It is now time to look back and remember- well not exactly. That’s what we have been doing for what seems like forever. We are a nation that is stuck in grief and frightened of the future. GWB has used the words "nine eleven" more times than he has said, "Laura, where’s the remote".
Now it is time for a reality check so we can finally end the denial. 9/11 was the result of blowback. They did it to us because of what we had been doing to them for decades. Sooner or later every school yard bully gets pay back. Serious and tragic as 9/11 was, the number of deaths does not even compare with the deaths that have resulted from U.S. interventions.
Author/historian William Blum states:
"Between 1945 and 2005 the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes… In the process, the U.S. caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair." (Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower).
"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine" (Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower).
Many believe the 9/11 conspiracy theories – understandable, since it is so well known that this government is not above the killing of its own. Whether the government was the cause or not, it surely has taken full advantage of the tragedy. The main challenge to the conspiracy theorists comes from Osama Bin Laden. He explained why the attack occurred. Anybody remember his statement? He gave three reasons – the unfair treatment of the Israeli/Palestinian issue, the stationing of U.S. troops in their holy land, and the sanctions which resulted in the deaths of a half million Iraqi children. Thank you for setting the record straight, Osama. Notice he did not say that they attacked us because of our "freedoms". He did not say that they attacked us because of religious differences. Most of those who are informed about U.S. foreign policy knew the reasons for the attack even before Osama made his statement.
The 9/11 Commission Report leaves a lot to be desired. It has raised the art of obfuscation to new heights. I confess – I have not read all 567 pages of the Report. After the first three pages, I ran out of NoDoz. I did watch the Congressional Hearings on C-Span. In her testimony before the Congressional Committee, Kristen Breitweiser said, "…The jigs up…" (C-Span2, Aug. 17, 2004, 10:45 a.m.). It would have been a move in the right direction if she had been referring to U.S. actions around the world, but the context of her statement showed that she believes that the tragedy of 9/11 was a failure of Intelligence. The testimony of other family members of victims, Stephen Push and Mary Fetchet, indicated a greater willingness to recognize that 9/11 was a failure of U.S. foreign policy and diplomacy. In Mary Fetchet’s testimony, she stated, "…Foreign policy is the core of the threat of terrorism…" Fetchet’s statement might be the single most important comment ever made about 9/11.
The most compassionate act, that any of us can do in support of the 9/11 families, is to inform others about the government’s international policies that led to 9/11. Has any member of Congress or any member of the commission mentioned the connection between U.S. foreign policy and the 9/11 attacks? Yes, Ron Paul made the shocking 9/11 – foreign policy connection during a recent Republican debate. Paul’s statement almost sent Giuliani into a seizure.
Ignoring the role that U.S. foreign policy played in causing the tragedy of 9/11 is like ignoring the elephant in the middle of the room. Authors have been predicting a 9/11 type of attack for many years. Chalmers Johnson wrote his book, Blowback, before the attack happened.
The CIA has been using the term "blowback" for decades because they knew that there would be a violent reaction to U.S. foreign policy. It was common knowledge. In view of this, how can it be that not one of our elected officials in Washington could foresee the event? There are two possibilities: none of our representatives was smart enough to think in terms of cause and effect. That is hard to believe. There is a better explanation. Some members of Congress did know. They did not know the time and place of the attack, but they had to know that an attack would be the inevitable result of U.S. foreign policy. If they didn’t know it before 9/11, they surely have to know it now, and that brings us up to today and the ongoing presidential campaign season.
Dennis Kucinich says that he is opposed to the U.S. Mid-East policies and the war. Why are there no other candidates, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, suggesting that the time has come for a major change in U.S. foreign policy? Neither Kucinich or Paul stands much chance of winning the Primary. Both share a fatal flaw. They are members of the major political parties and that indicates an acceptance of what these two Parties have done in recent years. Any candidate who is not in agreement with the Party Platform, should run as an Independent. A vote for any Democrat or Republican signals an acceptance of the deadly policies that led to 9/11. It is time to think outside the box and look at candidates from alternative parties. It was during the Clinton administration that Madeleine Albright stated that the death of 500,000 children was worth it. It’s a toss-up when trying to decide which Party is more dangerous. Both Parties have betrayed the people in favor of the war profiteers who wander the halls of Congress.
The biggest flaw in the conspiracy theory is that it ignores the anger that has built up in the rest of the world – anger that is a direct result of U.S. actions. 9/11 was not acceptable but it was predictable and understandable – a simple application of the Law of Cause and Effect. Who caused 9/11 ? Well maybe it really was the government after all. Nineteen men hi-jacked the planes, but the ultimate cause was the policies of the government of the United States.
The provocative policies continue. The Pentagon has just released a list of 1200 targets to bomb in Iran. Was this announcement a well-planned, deliberate act designed to provoke another attack? A new 9/11 attack would further enrich the corporations that manufacture weapons. Just follow the money since the first 9/11. 9/11 is the goose that has laid the golden grenade.
Is there an ongoing conspiracy to create blowback? Maybe the conspiracy theorists have a point.