Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria listens to Texans call him a liar in bastrop County,
Texas, during a town hall meeting about Operation Jade Helm 15 (YouTube)
Here in California we have 40 military installations that run the gamut from very ambitious training areas, like Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, to the rather benign and relatively invisible Camp Parks and Camp San Luis Obispo, both Army bases that have very little (to nothing) going on, but are vital cogs in the machinery of war.
Vietnam veterans may recall flying out of Travis Air Force Base on their way to Da Nang. Most stopped in Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa for jungle training before getting into Vietnam — Camp Schwab anyone? Everyone flew in and out of Travis back in the day … well, some of us flew out of Norton Air Force Base in San Berdoo. Norton was closed almost 20 years ago.
The good State of Texas has 20 military installations, a couple of them being very large, like Forts Bliss and Hood. The latter is the largest military base in the world and was designed for anti-tank warfare. It’s branched out a bit in its mission since World War II; you can find several different types of units on Hood.
It was also the site of horrific shootings that took place in November 2009 and again in 2014.
One thing all these bases have in common with the rest of the military bases across the nation: the units on them all train, day in and day out. They do a lot of training to get ready for war and occasionally the different branches of government have joint operations so all the military branches can train together. It’s been going on for decades.
So, when the DoD, the Department of Defense, announces they are having a joint training exercise utilizing all branches of the military, you think nothing of it — SOP, Standard Operating Procedure. If you travel up and down the I-5 often enough between Oceanside and San Clemente, you’ll see the Navy and Marines carry on with one of their exercises. That’s Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and yes, you are correct: they have some sweet beaches you can’t use.
Moving along: the summer is coming and the DoD announced it was having a joint exercise in the Southwest, primarily Texas. It’s actually a joint special operations exercise, with the Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, top dogs in the field of Special Ops. Well, them and Delta Force.
Well, this all took place in modern day Texas, a state so wrapped in the warped worldview of the Tea Party and the “anti-anything that’s not them” crowd, some clowns had a “freedom of speech” “art show” in which people competed to see who could be more offensive towards Muslims with cartoons about Muhammad, hoping to induce an attack — which happened.
So, Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria of the U.S. Army comes to Bastrop County, Texas to let everyone know the Army and Navy are having this joint training operation to hone their skills to fight the new 21st Century War against terrorist threats like ISIS. The reason it is spread out over seven states: “To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states,” officials wrote on the exercise’s website. “However, Army Special Operations Forces will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas,” according to Special Operations Command.”
Or, the Cliff’s Notes version: “We are vigorously training our best warriors to defend you, our citizens, from the evil-doers.”
What the hell, the military held a joint exercise ten years ago in Texas called Roaming Sands, that including the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, with great success, so what the hey, Jade Helm 15 will show our citizens we are training to meet today’s challenges on the battle field.
Yay! Support the troops! Git’er done! Train away, warriors!
Except that wasn’t the reception the good lieutenant Colonel received. People called him a liar and — this is the funny part — claimed this was a training exercise to impose martial law on the great state of Texas and throughout the Southwest.
No really. Somebody jump up holding a sign with the “j/k” message on it.
No, they are not kidding.
The nuts think the Wal-Marts that closed for six months for renovations are really there getting fitted to be military guerrilla-warfare staging areas and FEMA processing camps for political prisoners …
Yep, and taking a page from the German Nazi playbook, rail cars were built just for the transportation of these political prisoners — complete with shackles!
And, you know the government let a bunch of ISIS tearists, with members of the Mexican military, set up shop — right outside of Old El Paso — so the special forces could wipe them out and provide a reason for imposing martial law!
“Out in the West Texas town of El Paso
I met a nut with a tin foil hat”
Okay, enough of the Marty Robbins, what happens next?
Well, that’s pretty much it. Operation Jade Helm 15 is a “false flag” operation by that damn Obama — he’s using the Special Forces to occupy the state of Texas! That black guy in the White House, he’s out to get us!
Alex Jones reported on it, because you know, he gets all the good news and he got it straight from a Texas Ranger who got it from … shhh … if he told us he’d hafta kill us.
Could that Texas Ranger be Walker? You know, Chuck “Walker: Texas Ranger” Norris?
There’s no finer a source of credible information than Chuck Norris. If you remember from the 2012 presidential elections Norris is the one who, with his wife Gena, said our great country and freedom were under attack — from within — and if we re-elected President Barack Hussein Obama, well that’s it, curtains for the U.S. of A. It would become … not quite sure, a commie, Muslim fascist police state? Gena Norris said re-electing President Obama would be “The first step into 1,000 years of darkness.” She never told us what the second step would be … maybe this is it.
