Martial Law: A Primer

“There’s a reason you separate the military and the police. One fights the enemy of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”

Who said this? It’s so profound and succinct.
 
In Battlestar Galactica there’s a most critical scene where Laura Roslyn, President of the Twelve Colonies, and Commander William Adama are discussing how to respond to the potential rioting among civilians. In the absence of a suitable and effective police force capable of quelling the situation, President Roslyn wants the military to in effect police the civilians. Adama informs her that the military won’t be her cops and provides the aforementioned thusly. This is the essence of the firewall between civilian law enforcement and the military.
 
This isn’t a treatise so I’ll refer you to articles and references to Posse Comitatus and martial law and the various distinctions between such. This is a note of hope and support. Not saccharine pap but encouragement. And there are a number of very good people who’ve been sounding the alarm that martial law and military occupation are here because they’ve seen videos of thousands of heavy military vehicles and tanks transported on rail in seemingly endless strings of deployment. And to anyone who’s seen such, it’s frightening and daunting.
 
But to others it’s relief. It’s soothing and comforting. To many, military and National Guard assistance modes are needed emollients to a freaked out society. Many look upon it as summoning the cavalry (or the oft-mispronounced Calvary). And speaking of mispronounced and misspelled, how about Marshall Law?
 
I find the duality fascinating. One group (IMHO) overreacts at times and misconstrues assistance and governance and leadership and containment and reaction with governmental overreach and lost liberties. Another group lulled into a sense of trust can’t even contemplate the notion of a regime going rogue or drills going hot or the suspension and then abrogation of civil liberties being stripped when firewalls are relaxed and when populations are too trusting.
 
There’s a balance to be sure. But let me give you some immediate reality here that’s absolute, indubitable and certain.
 
We’ve not seen this ever before. And don’t give me that Spanish influenza bit. 1918 might as well be 1918 BCE. We haven’t seen this. This virus, as you know, is a MUTHA. You can lull yourself into whatever complacency capsid you’d like — it’s 5G, it’s manufactured, it’s patented and Bill Gates owns it, China made it, whatever — and you can seek solace in arcane plumbing of decoded messaging and the like. You can attribute this to God, Satan, the Chinese, Communism, have at it. None of that matters. What this is is something that no one ever figured or imagined or is even remotely prepared for handling. That’s a fact. And if you think this is some sinister plan to exact and enact martial law and the subjugation of American citizens, knock yourself out. Two words: NOT NOW. This is huge.
 
But . . . and there’s always a but . . . at no time, including now, are you ever, EVER! to allow anyone or any group to seize upon our vulnerability and fear and dread so as to allow the softening or dilution of fundamental Constitutional rights. Not a plague, pestilence, war, hurricane, bioterror, terror, Islamic jihadist stuff . . . nothing! Nothing can be used as pretext or artifice. Nothing ever, no matter what.
 
But (there’s another but) that doesn’t mean that there cannot be a melding, a sharing, a concomitant concurrence, a simultaneity of military, quasi-military and administrative entities working in concert without, repeat, without the relinquishing of civil liberties. And why’s that critical?
 
Order. Aside from the health and economic disasters that could in fact result and ensue, I am particularly fearful of disorder. Chaos. A breakdown of law and order. Crime. Gangs, looting, swarms. An ochlocracy (government by a mob or mob rule). The moment bad guys sense that the cops are busy, that citizens are scared, that response to criminal behavior is delayed or nonexistent, you can bet hoodlums and packs of miscreants will lay waste. Guaranteed. That simple. And when that happens, the best antidote and vaccine (perish the thought!) are an overwhelming show of force through National Guard personnel, the gendarmerie, constables, Barney and Andy, SWAT, name it. And, if their presence scares the civil libertarian tyro or hipster anarchist leftie wannabe, get over it, Emma Goldman! This is war and this is uncharted, so improvise or perish.
 
Get ready to feel overwhelmed from everything. To have your world rocked and your solid bedrock ideological truth pulverized. Get ready to improvise and adapt or perish. Be malleable, bendable and adaptable. Focus on what matters and get ready to play multiple chess players and have more plates spinning simultaneously than you ever thought possible.
 
And watch the usual suspects repeat the usual subjects. I’ve contracted greatly my worldview. I’ve ditched many of the commentaries and analysts that I once found piquant and fascinating. Now they bore me unbearably. And for most who’ve never delved into what was considered the conspiracy realm, they’re working overtime trying desperately to cobble together and weave the most fantastic attempts to forge and force order. I’m hit with homemade videos of stars delivering either cryptic messages of [DS] revolt or psychotic logolalic drivel without focus or purpose. I’m deluged with the latest hypothesis and theory on how Chinese officials created the illusion of a zoonotic death virus while being hit with the theme that Hollywood is in cahoots for having created the myth that contagions can crumble.
 
If you found this last paragraph supra loopy, welcome to my world. I swim amidst and among legions of the demented, yet artistic. I know as friends and colleagues good folks who sincerely need to see order in the world. Purpose. And with that come misinterpretations and such.
 
That’s enough for now, patriots and friends. You’ve been through enough. Just know that we’re all in this together (as Chin Ho Kelly often reminded Steve McGarrett) and we’ll speak again.

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