Great article sent over by a couple listeners, originally posted at: https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/bracken-when-the-music-stops-how-americas-cities-may-explode-in-violence/
From Matt Bracken:
In response to recent articles in mainstream military journals discussing the use of the U.S. Army to quell insurrections on American soil, I offer an alternate vision of the future. Instead of a small town in the South as the flash point, picture instead a score of U.S. cities in the thrall of riots greater than those experienced in Los Angeles in 1965 (Watts), multiple cities in 1968 (MLK assassination), and Los Angeles again in 1992 (Rodney King). New Yorkers can imagine the 1977 blackout looting or the 1991 Crown Heights disturbance. In fact, the proximate spark of the next round of major riots in America could be any from a long list cribbed from our history.
We have seen them all before, and we shall see them all again as history rhymes along regardless of the century or the generation of humankind nominally in control of events. But the next time we are visited by widespread, large-scale urban riots, a dangerous new escalation may be triggered by a new vulnerability: It’s estimated that the average American home has less than two weeks of food on hand. In poor minority areas, it may be much less. What if a cascading economic crisis, even a temporary one, leads to millions of EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards flashing nothing but zeroes? Or if the government’s refusal to reimburse them causes supermarket chains to stop accepting them for payment? The government can order the supermarkets to honor the cards, but history’s verdict is clear: If suppliers are paid only with worthless scrip or blinking digits, the food will stop.
STEP ONE: FLASH MOB LOOTING
In my scenario, the initial riots begin spontaneously across affected urban areas, as SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) and other government welfare recipients learn that their EBT cards no longer function. This sudden revelation will cause widespread anger, which will quickly lead to the flash-mob looting of local supermarkets and other businesses. The media will initially portray these “food riots” as at least partly justifiable. Sadly, millions of Americans have been made largely, or even entirely, dependent on government wealth transfer payments to put food on their tables.
A new social contract has been created, where bread and circuses buy a measure of peace in our minority-populated urban zones. In the era of ubiquitous big-screen cable television, the internet and smart phones, the circus part of the equation is never in doubt as long as the electricity flows. But the bread is highly problematic. Food must be delivered the old-fashioned way: physically. Any disruption in the normal functioning of the EBT system will lead to food riots with a speed that is astonishing. This will inevitably happen when our unsustainable, debt-fueled binge party finally stops, and the music is over. Now that the delivery of free or heavily subsidized food is perceived by tens of millions of Americans to be a basic human right, the cutoff of “their” food money will cause an immediate explosion of rage. When the hunger begins to bite, supermarkets, shops and restaurants will be looted, and initially the media will not condemn the looting. Unfortunately, this initial violence will only be the start of a dangerous escalation.
The ransacked supermarkets, convenience stores, ATMs and gas stations will not be restocked during this period due to the precarious security situation. A single truck loaded with food or gasoline would be perceived to be a Fort Knox on wheels and subject to immediate attack unless heavily protected by powerfully armed security forces, but such forces will not be available during this chaotic period. Under those conditions, resupply to the urban areas cannot and will not take place. The downward spiral of social and economic dysfunction will therefore both accelerate and spread from city to city. These delays, in turn, will lead to more riots with the constant underlying demand that hungry people be fed, one way or another.
Catch-22, anyone? When these demands do not bring the desired outcome, the participants will ratchet up the violence, hoping to force action by the feckless state and national governments.
The “food riots” will be a grass-roots movement of the moment born out of hunger and desperation. It will not be dependent upon leaders or an underlying organization, although they could certainly add to the sauce. Existing cell phone technology provides all the organization a flash mob needs. Most of the mobs will consist of minority urban youths, termed MUYs in the rest of this essay. Which minority doesn’t matter; each urban locale will come with its own unique multi-ethnic dynamic.
Some locales will divide upon religious or political lines, but they will not be the dominant factors contributing to conflict. In the American context, the divisions will primarily have an ethnic or racial context, largely because that makes it easy to sort out the sides at a safe distance. No need to check religious or political affiliation at a hundred yards when The Other is of a different color.
