RE: Y2K: Am I paranoid?

Steve VanSickle (
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 08:56:56 -0600 (CST)

>That *is* the idea. It just isn't the real life. :( While I don't think
>that the emergency will be widespread enough for the military to
>be plausibly called out, I have no trouble believing that the
>people I was in with (when I was in the US Army) would follow
>these sorts of orders. The problem is that most soldiers believe
>that their superior officers won't *give* unConstitutional orders,
>so if they get an order, it must be Constitutional. Nor do they
>habitually weigh each and every order, or even the unusual
>ones, against the Constitution. Most soldiers do not have even
>a good idea of what the Constitution *says*!

As a vet of a Regular Army combat arms unit (1/11th ACR) I would have to agree with this. Most of the military would comply with just about any order given, particulary if the situation escalated slowly enough for them to rationalize each step. No one would have any problem with stopping looting, enforcing a temporary curfew, feeding people, even the occasional Kent State style dustup. However, once it got to house to house searches, weapons confiscation (and remember, a large fraction of the military are gun owners themselves), concentration camps,and full scale massacres, a significant minority would begin exercising the time honored methods of protest in the American military: sudden, uncharacteristic incompetence; "misunderstanding" orders; radios and other equipment conveniently malfunctioning; and in the extreme "fragging" and desertion. Any real grab for power would, as I see it, result in enough individual soldiers deserting, and mid level officers deserting with their units, to lead not to totalitarian dictatorship but full scale civil war.

However, I consider it unlikely in the extreme at this time. Give us 10 or 15 years of depression, inflation, a lost war, civil unrest like Germany of the 20's and 30's and it could happen, though.

steve van sickle