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An Orwellian Nightmare

by Biörn Ivemark
5 February 2002

Much seems to indicate a US complicity in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Facts are slowly accumulating, making it all look as a big setup. Even the most critical "left" has been silent on these issues, while criticism is usually adressed to "the efficiency of war as a remedy to terrorism". Meanwhile, civil liberties are under attack globally, and the US control of one of the world's "most strategically significant" regions, bordering to Russia and China, becomes more and more real. Long but important article.

1.  Freedom Is Slavery
2.  Ignorance Is Strength
3.  War Is Peace
4.  "Collateral Damage"
5.  Suspicion of US Complicity in 9-11
6.  Enduring the Future
7.  Notes (important content)



Freedom Is Slavery:
The enemy within
and the foundations of a police state

"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

--Hermann Goering

It could be useful to remind ourselves of something we often tend to forget. We live in the richest and most privileged part of the world, and we have through history, by the most abominable means, conquered and put under our control most of what remained of it. This violence is still alive today, in our political, economic, social, cultural (...) relations with the rest of the world. But we have recently experienced a significant and mysterious historic change. The most powerful country in the world has been attacked with horrendous violence -- unfortunately far from being unusual elsewhere. And as in the past, we can see apologists of our historical barbarism resurfacing, reinforcing our cartoonish perception of the world, claiming the necessity of being "aware of the superiority of Western civilization" (Berlusconi) when it enters this "war between the civilized world and fanaticism" (Blair), where "even parts of the uncivilized world have started to wonder whether they are on the right side" (Dep. Secr. of Defense Wolfowitz).

The pattern is clear. Bush junior will give us the choice: "you are with us or the terrorists". The sane urge to laugh will quickly fade away. After the ruins, the corpses and the dubious political future of Afghanistan, Washington now prepares to run the second major act of its "Operation Enduring Freedom". Meanwhile, Western citizens are still screaming for revenge under their flag -- although some of their freedoms were severely trampled in the rush.

Since September 11, more than a thousand immigrants have been secretly arrested in the United States. It is hard to know where and under which conditions they are detained, and if they have access to lawyers. And after the adoption of the anti-terrorist legislations, the FBI estimates a "sensible" increase in the number of prisoners. According to Attorney General John Ashcroft, that "sensible" increase would represent 5,000 more arrests, in raids that history will not judge mildly. But even Sandra Day O'Connor, justice of the US Supreme Court says "we're likely to experience more restrictions on our personal freedom than has ever been the case in our country". She may be right. To date, official policy has already violated three amendments of the US Constitution, while the trend is also spreading through Europe. And in the mean time, military courts are setting up, prisoners of war lose their rights, and the FBI plans to "use drugs or means of pressure" or to extradite suspects "to allied countries where security services threaten family members and use torture". [1]

The fearful atmosphere that hangs over the West is also the ideal opportunity to ram through measures that have met severe popular opposition for a long time. Jo Moore, special adviser to the British government, explained to her colleagues a few minutes after the first WTC tower collapsed that it was "a very good day to get out anything we want to bury". Her wisdom is understood in many circles. Everybody wants a share of the cake, while justifying it with all kinds of honorable and altruist aims.

The Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill calls the American tax policy an "abomination" and considers eliminating all taxes for corporations and abolishing Social security and Medicare. He will at least find an obvious exception: "National defense is a federal responsibility, but all other outlays need review". It seems the "federal responsibility" was followed when the Bush administration recently raised the military budget by 15%, although it already was higher than the combined budget of the next 15 countries on the list.

And the same deceptive pattern can be seen in trade policy. Robert Zoellick, the American trade representative has propagated speeches and writings praising the benefits of the Fast Track bill, that would permit the president to negotiate and ratify trade agreements without Congressional (that is, democratic) interference. He guarantees that imposing this dictatorial economic policy is one of the best ways to fight terrorism. The bill passed Congress with a one vote margin in December. It would be surprising if the strategy was innovated to justify and impose Bush's plans for militarizing space (through his so-called anti-missile "defense").

