Michel Chossudovsky is a noted academic, author, activist and relentless researcher concentrating on America's imperial crusade to control planet earth for its markets, resources and cheap exploitable labor. He's a Canadian economist by profession having taught at the University of Ottawa as well as at academic institutions in Western Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia. In addition, he's been an economic adviser to developing countries' governments and a consultant for many international organizations, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, International Labour Organization (ILO), and World Health Organization (WHO). He's also the editor of the Centre for Research on Globalization and its web site, Global Research.ca.
"America's War on Terrorism" - An Overview
Chossudovsky's book is a greatly expanded version of his 2002 book titled, "War and Globalization: The Truth behind September 11." The current newly titled 2005 edition (post-9/11 and the 2003 Iraq invasion and occupation) includes 12 new chapters with those in the original edition updated. The author states the book's purpose is "to refute the official narrative and reveal - using detailed evidence and documentation (not speculation based on opinion alone)" - the true nature of America's "war on terrorism," that's as relevant now as when the book was first published.
Chossudovsky calls it a complete fabrication "based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden (from a cave in Afghanistan and hospital bed in Pakistan) outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus." He calls it, instead, what, in fact, it is - a pretext for permanent "New World Order" wars of conquest serving the interests of Wall Street and the financial community, the US military-industrial complex, Big Oil, and all other corporate interests profiting hugely from a massive scheme harming the public interest, in the name of protecting it, and potentially all humanity unless it's stopped in time.
On the morning of 9/11, the Bush administration didn't miss a beat telling the world Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center (WTC) and Pentagon meaning Osama bin Laden was the main culprit - case closed without even the benefit of a forensic and intelligence analysis piecing together all potential helpful information. There was no need to because, as Chossudovsky explained, "That same (9/11) evening at 9:30 pm, a 'War Cabinet' was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. At 11:00PM, at the end of that historic (White House) meeting, the 'War on Terrorism' was officially launched," and the rest is history.
Chossudovsky continued "The decision was announced (straightaway) to wage war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in retribution for the 9/11 attacks" with news headlines the next day asserting, with certainty, "state sponsorship" responsibility for the attacks connected to them. The dominant media, in lockstep, called for military retaliation against Afghanistan even though no evidence proved the Taliban government responsible, because, in fact, it was not and we knew it.
Four weeks later on October 7, a long-planned war of illegal aggression began, Afghanistan was bombed and then invaded by US forces working in partnership with their new allies - the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan or so-called Northern Alliance "warlords." Their earlier repressive rule was so extreme, it gave rise to the Taliban in the first place and has now made them resurgent.
Chossudovsky further explained that the public doesn't "realize that a large scale theater war is never planned and executed in a matter of weeks." This one, like all others, was months in the making needing only what former CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks called a "terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event" to arouse enough public anger for the Bush administration to launch it after declaring their "war on terrorism." Chossudovsky, through thorough and exhausting research, exposed it as a fraud.
He's been on top of the story ever since uncovering the "myth of an 'outside enemy' and the threat of 'Islamic terrorists' (that became) the cornerstone (and core justification) of the Bush administration's military doctrine." It allowed Washington to wage permanent aggressive wars beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq, to ignore international law, and to "repeal civil liberties and constitutional government" through repression laws like the Patriot and Military Commissions Acts. A key objective throughout has, and continues to be, Washington's quest to control the world's energy supplies, primarily oil, starting in the Middle East where two-thirds of known reserves are located.
Toward that end, the Bush administration created a fictitious "outside enemy" threat without which no "war on terrorism" could exist, and no foreign wars could be waged. Chossudovsky exposed the linchpin of the whole scheme. He uncovered evidence that Al Queda "was a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet-Afghan war" era, and that in the 1990s Washington "consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at the same time placing him on the FBI's 'most wanted list' as the World's foremost terrorist." He explained that the CIA (since the 1980s and earlier) actively supports international terrorism covertly, and that on September 10, 2001 "Enemy Number One" bin Laden was in a Rawalpindi, Pakistan military hospital confirmed on CBS News by Dan Rather. He easily could have been arrested but wasn't because we had a "better purpose" in mind for "America's best known fugitive (to) give a (public) face to the 'war on terrorism' " that meant keeping bin Laden free to play the role. If he didn't exist, we'd have had to invent him, but that could have been arranged as well.
The Bush administration's national security doctrine needs enemies, the way all empires on the march do. Today "Enemy Number One" rests on the fiction of bin Laden-led Islamic terrorists threatening the survival of western civilization. In fact, however, Washington uses Islamic organizations like Islamic Jihad as a "key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union" while, at the same time, blaming them for the 9/11 attacks calling them "a threat to America."
"America's War on Terrorism" - In-Depth
The book is in four parts, each discussed enough below to convey the essence and flavor of the heavily documented power-packed amount of information in the volume's 365 pages - a healthy serving for each day of the year.
Part I - September 11
September 11, 2001 is a day that will live in infamy, but not for how official accounts portray it. It wasn't the first September 11 of note and may not be the last. Chileans remember theirs in 1973 when General Augusto Pinochet, aided by CIA, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, ousted and murdered democratically elected President Salvador Allende by military coup d'etat. It ended the most vibrant democracy in the Americas ushering in a 16 year fascist reign of terror Chileans are still healing from 18 years later. Now it's our turn with Bush administration officials using the myth of an "outside enemy" to hide the real threat we face from within from real enemies in our own government. They're waging war on the world, destroying our civil liberties, and shredding our social state paying for it.
