"The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis." - Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Laureate
Well, the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington has come and gone. The prideful media blitz celebrating America's heroic response to those attacks has had two weeks now to wind down, and so I think it safe to say that pretty much everything our mainstream media wanted to say about that response has been said and, by the same token, pretty much everything the vast majority of Americans wanted to see and hear has been seen and heard.
How much of what the public wants to see and hear is determined by what the media feeds them, and how much of what the media feeds them is determined by what the public wants to see and hear, is impossible to say. But one thing is clear. Over the past few weeks, the mainstream media presented to the American public a highly flattering cross section of America's response to 9/11 that the vast majority of Americans hold to as gospel.
Every year come September 11, it's the same story. Every year America celebrates with good reason and great pride the courageous and selfless spirit America had on display on that tragic day. Many risked their lives to save lives, and many lost their lives in that gallant effort. Thousands were saved that otherwise most certainly would have perished. It was America at its best -- a living testament to what is best in the human spirit. It was a day of enormous suffering, but also a day of almost magical transformation. America took what was very obviously a great evil, and, with nothing up its sleeve but fearless compassion, made from that great evil an even greater good.
However, there's much more to America's response to 9/11 than these yearly ceremonials would have us selectively remember. There wasn't so much as a single mention about how our government exploited the 9/11 tragedy to serve the economic and geopolitical entangled interests of the Bush White House in unholy alliance with America's corporate elite. Immediately following 9/11, the partnered pursuit of those interests changed dramatically, with America strategically repositioning itself on the world stage to better protect its energy and resource interests, as issues of future scarcity loomed large on the horizon. 9/11 provided the impetus and justification to move on plans for a strong occupying military presence in the Middle East that had been in the works for years.
Primarily, I'm talking about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These, too, were part of America's response to 9/11. Our government shamelessly used this tragic event, used the thousands of innocents who so tragically lost their lives on 9/11 at the hands of terrorists, as righteous retributive cover for its unleashing of a far greater terror than anything America faced on 9/11.
Shortly after the 9/11 terrorists attacks, then president Bush made the following statement: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." But what do you do when the terrorists are us?
The Unprovoked American Invasion of Afghanistan
How is it that there yet remains so many Americans who still believe that it was the 9/11 terrorist attacks that drove America to war in Afghanistan? One would think that by now it would be abundantly clear to anyone who has been paying attention that 9/11 was the long-awaited pretext for war, not its cause. But, alas, that's not the case. Where we come down on this largely depends on who it is that's been getting our attention. Anyone who relies on the mainstream media to keep themselves informed is misinformed. It's that simple.
For the past 10 years, the mainstream media has been intentionally blurring this very issue, presenting pretext as cause for a largely unsuspecting public. You can't make war without public support, and drumming up that support was the media's voluntary "patriotic" contribution to the war effort. This called for a systematic cover-up of the real economic and geopolitical strategic interests the war was serving.
The media did such a good job of this that most Americans still remain unaware that the decision to invade Afghanistan, widely accepted in the U.S. as a justified response to the 9/11 attacks, was actually made two months prior to those attacks. (and here). This is so outrageous that it bears repeating: the decision to invade Afghanistan, widely accepted in the U.S. as a justified response to the 9/11 attacks, was actually made two months prior to those attacks. In other words, in case you missed it, the rationale behind the decision to invade Afghanistan had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This premeditated, unprovoked war of aggression was already set to go long before that tragic day.
How do we know this? Well, let's take a quick look at the lead-up to this tale of horrors.
During Clinton's terms in office, UNOCAL, a now defunct oil company, was involved in negotiations with the Taliban regarding the construction of an oil-and-gas pipeline through Afghanistan. However, in 1999, UNOCAL had come to believe that Afghanistan under Taliban rule was too unstable for such a large investment and withdrew its bid. But with the (s)election of George W. Bush as president in 2000, it was decided that the Taliban would be given one last chance to provide the necessary stability that a lucrative pipeline deal required.
The terms of this deal were laid out at a meeting between U.S. and Taliban representatives in Berlin in July 2001. The stability the U.S. envisioned for Afghanistan required that the Taliban join forces with the U.S.-friendly Northern Alliance in a coalition government. The Taliban quite predictably refused. Any sovereign nation worth its salt would have done the same. Imagine the U.S. allowing a foreign nation to dictate the terms under which its government operates. Yet when the Taliban refused its offer, did the U.S. respectfully back off? No way. Instead, in mafia-like fashion, the offer was rephrased as an ultimatum: "Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs." In other words: "Run your country the way we say so we can have our oil pipeline, or the most powerful military this world has ever seen is going to destroy your country, topple your government, and hand the reins over to the Northern Alliance."
It was the kind of offer you just can't refuse. Yet, much to their credit, the Taliban did refuse. But their insolence was not without consequence. The Taliban was told at this meeting, a full two months before the 9/11 attacks, that "military action against Afghanistan would go ahead . . . before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest."
The Taliban stood their principled ground, and the U.S. kept its word. The invasion of Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001. The Taliban got their "carpet of bombs" and, not surprisingly, UNOCAL had a change of heart and the pipeline deal was again set to go forward. Within three days of the start of the invasion, the U.S. State Department notified the Pakistani Oil Ministry that "in view of recent geopolitical developments," UNOCAL was ready to go ahead with the pipeline project.