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Second Civil War? It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 10

[ by Charles Cameron — more noise by far than reality, but still enough reality to be troubling — your opinions sought! ]

Here’s the promised special chyron issue on the concept of a Second Civil War


I’m featuring this quote from Nicolle Wallace first, because it suggests that Trump has already engendered a war — whereas the other materials I offer here will suggest that the war arises in response to Democratic actions against Trump — a difference in emphasis worth noting:

It’s a war. He permitted, he green-lit a war in this country around rce. And if you think about the most dangerous things he’s done, that might be it..



Rush Limbaugh:

You might even get away with saying that we are on the cusp of a second Civil War. Some of you might say that we are already into it, that it is already begun, however you characterize it though, we are under attack from within.

Chyrons again:


That’s a whole lot of very-very-right and Trump-circle-right messaging about a Civil War, and that quote, I vote, and I buy guns, is chilling, with the example of Lt Hasson and his arsenal driving the point home. Another point about Hasson is that he stated his intention to have five such stashes of weaponry…

Fair enough, there are extremists putting together weapons stashes, some of them using them in infrequent but deadly terror operations. Fair enough, by no means everyone on the right, and by no means everyone who supports Second Amendment gun rights, is liable to join in any attempt at a civil war. But fair enough too, on the whole those on the right may well be better armed than those on the left

Fair enough again, many of those on the left have their grievances sharpened, much as many on the right do.. and grievances may in the end turn out to be the most significant of weapons, since they provide the motivation for mayhem, whether verbal or martial. And it should be admitted that threats and physical violence are intimately connected, and rhetoric can indeed incite to harm.

That’s my poor, off-the-cuff attempt to get some of the nuances of the situation stated, and no doubt some “on one side” would put their emphasis in some places and de-emphasize or deny others, and vice versa.. but my overall point would be something along these lines:

there’s enough rage simmering in the American body politic — and possibly in many other nations — for sporadic outbursts of violence and attempted civil war to occur — but at least in the States we are far from the full-blown CW2 that Rush Limbaugh seems to relish — and although I’ve heard the opinion expressed that Berkeley should be nuked, on the whole we don’t have the same sort of battle lines as were available (I think, being a Brit and no historian) in the North / South divide of CW!.


Zen tweeted today:

That fits with my impression. And Zen is a (or an) historian.


As an Oxford man, though, I was impressed with the fact that the street named North Parade runs south of the street named South Parade in that city, and the explanation that during the English civil war, the Roundheads gathered at South Parade while the Royalists faced them at North Parade — a pleasant fantasy, according to Wiki and its footnotes.

But that was a lo-o-ong while ago..



17 Responses to “Second Civil War? It’s snowing metaphoric chyrons 10”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    JM Berger tweets:



  2. Sally Benzon Says:

    DOMEX? Domestic terrorist? I don’t know the term. In any case, “I vote and I buy guns” gives me chills.

  3. Jim Says:

    There’s no one to attack that makes any sense as there are so many… The democratic side has no authoritarian “leader”, rather, only individuals skilled in herding cats. The gun-nuts don’t have anything to worry about for two years, as there’s no chance Trump will get impeached from the Republican Senate. Russians were in 29 states voting rolls and probably in 2020 will delete enough democrats in swing states to re-elect, plus their vast social media blitz will again have a huge effect. If Trump loses, armed attacks won’t follow on any scale. There are many things to worry about but Civil War in the US isn’t one of them, realistically, for the foreseeable future.

  4. mkcowan Says:

    Although General Lee surrendered his troops to General Grant and laid down his arms, the Civil War did not end at Appomatox. The persistence of white supremacy and patriarchy has allowed the forces of the defeated Confederacy to survive and thrive into the present. State violence against women and people of color has not abated. The systematic destruction and reduced accesibility of social goods (healthcare, housing, education, employment, security, clean air & water, etc.) to the majority of Americans are the contemporary weapons used by those in power to kill and divide those who might rise up in opposition.
    The local police in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, Newark, et al, were much more dangerous than the Weatherman, the Panthers or any para-military groups on the left.
    Perhaps we ought to come to a more sophisticated understanding of how war is waged domestically.

