While mainstream coverage has mocked the easy targets such as Alex Jones and others, Gawker Media – by no means a right-wing, reactionary outlet – had a good post about the Jade Helm Texas military exercise controversy today:

The bullet holes punched into the center mass of this pistol-packing suburban soccer mom weren’t fired by ISIS terrorists preparing for a shopping-mall assault, or by local cops training against an active shooter at the local school. They were fired by a Marine during special operations “realistic military training,” or RMT, in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Realistic military training in which military forces leave their bases and practice how to kill people out in the real world are a relatively recent phenomenon. One such exercise of this group, Jade Helm, has been seized on recently by right-wing paranoids who suspect that Barack Obama is using it to rehearse an invasion of Texas. But here’s the thing: They’re not altogether wrong.

What knucklehead decided that for Raven 15-03, an appropriate shooting target should be a soccer mom! And who decided that, despite owning 31 million acres—48,000 square miles—the military now needs to skulk around off-base because it would be more realistic to operate amongst the “civilian population,” also known as America?

The right-wingers, including a growing number of opportunistic Republican politicians, have seized on Jade Helm as an excuse for their usual “Obama’s muslim government conspiracy is coming for our guns” nonsense. But the fact remains that the military is actively engaged in training that involves the use of force against the US civilian population. While military brass will no doubt claim these exercises are meant to train for scenarios that might occur in foreign cities, the actual reality – what is actually happening right now – is that the military branch is practicing the covert use of force against our own people. As Gawker points out, that should make you angry, even if you’re not crazy.

And if you are angry – or worried – you are not alone. A new Rasmussen phone poll found that “45% of voters are concerned that the government will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states, with 19% who are Very Concerned.” This is in spite of the fact that ” 65% of Likely U.S. Voters favor the U.S. military conducting training exercises in their state.” So while it would appear people favor the training exercises, they are worried about the ulterior motives.

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