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Mike Pompeo is Selling Valor
Pompeo's latest pitch is perfect for people who are fully consumed by the star-spangled brain worms of violence.
This piece originally appeared on Discourse Blog, a collectively owned news and culture site which, like Foreign Exchanges, is a member of the Discontents media collective. Discourse Blog is offering Foreign Exchanges readers a special 25 percent discount off all annual subscriptions; click here to claim yours!
by Jack Crosbie of Discourse Blog
Many men, at some point in their lives, will be afflicted with a curious species of brain worms that causes them to want to be a soldier. This shared psychosis isn’t uniquely American or even particularly masculine, though it does seem to strike those two groups uniquely hard.
There are many levels of severity and symptoms of this sickness, ranging from playing with Nerf guns as a kid to spending over $60 on a new Call of Duty game every 12 months to getting extremely into military simulation airsoft to joining a white nationalist militia and role-playing a soldier with real weaponry on the weekends at social justice protests. Crucially, most of these symptoms allow people to feed the brain worms without actually becoming a soldier, becaus many people who do that are immediately cured of said worms when they realize that being in any proximity to war usually sucks a whole lot and is way less fun than airsoft.
Now, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is giving Americans another option to live out their dreams of being an Operator: simply donate to his political action committee that he is almost certainly using to prepare for a presidential campaign.
On its face this is all ridiculous. Donating money to a PAC is probably one of the least macho-Operator-warrior-spirit things a human being can do. It is the opposite of fighting, a meek little capitulation to a broken political system and an acknowledgement that the “freedom” you experience in this country is directly tied to the numbers in your bank account. But that is not what Mike Pompeo is selling, of course. Mike Pompeo is selling the opportunity to Become a Troop. Look at all this:
If you donate to CAV PAC, the Champion American Values PAC that is also the Cavalry, you will become a “pipehitter,” which is the slang term for a member of the U.S. Special Forces community. It’s a stupid term and the “pipe” jokes write themselves, but to people who are fully consumed by the star-spangled brain worms of violence, it’s a compelling pitch. To them, all Troops are macho Operator heroes, even the Space Force guys, but the SF “pipehitters” are the most macho, most Operator, most heroic you can get. That includes people like former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who now runs a nonprofit called the Pipehitter Foundation that provides legal defense funds for veterans if, say, they are accused of war crimes and murder like he was. If you donate to CAVPAC, you can become a member of this elite community!
Here’s what CAVPAC’s website says about its name:
Honoring the U.S. Army Cavalry that sounds the alarm and rides first into the battle, Mike Pompeo, as a Cavalry officer himself, asks you to join him in the battle to stand for conservative American values against the increasing onslaught of socialist ideology.
Just as a point of reference here, the “cavalry,” which today largely refers to armored units like tank battalions and such, is almost never the “first” to go into battle (that’s the SF guys, or the “pipehitters”). This is especially funny in context because while Mike Pompeo was indeed a cavalry officer, his service from 1986 to 1991 was almost entirely in Germany. He never deployed to Iraq in the first Gulf War and so has never seen combat of any kind, although someone did anonymously edit his Wikipedia page in 2016 to say that he did. The CIA later confirmed to a website called Splinter that Pompeo (then CIA director) didn’t fight in Iraq, though the assumption that he did stuck with him for a lot of political maneuvering.
But like many politicians who do a cursory tour in some kind of uniform, Pompeo is leaning into his proximity to America’s violent fantasies to sell you something. Click right here to become a pipehitter, no experience necessary — just patriotism and pride, and also a monthly recurring donation of an amount our website makes slightly unclear. Easy as that! And hey, from what I’ve read, it’s probably still cheaper than airsoft.