All this is wrapped in the flag and defended by stamping all dissent as "un-American" and "unpatriotic". In addition, as if this intellectual terrorism wasn't enough, dissent is silenced with surveillance and intimidation, if not by straight out criminalizing. Analogies are often made between the supposed perpetrators of the terrorist attack that killed thousands and those "vociferating anti-globalization primates" (Jean-François Revel) -- Zoellick claims that the two groups share "intellectual connections" -- they have the same tendency to show a "violent behavior", according to the WTO secretary David Hartridge. [2]

The totalitarian charges of "anti-Americanism" are already proliferating freely, but it seems as if today we somehow have managed to enter the domain of science fiction. Those who are cold-headed enough to criticize what they see are quickly put back into place with methods reminiscent of the fanatic hunt for communists during the Cold War. "We're talking about exactly the same phenomenon", says the president of the American Civil Liberties Union. And the media is the worst guest at the party.

The media watchdogs warn that the freedom of press is threatened, and describe the media as a "militarized zone". Some journalists with too daring comments or articles are fired and sometimes defamed to a point where apologies are necessary "for the country's good". The role of the press in this time of crisis was clearly defined by White House spokesman Ari Fleicher when he said that, "they're reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do". After these calls to order, patriotic obedience and fear choke off all independent thought and the media self-censor at governmental request or by simple "matter of taste", and turn into pure war propaganda machines. [3]


Ignorance Is Strength:
The bewildered herd
and the war for `hearts and minds'

"There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.
        The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

--John Swinton (New York Times editor, from a speech
to the New York Press Club, 1953)

As we easily can observe, war makes democracy run out the back door. But it is perhaps one of the best occasions to understand the flexibility of its definition. The first successful American experiment of institutional propaganda began before the First World War, when the Commission on Public Information was created to persuade the mostly pacifist American people to enter the war. Its success was amazing. A member of the commission was Walter Lippmann, the most influential and respected journalist at the time.

Obviously inspired by his propagandistic experience, he spoke later about a "revolution in the practice of democracy" where an "intelligent minority" in charge of the political arena, had to "manufacture the consent" of the people, when it was not automatically granted to the decisions of this "specialized class". This "shaping of a healthy public opinion" would permit the minority to "live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd", an allusion to the people, an "ignorant and meddlesome outsider" whose role is to be a "spectator", not a "participant". Edward Bernays, another member of the Commission, concluded in 1925 that it was now possible to "regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies". [4]

These propagandist achievements obviously charmed the intellectual community, and had an undeniable influence on the workings of the ideological apparatus, like the corporate media. The political analyst Noam Chomsky points out that "the mass media everywhere tend to serve the important interests that dominate the state and select and suppress facts so as to convey the impression that national policy is well-intentioned and justified. If the dominant interests of a free society call for a policy of foreign aggression, the mass media will voluntarily mobilize the population as effectively as under a fully censored system". Therefore, "rogue states that are internally free -- and the U.S. is at the outer limits in this respect -- must rely on the willingness of the educated classes to produce accolades and tolerate or deny terrible crimes". [5]

War is of course the worst environment for the media. The journalist Salim Muwakkil accurately reminds that "the passions of war unleash demons that must be scrupulously monitored. Had American media been more conscientious during World War II, thousands of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent wouldn't have been interned. The German press, though originally suspicious and critical of the Nazi party, began falling in line after the 1933 Reichstag Fire convinced them that external threats were a potent danger. And were the pretexts for our entry into the Vietnam War more thoroughly analyzed, millions of Vietnamese and thousands of Americans may not have died".

These propagandist ideologies were also the source of the public relations industry (PR) -- another big institution that is mobilized for the war. According to a recent newsletter of the industry, "PR has a vital role to play in promoting economic globalization and fighting terrorism". The war gives new challenges to the industry. The letter quotes Jack Leslie, president of Weber Shandwick Worldwide, who suggests that the United States should apply a "Powell doctrine" of using "overwhelming force" to its communications strategy: "No tactic should be ruled out -- every tactical approach should be considered that can deliver the right message to the right targets with credibility".

