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First take/YallQaeda

The indicators are running strong that the sit-it at the very remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will not come to much.

One of the first real indicators of failure is the way the Bundy-aligned group has been mocked – the name Yall Quaeda has clearly entered the popular vocabulary. That wasn’t the case with the protesters generally who showed up in Burns last weekend, paraded in the streets and held a rally. Those things were legal, and they involved interactive conversation with the locals (who generally seemed unimpressed).

But it is the case with the people occupying the wildlife center and begging for snacks. (Really thorough planning on the part of these guys.) Yes, you can see the cartoons being scrawled even as you read.

This particular group might not care for the thought, but they might have done well here to consider Saul Alinsky’s rules for radicals, which may have been identified with the sixties left but are applicable to any radical group trying an outside-the-system action. People on the right can and have used them as well as people on the left.

How well do the Malheur bunch match up to these ideas?

“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
“Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
“Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
“A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
“Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
“The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
“The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
“If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
“The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Every one of these rules might have afforded useful ideas for these protesters. Instead, one by one they suggest the ways of their near-term undoing. – rs (photo/Oregon Department of Transportation)

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