Missouri counties in an effort to break the backs of Quantrill`s Rangers. Throughout the war Missourians aided and abetted the Bushwackers, even many who had supported the Union did so because Quantrill was the only hope for those victimized by the unscrupulous and evil men who came to profit from the war. They gave food, shelter, ammunition, and intelligence freely, because Quantrill would help protect them from the Jayhawkers and looters. Many people who had been pro-Union turned against the Federals after witnessing the terrible things the Union was doing in Missouri. Many Union officers considered everyone in Missouri a traitor which was grossly unfair; a fairly large majority of Missourians had been devoutly loyal to the Union prior to the opening of hostilities.

General order 11 sought to starve the Bushwackers out.

It became obvious that the South was going to lose the war, and Quantrill began thinking about ways to get out with his skin. He considered going to Texas and slipping into Mexico, but the Union was closing that particular pathway and Quantrill didn`t get along with the Confederate commander in that state, anyway. He began speaking to his Captains about ways to avoid the hangman`s noose.

This angered Bill Anderson, who split off to form his own band of partisans. He would go on to become one of the most infamous killers of the war, massacring a Union contingent at Centralia, Mo. on September 27, 1864. He was killed exactly one month later on October 27 following a firefight with Union troops at Orrick, Mo.

Quantrill would go on to capture Maj. Gen James Blunt in a firefight between the Bushwackers and Blunt`s troops at Baxter Springs. This was , in many ways the most important victory Quantrill`s men would have. Read General Blunt`s memoirs here.

He would also lead his men into battle (along with the Confederate army) at Westport, where the Confederates would suffer a crushing defeat

The noose was tightening around Quantrill`s neck, and he knew his days were numbered. His band would act as scouts to Gen. Sterling Price when he launched his final invasion of Missouri. Price would suffer too many losses trying to take the Union fort at Pilot Knob, and would be unable to attack St. Louis, so he headed west to attempt to take the state capital (Jefferson City) with mixed results. Quantrill`s band would continue to operate outside of their traditional area, and would do well, but time was not on their side, and the black flag hung over them like a burial shroud.

Quantrill decided to try to join up with Gen. Lee, hoping he and his men could surrender as Confederate regulars rather than be shot as bandits. He originally planned on heading east through Illinois, but he couldn`t cross the Mississippi so wound up crossing into Kentucky.

He had a new horse, and had been suffering from injuries sustained during his many campaigns. One day his horse kicked him in the chest, breaking a couple of his ribs. A bad rainstorm was coming on, and so he and his men camped in a barn outside of Taylorsville. Quantrill went up into the loft to sleep while his men played cards, and his men failed to post pickets (a mistake Quantrill himself would never have made). A Union force attacked while Quantrill slept. The barn was completely surrounded, but the men shot their way out and were making their escape. Quantrill, suffering from broken ribs, was unable to mount his horse to make his getaway. He was shot several times, and Frank James came to the rescue but Quantrill ordered him to leave rather than be captured. He was taken prisoner by the Federals who placed him in a farmhouse for a couple of days (where Frank James and a couple of his other men snuck in to visit him, but he refused their offer to break him out.) He was taken to a military hospital, where he died. It was June 6, 1865.


While many of the Bushwackers would die in battle, many were allowed to surrender and wound up living respectable lives. A large number of them became sheriffs out west (they were,after all, the toughest of the tough) or entered into respected occupations. Lincoln`s policy of reconciliation was helpful, despite the bitterness of reconstruction.

Some, but not all, were forgiven; young Jesse James was shot nearly to death while trying to surrender, and he went on to form one of the most famous outlaw gangs in history along with his brother Frank and James and Coleman Younger. They would live their entire lives fighting the dark war which had been thrust upon them when they were just boys.

The James` cousin Frank Dalton would become a legendary lawman at Fort Smith, Arkansas. His younger brother Bob Dalton would ride into infamy as leader of the Dalton Gang,one of the most notorious bands of outlaws in the west.

