Principalities & Powers

Prophesying War

Back in 1994, the Atlantic Monthly published a notable article by Robert Kaplan entitled "The Coming Anarchy." The article dealt with what Kaplan took to be global indications of impending chaos as resources dwindle, infrastructures decay, weapons are peddled, gangs and armed bands replace states, and ethnic, racial, and tribal loyalties prevail over less ferocious identities. The article was illustrated with several photographs of pitiful and chaotic scenes in such picturesque localities as Beirut, the Balkans, and Central Africa. One of the photographs, indistinguishable from the others, is from Los Angeles during the "Rodney King riots" of 1992.

To look at the last photograph and suddenly realize it's not Rwanda or Belfast but the second largest city in North America is jarring, and perhaps it was intended to be. If nothing else, the picture serves as a reminder that it can happen here, that it almost did happen here, and that it might well happen here in a short time to come.

That it is going to happen here is the thesis of a new monograph, Civil War II, by an ex-mercenary named Thomas Chittum, which has attracted no attention whatsoever in the mainstream book reviews but over the last few months has been a hot topic in what can today only be called the "Underground Right"—the buzzing hive of Internet sites, shortwave radio stations, one-man newsletters, guerrilla...

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