The World Trade Center Demolition
and the So-Called War on Terrorism
11. The U.S.A. — a Terrorist State
In a sermon delivered in 1651, Peter Bulkeley, first minister of Concord, Mass., said:
We are as a city set upon a hill, in the open view of all the earth, the eyes of the world are upon us because we profess ourselves to be a people in covenant with God ... Let us study so to walk that this may be our excellency and dignity among the nations of the world among which we live; that they may be constrained to say of us, only this people is wise, a holy and blessed people ... We are the seed that the Lord hath blessed.
Whether or not the world ever looked upon the United States in this way, the country was at least, at some times not too far in the past, widely admired. How far it has fallen in the eyes of the world, having become under the regime of Bush and Cheney the most despised country on Earth except for Israel.
Many still believe that the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were the work of Arab terrorists who hate America. George W. Bush has even suggested in his usual idiotic fashion that they hate America because "America is free", "America is a democracy", etc. No. America used to be admired for these qualities. Where America is now hated it is because of its long-standing and intolerable interference and domination of other countries and its impoverishment of the people of those countries.
The initiators of the attacks decided to implement their plan after America has provoked immense hatred throughout the world. Not because of its might, but because of the way it uses its might. It is hated by the enemies of globalization, who blame it for the terrible gap between rich and poor in the world. It is hated by millions of Arabs, because of its support for the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian people. It is hated by multitudes of Muslims, because of what looks like its support for the Jewish domination of the Islamic holy shrines in Jerusalem. And there are many more angry peoples who believe that America supports their tormentors.
Until September 11, 2001 ... Americans could entertain the illusion that all this concerns only others, in far-away places beyond the seas, that it does not touch their sheltered lives at home. No more.
— Uri Avnery: Twin Towers
Americans are largely unaware of the enormity of the crimes committed by their government (or rather, by individuals within their government). But in a representative democracy, such as allegedly exists in the U.S.A., can the people deny responsibility for the actions and policies of their government? How long can they allow their government, whose leaders they elect, to commit one atrocity after another and at the same time pretend that they themselves are innocent of any wrong-doing?
Like the Four Riders of the Apocalypse, the unknown kamikaze rode their giant crafts into the two visible symbols of American world domination, Wall Street and the Pentagon. ... They could be practically anybody: ... anybody who rejects the twin gods of the dollar and the M-16, who hates the stock market and interventions overseas, who dreams of America for Americans, who does not want to support the drive for world domination. ... Germans can remember the fiery holocaust of Dresden with its hundreds of thousands of peaceful refugees incinerated by the US Air Force. Japanese will not forget the nuclear holocaust of Hiroshima. the Arab world still feels the creeping holocaust of Iraq and Palestine. Russians and East Europeans feel the shame of Belgrade avenged. ... Asians count their dead of Vietnam war, Cambodia bombings, Laos CIA operations in millions. ...
The Riders could be anybody who lost his house to the bank, who was squeezed from his work and made permanently unemployed, who was declared an Untermensch by the new Herrenvolk. ...
America could see this painful strike at her Wall Street and her Pentagon, as the last call to repent. She should change her advisers, and build her relations with the world afresh, on equal footing. Probably she should rein in the domination-obsessed Jewish supremacist elites of Wall Street and media, part company with Israeli apartheid. She could become again the universally loved, rather parochial America of Walt Whitman and Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Abe Lincoln.
— Israel Shamir: Orient Express
"Repent" is an apt term. Today the United States of America is morally bankrupt. During the coming months, or while there is still time, America (and to some extent Europe) must engage in some deep self-examination. Americans have willfully ignored the reality that exists beyond their borders (other than sporting events and vacation destinations), often preferring to "create their own" so as to avoid acknowledging what they don't wish to see. Americans have been completely self-absorbed, not knowing and not wanting to know the effects of their government's policies and actions on billions of people who live outside the U.S. Those policies and actions have resulted in millions of deaths through widespread malnutrition and the persistence of eradicable diseases (such as malaria); in economic, social and educational impoverishment for the majority of the world's population; and in the denial of human rights for all those who live under tyrannical regimes supported by the U.S. That is why the U.S.A. is so hated. (And insofar as other governments — in particular, the British government — have supported, and continue to support, U.S. policies they too deserve moral condemnation.)
