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SKEPTOID BLOG:

Jade Helm 15: Martial Law, Wal-Mart and You

by Mike Rothschild

April 28, 2015

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Donate Taken at face value, it sounds incredibly sinister: members of the four branches of the US military operating within our borders, infiltrating the populations of seven states, moving covertly, deploying vehicles and aircraft, practicing their techniques for capturing and eliminating threats. There are mysterious meetings, strange maps, reports of missile batteries being set up and even the closing of stores and confiscation of private property. And all of it happening under the guise of a mysterious, sinister sounding code name: Jade Helm 15.



While all of that seems rather horrifying, the truth of Jade Helm 15 happens to be much more pedestrian. It's a military exercise being carried out by US Special Operations forces, running from July through September 2015, designed to train elite soldiers to deal with new threats and ensure their readiness to survive, react and carry out deep cover missions in hostile enemy territory. In that respect, Jade Helm is no different than the dozens of other military exercises the US has carried out all over the world in decades past, rehearsing everything from the D-Day landings to taking out enemy leaders.

None of what Jade Helm will be doing is new - in fact, it's quite old. Prussian military forces used war games and live exercises as far back as the 1700's, and they've continued all the way through modern times. Since the advent of combined arms tactics in World War I, where infantry, artillery and airpower all worked together to achieve a common goal, coordinated training exercises have been vital to ensuring every facet of the operation was on the same page. If the guns and the planes and the tanks don't all know exactly where the infantry is supposed to be at the exact time they're supposed to be there, people get killed and battles are lost.

The entire operation was publicly announced by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command's (USASOC) website in March, 2015. Soon enough, like clockwork, the conspiracy panic began. According to numerous "awakened" individuals, Jade Helm was not a military exercise at all, but a hiding-in-plain-sight plan to seed government troopers around the south, institute martial law in the United States, round up or kill dissenters, consolidate Barack Obama's plan for a third term as president, or even propagate a genocide of Christians and patriots.

A popular YouTube video called Jade Helm "PROOF OF A MASSIVE MILITARY BUILD UP IN AMERICA." Another video, this one from Alex Jones, declares "Military Lied! Jade Helm Is Training To Kill Americans Who Resist!" Websites are practically breathless with pictures of "FEMA death domes," claims of Muslim Brotherhood control of the plot, stories of UN troops and prison camps, and, worst of all, the closure of Wal Mart stores in Jade Helm states.

To get to the bottom of what's going on here, and what isn't, I've put together a bit of a Q and A, (just) asking questions and looking for answers to those questions. Of course, my calm and reasoned tone about this whole thing could be due to my status as a paid shill for the UN takeover — or maybe it's just because there's not much to all this.

Q: Isn't it strange for the US military to use the country it's supposed to protect as an aggressor in an exercise?

A: Not at all. Military forces have to train somewhere, and it's a lot cheaper and easier for them to do it in the country they're based in. The Washington Post found numerous past exercises carried out in the United States, including:
"Bold Alligator, a naval exercise in which thousands of Marines and sailors have been involved in the past. The most recent version was launched last fall, and included amphibious landings to prevent insurgent groups in the fictional country known as Garnet — Georgia and part of Florida in real life — from launching attacks.

In another example, U.S. Special Forces support fictional guerrilla forces in numerous counties across North Carolina in the exercise Robin Sage. Green Beret soldiers work to liberate the country of Pineland, and operate in close proximity to civilians, who are warned that they may hear blank gunfire."
Q: So what will Jade Helm actually entail? Other than the death domes and mass shooting of Christians?

A: Probably not much that anyone would notice. As one military wonk website put it, "Jade Helm is a Field Training Exercise (FTX) to enhance the SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) capabilities of American special operations troops."

According to a powerpoint presentation by USASOC that leaked onto the web in March, Jade Helm will envelop local patriot communities in an "increased military presence" that might involve some planes flying at night, "individuals conducting suspicious activities designed to prepare them for complex environments overseas" and some personnel who might be "carrying blank ammo" while others will be "wearing civilian attire."

Q: Even if I'm not a conspiracy theorist, can't I admit that sounds a bit creepy?

A: Of course. There's something quite unsettling about military planes flying around at night and armed uniformed men tramping around your town, even if they're there to practice ways to neutralize threats to you.

Q: What's the deal with that creepy map? Is it real?

A: Yes, the Jade Helm map that's driving conspiracy theorists crazy is very real — though, as per usual, taken way out of context.

It's a map of the Jade Helm training states, with some labeled "Hostile" (Texas and Utah) and others "Permissive" (Colorado, Nevada and California). A few are labeled "Uncertain." There's also the usual alphabet soup of military acronyms, a sea of ODA's and MSOT's and ODG's and CRF's.

Anyone who's even the slightest bit interested in the workings of a modern military knows that the US Armed Forces loves, loves, loves acronyms. They're a handy jargon for making sure everyone knows what things are and how they happen while using the fewest words possible. All professions have jargon, and the Jade Helm map is chock full of it.

