FROM KABUL TO JALALABAD IN 1842 Central Asia is a very large stage from which originated the legendary Mongolian armies, the Turks that seized the ancient Byzantine empire and many fabled cities that had rarely been visited by Westerners even in the 1800s. In Washington DC and other modern world capitals, officials wring their handsContinue reading “British Benghazi in Afghanistan 1842”
The manner in which societies organize for warfare has always been dependent on a number of interrelated factors. Technology is an important factor but there are many instances where societies that are behind in the technology of warfare or even behind in industrial strength and other economic factors have been able to become better organized than their opponents. Japan, for example, created the first successful carrier groups and managed to do this virtually overnight in the years before Pearl Harbor. At Pearl Harbor the Japanese executed tactics gleaned from systematic study of the British attack on Taranto that destroyed a major portion of the Italian Navy.
Just prior to WW II, theorists like Liddell Hart advocated in favor of integrating fast moving armored vehicles with smaller infantry units and air cover. The only authorities in a position to follow Hart’s innovative doctrine that were actually listening were members of the German High Command. The German execution of the lightning-fast tactics that the world came to know as Blitzkrieg overran France’s “state of the art” defenses in a matter of a few days with a loss of German lives that was almost nil!
The ability of the U.S. to mobilize and organize a civilian industrial base in order to convert to the building of carriers and planes and other military armament was one important factor that turned the tables on the Japanese and the Germans.
Hitler attempted to personally manage and direct forces that had been effectively trained to proceed with a great deal of rapid decision making at the operational level. Hitler’s seriously flawed military logic in overriding the advice of his generals and consigning Gen. Paulus’ Sixth Army to utter destruction led to its defeat on the Eastern Front.
Over time, battlefields, as the world historically has perceived battlefields to exist, have become almost a thing of the past. During the Napoleonic Wars, hundreds of thousands of men were formed into massed ranks which presented solid boxes at which their opponents would fire. Soldiers on both sides were ordered to fire into massed ranks of the enemy, usually without taking aim.
The field of battle was filled with black powder smoke and cannon balls would skip across the open ground, often removing heads and arms and legs as the iron balls bounded through rows of soldiers lined up like bowling pins.
The American Civil War and WW I caused great loss of life because both sides had such accurate rifles, machine guns and artillery that the men were pinned down in deadly trench warfare. The certainty of death by exposing men to such accurate long range fire initiated a search for new battlefield doctrine that would avoid the drawn out carnage and attrition of the trenches.
By WW II, the German High Command’s innovative mix of tanks, armored vehicles and planes dictated a new kind of warfare that depended on speed and initiative rather than masses of men. The other great powers had greater resources in terms of weapons and by almost every other manner of reckoning. The Germans, nevertheless, had developed a process of planning, innovating and testing various plans and tactics involving new technologies that other leaders only vaguely understood until the German onslaught demonstrated to the world what the English historian, Basil Liddell Hart, had been talking about for so many years; i.e., decentralized coordination between fast moving infantry, mechanized troops and tactical air support.
By the time of the first Gulf War, the U.S. was able to detect and destroy Iraqi armor so effectively that enemy troops just gave up and walked into the desert. At the present time, there is no enemy in the world that can challenge the U.S. on the high seas, in the air or on land. Our forces are trained, organized and equipped in ways that no other nation can match.
This situation prevails as a result of GPS, satellite reconnaissance, networked communications, along with other technogies that make it possible for planners located anywhere in the world to view every inch of a battlefield environment and communicate instructions or reach out and touch personnel and equipment in real time while committing few, if any, troops to the battlefield arena. This is because of robot technology and surveillance systems that make death almost certain for any personnel that expose themselves to the systems our planners and scientists have developed.
According to Max Boot in “War Made New”, however, every victor runs the risk of becoming complacent and relying on the technological and military prowess that provided the last victory. While the U.S. was basking in the benefits of the “peace dividend” our enemies were exploring our weaknesses. The fact that no army will expose itself to the bewildering networks of weaponry deployed by our armed forces creates a new medium of battle. The only way for an enemy to attack is to infiltrate our society with networks that operate with the kind of decentralized structure by which our own special forces deploy.
Each new innovation can only be integrated into a battle system by gradual experimentation and tactical experience. One example of such innovation is information reported by military intelligence that terrorists are using online social networking systems to identify targets, communicate strike opportunities as they arise and conduct surveillance. Thus, older technology is always preserved alongside state of the art developments. This fact brings us to an interesting thesis.
It was predicted to be a matter of less than five years before WMDs would be deployed within the U.S. homeland, according to the the 9/11 Commission. Suit-case nukes, biological weapons and chemical warfare are all available to terrorists and criminals. The argument that nuclear weapons are too high-tech for terrorists is more a kind of denial than a reassurance to any thinking person. Those who study such subjects at the highest levels state that it is just a matter of when the enemy will unleash such weaponry.
Many small arms and personnel are pouring back and forth across the U.S.-Mexican border. An epidemic of kidnappings has started in Phoenix and experts predict that the business of kidnapping is spreading to other cities in the U.S. The fact that many of the kidnappings and much of the contraband and personnel crossing the border involves Mexican gangs goes hand in hand with credible intelligence that Middle Eastern personnel are also coming across our Southern border and receiving many kinds of weapons other than just small arms.
When the new administration uses the complaints about U.S. manufactured guns showing up South of the border, ask yourself whether you would care to be defenseless in El Paso, Texas when the violence spills over the border from Ciudad Juárez.
According to the New York Times, cities llike El Paso, Phoenix and Tucson are “hardly alone in feeling the impact of Mexico’s drug cartels and their trade. In the past few years, the cartels and other drug trafficking organizations have extended their reach across the United States and into Canada. Law enforcement authorities say they believe traffickers distributing the cartels’ marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs are responsible for a rash of shootings in Vancouver, British Columbia, kidnappings in Phoenix, brutal assaults in Birmingham, Ala., and much more.”
It will not take a WMD event to paralyze our economy. Even temporary economic and social disruption could make our armed forces vulnerable. Various synchronized forces and events are ready to converge in many parts of the world. Cyber-warfare and political confusion can amount to chaos in the midst of profound despair and recriminations.
Think about the questions that existed (and still exist) after the WTC attacks and the invasion of Iraq. Some people still question whether Al Qaeda was really behind the attacks. The apparent confusion about how seriously the American public should view terrorist threats raises the issue of whether additional unrecognized enemies can wreak havoc. Can terrorists intitiate attacks in a manner that disguises the identity of the enemy power initiating an attack? Can these attacks occur via tactical teams utilizing small arms, WMDs or industrial-financial sabotage by computer-hacking or some other electronic attack?
An ordinary-looking freighter ship heading toward New York or Los Angeles launches a missile from its hull or from a canister lowered into the sea. It hits a densely populated area. A million people are incinerated. The ship is then sunk. No one claims responsibility. There is no firm evidence as to who sponsored the attack, and thus no one against whom to launch a counterstrike.
But as terrible as that scenario sounds, there is one that is worse. Let us say the freighter ship launches a nuclear-armed Shahab-3 missile off the coast of the U.S. and the missile explodes 300 miles over Chicago. The nuclear detonation in space creates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
Gamma rays from the explosion, through the Compton Effect, generate three classes of disruptive electromagnetic pulses, which permanently destroy consumer electronics, the electronics in some automobiles and, most importantly, the hundreds of large transformers that distribute power throughout the U.S. All of our lights, refrigerators, water-pumping stations, TVs and radios stop running. We have no communication and no ability to provide food and water to 300 million Americans.
This is what is referred to as an EMP attack. Such an attack would effectively throw America back technologically into the early 19th century.
DARPA, a U.S. Government R & D technology lab, was able to create microwave technology at a relatively local cost with generally available electronic components that could disarm many high tech weapons systems. Such inexpensive designs are published on the internet.
The best way to deal with roving bands of killers is on their own terms. The low-tech swarming concept developed by terrorists is also one of the evolving doctrines of our own special forces.
A unit or individual blends into the social environment and, by means of cheap handheld GPS units (available at any electronics shop or outdoor store), cell phone and laptop, units come together as opportunities are presented. Similarly, the ancient Parthian and Mongolians and Turks were just some of the Asiatic horsemen that were able to envelope their enemies by converging from many directions with little or no apparent leadership.
The fact that the Asian “hordes” knew their enemies’ weaknesses stands in stark contrast to the lack of knowledge regarding the onslaught on the part of their victims (Europeans, Persians and Arabic societies, as well as the Chinese empire, to name a few). Such swarming tactics resulted in whole regions becoming systematically repopulated with mountains of skulls.
When a team comes together the units “swarm” their enemy like wolf packs or sharks. The best weapons against such forces are forces of citizens that are armed and trained to detect patterns, react and respond until the police and/or military take over.
The principle of social organization that most characterized the Twentieth Century is the same principle upon which 19th Century factories and armies were organized; the military-industrial complex organized as a massive hierarchy of professionals, bureaucrats, and engineers; i.e., as cog-like components in a huge machine. The concept of a citizen militia seemed outmoded by the 1950s.
A conventional comment is that, “The professional soldiers can provide for our defense.” The idea of a citizen armed with a deer rifle standing up to Blitzkrieg-style storm troopers seems laughable. The U.S. homeland, however, is unlikely to sustain a conventional attack on our homeland, unless our society is already decimated by the networks of terror cells that may already be waiting for the “perfect storm” to arrive.
The fact that so many naysayers deny that we are embroiled in real warfare is because the nature of the new warfare is such that there is normally not a conventional battlefield space.
The real space where the battle occurs is in hearts and minds of citizens and the outcome is determined by how we prepare for and then react to sudden manifestations of violence in schools, churches and synagogues, malls, streets or workplaces.
Our enemies will exploit any dissension (especially partisan gamesmanship) and attempt to break down our trust by creating horrific fear at the same time as the true aims and source of the terrorist acts become more difficult to identify. One source of such “plausible deniability” may result from more than one set of actors with conflicting ideological and national loyalties getting involved, perhaps in joint operations.
There are no means by which enough police can be deployed to guard all our schools. Think of all the workplaces, intersections, overpasses, malls, and other facilities where a few homicide teams bent on destruction and suicide can systematically murder many innocent Americans.
The best defense will be men and women, armed with hand guns and proper training. The government will not take the initiative to train you because “thinking outside the box” is the province of a few individuals- individuals that may lack the patience to wade through the bureaucratic gauntlets. Military officers normally listen to credible military leaders, usually from within their own command.
Even a President or Secretary of Defense has a very difficult time changing the military culture and landscape, littered as it is with turf wars. It took years to unify the various armed forces into an integrated structure where each branch coordinates with the other. A few citizens armed with pistols and spare magazines probably cannot stop a WMD. But think of what happens after a WMD event. If a suit case bomb explodes do you think the carnage will just stop there?
There are some quiet discussions going on among our political leaders about the possibility of arming some of the staff in our schools. There may be a need to change some state and federal laws. Every war takes a different kind of thinking than the last war. The concept that may be foremost in the present day battlefield is “swarming”. No one quite knows quite how it works but for defense of our U.S. homeland it could be as simple as several armed people that are near an intersection stopping one or more terrorist teams from systematically executing drivers while stopped at a traffic light during rush hour.
A Pakistani terrorist, Mir Aimal Kasi, attacked CIA personnel outside the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, killing two CIA employees and wounding three in 1993.
“At around 8 a.m. on January 25, 1993, Kasi stopped his Isuzu pickup behind a number of vehicles waiting at a red traffic light on the eastbound side of Route 123, Fairfax County. The vehicles were waiting to make a left turn into the main entrance of CIA headquarters. Kasi emerged from his vehicle with an AK-47 and proceeded to move among the lines of vehicles, firing into them. Within seconds, he had killed Lansing H. Bennett MD, 66, and Frank Darling, 28. Three others were left with gunshot wounds. Darling was shot first and later received additional gunshot wounds to the head after Kasi shot the other victims.”
Kasi stated later that he wanted to kill people that were more important to the government. Kasi escaped and was hiding in Afghanistan from where the FBI lured him with an offer of a business deal and then captured him by going to his hotel room in Dera Ghazi Khan, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, “rendering” Kasi back to the U.S. Kasi was tried and convicted in the U.S. On November 12, 1997, four US oil executives and their Pakistani taxi driver were shot dead in Karachi, in what was described as a deliberate response to Kasi’s guilty verdict. Kasi was executed by lethal injection in 2002.
All the military experts recognize the viability of the swarming concept. Swarming tactics do not require advanced technology. Just as happens on any other battlefield, technology plays its part and we need the professionals.
Ordinary citizens will usually be able to respond to an emergency that occurs in a public location more quickly than the police. If the professionals are tied down by multiple emergencies, volunteers with radios, cell phones and preparation for defensive tactical engagement may be able to head off potentially devastating attacks. Or even confront jihadist homicide teams.
Citizen defense conflicts with the way many of us have been trained to react but such thinking is in line with the mental outlook of most freedom loving people up until a few generations ago. One of the reasons that Americans got away from such civil defense strategies relates to the defunct official philosophy that the world would be destroyed by nuclear events if there was ever a war. T
hus, the notion developed that there was no use preparing to defend against our enemies since “mutual assured destruction” had become official policy under the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT). Even military forces were reconfigured in a manner reflecting the primacy of the unthinkable nuclear threat.
The contributions of many human resources and various perspectives from inside and outside the ranks of the security professionals is indispensible. Intelligence and sophisticated communications, radioactivity detection, bomb squads and medical/rescue teams have been augmented with billions in federal and state funds. Nevertheless, you can get to your neighbor’s home in an emergency faster than any other “first responder”.
You don’t have to be covered with body armor or trained as a SWAT operator or to operate radar to get a concealed carry license, take some defensive shooting classes and think tactically.
The government has also spent billions to inform citizens about the importance of vigilance and getting ready for emergencies. but, at least for now, the tactical training is something that you will have to develop without government assistance, unless you work for the government.
Think about the nature of modern warfare and why individually armed men and women may become more important to our national security than ever before. Our biggest vulnerability is also our greatest strength- the mindset of the average American citizen.
We need to convey a message to our leaders that we are tired of Congressional investigations and constant chatter about scandals in Washington, DC. While we wait for our leaders to unite around some real priorities, we the people need to remind each other that this is the time to watch and be alert.
Dancing Wuli Masters, Keynesian Warlocks & Reptilian Conspiracies Some people thrive on conspiracy theories. The very nature of conspiracy theories is such that historically the widespread belief in conspiracies has destabilized societies in ways that can be very well documented. Conspiracy Theories For instance, the German High Command promulgated false documents, “The Protocols of theContinue reading “Wuli Masters, Keynesian Warlocks & Reptilians”
What is Substantive Due Process? From 1897 through 1937, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a number of cases involving economic issues where the court struck down state regulations that restricted business owners. Child labor laws and minimum wage laws, for example, were held to violate the freedom of contract, a liberty interest under theContinue reading “The Lochner Era in Supreme Court History”
A few years back we surveyed several high school girls in Federal Way with a few simple historical questions like which came first- the Civil War or WW II.
See video of Texas Tech Survey.
One girl in our unscientific survey knew the Civil War came before WW II but had to think about it- a lot. She remembered Harriet Tubman from Black Studies and that jogged her recollection. The video linked above exemplifies the same kind of results we discovered in Federal Way
Most of the HS students in Federal Way get taught much about critical thinking and diversity- both very big with modern educators; history is just for senior year, or so the Federal Way high school students claim. Supposedly knowing the difference between an ad hominem argument and a priori reasoning is more important than knowing any facts.
The trouble with such sophistry is that you can use critical thinking to convince someone of almost anything! You thought you believed in gravity, for example. But just because you fall doesn’t mean that some capricious entity hasn’t been manipulating the physical environment for years to create the illusion of a consistent natural principle. Scientific laws just seem inherently true due to our apriori assumptions that material and mass have actual physical properties that hold the universe in place. This is pseudo intellectual casuistry, of course, but a sophomore in high school (or even college) might find an instructor prating away on such things to be very enlightening.
The Bible states by Christ all things consist. But can’t it just as easily be the Lord of the Flies? Exalting a righteous God is just a method of injecting a dope like quality to people that are being enslaved by the overseer class. Its not difficult to persuade people into nihilism when they are starting out void of factual information; especially with kids, when you are working with a blank slate in the first place. Biases like honoring your parents, loving your country and rejecting the evils rejected by your forefathers are safeguards against intellectual chaos.
When kids have some experience and know some facts, they can actually exercise the “critical thinking” process to assess shortcomings in what they receive. Critical thinking would be relatively harmless if it were not for the fact that many of the teachers have been so radicalized by diversity training, Black studies, Chicano studies, neo-Marxist analysis and other anti-American biases.
It is amazing that more kids are not going on shooting rampages. Taking God and the Bible out of schools doesn’t really help either.
There is a whole branch of feminism that is also Marxist. None of these “studies” come labeled as Marxist or radical but they all employ elements of the so-called critical thinking process to deconstruct everything we try to teach kids at home. Communist lawyers founded a whole school of Critical Legal Studies many years ago. The movement is still going strong and has been very persuasively demonstrating how judges make decisions based on protecting the interests of their class-based social status.
Most of us were also educated into the “Progressive” agenda. So we need to use critical thinking to see through the agenda. Critical thinking can be good or bad; i.e., it is only a process and can be used to reach almost any conclusion. Especially when you eliminate any facts that are deemed to be biased just because they are traditional. On the other hand, supposedly innovative social ideas (which aren’t really new at all) are deemed to be inherently progressive, modern and imminently worth entertaining with a dialogue that usually engenders more Progressive foolishness.
There really are people trying to steal what we received from our forefathers and we are starting to see the tragic results. They aren’t people like Khrushchev or some commissars in Red China. People like the Clintons, the Obama True Believers and even some Republicans are just as subversive as Chairman Mao ever was. But the real source of the attack is coming from tax exempt foundations bearing names like Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie. Millions of dollars go to fund academic studies and it skews the academic process and skewers our young.
Communist and Socialist are academic distinctions. The way the Obama administration has encouraged the racial strife in Ferguson, Missouri and other places along with the Obama Administration’s anti-police rhetoric is a harbinger of violence to come.
The only possible distinction between Communism and Socialism is that Communists profess to believe in violent revolution. But they also resort to disguising their beliefs and will even profess to be Socialists, Progressives, Democrats or even Republicans if it suits their purposes.
Do you know who Saul Alinsky is?
A very famous Chicago Communist, Alinsky died many years ago. Nevertheless, Saul Alinsky is still somewhat famous because President Obama learned community organizing under some of the organizations that followed Alinsky’s strategies outlined in the book, Rules for Radicals.
Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis about him and actually worked in Alinsky’s operations before she took off for law school at Yale!
Mrs. Clinton was recruited into Alinsky’s operations in her Methodist Church right in Park Ridge where I went to high school. She graduated the year I started so we were not at Maine South at the same time.
I read her senior thesis written while she was at Wellesley College. It is about Saul Alinsky’s life and community organizing strategies. Very interesting! It makes my case better than I could explain it in 20,000 words or more. See the link to the thesis above.
We now have leaders who have values that are as chaotic and dangerous as the values I previously rejected when I got to meet some of the radicals in Chicago’s Hyde Park. I repudiated all of my leftist and hippy beliefs after I received Christ as my Lord and Savior. It would be a good thing for our nation if some of our leaders would also repent!
But what of our children? The so-called critical thinking that has replaced traditional educational values rooted in the traditional American heritage have left our students poorly prepared to question the premises of teachers who teach that the United States is a nation of genocide and greed. No wonder things are coming apart and our leaders seem more like adolescent children having a food fight when so many important issues confront the nation.
Francis Augustus Hamer (March 17, 1884 – July 10, 1955) is best known for ambushing Bonnie and Clyde in 1934. His reputation as a Texas Ranger would have made him a legend even if he had not ambushed Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in Louisiana. Frank Hamer was born in Fairview, Wilson County, Texas. 1894 the family moved to Oxford in Llano County and Frank worked in his dad’s blacksmith shop.
In 1905, he captured a horse thief while he was working on a ranch in West Texas. Hamer was a cowboy on the Carr Ranch, between Sheffield and Fort Stockton when he captured the horse thief. Sheriff D. S. Barker recommended Hamer for a position with the Texas Rangers.
On April 21, 1906, Hamer enlisted as a Texas Ranger. Working primarily along the South Texas border, Hamer became known as an expert shot. Four of his five brothers also became Texas Rangers.
Hamer’s first stint as a Texas Ranger was with Captain John H. Rogers’s Company C. In his first assignment he put a stop to murders and riots in the Rio Grande Valley that, notwithstanding the efforts of federal troops, had been raging unabated for many months. He resigned in 1908 to become the Marshall in Navasota, Texas, a violent boom town in which “shootouts on the main street were so frequent that in two years at least a hundred men died.”
At the age of 24 years old, Hamer established and maintained order in Navasota. The town had seen over one hundred men killed in shootouts but the town became tame while Hamer was the city marshal.
In 1911, Hamer started working as a special investigator in Houston. Hamer was also an officer for Harris County before joining the Rangers again in 1915 and was assigned to patrol the South Texas border around Brownsville. The Rangers were dealing with arms smuggling, bandits and bootleggers along the Mexican border. Hamer left the Rangers and then returned again in 1921, transferring to Austin where he served as Senior Ranger Captain. In the 1920s, Hamer brought law and order to oil towns such as Mexia and Borger.
Frank Hamer hated corruption of any kind- even when other police officers were involved! In 1928, The Texas Bankers’ Association gave rewards to officers that set up certain petty criminals to be killed so that corrupt police officers could collect the rewards and pay finder’s fees. The police and the Bankers’ Association’s refused to cooperate with Hamer’s investigation. Hamer took such murder and corruption personally and wrote a detailed exposé of the “the bankers’ murder machine” which he handed out in Austin.
Hamer also provided a restraining influence during a Depression era race riot. The 1930 Sherman riot made Texas notorious for its racial animosity. The lynching of a black prisoner in Sherman started when George Hughes, a farm hand, admitted to raping a white woman. Hughes trial was scheduled for trial within a week and a mob gathered outside the jail every night.
Captain Frank Hamer, two other rangers and a police sergeant escorted Hughes to trial where a crowd packed the entire area of the courthouse. The crowd threw stones at the courthouse, forced the doors to the courtroom corridor and rushed toward the courtroom. Hamer and the other peace officers used warning shots and tear gas to break the crowd up on more than one occasion while Hughes was locked in the district court vault for safety. A rumor had been circulated that the Rangers had orders from the Governor not to shoot.
Nevertheless, Hamer used buckshot on the crowd and wounded at least two as they charged up the stairs of the courthouse. When asked by one of the rioters whether he would surrender the prisoner, Hamer replied,”Any time you feel lucky come on, but when you start up the stairway once more, there is going to be many funerals in Sherman.” This quieted the crowd for twenty or thirty minutes according to Hamer’s official statement. Judge Carter stopped the trial and planned a change of venue.
That afternoon, the lynch mob threw gasoline into the courthouse; the rangers attempted to rescue the prisoner while the mob prevented firemen from putting out the fire and cut their hoses. Soon only the walls and the vault remained. The mob battled National Guardsmen who were sent into Sherman by Governor Moody and tried to break into the vault. The mob succeeded in breaking open the vault and dragging Hughes’ dead body behind a car, then hanging it from a tree where they set it on fire.
The mob, estimated at 5,000 people, then proceeded to burn black businesses. Governor Moody dispatched more National Guard units and martial law was in effect from May 10 until May 24. Two men were convicted and sentenced to two-year terms and more lynching and riots ensued in Texas and Oklahoma.
Hamer spent 27 years with the Rangers. He hated political corruption as much as he hated murder and the other lawless activities that characterized Texas in the early Twentieth Century. He and forty other Rangers resigned to avoid serving under “Ma” Ferguson. In her first term as governor of Texas, Gov. Ferguson had proven that she was corrupt. At the beginning of her second term, she fired all the Rangers that remained and appointed replacements for them. Hamer retained a Special Ranger commission after retirement and he put it to good use.
Clyde Barrow’s gang shot and wounded two prison guards – one fatally- during a prison breakout in 1934. Barrow, Parker and associate Jimmy Mullens engineered the Eastham prison farm escape and freed Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, Hilton Bybee and Joe Palme. The stage was now set for Frank Hamer to accept a commission to hunt down the Barrow Gang as a special investigator for the prison system.
Hamer, by then an accomplished detective and gunfighter, studied the way in which Barrow made a wide circle along certain state borders. In those days officers from one state were legally prohibited from chasing suspects across the border of another state. Midwestern banks were easy picking for a gang that outgunned the cops with fully automatic 30.06 Browning Automatic Rifles and fast cars. The Barrow Gang robbed banks in Oklahoma, Texas and Iowa with Hamer in hot pursuit.
The gang murdered two Texas Highway Patrol officers at Grapevine, Texas. Five days later Barrow and Methvin killed Constable Cal Campbell and kidnapped Commerce, Oklahoma Chief of Police Percy Boyd. Clyde certainly did not intend to be taken alive.
In mid-March Henry Methvin’s family contacted law enforcement in Louisiana. Sheriff Henderson Jordan and his deputy, Prentiss Oakley, joined Hamer along with former Ranger Manny Gault. Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Alcorn and another Dallas County deputy, Ted Hinton, had previously been involved in an attempt to ambush Barrow and Parker, in November 1933. Hinton requested a BAR because he knew that the lawmen would be up against more than one BAR that Barrow had stolen from a National Guard armory and with which Barrow had already gunned down several peace officers.
