A Crap Shoot; Turning Angry Men Into Madmen

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I give fair warning here to Barack Obama, the Democrat Party, and several members of the

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Republican Establishment:

You are just one toss of the dice away from turning men who are mad into madmen.

In his novel, Red Storm Rising (1986), about a conventional Soviet invasion of Europe, Tom Clancy wrote a scenario that many say helped bring down the USSR a few years later, for in it he revealed three things that unsettled the Soviet military structure a great deal; 1) the existence of the F-117 Stealth Fighter, which even the Reagan Administration didn’t know Clancy knew about, and 2) a great weakness inherent in the Soviet command structure, which was class-based, very officer top-heavy, with the non-commissioned officer reduced to mere factotums. This made close ground combat with a determined defender more problematic, and 3) a much more spirited defense from a German Army made up of national guardsmen in hairnets, which the Russians believed would put up little resistance. The Soviets had forgotten a cardinal law of territory, defending the homeland, and the Germans fought like madmen.

Only a novel, still Clancy’s book shook the Soviet military. Clancy reminded the Soviets (and his readers) about the territorial imperative, which should have caused them to look back 45 years, and revisit their own winter invasion of Finland in 1939.

In a book I referenced only recently, Robert Ardrey’s The Territorial Imperative (1966) Ardrey made a strong case about the individual’s instinctive compulsion to defend his property, for his property is so wrapped up in family (wife, children) and his family’s prospects for passing their line on. Generational survival. Accepted as hard science today, this is also common sense to most of us.

But Ardrey spent another chapter of that book developing this same territorial theme played on a far larger, national scale. Like a man’s House, the nation also has both physical and spiritual (psychological) boundaries that pull on Man’s instincts.

He wrote about Armistice Day in 1918, when he was 10 years old, and could care a flip about the celebration. To kids his age there didn’t seem to be too much hoorah about, either in the going over there, in the winning, or in coming home. Ardrey said kids his age were entering a “time of disbelief,” and military things were very low on their totem pole as popular American icons, since America had never been attacked and likely never would. Kids were cynical about patriotism in the 20s and 30s. (Hold this thought.)

23 years leter Ardrey was a playwright in New York, working on a play, when he got a phone call from his agent about his manuscript. The agent mentioned in passing about “the bombing” and he asked “what bombing?” and he said “turn on the radio,” only he didn’t have a radio. So he walked down the hallway and stood outside the first door of an apartment with radio sound and eavesdropped. He said there were no real details, just repeats over and over again about the attack by Japan, the American fleet sunk, the hospitals filled with injured, the dead in the hundreds, maybe even thousands.

Ardrey said, in 10 minutes or less, he had completely changed as a person. Things he ridiculed only days before were suddenly sacred. He later asked himself, “Was my response to Pearl Harbor innate or conditioned?” He answered this by saying that millions of Americans, just like him, responded in the very same way, and all within minutes. Their response was instant, requiring no opinion polls, or speeches for encouragement. Not even consultation with neighbors. The decisions were also made silently, and without any rational internal debate. “One minute I was at peace, the next minute I was at war.” A few weeks later, he was in uniform.

(I contend this was how the tea parties were first formed, see below.)

Considering America’s popular predisposition to neutrality and isolation, Ardrey commented that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was the greatest political blunder in all history. Note, he said “political,” not military, for militarily the Japanese attack was almost flawless. But in the calculus the Japanese used in assessing the American response to such an attack, they could not have been more wrong. They figured us politically, and that the isolationists would have enough sway to get Washington to sue for an early peace, leaving the Japanese as the lords of the western Pacific.

They never counted on a national popular response, so immediate and so unanimous.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe America’s response was innate or conditioned, just know our response was a direct response by the people which preceded FDR’s “Day of Infamy” declaration of war speech by a full day. It was instantaneous, and no politician dared stand against them. (This is approximately the same place Democrats will stand vis a vis their own voters in eleven months.)

An ancient law had been unleashed, unbeknownst to the Japanese. And to some extent, four years later, Harry Truman also understood this territorial imperative when he decided to drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing only a couple of hundred thousand, rather than try an assault on the main island, where he knew the combined casualties would have been in the millions. Truman knew that “territorial imperative” knows no boundaries and our troops would be met by madmen and madwomen, carrying broom handles if need be to repel our troops.

The Second World War demonstrated this law of territorial imperative several more times. The aforementioned response by the small Finnish army and people to the 1939 invasion by the USSR was only one case in point, for the Soviets thought taking Finland would be a cakewalk. Fought entirely in winter, the vastly outnumbered Finns “fought like madmen” and beat them back time and again.

Then in 1940 Mussolini decided to take on a much smaller and weaker army, an easy-target (he thought), the Greeks, only they too fought “like madmen” too and he couldn’t pull it off, despite an overwhelming mismatch in men, arms and equipment. This embarrassment then required Hitler to transfer several divisions down there to finish the job, which in turn, set Hitler back five weeks in his launch of Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia, this delay costing him that important window of first strike victory before the Russian winter would shut his troops down, for what would turn out to be three long years and ultimate defeat. All this all because of those “mad” Greeks.

