Via Wired's Danger Room:
The War Between the States ended almost 150 years ago, but the Georgia state senate is making threatening noises against its southern neighbor. It should think twice. Occupying Iraq and Afghanistan is a cakewalk compared to the hellscape that southeast Tennessee poses for an invading army.
Last week, the Georgia state senate voted to sue the state of Tennessee in order to claim a sliver of land that would grant Georgia access to the Tennessee River. Georgia, readers must understand, has mismanaged its own water resources to the point where it now struggles to supply enough water for the residents of Atlanta (and its sprawling suburbs and exurbs) to fill their above-ground pools and wash the TruckNutz on their mini-vans. Dangerously, the state is actually seeking to redraw a border that has kept the peace for over 200 years, and all over a crucial resource — a resource belonging, rightfully, to the Tennessee of my ancestors.
I have nothing against (most parts of) Georgia. Growing up, though, my mother would drive my sister and me south on I-75, ostensibly to watch a Braves game or visit our cousins, but really to show us the horrors of life beyond the green mountains and valleys of our native southeast Tennessee, where much of my family remains. Other parts of Georgia are lovely: I had the good fortune to be stationed in Savannah for several years while serving in the U.S. Army. But the greater Atlanta area is a horrible twisted mess of concrete overpasses and far-flung skyscrapers. Once south of Cartersville, it’s easy to understand why William Tecumseh Sherman thought it wisest to just burn the whole place down and start over.
I am particularly worked up about all of this because Georgia aims to claim most of Lookout Mountain — even the very house I grew up in — as Georgia territory, like it was some sort of bluegrass Alsace-Lorraine. Thankfully, I have a good idea how to stop them.
I have drawn up the following three courses of action. I grew up in the 1980s, when Red Dawn was the favorite film of every freedom-loving boy in Tennessee, and my best friend Henry and I spent way too much of our early years thinking through various ways we would defend our homes against the inevitable communist horde. Georgia has compelled me to consider something similar. And as either Vegetius or the Carter Sisters once sang, si vis pacem, para bellum. Translated into the Tenneessean: If you’re a-lookin’ for peace, best get ready for the warrin’.