Many key sectors have hired PR firms after September 11th: the pharmaceutical industry, wishing to be positioned as the "principal source of information to the public" on the subject of bio-terrorism; the American private equity firm Carlyle (to which Bush Sr. and other heads of state are affiliated) wanting to hide the fact that it counts members of the Bin Laden family in its major investors; as well as the Pentagon, disturbed by the surprising lack of support in the Arab world for its holy war. As one Pentagon official explains: "we are clearly losing the `hearts and minds' issue". The specialists of manipulation and control of this field therefore have to intervene. The herd's minds have to be kept on track. [6]

The New York Times recalls that "In all conflicts, winning the information war has been an essential element of military strategy". But while all the ideological institutions are mobilized, and the president speaks about a war between "good and evil" in which his "good nation" mixes peanut butter with his cluster bombs, it is essential to understand which reality hides behind this opaque veil of cynical rhetoric. [7]


War Is Peace: "We are a peaceful nation" (George W. Bush)

"Throughout the world, on any given day, a man, woman, or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed, or `disappeared', at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame." / "The U.S.A. has supplied arms, security equipment and training to governments and armed groups that have committed torture, political killings and other human rights abuses in countries around the world."

--Amnesty International, 1996, 1998

First of all we have to put all this in its context and remember that the terrorists of Afghanistan are an American creation. Recruited for their brutality all over the Middle East, they were regarded as the "moral equivalents of the founding fathers" (Bush Sr.) at the time of the Soviet invasion and were heavily financed by the CIA. Surprisingly, they have now lost those charming traits. Benazir Bhutto, the president of Pakistan at the time, had warned the father of Bush: "You have created a Frankenstein's monster".

While the pressure went up on Afghanistan after the hijackings in the US, a Taliban ambassador proposed to judge the Saudi millionaire if they advanced "solid evidence that binds him to the [9-11] attacks". This proposal was rejected by Bush who regarded it as "non-negotiable". Other similar diplomatic proposals since then have received the same greetings. Jean Paul II suggests that "those who are guilty of these acts be held accountable once evidence is produced, but not others" Such requirements of proof are apparently a fanatical and incomprehensible idea in our part of the world. [8]

Legal solutions that should ordinarily be undertaken in this kind of conflicts exist although they never are mentioned or discussed in the major media. A presupposition for their success would be that the US respected international law. However this would be quite naïve to expect as clarified in October: "A sign of Washington's insistence that its hands not be tied was its rejection of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's entreaties that any American military action be subject to Security Council approval " (New York Times 7/10).

But the refusal to explore proposed diplomatic solutions, and the refusal to accept the jurisdiction of UN (incidentally the crimes are the those used by the US as a guideline for pointing out "rogue states"), does not prevent the Western intellectuals from speaking about a "just" and "humanitarian" war.

Other voices are effectively excluded from the mainstream despite their number. Professor of law Michael Mandel, specializing in international criminal law, explains that "From the legal point of view, this war is illegal. Of course, it's also immoral and it won't prevent terrorism. The war is illegal because it's a flagrant violation of the express words of the Charter of the United Nations. In fact, it's not only illegal, it's criminal. It's what the Nuremberg tribunal called `the supreme crime', the crime against peace". Respecting international law is far from being necessary in a world ruled by force (at least for the lucky one on top of the pyramid). John Bolton, the new assistant of Secretary of State Colin Powell, illustrates it plainly: "international law doesn't exist". [9]

However, this legal option has antecedents. In the eighties, the United States launched their first official war on terrorism, with the aim of "cutting out the cancer" represented by the "depraved opponents to civilisation itself" consisting essentially of Central Americans (remember, the Afghans were "freedom fighters" at the time). In that first war, the US attacked Nicaragua, killing about fifty thousand people ("soft targets" in military jargon).

Not understanding that this operation was carried out "to promote democracy", Nicaragua went to the International Court of Justice. The court judged in favor of Nicaragua, rejected the US claim of "self-defense", ordered them to cease the "illegal use of force" and to pay significant reparations. The United States answered by refusing future jurisdiction of the court, and by intensifying the attack. Nicaragua then went to the UN Security Council, to its General Assembly, that voted several resolutions asking all the States to respect international law, all vetoed by the US.

