The arendt files, p.29
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       The Arendt Files, p.29

           Ivan Rosemblatt
 
“When they arrive in Africa, how do they make inroads? How do they impress.”

  “First through patience. Each are given as much medical training as we can provide. We send them in with guns but also with all the antibiotics we can gather, often at our own expense. That can help to establish relations of trust with the leaders. Sometimes that means helping them kill enemies, whatever it takes. Then they start to educate them on the reality of what is going on. It can be difficult many of them are not aware of basic things.”

  “Like what?”

  “That the earth is round, how to read a clock, things along those lines. One thing we found surpising is that even in many of the most isolated areas they knew that there had been a massive power shift amongst the white man. The collapse of colonial rule caused massive power shift in there areas, everyone is dealing with it. We simply explain that without taking sides now they condemn themselves to eventual slavery. It helps that we are black.”

  “Of course.”

  “We are still foreigners but it helps. We also make promises. So many promises. Almost none that we can deliver on. We are also bringing many of them here and taking our children there. It is a kind of ransom. Of course the reality is that they will be safer there at least in the meantime. This is not a new colonialism. We are making new bonds. We hope to be seed of a new Pan-Africanism.”

  “I support you in that completely. First though we need soldiers, there will be war, total war.”

  “I believe you do. I don't see how to pull theses pieces together. I still worry that the different threads will pull apart.”

  “Do you think, if we win that many of your group will not want to return to the U.S.?

  “They want to see their families again but I really can't say. If we were assured there would be changes to legal system. Some restitution for slavery.”

  “The nation will owe you the most extreme debt of gratitude but we will make no changes beforehand. All that will have to be settled in the political realm.”

  “I don't think they would go back to Jim Crow. If they did they would want to take their guns.”

  “It will be a different world then. Probably unrecognizable to us. I wish I could promise more Paul but it is impossible.”

  During their conversation a group of men and women gathered ahead, flowing in from the nearby settlement carrying long wooden poles, rugs, chairs, plates, glasses, tables, crea3ting an oasis.

  “Is that sail cloth?”

  “Yes. It has become an obsession with them. Sailors are some of the most self sufficient people on the planet. You would be amazed by how much supplies they are able to take with them and what they can do with what they have.”

  “I am already impressed.” They had laid long posts of equal length spread out like a fan. The ends were raised up on post covered in white sail cloth, all of it tied together in incomprehensible elegant ways. As they arrived into the shade two folding chairs were set up to one side. They laid a lovely carpet with African motifs on the ground in front of them and set a small table between them. “Can we offer you something to drink Hannahh?”

  “What do you have Paul?”

  “Most everything, in the liquor department.”

  “Do you have ice?” Paul looked up at the young man who was attending them. He nodded attentively. “Yes we do.”

  “I'll have a whiskey on the rocks then.”

  “May I recommend the lime whiskey sour. The limes are fresh off the tree.”

  “Perfect. Whiskey sour then. This is so civilized Paul. I really do appreciate it. I recently had to spend time with our Mormon allies. I could never abide tee-teetotalers.”

  “Yes, but the battle of Salt Lake. No one can take that from them.”

  “No. I suspect that they will become the biggest Christian sect after victory. Everybody loves a war hero. It was like visiting a Carmelite monastery though.”

  “Bread and water?”

  “They are just like the Calvinist in Norway. They think that being severe and having a beard is religious.”

  The drinks arrived served on a tray and they were silent for a while. The men and women were setting up a table and benches for a meal with table cloth, full settings and a lavish floral centerpiece surrounded by fruit. There was a cool soft breeze flowing and all care had seemed to have vanished from the world. They sipped their drinks and settled into the pleasantness of midday. Arendt remembered that it was Sunday and thought of the meals she would share with her family as a young teenager in back patio of her home in Linden with her parents

  “Hannahh, having you here. There is something I hesitate to broach with you I have brought it up before.”

  “Must we discuss this Paul? I don't quite see the point. I find it dispiriting.”

  “I fear I must. I feel history and humanity demand it of me. This concern must be spoken, that we ensure that in fighting them, we do not become them.”

  “You need not carry this burden for history, Paul. History can bear it quite well on it's own.”

  “Please allow me my hyperbole Hannahh I am after all an actor. But more importantly, I joke in an attempt to lighten what I am otherwise deadly serious about. When you sanction this practice of executing collaborator's, you break the rule of law, but more importantly you put the humanity and ethics of our own people at risk. This lack of due process, it's completely un-american and I think it's just plain wrong.”

  “I know that Paul. It's simply what we must do now in order to have any chance to restore any semblance of America. Conditions demand it”

  “You speak about it as if there were no other choice but of course there is. You could focus all your energy on attacking the enemy and use that to win the hearts and minds of the nation.”

  “Paul, we have their hearts and minds. There are of course the opportunists, people who seek their own advantage and those who are genuinely allied with the Nazi ideology. Otherwise the population is rightly terrified. None of us know for certain if we resist if they engage in all out warfare if they won't drop those damned atomic bombs. Einstein, damn him and his theories. We see how relative things actually are.”

