The Occupy X City protests have drawn, in my opinion, deserved criticism for widely divergent stated aims and goals, and for contradictory complaints and poorly offered solutions from various protestors. What appears to be fairly consistent in these American protests, however, is the violence they face from armed agents of the government. The clip above shows some of that. While I'm certainly concerned with the epidemic of unlawful police action, with their ever increasingly militarized armaments, I am much more concerned with the military using force against citizens. Like Kent State, and much more recent events.
Americans have the Constitutional right to protest. That right does not require them to be lucid or philosophically coherent and it certainly doesn't require them to be correct in their anger and their proposals. They have the right to protest, imperfect as their reasons for protesting might be, and as shoddy as their solutions might be articulated.
The police are not the only government agents sworn to defend the rights of Americans, however, to exercise "freedom of speech" and "of the press" and to "peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" in accordance with the First Amendment to the Constitution. The United States military has taken that same oath.
Military officers and enlisted personnel are sworn to defend these rights of Americans, whether or not they agree with their American countryman who exercise them. Unfortunately, many in the military demonstrate a desire to use violence against American citizens with whom they disagree, as I blogged about previously, and as clearly demonstrated recently by one online message board predominately dominated by United States Air Force officers and aviators, which I have also blogged about previously. In this thread, "America's Tahir Square-happening NOW!" one military officer and pilot mentions that "hippies getting pepper sprayed is a unique pleasure that just can't be beat." Others mention hydra rockets, flachettes, and an active duty Air Force Colonel even feels compelled to mention his preference for napalm. Another retired Air Force Colonel, and previous A-10 pilot (who goes by the handle Rainmain-A10), responds to the comment on flachettes by offering some weaponeering instruction:
These things are super parameter senstive. The issue is getting the slant range right at release (9k or 13k, I can't remember anymore) for fuze function and the desired effect to be achieved...along with all the other pilot induced issues that come with a rocket delivery.Another Air Force officer, and F-16 pilot, offers that "CBU 87 is my favorite choice." The previously mentioned active duty Air Force O-6 later offers a video of napalm being dropped in Vietnam (because apparently the North Vietnamese and American protestors go hand in hand).
I know several of these officers personally.
In the four page online thread, nowhere is the Constitution they are sworn to defend ever mentioned. My experience on that forum demonstrates that the Constitution is verboten, the rule of law is a distant second to following orders, and the majority consider their oaths to support and defend the Supreme Law of the Land a joke. In fact, nowhere in this thread is a single opinion that it is improper, dishonorable, or un-American to discuss various ways of employing taxpayer funded weapons against the American taxpayer ever mentioned. More so, there is not a single hint that perhaps these protestors have a point worth listening to, or that they have a right to voice it without violence from the government.
With Kent State in recent memory, with the assassination of an American in very recent memory, and given my personal experiences it appears to me that our United States Air Force (and perhaps our military in total) is no longer capable of carrying out the primary requirement given it by the citizens of America.
That primary requirement is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Update: the thread mentioned above does display the picture below, with the comment "Pretty sure he should not be doing this..."