Civil War in America…Again?!

Apr 20th, 2013 | By | Category: Europe, Historical, Military/LE, News, North America, Psychological, Sociological, Strategies

Salvadoran Air Force door-gunner returns fire on FMLN guerrillas in the Usulután Province, Christmas 1985. Photo copyright Cork Graham.

As if the terrorist attack this week was not bad enough, there’s a distinct possibility that there could be a civil war in the United States within the next three to four years, hinted at only by inflammatory and ignorant statements by ESQUIRE staffer, Linda Ginsburg: “I’ll bet good money it’s a right-wing nutjob. Today is April 15, Boston Harbor was where the original Tea Party took place and the on-going gun-safety legislation makes it the mostly likely culprit”

For clarity, there are just as many left-wing terrorist groups in the US, as rightwing, and sadly, they don’t get the same coverage by the mainstream press, as it’s not politically correct, and even when the events of yesterday occurred, the media that was so ready to say it was likely a rightwing extremist, were sluggish in reporting that a Saudi national had been captured and arrested in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing.  The leads to too many civil wars have been with such self and public deception…

I know civil wars quite well. My introduction to civil war started early, with the Tet Offensive of 1968, when I was 4 years old. While many of my friends and family were watching the Vietnam War on TV, I watched the choppers, the tracers, and listened to the explosions, screams, yelling and gunfire from the roof of our home near the US Embassy in Saigon. In case you don’t think it marks you, guess again. It does. As a matter of fact, when people ask me about how Vietnam effected, me I still say that I was at war from age four until I returned healed from PTSR in Alaska in 1991, the year after I said no more to participating in war in foreign countries.


Author Cork Graham and his younger brother in the garage of their home in Saigon, Tet, 1968.

Between those times, I was either thinking about war, preparing for war, or in war. It’s not unique. Many soldiers, reporters, and fighters in one war, were often children in a prior, as we can see by such people as Horst Faas and Dieter Dengler. My war was Central America, or what we called Vietnam II.

I’ve seen so many countries at war, where the people are basically good, and normally friendly. Within these wars, I’ve seen them do things to their fellow humans, which can only be imagined as occurring in hell to those who’ve committed the most heinous crimes and sins.

So, when people tell me that the United States, and the rest of the most powerful nations are so advanced and above that, I can’t think of how insane that sounds, except to those who utter such nonsense. All we have to do is look at our most recent world history. I’m not talking about Third World countries where African tribal members committed genocide against a neighboring tribe, or the government under Pol Pot murdered so many. I’m talking about nations that where labels like “Bohemian” and “enlightened society” originated from: Germany, Yugoslavia, China, and Japan, for example.

Germany was so attractive for its multicultural advancements, where originally the Jewish community was well-thought of. Even Albert Einstein was elated he was able to go to Berlin for all that it offered the education elite.

That all changed with the Nazi Party, which incidentally many of the elite of the time were elated had come to power. What could be wrong with a political party that supposedly was out to help the citizens, and even called themselves Socialists? Hitler actually refuted the term and wanted to be called a “Social Revolutionary”. Have you noticed how that same self-description is being bandied by politicians and demonstrators in the streets of America, and Europe these days, as their own self-description?

What I learned from my personal experiences, the research and studies I’ve had to do over the years, is that in the Western World, and especially in the United States, there’s a major shift in wealth, with a greater divide between the haves and have-nots, and more importantly, especially in the US, is that the buffer between the two, the middle-class, has shrunk so drastically.

The Elephant in the Room

Thing is that no one wants to talk about what’s happening. And I mean, they REALLY don’t want to talk about what’s happening. Though some might get really agitated, others might outspokenly respond with their disagreement, most just get this glazed look over their faces, as if to say, “Huh?”

Why wouldn’t they? Most of them either believe the crap being spewed by the Whitehouse about how the economy is going better. Most of them are in one of the various bubbles that have been created in a false US economy, that has fallen from a nation of manufacturers and producers, to a nation of service providers. It’s no surprise that China owns all of the United States’ debt, they’re the world’s major manufacturer.

But, what about those who aren’t doing well on this fake economy, that I’ll be talking about in the section on the economy. What about those people who stick their heads in the sand?

Think about it. Can you really imagine what a civil war in this country would be like? We’re not talking about banana wars, like we had in Central America, where the major suppliers of arms and ammunition were the United States, Cuba, Vietnam, Israel and the Soviet Union. We’re talking about arms and ammunition manufactured and stored on the soil that those arms and ammunition would be used, the soil of the largest arms and ammunition manufacturers in the world—can you imagine what an uncontrolled fire is like in a oil refinery? Multiply that image by a thousand!

I think many of those who put their heads in the sand, think it’s preposterous, or just glaze over, because they see what this civil war could be like, and it terrifies them. I know it does me. Civil Wars aren’t just one side against the other. As we learned in El Salvador and Nicaragua, every faction fighting for power will get in on the action, and the one most likely to get the brunt of it will be the civilians just trying to keep their heads down. Brings to fore that oft said saying, better to go down fighting than unarmed, defenseless and begging…


Civil wars often hurt the civilians most before the military and government: Nicaraguan refugee who had stepped on a landmine placed by the Sandinistas around the refuge camp.

Bread and Circuses

One of the major reasons there hasn’t already been the major shift that would have happened with all the various illegal changes in US Government over the last forty years, plus the economy, is that the government has been very good at implementing a strategy that was fine-tuned during ancient Roman times.

The term “Bread and Circuses” was the term coined then: keep the population fed and distracted through entertainment, and dictators won’t have anything to worry about. In the United States, as in ancient Rome, sporting events have been used to appease and distract the masses. With the advent of Television, it’s been made much easier to distract the citizens from much more pressing matters, like police actions in other countries that deplete the nation’s coffers, and fill the banks of a select few. All the while people are being entertained by football, basketball and American Idol. Not only that, society has been skewed so much that it’s better to be a celebrity, than a standup person defending their country against foreign aggressors: so much furor about the drug overdose of an actor or singer, and the deaths of members of a military unit hunting terrorists go almost unnoticed.

…And what was once bread doled out by Caesar, is now unemployment insurance and food stamps available from the government. In the coming months and years, this strategy will show itself to have been insane…unless you actually want chaos as an end result: there are those who think chaos theory is a great way to plan. More of that in the section on natural resource depletion.

…Just think what it’s going to be like when the population, as a whole, remembers that money is not gold or goods. It’s just a piece of paper that holds its value only because of belief and trust: trust in the government and the government’s worth. When that trust falls, so does the nation’s wealth, and the society’s cohesion and respect of that government…

Mass Zombie and Apocalypse Fascination

Ironically, the very same people who would pooh-pooh the idea of a civil war in the United States within the next five, or even ten years, are also fans of the latest craze: ZOMBIES!

I take it as the subconscious mind’s need to release a fear, by taking a very real potential and turning it into a fantasy. We’ve done this for centuries. The Grimm fairy tales and many other fables and tales are an example of the human mind’s need to control an ugly reality, and by overcoming that reality, not seem so afraid of it.

And what is there to be afraid of? Zombies aren’t real are they…?

Have you ever seen someone who is hungry? Have you ever seen someone starving? We’re not talking missing a meal or something like that. We’re talking many meals missed.

Some of you have seen snippets of hunger through the nightly news from such places as Africa. What you missed, because often the news is edited so that people can stomach it during dinner (or the media is afraid that no one will donate money, like the media did when people were murdering each other left and right during Katrina—hardly anyone knows that those who had been herded into the stadium in New Orleans, were led into a slaughter house, with the National Guard’s main duty on arrival being to bag up the bloated bodies), is that when people are really hungry, starving, before all the energy is lost and the bellies are bloated from eating only air, is a maddening rage, and fear, so that all you have is a bunch of wild-eyed, starving people fighting and crawling over each other for a handout, is similar to a zombie feeding frenzy.

Nothing to wake you up more to the primal qualities of humans when conditions are bad, than to see a pregnant woman stomped into the ground by groups of much bigger men fighting for food…!


Salvadoran soldier firing a LAW rocket, 1988. photo copyright Cork Graham

The Economy

Economy’s doing great! Haven’t you heard? I hear it all the time. Often it’s by people who are driving around the Bay Area in a BMW or Mercedes they bought five years ago and are still making the payments on. Or, they’re living mouth-to-mouth, while going to work at some software company, all the while trying make payments on a ridiculously priced home. When our parents and grandparents bought a house in the 1950s, they could actually afford it on a $15,000 annual income. Many now most can’t even afford a home on a $250,000 annual income, without running the risk of losing everything in 4-5 years.