It began long before 9/11, but that day plans became policy, then hardened, expanded and now threatening all humanity. Chossudovsky spells in out stating straightaway "The world is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history (having) embarked upon a military adventure" threatening everyone unless exposed and stopped.
He begins with vital heavily documented background information about 9/11 already covered above. It explained we needed cover for our "war on terrorism." Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda provided it as "Enemy Number One" and his network, hiding the fact he and thousands of Mujahideen fighters were recruited for the largest ever CIA operation in the 1980s. They were organized, financed and sent to "destabili(ze) the pro-Soviet government in Afghanistan, but (more importantly) destroy...the Soviet Union." CIA's Milton Beardman once explained "If Osama bin Laden did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."
In fact, we did, using Pakistan's Military Intelligence ISI as intermediary, so bin Laden and Mujahideen fighters weren't aware who their real paymaster was or why they were recruited. ISI played a crucial role for Washington in the 1980s. Then, from the end of the Cold War to the present, it's been "the launch pad for CIA covert operations in the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans" turning Bosnia into a "militant Islamic base" and later Kosovo with help from NATO and Washington. This isn't speculation. It's fact. The ISI-Osama-Al Queda-Taliban nexus is a matter of public record, but the "American people have been consciously and deliberately deceived (about it) by their government."
They have no knowledge the Taliban gained power in 1996 the same covert way - helped by US military aid funneled through Pakistan's ISI. Janes Defense Weekly confirmed "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originate(d) in Pakistan under the ISI." Just like today, our hidden agenda was "oil" with Taliban officials "whisked off to Houston" to meet with US oil company giant, Unocal, "regarding the construction of the strategic trans-Afghan pipeline." Afghanistan is strategically located "at the hub of five nuclear powers: Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan." It also borders Russia, China and Iran. It's why Washington wants a permanent military presence in the country run by a puppet client government masquerading as a democratically elected one, and why we're at war so that status won't ever change.
Chossudovsky explains behind the scenes, "military planners in the State Department, the Pentagon and the CIA call the shots on foreign policy." They're in league with NATO, the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization (all US-dominated organizations). The real powers controlling everything are "the global banks and financial institutions, the military-industrial complex, the oil and energy giants, the biotech and pharmaceutical conglomerates," other corporate giants and the dominant media, or de facto ministry of state information and propaganda, disseminating deception while suppressing the truth.
The result is catastrophic. The rule of law has been suspended, the Republic hangs by a thread, and "the foundations of an authoritarian state apparatus have emerged" that, in an emergency, could become as harsh as in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia at its worst under Stalin. It's no understatement. Its early disturbing signs are already present and recognized.
The entire scheme is based on the myth of an "Islamic Jihad" being a "threat to America" when, in fact, CIA and the US intelligence community has close ties to the "Islamic Militant Network." CIA even admits bin Laden was an "intelligent asset" (as distinct from an "agent") during the Cold War, but that information's long gone down "the memory hole" and forgotten. He was used by four presidents beginning with Ronald Reagan, then GHW Bush, Bill Clinton, and now GW Bush writ large today as "Enemy Number One" in the phony "war on terrorism."
Part II - War and Globalization
Washington's "hidden agenda" involves waging preventive wars to "extend...the global market system (and) open...up new 'economic frontiers' for US corporate capital....in close liaison with Britain." US-British ties in areas of banking, oil and defense industries drive our joint military operations in the Middle East, Central Asia and most anywhere else from this marriage wreaking hell on earth wherever it marauds.
"America's New War" post-9/11 was "in the 'pipeline' for at least three years prior to....September 11." Beginning with the Clinton administration's illegal war of aggression against Yugoslavia, NATO was enlarged to include Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. Inclusion of former Soviet satellites took aim directly at Yugoslavia as the West's next target with Russia designated a future one. With that in mind, GUUAM was formed in 1999 comprised of four post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. It's a Western financed regional military alliance, under US-controlled NATO, "strategically at the hub of the Caspian oil and gas wealth with Moldova and Ukraine offering (pipeline) export routes to the West." A key immediate aim of this alliance is to fracture CIS, exclude Russia from Caspian resources Washington wants to control, and politically isolate Moscow combined in one strategic blow.
"Militarization of the Eurasian Corridor" was the plan to do it with Congress adopting the Silk Road Strategy Act (SRS) in March, 1999. It was a framework to develop "America's business empire along an extensive geographical corridor" as well as undermine and destabilize Russia, China and Iran. It was also planned as a first step toward incorporating all former Soviet republics into "America's business empire" and sphere of influence, further isolating Russia and China. The area involved is vast, extending from the Black Sea to the Chinese border in a strategically vital part of the world rich in energy resources a new "Great Game" is being waged for.
As already explained, Afghanistan lies "at the strategic crossroads of the Eurasian oil pipeline and transport routes." Under US control, it's part of making SRS work that requires the "militarization of the Eurasian corridor (for) control over extensive oil and gas reserves (and for protecting) pipeline routes (planned by) Anglo-American oil companies" like BP-Amoco and others.