Bitterness over what occurred during the war would last a hundred years, and the name of William Clark Quantrill would be anathema. Any mention of Quantrill would generally be accompanied by a spitting on the floor, so reviled was that man. I really don`t believe that is fair; Quantrill was a hard man in hard times, doing what he believed he had to do. There was plenty of culpability on both sides during the nasty war which was fought throughout America, but especially the violent border regions. Quantrill was protected and aided by the farmers and residence of Missouri, which suggests he was not so despised by those he was protecting. He could hardly have been said to be in it for personal profit; what value would profit have gained him? He spent most of his life in the woods, hiding from those who would kill him.

That he and his men did monstrous things is beyond dispute; why they did them is another matter. Quantrill`s men were mostly well educated, upper-class citizens, contrary to what is often said of them. They were the children of planters and the well-to-do, children who had read the great romantic literature, who believed in honor, who felt it incumbent on them to protect and defend their families. That their vengeance repudiated eveything they came to hold dear never occured to them-but such things never occur to those fighting under such harsh circumstances. They were, as are we all, frail men with faults and deficiencies, as were their enemies.

I hope you all enjoyed this look back on what was a hard and bitter point in American history.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Large Part of the Problem

Koffi Annan, that pillar of strength in a world at war, has promised that any troops sent into Lebanon under the auspices of the United Nations would not wage war.

I pose the question; what exactly is the use of troops in a war zone if they won`t wage war? U.N. ``Peacekeepers`` are there for precisely that purpose, and if they don`t wage war they may as well stay home.

What Annan is more interested in is enforcing the U.N.`s authority over events; he doesn`t give a rats rump about saving lives, or about ending bloodshed. He wants those troops in Lebanon for the sake of their being there, thus reinforcing the ``right`` of the U.N. to exercise authority over nations. These troops will be a trimph of symbolism, while not intended to actually accomplish anything.

Of course, under the U.N. occupation, Hezbollah will be free to rearm and prepare for another go at Israel-which could well be the whole point. I can`t help but believe that Koffi prefers Hez-Ebollah and such groups to Israel, and would be happy if all of the Jews packed their bags and moved to Madagascar (where Hitler wanted to send them before his ``final solution``) I see rampant anti-Semitism in the U.N., and I don`t think they would shed any tears if Israel were driven into the sea.

I loved this quote;

'It is not expected to achieve by force what must be realized through negotiation and an internal Lebanese consensus

So, it requires a Lebanese concensus; what if that concensus is that Israel must be destroyed? This certainly seems to be the concensus in the South, where Hezbollah has been launching their attacks. Peace isn`t a matter of concensus. If that were true Hitler would never have been in power in Germany, Tojo in Japan, Stalin in the old Soviet Union. We would not have our long bloody human history if peace were a matter of concensus. It`s hard to believe that anyone listens to a man this stupid, or that he holds such an influential position in this world.

The United Nations isn`t the solution, it`s a large part of the problem.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Surviving a Nuclear Strike

I`m a bit of a packrat. I hate to get rid of things I might be able to use, and I especially hate to get rid of books or pamphlets. As a result, my house has bookcases in every room, I have books piled in the attic, and have stacks of books scattered strategically around the house. I usually reread them at some point, or keep them for references, so they aren`t just taking up space, but it becomes easy to forget about some of them.

I had joined the Boyscouts when I was 11 years old, and one of the things Scouts do (besides camp and hike) is community service. I was going through some of my old books the other day and found a pamphlet I had distributed as a community service project back in the `70`s about Civil Preparedness-particularly about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. Back then the Cold War was raging (despite Detente) and the fatalistic view that nobody would survive, so we should make no effort to save the populace had not yet firmly taken hold. (Mutual Assured Destruction gurus in Academia and the Council on Foreign Relations came up with the idea of making no provisions to protect the general public as a show of good faith to the Soviets.) This pamphlet gave nuts-and-bolts information on how to survive in the event somebody dropped the Big One, and the information contained is even more pertinent now in the era of terrorism and the possibility of a minor nuclear attack. Our chances of surviving a terrorist nuclear strike, or a North Korean one, are far greater than surviving a major thermonuclear attack would have been, but we need to know what to do if we happen to be unlucky. With that crazy Ahmadinajad making doomsday threats, I thought it would be germane to discuss the information in that pamphlet, and give an overview of the basics of surviving such an attack.