The denial by Israel of the human rights of the Palestinians, and its decades-long intransigent refusal to address their legitimate grievances, is just the most visible of the many evils resulting from morally bankrupt U.S. policies. The U.S. (at the urging of American Jews and acting through the United Nations at a time when most Arab states were not yet members) created Israel in 1947 against the wishes of the people of the Middle East. (The U.S. basically stole the land from the Palestinians and gave it to the Zionists, and then gave the state of Israel money — currently three billion dollars per year — for all the police and military hardware — the tanks, the attack helicopters, the missiles, the grenades — it needed to hold onto that stolen territory and to steal, or "annex", even more.) Now the U.S. has to deal with the consequences (and it is interesting to note that just prior to the WTC attack the U.S. was preparing to announce its support for a Palestinian state — mandated by the U.N. in 1947 anyway — much to the displeasure of Israel).
Racism: When will
We Face the Facts?
Another thing which many people find galling is the shocking hypocrisy and double standards characteristic of the American attitude to the rest of the world. Why is it "terrorism" when Palestinians defend themselves against Israeli brutality but what Israel does is not "terrorism"? How can the U.S. call for the trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders while denying the right of the recently-established International Criminal Court to try Americans?
Less visible are the many ways in which U.S. multinational corporations conspire with the U.S. government (which does its best to coerce other governments to follow it), the IMF, the World Bank and other organizations whose undeclared purpose is to make the rich richer and to maximize their profits regardless of the widespread impoverishment this brings to many people not only in developing countries but also to those people in modern industrial societies who do not belong to the moneyed and ruling class.
The facts have long been available to any U.S. resident who cares to read The Nation, Z Magazine, or the thirty or so books of Noam Chomsky — rarely mentioned in the mainstream media.
I have often thought that if a rational Fascist dictatorship were to exist, then it would choose the American system. — Noam Chomsky, Language and Responsibility
(Unfortunately Chomsky has chosen to become an accessory to the 9/11 cover-up; see Noam Chomsky & JFK. Perhaps worse; see here and here.)
Or any of the many audiotapes, videos, CD-ROMS, books and magazine articles exposing the immoralities of the CIA (a terrorist organization which richly deserves to be eliminated as soon as possible, preferably by an act of Congress, with its headquarters at Langley demolished and the land ploughed over). But no — most Americans couldn't care less about the sufferings of people outside America, being too busy either trying to survive as wage-slaves in a corporate capitalist society or (for the more fortunate) constantly scanning their immediate environment for ways to "enrich" their lives. Now they know what death, destruction, fear and dread are, what people in other countries have long known (over long periods) as a result of the actions and policies of the U.S. government and those of the corrupt regimes it has installed to serve its purposes.
So how have they responded to this revelation? Mostly with mindless demands on their government to seek revenge and further death and destruction, and George W. Bush has pandered to this desire for revenge, declaring that he wants the alleged culprit Usama bin Laden "dead or alive". Seems he's changed his views on revenge since the 2000 Presidential campaign:
... you cannot lead America to a positive tomorrow with revenge on one's mind. Revenge is so incredibly negative. — George W. Bush, Interview with the Washington Post, March 23, 2000
The attack on the Twin Towers was not the work of Arab terrorists but rather was the work of terrorists within the U.S. government itself who seek to gain control of Central Asian and Middle Eastern oil and to impose a fascist dictatorship not only upon the United States but also upon the entire world. What is to be done? The answer is that those traitors (prominent among whom is the Bush crime family) must be exposed, their crimes revealed, and they themselves removed from the positions of power they presently hold. Furthermore, government in the U.S. must be cleansed of corruption and restored to conformity with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights: a restoration of the American Republic. The "anti-terrorist" legislation of October 2001 (and that of April 1995 and Britain's Terrorism Act of 2000), intended to facilitate government surveillance and control of the people so as to stifle free speech and dissent, must be repealed.
The Bill of Rights is a literal and absolute document. The First Amendment doesn't say you have a right to speak out unless the government has a 'compelling interest' in censoring the Internet. The Second Amendment doesn't say you have the right to keep and bear arms until some madman plants a bomb. The Fourth Amendment doesn't say you have a right to be secure from search and seizure unless some FBI agent thinks you fit the profile of a terrorist. The government has no right to interfere with any of these freedoms under any circumstances.
— Harry Browne: Harry Browne on Anti-terrorist Proposals
America must also end its long history of the practice of genocide, honor the principles expressed in the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and cease its ruthless exploitation (mainly for the benefit of a capitalist ruling class) of the world's economic resources and the world's people. This means that better-off Americans will have to give up some of the luxuries they've taken for granted, but perhaps they can make the sacrifice more readily if they remind themselves that nearly half the people on this planet (2.8 billion) currently live (if you can call it living) on less than US$2 a day.