SRS also aims to prevent "former Soviet republics from developing economic, political and defense ties with China, Iran, Turkey and Iraq (and to) cut the Russians off altogether from the Caspian oil and gas fields." What's planned is a number of pipeline routes (transiting west, south and east) from the Caspian through countries controlled by the Western military alliance. The whole scheme aims to benefit the US-Anglo alliance, cut off Russia, China and Iran, and "weaken competing European oil interests in the Transcaucasus and Central Asia."
When George Bush took office, negotiations with the Taliban were resumed on behalf of Unocal, after the Clinton administration first tried and then broke them off in 1999. The talks failed a few months before 9/11 leading to the Afghan war a scant four weeks later on October 7. It ended after five weeks on November 12 when the Taliban fled Kabul allowing US-recruited and financed Northern Alliance forces to enter the city the next day.
Life in Afghanistan's been surreal ever since. In parts of Kabul, an opulent elite emerged grown rich from rampant corruption and drugs trafficking discussed further below. This opulent Potemkin facade hides the harsh, dangerous, desperate conditions for the vast majority of 26 million Afghans made worse by a US-led war and occupation allowing Northern Alliance warlords back in power. It reinstated their repressive rule that helped bring Taliban to power in the first place over two-thirds of the country including the capital, Kabul. Today it's de jeva vu all over again with Afghans fed up with occupation and Northern Alliance brutality. That's allowed Taliban forces to capitalize on the turmoil and reemerge reclaiming most Southern parts of the country. It's why war rages on with no resolution in site and likely will be as unwinnable as the lost cause in Iraq already acknowledged in US high circles.
The Taliban was ousted in 2001 for various reasons. Among them was its near-eradication of opium production now flourishing again under Northern Alliance-occupation forces rule. Drugs trafficking is big business writ large with Chossudovsky explaining it's "the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade" annually grossing up to $500 billion according to a UN estimate. That's more than double the revenue generated by legal prescription drugs Big Pharma reported in 2005.
A well-hidden Afghan war objective was reinstating opium production that was achieved writ large post-2001. UN anti-drug chief, Antonio Maria Costa, said it was at a record 6100 tons in 2006 (enough for 610 tons of heroin) or 92% of total world supply and 30% more than the amount consumed globally.
Chossudovsky explained narcotics are a major source of wealth, not just for organized crime, but also for the "US intelligence apparatus" representing powerful "spheres of finance and banking." Intelligence agencies and legal business syndicates are allied with criminal enterprises blurring the lines between them, at times indistinguishable. Included are Western international and other banks and their offshore affiliates in tax havens. Multi-billions from illicit drugs trafficking pour into them making this revenue source a huge profit center. None of this is secret, but it remains unreported below the radar. So is how the money is laundered and recycled into legal enterprises in real estate, manufacturing, other businesses as well as used for transactions in stocks, bonds, and other speculative investments.
It's also well documented that CIA trafficked in drugs (directly or indirectly) throughout its 60 year existence and especially since the 1980s when it used cocaine revenues funding the Contra wars in Nicaragua. Today, CIA is partnered with Afghan "warlords" and criminal syndicates in the huge business of heroin trafficking. Along with its other illicit drug dealings, it guarantees the intelligence agency billions in revenue supplementing its annual budget Mary Margaret Graham, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Collection, disclosed at $44 billion in 2005.
This year it's likely higher with rogue operations ongoing almost anywhere and CIA able to get whatever it wants just for the asking. This is how a rogue agency operates Chalmers Johnson calls a global Mafia-style hit squad in his new book, "Nemesis." It's a "personal, secret, unaccountable army of the president" with mischievous covert illegal operations its main function. They include overthrowing democratically elected governments, assassinating foreign heads of state and key officials, recruiting and training secret paramilitary armies, propping up friendly dictators, and snatching targeted individuals for "extraordinary rendition" to secret torture-prison hellholes from which they may never emerge.
Under George Bush, CIA is more active than ever with double the number of covert operatives. Johnson explains "CIA's bag of dirty tricks....is a defining characteristic of the imperial presidency. It is a source of unchecked power" gravely threatening the nation and shortening the life of the Republic and democratic rule he believes won't survive unless the agency is disbanded.
Along with CIA and Homeland Security, Chossudovsky highlights "America's War Machine" and the major buildup in it begun after 1999. The aim: "to achieve (an unchallengeable) position of global military hegemony....through the largest military buildup since the Vietnam war" with large annual increases planned in future years and no end to this in sight. For FY 2006, the Pentagon's reported budget was $499.4 billion (excluding multi-billions off-the-book for Iraq and Afghanistan). For fiscal 2007, it increased to over $583 billion.
Astonishingly, Senior Fellow at The Independent Institute, Robert Higgs, says high numbers mask the total annual amount spent on defense in all forms, at home and abroad, that's almost double the budgeted amounts. For FY 2006, his total is $934.9 billion broken down as follows in billions:
-- Department of Defense: $499.4.
-- Department of Energy: $16.6
-- Department of State: $25.3
-- Department of Veterans Affairs: $69.8
-- Department of Homeland Security: $69.1
-- Department of Justice (one-third of FBI): $1.9
-- Department of the Treasury (for Military Retirement Fund: $38.5.
-- NASA: $7.6
-- Net interest attributable to past debt-financed defense outlays: $206.7.
Using published budgeted numbers alone, the US now spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined. In 2005, China spent around $30 billion, today it's surely higher but even if $50 billion it's around 8.6% of our FY 2007 defense budget and about 5% of it with all other expenditures Higgs includes. Hyping China's threat to the US, however, Department of Defense (DOD) claimed Beijing spent $65 billion in 2005, $90 billion in 2006 and $120 budgeted for 2007.
Note, Higgs US defense spending numbers exclude secret budgets for CIA, NSA, and other off-the-books intelligence operations. It also excludes smaller budgets for the Selective Service System, the National Defense Stockpile Center, and the Treasury's program blocking financial flows to "terrorists." Nonetheless, in total, the numbers are huge, growing, and already out-of-control with Higgs estimating FY 2007 numbers an astonishing $1.028 trillion.
What is it buying us and at what cost? Chossudovsky explains it's for plenty including refurbishing our nuclear arsenal with the latest technology targeting Russia and China. There's also a new generation of "tactical nuclear weapons" or so-called "mini-nukes" including "bunker buster" earth penetrating bombs targeting underground facilities. They're designed to explode deep below ground destroying their targets while containing toxic radioactive fallout. It's already known the latter objective fails based on observed tests so far. The information, however, is suppressed and won't deter the Pentagon from using these weapons even knowing they spread harmful radiation.
Billions are also being spent developing advanced weapons systems including the hugely expensive F22 Raptor fighter plane, Joint Fighter (JF) program and controversial Strategic Defense Initiative "National Missile Defense Shield" intended for offense, not defense. It's now caused a public row with Russia over its planned deployment in Eastern European states close enough to raise justifiable alarm in the Kremlin. Then there's the ultimate imperial project in space under the doctrine of "Full Spectrum Dominance" assuring land, sea, air and space supremacy. It's outlined in the 1998 US Space Command document titled "Vision for 2020" with the cost to achieve this likely to run into trillions of dollars.
Even worse is the danger post-9/11 since the Bush administration scrapped the notion of "nuclear deterrence." A secret report leaked to the Los Angeles Times state three conditions under which nuclear weapons may be used henceforth:
-- "against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack;
-- in retaliation for attack with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; or
-- in the event of surprising military developments" meaning anything the administration or Pentagon cook up as justification.
The administration cites "rogue states" as potential targets, but clearly new policy has Russia, China and Iran in mind and maybe North Korea.
China and Russia aren't ignoring the threat adding to the arms race along with other countries, like Iran, fearful of a US attack. In 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a new "National Security Doctrine" marking "a critical shift in East-West relations." It's further intensified today with Interfax recently reporting Putin saying Washington is turning Europe into a "powder keg" referring to it's missile shield deployment plans.
Putin also used harsh rhetoric ahead of the June G-8 summit accusing the Bush administration of imperialism and starting a new arms race. At a lengthy well-attended news conference, he had plenty to say that was suppressed in the West because of his candor. He voiced the concern of many in the Kremlim that Washington is targeting Russia by surrounding it with military bases, installing missiles on its borders, and allying with CIS states to isolate the country in preparation for regime change.
He emphasized Russia didn't start confrontation and isn't threatening to attack anyone. However, the nation is preparing for the worst and in late May test-fired a sophisticated new intercontinental ballistic missile with multiple warheads and new cruise missiles Russian generals claim will assure the country's security for the next 40 years. With Washington intent on destabilizing their country, Russia isn't ignoring the threat and will act responsibly to defend itself. That includes targeting US and European sites with "ballistic missiles, cruise missiles or some completely new systems" according to Putin. Earlier, Russia also confirmed it wouldn't exclude "a first-strike use" of nuclear warheads "if attacked even by purely conventional means," having only one country in mind as a potential aggressor - the US.
Former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, also aimed sharp comments against Washington and Britain for its support in an early June BBC interview. He said Russia is trying to be constructive, but America is squeezing them out of global diplomacy (and is responsible) for the current state of relations between his country and the West. He also said the Iraq War undermined Tony Blair's credibility and accused America of "empire-building." He added Blair has "himself in the embrace of a military monster (and lost) his credibility in the world and in Europe."
Chossudovsky further deconstructs Washington's agenda post-9/11 saying "the world is at an important crossroads in its history." The US "campaign against terrorism" is a "war of conquest" for empire, threatening future humanity with devastating consequences. "America's New War" isn't confined to the Middle East and Central Asia. It's aimed everywhere by militarizing "vast regions of the world, leading to the consolidation of what is best described as the "American Empire." The "war on terrorism" is cover to "re-colonize not only China (and) the former Soviet bloc, but also Iran, Iraq and the Indian (subcontinent)." Chossudovsky stresses "war and globalization" are bedfellows umbilically linked. They benefit Wall Street and the banking community, Big Anglo-American Oil, US-UK defense contractors and other corporate giants backing this process to extend "the frontiers of the global market system" giving them total control everywhere.
The dominant media claim "free trade" and "free market" reforms will bring the benefits of western civilization to everyone. Unmentioned is how it's being done - through imperial wars of conquest as the method of choice, bringing with them massive death and destruction, extreme exploitation, devastating poverty, totalitarian control, and, in Iraq, the end of the "Cradle of Civilization" dating back thousands of years. Washington's rampaging military juggernaut turned a modern prosperous nation into a surreal lawless armed wasteland with few essential services like electricity, clean water, medical care, fuel and most everything else needed for sustenance and survival including safe streets, homes, schools and all public places. It also contaminated vast areas of Iraq with deadly depleted uranium and other hazardous chemicals and pollutants making the country the most toxic environment on earth and unsafe to live in.
