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Retired Lieutenant Colonel William J. Astore’s, “A Very American Coup, Coming Soon to a Hometown Near You”

Posted by alexthurston on January 19th, 2010

From TomDispatch this afternoon, a startling and provocative exploration of whether a military “stealth coup” is possible in America and ten things Americans can do to stop it — retired Lieutenant Colonel William J. Astore’s, “A Very American Coup, Coming Soon to a Hometown Near You” 

Historian and former professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, retired Lieutenant Colonel William J. Astore begins his latest TomDispatch post on whether the U.S. military could “go rogue with combat boots” with a futuristic scenario:  “It’s September 2016, year 15 of America’s “Long War” against terror.  As weary troops return to the homeland, a bitter reality assails them: despite their sacrifices, America is losing.”  Not only that, they are returning to face the tenth year of the Great Recession.  What if, along with the 2016 version of the “tea-baggers,” they take to the streets, our own version of the between-the-World-Wars German freikorps in formation, and a military man who led them in their wars in Central Asia sweeps to the presidency that year? 

“Yes,” writes Astore, ”it can happen here.  In some ways, it’s already happening.  But the key question is: at this late date, how can it be stopped?”  He offers ten steps that are needed to put a break on America’s ongoing silent coup and the rise of the Pentagon.  

He concludes, in part:  “If our Great Recession continues, if decent jobs remain scarce, if the mainstream media continue to foster fear and hatred, if returning troops are disaffected and their leaders blame politicians for “not being tough enough,” if one or two more terrorist attacks succeed on U.S. soil, wouldn’t this country be well primed for a coup by any other name?

“Don’t expect a ‘Seven Days in May’ scenario.  No American Caesar will return to Washington with his legions to decapitate governmental authority.  Why not?  Because he won’t have to.”

This is perhaps Astore’s most striking TomDispatch piece to date.  I hope you’ll attend to it carefully!

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