Q: Yeah, but what about the states? Texas (full of guns) and Utah (full of Mormons) are hostile, while Nevada (full of sin), Colorado (full of legal weed) and California (come on, people!) are permissive? Wake up!

A: Everything done for military exercises like this has a purpose. In this case, simulating the travel time from friendly bases to hostile territories, along with giving the simulation multiple types of terrain to work with. Texas and Utah (along with the "insurgent pocket" in Southern California) have everything from snowy mountains to deserts to beaches, so US troops can practice working in extreme cold, heat, wind, whatever their hearts desire. As part of the exercises, the allegiance of the states will shift, so Utah might start as hostile and become friendly - the same way alliances shift in asymmetrical battlefields like Iraq and Ukraine.

Texas itself already has a multitude of military facilities, along with a population used to being around military exercises - this Jade Helm paranoia notwithstanding.

Q: Does the name "Jade Helm" have any significance? Because I'm hearing some really weird stuff...

A: Conspiracy theorists have numerous explanations for the name "Jade Helm." One is that it's actually an acronym, standing for something like "Joint Assisted Deployment Exercise Homeland Extermination Local Militia." The other is that it's some kind of nod to the UN takeover, as UN soldiers wear blue helmets and jade is kind of like blue, and helm is short for helmet. Others take note that green is the "official color" of Islam, and make some kind of connection between the name and the mysterious (not really) Georgia Guidestones monument.

In reality, none of these are likely true. Just like the thousands of named military exercises and operations before it, including Bold Alligator and Robin Sage (and Market Garden, Ivy Mike and many others in US military history) the phrase "Jade Helm" was likely just pulled out of a hat.

Q: Okay, but what about the Wal-Marts? They're closing Wal-Marts, people! How can people prep for the FEMA apocalypse without rollback prices on guns and canned goods?

A: The Wal-Mart thing is both real and a good example of a post hoc fallacy. Wal-Mart did indeed announce that it would close five stores in four states, three of which are Jade Helm states. The reason for these closures was given as "plumbing issues" that would take up to six months to fix.

On the surface, this sounds bizarre and troubling. 2,200 people were put out of work because of bad plumbing? While there are rumors that Wal-Mart closed the stores as retaliation for the workers there trying to organize, there are other rumors that claim these stores were closed to prevent citizens from buying supplies with which to fight Jade Helm jackboots — or as "processing centers" for detainees.

Putting aside the actual reason Wal-Mart closed these stores (was it plumbing problems, retaliation or a little of both?) the miniscule scale of the closures would make no sense as far as Jade Helm purposes. What good is closing five stores (one of which isn't even in a Jade Helm state) when dealing with the supposed millions of prisoners that would be taken? Why not close stadiums or warehouses? How many people can you cram in four Wal-Mart stores?

Other rumors of tunnels dug beneath these closed Wal-Mart stores leading to...other closed Wal-Mart stores...don't appear to have any evidence supporting their existence.

Q: Hmmm...this is all starting to sound kind of innocuous. But the FEMA death domes...what's up with those?

A: Every rumor attached to FEMA being an apparatus of the state killing machine has been shot down with hard evidence. From FEMA Camps to FEMA red/blue lists to FEMA coffins, every single one is either fake or has a real-world explanation. So it goes with the death domes. Pictures of pre-fab domes supposedly erected in Texas have become a staple of Jade Helm paranoia, and it makes perfect sense that an exercise bringing a large number of troops and supplies to a remote area would need a place to put all of it.

An alternative explanation for the pictures is that they're the very real dual-use domes FEMA erected in Texas to protect residents who were unable to evacuate in the face of a natural disaster like a hurricane. Of course, those domes were put up in 2012, but it's not unlike conspiracy theorists to take an old picture and pretend it's a new picture for their own purposes.

Or, hey, maybe they're death domes. What actually is a death dome? Who knows? Ask FEMA.

Q: BUT...a guy on the internet who lives in New Mexico said he saw "two big dudes walk down my street and put a little red-orange sticker on my mailbox, I confronted them... with thick russian accent one of them stated "Its a marker for the news paper.... i dont get the paper." And another guy said that "In San Antonio, With a population of 1.5 million, they are marking the curbs in front of the houses, with red & blue X's, as well as stickers on mailboxes." Another commenter says "this exercise - part of which involves blending in with the general population of a modern country - would indicate that we're gearing up for a potential escalation with Russia and/or China." They can't all be wrong, can they?

A: Sure they can. Remember, the burden of proof lies with the person making the accusation. If Johnny Internet Commenter thinks Jade Helm is a prelude to Muslim enslavement or UN genocide or Obama martial law or whatever, it's his job to prove his claim with evidence. And the "evidence" behind Jade Helm being any of these things is remarkably thin.

Q: Even if Jade Helm is nothing to worry about, should I stock up on food, water, guns and ammo just to be safe?

A: I can't speak to stocking up on guns and ammo. But it's never a bad idea to have extra food and water around if something terrible does happen. You wouldn't want to end up in a FEMA death dome, after all.

by Mike Rothschild

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