So much for the benefits of Western civilization and "free market" reforms. They champion deregulation and privatizing everything to steal a country's wealth for corporate predators, taking it from the people it belongs to. They get nothing back but misery and persecution if they complain. This is democracy American-style that's all illusion and no reality, and it's coming soon to a neighborhood near you unless resisted and stopped.
Chossudovsky also deconstructs the language as Orwell would do. He justifiably calls the "war on terrorism" a cruel hoax. "Realities," he says, "have been turned upside down."
-- "Acts of war are heralded as 'humanitarian intervention' (to restore) democracy.
-- Military occupation and (killing civilians are called) 'peacekeeping operations.'
-- The derogation of civilities (through totalitarian 'anti-terror' legislation is called) providing 'domestic security' and upholding civil liberties.
-- ....expenditures on health and education (and most other essential social services) are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and police state."
-- Mass human poverty is created worldwide through conquest, colonization and countries "transformed into open territories" for savage exploitation.
-- "US protectorates are installed with the blessing of the 'international community.'
-- 'Interim (or illusory democratically elected) governments are formed" run by designated political puppets selling out their nations' sovereignty to the lord and master of the universe for a sliver of the spoils.
Sum it up - this is what "New World Order" rule looks like those now under it can explain better than any writer. It's tyranny masquerading as humanitarian intervention, liberation and democracy. Here's how Orwell once described it: "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." Today, it's sustained by the illusion of a phony "war on terrorism" publicly supported through fear of nonexistent enemies, ignoring instead a real one that does - our own government destroying our freedoms in the name of protecting them.
Chossudovsky stresses what's vitally needed now to fight back in our own self-defense - "an unprecedented degree of solidarity (to build) meaningful mass movements" for real change (restoring) the balance of power within society...." He explains "militarization....enforces the capitalist market system....Military bases must be shut down; the war machine....must be dismantled....The 'structures of ownership' must be transformed disempowering banks, financial institutions and transnational corporations (plus instituting) a radical overhaul of the state apparatus." A key priority is "stall(ing) the privatization of collective assets, infrastructure, public utilities (including water and power), state institutions (like hospitals, schools and law enforcement including prisons), communal lands" and all else in the commons.
Further, an illegitimate tyrannical system must end by removing and prosecuting criminal politicians and bureaucrats. The corrupted judiciary must be replaced by one upholding domestic and international law. Our system of checks and balances must be restored, and the Constitution again respected and obeyed, not discarded to the rule of law by what the chief executive says it is, meaning none at all. The "New World Order" must end, consigned to the dustbin of history, lest we end up there or wish we did rather than endure endless misery and abuse.
Part III - The Disinformation Campaign
It's an age-old trick that always works. It's why it's used so often even after being exposed as phony time and again but quickly forgotten in what Gore Vidal calls "the United States of amnesia." It's creating a climate of fear through fictional enemies made to seem real by the pursuasive power of the dominant media. Wars and propaganda are partnered at a time truth is the first casualty. Chossudovsky explains "the main objective of war propaganda (to convince the public war is justified) is to fabricate an enemy (by) drown(ing) out truth."
The war is waged "from the Pentagon, the State Department, the CIA" and other parts of the government using the dominant media to instill fear through disinformation and lies justifying anything in self-defense. Logic and reality are manipulated and twisted to create a phony enemy made to look real. An illusion is created that homeland security is threatened and under attack justifying wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that are pure acts of illegal aggression for conquest and colonization. Preventive wars are justified even though common sense and any knowledge of international law says they never are for any reason.
Chossudovsky explains how propaganda campaigns follow "a consistent pattern." They need "to instill credibility and legitimacy" based on claimed "reliable" information sources. The dominant media then transmit them through endless repetitions of warnings of the following kinds of information:
-- References to "reliable sources (and a) growing body of evidence" from government, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
-- Claimed evidence linking terrorist groups to bin Laden, Al Queda or sympathetic to them.
-- Threats of imminent terrorist attacks "sooner or later."
-- Vulnerability of "soft targets" likely causing civilian casualties.
-- Possible terror attacks in "allied countries" like Britain, France or Germany where public opinion opposes the US "war on terrorism."
-- "Confirm the need...preventive actions" are justified against "terrorist organizations and/or foreign governments which harbor" them.
-- Claim "terrorist groups" likely have WMDs and are linked to "rogue states" like Iran or Syria.
-- Cite warnings with frightening color-coded alerts based on uncovered information (later proved phony) of impending "attacks on US soil (and/or) in Western cities."
-- Cite law enforcement efforts "to apprehend alleged terrorists."
-- Feature headlined news stories of suspects arrested, nearly always Muslims/Arabs, that usually turn out to be fabricated hoaxes using innocent victims to hype fear.
-- Stressing Homeland Security repressive legislation (like Patriot Acts I and II and the Military Commissions Act) is justified as well as "ethnic profiling" and mass sweeps and arrests.
All this is done to convince the public harsh "emergency measures" and preventive wars are in the public interest even though that turns reality on its head endangering everyone. It works, however, by giving the enemy a face with Osama bin Laden in the lead role. He's still got it, but so did Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi up to the time of his reported death in June, 2006. Al-Zarqawi was called "the new terrorist mastermind" even overshadowing "Enemy Number One" bin Laden. Unmentioned in the media was that Al-Zarqawi, like bin Laden, was recruited by CIA, through Pakistan's ISI, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s and that US intelligence maintained links to the "Islamic militant network" ever since.