First off, the pamphlet presupposes we would have some warning in advance of such an attack-which we would if it would be a missile strike, but not in the event of a terrorist attack. If the terrorists strike us our first warning could be the nuclear flash itself. If you are in the blast area you can kiss your, er, gluteus maximus goodbye, but if you are in the peripheral area you can possibly survive by taking immediate cover. It works like lightening and thunder; the flash moves at lightspeed while the shock wave at sonic speeds. Depending on how far you are from the blast epicenter, you have from between a half second to maybe as much as a half minute to get ready. DON`T DAWDLE!!! If you can get between a building and the blast, or under a bridge, or behind something do so immediately. If there is nothing to hide behind, try to spot a ditch or depression in the ground. Curl into fetal position and tuck your head under your body as far as possible. Make yourself as small a target as you can. It`s a lot like surviving a tornado which comes on you suddenly-except this tornado has 1000* winds and is spread across the entire countryside. It will have ferocious energy, and will be hurling all sorts of debris.

If you have some sort of warning you need to get as far below ground as possible-preferably in the center of a heavy structure. It probably won`t matter if you are inside the blast area, but it might save your life if you are just outside it. Remember-the deeper below grade you can get the better. If you can`t get below grade go to the center of any building on the lowest floor and try to tuck yourself into a corner somewhere. Look for a structurally significant spot, one that might hold up under the blast. Failing that, do whatever you can to protect yourself; climb under any substantial object.

Never, ever look at the fireball; it could burn your retinas and you would be blind.

If you have survived the blast, or if you are outside of the blast area and the periphery, your next move will be to find shelter from the fallout. In the event of a terrorist attack that shelter may be as simple as leaving the affected area; civil authorities should be able to direct you in this regards. A single atomic device detonated by Hasan Bin-Sobar will put out some fallout, but it may not cause any serious inconvenience for those outside of the blast area itself. A number of nukes going off could lay down a major fallout pattern. Nobody can predict fallout patterns because they are predicated on the current weather patterns, and so it is up to the authorities to tell you where you are in peril. If you are in the fallout pattern, or if you are in doubt as to whether you are, seek shelter immediately. The first 24 hours of fallout is by far the most dangerous period, and if you are caught out in it you could die a painful, lingering death.

There aren`t many public fallout shelters these days, but some of the older buildings still contain them. When Eisenhower first proposed building the Interstate Highway System, the plan was to build giant fallout shelters under the highway overpasses, but this never got done and so there was never anywhere near enough shelters to protect the bulk of the populace. At any rate, if you know where one is it might be a good idea to go there, as they will be safer than most home shelters.

Very few people have shelters in their houses, but a deep basement can serve the purposes in an emergency. You want to be in the lowest part of your basement-ideally a spot completely below grade. The more mass you can put between yourself and the fallout the better. Fallout is dangerous because it is ``leaking`` subatomic particles, and those particles are passing through the cells in your body and ionizing chemicals which should not be ionized. What makes radiation sickness so dangerous is that the repair mechanisms of your body are damaged along with the rest, so it`s difficult to get well once you get sick. You`ll start vomiting, your hair and teeth will start falling out, you`ll develop bruises and sores all over your body, and will generally look like a refugee from ``The Night of the Living Dead``, or one of my old girlfriends. At any rate, it is a painful, sickening, unpleasant prospect which can be avoided if care is taken.

That care means building a makeshift fallout shelter for yourself; if your basement doesn`t have any part completely below grade you will need to stay close to the ground. Stack some furniture for walls and put a couple of doors for a roof to your shelter, being careful to observe where the basement rises above ground. Stack anything with a lot of mass on top of the doors; sand, cement, dirt, etc. Don`t forget that water is a fairly dense material which can act as decent shielding, and you will need plenty of water for drinking, cooking, and washing. You can fill coolers and place them on top of your shelter. If you have a child's swimming pool that would be ideal-fill it up! You really can`t have too much water, and it serves double-duty. Don`t be afraid that the radiation will contaminate it-only the fallout particles themselves are radioactive, and they can`t infect the water. You do need to be careful to avoid bacterial contamination, like always; a couple drops of bleach in your water will help sanitize it and won`t hurt you (we did it all of the time with questionable water when I was a Scout.)

