Just as the neocons had exaggerated the will and power of the
Soviet Union to impose tyranny upon the world, they also exaggerated the power
and extent of a network of terrorists attempting to impose their own tyranny on
the world. In reality the Soviet Union was on its last legs, collapsing from
within, and jihadists were, at the same time,
losing influence in the world. And yet, the idea of neocons was that it
was to be and should be "America's destiny to fight an epic battle against
the forces of evil." Vincent Cannistraro, Head of Counter-terrorism CIA
1988-90 in interview also agreed on this position.
This myth became a reality
in the minds of almost everyone on September 11, 2001 when the attack on the
World Trade Center made the pervasive al-Queda threat seem even more real in
the minds of Americans.
Curtis states that the actual "brainchild"
of the WTO attack was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [See Notes 3 and 4 Motive] who had gone to Osama in search of funds
for the project. Before the attack George W. Bush publicly indicated he did not
believe in going into other countries to force them to "live as we live."
But neocons, "in the wake
of the panic" of World Trade Center,
blamed the vast network of al-Queda for the crime".and Bush's
rhetoric publicly changed. After the
attack, he spoke of al-Queda, with the words "mafia as the terror and
al-Queda the crime"". the work of "thousands of terrorists in more than
60 countries," and that the vast
terror network recruited terrorists from all over the world, "brought to
camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of
Curtis says that this was
the event that brought the neoconservatives back to power in America. Where
Bush's administrators, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld had previously been
ignored during the 1990s, (especially during the Clinton years) they now were able to show evidence of their
predictions. These neocons had been working under the Reagan Administration 20
years before, and were now again appointed within the administration of George
Now Paul Wolfowitz, Donald
Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Richard Perle began to lay plans for the response to
the World Trade Center attack.
Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board
2001-2003 in interview said the same
struggle as they had against Soviet totalitarianism was the struggle they had
with a "War on Terrorists," good vs evil. Both Russia and al-Queda wanted to
impose an "intolerant tyranny upon all mankind" an Islamic universe in which
we are compelled to accept their universe.."
Thus began the
invasion of Afghanistan (See Notes 7 and 8). Americans allied with the Northern
Alliance, fighting the Taliban. The neocons imagined and publicized the idea that Osama lived and worked out of
fortress-like caves in the mountains of Afghanistan. These structures of many
stories had all the comforts of home; computer systems, dormitories, offices,
underground tunnels, and even places where large trucks could drive right
in. Wolfowitz publicly stated that "there
is not one of those, there are many of those." But no such elaborate
structures were ever found, either by the Americans or the British.
According to Curtis,
"The majority of these fighters had never had anything to do with bin-Laden
or international terrorism." They were simply an Islamic group that wanted
to impose Islamic governments in their own countries and were not part of an
al-Queda organization. (See notes 7 and 8.)
consisted mainly of fighters from other countries being trained in Afghanistan,
and, as foreigners, the Northern Alliance hated them, willingly took them
prisoners and turned them over to Americans "as al-Queda members" in
exchange for monetary reward. It did not matter to members of Northern Alliance
whether or not they truly were associated with a network called al-Queda, as
long as they were paid for turning them in.
Once in hands of Americans they were either killed or taken to
Says Curtis: "The
terrible truth is that there was nothing there [in the mountains of Tora Bora]
because al-Queda as an organization didn't exist. The attacks on America had
been planned by a small group that had come together around bin-Laden in the
late nineties"... united by the idea of an extreme interpretation of
Islamism developed by Zawahiri." In searching for an organization,
Americans were chasing a fantasy and missing the "real threat."
Jason Burke, (See
Note 1), interviewed said that there had been no organized group in
Afghanistan, no cells, etc., and that all that was really there was an idea
"prevalent among young, angry Muslim males throughout the Islamic world,"
and it is the idea which is the threat.
The neocons also
began looking for this fantasy network in America. Paul Wolfowitz, (U. S.
Deputy Secretary of Defense), stated
publicly that the networks existed in over 60 countries around the world,
including the United States and "we will do whatever it takes to dismantle
them." (See Note 6 on Wolfowitz
doctrines.) All branches of law and military were told to look for terrorists.
Many people were arrested, and George W announced publicly that they had "thwarted"
terrorists in "Buffalo,
Seattle, Portland, Detroit, North
Carolina, Tampa, Florida."