While Al-Zarqawi was reigning top threat, he was linked to Ansar Al-Islam, an "obscure Islamist group, based in Northern Iraq." He was also called Al Qaeda's "chief biochemical engineer" and was blamed for "the suspicious white powder found in a letter sent to (former) Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist," also containing deadly ricin poison. In January, 2003, a ricin terror alert was issued signaling Al-Zarqawi responsible, later proved phony by British police. As already stressed, the US needs a face on terror to justify illegal wars purportedly against it. While he was alive, Al-Zarqawi provided it along with bin Laden before and since. If neither of these men existed, others would be invented for their leading roles as "Enemy Number One" with still more designees in supporting roles. Without them, there's no justification for the "war on terrorism," and without media disinformation they'd be no way to get the public to go along.
Part IV - The New World Order
This "new world" flaunts the law, wages illegal wars on the world against nonexistent threats, and condemns its own people to state repression in the name of protecting national security it's endangering by its actions everywhere. One of its most outrageous acts is condoning and practicing torture as official state policy. Chossudovsky explains what's now widely known and accepted - that orders to torture Iraqi, Afghan and Guantanamo prisoners came from the highest government levels. Thus, prison guards and military and CIA interrogators followed "precise guidelines" from command directives. A secret FBI email, dated May 22, 2004, confirmed George Bush "personally signed off on certain interrogation techniques in an executive order (authorizing) sleep deprivation, stress positions, use of military dogs, sensory deprivation" using hoods, and who knows what else so far not made public.
What is known is that CIA and the Pentagon have considerable knowledge how damaging these acts are to human beings forced to endure them for extended periods. The current Army field manual states this about sensory deprivation alone: (It) "may result in extreme anxiety, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, depression, and anti-social behavior (and) significant psychological distress." Now try imagining how worse it is on victims undergoing physical abuse and intimidation daily combined with the damaging effects of sensory deprivation, never knowing when or if it will end. George Bush, his Justice Department, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Gates and others at the highest levels of the Pentagon and CIA ordered these tortures. It's not because they work, but because they effectively destroy human beings, control those who survive it, and intimidate everyone thinking they may be next. It doesn't matter to officials in charge that most of their victims are innocent of any crime.
Unreported is who these prisoners are being tortured. Seton Hall University Law School professors, including Mark Denebeaux, analyzed unclassified government data obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Their report was based on evidentiary summaries from 2004 military hearings on whether 517 Guantanamo "detainees" were "enemy combatants." They learned the majority of Afghan prisoners at Guantanamo weren't accused of hostile acts, but more shockingly, that 95% were seized by Afghan bounty hunters and sold to US forces for $5000 per claimed Taliban and $25,000 for supposed Al Queda members. In addition, at least 20 detainees were children, some as young as 13.
Chossudovsky calls such actions: "reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition" in brazenness "when there was no need to conceal acts of torture." According to administration twisted logic and indifference to international law and norms, "torture is public policy with a humanitarian mandate (because) democracy and freedom are....upheld by 'going after terrorists.' " The 400 year ruling feudal order Inquisition aimed to "maintain and sustain those in authority," and that end justified any means doing it. Today, the Pentagon, Homeland Security and CIA are similar to yesteryear's "great Inquisitor" dispensing justice through a network of religious courts for political and social control. It's mandate was: destroy the heretics, and those charged were guilty by accusation given only a choice to repent and be strangled to death or stay silent and be burned alive.
It's hard calling those times "the good old days," but it's no better today, just more sophisticated. Through years of experimenting, we've become expert inflicing maximum pain making victims endure it the longest time possible before expiring or going insane. Chossudovsky cites this as one example on our "road towards a police state" we're well advanced toward already, or maybe now there. We have outrageous laws in place, Nazis and Stalin would have been proud of, but now can do what Orwell imagined 58 years ago in his 1984 "Big Brother" society controlling everyone. Technology allows near-unlimited surveillance and abusive spying to watch, categorize, tag, and label us through information from our most personal records and behavior. Only the recesses of our hearts, minds and souls remain unpenetrated - so far.
Nothing will change at this "critical juncture in our history" unless we "break the Inquisition." Doing it means "breaking the consensus (and) disabl(ing) its propaganda" campaign of fear and intimidation. That entails "unseat(ing) the Inquisitors" and prosecuting those in high office guilty of crimes of war and against humanity. Without this, they'll be no justice or an end to "New World Order" tyranny safe in the hands of a carefully chosen new "Grand Inquisitor" elected in 2008 picking up where the old one leaves off. He (or she) will follow ruling order policy assuring Congress and the courts are as much in lockstep as today with "the military-intelligence establishment calling the shots on US foreign policy." Benefitting hugely at our expense will be predatory corporate giants licking their chops for more gains ahead from continuing "militarization of (our) civilian institutions" fast disappearing under military/police state control.
Chossudovsky raises the issue of administration foreknowledge of 9/11. He notes the Pentagon conducted a test simulation of a passenger plane crashing into the Pentagon in October, 2000. Ironically, the CIA held a similar (quickly hushed up for a year) test at its Chantilly, Virginia Reconnaissance Office on the morning of 9/11. Both tests refute administration lies they could not predict events they were preparing for.
