It's becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of the far-right's bellicosity in the face of refugee children entering the United States. Not a day goes by without Sean Hannity, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Bill O'Reilly or various screeching mobs composed of townspeople from The Simpsons brandishing torches, pitchforks and AR-15s in reaction to the over-hyped immigration issue. Speaking of Gohmert, this week he suggested that President Obama is allowing women to be raped by "illegal aliens":
And they've committed at least 7,695 sexual assaults. You want to talk about a war on women? This administration will not defend the women of America from criminal aliens! By the thousands, and hundreds of thousands! Well, we know thousands, and we know people are coming in by the hundreds of thousands illegally. And this administration wants to talk about other people having a war on women when they will not defend the women that are being sexually assaulted by illegal aliens in this country!
Maybe Gohmert got his facts mixed up (shocker!) because the latest reports from the Southern border indicate that migrant women and children are the ones who are being sexually assaulted inside the U.S. An alleged 116 cases of sexual assault against children, some as young as five-years-old, by U.S. border patrol agents have been reported in recent weeks. One study indicated that nearly half of all female migrant workers are sexually assaulted or abused while working at farms across the Midwest.
Despite the reality of what's really happening along the border, the saber-rattling continues in the face of the infant horde. Yesterday, the infamous Minuteman militia announced that it's raising an army that will include 3,500 volunteers to "stop an invasion" and to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. The militia's co-founder, Jim Gilchrist, appears to be taking his tone-deaf cues from Bill O'Reilly and Charles Krauthammer who suggested the construction of another Berlin Wall. It turns out the Minuteman Project's wartime cosplay event is called "Operation Normandy." From the official Operation Normandy website:
If you are familiar with the Normandy invasion of France in 1944, then you have an idea how large and logistically complicated this event will be. However, there is one difference. We are not going to the border to invade anyone. We are going there to stop an invasion.
Yes, Normandy. The operation was deliberately named after Normandy Beach, circa June 6, 1944, when Allied Forces invaded Nazi-controlled Europe. What's wrong with this picture? It was the U.S., UK and the Allies who invaded at Normandy on D-Day, and the Nazis were the defenders against the invasion. That means the Minuteman gang has inadvertently (I hope) cast themselves in the role of the Nazis, with refugee children as the Allies. The Minuteman Project is even calling the date of the deployment "D-Day" -- in this case, May 1, 2015.
The only way they could make it worse for themselves is if Gilchrist insisted upon being nicknamed Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt.
Beyond the horrendous metaphor they've concocted, the mission plan is "to cover the porous areas of the 2,000-mile border from San Diego, Ca. to Brownsville, Texas." It's unclear how they intend to accomplish this miraculous feat with only 3,500 men -- or fewer, given how all of these ridiculous events end up with considerably lower attendance than anticipated. Let's say they're lucky enough to get a full 3,500 white guys playing military dress-'em-up. And let's say a full half of the border is "porous." They'd only be able to post around 3.5 men per mile. That susses out to be one hooplehead per section of border roughly the length of nearly six football fields. Talk about porous. But trust me, they won't get anywhere near 3,500 participants.
How long will this last, by the way? The website doesn't say. If it's only a day or a week, what happens after that? The website doesn't say anything about that either. It also doesn't mention anything about reinforcements to maintain a fresh supply of militia members to fight off the, you know, little girls.
And finally, I suppose we can rest assured knowing that this reenactment of Normandy will be lawfully conducted. The website notes in all-caps: "WHATEVER YOU DO, STAY WITHIN THE RULE OF LAW." Well, fine, in that case, all good. Seriously, what part of the law permits heavily armed civilians to militarily deploy along a 2,000 mile front with high-powered rifles (and lord knows what else) aimed at families and children? No one ever gave the Minuteman Project permission to augment the border patrol. Speaking of permission, do they intend to trespass on the private property owned by U.S. citizens who live on the border? Unknown.
If I had to wager on "Operation Normandy" (barf), I'd put my money on it never happening. Immigration is surely an important issue, but it's only receiving this kind of belligerent attention right now because Fox News shifted away from Benghazi into this overblown "invasion" news cycle. It's impossible to know what they'll be flailing about in May of next year. This sort of event will require plenty of coverage from the noise machine in order to supercharge the bigotry cortexes of the militia loyalists enough to motivate 3,500 of them to take time off work, pack up their guns, coolers and red Solo cups, and travel all the way to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California for I-don't-know-how-long. Something of this scale doesn't happen without media hype, and there's a fair chance "Operation Normandy" won't get it.
Anyway, yes, in their invasion scenario, they cast themselves in the role of the Nazis. That's all we need to know about the seriousness of the thing.