We Americans are all about doing things the easy way, so, sadly, visible racial and ethnic features will form the predominant lines of division.
Would that it were not so, but reality is reality, even when it’s is a bitch.
NEXT STEP: FLASH MOB RIOTS
In order to highlight their grievances and escalate their demands for an immediate resumption of government benefits, the MUY flash mobs will next move their activities to the borders of their ethnic enclaves. They will concentrate on major intersections and highway interchanges where non-MUY suburban commuters must make daily passage to and from what forms of employment still exist. People making a living will still be using those roads to get to where they earn their daily bread.
The results of these clashes will frequently resemble the intersection of Florence and Normandie during the Rodney King riots in 1992, where Reginald Denny was pulled out of his truck’s cab and beaten nearly to death with a cinder block. If you don’t remember it, watch it on Youtube. Then imagine that scene with the mob-making accelerant of texting and other social media technology added to stoke the fires. Instead of a few dozen thugs terrorizing the ambushed intersections, in minutes there will be hundreds.
Rioters will throw debris such as shopping carts and trash cans into the intersection, causing the more timid drivers to pause. The mobs will swarm the lines of trapped cars once they have stopped. Traffic will be forced into gridlock for blocks in all directions. Drivers and passengers of the wrong ethnic persuasions will be pulled from their vehicles to be beaten, robbed, and in some cases raped and/or killed. It will be hyper-violent and overtly racial mob behavior, on a massive and undeniable basis.
Some of those trapped in their cars will try to drive out of the area, inevitably knocking down MUY pedestrians and being trapped by even more outraged MUYs. The commuters will be dragged out of their cars and kicked or beaten to death. Other suburban commuters will try to shoot their way out of the lines of stopped cars, and they will meet the same grim fate once they run out of bullets and room to escape.
The mob will be armed with everything from knives, clubs and pistols to AK-47s. A bloodbath will result. These unlucky drivers and their passengers will suffer horribly, and some of their deaths will be captured on traffic web cameras. Later, these terrible scenes will be released or leaked by sympathetic government insiders and shown by the alternative media, which continue to expand as the traditional media become increasingly irrelevant.
Implausible, you insist?
This grim tableau is my analysis of age-old human behavior patterns, adding flash mobs and 2012 levels of racial anger to the old recipe. Early-teenage MUYs today are frequently playing “The Knockout Game” on full bellies, just for kicks, and proudly uploading the videos. They and their older peers can be expected to do far worse when hunger and the fear of starvation enter their physical, mental, and emotional equations. The blame for their hunger will be turned outward against the greater society, and will be vented at first hand against any non-MUY who falls into their grasp while they are in the thrall of mob hysteria. These episodes of mass psychology we will refer to as “flash mob riots”, “wilding”, or some other new name.
THE OFFICIAL POLICE RESPONSE TO FLASH MOB RIOTS
To gear up for even a single “Florence and Normandie on steroids” flash mob street riot, city police departments will require an hour or longer to stage their SWAT teams and riot squads in position to react. Ordinary patrol cars in small numbers will not venture anywhere near such roiling masses of hysterical rioters, not even to perform rescues. Those citizens trapped in their cars cannot expect timely assistance from local or state authorities.
Even in the first days of widespread riots, when the police forces are well rested, it might take several hours to mount a response sufficient to quell the disturbance and restore order to even one major street intersection riot. In the meantime, scores of innocent commuters will have been attacked, with many of them injured or killed and left at the scene. It will be a law enforcement nightmare to quell the disturbance, mop up lingering rioters, restore security, and bring medical attention to the living and get medical examiners to the dead. And each jurisdiction will face potentially dozens of such scenes, thanks to the ability for MUYs to cross-communicate at will using their wireless devices.
The far more difficult challenge for the police is that by the time they are suited in riot gear, armed and geared up to sweep the intersection, it will probably be empty of rioters. The police, with their major riot squad reaction times measured in hours, will be fighting flash mobs that materialize, cause mayhem, and evaporate in only fractions of hours. This rapid cycle time is a clear lesson taken from massive riots by immigrant French Muslim MUYs in their own religious enclaves and bordering areas.