Why is this? It’s because our money isn’t worth what its purports to be…the reasons are inflation, the printing of money, ridiculous government spending, and printing of money like it’s going out of style; then add in the fact the government is trying to become the largest employer of the populace, and you know something is amiss.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Business is based on how much more money the business makes. Government is based on how much money it can spend, without making any money—need to hear more?

How about, what’s going to happen when all the citizens are employed by the government, an institution that only spends money–and all the free enterprise has been taxed out of existence? Who do you think will speak up against the government, when things are evidently wrong? Risk a paycheck? Yeah, right…! Welcome to the Soviet Union, just before it fell…

Median Income versus Average Income

There’s a little game played by the Whitehouse that many don’t understand, and that’s the difference between median income and average income. The government likes to spout about how well the average income is doing, and people eat it up, because it looks good. Everyone want’s good news after all—bad news takes work to confront, and as a whole, our society has become so lackadaisical, that it would prefer to believe the good than do something about the bad. We’ve become a generation that instead of taking care of the next, as our ancestors did, would prefer to leave responsibility and debts for stupid, selfish, self-destructive decisions and actions, to the next generation.

Because of the twisted developments in society, self-destructive behaviors, like trusting government over family, and the political party lines over rights declared in the very document that defines the United States, as republic of freemen and freewomen, our nation and society has devolved into a nation of slaves, indentured to illegal taxes, major debts and parasitic and successfully manipulative corporations. What was won by war, has been taken through financial, political, and economic voodoo from the American People.

Average(mean) household income, of course, takes into account the 10% that is making millions, and averages against the 90%. Before this didn’t matter, because the 10% didn’t make as much money as they do now. This was why a mechanic or tradesperson could easily purchase a house and expect to outlive his or her debt. Now, people are purchasing houses, because they get to use it against their taxes, which a renter can’t do so effectively.

Median household income, on the other hand, checks the pulse of the actual income, and can be better used to assist in gauging how people are living. Because of food stamps, and unemployment, people aren’t to the wire. As observed in El Salvador, when people get hungry, that’s when they’re willing to fight. Until then, it’s all a bunch of rhetoric from all sides.

The problem is that government is spending so much to keep this façade up, no president or administration wanting to be part of the one that calls a spade a spade: WE’RE IN TROUBLE…not just on a national level, but on a global one, as evidenced by events in Greece and Cyprus banking debacles of the last year.

Porn, Video Games, and Popcorn—The Desensitization of Society

Everyone looks at the prevalence of guns in US society as the ills of the nation, but no one really looks at the fact that guns have always been in our society (firearms classes were taught in most schools—when I was a Navy midshipman at UC  Berkeley in the early 1980s, the gunny took those of us on the shooting team to the range below the football stadium to practice, and compete locally against other teams) , but hardly anyone looks at the fact that video games have inundated our children, to the point that we have obese kids showing the signs of post-traumatic stress. Many who’ve not studied the mind, or counseled those dealing with PTS, aren’t aware that the subconscious mind makes no distinction between lived reality and imagine reality, so kids now graduate high school much fatter, and unhealthier, than their ancestors, and  feeling removed and disconnected from society, like a combat veteran returned from war, but without a knowledge or understanding that they need therapy to get control of how their emotions and thoughts are askew, a result of a rapidly advancing technology they don’t completely appreciate for its power…

Added to this is the prevalence of porn on the Internet that almost all children are exposed to by the time they can get into a library and check out a website. Romance is lost, secrets of the body aren’t enjoyed, and yet more desensitization of the emotions, emotions which previously held society together, not to mention the ambiguity of knowing what is right and what is wrong, in order to interact in a society.

When these conditions are added to the fact that loyalty to the American Ideal has been removed in schools, along with not keeping English the language standard of government (shoot, even foreign countries like South Korea make sure to teach their children English because it’s now the global standard of business and diplomacy), the opportunity for a fractionated nation grows every day.

Natural Resource Depletion

Now if everything before wasn’t scary enough for you, this is where I was depressed for a two weeks after taking Chris Martenson’s amazing course. It’s amazing because of the level and detail, research and thought put into it, and the amount of money he evidently put into it—all his! Who’s Martenson? He was a VP at Pfizer, someone who was likely to get millions more in drug money stocks, but who gave it up, just to answer a question—what happens when we run out…?

