by Jacob G. Hornberger
If there’s a bright side to the national security state’s assassination of one of its citizens, it’s this: At least the statists are not saying that the dead man, Anwar al-Awlaki, hated America for its freedom and values. Most every statist is acknowledging that Awlaki’s anger toward the United States was driven by his hatred for what the U.S. Empire has been doing to people in the Middle East.
After all, don’t forget that immediately after the 9/11 attacks, statists, led by President George W. Bush, declared that the terrorists were motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values.
Libertarians, on the other hand, said that the statist position was nonsense — that such a position was simply a way to avoid confronting the bad things that the Empire had been doing to people in the Middle East for years. Arabs and Muslims were angry, we pointed out, because of U.S. foreign policy in that part of the world.
Statists were outraged over the libertarian position. “You’re blaming America!” they exclaimed, given that in their minds the federal government is America. To the American statist, it was simply inconceivable that the U.S. government had been doing bad things people in the world. Thus, they believed that it was unpatriotic, perhaps even heretical, for libertarians to suggest otherwise.
Recall the famous debate exchange over U.S. foreign policy four years ago between Ron Paul and Rudy Guliani. Paul suggested that the reason that people came over here to kill us was because the U.S. government was over there killing them. Guliani went ballistic, refusing to believe that the federal government could possibly have done bad things to people.
Needless to say, there are still countless statists who take the “My government, never wrong in foreign affairs” position and the “the terrorists just hate us for our freedom and values” position, but I think most thinking people have come to the realization that the libertarians have been right all along.
Consider the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Pakistan, specifically matters relating to the Haqqani Network, a group in Pakistan that is violently resisting the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. The U.S. Empire is upset at the Pakistani government for not attacking and killing the Haqqani and for possibly even supporting them.
Now, think about that for a moment. The U.S. government wants the Pakistani government to kill its own people, just as the U.S. government is now killing its own people.
And for what?
For empire. So that the U.S. Empire can fortify its hold and control over that part of the world.
Indeed, why the billions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid into the coffers of foreign dictatorships, such as Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and others?
Why the torture partnerships with dictatorships such as Libya, Egypt, and Syria?
Why are troops killing and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq?
All of this death and destruction is not about the freedom and well-being of the American people or anyone else. It’s all about the authority of the U.S. Empire to police the world and embargo, sanction, invade, and occupy recalcitrant nations and torture, humiliate, and kill people who resist such imperial actions.
That’s why Awlaki was killed. That’s why the Pakistani government is expected to kill its own people. That’s what U.S. troops are killing and dying for. That’s why people in Iraq and Afghanistan are being killed and maimed. That’s why their countries are being destroyed.
It’s all about the “right” of the U.S. Empire to expand and solidify its control and domination around the world. Those who resist the Empire are considered bad people and if they resist the Empire with violence, they are considered terrorists and need to be killed.
After all, let’s not forget: American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, which was originally the purported justification for the “war on terrorism.” At worst, he was charged with conspiring to resist with violence the U.S. government’s imperial actions overseas. That’s why the Empire took him out.
It all goes to show what empire has done to our nation and to the American people. After all, don’t forget that it wasn’t too long ago that the U.S. government was supporting the Haqqanis, Osama bin Laden, and the Pakistani government, all of whom were resisting the Soviet Empire’s occupation of Afghanistan. During that time, the Haqqanis, bin Laden, and the Pakistani government were considered the good guys and the occupiers the bad guys.
It’s all one great big, giant, screwy, immoral mess. And it’s all because America abandoned its founding principles of a limited-government, constitutional republic in favor of empire, interventionism, and militarism. The American people need to stop and reflect upon what the abandonment of our founding principles have wrought to our nation. What better time than now, when the U.S. Empire has now expanded its killing to encompass the American people?
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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