The U.S. Army’s Jade Helm 15 military training mission has had conspiracy theorists and anti-government militants in an uproar, convinced that the exercise is in fact a secret plot by President Obama to impose martial law and “take away their guns.” These paranoid delusion have led to state militias being deployed to “monitor” the U.S. Army’s movements, encouraged by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rand Paul (R-KY), and the increasingly unstable Governor Abbot of Texas.
The simmering anti-government sentiments that are perpetually fanned by the propaganda echo chambers of FOX News reached a breaking point on Tuesday when two unidentified white males perpetrated a drive-by shooting at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi- one of the bases where Jade Helm 15 troops were deploying from.
Thankfully, no injuries or deaths were reported, and a manhunt is underway for the right-wing terrorists who struck out against the Army. Violence from far-right militants or white supremacists are one of the biggest threats to American security today, having killed 48 Americans in 19 attacks since 9/11. The Republican Party’s anti-government rhetoric is a tacit endorsement of these behaviors and these sentiments- but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve put Americans in danger to further their own political agendas.
Note: the men in the featured image are not the suspects.
h/t to Talking Points Memo
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.