First, let me say this: it’s always easy to know the right thing to do when you don’t have to actually do it your ownself. So when I say I think the Feds fucked up strategically in their dealings with the Great Bird Sanctuary Treason Plot, but did well tactically, remember that I’m mostly talking out my ass.
Second, let me make a pretty bad analogy. I mean, it’s not a totally horrible analogy, it’s just pretty bad. Here it is: Pretend you have a child (unless you actually have a child). That child knows he (and yeah, it’s a boy on account of boys are just like that) isn’t supposed to have chocolate. Now, pretend that boy takes a damned chocolate. You take the chocolate back from the boy, and he’s pissed on account you’re mean and stupid and he hates you. Now pretend that the boy takes a damned chocolate and you tell him “Child, you are NOT to take chocolates” but you just stand there with your thumb up your butt while he eats the chocolate. Then the next day the little bastard takes another damned chocolate. This time you take the chocolate from him, but now he’s pissed times two on account of you let him have the chocolate last time and didn’t do anything.
Get it? Wait, I meant to tell you the Bundy family is the child and the chocolate is seizing control over government lands. Now, get it?
My point is if the Feds had confiscated Cliven Bundy’s livestock like they were authorized to do before he called in all his faux patriot buddies, then it’s unlikely the Lesser Bundys would have started the Great Bird Sanctuary Treason Plot. Strategically, the Feds fucked up. If you tell the boy he can’t have chocolate, then you have to be ready to take his damned chocolate.
But they didn’t, and now there’s a dead fuckwitted cowboy and a wounded fuckwitted whatever-the-hell Ryan Bundy is.
It could have been worse. It could have been much worse. And there’s a very real possibility that it will get worse. On account of it’s not over. Not yet.
It’s important to remember that the people involved in the Great Bird Sanctuary Treason Plot aren’t just fuckwits. They’re fuckwits who are part of a religious/political/ideological movement with a long history of violent confrontation with law enforcement, a penchant for armed resistance in a siege, and a tradition of martyrdom. That’s not a recipe for peaceful resolution.
We’ve seen this same basic situation several times since the early 1980s. Well-armed, conspiracy-oriented, survivalist-minded, right-wing fuckwits with strange notions of Christianity and a deep, abiding suspicion of the U.S. government have repeatedly sparked violent confrontations with Federal law enforcement agents. Gordon Kahl and the Posse Comitatus in 1983, Robert Jay Mathews and the Brüder Schweigen (the Silent Brotherhood) in 1984, Richard Wayne Snell and The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord in that same year, Randy Weaver — whose wife and son were killed during their stand-off in 1992, David Koresh and 75 members of his group died after a long siege in 1993, the Montana Freemen in 1996, and on and on and on.
Some of those conflicts were resolved peacefully. Most weren’t. Most ended in bloodshed. Because these people have some real issues with impulse control AND they have guns.
Earlier I said the Feds fucked up strategically. I personally think they also fucked up by not taking a harder line against the Great Bird Sanctuary Treason Plot plotters in a way that’s what you call ‘timely.’ Like, say, a couple of days after they moved in. Instead, the Feds allowed the Lesser Bundys to think this was going to be BundyFest II.
Still, when the Feds finally decided to act, they did well tactically. By that I mean they handled the arrest of the Bundys and their camouflage remora in a professional way. They waited until the leaders of the movement left the compound, stopped them, and took them into custody with relatively little fuss. Aside from, you know, shooting the cowboy (and I don’t mean to make light of that; it’s sad that it happened, but it seemed clear from the beginning that Lavoy Finicum was redolent with the smell of burning martyr).
The problem is there are still at least a couple of Finicumesque fuckwits camped out in Malheur, working on their Braveheart imitations. It may not be easy to dislodge them.
I pretty much agree with your assessment. I think this should have happened earlier. The group never should have been able to receive food or succor from fellow fuckwits from day one.
Also… I’ve not heard it mentioned anywhere, but Malheur is French for misfortune.
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It was an irrational event from the beginning — not just in terms of ideology, but also in terms of effectiveness. They were angry at the Bureau of Land Management, so the seized control of a remote wildlife sanctuary administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service? So very stupid.
I want my damn chocolate.
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Did you eat all your vegetables?
Funny how the armed militants consider what the government did “a dirty trick”. Just what in the hell did they expect them to do? A bunch of heavily armed hooligans waltz into some little burg out in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, talk shit about the government and seize control over a federally owned compound. They rifle files and dig through computers, they take government-owned vehicle without consent into nearby towns for supplies and get busted for doing so, and one of them gets his ass busted for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. And with that, their credibility was destroyed. The people of the communities asked them to leave, as did Oregon’s Governor and other officials. Even the two ranchers that turned themselves in to return to prison and the leaders’ own father distanced themselves from them. Just how many hints do these gun-toting varmints need to realize their effort is nothing more than a big joke?
There still hasn’t been any information released with regard to who fired first at the site of the arrests, but it saddens me greatly that someone had to lose their life, and another get injured, all because of this nonsense. And in that there have already been remarks made that the compound this alleged “militia” seized will never again fall into government hands, you can bet your bottom dollar there is another fire-fight on the horizon.
Sorry, but I have little sympathy for anyone foolish enough to try an armed takeover of government facilities. I understand the plight of the farmers, ranchers, etc. in areas like this where the government has seized control of so much land and resources. But I’m also aware of reports that our beloved (I’m trying real hard to me nice and respectul) President Obama is already negotiating with foreign governments to resolve some of our national debt by signing control and ownership of our national natural resource over to them. Sorry again, because the idea of China owning the Grand Canyon turns my stomach.
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That whole business of China buying US land and national parks grew out of an article written by a guy named Michael Snyder — who is a survivalist who’s been predicting the collapse of the US economy for a long time. There’s no basis in fact for it. Hell, there’s not even any basis in fantasy for it. This is the same guy who claimed the West Coast of the US was being irradiated by fallout from the Fukishima plant that was damaged in the Japan earthquake. He’s a conspiracy theorist.
Add this to it:
So how come Trump isn’t trying to kick out these gun toting militia???!
He’s busy dodging Megyn Kelly.
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Now I have to go Google, because I’ve been at work all day and don’t know what I missed. But I’m pretty sure I agree with you 100%.
Except actually, I don’t (not 100%), because I really hate fuckwits & assholes who think the law don’t apply to them like it does to you ‘n’ me, and frankly, I don’t give a damn if one of ’em got hisself shot. (bad grammar on purpose)
Part of the reason for the lack of response by the federal govt might have been due to the fact that they were caught off guard. I am sure the FBI director thought he was being pranked when someone told him a bunch of fuckwitted cowboys occupied a building in a remote wildlife refuge. I am sure they had no contingency plan for that.
How do you develop a contingency plan when every event is different? What works in one instance may not in another. These people had openly declared they were willing to kill or be killed, plus there was information they possessed explosives. I’m sure the various law enforcement agencies that participated in bring closure to all this carefully considered all the options as well as the potential outcome for each of them.
I suspect that’s accurate — at least for the first few days, there’d have been a lot of uncertainty about what to do. There may some legitimate reasons the Feds held off on arresting these guys as long as they did. But allowing them to come and go as they please? Allowing outsiders to ferry in supplies, and new fuckwits arrive to join the OG fuckwits? Neglecting to cut off their electricity? None of that makes any sense to me.
Aw, come one, Greg. Ask yourself when was the last time anything connected with the government acted in a truly rational, common-sense manner? We may asking way more of them than they have the ability to perform.
I hate it when you’re right. But I can’t argue against that.