Some of the good folks in nine Southern states have their camo knickers in a twist over the U.S. military's Operation Jade Helm.
It's a special-operations training exercise in new warfare tactics, but the conspiracy-minded, from Chuck Norris to the governor of Texas, have their doubts; instead of war games to prepare for a new kind of war, they imagine a takeover of red states ordered by a blue commander in chief.
They have it wrong, all of them. Jade Helm is not a a smokescreen for a martial-law military takeover. Oh, no. It is a smoke screen for altering the American Way of Life.
Here's the real covert agenda:
OPERATION FIERCE GLOWWORM
Objective: promoting national energy saving by replacing energy-wasting foreign-made incandescent bulbs with American-made compact fluorescent bulbs.
Target area: select Texas panhandle towns
Tactic: Residents of towns in target counties are invited to you-must-be-present-to-win lottery drawings in each town. Prize, a decommissioned Humvee. Refreshments will be served. While the drawings are underway, United States special ops teams trained in illumination subterfuge enter residents' homes and businesses and replace all existing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving CFLs
OPERATION SLIM JIM
Objective: improve dietary habits and thus extend lifespan of Americans via healthier eating, additionally saving billions in healthcare dollars between now and target date 2050.
Target area: select Texas-Louisiana border towns
OPERATION KRUSTY KRAYONZ
Objective: save the lives of children and other innocent victims killed in the thousands each year. Collateral benefit: saving millions of local, state and federal tax dollars in prosecutorial and custodial costs.
Target area: select West Texas (including but not limited to Pecos, Reagan and Jeff Davis) counties
Tactic: ATF operatives posing as representatives of gun and ammunition manufacturers and supported by U.S. military personnel stage a "Second Amendment Sales Tax Holiday and Ammo Giveaway" event in each selected town. Locals will receive two free bullets/shells for every one they turn in. As in Operation Fierce Glowworm, lottery drawings -- this time for semiautomatic weapons -- will encourage a high turnout. The exchanged bullets/shells will be lookalike projectiles that are, operationally, harmless paintballs.
Note to field directors: Success in these missions will mean a "go" on upscaled similar undercover operations, the effect of which can be assessed by noting some earlier operations also regarded with suspicion by some and with whose benefits you will be familiar, among them, fluoridated water, pasteurized milk and the interstate highway system.
All above ops are Secret Squirrel. To quote the motto of our brother force, Britain's elite Special Boat Service, "By strength and guile."