If you are short on time and have to make do with what is inside the house, don`t be shy about using anything you have for protection. Books aren`t great, but they will help protect you if you pile them up. Boards, laundry, mattresses, anything will help. Once you have your shelter be careful to close the sides in as well; radiation may be coming in on a slant from the windows. It would be a good idea to close the windows in, if you can.

You are going to need things while in the shelter, and these things are vital. Water is the number one item on the list; you absolutely HAVE to have it, and you`ll need a bare minimum of half a gallon a day per person (you`re going to want much more than that). Plan for a worst-case scenario-have at least a two week supply. If you failed to plan, and the bombs have cut your water supply, you can drain water out of your toilet tank (not bowl). This is fresh (or reasonably so) and you can drink it. Food, too, is something you`ll need; keep some canned or dried food on hand, and be sure you have a can-opener and utensils. You can eat the food cold if need be, or, if you prefer, you can buy a propane stove or even use Sterno candles to heat the food. You`ll need some blankets and mats and pillows, because you`ll be sleeping in there for a while. If the strike is in winter you may not have heat so you may want heavy blankets and clothes.

A working radio is critical; without it you`ll have no idea when you can leave the shelter. Keep one handy. If you have poor reception in the basement (which would be good since it means the basement will probably block radiation) try attaching a wire or coaxial cable to the antenna with duct or electrical tape and pushing it out the nearest window. Don`t block the windows completely; you`ll need some air to breath. Just leave them cracked a hair and block the area below the top with mass.

Light, too, is something you`ll need to eat, drink, and defecate, so be sure to have some flashlights. You may want a couple of oil/kerosene lamps or lanterns, and you could even use a gasoline or propane light. Be sure to keep enough oil, gasoline, propane, and batteries on hand. It`ll be really tough if you have to do without light (there shouldn`t be any coming into your shelter from outside.) Oh, and be sure to have a bucket to use for going to the bathroom, along with toilet paper. You may want to include some bags to put the waste in. You`ll have to store this in the shelter for a couple of days, then you may be able to toss it out after that, but do so very quickly during the first week or so.

DO NOT DAWDLE; you`re life is worth more than your comfort, and you can live without many of the things which I have suggested for a day or two, at least until the radiation level has dropped enough for you to stick your head out for a couple of minutes. Once the fallout starts dropping you MUST be in that shelter!

Don`t forget to provide for your pets, if you have the time, and be sure to get them into the shelter with you-they can`t survive any better than you can outside. Remember to allot about a half-gallon of water for them, too.

If your house doesn`t have a basement it may have a crawl space; open the floor and dig down into the dirt under your house for a shelter. If it has neither you can either build a shelter in the center of your home, or dig a pit in the yard, cover it with some plywood, and cover that with dirt; you may not have enough time to pull this off, however. If you manage to get into an incomplete shelter keep working, but keep low! The longer you are exposed the worse it will be. It`s vitally important that you find some shelter immediately. Time is of the essence!

Unless you have a Geiger counter or other radiation detection device you will need to monitor the radio for information. Don`t come out until the authorities tell you it`s safe. Two weeks is usually enough time, but wait to be certain-it`s your health and life. You may have to sleep in the shelter for months after that, but you should be out of the shelter in a couple of days, then outside in a couple of weeks.

After emerging, be sure to sweep away any fallout particles you see (get rid of any that find their way into your house ASAP!!) These are still dangerous. You should keep them as far away as possible-even before you can leave your home.

Water with fallout particles in it can be filtered through cheesecloth; don`t worry about the really small particles that you can`t filter out. Don`t worry about fallout of dishes or utensils, either; as long as the visible particles are gone you should be o.k. You may want to wear a bandana if you are sweeping away a dusty batch of particles, and be careful to clean them off of you afterward.

If you have some potassium iodine pills, it wouldn`t hurt to take them-especially before the fallout starts; it saturates your thyroid so that radioactive iodine does not build up in your system but is expelled. It helps.