In addition, Washington had numerous "intelligence warnings" and that senior administration officials lied under oath to the 9/11 Commission they had no foreknowledge or forewarning. They had plenty. "Carefully documented research" also reveals:
-- The US Air Force got stand-down orders on 9/11 not to intervene.
-- A cover-up of World Trade Center (WTC) and Pentagon investigations occurred.
-- WTC rubble was hastily removed and disposed of before it could be examined.
-- Plane debris at the Pentagon was unaccounted for.
-- Huge financial gains were made through insider trading in the days prior to 9/11.
-- WTC Building 7 either mysteriously collapsed or was "pulled" the afternoon of 9/11.
-- Critics accuse the White House of "criminal negligence" for disregarding crucial intelligence that might have prevented the 9/11 attack. These critics contend "they knew (in advance) but failed to act" preventively.
Chussodovsky rebukes this line of reasoning saying revealing Bush administration lies regarding foreknowledge contributes to reinforcing the 9/11 cover-up. Foreknowledge then "becomes part of the disinformation campaign (serving) to present Al Queda as a threat (to American security), when, in fact, Al Queda is a creation of the US intelligence apparatus" and is still being used by it. Pinning responsibility on Islamic terrorists justifies the "war on terrorism" and against Iraq and Afghanistan. It also provides cover for repressive police state legislation shredding our civil liberties and dismantling our social state to pay for militarizing it.
While debate centers around "incompetence" or "an intelligence failure," Al Queda and "Enemy Number One" are blamed," and the beat goes on allowing the administration to get away with (mass) murder literally. Explained above, this is Washington's strategy. Without Al Queda to blame and a gullible public believing it, the Bush house of cards collapses, there's "no war on terrorism" nor all it spawned at home and abroad.
The 9/11 (whitewash) Commission was part of the scheme. It revealed Bush administration officials lied under oath, then did nothing about it. "Yet nobody had begged the key question," Chossudovsky asserts: "What is the significance of these 'warnings' emanating from the intelligence apparatus, knowing that the CIA is the creator of Al Queda and that Al Queda is an 'intelligence asset' (as distinct from an agent)." Were Bush administration officials deliberately lying to the 9/11 Commission to cover up a bigger lie no one's been held accountable for?
Chossudovsky debunks another 9/11 lie asking "On the Morning of 9/11: What Happened on the Planes?" Events in their cabins were based on supposedly "corroborating evidence" from cell and air phone conversations to family members or others. Only one cockpit voice recorder (CVR) was recovered - from UAL 93. The 9/11 Commission gave the impression cell phone communications to and from the planes were of good quality. It was never mentioned prevailing technology made it near impossible to place a wireless cell call from an aircraft travelling at high speed above 8000 feet. Installed air phones, in contrast, provide clear communications.
The Commission's timeline suggests the planes were at higher altitudes so claimed cell phone conversations reported were dubious at best and likely contrived, exaggerated or plain lies. Reports of these calls on the day of the attack were crucial "to sustain the illusion" America was under attack. It was "part of the disinformation campaign....dispel(ling) the historical role played by US intelligence in supporting the development of the (Al Queda) terror network."
Heightening the level of fear and conditioning the public for what may lie ahead, we're now warned about a "Second 9/11." Former CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks did it in an interview in December, 2003 saying "another mass, casualty-producing event" would result in the Constitution being suspended and martial law declared - in other words, the end of the Republic officially replaced by tyranny. Chossudovsky stresses Franks' comment wasn't opinion. It was "consistent with the dominant viewpoint....in the Pentagon....and Homeland Security....in case of a national emergency." Further, the "war on terrorism" is the cornerstone of Bush's National Security doctrine providing "justification for repealing the Rule of Law" in the event of a significant external threat or event.
Should this happen, it will amount to the "Criminalization of the State, the repeal of democracy," and the end of America as we know it - officially. From all available evidence, it appears this is planned using a fabricated terrorist threat and second 9/11 to pull it off with public consent believing it's for our own security, henceforth compromised and lost.
Chossudovsky discusses the major Pentagon 2005 document outlining what's planned ahead for global military dominance along with police state control at home. It's called "The National Defense Strategy of the United States of America (NDS). It extends the "contours of Washington's global military agenda (envisaging possible) military intervention against countries (not constituting) a threat to the US homeland." This goes beyond preventive war to a more "proactive" strategy against declared enemies to "preserve peace (and) defend America." This is insanity, yet four major threats are considered:
-- "Traditional challenges" from recognized military powers.
-- "Irregular threats" from forces using "unconventional" means.
-- "The catastrophic challenge" from WMDs.
-- "Disruptive challenges" from "potential adversaries" using new technologies against us.
NDS listed 25 countries "deemed unstable and, thus, candidates for (military) intervention." Those named remain secret, but some have been identified including Venezuela, Nepal, Haiti, Algeria, Peru, Bolivia, Sudan, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire. It's hard imagining Iran, Syria and Lebanon aren't targets as well with others qualified for membership by failing to place our sovereignty above their own. Helping them "stabilize" is used as the pretext for any planned military intervention. That means any nation opting out of our "free market" model can expect the Marines to show up to return them to the fold. It's called democracy American-style.
