Facing Reality – Revisited

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a fellow member of the preparedness community who said that everyone thinking that a total societal collapse could happen here in the US was crazy.  

I presented my evidence, he presented his, and he still thinks “it can’t happen here”.  That led me to ponder how many others are still rooted in normalcy bias.  I’ll discuss his points here and why they are based on mis-understandings and a super-nation status bias.

First, I want to give you a caution about normalcy bias from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Since they heard the sound of the trumpet

But did not heed the warning,

Their blood will be on their own head.

If they had heeded the warning,

They would have saved themselves.

Ezekiel 33:5

That’s right; it’s up to you to heed the warnings.  Your feelings & opinions about the warnings don’t make them any less valid.  Many people went to work on September 11, 2001, thinking “it can never happen here”. Same as on December 7, 1941.

We need to see the situation as it is, not as we want it to be.

The prudent see danger & take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Normalcy bias is such a problem that the Ultimate Tactical Handbook for Life mentions it many times, and even discusses that people called Noah crazy right up until the flood came.  

Now, let’s discuss the conversation.  This person said that a total collapse could never happen here, or in any modern Western Society, because we are apparently too “advanced”.

I pointed out that The Ukraine, the Balkan states, and the Republic of Georgia all went from modern societies to total collapse in a short period, just days in The Ukraine, and hours in Georgia.

What was this fellow “preparedness” person’s response?  That those places were already “sh#tty” places to begin with.  Yes, really.

I will grant that the former Yugoslavia wasn’t as modern as the others, but ONLY because the disaster struck in the 1990s.  You can’t compare pre-war Yugoslavia to the United States or the UK TODAY.  I will challenge though that the ethnic disparities that led to the mass murder, warfare, genocide, and destruction of all civilization (yes, it was that bad) in the former Yugoslavia were actually LESS than they are here.  

Yes, I’m saying that our PERCEIVED differences here are more acute than they were when the wars of secession began in the Balkans.  Never forget that the Balkan Conflict was the break-up of a diverse nation into ethnic and religious enclaves and the related hate for each other drove the violence.  That’s the path we are on TODAY, and the destruction now will be worse, because people NOW are even more reliant on electricity than we were in the 1990s.  

Today, every transaction of life, from purchases to learning to medicine, relies upon the free movement of electrons.  Shut off electricity and this “comfortable & peaceful” life comes to an immediate halt.  More about that in a few minutes.

I say that our problems today are worse, because we have an added feature that the Balkans did not…..SKIN COLOR.  It seems silly, but we do have people here who feel that the color of one’s skin is a reason to hate or vilify them.  In the Balkans, while they considered themselves ethnically different, they were all Slavic peoples.  Their differences came from GEOGRAPHY & RELIGION, not true ETHNICITY.

Moving up the timeline, the South Ossetia War occurred in 2008 and was considered the first European War of the 21st Century.  Russia invaded Georgia through South Ossetia and invaded by sea in Abkhazia.   In just 12 days, the modern western nation of Georgia was reduced to a war-ravaged landscape without electric or running water in it’s northern half.  While a cease-fire occurred, services weren’t immediately restored and ethnic cleansing of Georgians by ethnic Russians occurred on a wide scale.

His argument when I mentioned that Gori, Georgia was a city just as modern as any other western city was “Yeah, but it was over quickly”.  No, the FIGHTING was over quickly, and that’s when the ethnic cleansing started, as well as the deaths from disease and lack of running water.  Large parts of the city were leveled by Russian bombers and tanks. And for the record, no matter quickly it ended, the dead stayed dead.

And as far as the comments that “it was over quickly”….South Ossetia and Abkhazia are STILL occupied by Russian troops.  Do you imagine that life today as a Georgian patriot in Abkhazia or South Ossetia is a cake walk?

In 2014, in a matter of 72 hours, The Ukraine went from a fully modern Western nation, to a war-torn hell-scape without electricity or running water in a third of the country and four different armed forces battling each other in that same space.

What began as street protests led to the overthrow of the government, which in turn led to the secession of two regions, without the permission of the central government.  The new Ukrainian government sent troops to retake the breakaway areas, resulting in heavy combat.  Then, Russia decided to send in “peacekeepers”, which were really just another invading army.

All those forces still hold ground and skirmish daily to this day.  The people of Eastern Ukraine had electricity and running water, and now haven’t had either on a consistent basis for years.  

These three stories prove that YES, it can indeed happen here, and with less tensions than what we currently have here in the US.

It’s worth noting that all three major wars that led to societal collapses began as secessions.  I didn’t mention it above, but the reason for the tensions between Georgia and Russia was that ethnic Russian separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia wanted to secede from Georgia.

There is open talk of Texas, California, Oregon, and Washington all seceding from the Union.  There is rampant ethnic, racial, religious, and ideological tension throughout every sector of our society.

What’s important to note is that no matter what you want, it CAN happen here and it becomes more likely that we will see a major internal conflict here every day.

I’ll agree that it MIGHT not devolve into a Mad-Max or Book of Eli landscape, but to say it COULD NEVER do so is closing your eyes to clear signs that it very well may.

It wouldn’t take an invasion or civil war either.  All it would take is turning out the lights.

The Department of Homeland Security Estimates that if the electricity went out in the US for one year, 90% of the population would die.  

Hackers are constantly probing our electrical grid system to look for vulnerabilities.  The government knows that the grid is old and susceptible to damage, but it would be ASTRONOMICALLY expensive to replace it.  

On April 16, 2013, an incident occurred that is called in the security business the “Metcalf Incident”.  From 12:58 AM to 1:50 AM, multiple snipers using 7.62×39 rifles (most likely AK Variants) fired several hundred rounds into 17 power transformers at the Metcalf, California substation. There was a small outage in the area, and media reported it as a failed attack.

The DHS, on the other hand, doesn’t consider it a failure.  Their operating assumption is that it was a test of the police response and a “proof of concept” attack by an unknown entity to see if they could cause a power outage via gunfire and then escape.  They met all of their objectives.

What was our response?  To raise physical security standards (fencing, lighting, and locks) at power stations,  That response doesn’t even make sense, since the attackers never breeched the perimeter and engaged in their attack from stand-off distance with precision gunfire.

At our current level of tensions, a large disruption in the electrical service would lead to wide-spread panic and civil disorder, especially if it could be blamed on one side or the other.

I noted in an earlier article that a local power company field office had increased their physical security drastically and quickly in recent weeks.  They are reacting to the same indicators that I keep warning about.

Two women were just charged with Sabotage and Terrorism for intentionally derailing trains to cause disruptions and panic.

So, my dear friends, please set aside your normalcy bias and acknowledge that yes it can happen here.  Prepare yourself for the worst case scenario, a grid-down collapse, and if anything less than that happens, you’ll be prepared to handle it.  I don’t see a down side to preparing for the absolute worst case.  

Keep your eyes open, looks for indicators, and develop a plan.  Keep in touch with your tribe and watch out for each other.

Published by JD

I'm a defensive firearms and martial arts instructor, as well as a professional security & loss prevention consultant. I train people on how to defend themselves, their workplaces, and homes, as well as how to be prepared & aware. I offer corporate active shooter defense training as well.

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