Enemy at the Gate: Just Following Orders

In a recent letter to this magazine, J.R. Uhl, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) observed that, “The Constitution and our Bill of Rights are gravely endangered today, and this community (of military, veterans, and law enforcement) is where they will be saved, if they are to be saved at all!” The Colonel is absolutely right.

“It” (a full-blown totalitarian police state) cannot happen here if the majority of police and soldiers obey their oaths to defend the Constitution and refuse to enforce the unconstitutional edicts of the “Leader.”

Imagine that Hillary Clinton is sworn in as president in 2009. After a conveniently timed “domestic terrorism” incident (just a coincidence, of course) or yet another Prozac-induced mass shooting, she promptly crams a United Nations-mandated, Great Britain-style, total ban on the private possession of firearms through a compliant, Democrat-controlled Congress. Dressed in her favorite Chairman Mao signature pantsuit, Hillary signs the ban into law with the obligatory choir of sell-out police chiefs as backdrop (just like the good ol’ days when Bill used the Oval Office).

But Hillary Clinton, having a much larger pair, goes further, proclaiming a national emergency and declaring the entire militia movement (and anyone else Morris Dees labels “extremists”) to be “enemy combatants.” Using precedents established by Bush, Clinton declares that such citizens are subject to secret military detention without indictment or jury trial, “enhanced” interrogation techniques, and trial before a military tribunal hand-picked by the dominatrix-in-chief herself. She then orders police, National Guard troops and active military to go house-to-house to disarm the American people and “black-bag” those on a list of “known terrorists,” with orders to shoot all resisters.

Would you do it? Would you disarm your fellow American citizens? Would you shoot anyone who resisted? Would you just follow orders? Without you and your brothers in arms to enforce her decrees, “Hitlery” would be powerless to do anything but fume and throw things at Bill. It is you who really holds the final veto, and if a police state comes to America, it will ultimately be by your hands. That is a harsh reality, but you had better come to terms with it now and resolve to not let it happen on your watch.

Speaking of resolve, I have a story. After the Army, I attended college and took a class on the Holocaust, where we read Browning’s Ordinary Men, concerning German Ordnungspolizei (Order Police) Reserve Unit 101. Those reserve policemen were not Nazi fanatics, but, out of obedience to authority and peer pressure, they still obeyed orders to shoot entire Jewish families—usually old men, women and children.

The professor, a proud socialist, told the class that no rational person could possibly say with certainty that he would not do the same. I strongly disagreed, saying I was absolutely certain I would not obey orders to shoot women and children. I would instead shoot the officer giving me that order—right through the head.

The shocked professor declared that I had the same sort of resolute certainty as the Nazis, and such certainty was dangerous. A delicate male student, apparently seeking approval, proclaimed that he could not say he would refuse to follow the orders.

I turned to him in disbelief, asking, “You can’t say for sure you would not shoot old women and little kids?” His answer: “I’d rather be a live coward than a dead hero.” I kid you not. And the rest of the class sat silent, none taking my side. At that moment, I understood what H.L. Mencken meant when he said, “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” Only in the sheltered ivory towers of academia is such craven cowardice considered a virtue, and resolve considered a vice.

I later lambasted their absurdity and cowardice in an editorial in the college paper, pointing out that if anyone had suggested to the 18- and 19-year-old boys on board the troop transports the night before the landings at Tarawa, Iwo Jima, or Normandy that they could not possibly know if they would follow through the next day, the boys would have looked at them like they had two heads. Of course they knew what they were going to do—just what they had trained to do. And the vast majority did just that. My father-in-law was among them. At 16, he lied about his age to join the Marines on December 10, 1941 (three days after Pearl Harbor), to fight the Japanese—and that’s what he did, at Iwo Jima.

And here was this socialist professor proclaiming that anyone who has such resolve is ipso-facto like a Nazi! The professor and his cowardly students, ironically, are exactly the kind of people a totalitarian regime loves to have carry out its orders—people so without conviction, so concerned with their own safety, so empty of honor that they will do anything commanded of them just to live their miserable lives awhile longer.

Who do you identify with? The spineless waste of oxygen that would shoot little kids to save his own miserable hide, or those young men who knowingly waded into hell to defend liberty?

Just as you have honed your mental trigger in advance and trained yourself to respond effectively against physical threats, you must prepare yourself in advance to take a stand against unconstitutional (and thus illegal) or immoral orders and so-called laws. You must play a “what if” game with those questions as well, decide how you will react, and visualize yourself doing it—just like you do when preparing for future combat. Just as I know without a doubt that I would lay down my life in defense of my wife and children, I know I would gladly give what is left of my life to ensure that they live in a free country, and no doubt you feel the same about your kids.

To secure that liberty, and to ensure that your sons grow to be “sons of liberty” who stand tall, speak the truth and keep their oaths, you must be a son of liberty who stands tall and keeps his oath, even if by doing so you risk your job, your pension, your liberty or your life.

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