Examples of genocide within U.S. history are common enough not to be considered remarkable or even genocide. Among historic crimes which are not commonly called genocide: the destruction of North American Indian peoples, the liquidation of six million Brazilian Indians through the policies of multi-national corporations, effects of U.S. economic and military policies on the poor throughout the Americas, the Euro-American slave trade and subsequent treatment of black Americans, and the fate of the American poor. ...
Corporate capitalism may simply be legitimized genocide by economic means. ... Those without ethics no longer sell beads to the indians, but rockets and missiles to "underdeveloped countries," where the arms kill off as many poor people as possible.
— J. B. Gerald: Is the U.S. Really a Signatory to the U.N. Convention on Genocide?
If the people of the United States do not themselves cleanse their government of its current corruption, and return the nation to conformity with the principles of a republic, upon which it was founded, then disaster will ensue: Either a global fascist dictatorship will result or the U.S. government will be destroyed by the cooperation of the other countries of the world (using whatever means necessary, military and non-military). Either of these possibilities could produce such damage on a global scale that the survival of the human species would be in doubt.
Those who think that the description of the U.S.A. as "a terrorist state" is too extreme should inform themselves of the nature of the American CIA, which is an international terrorist organization. The CIA implements the policies of the President of the United States. The CIA carries out unofficial U.S. government policy. This means that the United States is a terrorist state.
On October 12th , a couple of days after the bombing [of Afghanistan] started, [George W.] Bush publicly announced to the Afghan people that we will continue to bomb you, unless your leadership turns over to us the people who we suspect of carrying out crimes, although we refuse to give you any evidence. ...
Notice that is a textbook illustration of international terrorism, by the US official definition. That is the use of the threat of force or violence, in this case extreme violence, to obtain political ends through intimidation, fear and so on. That's the official definition, a textbook illustration of it.
Three weeks later, by the end of October, the war aims had changed. They were first announced as far as I can find out, by the British Defense Minister, Sir Admiral Boyce. Admiral Boyce informed the Afghan population that we will continue to bomb you until you change your leadership. Well, that's an even more dramatic illustration of international terrorism ...
— Noam Chomsky: Is the U.S. a Terrorist State?
And now in September 2002 the United States is threatening to bomb Iraq (no doubt killing many thousands of civilians and destroying much of the civilian infrastructure as it did in 1991) unless its leader resigns his position or the people of Iraq somehow manage to remove him (and allow a regime to be installed which is acceptable to Washington). Is it not glaringly obvious that the U.S.A. is a terrorist state?
Several thousand civilians died in the collapse of the WTC towers, and hundreds of military personnel were killed in the attack on the Pentagon — though the numbers are small compared to:
- the hundreds of thousands of civilians incinerated in the U.S. fire bombings of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo, and in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki;
- the two to five million post-World-War-II refugees from the Soviet Union who were forcibly returned to Stalin, to face either immediate execution or a slow death in the Gulag, on the orders of Roosevelt and Eisenhower in Operation Keelhaul;
- the millions of civilians who died from hunger and disease as a result of U.S.-instigated mass starvation of Germans during 1945-1950 under the Morgenthau Plan;
- the millions of Native Americans killed by soldiers and occupiers of their land in the 19th Century or allowed to starve to death by the U.S. government in the 20th (a clear case of genocide);
- the thousands of Iranians tortured and murdered by SAVAK, the secret police of the regime installed in 1953 as a result of a CIA-led coup which overthrew the popular Iranian Premier, Mossadegh);
- the million or so Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians killed by the American military in the 1960s and 70s whilst defending their countries from American domination (or simply because they happened to be where the Americans carried out their carpet bombings);
- the tens of thousands of civilians who were tortured and murdered by CIA-installed dictatorships in Central and South America;
- the 200,000 people (all civilians) killed (using U.S.-supplied equipment) as a result of Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in 1975 for which prior approval was given by the then U.S. President and U.S. Secretary of State (Ford and Kissinger);
- the six million Brazilian Indians who have died as a result of the policies of multinational corporations;
- the 10,000 to 20,000 people, mostly civilians, killed in the U.S.-supported 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel;
- the 300,000 Iranians killed in the Iran/Iraq war, which was started by Iraq at the instigation of the U.S. (which supplied Iraq with the weapons it used);
- the 200,000 civilians killed by Reagan's CIA-cocaine-funded Contras in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras in the 1980s;
- the 6,000 (perhaps as many as 20,000) Iraqi civilians killed during the 41 days and nights of bombing by the British and the Americans in 1991 (during which time the civilian infrastructure was targeted, a war crime), including:
- the 500 civilians (including whole families) burnt alive and turned into cinders when American missiles penetrated a shelter in Baghdad;
- the tens of thousands of Iraqi conscripts slaughtered on the "Highway of Death" by U.S. Navy pilots during their attempted retreat from Kuwait in 1991 (another war crime because the soldiers killed were not in a combat situation);
- the tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians killed in South-East Turkey during the 1990s by Turkish government soldiers using weapons and equipment supplied to them by the U.S. (which knew exactly what they were doing with them);
- the tens of thousands of civilians in Sudan who have died due to the absence of medicines resulting from the destruction of the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant by American cruise missiles in 1998 and from the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan;
- the one to two million Iraqi civilians, two-thirds of them children, who have died in the last ten years as a result of the effects of the hundreds of tons of cancer-causing depleted uranium left over from the million or so exploded rounds of DU ammunition used in attacks by American warplanes in the 1991 American/British 6-week terrorist campaign against Iraq and from the subsequent U.S./British-imposed economic blockade and criminally punitive sanctions (not to mention those killed by the bombing raids which occur every week);
- and the tens of millions of civilians who die every year in Third World countries from starvation, disease and despair because their countries are mired in poverty and corruption as a result of economic exploitation by American multinational corporations and the international banking elite acting with the support and approval of the American government.
