Origins of the CoupEdit
The arrival of the 1980s brought with it a sharp downturn of fortune for the US economy. On January 27th 1983 the stock markets crashed after months of "corporate superloans" had created an economy based almost entirely on borrowed time. When there was no more money to lend the lenders called in what they were owed and the companies founded on these "superloans" could not afford the astronomical repayments and collapsed. The search for the almighty dollar would lead the country to ruin.
Unemployment and PovertyEditUnemployment skyrocketed and the government under President Ronald Reagan was moving away from spending on welfare instead concentrating on businesses in an effort to kickstart the economy. This left countless families finding themselves living below the poverty line many of whom were from the middle classes who lost everything in the collapse.
With high unemployment it inevitably brought high crime rates. In cities such as New York, Washington and Los Angeles Police records show that the fourth quarter of 1983 recorded a staggering 34% increase in robbery-related murders. Paranoia gripped the nation's more fortunate families and accidental shootings became commonplace.
Loss of Foreign InfluenceEdit
Mistrust regarding Europe and the changing relationships with the New Commonwealth, the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union had alienated many foreign governments who were increasingly looking away from the United States. Despite their best efforts to export their goods abroad the Commonwealth, Soviet Union and China were beginning to surpass the United States thus worsening the economic situation.
The Mexican Civil WarEditWhen the Mexican Civil War broke out the memories of Vietnam were fresh in the minds of the population of the United States. Therefore military intervention was deemed highly undesirable. Instead the Carter Administration poured billions of dollars into equipping and training President Miguel Farzi's Federal Forces in Mexico. This policy was continued when Reagan came to power but was deeply unpopular in itself. It was common knowledge that much of the money and supplies sent to Mexico to fight the Communist uprising was pocketed by corrupt officials and military leaders. It was estimated that sometimes less than 40% of aid sent south actually made it to the troops in combat.
In the early days of the conflict Farzi's forces were able to keep the Communists under control but this situation began to change in 1982 following a series of surprise attacks by Communists supported by highly skilled mercenary pilots who dominated the skies over the battlefield. Fearing that Farzi's corrupt government would fall and the US would be faced with having a Pro-Soviet Communist nation on its southern border the US military began drawing up a series of proposals for military intervention that ranged from punitive air strikes to a full invasion. Reagan, although in public was quite stern about the situation in Mexico, rejected them all.
The Shootdown of Triton-One-SixEditOn December 14th 1983 a US Navy P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft call sign Triton-One-Six was operating in the Gulf of Mexico to monitor Eastern Bloc ships sending supplies to Mexico's Communists when it was intercepted by a mercenary piloted MiG-23MF 'Flogger' and shot down. Fleet Admiral Jonas Marshall, Commander of the US Navy demanded retaliation to protect his aircraft operating in the area but again Reagan refused brushing it off as an isolated incident. The US economy was plummeting like a stone and Reagan could not afford to get distracted by events in the south. Although US fighter activity over the Gulf of Mexico increased nothing further was done. This infuriated military leaders and no doubt began to sow the seeds of revolution.
Refugee Crisis in Texas and CaliforniaEdit
As a result of the war in Mexico the US saw a flood of refugees pouring across the border to escape the fighting. Many of these were forced to enter the country illegally and often resorted to crime in order to survive. Some areas of Los Angeles in particular seemed to have been invaded by Mexican refugees with whom the US authorities seemed unable to move.
Military CutbacksEditIn 1984 Reagan addressed the US Congress and announced that the US economy could no longer sustain the massive armed forces the nation possessed. He announced the most savage cutbacks the US military had ever seen, almost 20% within 12 months of the announcement. As well as further angering the military leadership it also struck fear into the hearts of the US people that they were losing their ability to adequately defend themselves and their interests. This feeling was exacerbated with the worsening situation in Mexico and the Far East where China was making threats against Taiwan.
The Taiwan Straits WarEdit
In 1986, Red China invaded Taiwan. The US military, crippled by savage defence cuts, could do little except watch as the island nation fell. This made the Chinese even more aggressive but with the ever dwindling US military unable to stop them and the New Commonwealth only interested if they threatened Hong Kong there was little that could be done. Fear that Chinese, Soviet or even Commonwealth forces were looking at them as weak now thrived in every home.
