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9/11 Explains the Impotence of the Anti-war Movement

Paul Craig Roberts

The anti-war movement has proven impotent to stop the war in Iraq despite the fact that the war was initiated on the basis of lies and deception. The anti-war movement stands helpless to prevent President Bush from attacking Iran or any other country that he might demonize for harboring a future 9/11 threat.

September 11 enabled Bush to take America to war and to keep America at war even though the government’s explanation of the events of September 11 is mired in controversy and disbelieved by a large percentage of the population.

Although the news media’s investigative arm has withered, other entities and individuals continue to struggle with unanswered questions. In the six years since 9/11, numerous distinguished scientists, engineers, architects, intelligence officers, pilots, military officers, air traffic controllers, and foreign dignitaries have raised serious and unanswered questions about the official story line.

Recognition of the inadequacy of the official account of the collapse of the twin towers is widespread in the scientific and technical community. One of the most glaring failures in the official account is the lack of an explanation of the near free-fall speed at which the buildings failed once the process began. Some scientists and engineers have attempted to bolster the official account with explanations of how this might happen in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolitions.

One recent example is the work of Cambridge University engineer, Dr. Keith Seffen, published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics and reported by the BBC on September 11, 2007. Dr. Seffen constructed a mathematical model that concludes that once initiation of failure had begun, progressive collapse of the structures would be rapid.

Another example is the work of retired government scientist Dr. Manuel Garcia, commissioned by CounterPunch to fill the gaping void in the official report. Garcia concludes, as does Seffen, that explosives are not necessary to explain the near free-fall speed at which the WTC buildings collapsed.

Seffen and Garcia each offer a speculative hypothesis about what could have happened. Their accounts are not definitive explanations based on evidence of what did happen. Thus, Seffen and Garcia bring us to the crux of the matter: To understand the buildings’ failures, we must rely on theoretical speculative models, because the forensic evidence was not examined. Their explanations thus have no more validity than a speculative hypothesis that explains the failure of the buildings as a result of explosives.

To rationally choose between the hypotheses, we would need to see how well each fits with the evidence, but most of the evidence was quickly dispersed and destroyed by federal authorities. Most of the evidence that remains consists largely of human testimony: the hundred witnesses who were inside the two towers and who report hearing and experiencing explosions and the televised statement of Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the WTC properties, who clearly said that the decision was made “to pull” WTC 7.

Today, six years after 9/11, money, ideologies, accumulated resentments, and political careers are all allied with the official story line on 9/11. Anyone on a Republican mailing list or a conservative activist list, such as Young Americans for Freedom, knows that fundraising appeals seldom fail to evoke the 9/11 attack on America. The 9/11 attacks gave neoconservatives their “new Pearl Harbor” that enabled them to implement their hegemonic agenda in the Middle East. The 9/11 attacks gave Americans boiling with accumulated frustrations a foe upon whom to vent their rage. Politicians, even Democrats, could show that they stood tall for America. George W. Bush has invested two presidential terms in “fighting terror” by invading countries in the Middle East.

September 11 doubters are a threat to the legitimacy of these massive material and emotional interests. That is why they are shouted down as “conspiracy theorists.” But if the government’s story has to be improved by outside experts in order to be plausible, then it is not irrational or kooky to doubt the official explanation.

Elements of the American left-wing are also frustrated by 9/11 doubters. CounterPunch, for example, views 9/11 as blowback from an immoral US foreign policy and as retribution for America’s past sins in the Middle East. Manuel Garcia shares this viewpoint. In the September 12, 2007, CounterPunch, Garcia writes that “rationalists and realists” are people who see 9/11 “as blowback from decades of inhuman US foreign policy.” Viewing 9/11 as a government conspiracy lets US foreign policy off the hook.

This is a legitimate point of view. But it has a downside. September 11 was the excuse for committing yet more inhuman deeds by initiating open-ended wars on both Muslims and US civil liberties. Defending the government’s account, instead of pressing the government for accountability, was liberating for the Bush administration.