  5. Jim Gant Says:

    Zen and Charles, Hope all is well. I have often wondered what circumstances would actually have to occur in order for there to be a CW2. My most basic understanding is that IOT to start an insurgency/revolution/ rebellion one needs: 1) A means to destroy and destabilize (weapons and ammo) ((although I would like to note that the dynamics of cyber-attacks, trolling, mass propaganda via all media outlets, AI,etc, ie ‘Hybrid/ Political Warfare’ is already the perfect storm for 21st century revolutionary/rebellion/insurgent type of war-something we are totally not prepared for)) 2) The will to kill using those means (weapons) and 3) Safe-Havens to prepare, rest, train, resupply, recruit, rest, etc…4) An ideology of some kind. Of course there are many more variables that can be added however, these four are a must. Do we currently have those types of threats in the US? Yes. And unfortunately the current political situation in our country pushes those groups (on both the left and right) to prepare for “war” (as we have seen here on ZP with Charles pointing out words of war and combat are thrown are by the media like candy. Are we close to CW2? I say no. Are we closer than most people think? I say yes. Keep up the great work. Jim

  6. Charles Cameron Says:

    I’d like to quote (with some sympathy) my friend and Friend Marshall Massey’s response to my posting this on FB:

    I don’t think it’s a healthy speculation.

    I certainly don’t intend to inflame feelings or hasten CW2, but hope that a little awareness may prove of help in avoiding the possibility. I hope I’ve made my own sense that CW2 is unlikely if, say, Trump were electorally defeated, impeached or imprisoned by the courts, I do think we might see scattered and/or sporadic violent acts, hopefully intercepted by intelligence and law enforcement.

  7. Jim Gant Says:

    Charles, I agree completely with your friend. Jim

  8. Charles Cameron Says:

    I have different reasons for being grateful for each of your comments.
    JM Berger is both a friend and the author of three books on terrorism that I have reviewed with pleasure, Jihad Joe, (with Jessica Stern) ISIS: The State of Terror, and Extremism.
    Ken Cowan is a long-time neighbor, and even longer-time friend of mine, a compassionate activist and voice of imagination and reason — and a long-time teacher in the Loos Angeles district, whose insights helped me with my thinking on the application
    .of my HipBone Games to local teaching curriula.
    Marshall Massey both a fellow longer-time friend with Ken, and a valued Friend whose passion and scholarship proposed the creation of the first North American Quaker environmental organization in a 1985 plenary address to Friends in California — I was happy to be his host on that occasion — and spoke to the necessity for a Quaker testimony on unity with nature at the Friends General Conference Gathering at Oberlin College in 1987.
    Sally and Jim, likewise, are valued friends — and if one is known by the company one keeps, I am indeed fortunate..
    And Jim Gant — what can I say? His work in Afghanistan, exemplified by his paper One Tribe at a Time, was both unorthodox and widely praised, while his life then has been chronicled by his wife Ann Scott Tyson, in her book, American Spartan: the Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant> We are happy to count him a friend of Zenpundit.
    Your various views and emphases are greatly appreciated.
    [ I was completing this comment while Jim Gant was posting the comment that follows, which I believe is JHim’s response to his own earlier comment. ]

  9. Jim Gant Says:

    Charles, With that being said – it is something we should all think about – if not for a minute or two. We all (Americans) are in the same boat. We will rise or fall – together. Take care! Jim

  10. Charles Cameron Says:

    I had forgotten that Zen posted Probability and Risk of a Second Civil War back in May of last year, in which he hosted the hydrologist and flood-plain risk evaluator BJ Campbell’s Medium post The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper — obviously a significant precursor to this post, and one worth rereading at this point.
    Campbell gives us the equation professionals use for calculating the risk of the “hundred year” level of flooding over a given period, then generalizes from there to risks in general. You just need that simple equation, some data points , a calculator.
    Campbell’s piece in turn references Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich, which contains such gems as:

    All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob. No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.


    I think, to some degree, we all collectively take it on faith that our country works, that our currency is valuable, the peaceful transfer of power—that all of these things that we hold dear work because we believe they work. While I do believe they’re quite resilient, and we’ve been through a lot, certainly we’re going to go through a lot more.