Finally, with England isolated, rather than invade directly, Goering convinced Hitler he could bring down that island nation of shopkeepers and rose gardeners by air power alone, thus writing the feats of the RAF into the annals of mad airmen, where “never was so much owed by so many to so few.” (Churchill). “We few, we happy few…”

But if you think this territorial law is universal, consider France, who sunk into historical insignificance (where she remains today) simply by refusing to defend herself, instead resigning herself, as a people, to her new masters. Behaviorists can only speculate why.

Some have argued that “territory” causes war. It does not. It is a condition of war, an absolute one in fact, for the territorial imperative is all about defending one’s territory not invading another’s. It has nothing to do with children running around in the streets screaming because we “invaded” Vietnam, Granada, Iraq or Afghanistan. That’s a teat fit, which low-order leftists have always been known to do. They are defending nothing, nor do they know how to defend anything truly territorial. The left is extra-territorial.

Since Pearl Harbor, America has only been attacked two other times, the first on September 11, 2001. And I’d say our response was about right, at least in the “shock and awe” part, and the hunting them down like dogs part. Then it probably got a little out of hand when we turned away from instinct and toward the political by trying nation-building.

The second time, in a far more subtle way, came about with the passage of Obamacare in 2010. As I mentioned earlier, the tea parties arose because of it. Now I know, people have given credit to Rick Santelli, Ron Paul, and even Al Gore, for the name, but if you’ll recall what Ardrey wrote about how every American felt about Pearl Harbor within minutes of hearing about it, an instantaneous wheel-and-turn, I submit that moment occurred when Obamacare was enacted into law. It wasn’t the law itself, after all, no one had actually read it, but rather in how it was rammed through into law violating every sense of decency in Americans…who were paying attention. It was a personal violation. To them, an invasion and attack.

But not everyone was paying attention then.

In 2010 it was just a piece of paper to a lot of Americans. Still, for those who were paying attention,, they made the same instantaneous decision people did on December 7, 1941. And they became mad. And they went out and made Congress pay in the 2010 elections.

Like Pearl Harbor, Obamacare was a crap shoot in 2010, and the Left thought they’d pulled it off after they had successfully peeled the tea parties off from the Republican Party, winning an improbable election, in 2012.

But even cheating cannot obviate the reality of a sneak attack, which finally became real this past October when Obamacare-the-reality kicked in…and is kicking in still, involving a far more widespread reaction by the American people than it did in 2010. Now we know it was truly a sneak attack, and on virtually every American, although it will take another year for that attack to be completely felt. As I reported a couple of weeks ago, this new attack is no longer about style, “how they rammed Obamacare through,” but about substance, as already almost every American, through his or her circle of friends, now has been personally touched by the pain and unfairness of this government assault. And the media had nothing to do with it. Americans have learned of this personal pain through emails, Facebook, telephone calls, while, seeing the magnitude of the attack, and their part in it, the media has largely stayed silent, hoping it would all go away. But they cannot divert attention or do other things, for every day thousands more know of someone they know, or their kids, or their parents, who have been harmed by this insidious Obamacare.

Not even Obama can change the topic.

You see, Obamacare is an open wound now, felt by everyone, It requires no marketing. It’s a law of nature that people with open wounds always pay attention to their injuries first, and regularly, for they always hurt. Pain trumps everything, and everything else becomes secondary.

If people were mad in 2010, a thousand times more Americans are even more mad today. They now know that Obamacare was a sneak attack on their personal territory, and they won’t stop being mad until it’s been finished and punished.

We’re now being told Obama may try and roll the dice one more time to get himself out of this jam by trying an end run with even more executive control coming out of the White House, to clamp down, so to speak on this uprising. So, I repeat, beware, all of you, you are just one toss of the dice away from turning men who are very angry into madmen. And the American people also have their own nuclear options.

It isn’t nice to fool with Mother Nature.

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vassarbushmills
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markriggio
December 12, 2013 10:48 am

Old Dr. Maslow never disappoints. Remember the American Lung Association slogan: When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.

suzanne
suzanne
December 13, 2013 8:37 pm

Vassar would you please elaborate on the “end run…executive control to clamp down on this uprising” part? I read a whole lot and haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere before. I am certainly not questioning your statement even for a nanosecond but i’m curious as to why I haven’t found it elsewhere unless it’s running under different terminology and I am simply not connecting the dots. thank you… and it has been my pleasure to follow your articles for the last several years… both here and elsewhere!

suzanne
suzanne
December 14, 2013 6:44 pm

thank you Vassar. I am not familiar with the term “nerak attack”. was unable to find it in a dictionary and when I googled it goolgle brought up some kind of game with which I am equally unfamiliar. would you be kind enough to define that for me? thank you!

Lady_Penguin
Lady_Penguin
December 16, 2013 10:04 am

Ah, Vassar, you’ve precisely captured the “disquiet” I’ve felt watching Obamacare unfold, though we KNEW what Obamacare meant when it was passed – we paid attention to the little tidbits coming out even back then. All along, the word “assault” has been on my mind, that Obamacare was an assault on the American people. Your article indicates the correctness of my perspective. And it also explains why it has felt like such a heavy burden, almost to illness of the spirit… Ardrey was right. “One minute I was peace, the next minute I was at war.” Pray that there are… Read more »