"America had always been at war with Al Qaeda…"

Our alliances in the battle against ISIL are rather puzzling: we like the Kurds, and possibly Iran, and maybe even al-Nusra, but not Assad. The war has been quite the erratic ride: we  – if you can call the complex force against ISIL “we” – lost Tikrit, took back Tikrit, lost Ramadi, took back al-Baghdadi, lost Palmyra, and apparently just retook Tel Abyad. Is anyone else getting the frightening feeling that we are living through the “perpetual war” outlined in Orwell’s spine-chilling 1984? There are bizarre parallels between our fight against ISIL and the constant wars between the nations in Orwell’s disturbing classic. If one can remember, no real gains are made, or losses suffered, in the battles of 1984; the war simply continues on. And it certainly appears – despite daily and extensive coverage on war developments – that nothing has really… changed. We’ll silently cheer to ourselves after reading the latest story declaring that ISIL is “on the retreat,” but despair the next day upon seeing those black flags waving in yet another fallen city. What’s more, the groups we are aligned with seem ever-changing; the U.S. has found de facto allies in hitherto bitter adversaries. Both Iran and even the (former?) Al Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front, are fighting ISIL as well (recall: Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia). It would hardly be a shock if the U.S. cozies up to Bashar Assad as well. Pile onto this the fact that American civilians are largely detached from what’s going on; few have any idea what the fight against ISIL actually looks like. Oh, and it doesn’t help that we are reminded almost daily that the U.S. government (or the Party) can keep a close watch on us, if they’d like.

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