20 September 2003
“11 September was not an isolated event but a tragic prologue. Iraq; another act; and many further struggles will be set upon this stage before it is over. We are bound together as never before”
“[In] another part of the globe, there is shadow and darkness where not all the world is free, where many millions suffer under brutal dictatorship and poverty.”
“Here it is that the poison is incubated. Here it is that the extremist is able to confuse in the mind of a frighteningly large number of people, the case for a Palestinian state and the destruction of Israel; and to translate this into a battle between East and West; Muslim, Jew and Christian.”
“[W]e know there are states in the Middle East now actively funding and helping people who regard it as God’s will, in the act of suicide, to take as many innocent lives with them on their way to God’s judgement.” – Extracts from Tony Blair’s speech to the joint houses of the US government, July 2003.
Blair’s speech is a textbook example of the role of propaganda in trying to win the hearts and minds of a populace already shellshocked and brainwashed by generations of demonisation of the ‘aliens amongst us’. The theatrical turns of phrase, “Iraq; another act,” “the poison is incubated,” “further struggles will be set upon this stage before it is over,” are carefully designed to produce reflexes in a deeply religious US population. It’s not the kind of speech Blah would use in the UK with its largely secular population, other methods have to be employed but the objective is the same, to try and trigger deep-felt responses.
The phrase, ‘winning hearts and minds’ has its roots in the Vietnam War, where the phrase was first used as part of the battle to convince the US public that the US invasion and occupation of Vietnam was part of a wider war against the Communist ‘plot’ to take over the world. If Vietnam falls then it was only a question of time before the Reds would be on the Washington Beltway and then knocking down the doors of the White House.
The idea that Western ‘civilisation’ has been and is, under threat from some alien menace goes back to the very beginning of the 20th century if not to the days of slavery, and is deeply rooted in the racist ideology of the dominant Anglo-Saxon ruling elites of the US and the UK. It’s so deeply embedded in the fabric of society, that it has become a Pavlovian reflex – push the right button and it elicits a predictable response of fear and loathing in the populace, at least until quite recently it did.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West was faced with the very real problem of replacing a defeated enemy with a new one. But why the need for a new enemy if the raison d’etre for the most part of the 20th century’s struggle against Communism no longer existed?
The terrible irony of our current predicament is that although the old ‘enemy’ was no longer, the old ruling elites of the West are still in power along with their thinking and their objectives. Driven by the same economic imperative of ‘expand or die’, the ruling capitalist classes are as much a captive of their own mindsets as those they have to persuade to go along with them. And although the enemy has changed, the methods haven’t.
Winning the war against Communism, contrary to all our expectations (the ‘peace dividend’ etc) were not to be realised. Instead, the way was open for the West to conquer those parts of the world and its resources that had been denied to it. But in order to rationalise its reinvigorated imperialist objectives a new ‘enemy’ was needed.
And indeed, in much the same way that the ‘war on Communism’ had created the enemy, the Gulf War of 1990 created a new one. Had Saddam Hussein not invaded Kuwait, it would have been necessary to invent an enemy, whether in the Middle East or some other strategically important location.
One might argue, if it’s so obvious that we are being manipulated, how come we didn’t notice? Fear is a powerful weapon of control especially when used in the context of a population that has been brainwashed for generations that ‘out there’ is a hideous and inhuman enemy who, as Blair describes him is:
“[A] new and deadly virus…. The virus is terrorism…. Here it is that the poison is incubated.”
Note that the “here” is not identified, it’s merely ‘out there’ somewhere, invisible and insidious, incubating as it waits to pounce and infect us with its deadly disease, the disease of ‘terrorism’. Corny stuff indeed, straight out of some 50s sci-fi movie (‘The Blob’ comes to mind), and it would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that behind it is the world’s most powerful military force, loaded to the eyeballs with WMDs and every intention of using them wherever and whenever it feels its interests are threatened or need to be projected.
The buildup to 9/11 was as predictable as the development of the Cold War. Indeed, as Churchill said following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, “A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Communism.” Or, following the defeat of Fascism in 1945, Churchill made his “An Iron Curtain has descended across Europe” speech, again in the US at Fulton, Missouri.
With a powerful mass media that is totally complicit in the reality manipulation process, where any other view of reality is excluded and where necessary, derided (accusations of ‘conspiracy’ and so forth) or simply marginalised, is it any wonder that we live in a world of make believe? A world where ‘terror’ lurks, waiting…
But in order to persuade us that ‘our’ way of life is threatened, a suitably threatening enemy is needed. An enemy who is both invisible and alien and alien in the sense that they are neither Judeo-Christian or white and preferably ‘fanatical’ in their mission to destroy ‘Western civilisation’.
The historical parallels are there for all to see. Osama bin Laden, a creation of the Cold War is in the ‘grand tradition’ of evil aliens aka Fu Manchu or ‘slant-eyed gooks’, ‘the yellow peril’, the ‘hook-nosed Arab’ etc etc. Bin Laden, be-robed and turbaned, hiding out in his mountain lair, elusive and enigmatic, with his beatific smile, is every inch the Hollywood stereotype. Again, if he didn’t exist, it would be necessary for him to be invented, which in a way he was.