Run out of what, you might ask? How about everything! To really appreciate this, check out Martenson’s course:

I would do an injustice to the years, and his own money, that former Pfizer VP, Chris Martenson put into his course. It’s an eye opener. WARNING: I was depressed for two weeks after going through the full video course—it’s very honest, well-researched, and helped make sense of so many things that any thinking person would want to make sense of…common sense applied to a very real problem.

Sadly, because of having seen a variety of societal collapses up close, since age four, I’m not as deluded as Martenson to think that this is somehow going to turn out alright, that the resourcefulness of the human mind will somehow come and save us from what we’ve evolved through over the last few thousand years. All we have to do is look at Rome, the society and history we are most emulating, to see how we are crumbling. Evidently, the US Government is also not looking to so brightly at coming events…

Government Preparations

Perhaps you’ve been paying attention to the news. No, not the coming doom and apocalypse news that the zombie zealots have been broadcasting through their blogs. No, I’m talking about solid news you can count on, such that by Forbes magazine, where Ralph Benko asked: 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation

For those who’ve never studied combat logistics, that’s enough ammo to fight a war for 20 years—in the UNITED STATES!

Remember how we’re already set up. We have the Army, the Navy, Air Force and the Marine Corps. These are responsible for the defense of our country against an enemy. DHS is supposed to be for our defense, but defense against who? Those guns aren’t being trained on an outside enemy: that’s already the duty of our armed forces!

The only possible use for that ammo would be to quell a rebellion–but if things are peachy keen, what rebellion?! Put that in with the purchase of law enforcement agencies of armored personnel carriers, returned from Iraq, and then it becomes more and more clear, even with all the refutations, and non-responses, by various factions that this could never happen in America…But, it is happening in America.

Gun Control

Over and over gun control advocates tout the merits of gun control. They use Australia as their poster child. What they don’t get is that Australia is not an example of how gun control doesn’t work, but how ridiculous it is to fight crime with gun control laws, as Australian MP Robert Borsak has commented.

Gun control is in place for only one reason: It’s complete purpose in the eyes of those in government, who seek to control the populace and turn a republic into a dictatorship, is to disarm the people. In every country that has implemented gun control, such as Germany, Russia and China, within 5 years, at the latest, the government was able to go enforce its total will upon the people, and with drastic results, as seen in the Nazi and Soviet death camps, starvation of the Ukrainians by the Stalin, and outright genocide against the Chinese by Mao. Thankfully, there are people in Congress who are holding on to the US Constitution, and understand why Amendments 1, 2 and 3 are in such order, or why they precede the Fourth.

Contrary to what many might think, prohibiting, “in peacetime or wartime, the quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner’s consent,” is not an outdated idea. This was something put right in my face, when I was holed up in a campesino’s farm house in El Salvador, with a team of Salvadoran Navy SEALs, during the war. I couldn’t help think how, though he was asked, it was as though he was obligated. An American under the protection of the Third Amendment, wouldn’t even consider it, especially with how much we had put this campesino’s family in danger, should the FMLN have launched an attack on us while were housed there, not to mention the later danger, considering the FMLN’s atrocities committed against people providing aid to the representatives of the government they were trying to topple.

Where the balls stops, no one knows…

For the most part, people are just waiting and seeing. Some are actually preparing, by making sure they at least have enough supplies to survive a catastrophe, and the aftermath. Other’s are just going along with their heads in the clouds, kind of like a passerby of a mugging hoping that by looking away, the muggers will ignore them and keep at the one being mugged. Either way, something’s coming, and we see it in how much more stress there is in the normal, day to day, interactions between people…We wait. And, we see…Whether you work for the government, or you’re a concerned citizen, your first priority should be following the ideas put forth in the United States Constitution. It was such an advanced document for its time, and even now. It was written for such developments as we see now, what with the greed surmounting honor in our legislative, judicial and executive branches.

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Cork Graham is the publisher of GCT Magazine and Cork’s Outdoors. A former CIA paramilitary operations officer and combat photographer, he wrote the international best-selling Vietnam prison/treasure hunt memoir The Bamboo Chest. For his latest books, writings, and appearances, follow him at, Facebook and Twitter. He is a combat shooting instructor: For training, write to us through our contact page.

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