At home, as already explained, creating fear is the method of choice keeping the public on board supporting the phony "war on terrorism." That's what color-coded terror alerts are all about. They're seen daily on TV, and raised to "high risk" Code Orange at strategic moments when elevated fear levels are needed to get legislation passed, divert attention from administration embarrassments, diffuse anti-war protests, or simply re-stoke public angst about terror threats so people don't forget them. Never mind, as Chossudovsky documents, these threats, headlining for days at times, are nearly always based on "fabricated intelligence."
So in the run-up to the March, 2003 Iraq war, a disinformation campaign was waged about WMDs and linking Saddam with Al Queda and 9/11. It was to build public support for the war and weaken anti-war protests against it that were unprecendented in size worldwide before it began. Once the truth on both counts came out, it was too late, and it was on to the next scare scam.
Chossudovsky cites the Air France Christmas, 2003 stand down orders based on phony evidence Al Queda and Taliban operatives were on Flight 68. It was a lie, but it kept Los Angeles International Airport on "maximum deployment" throughout the holiday period and FBI officials working around the clock - for nothing because of "fake intelligence" to heighten fear. The nation was on "high risk" Code Orange alert, six heavy-traffic Air France flights paid the price, and so did the public getting scammed.
Whenever a strategic moment arises or Washington thinks public fear is ebbing, get ready for more headlined news of terror plots and arrests made or suspects being hunted down. It happened in early June with hyped stories of a plot to blow up JFK Airport's jet fuel tanks and supply lines some reports claimed would be "more devastating than 9/11." This nonsense keeps being used because people believe it.
This time, four men were charged even though no crime was committed, the suspects had no apparent means to carry out the supposed plot, and the only so-called "evidence" comes from conversations recorded between "the source" (identified as an unnamed drug trafficker) and defendants. We're told the informant agreed to infiltrate the "terror cell" in return for leniency on his pending sentence, guaranteeing he'd say anything to get himself off.
This plot gets thicker, but the point is once again hyped accounts have again been used to stoke public fear. And once again, Muslims are vicimized as "terrorists." Sadly, even though likely innocent, these men may end up convicted and imprisoned just like other high-profile targets Sami Al-Arian and Rafil Dhafir. They're both innocent men now serving hard time victimized by Washington's "war on terrorism."
Chossudovsky explains we live in a "Big Brother, Homeland Security State." A July, 2004 Homeland Security Council (HSC) report refers to a "Universal Adversary" (UA) defined as four categories of "conspirators:"
-- "foreign (Islamic) terrorists;"
-- "domestic (anti-war, civil and human rights) groups;"
-- "state-sponsored adversaries" ("Rogue States, unstable or failed states"); and
-- "disgruntled employees" (labor and union activists).
Chossudovsky explains the notion of a "Universal Adversary" is being used to prepare the public for a "real life emergency situation" under which no political or social dissent will be tolerated. If it happens, it will trigger a Code Red Alert signaling the highest threat level of severe or imminent terrorist attack preparing the public for imposition of martial law and suspension of the Constitution. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, anti-terrorist "drills" were held in major cities to build "a broad consensus among 'top officials,' within federal, State and municipal bodies, as well as within the business community and civil society organizations that the outside enemy exists and that 'the threat is real.' " Chossudovsky calls it "a world of fiction (that) becomes fact."
In the event of an emergency, the military will be involved that was forbidden under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, never enforced, and now repealed since October 17, 2006. That was when George Bush signed the Military Commissions (torture authorization) Act and National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2007 containing a provision annulling the 1807 Insurrection Act. Now the president can (legally) deploy federal or National Guard troops on the nation's streets for whatever he calls public disorder, including peaceful anti-war protests. These laws, along with Patriot Acts I and II (violating our most personal privacy rights) have set the table for martial law imposition whenever the chief executive orders it.
Chossudovsky explains media disinformation is preparing the public "for the unthinkable" likely to be police state rule under the facade of a "functioning democracy." Its parameters have already been defined:
-- "the Big Brother surveillance apparatus, through....consolidated data banks on citizens;
-- the militarization of justice and law enforcement;
-- the disinformation and propaganda network;
-- the covert support to terrorist organizations;
-- political assassinations, torture manuals, and (homeland) concentration camps (being built); and
-- extensive war crimes and the blatant violation of international law."
Chossudovsky wrote an important book in 2002 titled "War and Globalization." This volume, "America's War on Terrorism," updated it with voluminous, heavily documented new information on the state of America today under both parties and the threat that poses for the Republic, hanging by a thread. Though published in 2005, it's as fresh now as when it first appeared, and his conclusion is essentially the same as what Chalmers Johnson wrote in his 2006 book, "Nemesis - The Last Days of the American Republic." Johnson explained our well-entrenched militarism and single-minded pursuit of empire saying we have a choice. We can keep on this path and lose our democracy, but history is clear: we can't have both.
Chossudovsky and Johnson both agree - the signs are ominous, and conclusive evidence post-9/11 proves it, amply spelled out in "America's War on Terrorism." That doesn't mean we're doomed or change can't come. It can, but never from the top down. The lessons of history are clear. Mass-action grassroots efforts can achieve what governments won't do willingly. Scare tactics to bring us in line won't work if we don't let them. But it will take millions mobilized to resist to do it. Is saving the Republic incentive enough to try? We better hope so.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Steve Lendman News and Information Hour on TheMicroEffect.com Saturdays at noon US central time.