Okay, with climate change accelerating with each passing year, we don’t have another thousand years. I don’t know where she gets her “facts” from … oh yeah, global warming is a hoax, a “con game.”
Chuck Norris, no less an authority on these false flag operations than Alex Jones, said, in a World Net Daily column, “Whatever Jade Helm 15 actually is, I think it is more than coincidental that the FBI director just confessed in February that the presence of ISIS can be felt in all 50 states of the U.S. and that the Pentagon is suddenly running its biggest military training exercise with every branch of the military across seven Southwestern states. Whether deterrence, display of power or something more covert or devious, let’s not come with any patronizing nonsense of impotence and simplicity when its origin is in Washington.”
Umm, Chuck? It’s a training exercise …
“Outside the East Texas town of old Houston
I met a nut with a tin foil hat.”
His column was in response to Texas Governor Barney Fife … err … Greg Abbott … who ordered the Texas State Guard to “monitor” Jade Helm 15, because, “It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed upon.”
Really, should it be any surprise Texans elected a member of the tin foil army to the governor’s office? There are more than a few Texans that hold these views.
A 61-year old retired engineer by the name of Bo Collier, who was at the Bastrop town hall, told Military.com “[the governor] knows we can’t trust anything Washington says. Think about this, sir: the federal government has militarized our police. They want to do away with the Second Amendment. I believe this is a step to gain intelligence for martial law at some point in the future. You may call me crazy, but just wait, the signs are there.”
Where? You so crazy, Bo.
So we got the governor in the tin foil brigade, Chuck Norris … any other persons of note?
Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert chimed in: “Patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned …”
Well he is right. We should be concerned that a nutbar like Gohmert is in Congress.
Texas Senator (and now presidential candidate) Ted Cruz said he “understands the concerns” of the tin foil brigade, stoking the conspiracy theory with its main talking points: It’s Obama’s fault. He’s taking away our freedom of speech and the Second Amendment, blah-blah-blah.
Are there any Texas Republicans who see this for what it really is?
If you haven’t guessed it yet, it’s a nutty conspiracy theory thunk up by the craziest of the lunatic fringe of the GOP.
There are a few Texas Republicans that are embarrassed by all this. Former Texas legislator Todd Smith said it was embarrassing to see his governor pandering to the lunatic fringe of his party. In a letter to Governor Abbott, smith said, “I am horrified I have to choose between the possibility that my governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do. Smith also told the governor, “But this bone that you have thrown to those who believe that the U.S. Military is a threat to the State of Texas is an embarrassing distance beyond the pale. You are Governor of Texas! This is an open request — from a ghost of our State’s recent Republican past — that you act like it.”
Obviously Todd Smith is a closeted liberal …
Crazy Chuck Norris claims, “Concerned Texans and Americans are in no way calling into question our brave and courageous men and women in uniform.”
Well you are Chuck, and what you are telling your fellow nutbars in Texas is to take up arms against these men and women in uniform if you all decide a take over is happening. These young men and women are in the U.S. military and represent the U.S. government, the top of their chain of command. That is their job.
Texas is so damn entertaining. The state guard is going to hold off the entire U.S. military … yeah, sure. As stated earlier: Texas has 20 military installations, most of which have been there for many decades. Since these nutbars are so crazy about and afraid of the presence of the U.S. military in their state let’s move all those bases, and the tens of thousands of military personnel and their families, to other states. Let’s see how their economy adjusts to the loss of all that federal revenue that flows into their state as a result of those military installations.
The Army units at For Bliss could join the Marines at Twenty-Nine Palms, California, for instance, or the Yuma Proving Ground. There’s a big piece of empty land. Move the units from Lackland Air Force Base to Travis, up in the Bay Area. It would take some planning and work, but the Pentagon could do it.
The hypocrisy is astounding; these people claim to support the troops, but then call them liars in public forums, like the one in Bastrop, accusing military personnel of the most absurd nonsense. They don’t support the troops, not a bit.
Obviously most Texans don’t agree with this conspiracy theory nonsense … or maybe they do. They did elect Governor Abbott, Congressman Gohmert and Senator Cruz to public office. That should tell us all we need to know about the state of Texas.
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My apologies to my family and friends in Texas. I hope you are not part of the nutbar crowd.
And my request to the current Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General “Fighting’ Joe” Dunford. Take that the honorary title of Marine away from Chuck Norris. Too many people sacrificed and earned that title to have the likes of Chuck Norris sully it.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.