I want to introduce a new writer for SOFREP. Bart and I first met on my trip to Poland, where he found himself translating for me at a book signing event. We stayed in touch, and I asked him if he was interested in covering some European units for us. He’s a great guy, and I’m sure you’ll find his perspective interesting, and perturbing. Welcome to the family, “Sergei.” -Brandon, Editor
Bart “Sergei” Norman is a Poland-based firearms instructor and security consultant. A proud member of the Tactical Beard Owners Club, Sergei graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University with a BA in Information Science (Social Media and Open-Source Intelligence), and from The Higher Banking School with an MA in Management Psychology (War on Terror as part of Political Marketing in the US after 9/11). Currently leading a quiet life as Polish Army reservist, Sergei’s main fields of study include: Psychology in Propaganda, Information Security, Open-Source Intelligence, Information Analysis, Conflicts in the Caucasus.
Dear Friends in America…
…I think I should bring your attention to a few recent facts that naturally escape the limelight of glory in the mainstream media. Facts of obviously lesser importance than The New Royal Baby, Zimmerman’s trial and Justin Bieber’s new hairdo, or are they really…
The events that we have all seen in the past months have drawn my inquisitive nose over the great pond and into your part of the globe. And I must say, what I see happening is giving me the creeps.
I do see a significant discrepancy between what you people take for granted yet allow to be step by step taken away from you, and what life is really like here in Europe and the rest of the world. It amazes me how easily people in your country let go of the strings of liberty still in your grasp for a promise of the illusive security and prosperity. Well, sorry ladies and gentlemen, security is only as impenetrable as you make it for yourself, and prosperity only as lucrative as you make it grow with hard work. And it is the same everywhere in the world. The only difference is the amount of difficulties imposed by third parties that make achieving security and prosperity tougher.
As for now, you are all pretty much well off compared to some other parts of this planet. Most of you probably never experienced the strife of living under an oppressive dictatorship or an extremist regime, and the rest probably do not even give a damn about this topic whatsoever. Ignorance is the key to any man’s demise and, sorry to say this, most of you have reached master level in ignorance and I-do-not-give-a-damnism. If it concerns other nations, sure, why should anyone be bothered by problems halfway across the globe! However, if those same problems start to arise in your back garden and you still remain ignorant as if nothing was happening, well in that case, you might as well dig your own grave and just lay down inside the hole because you are on a direct route to ending up there in the near future anyway.
Since it is a hot topic in the recent past, and will probably still be on the agenda for the next few months as well, we might start with firearms. I am a gun-owner, a licensed firearms instructor and an active sport shooter. I advocate for promoting safe use of firearms by responsible citizens I support pro-gun movements focused on familiarising the public with firearms to bust any media-made-up gun myths and so on. Sounds familiar? Good, but unfortunately this is where similarities between you and I end.
I did not get my guns with filling in a background check form, nor did I get any ammo from my local Walmart. Each and every gun that I own and piece of ammunition I have is sanctioned by a full licensing and registration process. The gun law says who can and who can not possess a firearm. By default, no one is allowed to have one unless they provide a legitimate reason to have a gun, pass a police exam, undergo full screening and a psychological health examination.In the end, if the guns are to be used for self-defence the Police Chief has the final say with every license given for self-defence, and the usual answer is a dismissal of the application.
You better not even try using a gun that you have on a sporting permit for self-defence, since that is an outright charge for attempted murder, regardless of the situation and the motives of the person you used the gun against. Did I mention that the Police have the right to revoke my firearms license at any time without prior notice (if, for example, they decide that the reason for giving me a license is no longer valid) and confiscate all guns if they see it necessary? Naturally, as a law-abiding citizen I have the right to appeal in court, but that is only after all my guns and ammo are taken away from me.
Unfortunately, I see that most of you are not active enough when your ruling class is trying to force upon you the same chains as there are already in place on me and countless millions of good people in Europe and the rest of the world. Some countries have it even tougher. UK: outright ban on pistols and most kinds of rifles, guns owned by you have to be stored at your shooting club or the police station, and you can only take them out to the range, full auto air-soft BB guns with muzzle velocity over 350 fps are considered firearms and can land you in jail for a minimum of 5 years. Germany: guns mostly allowed for hunting and to some extent sporting, no human silhouette targets allowed, mounting a flashlight or a laser on a gun is considered a serious felony, airsoft BB guns can only be semi auto and have to be carried around in hard cases WITH PADLOCKS. Russia (where everyone supposedly drives around with an AK in the back seat): outright ban on possession of pistols by individuals, only guns available for self-defence are pistols refitted to only accept rubber bullet cartridges, rifles are only available for hunting with an exception that after obtaining your hunters license you can only own smooth bore shotguns for the first 5 years. China: no firearms for individual civilians, period.
You think it is not that bad over there where you live? Well what are you doing to make it stay that way? You people have a unique gift that was bestowed upon you by your founding fathers. Once you broke the chains of his majesty’s divine right to rule you, the guys that came after did not serve you the very same cake under a different name. They recognised YOUR divine right of freedom. Recently it is becoming more and more obvious that you have to be reminded that what you still have as a commonly accessible RIGHT, somewhere else it is a PRIVILEGE available to but a select few.
Moving on to “Crossing the Rubicon.” In ancient Rome there was a law that no standing Army will ever reside permanently within the borders of Rome heartland, and with the river Rubicon being a natural barrier on the road to inner-Italia, the crossing by any army, both foreign or domestic, meant a serious danger to the security of the republic. Julius Caesar crossed it to become a dictator and so on. If you want the whole story you should have paid better attention in history class, oh wait… they do not teach you about such inferior things in schools these days. Still, there is Discovery Channel. Look it up.
Any standing army has leaders, whether or not they are military themselves. An army has to oblige to the orders given by its superiors following the normal chain of command, regardless if the orders can be contrary to actual soldier’s morality or beliefs. An army has the most significant ability to enforce an agenda with the use of physical force at its disposal. Therefore, the presence of an army can lead to dissolution of individual and common freedoms should the army commanders (military or government) decide on that to happen. That is why in order to prevent a coup d’état (forcible seizure of power, government overthrow) and secure civilian liberties and a government “by the people and for the people,” it is paramount to keep a significant armed force out of the reach of a select few for use in domestic affairs. Policing is the job of law enforcement and not the army.
As one of the repercussions of 9/11, the US Department of Homeland Security was formed on the grounds of providing a higher level of law enforcement security, focused against possible terrorist threats. Since its forming in 2002 and especially in the past months, I observe that the DHS has grown into something far more than just another shadowy law enforcement agency. Armoured Personnel Carriers are not tools for combating crime, unless you are fighting drug cartels in Mexico, but that struggle is in essence an outright war. This agency is becoming more and more like an Interior Army and thus a force that could be easily used for power seizure should there happen to be people willing to give the order.
Russia has a separate armed forces branch subject not to the MOD (Ministry of Defence), but to the Interior Ministry, alongside law enforcement like police, and it is literally called the Internal Army. The tasks are as follows: combating internal threats to the state, quelling civil disorder, counter-terrorism operations, aiding the Ministry of Emergency Situations during natural disasters. Despite the fact that these guys are doing a mighty good job at limiting the spread of Islamic extremism from the Caucasus, they are in fact the backbone of every Russian government, and it’s the ultimate way to ensure everyone succumbs to the government’s bidding. It is kind of hard to have a successful opposition to a government backed by troops with tanks and helicopter gunships if they say NO to your demands for civil rights and liberties, unless you want to start a civil war, that is.
Another example comes from good old Poland. A few weeks ago I learned that a new law has been passed and is now in effect: to allow the armed forces to be used to tackle civil disorder without the need of declaring a state of emergency or martial law. This is a gigantic change in Rules of Engagement for the armed forces, yet no one here seems to have noticed this milestone.
What is more shocking, the government that erected this law is a direct descendant of the Solidarity movement of 1980’s that lost countless lives while the armed forces were used to tackle strikes by the anticommunist opposition, and was the number one organization on this side of the Iron Curtain that begun the struggle for liberty which ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.
The army is to be used in a support role for the police but will be granted same enforcement powers. Rules of using “means of direct enforcement” state clearly that firearms cannot be used against pregnant women, kids obviously under the age of 13 and disabled people, with a cunning exception in which such a person, woman or child would pose a severe threat to the life of someone else or the soldier (subject to the soldier’s or his commander’s own interpretation of severity).
Ever since the collapse of the communist system, the army was prohibited from engaging in internal security affairs, other than tackling the effects of natural disasters, to make it impossible to use it and its fighting potential against out-gunned civilians. For example, that is why elite Special Forces Units like JW GROM could not have been used to handle a hostage situation within the borders of the Republic of Poland. This is now history and with some obvious benefits, this poses a gigantic threat to the balance between the true civilian government and fulfilling dictatorial pursuits by extremists of whichever political wing or creed.
I can see that currently the U.S. Government steadily but surely develops the DHS into an Internal Army time and again probing the population’s reactions to the implementation of what is martial law in effect – as we saw in New Orleans during Katrina and recently in Boston. Sadly, not many people have stood up to the challenge to confront these unlawful activities, and some say America has failed a test as a free nation with what happened in Boston after the bombings. I believe this test was failed even earlier, because at this point it is quite hard to blame unarmed civilians for succumbing to scores of armed to the teeth, in reality soldiers, forcing their way into homes without the proper legal authority or just cause.
In closing, I would like to recapture on these issues and only emphasize the need for you people to get active. You might read this short letter (that eventually got out of hand and grew into a full article) and think: “Well, I know this and these issues are nothing new to me, I’m an active member of the NRA and attend all pro-gun events.” This is great, but how many of your friends and their friends also share your wisdom?
You would be surprised just how small the group of people that are really actively involved in fighting for liberty is. Not only for your country, but for the sake of us all. Because what happens in America soon translates accordingly to the rest of the world, and we’re already pretty much under the boot as things stand now. Are the recently sprouting scandals and instances of ill-application of law enforcement indicators that your country has gone past the point of no return, like it happened in the UK after the Dunblane Massacre when the government said “Turn in your guns for the sake of security,” and all the sheep blindly cheered the idea because it was “for the children”? I leave this for you to decide.
I tell you this however. Stay safe and stand fast!
Your mate from Poland,
(Featured Image Courtesy: Author’s private collection)