Sunday, October 2, 2011

President Eisenhower and Anwar al-Awlaki: The Death of the US Citizen

Anwar al-Awlaki, accused of terrorism, has recently been assassinated by the US government from a drone strike in Yemen. Unlike Osama bin Laden, al-Awlaki was a US citizen. Some say his annihilation was a blow to al-Qaeda, others say it was a blow to US democracy and civil rights. Obama has set a new standard for US presidents: The US president is now the judge, the jury and the executioner. But this is Obama, not Bush, so I guess I should feel better. Trials are tedious after all. We are safer now right? Ironically al-Awlaki became anti-American because he thought US foreign policy was terrorizing Muslims. This so-called war on terror has a way of keeping momentum on all sides.

I was contemplating what video clip I wanted to show. I thought a clip from Republican President Eisenhower's farewell speech would be appropriate. He warned of the abuse of power tied to the growth of the US military complex. This is no conspiracy theory. The only conspiracy is that more Americans have not seen or heard him say what he said. This is the same man that helped crush the US veterans protesting in front of the White House (1932) while Hoover was president, that fought the Germans in WWII, and set in motion the overthrowing of democracy in Iran (Operation Ajax: 1953). He was no peacenik and was not leery of using covert operations. Eisenhower's own legacy makes his parting words all the more eery.

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