You can survive a nuclear attack if you are careful and follow these simple rules.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Accuse the Victims

The Moslems in Britain are blaming British foreign policy for the turmoil in the Middle-East, according to Sweet Spirits of Ammonia.

On a sad note, SSOA`s proprietor BobG`s brother has passed away; you may want to offer him condolences.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Wizard in His Emerald City

The Southern Agrarian passes this piece from USA Today along:

How Green Is He?
Gore isn't quite as green as he's led the world to believe

Al Gore has spoken: The world must embrace a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." To do otherwise, he says, will result in a cataclysmic catastrophe. "Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb," warns the website for his film, An Inconvenient Truth. "We have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin."

Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore's example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a "carbon-neutral lifestyle." But if Al Gore is the world's role model for ecology, the planet is doomed.

For someone who says the sky is falling, he does very little. He says he recycles and drives a hybrid. And he claims he uses renewable energy credits to offset the pollution he produces when using a private jet to promote his film. (In reality, Paramount Classics, the film's distributor, pays this.)

What Do You Think?
Public records reveal that as Gore lectures Americans on excessive consumption, he and his wife Tipper live in two properties: a 10,000-square-foot, 20-room, eight-bathroom home in Nashville, and a 4,000-square-foot home in Arlington, Va. (He also has a third home in Carthage, Tenn.) For someone rallying the planet to pursue a path of extreme personal sacrifice, Gore requires little from himself.

Then there is the troubling matter of his energy use. In the Washington, D.C., area, utility companies offer wind energy as an alternative to traditional energy. In Nashville, similar programs exist. Utility customers must simply pay a few extra pennies per kilowatt hour, and they can continue living their carbon-neutral lifestyles knowing that they are supporting wind energy. Plenty of businesses and institutions have signed up. Even the Bush administration is using green energy for some federal office buildings, as are thousands of area residents.

But according to public records, there is no evidence that Gore has signed up to use green energy in either of his large residences. When contacted Wednesday, Gore's office confirmed as much but said the Gores were looking into making the switch at both homes. Talk about inconvenient truths.

Gore is not alone. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has said, "Global warming is happening, and it threatens our very existence." The DNC website applauds the fact that Gore has "tried to move people to act." Yet, astoundingly, Gore's persuasive powers have failed to convince his own party: The DNC has not signed up to pay an additional two pennies a kilowatt hour to go green. For that matter, neither has the Republican National Committee.

Maybe our very existence isn't threatened.

Gore has held these apocalyptic views about the environment for some time. So why, then, didn't Gore dump his family's large stock holdings in Occidental (Oxy) Petroleum? As executor of his family's trust, over the years Gore has controlled hundreds of thousands of dollars in Oxy stock. Oxy has been mired in controversy over oil drilling in ecologically sensitive areas.

Living carbon-neutral apparently doesn't mean living oil-stock free. Nor does it necessarily mean giving up a mining royalty either.

Humanity might be "sitting on a ticking time bomb," but Gore's home in Carthage is sitting on a zinc mine. Gore receives $20,000 a year in royalties from Pasminco Zinc, which operates a zinc concession on his property. Tennessee has cited the company for adding large quantities of barium, iron and zinc to the nearby Caney Fork River.

The issue here is not simply Gore's hypocrisy; it's a question of credibility. If he genuinely believes the apocalyptic vision he has put forth and calls for radical changes in the way other people live, why hasn't he made any radical change in his life? Giving up the zinc mine or one of his homes is not asking much, given that he wants the rest of us to radically change our lives.

Hard to believe this is coming from the Mainstream Media! The man who would be king is living like one even without his throne, while demanding sacrifice from the munchkins beneath him. He, like the Wizard in the Emerald City, presides over a make-believe realm of little green people with his medicine show and flim-flam artistry, all the while desperate that nobody looks behind the curtain. What a charlatan!

I so hope Al Gore becomes the frontrunner for the Democratic Party!

Pictures at Eleven

Here is a classic; Reuters ran a heartbreaking picture of children`s toys in the rubble in Lebanon, but the AP outs it as a fraud!