To those in the higher echelons of a government of a terrorist state which, by means of its military and its CIA, has killed tens of millions of civilians in foreign countries, the killing of a few thousand of their fellow citizens is simply another exercise in mass murder, needing a little more planning, but not much different to what they and their predecessors have done before.
When asked about the number of Iraqis who died in the war [the 1991 Gulf Slaughter], US General Colin Powell [current US Secretary of State] replied: "It's really not a number I'm terribly interested in." — The Allied Genocide of Iraq
Terrible though that act of terrorism [the Madrid bombings] was, it was small compared with the terrorism of the American-led "coalition". Yes, terrorism. How strange it reads when it describes the actions of "our" governments. So saturated are we in the West in the devilry of Third World tyrants (most of them the products of Western imperialism) that we have lost all sense of the enormous crime committed in our name. — John Pilger, The crime committed in our name
That the U.S.A. is a terrorist state is proven by the Vietnam War
Terrorism is the practice of the deliberate infliction of harm, injury, death and/or destruction upon a civilian target sufficient to cause horror, revulsion or despair among the civilian population and/or their political leaders, with the goal of causing those populations or political leaders to act in a way desired by the terrorists.
The goal of the Americans in the Vietnam war was not to defeat in battle the military forces of the North Vietnamese Army but rather to kill so many Vietnamese, and to destroy so much of Vietnamese society, that the people of North Vietnam would force their leaders to negotiate surrender. This strategy is one of terrorism, and those in the American government who planned and carried out this war were terrorists. Since they were leaders and functionaries of the U.S.A., that state is a terrorist state.
The Pentagon understood that the Viet Cong had the support of most Vietnamese villagers, and the only way that they could win the war was to terrorize the Vietnamese population to the point where resistance to the American occupation would cease. The program of terror was carried out partly by CIA assassination squads (between 20,000 and 40,000 Vietnamese were murdered from 1968 to 1971 by the CIA in Operation Phoenix) but mainly by bombing. The tonnage of bombs that the U.S. dropped on the people of North and South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos — over 8 million tons — was roughly three times that dropped by all sides in World War II. Between 1.5 and 2 million Vietnamese died as a result, and hundreds of thousands more in Laos and Cambodia. The Americans bombed not just military targets but also villages, hospitals, schools and churches. And after the bombing they returned to strafe the civilians.
Napalm, a jellied gasoline, was widely used. The gasoline burns and the jelly makes it stick to a person's body. Problem was that it could be scraped off if the victim was quick. So the Pentagon started adding polystyrene so it could not be scraped off. Problem was that, if the victim could jump into a pool or a stream, the gasoline would cease to burn. So the Pentagon started adding white phosphorus, which burns even under water, and burns flesh right down to the bone. (What sick minds invented this?) The Americans were still using white phosphorus bombs against civilians in Iraq in 2003.
The U.S. pilots sang songs about their work. Here are a couple of verses (taken from Jonathan Neale's A People's History of the Vietnam War) from a song sung to the tune of "Wake the Town and Tell the People"
Strafe the town and kill the people,
Drop your napalm in the square;
Do it early Sunday morning,
Catch them while they're still at prayer.
Drop some candy to the orphans,
Watch them as they gather round;
Use your twenty millimeter,
Mow those little bastards down.
