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Guerilla Warfare

Aug 12--The Viet Cong were masters at it. So was the FARC in Colombia. The Zapatistas bloodied the Mexican government in the southern state of Chiapas in the mid-1990s. Snipers converted Sarajevo’s alleys into a shooting gallery. And the Mujahedeen nearly annihilated Soviet army from the caves and crevices of Afghanistan.

12 de agosto de 2009

Guerilla warfare is the use of unconventional, ambush tactics to combat a more formal, organized opponent. And even if guerillas aren’t completely successful, they can antagonize their adversary, prod them into errors, strain resources and force rival casualties.

The approach can demoralize an opponent. And produce results.

Guerilla strategies can be successful in the political arena, too. And this August, Republicans are waging guerilla combat on Congressional Democrats and President Obama’s health care reform plan.

For two weeks now, people have unleashed a political torrent at Democrats during town hall meetings. They’ve pirated the theme of the meetings, heckled lawmakers, hectored their aides, blocked them from leaving in their cars and dashed any modicum of civil discourse. Skillfully, Republicans also laid traps for Democrats. The protesters arrive at the meetings armed with cell phone cameras and video recorders. Goad a lawmaker into an intemperate response and you can be sure to see the clip pop up on YouTube.

If Democrats criticize the high-decibel methods of the people at the meetings, GOP leaders spring from the brush to declare that they are just exercising their First Amendment rights. And any effort to muzzle them is patently unconstitutional.
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