Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Fifth Column

During the 1936 siege of Madrid at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Nationalist General Emilio Mola broadcast a message that four columns of his forces outside the city would be supported by a “fifth column” of supporters inside the city whose purpose was to undermine the Republican government from within.

Madrid held out for three years amidst heavy fighting and eventually fell to Generalisimo Francisco Franco’s Nationalist forces in March 1939.

After the failed coup d’etat in July 1936, the Republican government wasn’t sure what to do. While it wanted to put down the coup, the leaders didn’t know if it could trust the armed forces. Nor did they want to arm the trade unions. And indeed, later in July, the government sent the Guardia Civil to put down a rebellion in Seville.

However, the guardias defected to the insurgents upon reaching the city. Meanwhile, a military general within Madrid, sympathetic to the Nationalist movement, was preparing to launch the military rebellion in the city. Yet, when he tried to march out of the barracks, his 2,500 troops were forced back inside the compound by hostile crowds.

The Nationalists were supported by Nazi Germany and Italy; the Republicans, by the Soviet Union. Franco declared he would bomb Madrid to pieces rather than allow the Marxists to occupy it.

So it is with this threat of fifth column action that the Liberals threaten this year’s Tea Party movement.

By definition, a fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group from within to aid an external enemy. Within Madrid, the fear of this column was so great that many nationalist prisoners were executed.

Though the term was coined in the 20th Century, the notion of a Fifth Column, the infiltration of an enemy city is nothing new. The Greeks tried it, successfully, with the Trojan Horse.

There’s nothing new about the Liberals’ attempts to infiltrate the Tea Parties from within. From within the organizations themselves. Like Mola’s Fifth Column, they’ve only had limited success.

From the early days of the Tea Party with which I’ve been involved, they made such attempts. They found people like me waiting for them. My father, you see, had instructed me well about the dangers of Fifth Columns when I was a child and I was ready for them when the battle ensued, years later.

How ironic that the Liberals should threaten us with Fifth Column action, a term coined during a conflict between a government that relied on communist assistance even as it feared its own labor unions, and a national-socialist insurgency.

Always, it’s the moderate people in the middle whom such extremists wish to either subdue or conciliate. Even as they prepare for battle, they plan their strategy for manipulating these pawns of peace.

If you suppose that the Tea Party people were grateful for my defense of their cause, you’d be wrong; they were horrified. They castigated me for insulting these “ambassadors” from the other side.

I was cast out of their website (which eventually was shut down anyway) for taking on the enemy. As late as last week, a Liberal had infiltrated the general meeting. I spotted her immediately, and though I knew who she was, and she knew I knew, I said nothing.

This past week, the Tea Party declared that there was no necessity for being quite so “nice.” If the enemy would infiltrate their ranks, they would have to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous insults when they were discovered.

Bravo for that Tea Party!

Now the Fifth Columnists threaten to show up with right-wing signs, advocating racism and homophobia and who knows what else. My tea party has already had experience with these Fifth Columnists. The adversary claims to know how to counter them.

Fifth Columnists wish to cast doubts in the minds of timid middle-of-the-roaders who fear the Media’s portrayal of the Tea Partiers is accurate. They count on the fact that Conservatives are, by nature, timid and view anyone who would attend a public rally as “outlandish”.

They count on the Media to portray the Tea Parties as they have done this past year – unfairly. Only last week, Gary Trudeau in his Doonesbury cartoon, portrayed a Tea Partier as a clown with a red nose wearing a tricorn hat.

Trudeau’s portrait did not ring true and his jokes fell surprisingly flat. Even when you hate Trudeau, you have to admit his humor. Yet, in this series, that sense of humor failed him.

He didn’t pay attention to his background for one thing. An artist should know better. In the background were angry Tea Partiers, normal American men and women, among whom his clownish Tea Partier singularly stood out.

Then he attacked the Tea Partier as “The Man” whom his character has always protested against. “The Man” has had various incarnations, but he started out as the heroin pusher of the ghetto. This charge comes from Doonesbury’s main drug pusher character, Zonker Harris. Who should be wearing the clown nose?

Finally, Trudeau and the Liberals underestimate the “hatred” average Americans have for them. It’s not hatred of gays or blacks or legal immigrants that brings them out onto the streets. It’s hatred of Liberals and the havoc they’ve wreaked upon America, most notably in the last 50 years or so.

So how will bystanders be able to tell the difference between Tea Partiers and the Fifth Columnists?

The Columnists will be carrying signs that say: “We hate [fill in the blank]!!”

The Tea Partiers will be carrying signs that say: “We love America!”


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