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Lessons Not Learned

November 7, 2014

Now the United States is targeting new alleged terrorists at will: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29350271

According to this article, “the Khorasan Group” is a term the U. S. federal government has invented to identify its newest target in the Middle East, though it has been known for some time.  The federal government evidently did the same thing when it made a war on a group called the al-Quaeda.  My question is why does the government do this?  The first conclusions I draw are these:

1.  This is a separate military or social entity from known parties, and one the U. S. federal government considers a real group, but it cannot nail down one name for this group, either because it does not consider itself a separate entity (thus, not bothering to distinguish itself by a name) or because one name is not decided upon by itself or its nearby groups.  If that is the case, making the designation “Khorasan Group” is necessary and understandable–but the criteria of including groups of people or individuals in any such category is very subjective, especially since the U. S. is not working closely alongside many other nations with whom it has close, long (that is, trustworthy) ties.  Therefore, targeting this group at all is inadvisable without some serious evidence against it.  There may be that evidence.  We have no way to know what U. S. intelligence possesses… but given it was so erroneous in leading us into Iraq under the George H. W. Bush, Jr. administration, that does not put me at ease.

2.  This is a separate group the U. S. federal government for which cannot safely divulge the name.  If that is the case, I wonder why there would be an announcement at all, then.  This is not so plausible.

3.  The other possibility here is “the Khorasan Group” is an arbitrary term to denote any individual the U. S. federal government wants to eliminate once lumping him or her into a convenient designation.  I don’t put it past this administration; under leadership of Barack Obama, dubious language of a defense bill might have allowed for indefinite detention of American citizens, except for our own outcry against it.  The Obama administration, despite its leader’s undeserved Nobel peace prize, shows no moral or legal responsibility by using drone strikes to assassinate anyone it wishes, without any known attempt to bring them to an international court or employ any sort of due process.  It’s not unreasonable to conclude the U. S. federal government can simply be using the name “Khorasan” to eliminate whoever may pose a threat to U. S. interests, just as this country has done innumerable times to things like democratically elected governments since we usurped the sovereignty of Hawai’i (if not before).  It’s a bleak fact, but a true one.

Let’s assume inventing “the Khorasan Group” falls under the first category.  Fine.  There is still a problem with this policy: it perpetuates the obvious issue of wanton murder of foreign nationals without any due process, however deserving they may be of the reaction.  This is not how a republic functions.  This is how an empire functions, and this policy has not improved our security against terrorism.  I can’t say it any better than that.

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