  11. Grurray Says:

    “The local police in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Detroit, Newark, et al, were much more dangerous than the Weatherman, the Panthers or any para-military groups on the left.”
    This is just plain ridiculous. Bill Ayers bombed the US Capitol & the Pentagon during wartime with the expressed purpose of overthrowing the United States government. That was not only a risk to a few bodily lives, but it was a systemic risk to our entire way of life and all our lives. He may have been rich, white, and (arguably) educated, but he was still trying to overthrow the government.
    The Black Panthers had a few interesting members with some far-sighted ideas. They also tended to operate like a violent street gang in some instances, as in the case of Bunchy Carter killed by the Stiner Brothers at UCLA- or like organized crime in other instances, as with the murder of Betty Louise Van Patter. And then when you start looking into the strategic relationships between the Panthers, the Nation of Islam, and the Peoples Temple things start to turn even uglier.
    In contrast, look at what happened when Martin Luther King moved to Chicago in the summer of 1966 to agitate for an end to housing discrimination. He was provided with public access for demonstrations and police escorts:
    Mayor Daley, realizing that there was little chance of stopping a tidal wave, negotiated an agreement with MLK that later formed the basis of the Federal Fair Housing Act. In exchange, MLK agreed to talk with local gangs to help calm racial tensions that kept Chicago from exploding in riots (at least that year) as Detroit and LA had during the previous two years.
    It’s true that MLK was met by angry counter-protesters while in Chicago. That was indeed a time when there was real civil unrest occurring in this country. However, the police were not doing the fighting, but they were refereeing. They had to because MLK possessed a moral authority that forced them to acquiesce. Had the police really been more dangerous they would have never let MLK have his forum.

  12. Charles Cameron Says:

    Hi Grurray:
    I’ll have to ask Ken Cowan to respond to you as to what he meant by his comment on the police in those cities. Ayers, as I recall, didn’t kill anyone, though the Symbionese Liberation Army did, and I’d certainly put them on the left.
    I’d be very interested to know more about “the strategic relationships between the Panthers” and “the Nation of Islam”, and particularly with “the Peoples Temple”. I really ought to have studied NOI (putting on my hat as a student of “new religious movements” (“NRMs”) but really only got interested when L

  13. zen Says:

    I think JM may be correct on the level of violence. Unhappy far right and far left in this country seems far more likely to breed what many countries saw in the 1960’s and 1970’s (Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhoff, Weatherman Underground, SLA, IRA splinters, PLO splinters, Tupamaros, Sendero Luminoso) or the 80’s and 90’s (the Order, militias, OKC bombers, clinic bombers) than a true civil war scenario (Lebanon, US civil war, Chinese warlord period).
    Note that itself is not good. Car bombs, drone bombs and regular assassinations are enough to bring a society to the brink without reaching the point of overt formations in combat.
    How to make this less likely? Pols and activists need to stop emphasizing polarization and start emphasizing themes of convergence and policies the bolster the legitimacy of the entire system at the expense of factional spoiling.

  14. Grurray Says:

    Charles, early on when Jones was building his Utopian group he once went to Chicago to try to partner with the Black Muslims, but he rightly wasn’t even let through the door. Years later in the 70s, the fortunes of both had been reversed, and it was Elijah Mohammed’s son Wallace who turned to Jones and his political connections in order to reform his organization after the elder Mohammed died. It culminated in Wallace Mohammed getting a prime speaking slot at big rally organized by Jones at the LA Convention Center during the summer of 1976. Jones gained street cred for his urban infiltration program, and Wallace was able to steer the NOI into the political mainstream. That is until Farrakhan wrested it back away a few years later to forever drove it to extremism.
    Jones was also close to Huey Newton. Newton’s family was part of the People’s Temple, with Jones claiming to have healed some of them. They had a summit of sorts in Cuba where Newton was living as a fugitive and Jones was about a year away from the massacre. The ideas in Huey Newton’s memoirs ‘Revolutionary Suicide’ figured prominently in Jones’ own religious ideology for ultimately tragic reasons. The book is actually somewhat interesting, presenting a black nationalist version of stoic, memento mori philosophy, but the deranged Jones obviously drew the wrong conclusions.

  15. Charles Cameron Says:

    Totally fascinating, and altogether unknown to me. Thanks, Grurray.

  16. David Ronfeldt Says:

    Futurist David Brin has blogged for years, on his facebook page and at blog he calls Contrary Brin, about the numerous phases in efforts to refight and reignite various aspectss of the original Civil War. By now we’re in the eighth iteration, he says, most recently here:
    Further reportage appeared today in The Washington Post here:
    If trends continue in this direction, they’ll be largely a result of the spread of malignant tribalism that has concerned me (and my writing) for many years. Personally, though, I’m more concerned about a turn to a new kind of fascism than a new civil war (tho the two can go hand in hand).
    It’s good to stop by here for the first time in months. Onward.

  17. Charles Cameron Says:

    Here’s the header from the WaPo article David linked to, as a teaser:

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