Professor of Law at Georgetown University said "they call them sleeper
cells, but when you look at the details the facts just don't support that, and
they have not proved that any group within the United States has plotted or
engaged in any terrorist activity within the United States." The Curtis video gives examples of a number
of flawed efforts to convict people based on flimsy, ridiculous evidence, and
flawed analyses, and activities that could not be classified as "terrorist,"
so that they made not one successful case to prosecute any of them as terrorist
Nevertheless, the fantasy of terror was expedient, both in
the U. S. and in Britain.
government also promoted the idea that there were terrorist cells waiting to
attack. And yet, "of 664 people arrested under the Terrorism Act since
September 11, 2001, none of them had been convicted of belonging to
al-Queda. Only 3 people have been
convicted of having any association with any Islamist groups, and none of them
were convicted of being involved with a terrorist cause, but only for
fund-raising and possessing Islamist literature. The majority of people
convicted under the Terrorism Act since September 11, 2001 were actually
members of Irish terrorist groups UBF or real IRA ". The video indicates
some ridiculous British arrests and charges that could never amount to
Curtis says that
while there are extreme Islamist theories that have inspired many violent
actions around the world, the bombings in Madrid as an example, "This is not
a new phenomena. What is new is the way Americans and other governments have
transformed this complex and disperate
threat into a simplistic fantasy of an organized web of uniquely powerful
terrorists who may strike anywhere at any moment. But no one questions the
fantasy because it served the interests of so many".." It even served the
interests of the terrorists themselves.
For example , take
Abu Zubaydah (See note 9) who, under intense and frequent interrogation and
severe torture, told interrogators of terrifying plots that al-Queda was
preparing -- "some of which were copied from Hollywood movies." Zubaydah gave a lot of details that he
thought would cause panic, such as plans to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge, mass
transit, the Statue of Liberty, apartment buildings, banks, etc., and how they
had a dreaded "dirty bomb" which could spread radiation throughout
cities and cause many people to die.
Neocons publicly announced they had information that al-Queda had plans
to do all these things, and the media also announced as if true that al-Queda
might launch dirty bombs in America. Such announcements served the purpose of
instilling fear in the public that tended to increase support for their war on
terror. None of these threats could ever be confirmed, and, in fact, the
testing of dirty bombs proved that, if such existed in hands of al-Queda, they
would be almost harmless.
used this panic and fear as they began a campaign against Iraq. George W announced fervently and publicly
that his administration had evidence from various sources and from people "now
in custody that
Saddam Hussain aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Queda."
Richard Perle in an
interview also adamantly insisted that there was good evidence that Saddam Hussain had assisted the 9/11 hijackers
and that there was also evidence of links between Saddam and al-Queda to aid them
in their activities.
The fantasy took
hold around the world and "transformed the very nature of politics" and gave
neoconservative politicians "a new and
heroic role in the world," as managers on the world stage to protect us from
The American and British
foreign policy-makers began to advise that there was no need for real evidence
of threats, but one must imagine the worse, (" a grand dark vision of
imagined threats"), and do whatever
necessary to prevent them. (See Note 10 on Permanent
War or the Permanent Preparation for Permanent War)
policy was based on the same "precautionary principle" which came about
as a consequence of the idea that we must prepare for the potential effects of
climate change, even though we had not yet proven there would be any real
threat to us. This principle in the
political area, however, led to many breaches of constitutional rights of due
process, for example, many arrests of people who had not committed any crimes,
but who police suspected were "potential" criminals or "sleeper cells." The
loss of the rights of due process was to become a sacrifice we should make
because of these threats to our nation. It led to imprisonment of foreign
nationals without trial, which is illegal under the European Convention.
many have come to believe that terrorists, such as al-Queda, do not actually
threaten the existence of our nations, as would be a Hitler, and that the
sacrifices being made to the political and social values we once believed in
are not justified. Because of politics of fear we have lost those values, and
now politicians give us nothing to believe in at all.
future in this context, see Notes 10 and 11.
Note 1 Jason Burke In 2003,
Burke wrote Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of
Terror, which was later updated and republished as Al-Qaeda: The
True Story of Radical Islam. Noam Chomsky
described it as the "best book there is" on Al-Qaeda. He
was interviewed in the 2004 BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares. In 2006, he
the Road to Kandahar: Travels through Conflict in the Islamic World.
Note 2 [According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Queda.
The Base "al-Queda is a global militant
Islamist and Wahhabist organization founded
bin Laden, Abdullah
Azzam,  and several other
militants, at some point between
August 1988 and late 1989, with its origins being traceable to the Soviet
war in Afghanistan. It operates as a
network comprising both a multinational, stateless army and a radical Wahhabi Muslim movement
calling for global jihad and a strict interpretation
of sharia law.It has been designated
as a terrorist
the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the
European Union, the United States, Russia, India and various other countries .
Al-Qaeda has carried out many attacks ". ." ]
Note 3 - Responsibility for the September 11 attacks
Next Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4