March 4, 2021—cue ominous music—THE Q-ANON INSURRECTION!!! A variety of congress critters, including at least one Texas Republican—cue ominous music—solemnly intones they had intelligence—intelligence I tell you!—Q-Anon was going to insurrect the capital with tools of insurrection to do insurrection stuff! Joe Scarborough on MSDNC solemnly intoned—cue ominous music—Trump terrorists were going to attack the capital! Congress critters, mimicking brave, brave Sir Robin, bravely ran away:
Brave, brave congress critters;
When danger reared its ugly head,
They bravely turned their tails and fled,
Brave, brave, brave, brave congress critters!
They abandoned the capital building, leaving nothing but Capital Police and thousands of National Guard troops surrounding the building. Oh yes, there were legions of reporters solemnly intoning—cue ominous music—the insurrection was imminent, but they were bravely manning—and womanning—the barricades to bring the truth of Trump insurrectionists, who were given insurrection instruction by Trump, to the world!
Actually, one brave congresscritter, Al Green (D, TX) made a show of hanging out of the Capital steps, ready to face the onrushing hordes of Normal Americans single-handed. That’s brave Al Green in the red circle.
What’s that you say? What happened? Don’t keep you in suspense?
Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Not even a deranged street person with a hand lettered sign showed up. Nothing. No mostly peaceful protest, no insurrection, no coup, no sedition, nothing.
Yawn. I’ve lived in Flyover Country my entire life. I am also a veteran–USAF. I have yet to meet an actual racist, white supremacist, or anyone who so much as had any idea what “Q-Anon” might be. Nor have I ever met a Q-Anon member or supporter. Is there a hat? An official t-shirt? Are there official publications or perhaps a website? Do they have clubhouses, or perhaps a secret handshake? Suspicious sort that I am—cue ominous music—my research indicates Q-Anon is just another ephemeral boogeyman manufactured by D/S/Cs because the supply of actual racists and insurrectionists is grossly insufficient to meet D/S/C and media—I know: same thing–demand.
And so our Capital, surrounded by concrete barricades, fences and barbed wire, is militarized. Well, not quite. It’s “militarized” only in the sense members of our military are there. Having served, I know exactly what’s going on and what those troops are thinking. You’ve seen the photos of troops standing around, bored out of their minds. They stand there for their entire shifts, watching traffic and waving at passersby. They know there’s no threat. They know they’re political props. They’re carrying slung M4s, but those rifles are empty—no magazines in the magazine wells. folding sights folded down. In some of the photos I’ve seen, a few of the troops appear to be wearing magazine pouches, but I’ve no idea if there are any magazines in them, or if there is ammo in those magazines. It’s rather odd for troops facing the imminent and certain horrors of domestic, white supremacist, racist, insurrectionist, seditionist, Q-ANON, and worst of all, TRUMP TERRORISTS, without ammunition, but optics and the narrative of the moment take precedence over reality.
No doubt there are a few D/S/C true believer officers—D/S/Cs have been working since the age of Obama to ensure that–but the other officers, NCOs and enlisted troops are less than impressed. Even those true believers were sufficiently smart and independent to tell Nancy Pelosi where to get off when she wanted crew served machineguns set up. Our troops are more than willing to give their all for a genuine mission, a mission where they are defending America from real enemies, but they hate idiots wasting their time for no reason, and they hate political idiots most of all. If they didn’t hate our political class before, they do now. They are not going to fire on genuinely peaceful protestors. They will not fire on innocent Americans, regardless of orders, even if they have ammunition, which they may or may not be allowed to carry, because the D/S/Cs commanding their officers absolutely don’t trust them, which is one of their saner calculations.
The invaluable Victor Davis Hanson has this observation:
But 280 former generals, admirals, and national security officials signed a letter warning that if Trump were to bring in any federal troops to keep the peace after the capital violence of late May and early June, riots that saw systematic attacks on police, vandalism, arson, injuries, and looting, and neared the White House grounds, he should be considered a dictatorial threat. ‘There is no role for the U.S. military in dealing with American citizens exercising their constitutional right to free speech, however uncomfortable that speech may be for some,’ they insisted.