The American flash mob riot will exist almost entirely inside the law enforcement OODA (observe, orient, decide, act) loop. In other words, the rioters will have a much quicker reaction time than the police. Until fairly recently, superior police communications meant that they could use their radio networks as a force multiplier. With their networking advantage and cohesive reactions both within a department and among cooperating local agencies, police could act as shepherds guiding or dispersing a wayward stampeding flock.
Today, the mob has the greater advantage, immediately spreading word of every police preparation by text and Tweet, even in advance of the police movement. Attempts by the authorities to stop the flash mobs by blocking and jamming wireless transmissions will have limited success.
It is at this point that the situation spirals out of control.
The enraged mobs in urban America will soon recognize that their spontaneous street riots cannot be stopped by the police, and then they will grow truly fearsome. For the police, it will be a losing game of Whack-a-Mole, with riots breaking out and dispersing at a speed they cannot hope to match. The violence will spread to previously unaffected cities as an awareness of law enforcement impotence is spread by television and social media. After a few days, the police forces will be exhausted and demoralized. As the violence intensifies and spreads, and in the absence of any viable security arrangements, supermarkets and other stores will not be restocked, leaving the MUYs even more desperate and angry than before. The increasing desperation born of worsening hunger will refuel the escalating spiral of violence.
Nor will violent conflict be only between the inhabitants of the urban areas and the suburbs. The international record of conflict in tri-ethnic cities is grim, making the old bi-racial dichotomy formerly seen in America seem stable by comparison. In tri-ethnic cities the perceived balance of power is constantly shifting, with each side in turn feeling outnumbered and outmuscled. Temporary truces, betrayals and new alliances follow in rapid succession, removing any lingering sense of social cohesion.
The former Yugoslavia, with its Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim divisions, comes starkly to mind. The Lebanese Civil War between the Christians, Sunnis, Shiites and Druze raged across Beirut (at one time known as “The Paris of the Middle East”) for fifteen brutal years. Once a city turns on itself and becomes a runaway engine of self-destruction, it can be difficult to impossible to switch off the process and return to normal pre-conflict life. It’s not inconceivable that the United States could produce a dozen Sarajevos or Beiruts, primarily across racial instead of religious divides.
Vehicle traffic by non-minority suburban commuters through adjoining minority areas will virtually halt, wrecking what is left of the local economy. Businesses will not open because employees will not be able to travel to work safely. Businesses in minority areas, needless to say, will be looted. “Gentrified” enclaves of affluent suburbanites within or near the urban zones will suffer repeated attacks, until their inhabitants flee.
Radically disaffected minorities will hold critical infrastructure corridors through their areas hostage against the greater society. Highways, railroad tracks, pipe and power lines will all be under constant threat, or may be cut in planned or unplanned acts of raging against “the system.” As long as security in the urban areas cannot be restored, these corridors will be under threat. Even airports will not be immune. Many of them have been absorbed into urban areas, and aircraft will come under sporadic fire while taking off and landing.
In the absence of fresh targets of value blundering into their areas, and still out of food, MUYs will begin to forage beyond their desolated home neighborhoods and into suburban borderlands. “Safe” supermarkets and other stores will be robbed in brazen commando-like gang attacks. Carjackings and home invasions will proliferate madly. As I have discussed in my essay “The Civil War Two Cube,” so-called “transitional” and mixed-ethnic areas will suffer the worst violence. These neighborhoods will become utterly chaotic killing zones, with little or no help coming from the overstretched police, who will be trying to rest up for their next shift on riot squad duty, if they have not already deserted their posts to take care of their own families.
More on the following topics:
THE SUBURBAN ARMED VIGILANTE RESPONSE
THE SNIPER AMBUSH: THE NEW TACTIC OF CHOICE
A SAMPLE SNIPER AMBUSH SCENARIO