The United States is now the only country in the world that has been condemned for international terrorism by an international court, and it has rejected the court's judgment as well as pertinent UN resolutions. Ironic to know that the US is now leading an international coalition against terrorism. This failure of legal processes is merely the consequence of the natural laws of power. If the United States accepted these legal means today, the country would have even more world support than they already have for their murderous crusade. [10]

International terrorism is not a new feature, as the US establishment wants us to believe since the Communist threat lost its credibility. The United Nations has condemned and tried to prevent international terrorism. A 1987 resolution condemned the plague in the strongest terms and was adopted with quasi-unanimity. However two countries voted against -- the US, and Israel -- pursuing their long tradition of opposition to UN resolutions.

A paragraph of the resolution defended "the inalienable right to self-determination and independence of all peoples under colonial and racist regimes and other forms of alien domination" and upheld "the legitimacy of their struggle, in particular the struggle of national liberation movements". At the time, the US and Israel actively supported the South African apartheid regime, and Israel was in its twentieth year of military occupation, continuing today, possibly taking its most repressive form ever. [11]

Terrorists are also trained on US territory. The "School of the Americas" (SOA) educates death squad leaders, mainly active in Latin America (3 concentration camps under Pinochet were directed by SOA graduates), guilty of "the most atrocious human rights violations" according to the UN. All this is far from being enough in order to draw a correct picture, and it would be a mistake to regard these mere examples as an extensive record. Why would the US tolerate the limitation of international law? It would be in total contradiction with the logic of power. "The United States acts multilaterally when possible and unilaterally when necessary" as many US government officials have explained their position to the international community. By the same logic of power, the devastating consequences of the earlier "crusades of virtue" can only remain secondary, not to speak of its victims cry for justice. And let's not forget another very dangerous teaching of this logic: that these actions are undertaken in the name of "freedom" and "democracy" -- quite flexible concepts, as one can easily note by looking at the paradises that have previously experienced the blessing of this military humanism. [12]


"Collateral Damage": "Justice should not precede
revenge" (New York Post)

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."

--George Orwell

Now devastated by two superpowers, the Afghan people understand Mister Orwell's observation clearly. The most tragic part is the silence that meets the civilian victims of this war. The only serious report on the subject, show that the civil victims of the bombings already exceed 3,700 people, and hundreds of others have been added since its publication.

The most common figure used today is 5,000. This has of course not particularly interested our media. But the long-term consequences will undoubtedly vanish in the memory hole, like the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, expected to be catastrophic. Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries of the world, and has been dependent on international humanitarian aid for a long time. The drought has made it worse. Before the bombings, the US demanded that Pakistan close its border towards Afghanistan, and "demanded from Pakistan the elimination of truck convoys that provide much of the food and other supplies to Afghanistan's civilian population" (New York Times 16/9).

The bombing later forced the withdrawal of the international aid workers who were in charge of food distribution in the country and made food deliveries very difficult. The UN estimated that 7 to 8 million Afghans risked starvation, since the assistance could only be brought at half or quarter of normal intensity under the bombs.

Jean Ziegler, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on October 15th "The bombing has to stop right now. There is a humanitarian emergency. In winter the lorries cannot go in any more. Millions of Afghans will be unreachable in winter and winter is coming very, very soon". Reuters and AP echoed that "the United Nations has warned of a catastrophe unless aid can get through for up to seven million Afghans" according to several analysts (no mention to it was made in the US media).

The big humanitarian organizations required "a pause in the bombings" the "immediate reopening of the borders" in order to avoid "a humanitarian catastrophe", where "the West would be responsible for a massive tragedy" causing "huge loss of life and unspeakable suffering". In spite of these warnings from the UN and the most respected humanitarian organizations our Western media gave all its attention to the Anthrax scare. But "bio-terrorism" can visibly take many shapes. The humanitarian situation is currently critical. Millions of people in urgent need are almost or already inaccessible because of insecurity and heavy snow falls. [13]


Suspicion of US Complicity in 9-11: Another assumed candidate
for the memory hole

