Remember Operation Jade Helm, A.K.A. Obama’s Military Takeover Of Texas?

Starting way back in March, the far right-wing blogosphere began whispering (read: shouting) about Obama’s final military takeover of the U.S. – a then-little known operation called Jade Helm 15 (or Jade Helm). Jade Helm was this huge military exercise taking place across the entire Southwest; with some states designated friendly, some designated unknown, and some, like Texas, designated hostile. Jade Helm began in earnest on July 15…and has just ended.

Jade Helm, according to the Washington Post, was an exercise involving elite units from four military branches. It was intended to simulate the uncertain environment that our military might face at some point in the not-too distant future. It didn’t actually turn out that way.

Eventually, despite the original plans, only 200 Special Ops personnel, an additional 300 support personnel, and 700 members of the 82nd Airborne Division, were involved in Jade Helm, primarily in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi.

The right-wing conspiracy nuts drove around, taking video of abandoned Walmarts surrounded by fences, shipping containers and construction equipment, and claimed that was proof that the government was turning these Walmarts into detention centers for American citizens. This was the ultimate evidence that the evil, socialist, communist, fascist dictator in the White House, Barack Hussein Obama, was working to detain and eliminate “real” Americans who were a threat to him and his regime.

In early August, one insane conspiracy theorist actually fired two shots at service members at Camp Shelby, while another (who may have actually been the same man) fired shots at the Joint Forces Training Center. A “person of interest” was taken into custody, which some took as proof that they were, in fact, doing the nefarious things the conspiracy nuts said they were.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, along with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), also jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon, looking into Jade Helm and making grandiose claims that they were just trying to ensure Americans didn’t lose their freedoms, their civil rights, and whatever else the right thinks President Obama is trying to take from them.

Now that it’s ending–rather quietly, we might add–what have we learned? First off, Jade Helm is hardly the first time the military has done this. That didn’t stop the right wingnuts, though, from running with the story when plans began making the rounds on the Internet. The pictures, the posts to social media, the videos, all of it smacked of the terrible, paranoid delusions that permeate the far right.

Oddly enough, the Post piece says that former Texas governor Rick Perry was a voice of reason during the brouhaha, urging residents to calm the eff down, more or less, while Cruz and Abbott stoked the fears surrounding Jade Helm.

Suzanne Nagl, a spokesperson for the Army Special Operations Command, said in an email to the Post:

“At this time, we do not have any lessons learned to share since we have not yet conducted an after-action review of the exercise, but we do believe the exercise overall was a success.”

And what did the rest of us learn from this? Well, there was no military takeover of Texas, or anywhere else, first of all. We also learned that the military has designated various states as “hostile territory” in past exercises like Jade Helm, and there was no takeover resulting from those exercises either.

But really, what we learned is that the right wingnuts, who hate Obama and think he’s really the worst kind of tyrant imaginable, are out of their ever-loving minds with fear and hate. In the end, Jade Helm ended exactly the way we said it would – quietly, and with no American citizens arrested, detained and taken into custody simply for disagreeing with the government on something.

These people will probably claim they were successful in preventing Obama from actually taking over Texas, and the U.S. in the days to come. That’s how these people work. The truth is, a takeover wasn’t what was planned in the first place, but hey! They’ll think what they want.

Featured image by United States Army. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons