Jade Helm Questions Are Coming From An Unexpected Place
by William Arkin, Phase Zero The Pentagon sucks at explaining anything sensitive to the American public and the true scope of Jade Helm, the military exercise scheduled for this summer, is being hidden behind happy talk from one side and mass hysteria from the other. That’s why Jade Helm—the reaction—continues to fascinate me. A Google search for “Jade Helm” in the .mil (official) domain produces all of eight results even after months of public hysteria.
So any new morsel of actual information that passes through my inbox is interesting. Today, I saw a job announcement from a company called ICE, Inc. looking for a Jade Helm intelligence planner to work under contract for the Army: Nothing in all of the gobbledygook and Pentagonese of this job posting reveals more than we already know, that is, that these exercises are indeed meant to use the vast open spaces of the southwest to prepare special operations soldiers for clandestine missions out there. But a contractor being hired as intelligence planner for a constantly running series of games does beg the question as to whether the public has indeed gotten a sufficient explanation. This sentence alone in the job announcement tells me that more public misunderstanding is to come:
“Plan, organize, and coordinate all joint, inter-agency, inter-governmental, multinational (JIIM) intelligence capabilities and participants, to include civilian law enforcement (CLE) within JH UW exercise program.”
Joint inter-agency, inter-governmental and multinational? JIIM? It’s got it own acronym? In English, that’s the military, homeland security, CIA, and foreign military forces all running around playing their games. No big deal, the military says, and yet when that first foreign soldier arrives for Jade Helm—Brit, German, Italian, Swede, Jordanian, or Emirati—I’m sure it won’t be in a public ceremony. The “threat forces” referred to in the job posting also does not mean the people of the southwest. But the insular language of this world of the military sure does confuse. And the Pentagon jive does provide some insight into the isolated world they live in, maybe not tin-foil hat but head gear of another type that just as much separates those in the military from the vast majority of those in the American public.
That point is driven home in an article in the Los Angeles Times, which points out that 49 percent of everyone in the active duty military hails from just five states: California, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and, wait for it…Texas.
These states also happen to host gigantic military bases and communities, and percentage wise, are a huge portion of the overall population. Still a military caste is growing in the country, and our utter segregation from them produces misunderstandings, distrust, and hostilities. For the media blowhards who live in New York City and shape the news, the American military is already a foreign force, and patriotism is already a scripted event. The same goes for Washington DC, a wholly militarized city of spit-shined constancy where those in uniform are not just ubiquitous but also polite and hyper-groomed desk-dwellers who could never represent any kind of a threat: such nice people. Texas is a fuck of a lot bigger than DC but the citizens of Austin, Dallas, Houston, etc., can still go about their lives without much exposure to the soldiers at Forts Hood and Bliss. So who exactly is complaining about Jade Helm is an interesting question? It isn’t the elite urban dwellers who couldn’t care less about the military and go about their lives unaffected by war. No, ironically, it is normal and unwashed, seemingly uneducated Americans who are expressing concern about the ever-encroaching militarization of the nation and their being held hostage to federal priorities that don’t seem to think much about them. This isn’t some Obama conspiracy: We the American people have created this “all-volunteer” force to guard our freedom. Now, 40 years into an all-volunteer military, generations of guardians have gone through the ranks, and guess what? They see the world the same way as their military parents and assume a position of service to America above all else. Who needs martial law when martial life has already taken over America? That’s what the Jade Helm questioners are ultimately getting at, the mainstream and the elite of no help because they just have so much fun making fun of the other. [Photos: Army; Google search; ICE, Inc.]