  “Relatively gone to hell.”

  “We have the people on our side. The sabotage is crucial. We need to isolate ,physically isolate communities as much as possible, create opportunities for groups to meet and plan. We need space where retaliation can be carried out and traitor’s executed.”

  “What we are doing here is wrong. We are creating a rule of terror as bad if not worst than our enemy.”

  “Whenever possible we carry out a trial.”

  “Hannahh, I'm a lawyer. That is no trial.”

  “We need to show people that the resistance is taking action. There were always plenty of racists hiding behind the banners of God and country but now no one can use those excuses they have been removed”

  “No Hannahh, you overestimate people.”

  “Funny, no one has ever accused me of that before.”

  “Collaborator's are not just racists and opportunists. The majority of people out there live without ideology. They just want to survive. They are neither evil or good, you pointed that out to me, they are simply thoughtless, trying to survive. By implementing this practice what you are doing is setting neighbor against neighbor. Opportunist will start to use this lawlessness to settle scores, drawing those who otherwise would never have become involved. You know this. You've read Hobbes. It's why we have equality before the law.”

  “We are in the process of establishing military chain of command wherever possible. There will be military tribunals but civil law is gone until we reclaim the land and the state.

  “Paranoid unbalanced people will have a power they should never be given.”

  “Paul, I think you misunderstand my position. I don't think that collaborator's are either all evil or all opportunists. I see them as a power block in this struggle. The Nazi's know that they can't simply occupy the United States. They need to create a completely new
system in which people have a new history and identity. They have an advantage in that they are willing to offer privilege that only a slave state can do. We have to interrupt that process. It is happening far to quickly in the South. We need to nurture our territories of support. This is how we are doing it.”

  “Hannahh, this is a bad idea. War crimes, atrocities will be committed and if we ever win and re-establish our institutions people will be held responsible and those who were killed and attacked will demand justice before the law, and worst of all they will be right.”

  “That will absolutely not happen. A am making a bet Paul. My bet is first on the simplest platform a return to government and law exactly as it stood before invasion, no exceptions. In the meantime, black flag. Total war, no exceptions. Plus Paul, where would you find a jury that would find our soldiers guilty.”

  “I am not speaking simply in legalistic terms. I am speaking morally, ethically, we can not revert to such a basic barbarism. It is exactly that kind of barbarism that is at the core of regimes lack these. They are internally weak. It is our job to attack those weaknesses. Hannahh, wasn't Greece your area of study?”

  “Yes.”

  “What about the values of Athenian democracy. The participation of the people. You have decided this unilaterally.”

  “Not really Paul. We discussed this at the central council. Both the military and the political boards agreed. In fact the president agreed.”

  “The President?”

  “Oh I never had a chance to tell you about that we were able to find the President.”

  “What are you talking about? I thought the bomb took them all out.”

  “I turned out that the Secretary of Agriculture survived. He was visiting his mistress in Vermont on the 25th.”

  “Did he know he was acting President?”

  “He did. He took an interesting course of action. He made his way to a military base in Maine and was able to get in to speak to the Captain. It was a small base and most of the men had left either to try and join larger units or go to their families. He explained to them that he was the president and that it was their job to keep him alive.”

  “Was he a coward?”

  “No. He was not a brave man or a leader, but he knew he could lend legitimacy to the resistance when the time came, so he retreated into Canada with the help of those Soldiers.”

  “How many.”

  “From what I gathered about thirty. They went deep into the wilderness. After a few years he started to send men back into the country to see what kind of resistance was starting.”

  “How did he finally reach you.”

  “Through the Vermont militia.”

  “Of course, they must have formed right away.”

  “Yes true patriots. Live Free or Die?”

  “That's New Hampshire. What's Vermont then?”

  The man who had brought them some queso fresco and crackers spoke up “Freedom and Unity”

  Arendt laughed, “Well that is simply ridiculous. Freedom is the embracing of disunity. ”

  “So we made contact and brought him back to the country.”

  “Was it difficult to get him to come out.”

  “I sent one of our generals out. We explained it as simply reintegrating forces. He was amenable to it all.”

  “Is he acting as President?”

  “Only in so much as the Queen of England was acting as queen. He does sit on the council and vote. He is a very unassuming man. The way he sees it he was not elected the six years of his term are long past. He understands what is at stake.

  “Really?”

  “Yes. In fact he brought up Greece and Athens.”

  “What did he say.”

  “He said that for a time we must become Sparta.”

  “One cannot become Sparta for a time. These are two different ways of seeing the world.”

  “We are not going to actually become Sparta. Wear robes or anything of the sort. I was speaking metaphorically.”

  “So was Hannahh, so was I.”

  “We should discuss some of the final details of the plantation operation. Troop movement, timing, all of it.”

  “After lunch Hannah.”

  “Of course. After lunch.”

  Chapter 30

 
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