Thus was the stage set for 9/11 and is it any wonder that those of us who view with suspicion the actions of the imperialist elite, smelled a rat? After all, within days the framework for a police state was built on the funeral pyre of the Twin Towers and the groundwork laid for the biggest propaganda campaign in history and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the rollback of an entire nation’s civil rights.
A campaign to persuade us to jettison almost 100 years of the development of some kind rule of law between nations and to establish the idea that deadly force was the instrument of last resort rather than a knee-jerk imperialist reaction reminiscent of the days of a gangster capitalism that raped a continent and went on to rape a planet.
I think it’s pretty well established by now that the Bush administration had more than an inkling of the plan to crash a hijacked jet or two into something big and symbolic, the bigger the better. The facts leading up to 9/11 are so well documented and by so many different investigators, it’s yet another testimony to the collusion between the mass media and the state that it hasn’t been front page news every day since the September 11 2001.
Is it really so far-fetched? Consider the past history of the US power elite’s use of engineered threats to justify war and invasions, whether that of the Tonkin Gulf incident or even the ‘small potatoes’ of the ‘threat’ to US students that led to the invasion of Grenada. One can go back even further to the engineered provocation that led to the Spanish-American War and the colonisation of Cuba, or that of the invasion of Nicaragua by the US Marines, the list is long. The point is, aside from the scale of 9/11 it’s entirely in keeping with the history of US capitalism and the fact that it wasn’t directly engineered by the political elite, is neither here nor there, it doesn’t need to be.
“That’s some bad pilot,”
President Bush after being informed of the first jet striking the WTC.
“Donald Rumsfeld…had been in his Washington office engaged in his “usual intelligence briefing.” After being informed of the two attacks on the World Trade Center, he proceeded with his briefing until the third hijacked plane struck the Pentagon.”
“At 8:40 a.m. on 9/11, the F.A.A. notified NORAD that Flight No. 11 had been hijacked. Three minutes later, the F.A.A. notified NORAD that Flight No. 175 was also hijacked. By 9:02 a.m., both planes had crashed into the World Trade Center, but there had been no action by NORAD. Both agencies also knew there were two other hijacked planes in the air that had been violently diverted from their flight pattern. All other air traffic had been ordered grounded. NORAD operates out of Andrews Air Force Base, which is within sight of the Pentagon. Why didn’t NORAD scramble planes in time to intercept the two other hijacked jetliners headed for command-and-control centers in Washington?”
The salient features of the US government’s prior knowledge of 9/11 are as follows:
The innumerable warnings even down to the day and the location, received by various branches of the US government (and other governments including the German secret service the BND and from Vladimir Putin that were passed on to the US) that an attack was being planned and the fact that all the warnings were ignored.The online newswire online.ie reports on Sept. 14 that an Iranian man phoned U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the WTC in the week of Sept. 9. German police confirm the calls but state that the U.S. Secret Service would not reveal any further information.
When news of the hijackings were received, standard operating procedures that follow every hijacking that are enacted by the FAA were not initiated including the scrambling of USAF jet fighters until 2 hours after the first jet slammed into the WTC.
Bush’s strange behaviour after receiving notification of the hijackings.
The insider trading deals that went on in the days prior to 9/11 involving put options on the stock of the two airlines involved (United and American) in which millions of dollars were made and clearly based on the knowledge that the value of the stock in the two airlines would crash. In addition, put options on the stock of corporations with major investments in the two airlines were also placed including the bank AB Brown, a subsidiary of Deutschebank, and managed until 1998 by the current executive director of the CIA, A.B. ‘Buzzy’ Krongard.
The treatment of FBI operatives who complained that their prior warnings were ignored, including threats of prosecution if they continued with their complaints.
See also http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/02_11_02_lucy.html for a ‘timeline’ leading up to 9/11, although frankly some of it I find only remotely connected to the central issue — the need for a new enemy to replace the ‘Red Menace’ and power a reinvigorated US imperialism.
One of the key elements that I’ve not included in the list above, is whether or not 9/11 is connected to a pre-ordained plan to invade Afghanistan, and as with Rumsfeld’s comments on the day after 9/11 about Iraq’s alleged involvement, there is much circumstantial evidence pointing in the direction of the overthrow of the Taliban as already having been planned well in advance of 9/11 (see the link above).
There are moreover, other ominous signs of a more intimate connection right up until September 11 between Osama bin Laden and the CIA, including meetings in Afghanistan, Dubai, Oman and Saudi Arabia. Be that as it may, they are incidental insofar as the basic issue is that the government’s handling of 9/11 and especially of how it manipulated the ‘investigation’ of 9/11 and the events that led up to it, all point to the fact that whether or not the US government was directly implicated in the plot, it set the scene for the creation of the new ‘enemy’ of Western civilisation that has not only been the pretext for invasions and the increasing militarisation of US society, it has been used to ‘save’ US capitalism from what would have probably been a major financial crash comparable to that of 1929.
But as the crisis of capital gets deeper, the ruling class gets ever more desperate and corrupt (the Enrons et al), it’s methods get ever more extreme. It can be argued that we are reaching a watershed or some kind of ‘hysterical pinnacle of desperation’ on the part of the ruling political class’s mad desire to cling to power no matter what, of which 9/11, Iraq and the insane and irrational ‘war on terror’ are but the first expressions. It also explains the apocalyptic and messianic nature of the Blahs of this world and the language of Armageddon used in order to justify the slide into barbarism.