Maybe the Pentagon should have picked bluer states for the biggest peacetime military exercises in six decades.
Choosing Texas, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana and Utah, where thousands of special operation forces are to simulate war missions starting July 15 is kind of the domestic equivalent of having military exercises near North Korea. The plan was bound to provoke an aggressive response — at least verbally — and it apparently has.
Red states are where people keep the so-called patriot lanterns burning and their guns well-cleaned and oiled because of fears of a government takeover. The U.S. military’s plans for “Operation Jade Helm” in the mostly southern states have set the Internet, conservative radio and social media sites ablaze with talk of what President Barack Obama is planning to do.
It didn’t help that Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott last week ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the U.S. exercises. Gun and conspiracy theory advocates regularly preach that the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution so that everyday citizens could defend themselves against the tyranny and overreach of the federal government.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
But neither Obama nor the U.S. government has plans to invade Texas, Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah or any other state. Obama has his hands more than full with just trying to manage Congress, Washington, D.C., and Capitol Hill.