I was wondering how long it would be before the media began eating their own; they enjoy the taste of blood a bit too much.

A Hijacked Religion?

One thing I have never been able to stomach is politically correct conventional wisdom. I hate it when people-especially those who should know better-repeat some feel-good phrase which is at odds with reality. ``Winning hearts and minds`` and ``the yearning of the human spirit`` are two examples of this which really bug me, because they are so easily disproven by an analysis of history. No major cultural change has ever been spearheaded via the conqueror winning hearts and minds; the conqueror must first conquer, must prove that resistance is futile for the conquered people. People naturally resent being told they have to change their ways. Did Prince William try to win the hearts and minds of England when his Normans invaded? He changed England because they couldn`t resist him, not because they loved him and his French ways. Did Spain worry about the tender sensibilities of the Aztecs when they conquered Mexico? Did the English Colonists win the hearts and minds of the Iroquois? I suppose the Comanche were won over by the Texas Ranger`s loving kindness? We were kind to Germany and Japan after the Second World War, but we had first completely destroyed Germany and had wiped two Japanese cities from the face of the Earth.

Likewise we keep hearing about the ``yearning of the human spirit`` and are told that all we need do is establish a working democracy somewhere in the Middle-East, and this yearning will blossom into a cultural flowering which will have the terrorists beating their swords into plowshares and move from strapping bombs onto themselves to adorning themselves with daisies and singing folk songs. It might be a nice dream, but t`aint gonna happen, folks! If democracy were such a powerful inducement, the entire world would be under democratic systems. The failure of democracy to take hold worldwide is all the proof we need to deflate this lead balloon.

So too is this argument that the Wahabiists and purveyors of Jihad have somehow ``hijacked`` Islam, and that the true Muslim is a peace-loving person who is embarrassed by his uncouth cousins. I think any serious reading of history would show that we have this 180* out of phase; the peace loving Muslim is the aberration, the Jihadist the norm. Islam, from it`s very inception, was spread by the sword, and the Koran commands the believer to do just that. (It`s interesting to note that, while Christianity has also been spread by the sword on occasion, Christ specifically told his disciples to do no such thing-commanding them to ``shake the dust of the town (which didn`t receive the Gospel) off your feet and move on``.) Military conversion was forbidden to the Christian, commanded of the Muslim. Islam repeatedly attacked neighboring kingdoms who had not molested them in the slightest, and the conquered people were second class citizens (and their women subject to the desires of the Muslim men) who paid heavy taxes and had no say in their own lives. Those who converted often did (much like Jews and Muslims in the newly created Spain would do much later) tried to maintain their faith in secret, or were not zealous in the spread of Islam. These are the peace-loving Muslims, the live-and-let-live types. These are the aberrations. The core of Islam has always been the Jihadist.

Which is why guys like Shawn Hannity aggravate me so much with their ``terrorists have hijacked their religion`` business; it ignores the historical reality of the situation. Today in the American Thinker Andrew Bostom debunks this pc concept.

Far too many people in the public eye mischaracterize the acts of terrorists and other villains as inconsistent with “mainstream” Islam, as a “corruption of the faith.” While this belief is comforting, especially to those who know, work with, or must obtain cooperation from non-violent Muslims, it is historically and theologically ignorant.

An August 12 Washington Times editorial endorsed President Bush’s use of the term “Islamic Fascism” to denote the ideology of the jihad terrorists whose plot to slaughter thousands of airline passengers leaving Britain was thankfully disrupted. The editorialists characterized the jihadists ideology more specifically as

…chauvinistic, regarding non-Muslims as a lesser breed of expendable or contemptible dhimmis and infidels. It favors autocracy and severe social and economic restrictions, as did the Taliban. It demands the total subordination of the individual to the group—sometimes manifesting in murderously suicidal deaths like the fiery destruction Britain’s would-be bombers sought. This is not mainstream Islam, of course. It is a corruption of the faith. [emphasis added]

Ignoring the expected outpouring of complaints from apologists for jihad terror who cynically decried (for example here and here), any“Islamic” references, or other less pressing semantic concerns ( “Islamism” versus “Islamic fascism”), the Washington Times editorial, indirectly, raises this critical question: just what comprises “mainstream” Islam (“of course”), as opposed to “corruption of the faith”?

These pressing corollary questions arise as well: What is the origin of “chauvinistic” concepts such as the treatment of non-Muslims as “contemptible dhimmis and infidels” who are rightfully placed under “severe social and economic restrictions”? Is it accurate to maintain that such discriminatory beliefs and practices merely derive from the very recent Taliban movement in (Pakistan and) Afghanistan, are unrelated to “mainstream” Islam, and further, represent a “corruption” of Islam? Is it really out of bounds to even consider that the heinous practice of suicide-homicide bombings may have profound Islamic religious justification?

This is a powerful essay; don`t miss the rest!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


A vacillating policy leads to disastrous consequences. The British policies prior to the Revolution had such; one day hard-nosed, the next conciliatory; eventually the Americans rebelled. The inability to come to an agreement on the fate of slavery lead to the Civil War, Wilson`s inconsistent policies lead us into WWI (he, like an inverted John Kerry, was against the war before he was for it and campaigned for re-election under the slogan ``the man who kept us out of war``.) inconsistent policies by Neville Chamberlain brought us WWII, Korea was a fierce and bloody fight which ended in a stalemate because of the inconsistent military strategy, we lost Vietnam because of an inconsistent military strategy, etc. Foreign policy-especially in times of war-need to be solid, dependable, and firm; you cannot change horses in midstream.

Which is why Israel`s acceptance of the cease-fire proposal is such a bad thing; Israel has shown itself to be weak and vacillating. The Israeli`s never went after Hezbollah with full force. They would send troops and equipment in, then pull back as a sign of good faith whenever talks of a cease-fire would heat up. As a result, Hezbollah was able to make p.r. and tactical gains while continuing to fire missiles at Israeli civilians. Now, Hezbollah emerges as the victor, since they ``chased Israel out of Lebanon``. This mirrors the American withdrawal from Lebanon after Hezbollah attacked our Marine barracks in the `80`s (something which ``proved`` to Bin Laden that America had no stomach for a fight.) It doesn`t matter that Israel accepted a cease-fire in order to please the United Nations; to the Arab street the Israelis ran with their tails between their legs.

Not only does this postpone the day of reckoning, it encourages and emboldens the enemy everywhere, and we can expect to see a wave of new terrorist attacks around the Globe because of this failure of nerve by Israel. The Bush Administration should have done all in its power to encourage an Israeli victory, because a defeat of Hezbollah would make Iraq safer, would make Afghanistan safer, would ultimately make America safer. Of course, the Bush Administration failed to do that, and opted instead for the conventional failed wisdom of backing a U.N. brokered ``peace`` deal, which is merely a time out for the terrorists to sharpen their knives.

There seems to be something which rots the brain, which derails any consistent, logical thought when it comes to the situation in Palestine; even though we are at war with terrorism, and the President has declared that all terrorist organizations with international reach and their state sponsors are our enemies, we continue to restrain Israel, to force them to depend on the goodwill of der feind. Bush`s is only the latest in a long line of administrations which have been unable and unwilling to break out of this mold, which has shown a strange lethargy when dealing with Palestine. Something seems to sap the will when this problem is involved.

Therein lies the problem; we are operating with a vacillating policy, one in which we pursue some enemies while allowing others to remain in place. This is a recipe for disaster.

It has been said that the old Soviet leadership was happy when Ronald Reagan was elected President, because at least they knew what to expect. Jimmy Carter jumped around more than fleas in a flea circus, and it was impossible for the Soviets to maintain any sort of policy; they were afraid of Carter, because they never knew where the line they weren`t supposed to cross lay. (Of course, Reagan would eventually destroy them.) Carter`s weakness and vacillation lead to the current crisis with Iran, lead to the whole Contra business because he wouldn`t defend the Monroe Doctrine, lead to a plethora of problems worldwide.

We cannot afford to vacillate in these modern times. I expect this blunder with Israel will cost everyone dearly in the not-so-distant future.

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