The Military Goes PoliticalEditThe apparent loss of the United States government ability to influence events both at home and abroad coupled with the Reagan Administration's economic growth recovery plans apparently favouring the already wealthy due to cash injections angered countless people in the country. The armed forces in particular, whose morale and prestige still had not recovered from the humiliation of Vietnam, sought to improve things. Although illegal, political groups in the armed forces began to be formed at bases across the country.
In 1987 these groups came out of the shadows and for the first time American military personnel openly criticized US government policies. They had popular support amongst the masses but at this point the Generals and Admirals in charge remained separated from them. Nevertheless the influence of these groups continued to grow and they soon took notice of that.
Organizing the TroopsEdit
Even today exact details of just when and how these groups became amalgamated are unclear. What is known is that it was an Air Force Lieutenant General, Michael Fusbauer, who was the first to come forward in open support of the new political groups within the military. He was immediately dismissed from his post and faced a court martial but this immediately rose him to the status of martyr amongst the ordinary servicemen and women.The arrest of Fusbauer had an unforeseen side affect however in that it generated so much publicity it actually distracted the Reagan administration from what was really happening among the ranks. Pamphlets were being distributed amongst the armed forces that highlighted the failings of the US Government and emphasized the importance of the military not just for defence but for the general well being of the nation. While senior officers were officially discouraging the distribution of such pamphlets secretly they were encouraging their subordinates to read them.
Supporters of the MilitaryEdit
It is difficult to estimate just how widespread support for the growing political ambition the US military had prior to 1988 but what is known is that many in local law enforcement particularly in the northern states were supporters. There were huge numbers of Vietnam veterans who supported them also having been sold on the fact that their sacrifices had been almost totally overlooked. Both the FBI and CIA had small numbers of supporters who fed information to the Generals but it was not as widespread as it was amongst the Police.
The murder of Private RawlinsEdit
On October 23rd 1987 the body of 18 year old US Army Private Jimmy Rawlins who was from Texas was found near a railway track in Pennsylvania. He appeared to have been hit by a train but private investigators discovered that he had gone to a senior officer at his base to show him pamphlets that the troops were reading unaware that it was that officer who had distributed them. Although never proven it is suspected that Rawlins was taken to the tracks and thrown in front of the train in order to keep him quiet and to set an example to the others in his unit.
Siezing PowerEditBy February 1988 the Reagan Administration was becoming justifiably concerned by the increasing frustration and political activity of the US military. In January of that year alone over eight hundred servicemen across all branches of the US military were dismissed from service for being involved in political groups. On February 13th, the White House, for the first time in its history withdrew its military protection and hired private security forces and the FBI to guard the President and his family.
Like a cruel joke the US military, lead by a group known only as 'The Generals', made their move on the morning of April 1st 1988. National Guard units stormed the offices of the FBI across the nation while CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia was attacked by a team of US Navy SEALS handpicked for their loyalty to 'The Generals'.
Battle for the White HouseEditThe White House was attacked by US Marines using armoured vehicles and helicopters. Many of the Marines were ironically former guards at the White House who knew the building and the grounds well. The attack began at 0712hrs local time by which time both the CIA and FBI had been neutralized. It is suspected that Reagan was aware of trouble with both agencies but disrupted communications in and out of the White House meant he couldn't fully appreciate just what was happening.
The private security forces and the FBI agents stationed around the White House observed the ground element advancing on them and ordered them to stop via loud speaker. The Marines opened fire and a stormed the front entrance. Many of the private security forces ran away while the more committed FBI agents retreated to the White House itself.
It was as this was happening that three Marine helicopters appeared above the White House. When they attempted to land one of them was hit repeatedly by heavy calibre weapons fire and after having caught fire crashed outside the White House killing thirteen Marines. The other two helicopters managed to offload their troops and they fought a running battle with FBI agents and the remaining security teams as they made their way inside the White House.
Details of the rest of the battle have either been lost or deliberately destroyed but it is reported that gunfire stopped around 0756hrs. Th exact fate of Reagan and his family was never discovered.