Principalities & Powersrnby Samuel FrancisrnProphesying WarrnBack in 1994, the Atlantic Monthly publishedrna notable article by Robert Kaplanrnentitled “The Coming Anarchy.” Thernarticle dealt with what Kaplan took to bernglobal indications of impending chaos asrnresources dwindle, infrastructures decay,rnweapons are peddled, gangs and armedrnbands replace states, and ethnic, racial,rnand tribal loyalties prevail over less ferociousrnidentities. The article was illustratedrnwith several photographs of pitifulrnand chaotic scenes in such picturesquernlocalities as Beirut, the Balkans, andrnCentral Africa. One of the photographs,rnindistinguishable from the others, isrnfrom Los Angeles during the “RodneyrnKing riots” of 1992.rnTo look at the last photograph andrnsuddenly realize it’s not Rwanda orrnBelfast but the second largest city inrnNorth America is jarring, and perhaps itrnwas intended to be. If nothing else, thernpicture serves as a reminder that it canrnhappen here, that it almost did happenrnhere, and that it might well happen herernin a short time to come.rnThat it is going to happen here is thernthesis of a new monograph. Civil War H,rnby an ex-mercenary named ThomasrnChittum, which has attracted no attentionrnwhatsoever in the mainstream bookrnreviews but over the last few months hasrnbeen a hot topic in what can today onlyrnbe called the “Underground Right” —rnthe buzzing hive of Internet sites, shortwavernradio stations, one-man newsletters,rnguerrilla fax warriors, and otherrndissidents who use new and alternativerntechnologies to construct their ownrncounterculture. When it comes to warfare,rnMr. Chittum—a Vietnam veteranrnand former artillery expert who served inrnRhodesia as well as in Croatia—seems tornknow what he’s talking about. Now he’srnsettled down to prepare for the comingrnArmageddon that his book prophesies.rnThe premise of his prediction that thernUnited States (somehme in the next generationrnor so) is going to collapse into anrnanarchic civil war is the ethnic and racialrnfragmentation of the nation that thernCensus Bureau has been projectingrnsince 1992. By 2050, according to thernprojections, whites will constitute 52.5rnpercent of the national populationrn(down from the current 74.8 percent),rnblacks will constitute 14.4 percent, Hispanicsrn22.5 percent, Asians 9.7 percent,rnand Indians 0.9 percent. As Mr. Chittumrnwrites, “It’s as if every day 3,000rnwhites were disappearing and being replacedrnby 3,000 minorities. Every singlernday! This is a sort of statistical ethnicrncleansing engineered through liberalrnimmigration laws and unchecked illegalrnimmigrahon.”rnBut Mr. Chittum’s point is not thatrnwhites are ceasing to be a majority. Hisrnpoint is that whatever the mix of racesrnand ethnic groups, the mix itself is thernproblem. He offers a list of other countriesrnthat have collapsed into ethnic conflictrnwhen the mix reaches certain levels.rnHe allows that “multiethnic and multilingualrnnations can and do work. However,rnall evidence clearly indicates theyrnwork only if each group is allowed tornconduct its own affairs without unduernmeddling by the central government.”rnSwitzerland and Belgium are examplesrnof highly decentralized federal multiethnicrnstates where the different ethnicihesrnappear to be able to live with each otherrnwithout cutting each others’ throats.rnSuch is not the case in the United States,rnhowever.rnHere, federalism and decentralizationrnare not happening and are not going tornhappen. The United States is in fact anrnempire, not only by reason of its militaryrnand political predominance but also itsrninternal structure. Authoritarian trendsrnin the central state, the increasing stratificationrnof the social structure into anrnoverclass and imderclass, the destructionrnof the middle class, and the pattern ofrnimmigration all suggest an “imperialrnconversion” of the American nationstate.rnBut the imperium will be unable torncontrol its own domain, for the simplernreason that weapons, funds to buy them,rnand the will to use them, driven by ethnic-rnracial loyalties and hatreds, will outdrawrnthe empire. The Los Angeles riotsrnare a kind of paradigm for Mr. Chittum’srngrim predictions. In the course of the riots,rnarmed street gangs undertook mostrnof the actual violent action, and Mr.rnChittum points out that while the Cit}’ ofrnthe Angels alone sports no fewer thanrn100,000 gang members, the entire UnitedrnStates contains only about 554,000rnfull-time police officers. If the gangsrnwanted to, they could simply take overrnLos Angeles by force, and during the riots,rnpolice units actually retreated fromrnarmed rioters whose weapons were heavierrnthan those of the cops. There were arnnumber of incidents in which policernsquad cars deliberately ignored lootingrnof stores—probably because they lackedrnthe instruments of force to stop the lootingrn— and Korean shopowners armedrnthemselves to protect their shops andrnhomes that the police refused to protect.rnOf course, the state and federal governmentsrncould stop the rioting and therntakeover by the gangs, couldn’t they?rnWell, as a matter of fact, no, Mr. Chittumrnargues. Federal military bases withinrnthe United States are highly vulnerablernto armed attack and neutralization.rnDesigned to placate civilian tastes andrnsensibilities as much as military needs,rnmilitary bases typically lack a clearedrnfield of fire within which an invaderrncould be cut down like ripe wheat,rndefensive perimeters of mine fields andrnarmored bunkers that could deter invaders,rnadequate manpower, and adequaternfacilities for withstanding sieges.rnMoreover, no small nvimber of the defendersrnof the bases will be co-ethnics ofrnthe attackers and could provide “fifthrncolumns” inside the bases. The same isrntrue of local and state police and nationalrnguard units. Your local military basernmight be terrific for entertaining the kidsrnwith a Veterans’ Day parade, but don’trncount on the troops protecting yourrnneighborhood during Civil War II.rnIn addition to the incipient ethnic andrnracial fragmentation of the nation, Mr.rnChittum points to political and regionalrnschisms already appearing. All of thesernwill, in his view, enhance the likelihoodrnof chronic armed violence throughoutrnthe country in the near future.rnWhen civil authority breaks downrnin America, our criminal gangsrnwill instantly fill the power vacuum,rnjust exactly as has been thernpattern in other lands. The gangsrnhave their organization and firepowerrnto serve as the nucleus forrnactual armies. And since they willrn42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn