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Americans can be the most friendly people on Earth. They can also be the most paranoid. America is probably the only established democracy in the World which actively fears dictatorship.
But maybe this paranoia isn't paranoia at all, but a sensible reaction to a real threat.
Other countries, like Britain, have learnt to accept dictatorship as a fact of life. America however has a century old document called the Constitution, which states that American citizens must fight back at the Government if they were to try to sieze power.
There is no doubt that this anti-dictator mechanism worked 200 years ago. But does it work in the 21st Century? Could a future US general sucessfully use the military to become a dictator?
I believe the answer is yes, the technology of war has increased dramatically since the creation of the constitution. At that time the US didn't have a real army and citizens and soldiers went around with the same weaponary. Any military uprising in those days would have met with a firm battle and victory by the citizens.
But nowadays while the army has automatic weapons, tanks, aircraft, smart bombs and nukes, civilians are mainly carrying pistols.
Lets say the US military, led by a power hungry dictator, marched into Washington tommorow, took the White House and declared himself leader on National TV. TV which now solely belongs to the new government after US troops capture and barricade every TV station in the country. The only thing they will be broadcasting from now on is the new governments properganda.
As well as the TV stations, the military would capture every power, gas and water plant.
What could US citizens do about this? It's all very well to say "fight-back" but what exactly are you going to be fighting back at? The white house would probably be surrounded by hundreds of snipers as well as tanks, etc. Maybe you can recapture a power plant or TV station but the US military will just drop smart bombs on them.
After about a week, most US citizens, threatened with power cuts, food shortages and possibly an oncoming winter (if its timed right), would simply give up and return to their homes. Many people have kids and are not cut out for fighting. The new government would encourage people to live life like it was before. They would promise that nothing much will change, etc etc.
Who would be left in the resistance?, where would they go? Unlike Afghanistan the US military doesn't have a problem getting hardware to the war zone, it's already there. They have countless B-52 bombers and apaches at their disposal as well as the all seeing eye of the spy saterlite.
Imagine you are in this resistance force, imagine you are hiding in the Rockies while the majority of your fellow citizens are in the cities, working like normal under the new dictatorship. There are about 100 of you in this group, around the country there are thousands but it is difficult to move freely underneath all the governments spy saterlites and surveilance technology, its hard to broadcast messages to masses of citizens because any broadcast acts as a beacon for bombers. You have mainly automatic weapons, grenades, a few rocket launchers but nothing that can touch the bombers overhead, bombers you can't even see.
So what do you do? You haven't the weaponry to attack anything highly defended. Anyhow, if you attacked a Government building inside a city it would be called terrorism.
You will simply have to resort to only attacking small groups of enemy soldiers or blowing up enemy convoys - even though this comes with extreme risks and little gain.
Of course the Government news channel is constantly informing the population about terrorist groups murdering soldiers. At first the people will be allied with the rebels...but after many years the constant government properganda (and probably lies) will turn many people against the rebels. They won't like the idea of hundreds of armed men running around the countryside which they often drive their cars across.
With no hard installations or objectives to attack and with a large number of the population against them what can the rebels do but give up?
The moral of this story is that with control of the media and every amenity in the country, there is no way that such a dictatorship could be overthrown by force.
Therefore I argue again..is the constitution still effective against preventing a US invasion by its own military? Or do we now simply rely that US servicemen would never attack their own country, even if ordered? If so, is the US at risk in the future when unmanned tanks and aircraft, things of metal without morals, are developed?