The Definition of Orwellian: Launching Wars Against "Future Enemies"

Debra Sweet | October 1, 2014

“There's no force too reactionary, backward, or depraved for the U.S. to ally with when it suits its interests.”

This seems like a good time to sort out what's true in the public discourse over Iraq and Syria, and what's not. The United States, apparently with at this point some significant level of public support, is embarking on an extremely dangerous and provocative war, possibly with the help of allies in NATO, and certainly with an alliance of countries targeted by protesters during the Arab Spring.

It isn't possible to spend too much time understanding the dynamics, in order to better challenge the lies, and lead people to stand up for the interests of humanity. Which, as we've noted many times, do not equal the interests of any particular government in power in the United States.

First, what has the U.S. done in the Middle East lately?

In World's Number One War Criminal Declares He's Ready to Lead, Larry Everest reviews Obama's speech at the United Nations, pointing out that the U.S. already leads in “aggression, extremism, and environmental devastation.” Obama accused other nations of being the problem this nation is obligated to confront, while lecturing on non-violence. Everest writes:

There's no force too reactionary, backward, or depraved for the U.S. to ally with when it suits its interests. In the 1980s, it armed and funded Osama bin Laden and other reactionary jihadists in Afghanistan. Since the 1940s, the U.S. has backed Saudi Arabia's fundamentalist monarchs, who routinely carry out public executions including beheadings. Now the U.S. is considering dealing with the blood-drenched mullahs ruling Iran. It declares whatever collection of gangsters it has pulled together as representing the “Free World.”

Thanks, again, to Mr. Fish for his perspective:

Stink Tank by Mr. Fish

Stink Tank by Mr. Fish

Then there is the matter of the Islamic State forces, and what the U.S. is doing in attempting to stop them. Dennis Loo says “what is being done in our name as Americans by the US government is a towering crime,” in Bombing ISIS to Destroy It is Like Drowning a Fire With Gasoline:

What Obama is doing in ordering relentless airstrikes in Syria and Iraq is fueling ISIS, not damaging it... The desperate measures being undertaken by Obama et al are generating a deeply unstable, profoundly unjust, exceedingly dangerous, and capriciously unpredictable world. They are desperate because the crucial Middle Eastern region is threatening to get out of their imperialist control, something that the Empire cannot allow if it is to continue to be the Empire. The Bush Regime invaded in order that the US could dictate the terms and bar any rivals from emerging. It has not worked out according to their plans.

The bombing announcement on September 22 was accompanied by allegations that a previously unknown group was threatening the U.S.  In The Fake Terror Threat Used to Justify Bombing Syria, Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain have challenged the Obama administration's claim that the "Khorasan Group" was a threat to the U.S., and even that it ever existed:

There are serious questions about whether the Khorasan Group even exists in any meaningful or identifiable manner.

What happened here is all-too-familiar. The Obama administration needed propagandistic and legal rationale for bombing yet another predominantly Muslim country. While emotions over the ISIS beheading videos were high, they were not enough to sustain a lengthy new war.

So after spending weeks promoting ISIS as Worse Than Al Qaeda™, they unveiled a new, never-before-heard-of group that was Worse Than ISIS™. Overnight, as the first bombs on Syria fell, the endlessly helpful U.S. media mindlessly circulated the script they were given: this new group was composed of “hardened terrorists,” posed an “imminent” threat to the U.S. homeland, was in the “final stages” of plots to take down U.S. civilian aircraft, and could “launch more-coordinated and larger attacks on the West in the style of the 9/11 attacks from 2001.”

Hussain said on Democracy Now September 29:

The Khorasan group itself, which we had been hearing about in the media was a new enemy and was a definable threat against the United States, did not really exist per se; it was simply a group of people whom the U.S. designated within a Syrian opposition faction as being ready to be struck.

We saw an interesting piece in a letter to the editor to the Daily Mail in the U.K. which may have been drawn from the words of Richard Jones, a British blogger:

Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East? Let me explain.  We support the Iraqi government in the fight against the Islamic State.  We don't like IS, but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia, who we do like.  We don't like President Assad in Syria.  We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him.  We don't like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government against IS.  So some of our friends support our enemies, and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are righting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don't want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.  If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less.  And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren't actually there until we went in to drive them out.  Do you understand now?

Yes, we understand this is an utterly illegitimate, unjust, immoral war that is based on lies and that it's our responsibility to get out the truth.

Debra Sweet is the Director of World Can't Wait. Sign up for her enewsletters here.


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.