Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"For Ten Years, We've Lied to Ourselves..."

For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question


Robert Fisk:

Saturday, 3 September 2011


By their books, ye shall know them.


I'm talking about the volumes, the libraries - nay, the

very halls of literature - which the international crimes

against humanity of 11 September 2001 have spawned. Many

are spavined with pseudo-patriotism and self-regard,

others rotten with the hopeless mythology of CIA/Mossad

culprits, a few (from the Muslim world, alas) even

referring to the killers as "boys", almost all avoiding

the one thing which any cop looks for after a street

crime: the motive.


Why so, I ask myself, after 10 years of war, hundreds of

thousands of innocent deaths, lies and hypocrisy and

betrayal and sadistic torture by the Americans - our MI5

chaps just heard, understood, maybe looked, of course no

touchy-touchy nonsense - and the Taliban? Have we managed

to silence ourselves as well as the world with our own

fears? Are we still not able to say those three sentences:

The 19 murderers of 9/11 claimed they were Muslims. They

came from a place called the Middle East. Is there a

problem out there?


American publishers first went to war in 2001 with massive

photo-memorial volumes. Their titles spoke for themselves:

Above Hallowed Ground, So Others Might Live, Strong of

Heart, What We Saw, The Final Frontier, A Fury for God,

The Shadow of Swords... Seeing this stuff piled on

newsstands across America, who could doubt that the US was

going to go to war? And long before the 2003 invasion of

Iraq, another pile of tomes arrived to justify the war

after the war. Most prominent among them was ex-CIA spook

Kenneth Pollack's The Threatening Storm - and didn't we

all remember Churchill's The Gathering Storm? - which,

needless to say, compared the forthcoming battle against

Saddam with the crisis faced by Britain and France in 1938.


There were two themes to this work by Pollack - "one of

the world's leading experts on Iraq," the blurb told

readers, among whom was Fareed Zakaria ("one of the most

important books on American foreign policy in years," he

drivelled) - the first of which was a detailed account of

Saddam's weapons of mass destruction; none of which, as we

know, actually existed. The second theme was the

opportunity to sever the "linkage" between "the Iraq issue

and the Arab-Israeli conflict".


The Palestinians, deprived of the support of powerful

Iraq, went the narrative, would be further weakened in

their struggle against Israeli occupation. Pollack

referred to the Palestinians' "vicious terrorist campaign"

- but without any criticism of Israel. He wrote of "weekly

terrorist attacks followed by Israeli responses (sic)",

the standard Israeli version of events. America's bias

towards Israel was no more than an Arab "belief". Well, at

least the egregious Pollack had worked out, in however

slovenly a fashion, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

had something to do with 9/11, even if Saddam had not.


In the years since, of course, we've been deluged with a

rich literature of post-9/11 trauma, from the eloquent The

Looming Tower of Lawrence Wright to the Scholars for 9/11

Truth, whose supporters have told us that the plane

wreckage outside the Pentagon was dropped by a C-130, that

the jets that hit the World Trade Centre were remotely

guided, that United 93 was shot down by a US missile, etc.

Given the secretive, obtuse and sometimes dishonest

account presented by the White House - not to mention the

initial hoodwinking of the official 9/11 commission staff

- I am not surprised that millions of Americans believe

some of this, let alone the biggest government lie: that

Saddam was behind 9/11. Leon Panetta, the CIA's newly

appointed autocrat, repeated this same lie in Baghdad only

this year.


There have been movies, too. Flight 93 re-imagined what

may (or may not) have happened aboard the plane which fell

into a Pennsylvania wood. Another told a highly

romanticised story, in which the New York authorities

oddly managed to prevent almost all filming on the actual

streets of the city. And now we're being deluged with TV

specials, all of which have accepted the lie that 9/11 did

actually change the world - it was the Bush/Blair

repetition of this dangerous notion that allowed their

thugs to indulge in murderous invasions and torture -

without for a moment asking why the press and television

went along with the idea. So far, not one of these

programmes has mentioned the word "Israel" - and Brian

Lapping's Thursday night ITV offering mentioned "Iraq"

once, without explaining the degree to which 11 September

2001 provided the excuse for this 2003 war crime. How many

died on 9/11? Almost 3,000. How many died in the Iraq war?

Who cares?


Publication of the official 9/11 report - in 2004, but

read the new edition of 2011 - is indeed worth study, if

only for the realities it does present, although its

opening sentences read more like those of a novel than of

a government inquiry. "Tuesday ... dawned temperate and

nearly cloudless in the eastern United States... For those

heading to an airport, weather conditions could not have

been better for a safe and pleasant journey. Among the

travellers were Mohamed Atta..." Were these guys, I ask

myself, interns at Time magazine?


But I'm drawn to Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan whose The

Eleventh Day confronts what the West refused to face in

the years that followed 9/11. "All the evidence ...

indicates that Palestine was the factor that united the

conspirators - at every level," they write. One of the

organisers of the attack believed it would make Americans

concentrate on "the atrocities that America is committing

by supporting Israel". Palestine, the authors state, "was

certainly the principal political grievance ... driving

the young Arabs (who had lived) in Hamburg".


The motivation for the attacks was "ducked" even by the

official 9/11 report, say the authors. The commissioners

had disagreed on this "issue" - cliche code word for

"problem" - and its two most senior officials, Thomas Kean

and Lee Hamilton, were later to explain: "This was

sensitive ground ...Commissioners who argued that

al-Qa'ida was motivated by a religious ideology - and not

by opposition to American policies - rejected mentioning

the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... In their view, listing

US support for Israel as a root cause of al-Qa'ida's

opposition to the United States indicated that the United

States should reassess that policy." And there you have it.


So what happened? The commissioners, Summers and Swan

state, "settled on vague language that circumvented the

issue of motive". There's a hint in the official report -

but only in a footnote which, of course, few read. In

other words, we still haven't told the truth about the

crime which - we are supposed to believe - "changed the

world for ever". Mind you, after watching Obama on his

knees before Netanyahu last May, I'm really not surprised.


When the Israeli Prime Minister gets even the US Congress

to grovel to him, the American people are not going to be

told the answer to the most important and "sensitive"

question of 9/11: why?



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