9/11: Lingering Questions and Implausible Assumptions
9/11: Lingering Questions and Implausible Assumptions
I contend that the victims of 9/11 were innocents and those responsible for the attacks must be identified and tried in open court rather than by secretive military tribunals tainted by legalized torture. Since Western governments refuse to acknowledge the possibility that their past behaviour may have contributed to the proliferation of blowback terrorism; some context is required to explain the hazards of this obtuse stance.
The deeper significance of 9/11 is the fact that it marked the first time that North Americans have suffered the kind of extreme mass violence common in much of the developing world. Images of that violence; such as Gulf War One; have been consistently supressed by compliant media quite willing to support military public relations strategy. It is now accepted that graphic television coverage of warfare creates problematic public resistance. While we read every detail of our own military casualties; we’ve rarely learned the identities of dead Afghans or Iraqis. The civilian victims of Western military action in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere remain conveniently anonymous. Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once said that Iraqi civilian casualties were,”…not a matter of concern to him.”
While I may be condemned for stating it; the horrific violence of 911 was minor compared to the U.S. Air Force’s destruction of Laos during the early 1970s; the 1960s U.S. – backed genocide of Indonesian communists and Israel’s U.S.-backed 1981-82 Lebanon invasion. As Noam Chomsky said, the dead and maimed victims of these atrocities have, “…gone down the rabbit hole of history.” since their fate served our ends. Considering that information on the negative aspects of Western foreign policy is excluded from the formal education system; widespread public acceptance of official history is not surprising.
Though 9/11 was a horrific shock, our official reaction was dangerously jingoistic and almost guaranteed to inspire more violence. While our massive military response was predictable and politically-expedient; a more measured response was both preferable and even made possible by the Taliban’s under-reported willingness to negotiate on Bin Laden’s presence in Afghanistan. Their conciliatory stance was stubbornly ignored by a Bush regime eager to teach the world a hard lesson about defiance. Of course, the Taliban’s conciliatory posture likely derived more from their dread of the oncoming cataclysm than empathy for the United States.
Now, fifteen years of the so-called “War on Terror” have cost hundreds of thousands of lives, reduced everyone’s freedom and benefited only intelligence agencies, security consultants, and military contractors, arms dealers and extremists of every types. Iraq and Afghanistan are now worse off than before because emancipation was never the true motive behind the invasion and occupation of these states.
The evidence behind the 911 atrocity’s official explanation remains vague and contradictory but largely unchallenged by the corporate media. According to the Obama administration, the recent release of 28 highly-censored pages of a 911 Joint Inquiry document “provides no evidence of Saudi Arabian complicity” in the attacks. While U.S. intelligence agencies and the 911 Commission claim insufficient evidence exists to establish a Saudi connection; questions linger because security justifications prevent examination the 911 Commission’s investigative methodology.
Compounding the confusion are conflicting scientific opinions over the causes of high-rise collapse and serious questions about aeronautics in the Pentagon attack and Air Force response times in the Twin Towers’ destruction. As well, there was the suspiciously lengthy delay by the Bush administration in even creating the 911 Commission. Perhaps their urgent desire to invade Afghanistan and Iraq slowed them down.
There must be a deeper reason behind so-called Islamic terrorism than simply a mindless hatred of Western decadence that suddenly erupted without cause or context beyond the popular nonsense that, “they hate us for our freedom…” There is some recent evidence to indicate that the Muslim world does not hate the U.S. for cultural reasons but instead deeply resents U.S. interference in issue like the endless Palestinian/Israeli conflict. According to a 2007 University of Maryland survey by political scientists Peter Furia and Russell Lucas, “[they found]…no evidence that ordinary Arabs resent countries for what they are, and considerable evidence that they resent them for what they do.” (Basham, 2008 in Ottawa Citizen, July 31, 2008).
The West, and the U.S. in particular; has created deep animosity through decades of overt and covert military interventions and ugly regime changes undertaken mainly to maintain global economic hegemony with little regard for the working people of subordinate nations. Prior to the NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2002, the U.S. government did not consider it problematic that no serious evidence existed linking Osama bin Laden to al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan so the bombing campaign proceeded with murderous fury.
