And with the virus came the conspiracy theories....

 
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And with the virus came the conspiracy theories....

The only thing moving faster than the virus is the various conspiracy theories.

Depending on the country and prevailing political ideology, different scapegoats for the corona crisis are currently being denounced around the world. In China, absurd conspiracies are propagating claims that the virus was developed by the United States/CIA for use as a bioweapon. Rumors are also being widely circulated in Russia and Iran that the coronavirus is a U.S.-made bioweapon. Across the Arab world, disinformation campaigns are peddling the idea that the pandemic is the product of a Jewish or Jewish-American conspiracy to decimate the world population. In Iraq, for example, conspiracy theorists are pushing the narrative that a rich Jewish family, the Rothschilds, is behind the global outbreak.

More from Iran:

Iran's supreme leader refused American assistance to fight the new coronavirus citing a conspiracy theory claiming it could be man-made by the United States government.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments came on Sunday as Iran faces crushing US sanctions blocking the country from selling its crude oil and accessing international financial markets.

Meanwhile, Veterans Today (no link for them, a paid arm of the Iranian Gov't purporting to be veterans news) is pushing a US working with Zionists conspiracy angle which melds both.

But for me, the really wild conspiracy theorists are always our homegrown ones, the type that still think the Jade Helm exercises are going to overthrow Texas each year.  For those that don't know of it, here is one iteration of the theory that failed to materialize:

Some conspiracy theorists have connected the Jade Helm 15 military exercise with an apocalypse caused by a comet or asteroid striking the Earth. The Jade Helm 15 military exercise had an ending date of September 15, 2015, which is the same month identified by some conspiracy theorists for the catastrophic impact of a comet or asteroid, based in part on a statement made May 13, 2014 by the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that the world has "500 days to avoid climate chaos". The conspiracy theorists claim that Jade Helm 15 is a dress rehearsal for the imposition of martial law which would be implemented in the event of a catastrophe of this level of severity. However, the NASA Near Earth Object Program publishes the Sentry Risk Table, which is a list that identifies such threats, and the list does not include any object with a high Torino Scale number (a measure of the severity of the threat) for 2015. Also, a NASA spokesperson said, "NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth". But some conspiracy theorists claim that the object has been tracked for years, the object name is known but its published coordinates and orbit information are incorrect, and the threat is not publicly listed because of the thought that panic would ensue. The apocalypse failed to happen on September 15, 2015.

And now of course, the President has activated the National Guard.  Sort of.  

As the number of coronavirus cases increases in the U.S., President Donald Trump Sunday night ordered National Guard troops in three states to operate under a status that allows them to be managed by state governors, but be paid by the federal government.

“We want to win this war with as few deaths as possible,” Trump said Sunday afternoon. “Today, I am announcing action to help New York, California, and Washington, to ensure that the National Guard can effectively respond. The National Guard, these are tremendous people. Fully on alert. It has been activated.”

The move will make it easier for states, already facing increasing costs as a result of the pandemic, to call in the National Guard if needed to help deal with the problems caused by COVID-19.

And then, right behind that, people started seeing vehicles moving by rail.

It’s not a sign of pending martial law, folks.

Army vehicles moving by rail across the country is a normal part of training operations and equipment deliveries, but in times of national crises, the hyper-aware American public notices those movements more often and sometimes speculates as to its purpose.

Twitter post shared Friday of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles moving by rail through a Chicago suburb garnered 2,000 retweets and more than 4,000 likes. The post said the vehicles were heading further east and asked if they were “coming soon?”

It was one of a number of Tweets showing military equipment on the move around the country.

And it was preceded by an email hoax:

By the time the urgent text message warning that the U.S. military was about to deploy soldiers across the country to enforce a nationwide quarantine landed on Pamela Chelin’s phone this week, it had already made its way to an untold number of people.

A friend had sent her the foreboding note, which claimed to be from someone who spoke to “a source that works for Homeland Security.” The friend, in turn, had received it from another friend, who he considered “reliable.”

The message and several others like it that have circulated widely over the past week created a potent rumor mill and stirred up fear among recipients with dire warnings of martial law being imminently imposed by President Trump and similarly extreme scenarios, in which soldiers would be ordered to keep people in their homes.

The fake missives spread to enough people that government officials felt they needed to knock them down with statements assuring the public they were untrue.

“There is no national lockdown,” the White House’s National Security Council tweeted on Sunday, telling people to consult the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for accurate information.

Everything is already scary enough without adding these theories to the mix.  
 
Stay safe out there folks.
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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.