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When Soldiers Are Quartered, War is Imminent

January 5th, 2009

Recently, it’s been announced that the U.S. Military expects to have at least 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011, which according to Anna Christensen of the ACLU, may be “the first example of a series of expansions in presidential and military authority.”

I had no intention of commenting on that trend, until I noticed that someone found my blog with the following queries, which dovetail nicely with the expansion of military powers:


My post, Provide No Quarter is the #1 and #3 result, respectively, for those queries.

First, some background: Quartering is generally defined as providing basic needs including but not limited to food and shelter, in-kind.

to impose (soldiers) on persons, towns, etc., to be lodged and fed

Historically, in the case of King George III’s Merry Olde England, prior to the American insurgency/Revolution, the Crown ordered colonists to quarter British Soldiers. The quartered troops would, e.g., eat at a colonist’s table, from his food-stock, and sleep in his beds. This was rightly viewed as a form of involuntary servitude, and was among the several complaints levied against the Crown in the Declaration of Independence

[King George III] has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures…
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States…

When soldiers are quartered among civilians, they are usually at war (or preparing for war) with those same civilians. Quartering troops among allegedly free people serves to emasculate their senses of freedom and sovereignty, while simultaneously encroaching their ability to raise defense against their usurpers.

I have previously argued that the difference between indirect quarter (taxes used to finance the provision of food, shelter, munitions, etc.) and direct quarter (in-kind, servitude) is essentially only one of degree, the latter being slightly more oppressive than the former.

In a free society, and in a time of peace soldiers are never quartered involuntarily by civilians. Installing active-duty soldiers among us — regardless of whether they live in our houses and eat our food — is and ought to be viewed as an act of war.

Comments

9 Comments

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  • John says on: January 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

     

    It’s pretty bizarre to think that the Third Amendment, the most irrelevant amendment since the ratification of the Constitution, could become relevant again, at least as a topic of discussion, in the near future.

  • Eric Ogunbase says on: January 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm

     

    You didn’t get the memo? We have to have active duty troops in America to fight terrorism! You’re either with us, or with the terrorists!

    /idiotic thought masquerading as patriotism

  • Zach S says on: January 5, 2009 at 4:22 pm

     

    I’m confused about the article. I did not see anything about quartering.

    If anything, I read they are assigning an active duty brigade to respond to problems that may happen within our borders and in control of different command for that use.

    If I have read this correctly, my frist impression was just call on the Guard and Reserves…that is what they are there for; however, from my own personal experience, neither is equiped, trained, or even have enough people to respond to such issues (more so the Reserves than the Guard since Infantry Units-the Guard-receieve much more funding for equipment and training).

    If I am not reading the article right, please direct me on the right path!

    -Zach

  • David Z says on: January 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm

     

    The article didn’t mention quartering, but a few people found this website by searching for information about peacetime quarter.

    The primary issue is the standing army on U.S. soil, in violation of the Posse Comitatus act.

    First, they tell us: “The war on terror is OK, because there have been no attacks on U.S. soil”

    Then, they turn around, and say “We need to put a standing army on our soil.”

    Kind of contradictory…

  • FSK says on: January 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm

     

    Police are also a type of quartered troops, especially when they conduct para-militarized no-knock raids.

    If you don’t pay taxes, you don’t have the US military using violence to force you to pay. It’s the police that are more likely to terrorize the average American.

  • John says on: January 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

     

    FSK, David, et al.:

    Gun-rights activist and science-fiction author L. Neil Smith said this about the police:

    “The police are the standing army that the Founding Fathers worried about, and, as such, they’re the very people the Second Amendment was ratified to protect us from.”

  • Zach S says on: January 5, 2009 at 9:05 pm

     

    Dave-

    Yeah I get ya about the contradictory thing.

    Thanks for the tie from the article to your post. Sometimes I take things to literally!

    John-
    That’s a sweet quote. Thanks for sharing.

  • csun says on: January 6, 2009 at 8:53 am

     

    Alarming News?
    Not when you take into account the fact that there are well over 100 military bases on US soil now.
    And we the people have been quartering these several hundred thousand (conservative guess) via confiscation of American wealth for decades.
    These soldiers can and have been used to suppress uprisings/riots (see WWI veterans pay riots and 1960’s war protests)and alternative lifestyles.
    The assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas by ATF/FBI using Abrams tanks , Bradley Assault vehicles and helicopters compliments of Fort Hood is just one more example.
    The question is not “when will America become a police state?”
    We have arrived.

  • David Z says on: January 6, 2009 at 9:15 pm

     

    duly noted, csun.

    Thanks for the comment!

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics