[A-List] "9/11 explains the impotence of the antiwar movement"
mstainsby at resist.ca
Wed Sep 19 01:20:25 MDT 2007
9/11 explains the impotence of the antiwar movement
By Paul Craig Roberts
Online Journal Guest Writer
September 14, 2007
The antiwar 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 antiwar 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
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
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, whether in deed or cover-up,
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 antiwar movement is impotent.
Paul Craig Roberts [paulcraigroberts(at)yahoo.com] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author
of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in
Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the
Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are
Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter
Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent
epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.
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