President Obama and Republicans Hold Double Standard on Syria and the War on Terror

Should President Obama arrest himself (and John McCain) for supporting Al-Qaeda and its associated forces? The president, as well as war-mongers in Congress, have claimed the authority to “indefinitely detain” American citizens who support Al-Qaeda or associated forces whether they are in a foreign country or living here in the United States. 

The Authorization for Use of Military Force bill (passed in the days after 9/11), as well as the more recent National Defense Authorization Act gives the President the authority to kill anyone he deems a “terrorist.” Both parties in Congress as well as both the Bush and Obama Administrations have supported this legislation. Now President Obama has admitted (in a “leaked” secret memo) to supporting Islamist fighters in Libya and Syria who have connections to, or are in fact members of, Al-Qaeda. So, by the administration’s own logic, Obama is now a “terrorist” who could be subjected to indefinite detention, torture, or even killing.

The complete absurdity of the modern state is on full display in Washington these days, as Obama brings to life George Orwell’s 1984. A plot device in the famous novel involves the protagonist’s nation, Oceania, switching sides in the perpetual world war. Propaganda experts tell the citizens that they have always been at war with their former ally and everyone believes it and goes on about their business. The same thing seems to be happening in the U.S. with regard to Al-Qaeda. Despite the fact that administrations of both parties have insisted that American citizens give up their most basic liberties in order to fight this dastardly terrorist organization, Obama is now supporting them with money, weapons, and communications gear in order to overthrow the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad. Interestingly, despite the supposed antipathy between the president and congressional Republicans, GOP leaders -- such as Senator John McCain -- are not only not criticizing this move, but are in fact calling for more strenuous support for the Islamist rebels.

This begs the question: Should Obama detain himself? If he is in fact giving “material aid and comfort” to terrorists he seems to be a prime target for one of his own drones. The U.S. government is certainly doing more to support the military aims of Al-Qaeda and its associated forces than Anwar Al-Alaki, the American citizen murdered by a drone strike in Yemen, ever did. The U.S., along with its allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are supplying Islamist fighters in Syria with a base of operations, weapons, and communications gear. All Al-Alaki was ever even accused of was publishing a magazine.

The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars, and spilled the blood of millions of American soldiers and innocent civilians, fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it is spending more borrowed money funding Al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria. When are the American people going to wake up and realize they are being lied to? The “War on Terror” is a hoax designed to allow the federal government to accumulate more power and strip Americans of the last vestiges of the Bill of Rights. 

The fascist system now in place in Washington holds sham elections between two parties who are both determined to increase the size and power of the state until there is nothing left of civil society. These latest foreign policy gyrations are nothing more than the desperate attempts of a falling empire to hold onto power. If the people of the U.S. (and the rest of the world) do not come to their senses and abandon the failed system of nation-states and perpetual war, the human race has nothing to look forward to but a mushroom cloud and extinction.

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Jed Chancey

Jed Chancey is an economics student, writer, and cook from Louisiana.

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