The same group remained mute when nearly 30,000 troops flooded the streets of the capital in the aftermath of the January 6 riot inside the Capitol building. They maintain their silence as barbed wire and fencing now cordon off the city, and thousands of troops remain without a terrorist or insurrectionist enemy in sight—a militarization of the capital not seen since the Civil War. Tolerable and intolerable violence is predicated on ideology, not its nature or magnitude.
As I wrote In Guarding DC: It Won’t Work, it’s not working. The portion of a classic Rudyard Kipling poem I quoted—
You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! ”
But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An ‘Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!
–is even more relevant today, as Fox News reports:
Members of Michigan’s National Guard have complained of receiving undercooked meals or food containing metal shavings during their stay in Washington, D.C., to protect the U.S. Capitol, according to news reports, as lawmakers from the state call for a new food provider.
The disclosures — which first surfaced in Michigan news outlets — were the latest reports of alleged mistreatment of National Guard personnel in the nation’s capital, where Guard members from several states were deployed both before and after the Jan. 6 riot.
The entire Michigan delegation in the U.S. House wrote a letter to the National Guard on Tuesday saying, ‘We understand that the decision was made to provide contracted meals to support the entire federal response stationed at the Capitol. However, it is clear that these contracted meals are poorly prepared, oftentimes inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers.’
Various congresscritters have postured and blathered—some apparently sincerely—and some stabs at improved food have been made, but:
It comes as Guard members have increasingly been spending their own money for meals because they don’t trust the food that is being supplied to them, the Detroit News report said.
One message delivered to a lawmaker claimed that ‘multiple soldiers’ had been sickened by meals, with much of the food being tossed in the trash.
‘Morale is very bad,”=’ the message said. ‘Many have served overseas and cannot believe the quality of food they are being fed here.’
Huizenga, a Republican from Holland, Mich., said he heard that Guard members were discarding as many as half the meals they were receiving.
‘What I was told is, if they had 10 meals, they were throwing four or five of them away,’ he told the News. ‘They couldn’t even eat them.’
While no one has ever accused the military of providing five star meals, the military virtually always has the means necessary to provide more than merely palatable hot meals for troops on extended deployments. Even MREs, if not in all iterations delicious, are edible. It would seem DC really does corrupt everything within its reach.
And just how serious is the threat our National Guard troops confront? Miranda Devine at The New York Post explains:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) managed to puncture one poisonous myth about the Capitol riot, during a Senate hearing Wednesday.
‘How many firearms were confiscated in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds’ Jan. 6, he asked FBI counterterrorism chief Jill Sanborn.
‘To my knowledge, none,’ she replied.
‘Nobody has been charged with [having] an actual firearm weapon in the Capitol or on Capitol grounds?’ asked Johnson.
‘Correct,’ said Sanborn.
He pressed on: ‘How many shots were fired, that we know of?’
Sanborn replied: ‘I believe the only shots that were fired were the ones that resulted in the death of the one lady [Ashli Babbitt, shot by a Capitol officer].’
So much for the ‘armed insurrection.’
That would be the “armed insurrection” characterized by most “insurrectionists” politely taking in the sights after being let in by Capital Police. The same insurrectionists willingly left after a few hours. The damage to the capital was so horrific the congress critters went about their normal business shortly after the insurrectionists peacefully left.
The D/S/Cs in charge of the Capitol still refuse to explain why the Guard must remain, and refuse to say when they will be going home. I ended my previous article on the Guard in DC thus:
These are not the actions of those confident the results of the 2020 election were unblemished. They are not the actions of honorable men and women. They are not the actions of representatives that believe themselves the servants of the people, their hired hands. These are the actions of fearful despots who can see their loss of power—and worse–on the horizon and know it won’t be pretty, so they try to use the National Guard to divide and threaten us further.
It won’t work.
It’s still not working.