Recently, the U.S. Army staged military training exercises in a populated Houston neighborhood in conjunction with other Federal agencies using blank ammunition which, while harmless, still sounds exactly like live rounds. The population in southeast Houston was predictably terrified, having been given no notification of the impending aerial and ground assault, occurring at a nearby high school, which had been out of use for years. However, it was still within earshot of the local elementary school, which was active during the day with classes. You can read the full article from the local ABC affiliate here, and watch the video report below.
The responses from the residents ranged from being properly outraged that this was going on, frightening their children and themselves, to those who are foolish and gullible and state proudly that “If it’s to protect our kids, I’m all for it.” Because obviously, the movie “Toy Soldiers” is going to happen in real life and the Army will need to mount a full assault on a high school in suburbia.
What isn’t discussed is what could be an ulterior motive for these types of operations, which are becoming more common: The numbing of Americans to military operations in their neighborhoods. The residents of this Houston suburb were shocked, scared and outraged that the military would stage something like this without warning. But why was there no warning given? Why weren’t there signs posted? Why wasn’t the local news informed so they could relay to the local residents that there was nothing to be afraid of? Two reasons:
1. Fear is good. The government has a monopoly on violence, and they want everyone to realize who is in charge. This was shock and awe.
2. After the initial surprise, an explanation was given – this was all a drill. All the machine gun fire, and attack helicopters were
just a clever ruse, you see! Nothing to worry about. As more of these “drills” occur, more of the population will become accustomed to the sound of gunfire and military vehicles, accepting that they are drilling, or there for our own good. Nothing to see here. Move along.
We will become numbed to the military being a part of our everyday lives. When I visited China, army soldiers were on street corners about every two blocks. It was something the citizens were used to. This exact same numbing effect is slowly taking place here in the U.S. Soldiers in airports, at train stations, and now performing military operations in neighborhoods.
When the ammo stops being blank, and the military is taking action against its own citizens, who will be the wiser? It was just another “drill.” Nothing to see here. Move along and enjoy the “freedom” that our military is protecting.
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