2014 August 30 Saturday
US Citizens Who Are Not Americans

We need to separate the legal from the actual. Jihadists with US citizenship are not Americans.

WASHINGTON American intelligence and law enforcement agencies have identified nearly a dozen Americans who have traveled to Syria to fight for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militant group that the Obama administration says poses the greatest threat to the United States since Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

What does it mean to be an American? If the term "American" is to have any meaning at all it can not include everybody. It can not include any person who wants to use US citizenship as a convenience who actually favors the abolition of American freedoms the fundamental attributes of Americans.

Jihadists are not Americans. Any US citizen who has their primary allegiance elsewhere (or even only to a group within US borders which rejects America) is not an American. The legal status does not make the person. The legal status is just a tool the person uses.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 August 30 09:50 AM 

Sgt. Joe Friday said at August 30, 2014 12:18 PM:

Randall, I believe you're referring to the U.S. Congressman from Illinois, "Lisping Louie" Gutierrez.

destructure said at August 30, 2014 11:10 PM:

By that standard, nearly a third of those residing within US borders aren't American. That's the argument I've made with birthers since the beginning. It doesn't matter where he was born. He's not an American.

Jim said at August 31, 2014 6:48 AM:

Basically any sense of common identity in the US is steadily withering away.

Ferguson said at August 31, 2014 9:23 AM:

Blacks, hispanics, asians and those stinking subcontinentals.

Ron Hines said at August 31, 2014 4:15 PM:

So what's the "common American identity" Jim talks about? I'd very much like to see a list of the things ALL true Americans share. Christianity or belief in God? Is it being white like Ferguson is insinuating? Cause he missed to include blacks there... Is it feminism and high divorce rate and lowsy family values? Is it the use of Ritalin? Is it truck owning and boot wearing down South? Submission to our wives? What?

destructure said at September 1, 2014 4:36 AM:

Ron is a perfect example of the adverse effect immigration has on identity. Not only does it bring others within the borders but it also erodes the identity of the existing population. As evidenced by his inability to identify what constitutes an American identity.

Randall Parker said at September 1, 2014 10:47 AM:


You are making an incorrect assumption about the Hines identity. Ron Hines (aka Pat Hines on another thread) wants you to believe something about his frame of reference that is really quite different from his real frame of reference.

I've become so aware of poseurs that I immediately became suspicious that he's actually a familiar presence.

Mike Street Station said at September 1, 2014 3:33 PM:

I argue at a political web forum and the issue of what is American culture came up (in reference to immigration). Most of the left leaning posters denied that there was any such thing as American culture. I thought about that and I bet 30 years ago that wouldn't be the case, but we have so few people invested in America now that we've cracked the fragile sense of "Americanism."

destructure said at September 1, 2014 6:25 PM:

"I've become so aware of poseurs..."

Thanks for the clue. That's the first thing I wonder when I read a comment. So I give people the benefit of the doubt with a great, big "?" beside it.

Ironically, "Ron Hines" has shown that the premise of your post is correct.

destructure said at September 1, 2014 6:34 PM:

...not that I think Ron Hines is necessarily American. Rather he's demonstrated that giving him a passport wouldn't make him one.

albatross said at September 2, 2014 7:22 AM:

I seem to recall a time, not that long ago, when lots of US congress critters and even the president were calling for the US to ally itself with the rebels and overthrow Assad. (It looked to me like the push to start bombing in Syria was narrowly averted due to public disapproval and opposition in Congress, but I'm not sure what other forces were in play below the surface.) There was quite a media blitz about how awful Assad was, as I recall. So my guess is that a lot of not-too-bright 18 year olds thinking with their balls decided to go off and fight against the evil dictator Assad, back when he was public enemy #1 and his enemies were the plucky freedom fighters we wanted to support, rather than the crazy jihadis we need to bomb. It seems quite likely that a lot of the guys who went off to fight Assad honestly thought they were fighting on the same side as the US, since that's exactly what the propaganda and the public statements of a bunch of our leaders said. My guess is that none or almost none of these guys had any desire to attack the US when they went off to fight Assad.

Now, I'm pretty sure I don't want a lot of them coming home after doing a PhD in Advanced Insurgency in Syria, either. You can imagine a lot of ways that might go really badly for us. But up until very recently, the message a low-information viewer would have taken from US media was that fighting Assad put you on the same side as the US, not in opposition to it.

As far as the alleged strategy goes, this has "retrocon" written all over it. Our not-so-elite elites have a hard time carrying off even relatively straightforward strategies like consistently rewarding allies and punishing enemies--they're not remotely up to some kind of triple-bankshot strategy like this.

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