According to Rick Cartledge in THE GUNS OF FRANK HAMER:
“Frank Hamer Jr., a distinguished lawman in his own right, gave a filmed interview in which he showed the nimble .35 that his father had bought especially to go after Bonnie and Clyde. As to the rifle’s ability to tear holes in a V8 Ford, Frank Hamer had an unimpeachable source – Clyde Barrow. Though Clyde and Bonnie escaped the Sowers ambush by Dallas County authorities in November of 1933, Clyde ditched his shot up car near the Ft. Worth Pike and commandeered a less damaged car to make good their flight to freedom. The abandoned V8 spoke volumes to the able lawmen of Dallas County and to the Rangers. Ted Hinton had hit the car 17 out of 30 shots with his Thompson submachine gun and hadn’t penetrated the car body. Veteran Deputy Bob Alcorn had chugged away with his hefty Browning Automatic Rifle and ripped some respectable holes all the way through the car. Hinton called his Congressman, got a BAR from the government and a back seat full of ammunition, and learned how to shoot the roaring automatic rifle.”
Lawmen and outlaws confronted one another at 9:15 a.m. on May 23, 1934. Hamer and his men engineered the moment of the ambush with help from informants. After 102 days of hunting Barrow, Frank Hamer and his posse were ready for Barrow’s gang when they stopped at the ambush spot on a road near Gibsland, Louisiana.
Deputy Oakley fired the opening burst from his Remington Model 8. A round in Barrow’s left temple laid him out dead. The posse may have fired as many as 150 rounds.
Hamer used a customized .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle with a special-order 15-round magazine. The Model 8 was one of at least two Model 8’s used in the ambush. The rifle was modified to accept a “police only” 15-round magazine.
Cartledge provides some interesting comments that contradict the conventional belief that Hamer also toted a 1911 pistol in .45 ACP:
“Two months later, Frank Hamer opted for the Remington .35 as his hole puncher and he picked an interesting pistol to go with his quick-pointing rifle. To front for “Old Lucky”, Capt. Hamer stuffed a blue steel Colt commercial automatic in his belt and it is this gun that is most interesting to this writer. I had long suspected that this Colt was not a .45 but one of the then new .38 Supers and I had three reasons for believing this. First, gangsters (Dillinger, Nelson, etc.) as well as lawmen had caught on to bullet proof vests and their resistance to .45 caliber penetration. Second, gangster use of the .38 Super to telling effect was known and thugs had even hammered the .38 Super into the extremely deadly machine pistol configuration. Two of these 22 round magazine equipped death machines were confiscated in a raid on John Dillinger’s apartment in St. Paul in April of 1933. These Supers belonged to Nelson and were assembled from kits made by the Monarch Gun Company of Hollywood, California by underworld gunsmith H. S. Lebman of Texas. Nelson killed Federal Agent Baum at Little Bohemia with a .38 Super machine pistol. The third reason springs from a fortunate experiment done by a friend of mine in 1939 on a dare. Joseph Pinkston in his excellent book, with Robert Cromie, “Dillinger, A Short and Violent Life” writes of the apprehension of Dillinger gang member Leslie Homer and of his advice given to Racine officers in November of 1933. Since Capt. Hamer was known to have followed the Dillinger case as a matter of professional curiosity, he may well have been familiar with Homer’s published remarks which were “If you want to give your coppers an even break with present-day gangsters, you want to equip them with the new Super .38 caliber. A gun of that type will shoot a hole right through any bulletproof vest ever made.”
The March, 1992 issue of Guns and Ammo’s “HANDGUNS FOR SPORT AND DEFENSE” magazine contains an interview with Frank Hamer Jr. who confirmed that his father’s Colt was a .38 Super.
At about 9:15 AM just after the thundering torrent of lead subsided, Frank Hamer, Sr. approached the 1934 Ford V8 with his 1911 style .38 Super drawn. He knew that if any members of the Barrow gang survived the fusillade, a .38 Super round would penetrate the vehicle’s heavy steel body and body armor, too, if necessary! Ted Hinton, in his book “Ambush”, declares that two of the Colt automatics at the ambush were .38 Supers.
There seems to be a consensus that Hamer carried a 1911 chambered in .38 Super when he ambushed Bonnie and Clyde:
For most of his career, Hamer carried an engraved .45 Colt M1873 SAA revolver with 4.75″ barrel (pp. HT110, OW86, W:D71) called “Old Lucky,” either in a holster on his right side, or, when he was no longer required to ride a horse, simply tucked into his waistband. When expecting a gunfight, he also took a .44 S&W Hand-Ejector revolver with 6.5″ barrel for backup. His favorite longarm was a .30-30 Winchester M1894 lever-action rifle.
However, for the hunt on Bonnie & Clyde, he replaced the S&W revolver with a .38 Colt Super Auto pistol (pp. HT108, W:D71) and the lever-action rifle with a .35 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle (p. W:D72) with 20-round magazine extension (both weapons offering superior penetration against bullet-proof vests and the heavy Ford V8 sedans Clyde Barrow was partial to).
Hamer also owned many other guns. When the posse assembled in a hurry in a Louisiana hinterwald small town, three of the men could not bring their own long arms, and were outfitted from Hamer’s personal rolling arsenal — Gault got Hamer’s .25 Remington Model 8 semiautomatic rifle, Alcorn his .30-30 Winchester M1894 carbine, and Hinton his .30-06 Colt R80 Monitor machine rifle (a variant of the M1918 BAR which was the chosen armament of the outlaws).
See FRANK HAMER, TEXAS RANGER by Hans-Christian Vortisch.
After the Hollywood version of Bonnie and Clyde, Mrs. Frank Hamer and Frank Hamer, Jr., sued Warner Bros.-Seven Arts for the defamatory manner in which the movie depicted the famous lawman. In 1971, they received an out-of-court settlement.
In 1948, Hamer accompanied Gov. Coke Stevenson to the Texas State Bank in Alice, county seat of Jim Wells County in South Texas. Stevenson wanted to examine the tally sheets in the ballot box for Precinct 13; i.e.,fraudulent poll and tally lists for his opponent, then Congressman Lyndon Johnson.
Coke Robert Stevenson (March 20, 1888– June 28, 1975) was the only 20th century Texas politician to serve as Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, as Lieutenant Governor and then as governor.
At about the age of sixteen Coke Stevenson began his career as the sole proprietor of a freight hauling business traveling back and forth across the rugged Hill Country of West Texas every week. The roads were poor and Stevens crossed several rivers with steep banks and few bridges. He slept under his horse drawn wagon in bad weather and studied accounting alone by the light of campfires often with snow and rain falling around him.
Over many lonely, weary years, he earned the absolute confidence of his neighbors hauling their goods to market. He eventually took a job in a bank and started the study of law the old fashioned way- reading law books in a nearby law office. His trial practice in Texas made him one of the greatest trial lawyers ever to try a case in a state known for famous trial lawyers.
His entrance into politics commenced when local leaders asked Hamer to catch a crew of rustlers that included the son of a prominent ranching family. After catching the rustlers, Hamer led a successful effort to organize his neighbors and several other counties around Kimble County to improve the roads so that merchants and farmers could get their products to and from places like San Antonio.
Stevenson succeeded W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel as governor in 1941 when O’Daniel resigned to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Stevenson was elected to a full term in 1942, winning the Democratic primary with 69% and being unopposed in the general election. He was elected to a second term in 1944 and was the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas. He was a conservative Democrat who loved the Constitution and believed that the federal government needed to let states like Texas take control of their own destinies at a time when Truman and the national Democrats were desperately seeking a deal to force out state’s rights Democrats that were threatening to keep Texas out of Truman’s clutches.
The conservative ranchers and almost everyone else in Texas loved Coke Stevenson and what he stood for. Known as Mr. Texas, Stevenson represented a kind of independent thinking in politics that makes it now seem inevitable that he and his old hunting partner, Frank Hamer, would be destined to walk down the streets of Alice together under the hard stares of George Parr’s pistoleros most of whom were armed with rifles and shotguns.
In 1948, Stevenson led the Democratic primary with 39.7% to 33.7% against Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ won the runoff by only 87 votes out of a total of 988,295. When Stevenson sent lawyers to Alice demanding to see the voting records (pursuant to Texas voting statutes) their lawful demands were refused. Stevenson and Hamer met the lawyers at the Alice Hotel and Hamer told them to take off their coats so that the well-armed gangs employed by the Duke of Duvall,George Parr, would know that they were unarmed.
Hamer also took off his own coat and displayed the weapon that he was still authorized to carry in retirement as a “Special Ranger” employed by the Texas Oil Company.