From Jonathan Schell's review of Nick Turse's 2013 book Kill Anything that MovesNick Turse has for the first time put together a comprehensive picture, written with mastery and dignity, of what American forces actually were doing in Vietnam. The findings disclose an almost unspeakable truth. Meticulously piecing together newly released classified information, court-martial records, Pentagon reports, and first-hand interviews in Vietnam and the United States, as well as contemporaneous press accounts and secondary literature, Turse discovers that episodes of devastation, murder, massacre, rape, and torture once considered isolated atrocities were in fact the norm, adding up to a continuous stream of atrocity, unfolding, year after year, throughout that country. ...
I [Schell, as war correspondent] would watch long lines of houses burst into flames one after another as troops moved through the area of operation. In the meantime, the Forward Air Controllers were calling in air strikes as requested by radio from troops on the ground. In past operations, the villagers had been herded out of the area into the camps. But this time, no evacuation had been ordered, and the population was being subjected to the full fury of a ground and air assault. A rural society was being torn to pieces before my eyes. ...
It has not been until the publication of Turse's book that the everyday reality of which these atrocities were a part has been brought so fully to light. ...
The savagery often extended to the utmost depravity: gratuitous torture, killing for target practice, slaughter of children and babies, gang rape. ...
[General Westmoreland's] policy of, in effect, terrorizing the peasantry into submission was utterly inconsistent with the Washington narrative of winning hearts and minds, but it was fully consistent with everything his forces were actually doing ...
... domestic political considerations [fear of losing the next presidential election] trumped the substantive reasoning that, once the futility and horror of the enterprise had been revealed, might have led to an end to the war. More and more it was understood [in Washington] to be a murderous farce, but politics dictated that it must continue. As long as this remained the case, no news from Vietnam could lead to a reversal of the war policies. This was the top floor of the skyscraper of lies that was the Vietnam War. Domestic politics was the largest and most fact-proof of the atrocity-producing situations. Do we imagine that this has changed?
— How did the Gates of Hell open in Vietnam?
Nothing has changed. The U.S.A. remains a terrorist state.
Americans cannot make a connection between the wanton killing of Iraqi, Afghani and Pakistani civilians (these days increasingly by means of drone strikes) and the wanton killing of American civilians (including children) by lone gunmen with automatic weapons (as in the massacres which occurred in 2012 in cinemas and schools). A few Americans on the fringe of U.S. society perceive the evil of the American government terrorism in carrying out mass murder in distant countries, and, often at the cost of their own lives, they show Americans what mass murder feels like by performing it within the U.S. itself. But Americans will never see the connection.
From John Pilger's article From Hiroshima to Syria, the enemy whose name we dare not speak
The intrinsic criminality of the atomic bombing [of Hiroshima and Nagasaki] is borne out in the US National Archives and by the subsequent decades of militarism camouflaged as democracy. The Syria psychodrama [of August-September 2013] exemplifies this. Yet again, we are held hostage to the prospect of a terrorism whose nature and history even the most liberal critics still deny. The great unmentionable is that humanity's most dangerous enemy resides across the Atlantic [in Washington D.C.]. ...
Whether or not Bashar al-Assad or the "rebels" used gas in the suburbs of Damascus, it is the US not Syria that is the world's most prolific user of these terrible weapons. In 1970, the Senate reported, "The US has dumped on Vietnam a quantity of toxic chemical (dioxin) amounting to six pounds per head of population". This was Operation Hades, later renamed the friendlier Operation Ranch Hand: the source of what Vietnamese doctors call a "cycle of foetal catastrophe". ...
With not a single tank on the White House lawn, a military coup has taken place in Washington. In 2008, while his liberal devotees dried their eyes, Obama accepted the entire Pentagon of his predecessor, George Bush: its wars and war crimes. As the constitution is replaced by an emerging police state, those who destroyed Iraq with shock and awe, and piled up the rubble in Afghanistan and reduced Libya to a Hobbesian nightmare, are ascendant across the US administration.
State Terrorism: NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia
It is possible to identify two methods by which NATO waged its one-sided war on the civilians of Serbia. Firstly, it took steps to degrade their quality of life and impose immediate hardships on the them. Hardships which were becoming greater as the bombing dragged on, but which would come to an end quickly if the war was to end. Secondly, it threatened to intensify and continue the bombing until the whole of Serbian economy lay in ruins for the long term and took steps to convince Serbians it was willing to act upon its implicit threat. Both methods presumed destruction of civilian targets. Both were employed for the purpose of coercing the general population to pressure for termination of war on NATO's terms. As such they were straightforward examples of terrorism.
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