"If we hope to understand anything about the foreign policy of any state, it is a good idea to begin by investigating the domestic social structure: Who sets foreign policy? What interests do these people represent? What is the domestic source of their power? It is a reasonable surmise that the policy that evolves will reflect the special interests of those who design it. An honest study of history will reveal that this natural expectation is quite generally fulfilled. The evidence is overwhelming, in my opinion, that the United States is no exception to the general rule -- a thesis which is often characterized as a `radical critique,' in a curious intellectual move.
        Some attention to the historical record, as well as common sense, leads to a second reasonable expectation: In every society, there will emerge a caste of propagandists who labor to disguise the obvious, to conceal the actual workings of power, and to spin a web of mythical goals and purposes, utterly benign, that allegedly guide national policy.
        A typical thesis of the propaganda system is that `the nation' is an agent in international affairs, not special groups within it, and that `the nation' is guided by certain ideals and principles, all of them noble. A subsidiary thesis is that the nation is not an active agent, but rather responds to threats posed to its security, or to order and stability, by awesome evil forces."

--Noam Chomsky

This Crusade of Infinite Justice is an Orwellian nightmare. We have been drowned in propaganda from minute one. Even the small critical enclosures of the left were carried in the flood. Let's try to clear this up. First of all, the attack on Afghanistan was not a spontaneous response to the attacks of September 11. Afghanistan was a target chosen much earlier for very specific reasons.

Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Niaz Naik revealed to the press that during a Berlin conference on Afghanistan in July, "the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest" (BBC 18/09). He forwarded these threats to the Taliban. [14] The respected journalist John Pilger reports that Secretary of State Colin Powell was already gathering support for a war coalition in Central Asia during this period.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former national security adviser to the Carter Administration, clears up many things in his recent book, the purpose of which is "The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy". Brzezinski writes that "America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained". To control the continent, it is necessary to control what Brzezinski calls the Eurasian Balkans -- the area of the present conflict, that he circles on a map. These "Eurasian Balkans are infinitely more important as a potential economic prize: an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil reserves is located in the region, in addition to important minerals, including gold". Oil and gas reserves "that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea".

The vice-president Dick Cheney nods. As former chairman of the large oil company Halliburton, he said in front of a group of oil executives in 1998: "I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian". Indeed, several pipeline projects in Afghanistan -- conceived by the American oil company Unocal -- have failed because of the civil war. But two days after the first bombs, the projects were put back on the table "in view of recent geopolitical developments". And don't worry, the "rebuilding of Afghanistan" is in good hands: The president of the temporary Afghan government Hamid Karzai was a former consultant of Unocal, and the US special presidential envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, who will also help "rebuild" the country, is a former assistant of the oil company. [15]

Brzezinski says that the area, because of its crucial importance on the geopolitical level, "threatens to become a cauldron of ethnic conflict and great-power rivalry". The United States' "primary interest" is therefore to "help ensure that no single power comes to control this geopolitical space". To avoid this scenario, he recommends to "put a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America's primacy". He clearly states his vision with the appropriate words: "the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together". He is thoughtful enough to explain to faint-hearted readers who for some reason would be bothered by these methods, that "America's withdrawal from the world would prompt global anarchy". I suppose we should all feel reassured.

Before September 11, tens of thousands of American and British troops were already heading to the Middle East. It seems that "the control of Eurasia" will be an easy game. In a Los Angeles Times article of January 5th, William Arkin writes:

"Behind a veil of secret agreements, the United States is creating a ring of new and expanded military bases that encircle Afghanistan and enhance the Armed Forces greater ability to strike targets throughout much of the Muslim world. Since Sept 11, according to Pentagon sources, military tent cities have sprung up at 13 locations in nine countries neighbouring Afghanistan, substantially extending the network of bases in the region. From Bulgaria and Uzbekistan to Turkey, Kuwait and beyond, more than 60,000 US military personnel now live and work at these forward bases".

The Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz explains that "Their function may be more political than actually military". The new bases "send a message to everybody, including important countries like Uzbekistan, that we have a capacity to come back in and will come back in". [16]

The projected plans of controlling Central Asia are a true threat, but not quite surprising. On the other hand what is quite alarming are the many indications that the American government had foreknowledge of the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Three months before the attacks, the German Intelligence agency BND warned the CIA and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists were "planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 14/09/2001). In the same period, Russian intelligence informed the CIA that 25 terrorist pilots had been trained specifically for suicide missions. And two months later Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered them to alert the US government "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings (MS-NBC 15/09/2001). Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak also alerted the US twelve days before the event (AP 8/12/2001). Reports stating Israeli warnings have been denied by the US government.

In spite of these warnings, the reactions to the attacks were virtually non-existent. The first reports stated that no Air Force was deployed to shoot down or intercept the planes, even though routine procedures are regularly applied to handle this kind of situation. Two days later, the story conveniently changed. The General of the Air Force Richard B Myers declared that "When it became clear what the threat was, we did scramble fighter aircraft, AWACs, radar aircraft and tanker aircraft to begin to establish orbits in case other aircraft showed up in the FAA [Federal Aviation Authority] system that were hijacked. . . . That order, to the best of my knowledge, was after the Pentagon was struck". Namely, more than one hour after learning that four planes had been hijacked simultaneously -- for the first time in history. [17]

There are 26 intelligence services in the U.S.A. with a budget of $30 billion. Many intelligence experts express scepticism concerning this scenario stating it is impossible to miss the "intelligence signature" of such an operation. One of them is Eckehardt Werthebach, former president of Germany's domestic intelligence service, Verfassungsschutz, who told Agence France Presse (AFP) that "the deathly precision" and "the magnitude of planning" behind the attacks of September 11 would have needed "years of planning" and would require the "fixed frame" of a state intelligence organization, something that is not found in a "loose group" of terrorists like the one allegedly led by Mohammed Atta while he studied in Hamburg. Many people would have had to have been involved in the planning of such an operation and Werthebach pointed to the absence of leaks as further indication that the attacks were "state organized actions". [18]

General Mahmud Ahmad was at the head of the Pakistani Military Intelligence (ISI) since 1999, "approved" for his position by the US government, and was in connection with his counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon. The day before the attacks, the Pakistani daily The News wondered about "the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council". The General was indeed present in Washington one week before the attacks, in what was called "a regular visit of consultations". Mahmud stayed there several days after the attacks, participating in other "consultations" that were concluded by the decision of US "cooperation" with Pakistan. The country is now the key ally in the US military operation in the region.

But in the beginning of October, Indian Intelligence revealed a quite interesting fact. During the summer, the General had ordered a transfer of $100.000 to Mohammed Atta, the lead terrorist in the hijackings, according to the FBI. The FBI also confirmed this money transfer. AFP quotes a Indian government source: "The evidence we [the Government of India] have supplied to the US is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act of terrorism". Considering the non-existent US reaction to this, and its links to the ISI, we can begin drawing some unpleasant conclusions about the implications. [19]

A declassified document of the US government entitled "Justification for US military intervention in Cuba", dating back to 1962, gives some insight in the methods that are sometimes required in order to serve the "national interest". The document explains that the first strategy in the "resolution of the Cuban problem" would consist in supporting a "credible internal revolt". Since that strategy was doomed to fail, it "will require a decision by the United States to develop a Cuban `provocation' as justification for positive US military action". This "provocation" could consist in blowing up planes, sinking ships and hitting other targets in the Guatanamo base, followed by "funerals for mock-victims", and fictitious "casualty lists in US newspapers" which "would cause a helpful wave of national indignation". The creation of a "Communist Cuban terror campaign" in Florida would also do the trick: sinking "real or simulated" boatloads of Cuban refugees enroute to Florida, and "foster[ing] attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States", so that their pictures become "widely publicized". And "exploding a few plastic bombs" followed by "the arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government".

In short, "The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba. World opinion, and the United Nations forum should be favorably affected by developing the international image of the Cuban government as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western Hemisphere". [20]

Brzezinski explains in his book that "the attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor". But today, there's obviously a problem: "as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat ". [21]


Enduring the Future: "Our war against terror
is only beginning" (Bush 29/01/2002)

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring"

--Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

Any time now, we will watch the second act of this war, which "will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated" (Bush). A war "that may not end in our lifetimes" according to vice-president Dick Cheney, who recently stated that "40 or 50 countries" are concerned, where the priority is granted to Iraq and Somalia (and more recently Iran, taking Israeli requests into consideration). The plans are already being set up. War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld asked the Pentagon to "think the unthinkable", after rejecting it's first "post-Afghanistan options", "not enough radical" for his taste. Visibly, we haven't seen anything yet.