Hamer and Stevenson were both tall with big shoulders and carried themselves in a way that stated they meant business. The young lawyers following those two Texas legends saw groups of armed men standing all around the street. There were about five men directly in Hamer’s path wearing guns. A larger group stood in the doorway of the bank where Johnson’s cronies illegally kept the election records.
It was well known in Texas that Hamer had killed fifty-three men, been wounded seventeen times and left for dead more than once. A gunman had once jumped out to prevent him from testifying in a trial. Shot at point blank range, Hamer snatched the jammed gun out of the assassin’s hand when a second assailant started blazing away at Hamer. Hamer was still on his feet as one of the fleeing hit men turned to shoot. Hamer only had one good hand left but he dropped his opponent dead.
Such a reputation is in itself a most intimidating weapon and Hamer never slowed down as he approached Parr’s gunmen. “Git!”, he admonished and then, “Fall back!”. When he got to the next group, his fingers curled for the draw and poised just above the grip of his pistol. The gun men fell back but then they tried to follow Stevenson into the bank. Hamer stood in the doorway of the bank and a long confrontation ensued until finally Parr’s gunmen walked away.
The lawyers got to look at the records just long enough to make notes and it soon became apparent that Lyndon Johnson had engaged in a massive election fraud that was unprecedented even by the standards then prevalent in Texas where ranchers and political bosses were able to deliver blocs of voters to candidates willing to pay the highest price.
The Democratic State Central Committee proclaimed Johnson the winner of the primary by a 29-28 vote (then a deal was consummated in which state’s rights Democrats were run out of the convention) while Stevenson was granted an injunction by the federal district court. Thus, Johnson was off the ballot in the general election unless Johnson could do something quickly.
His lawyers argued about strategy for hours and Johnson finally turned to Abe Fortas who happened to be in nearby Dallas on business. Fortas advised them to make an argument to a Court of Appeals judge that they knew would quickly rule against Johnson- thereby avoiding the usual delays that occur when judges take cases under advisement- often for days and weeks- during which the deadline for getting on the ballot would be lost for LBJ. By doing so, Johnson’s legal team got the case in front of Associate Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black.
Black ruled that the federal district court lacked jurisdiction and that the question was for the Central Committee to decide. He ordered the lower court’s injunction stayed, and the ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. In those days, Republicans had no possibility of winning a Senatorial race and the ruling ensured that Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas.
Nevertheless, the brief opportunity to look at the election documents inside the bank was made possible by Hamer’s 200 yard walk down the center of Alice, Texas with his coat off. The testimony that the lawyer’s gathered- as a result of the names of voter’s that later testified they had never voted- and jotted down while in the bank- demonstrated, beyond any doubt, according to Robert Caro (the definitive Johnson biographer)- that Lyndon Johnson had personally conducted one of the most massive election frauds in U.S. electoral history.
Many of the accusations and dirty tricks that Johnson displayed have become standard protocol for modern day Democrats. Johnson went on to take the Senate seat that he stole from Stevenson and Stevenson retired to Junction, Texas.
Disenchanted with the Democratic Party, Coke Stevenson supported Republicans for the rest of his life, including John Tower for the Senate and Nixon and Goldwater for the presidency. Frank Hamer, on the other hand, retired in 1949 and lived in Austin until his death in 1955. He is buried in Austin. In his life he was wounded 17 times, left for dead four times and he killed between 53 and 70 people.
“Instruct the Israelites to bring you clear oil of beaten olives for lighting, to cause the lamp TO BURN ALWAYS. Aaron and his sons shall set them up in the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain which is before the Ark of the Pact, to burn from evening to morning before the LORD. It shall be a due from the Israelites FOR ALL TIME, throughout the ages.”
[Exodus (Shemot) 27. 20 – 21 Tanakh, Torah]
The following account of the Maccabean battles is primarily from the “Battles of the Battle”, by Chaim Herzog and Mordechai Gichon. The authors state that the purpose of the book is “to narrate the military history of the Bible in terms of modern military concepts and accepted terminology.” In the present essay we will suggest some examples as to how the Maccabean battles speak to principles of warfare over the centuries with special emphasis on the subject of how volunteer militia units stack up against professional armies.
There are issues of technology, intelligence and tactics but morale is also important. When a people suddenly confronts a foreign occupation force, what are the sources for building the quality of morale that it takes to face a determined and well-trained professional foe?
Herzog, who authored the chapters related to Maccabees, fought in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War as an officer in the battles for Latrun. He performed intelligence functions during World War II. From 1948 through 1962, Herzog was head of the IDF Military Intelligence Branch. He served as head of the Israeli Defense Forces again from 1959 to 1962 and retired with the rank of Major-General.
When the Revolt commenced in 167 BC, it had been four hundred years since any organized Jewish force had taken up arms. Bible readers will recall that when Israel became apostate by worshipping foreign “gods”, she was divided. The people of Yahweh were divided into two kingdoms- the Northern and Southern kingdoms- and then were separately taken into captivity. Cyrus, the Emperor of the Persians, a pluralistic society, sent the captive Israelites back to rebuild Jersusalem.
By the time of the Maccabean revolt, many centuries after Nehemia and Ezra had restored the Temple in Jerusalem, Alexander and his army had swept across Persia and Mesopotamia wielding Hellenistic culture.
The importance of Israel’s confrontation with Greek culture and philosophy in understanding the history of Israel cannot be overestimated. The Hellenistic mores, world view and policy objectives considerably outlasted Alexander’s lifetime.
Alexander divided his legendary empire among four generals. The Egyptian-based Ptolemies were rivals of the Seleucid Empire, based in Syria. Jerusalem and Judea were under the jurisdiction of the Ptolemies (a dynasty also descending from one of Alexander’s four successors). When Antiochus III wrested Palestine from the Ptolemies, he would have had a Jewish problem on his hands but followed a policy similar to the Romans who came later; i.e., a policy of allowing the Jews limited autonomy and religious tolerance.
Antiochus III reigned in a time when the power of Rome had not risen to the point where the Judeans constituted a threat to the Seleucids. When Antiochus IV came to power in 175 BC, Syria was faced with global threats to its trade routes running through Palestine; with the Ptolemies threatening in the south, and aggressive Romans, Parthians and Persians pressuring Syria’s other borders, Antiochus determined to enforce cultural uniformity.
The Seleucid authorities took over the priesthood and Hellenized the Temple worship in Jerusalem and a split occurred between Jews who compromised with the Greek culture and anti-Hellenist traditionalists, eschewing foreign culture and religion. The split became an open revolt at a time when the Syrian forces(Seleucid army troops) were retreating from a failed siege in Egypt (under impending threat of Roman intervention). The irate Antiochus Epiphanes ordered strong measures in Jerusalem. Syrian troops massacred the Jewish population there.
What followed came to be known by Jesus and present day Bible teachers as “the Abomination of Desolation”. The Temple of Solomon was relegated to the cult of Zeus and desecrated by sacrifices of swine. This set the stage for the appearance of an amazing breed of Jewish warriors that had not been seen since the ancient days of Israel’s Judges in before the advent of the Kingdom of Israel.
The Antiochus administration dispatched an officer named Apelles to the rural village of Modiin in order to suppress any Judaistic practices in the countryside. The means of ensuring that submission to Hellenistic culture was without reservation on the part of the Jewish underclass was to set up an altar and order Mattathias, the local Jewish priest, to sacrifice and eat the swine flesh. Mattathias refused.
When a more compliant fellow stepped forward, Mattathias went berserk with righteous indignation (like Samson or Jesus when he drove out the money-changers in order to cleanse the Temple from corruption, killing the traitor and Appelles. Mattathias and a handful of farmers took to the hills outside present-day Ramallah. The Judean terrain offered a mountain stronghold for the guerrilla force that was forming even as events propelled them onward.
The Maccabees organized a nationwide intelligence apparatus, refrained at first from aggressive operations and emphasized principles that went beyond mere cultural indoctrination. I imagine that there was school of sorts like Samuel’s School of the Prophets, wherein champions of the faith (see Hebrews 11 and the Books of Samuel) were studied along with Torah study (Five Books of the Law).
In Samuel’s time, the Philistines denied oppressed Israelites the fundamental right to sharpen their own farming implements; i.e., the Philistine instituted “gun-control” in the form of restrictions on edged weaponry. It is not easy to educate a people that have lived under oppression for so long that they have lost their identity as warriors and feel nothing but shame and conflict when law-givers like Moses or Samuel try to tell them, “This is who you are; your God destined you to be a warrior. Be strong and of good courage!”
In the beginning, the Maccabees may have been less than fifty able-bodied fighters out of a band of two hundred Jews that took to the Judean hills. Mattathias died in the first year of the revolt but designated Judas Maccabeus to lead Israel’s forces.
The Jewish farmers possessed weapons that were little more than slings and farming implements against a well-equipped, well-trained modern army by any standards- veteran Syrian soldiers reputed for ferocious cavalry charges, fierce infantry troops, chariots, elephants and well trained artillery engineers with machinery for launching large boulders- all the usual instruments and engines of classical warfare.
But the Seleucid training was geared towards conventional fighting. Sword, javelin, spear and arrow in the hands of large numbers of mercenaries soon gave way to a few committed fighters willing to hit their enemy, grab some weapons and then prepare to strike again. A few men operating with the advantage of surprise tied up many soldiers waiting to react defensively. The Jewish guerillas also had support from local populations and easily melted into the local landscape.
The rebels gradually assembled an arsenal of modern weapons- swords, bows, spears, maybe even some ballistas for throwing rocks and battering rams (if they weren’t too heavy to carry them into the hills after an attack). The Syrian troops were organized into tactical phalanx elements starting with the syntagma of 250 men, like a modern company. The conventional tactics are familiar to any student of shock troop warfare (evolved from the Grecian hoplite units) in which two armies press each other in a head on clash while skirmishers and cavalry protect the flanks.
The disadvantage of this kind of warfare against mountain fighters soon became apparent when Judas the Maccabee, Mattathias’ middle son, attacked Appolonius, who was advancing from Samaria to Jerusalem with 2,000 Syrian troops.
The Syrians entered a narrow passageway. Judas divided his fighters into four units that maneuvered Appolonius into a trap. Judas attacked two separate chiliarchiae of approximately 1,000 Syrian troops each from east and west. A chiliarchiae was being cut to ribbons in the defile while the other units kept pressing forward without knowing that they were about to be surprised from the rear.
Appolonius, in the second chiliarchiae rode forward and looked to see what was occurring in front. He took fire from both hillsides, thus, spilling out his life on that battlefield.
These events left the entire Seleucid force in a state of utter destruction four miles north-east of Gophna. The Maccabees 600 fighters added more weapons to their considerable arsenal.
The Syrian General Seron was determined to avenge the Maccabean exploit that occurred at Nahal el-Haramiah. Gen. Seron stayed near the coast and turned inland near Jaffa past the present day airport of Lod. According to 1 Maccabees 3:16, the General used a secondary route to Jerusalem that led through the same pass used by general Allenby when the British 90th Division advanced on Turkish held Jerusalem in 1917.
Any reader that reviews Biblical history along with the accounts of modern day warfare in Palestine, especially Israeli military history since 1948, cannot help but see many events that are proof that Yahweh still has his hand on Israel. One geographical location, such as General Seron’s route through Beth-Horon, can invite repeated conflicts over the centuries. The same route was chosen by Israeli forces in 1967 in order to take the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Battle of Beth- Horon comprised 4,000 troops (four chiliarchia) against 1,000 Jewish troops. Judas reminded his men that they were fighting for their homes, families and heritage- their heritage in Y-hw-h G-d (Hebrew mandates that the name of God (transliterated Jehovah in Anglo-Saxon texts) is unable to be pronounced; the exact pronunciation is consequently unknown. General Seron was the target of choice as he rode through the narrow passage at Beth-Horon. Seron made sure not to bunch his troops and thereby considerably diminished the possibility of another ambush.
As the Syrians worked their way up the hillsides toward Beth-Horon, perhaps a little more than a day’s march (fifteen miles by road from Jerusalem), Judas led the charge. He carried Appolonius’ sword and continued to do so from that time onward. Jewish militia men lay hidden on each side of the road to Jerusalem. They came out of the rocks with slings and bows and then closed in with swords chasing the surprised Syrians back toward the plains below.
Judah’s risky strategy of dividing his 1,000 men into four separate units destroyed the enemy’s plan to link up with the Syrian garrison in Jerusalem and to subdue the whole country from that command center.
Such lessons were similar to the experience of Americans later in history. Battlefields like New Orleans, where frontiersmen, pirates and Indians vanquished the most powerful army of the time, the veteran British regulars who had bested Napoleon in Europe and India. The Americans at the Battle of New Orleans had the long rifle, giving them a greater edge in technology, at least in terms of accurate firepower.
Back in the command centers of Antiochus, the news of Seron’s defeat caused the leaders to quickly change their plans by reassigning forces to use any and all means to search out and destroy the remnant of Judea and allot the land to aliens, a familiar experience for Israel and other conquered peoples dating back at least to the Assyrian occupation of the Northern Kingdom in 740 BC.
Thus, the stakes were high when three Syrian Generals bivouacked at Emmaus (present-day Imwas near Latrun). According to 1 Maccabee there were 40,000 Syrian infantry troops and 7,000 cavalry but 2 Maccabee estimates that the Syrian strength was higher. Judas was busy recruiting a force that mustered out at 6,000. He organized them as battalions (1,000 strong), companies (of 100 men), platoons of 50 and 10 man units. This is similar to the way modern armies are organized, according to Herzog. Judas somehow divided these units into four groups (1500 each), three of which were commanded by his three brothers.
Judas invoked the glorious heritage of Israel and the injunctions of the Law (Torah). As things shaped up, the two opposing camps were visible to each other.
The Syrian General Gorgias led his forces into the hills for a night attack (this was evidently a first for the conventionally minded shock-troops). The Israelis anticipated the night attack. When the Syrians launched their attack, the Maccabean camp was empty but Syrian scouts observed the Jewish rearguard in retreat and gave chase.
These actions say a great deal about the importance of intelligence, usually on the part of recon scouts who are trained to move under cover and report what they see with their eyes. We can deduce such a premise because of the fact that the Maccabean retreat was an elaborate deception intended to lure Gorgias into another defile. There Judas attacked the Syrian troops with units stationed in the defile during the night.
The Syrians anticipated Judas’ next move which was to attack the Seleucid-Syrian camp at dawn. The Seleucid forces were arrayed for battle, the element of surprise was lost. Judas attacked the western flank of the enemy phalanx, penetrated the phalanx and his men engaged the shock-troops in hand to hand combat. Another group of 1,500 Israelis attacked the remaining Syrians who were languishing complacently in the camp. Total confusion overtook the Syrians. The phalanx formation disintegrated early in the fighting, the troops guarding the baggage in the base camp were fleeing to the coast, as elephants, horses, camp followers, slave traders and soldiers screamed, stampeded and bled in the dust.
Gorgias turned to face the valley; the sight of the burning base camp panicked Gorgias’ forces and the Jewish troops went after them in hot pursuit. The recruiting got easier for Judas who now controlled the whole country with the exception of Jerusalem. The Jewish militia was now at 10,000 strong and, in addition to the great value of their other plunder, the amount of weaponry they seized put Judas’ Jewish militia volunteers in a strong position to lay siege to Jerusalem.
Lysias, a noteable within Antiochus Epiphanes’ own family, undertook to punish Judas’ audacity. The plan was to enter Jerusalem, avoid the mountains completely and operate from a secure fortress in Jerusalem called Acra. He traveled through Idumea (Biblical Edom), where the population was not friendly toward the Jews.
The Seleucid forces were at about 20,000 strong and, thus, outnumbered Judas’s men by about two to one. Again Judas picked the battle terrain, this time in an area that was carved up by wadis, the term for ravines and gully washes in that part of the world. And once again the Judean forces were divided into four groups but this time Judas had no illusions as to the possibility of splitting the enemy’s forces.
Judas’ guerilla forces disengorged from their hiding place in a ravine just as the Seleucids emerged from another defile. Jewish militia that Judas had held in reserve sealed the area along a half mile front as their brothers surprised their enemies from both sides. Imagine the dismay, humiliation and abject terror of that proud army and the carnage to which they were subjected! The Syrians lost approximately 5,000 men, mostly mercenaries of poor quality and Lysias performed a tactical retreat.
The Battle of Beth-Zur was a psychological and strategic victory for the rebels. Judas’ next objective was to rededicate the Temple. The Gentile people began a pogrom against the Jewish communities all over Syria. At the same time, Judas was entering Jerusalem, removing the offensive symbols of paganism from the temple and consecrating the restored Temple after rebuilding the altar. The Acra faced the Temple Mount.
The Maccabees contained the Syrian garrison within the walls of that mighty fortress as Judah evaluated the situation that was developing into a desperate holocaust for the Jewish communities outside of Jerusalem. Fortified Jewish towns were under siege and an expedition of Israeli special forces had to go to their rescue.
Now Judas’ ability to govern was on display, not only to the Seleucids but before Rome and all the world. Could Judas rescue his besieged brothers and sisters and still hold Jerusalem?
Dathema, sixty miles from present day Amman, Jordan, was the center of Jewish resistance. The enemy already had men scaling the walls of the fortified Jewish city. Judas successfully attacked the besieging forces from the rear, defeated a counter-attack and rescued his besieged countrymen in Trans-Jordan. He punished the hostile Idumeans (for helping the enemy)and burned the harbor and shipping at Jaffa in reprisal for the drowning of a Jewish community that had resided there.
The fortress of Acra now confronted Judas as his next big challenge. Judas’ forces possessed siege engines and in 162 BC they invested the citadel. This led to a protracted siege and Lysias returned with thirty war elephants and 30,000 troops, not including cavalry and chariot units. Judas’ militia had never faced elephants. War elephants bore turrets containing a driver and four fighters. The Maccabees were now fighting defensively and the psychological impact of the elephants cannot be overestimated.
Eleazer, Judas’ younger brother, made a daring foray to demonstrate that the elephants were vulnerable. He fought through the forces that protected the immense battle pachyderm platforms, gored an elephant’s underbelly and was crushed when the beast fell dead on top of him.
This battle of Beth-zechariah demonstrates the principle that civilian reserve militia cannot prevail in so-called set-piece operations against the inherent strength of trained regulars. The time and place need to be selected by the resistance leader with tactics that are appropriate to guerrilla warfare.
As a consequence of fighting the enemy on enemy terms, Jerusalem lay unprotected before Lysias. The besieged population of Jerusalem was low on food when Lysias was called away due to political conflicts within the royal family. Judah and Lysias negotiated terms guaranteeing religious freedom. Judas resolved, nevertheless, to fight on for total independence. The Seleucids themselves returned to slaughtering Jews, as soon as Lycias (regent over the Seleucid Empire) defeated Philip (Antiochus’ son). The guerrilla fighting was renewed in earnest.
Judas defeated the Seleucids at Nicanor (161 BC) and negotiated a treaty of alliance with Rome, thereby establishing Judea as an independent state recognized by Rome itself.
The new state of affairs set the Seleucid’s in opposition to Judean independence more firmly than ever before. The terms of the previous cease-fire granting religious freedom had lulled the Jews into a sense of false security. Therefore Judas was able to raise less than 3,000 “picked” militia members to fight 20,000 infantry and 4,000 cavalry.
The Jewish volunteers melted away when the battle was joined, leaving Judas to fight on with 800 men against overwhelming forces arrayed against him. Judah raised the morale of his men and fought on valiantly, turning the tide several times before he finally fell in battle. The combination of bravery, moral force and outright inspirational leadership achieved victories that still have political and military ramifications to this day.
The events related by Herzog (merely summarized herein) and 1st and 2nd Macc, welded together the national character of the Jewish people like few other events in the history of that unique people. Had it not been for the Maccabean revolt, many of the events that characterize the New Testament Biblical narrative would be indecipherable.
In the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life there is reference to the Feast of Dedication which was celebrated in memorial to the restoration and consecration of the temple when the Maccabees entered Jerusalem. This is the holiday that we now call Chanukkah.
The following is an explanation of the spiritual significance of Chanukkah from a Messianic Jewish teacher:
The word “Chanukkah” in Hebrew literally means “dedication” in memory of the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by Judas Maccabeus, after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes, the Syrian king. In 176 BC Antiochus tried to force the Jews to give up their faith and to adopt Greek customs. He persecuted the Jews who refused to do this.
Antiochus Epiphanes converted the Temple of the Lord to the worship of Zeus, and placed an image of Zeus the dominant Greek god (the abomination of desolation) in the Holy Place. He looted the Temple and ordered all Jews to bow down to the idols placed there. Then, he brought in a sow, and placed it on the Holy Altar in desecration of Almighty God’s Holiness. He brought waste and destruction – desecrated the vessels of the LORD in debauchery and drunkenness and put out the “Ner Tomid” (“Perpetual Light”).
The Hasmoneans, the Maccabee family, led the Jews in a revolt. After several years of fighting, Judah and his men drove the Syrians out. On the 25th of Kislev (exactly 3 years after the defilement of the Sanctuary) in the year 165 BC they made their entrance into the Temple and rededicated it to the service of the Great God of Heaven.
In the Temple, the priests left a light burning in obedience to the command of the Holy One, but when they prepared to rekindle this light after the victory, they found that there was only enough oil to last one day.
This was a tragic discovery to the Jewish people for the Almighty’s command could not then be carried out. Search was made for the oil for this Lamp. The oil must be pure and prepared under the care of the high priest and sealed with his seal. No pure oil could be found nor could any be prepared before 8 days (7 days set apart to the Lord; the 8th day it became holy to the LORD). The small jug of oil bearing the seal of the high priest might suffice for only one day, but according to the Jewish people’s tradition the supernatural occurred, the oil lasted for the full eight days!
Thus, we see that military events put the hearts of a people on display before the world and before powers and principalities in heavenly places. Judas was a “hammer” (his name literally means “Hammer of God” in Hebrew- but correct me on this if I am wrong, Hebrew scholars), forging the will and the character of a nation. See also Charles Martel:
Effective intelligence networks along with flexibility of thought and the ability to shift tactics rapidly were important.
Taking the initiative decisively in order to decide the timing and terrain of the battle was just as important. Leadership was always an important element in the equation, of course. The leadership in Judas Maccabeus’ case conformed to Scriptural precedents for leadership toward which Judas steadfastly directed his followers. The account herein raises some important issues; further discussion should be forthcoming.
“A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the strength of the confidence thereof.” Proverbs 21:22
Texas Gun Politics
By Mark Knapp, Firearms Lawyer
Originally published in SandpointPR.
Watch the video Fire and Ice near the end of this contribution.
Finland & the Progressive War on Common Sense
Wendy Davis is a Democrat running for governor in Texas that supports the right to openly carry firearms- at least the right to carry for some Texans. If the truth be known, the state senator from Texas, who became famous as a champion for abortion rights in the Texas legislature, probably has views about firearms that are like most others in her party.
The fact that leaders in the Democratic Party tend to hate guns creates a big problem for Davis, Texans love their guns and don’t vote for folks that hate babies or guns. But Texas has recently had a series of open carry demonstrations in which people show up with rifles slung. The catch, however, is that Davis thinks the Second Amendment should not apply in cities, just on farms and ranches- and, of course, for sporting purposes.
“Obviously in Texas we have a culture that respects the Second Amendment right and privilege of owning and carrying guns — but we also, of course, have respect and understand the rights and privileges of property owners to make decisions about what’s right for them.”
“My position on open carry reflects my respect for both of those principles, and I believe that municipalities, school districts, hospitals, private property owners should be the ones that ultimately have a say as to whether this is right for them and their facilities,” she said.
Liberals constantly tell us that they believe in the Second Amendment but that it only applies to the state militias. Or that we have to have more “common sense” gun laws. Most states recognize that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains common sense by including similar provisions in state constitutions that make it clear that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right that belongs to the people! The opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (not exactly a bastion of Conservative thought) stated in NORDYKE V ALAMEDA COUNTY:
“The right to bear arms is a bulwark against external invasion. We should not be overconfident that oceans on our east and west coasts alone can preserve security. We recently saw in the case of the terrorist attack on Mumbai that terrorists may enter a country covertly by ocean routes, landing in small craft and then assembling to wreak havoc. That we have a lawfully armed populace adds a measure of security for all of us and makes it less likely that a band of terrorists could make headway in an attack on any community before more professional forces arrived.
Second, the right to bear arms is a protection against the possibility that even our own government could degenerate into tyranny, and though this may seem unlikely, this possibility should be guarded against with individual diligence.”
Read the text of the Nordyke case.
Every day in the news we see situations all over the world in which city dwellers and rural folks alike are confronted with situations requiring the use of violence to stop violence. In the Ukraine, there have been armed citizens standing up against well-armed folks that claim they are not members of Russia’s elite military units.
There have been news reports that volunteers in Mexico have successfully taken up arms against the Knights Templar, a vicious cartel that has oppressed whole areas by cutting off the heads of law enforcement officers and any others that get in their way.
In Nigeria, whole villages have begged their government to arm the people against the Boko Haram that has kidnapped school children and terrorized people. Our own government has armed volunteers in places like Libya and Syria so that the people can defend themselves against corrupt regimes.
What about situations where the violence comes from groups that are allegedly sponsored by government but maintain some kind of plausible deniability like the “volunteers” in Eastern Ukraine that seem to be so well equipped?
Or, for example, some of the volunteers in Mexico think the Mexican and even the U.S. Government assist some cartels in order to advance the war being waged against other cartels. It is often not immediately apparent who perpetrates attacks but it is historically demonstrated that governments do attack their own people for various reasons.
All these considerations raise the issue of why some liberals like Davis claim that the Second Amendment is only for rural areas and should not be applied in urban environments.
Liberals are constantly accusing government of every variety of perfidy. Moreover, Progressives invariably characterize Republican administrations as Nazi or Fascist! So why shouldn’t urban minorities be armed, especially with so much latent genocide lurking in the heart of the U.S. government?
At this point in the conversation, the astute Progressive intellect usually objects, saying something like, “But how do you expect to stand on your front porch with a deer rifle and defend against armored vehicles and attack helicopters?”
I am so glad you asked that question. Let me tell you about Finland’s two wars with Stalin’s mighty Red Army in 1939 and 1941.
Finland’s geography is much like North Idaho without mountains. It is covered with lakes and rivers and forests that become frozen killing zones for Stalin’s troops during the Winter War of 1939. The Finnish people worked in the woods, underground in mining, hunted and often got around on skis in the winter time.
After WW I, the Finnish government began acquiring Mosin Nagant rifles in anticipation of a confrontation with Russia. The idea was to arm troops with the same weapons and ammunition deployed by their potential enemies.
In short, when Stalin demanded that Finnish land be annexed to Russia, tiny Finland was ready to make sure it was not digested as food for the Eastern Front and the Red Army’s war machine; the Ukraine and so many other countries never came out of that experience until the 1990s when the Soviet Union supposedly ceased to exist.
Stalin’s troops came into Finland with trucks and armor, which pinned down units near the roads. Finnish snipers decimated the Soviet personnel and then emerged from the woods to scoop up guns and ammunition. Pursuit was futile because the Finns vanished back into the wooded areas on skis.
Hostilities ceased with the Finns giving up very little land. But by 1941, Stalin resumed his quest to conquer tiny Finland. The result of the Continuation War was about the same as the 1939 Winter War. Finland had very little in the way of an army and Britain and the U.S. scared away any assistance Finland expected from her neighbors by declaring war against Finland for defying our Soviet ally!
Finland is still very much a nation that honors its heritage as an armed and fiercely independent people, like Switzerland and the U.S.A.
Watch the 2006 video FIRE AND ICE : THE WINTER WAR OF FINLAND AND RUSSIA if you want to learn how to stop a tank in its tracks. This is a beautiful and eloquent video history of Finland’s repulsion of a Russian invasion that dwarfed the Allied invasion at Normandy Beach. The video is a Finnish re-enactment that realistically documents this little known episode in man’s struggle against brutal tyranny.
Stalin thought it would only take “one shot” to turn the Karelian Isthmus into the Northern terminus of the Eastern Front, replete with conscript troops and slave labor.
See this article in Sandpoint PR with video: Fire and Ice.
Senator Davis, we need all law abiding Americans to have legal access to firearms. The American heritage of firepower, the Gun Culture, encourages familiarity with weapons. The knowledge and understanding gained from easily keeping and bearing arms prepares all of us to protect what we hold dear. Not just a few white Texans that go to elite schools or live on ranches and farms! And despite our appreciation for your permission to carry openly, most of us still prefer to carry unobtrusively.
German philosophers like Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche are not high on the reading lists of most Americans. Nevertheless, the outdated academic relics of old and jaded European culture continue to impact American law and culture in ways that most of us rarely consider. The 1924 murder case of Leopold & Loeb and recent mass shootings like Columbine and the Arapahoe High School shooting may actually stem from the theories of Hegel, Existentialism and other philospohical deceptions embraced by academia in the U.S. over the last 100 years.
Just days after a Colorado student went into Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado armed with Molotov cocktails and a shotgun, fascination with the 1999 Columbine school shooting allegedly motivated a Tumwater, Washington high school student to plan a shooting at the Black Hills High School. He was in possession of three guns and prepared to construct explosives, according to prosecutors.
The fact that the Columbine school shooting garnered the kind of media attention sought by many school shooters, raises the issue of how media attention and numbers of dead victims motivate school shooters. One prime example: the young man who allegedly committed the Newtown, Connecticut carnage about a year ago. After extensive investigation, the authorities have clearly established that the Newtown shooter was hoping to kill more children than another shooter in Norway that perpetrated the highest body count recorded to date in a school shooting.
The question after such gruesome massacres is always why did he do it? The shooter in Norway had a political motivation- ostensibly to fight multiculturalism. Thus, he was, in academic-media jargon, what is known as a rightwing mass-murderer. A leftwing mass murderer is apparently something that cannot exist, notwithstanding Lenin, Stalin, Mao and the most notorious socialist mass murderer- Adolph Hitler.
Many Nazi police personnel were secretly trained under Stalin’s secret police in Russia prior to WW II. Most people don’t even realize that Adolph Hitler was a socialist who was admired by American Progressives before the National German Socialist Workers’ Party became notorious for genocidal mass murder. Paul Johnson’s MODERN TIMES tells the rest of the story but it is sufficient to state simply that international socialism, Marxist-Leninism and National Socialism were all strains of Hegelianism which developed within the German academic world.
The Arapahoe shooter “had some depression issues” and probably never heard of Hegel.
But, In addition to showing how most modern police states have roots deep within Stalin’s secret police, Paul Johnson’s MODERN TIMES demonstrates how most of the teaching that forms the basis for modern educational theory and instruction in our public schools instills a nihilistic world view in our youth. In other words, the fact that so many kids turn out “normal” may indicate that many of them are just not paying much attention to the curriculum!
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I read about Jean Paul Sartre’s Existentialism in Life magazine and checked THE STRANGER out of the public library, a novel by Albert Camus that was almost required reading in colleges, universities and even many high schools in the 1960s. Camus was the philosopher who told the world that suicide is the ultimate question in life because there is no purpose to living and everything in life is absurdity.
Without discussing all the technical points of Existentialism, Camus’ protagonist kills an Arab man for no reason other than that life feels absurd. Jean Paul Sartre, on the other hand, propagated the idea that it does not matter what you do, since there is no absolute basis for determining morality; thus, each individual must carry out his own ethical agenda and seek transcendence by acting heroically according to one’s own standards.
The epitome of such “heroism” is dying in a blaze of glory with full knowledge that one’s life will irrevocably cease to exist in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. Of course, most school shooters never read Albert Camus, Sartre or any other Existentialist literature.
Hollywood has nevertheless popularized the going-down-in-a-blaze-of -glory theme. Starting with movies in the late Sixties like BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE WILD BUNCH and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, we can move right into more recent movies like NATURAL BORN KILLERS. That blood-soaked 1994 psychedelic extravaganza depicts a pair of sadistic lovers becoming media heroes by committing serial murders.
So does the lure of fame and going to the grave with a transcendent badge of existential courage motivate senseless taking of human life? Or is there just something in the nature of our culture that skews certain individuals toward violence and death?
Leopold and Loeb have provided inspiration for film, theater and fiction. Both came from extremely affluent Chicago families and attended prestigious universities. Precocious teenagers when they met at the University of Chicago, the pair shared Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy which teaches that certain qualities cause superior men to transcend the morality that governs ordinary men. Nietzsche called such a breed of man “The Superman”. The two hapless intellectuals began committing increasingly more serious crimes.
They eventually decided to murder 14-year-old Robert Franks in order to demonstrate their belief that the evolutionary process had produced two inherently superior beings. Their defense lawyer, Clarence Darrow, saved them from the death penalty by aptly asking the court:
“Is any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche’s philosophy seriously and fashioned his life upon it? It is hardly fair to hang a 19-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university.”
Neither Leopold nor Loeb expected to become famous by means of the Franks murder in 1924. They were aiming to commit the perfect crime when they killed Franks and poured hydrochloric acid on his body to destroy the evidence and hide the identity of the victim. But their crime instigated one of the biggest media circus events of the Twentieth Century. A potent concoction of French, German and Hollywood philosophy still eats away at our civilization as certainly as the hydrochloric acid made young Mr. Frank’s body difficult to identify. Leopold and Loeb still reign in the entertainment world and much of academia.
Leopold & Loeb were trying to commit the perfect crime and never expected to become famous by their crime. At the same time, they prided themselves on their ability to throw off the shackles of morality and demonstrate to each other that they had achieved Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideal; i.e., the Superman, who arises above moral arguments that are designed by the weak to hold back those with the will to become strong. Despite the political appeals to social justice and egalitarianism, such Superman morality is at the core of much of our modern culture. It all boils down to survival of the fittest if there is no absolute groundwork for our moral beliefs!