The following account of FBI thinking on the matter is revealing. In a June 6, 2002 Washington Post story written by Walter Pincus fully eight months after the 9/11 attacks, FBI chief Robert Mueller stated that “…[the idea] may have been hatched in Afghanistan, but it was probably implemented in the Gulf Emirates and in Germany.” The fact that the head of the FBI feels free to make a casual statement like this while Afghanistan was being heavily bombed speaks volume about the arrogant indifference of power.
It is worth remembering amid the tiresome chorus of anti-Muslim rhetoric that the U.S. government cynically empowered the brutal Afghan Mujahedeen back in the late 1970’s when their aid was required against the Soviets. Afghan society has never recovered from that empowerment and now we are still supposedly saving that nation from itself. Prior to the resurrection of fundamentalist Islam during that time, Afghanistan was making real progress on human rights and democratization. While the U.S. and British governments’ arming and subsequent abandonment of the Afghan mujahedeen created the conditions for the proliferation of Islamic extremism; such an acknowledgement have been removed from public examination by co-opted academics and corporate journalists eager to disseminate a mythology of service to power.
Declaring war on an idea is a purely totalitarian device designed to instill permanent fear in the public consciousness and discourage dissent through surveillance, mutual suspicion and oppressive legislation. According to Marjane Satrapi, author of The Complete Persepolis, “When we're afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us.” It has been often-stated that those who would trade their freedom for security lack a true appreciation of liberty and thus are poorly qualified to defend it.
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Response to 2015: 9/11 letter in Toronto Star from Jonathan D. Halevi:
Photo: screenshot from Toronto Star (Pressreader.com)
“9/11 is not a black and white issue”: Toronto Star
Posted by: Jonathan D. Halevi September 15, 2015
The Canadian left-leaning and most distributed daily newspaper The Toronto Star published (September 15, 2015) two letters to the editor, challenging the American official account of Qaeda’s terrorist attack in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, which claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people.
The letters refer to Rosie DiManno’s article “Toll of Sept. 11 keeps climbing, year after year”, published by Th Star on September , 2015, and in which the author implied that in some Muslim countries the 9/11 attack was perceived as “ so audacious a terrorist attack, a brilliant attack for the nation’s enemies” and that “it was cheered in pockets: From the rooftops of Ramallah in Palestine to the wilderness tribal territories of Pakistan.”
DiManno also slammed those who put the blame for the 9/11 attack on the US’s foreign policy that allegedly triggered the eruption of outrage against the American people. “Just as the attack has been massaged, turned on its head, re-invented by apologists and that constituency which has always claimed –—from that very day, Sept. 11, 2001 —that the U.S. had it coming, that the U.S. foreign policy had incubated the rage behind this assault, that U.S. imperialism had bred al-Qaeda. And now, 14 years on, on university campuses around the country, students can take an English course called “The Literature of 9/11,” featuring the polemics of perspective on mass murder inflicted under the flag of radical Islam. Perhaps that’s the best of America too, that such a course is offered, despite profound loathing for its content.” DiManno wrote.
“Radical Islam is not the sole cause of terrorism”
Under the title “9/11 is not a black and white issue,” The Star published (September 15, 2015) two letters, penned by Bob Wong from Richmond Hill and Morgan Duchesney from Ottawa, to rebuttal Rosie DiManno’s premises.
Bob Wong argues that “radical Islam is not the sole cause of terrorism” and that DiManno’s “cavalier dismissal of U.S. foreign policy critics as apologists speaks to her myopic belief that exculpates American imperialism in the Middle East.”
“A violent response to this [American] behaviour was inevitable”
Morgan Duchesney opens his letter with the following statement: “I don’t think that 9/11 was a CIA inside job or a Zionist conspiracy. However the evidence behind the official explanation is still implausible.”
Duchesney accuses the US of implementing an imperialistic policy “over the developing world since 1945” and thus “creating enemies and bitter resentments through overt and covert military interventions and arrogant regime changes.”
He added: “What actually surprised me about 9/11 was that it took so long for the horror to occur… a violent response to this behaviour was inevitable.”
Duchesney is well known to The Star for his radical views. On May 13, 2013 Honest Reporting Canada (HRC) communicated its concerns to the Toronto Star about an anti-Semitic comment carried in a letter published to the Star’s website two days earlier. HRC reported that following the complaint, The Star removed the anti-Semitic commentary.