Even in the official account, the story is one of massive failures: the failures of US intelligence services, the failures of airport security, the failures to intercept the hijacked airliners, the failures to preserve evidence. If a common front had taken the Bush administration to task both for failing to prevent the 9/11 attacks and for an explanation of 9/11 so inadequate that its plausibility depends on outside experts, Bush could not have so easily shifted the blame to Afghanistan and Iraq. Most 9/11 doubters do not insist on the US government’s complicity in the deed. Failure to protect, or incompetence, is a sufficient charge to deter an administration from war by turning it against itself with demands for accountability.

But no one was held accountable for 9/11 except Muslim countries. This is the reason the anti-war movement is impotent.

I also agree that 911 lies - and people's readiness to believe them - are key to the impotence of the Western peace movements.

Herewith I copy part of a letter I wrote to Muad'Dib, the creator of the very fine 7/7 Ripple Effects film, whose film had quite a disappointing response from people involved in the (excellent) website and associated discussion forum, here and following six pages: [They are worried mostly about 'speculation' whereas I contributed a post at the end of page 5 defending disciplined story-making as crucial for paradigm shifts to deeper truths.]

" I do agree with you about the tendency of intellectuals to become
over-rationalistic and to lose touch with what affects and moves ordinary
folk. Interestingly Chomsky (who has of course done tremendous work) on the one hand has a whole discourse about the intellectuals (teachers, journalists, lawyers, readers of the posh papers and watchers of prestigious TV 'news' programmes) being the most heavily indoctrinated of all - and studies of those who still believe in the official 911 story show a very high correlation with higher 'education' ha ha.

And at the other hand Chomsky himself scorns 'conspiracy theories' - in
favour of what he calls historical and structural approaches and
institutional analyses (e.g. of minutes of committees, papers of record,
etc - etc - as if a conspiracy doesn't exist unless we can lay hands on
minutes of the 911 conspirators in session!) This leads him to absurd 911
denial - the truth will never be known, nor will it make any difference, I
can see no evidence !! [maybe he has been promised he will be killed if he
speaks out??] and thus into the same bed as people like Aaronovitch and
Cohen and the Times and Telegraph and the BBC's Conspiracy Series with their highly patrician discourse positing something wrong psychologically (the 'conspiracist mindset') with us poor peasants who lack the education to make sense of a fast changing world, and so end up seizing on simplistic and dualistic conspiracy theories [as if this didn't apply to the Official
Coonspiracy Theory!]

So long as Chomsky and Galloway/SWP/Stop the War and MPAC and Mil Rai and Bruce Kent and the International Peace Bureau etc fear for their 'credibility' if they allow themselves to put 2 and 2 together on 911, then the Establishment reckons it can shrug off our challenges. But suppose these good people with their anti-racist discourse found themselves accused of racism as egregrious as many white people in Wolverhampton and the dockers who marched to support Enoch Powell after he peddled baseless stories about poor white people having grinning picanninnies shove shit throught their letter boxes, and all with NO evidence but the racist mindset was there to believe Powell - and now to believe the Bush adminstration's equally unsubstantiated, indeed disproven, story (stories) about these Arabs/Muslims who hate our way of life.

"Ye who are conscious of God - if a fasiq comes with alarming news, make
sure to verify their word, lest you afflict people out of your ignorance,
and regret your actions."
Holy Qu'ran, 49:6

to which Muad'Dib replied with his own translation:
King of kings' Bible - Sura 49:6. O ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to
you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest ye harm people unwittingly, and
afterwards become full of repentance for what ye have done.

It hurts to find people so ready to believe the racist hi-jacker legend on grounds that the (white/'Judeo-Christian') administration would never lie to us would they!? 'I can't believe that the governemtn would do that' = I can readily believe Muslims/Arabs/savages would do that!! = I trust them and you less than I trust George Bush.

Even so, one can at least work with people who are prepared to follow our arguments and reply to them - but of course subconsciously people are programmed not to be able to 'see' the crimes of the powerful in this and many other contexts. (Hypnotists can induce a hypnosis in people to tell them that they can only see five chairs in the room, and not be able to see the chair just in front of their seat. Once brought back to 'normal' then the hypnotist asks the subject to cross the room and open a window, and the one who can't see the chair in one context, doesn't just walk straight into it on his way to the window, but knows well enough what it is that he mustn't see, so goes round it. Likewise people cans see/sense what it is (such as 911) that they mustn't let themselves see.) All very sad, but at least let us not add our denial (and contempt and ill will) about their denial to the basic problem of helpng scared people awaken.

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