Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Jacob G. Hornberger: The chaos of the “War on Terrorism” spreads to Syria

  It had to happen. It was always inevitable that the U.S. government’s much-vaunted “war on terrorism” would devolve into absolute chaos, especially by attracting authoritarian and totalitarian regimes into the “war on terrorism” maelstrom.

  Ever since President George W. Bush declared his much-ballyhooed “war on terrorism,” we have seen authoritarian and totalitarian regimes infringe on or destroy the civil liberties of their citizenry, citing the “war on terrorism” as their justification. Bashing down people’s doors in warrantless searches, arbitrary arrests, indefinite detention, torture, assassination. The war on terrorism has become a dictator’s best friend. Hey, if the U.S. government is doing it, why not every other regime in the world, including the dictatorial ones?

  And now we have the grand spectacle of Russia intervening in the Syria civil war, one of the deadly civil wars that the U.S. national-security state has incited as part of its many regime-change operations ever since its inception in the 1940s.

  What is Russia’s justification for establishing a military base and initiating bombing campaigns within Syria? You guessed it! The “war on terrorism”!

  Is it any wonder that President Obama and his cohorts are stymied and dumbfounded by Russia’s maneuver? What are they supposed to say — that Russia doesn’t have the authority to fight terrorism? That the U.S. government is the world’s sole international policeman that wields the power to ferret out and kill “terrorists”?

  Obama and his interventionist acolytes within the mainstream press are complaining that Russia isn’t bombing ISIS and other targets within Syria that the Pentagon is bombing. Instead, they lament, Russia is bombing targets that are seeking the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — targets that consist of rebels who the CIA has trained and supported, with the aim of ousting Assad from power.

  But wait a minute! Who says that the U.S. national-security establishment has a monopoly on determining who exactly a “terrorist” is or a monopoly on determining the best way to fight “terrorism”?

  In Syria, Russia maintains that people who are trying to violently oust the government from power are the terrorists while Obama, the Pentagon, and the CIA say that those people are “freedom fighters” (except for ISIS, who, they maintain, are actually terrorists even though they too are trying to oust Assad from power.)

  Yet, if we shift our attention over to, say, Egypt, which is governed by one of the most brutal and vicious military dictatorships in history, we see U.S. officials taking a different perspective. In Egypt, U.S. officials take the side of the military dictators by saying that the Egyptian citizens who are trying to oust the dictatorship from power are the “terrorists.”

  That’s, in fact, why U.S. officials continue to flood the Egyptian dictatorship with weaponry and armaments, to help it maintain its dictatorial hold on power, just as Russia is doing in Syria to help maintain the Syrian dictatorship’s hold on power.

  The fact is that President Obama and the U.S. national-security establishment lack any moral standing whatsoever to complain about Russia’s intervention into Syria.

  Obviously, Russia’s intervention into Syria magnifies the potential for conflict between Russia and the United States, a conflict that could easily spiral out of control. Is that a good thing for the American people? Clearly not! Getting into a war with a nuclear power is never a good idea. But that’s the direction in which the U.S. national-security establishment is heading our nation.

  Obviously, the sanctions that Obama imposed on Russia, with the aim of having Russian officials kowtow to the U.S. national-security state, have not succeeded in achieving their end. Indeed, arguably the sanctions incited Russia to intervene in Syria as a way to spite Obama and his sanctions system.

  What’s happening in Syria is just one more manifestation of what the national-security state and the philosophy of foreign empire and interventionism are doing to our country (and to the world). Not only are they leading our nation to bankruptcy, owing to the out-of-control federal spending and borrowing to fund all this destructive nonsense, they are also making the world ever more unsafe for the American people.

  Look at Iraq. Look at Afghanistan. Look at Yemen, where Saudi Arabian forces just bombed a wedding party, just as U.S. officials did repeatedly in Afghanistan. Look at Ukraine, where the U.S.-supported coup and NATO’s movement toward Russia’s borders incited the predictable Russian response in Crimea and Ukraine.

  Look at the massive refugee crisis in Europe. It is a direct consequence of the U.S. military death machine’s interventionist antics in Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan.

  Where are the Middle East paradises they promised with their interventions? Where are the free societies they promised would accompany their invasions and occupations? Where is the order and stability they assured us would result from the massive death and destruction they have wreaked in the Middle East and Afghanistan?

  Everywhere you look, the old Cold War era national-security state leaves nothing but death, destruction, suffering, impoverishment, enslavement, tyranny, and bankruptcy.

  How long are the American people going to permit this to go on? How bad do things have to get before Americans say: Enough is enough — it’s time to dismantle the old Cold War era Pentagon, CIA, NSA, military-industrial complex, and America’s foreign empire of military bases and restore the limited-government, constitutional republic that our American ancestors intended for our nation, which would finally bring us the freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony for which we all yearn?

  About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

  This article was published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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