But the American elites are aware of the vulnerability of these projects if the "public" should oppose them. This is confirmed by a document of the Bush Sr. Administration that was leaked during the Gulf War. It revealed the American strategy towards "third world threats" and explained that "In cases where the U.S. confronts much weaker enemies, our challenge will be not simply to defeat them, but to defeat them decisively and rapidly" Any other outcome would be "embarrassing" and might "undercut political support". [22]

During the many "blitzkriegs" that we can already see approaching, the TV screens and the newspapers of the "civilized" world will of course continue their obedient silence. And in this silence, where all innocent victims will be ignored or buried in various justifications, the war architects will continue their crusade of world domination, while living "free from the trampling and the roar of the bewildered herd", so far effectively misled, excluded and manipulated, as it should be. So in this insane world the US president can say, without a trace of indignation from the Western media: "We're offering help and friendship to the Afghan people".

But hypocrisy doesn't alter reality. The Western leaders and their respective herds are now in line behind an "anti-terrorist coalition", led by the largest terrorist state of the world, carrying out an unprecedented barbaric world conquest. This is no time for stating truisms about the inadequacy of cluster bombs in fighting terrorism, which is what most of the left has been up to for the past months. Obviously this is not a "war on terrorism", and will multiply the Bin Ladens instead of eliminating them. The plans have been set up for quite different reasons that probably go beyond oil interests and Asian markets. But meanwhile, we are passively supporting policies that kill thousands of innocent people and are seeing our constitutional rights being eliminated one by one. Our future now depends primarily on the choices that we, Western citizens, will make in the coming weeks.



  1. For an analysis of the general situation, see "Moving Toward A Police State or Have We Arrived?" by attorney Michael Ratner. ( He explains that since his last report, "the situation has gotten unimaginably worse; rights that we thought embedded in the constitution and protected by international law are in serious jeopardy or have already been eliminated. It is no exaggeration to say we are moving toward a police state".

    The lawyer Francis Boyle shows similar fears: "What we've seen since September 11th is a coup d'état against the United States Constitution. There's no question about it. That's really what we're seeing now, there's no other word for it" (

    Facing these developments, Mary Robinson from the UN commission on humans rights (commission the US has been excluded from) warns that: "In pursuing the objective of eradicating terrorism, it is essential that States strictly adhere to their international obligations to uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms".

  2. Bush claimed in his speech: "My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending in two decades, because while the price of freedom and security is high, it is never too high: whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay it." His proposed new military budget is $379 billion, an increase of $48 billion since 2001. The increase alone is larger than any other nation's military budget. In the meantime the definition of "terrorism is expanding. The US legislation's expanded definition of terrorism includes acts which attempt "to cause damage . . . to critical infrastructure with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to affect the conduct of government or a unit of government". A nice democratic definition that many fear could embrace legitimate protests.

    The same is visible in the EU, which the US is pressurising to adopt the same measures. See the diverse "observatories" of the European organization Statewatch, (Surveillance in Europe, post-911 and civil liberties, and EU plans to counter protests). Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: "The response of the EU to the tragic events in the US needs to be examined with great care. The European Commission proposal on combating terrorism is either very badly drafted, or there is a deliberate attempt to broaden the concept of terrorism to cover protests and what it calls "urban violence". If it is intended to slip in by the back door draconian measures to control political dissent it will only serve to undermine the very freedoms and democracies legislators say they are protecting"

  3. For many examples of these intimidations, see McCarthyism Watch ( and Matthew Rotschild's "The new McCarthyism" ( The media's war propaganda has even been noted by Strategic Forecasting, a private intelligence company that provides businesses with strategic analyses of international events: "In a paradox worthy of careful study, however, the mass media have been far more exuberant about progress in the war" and "have generally engaged in an ongoing orgy of congratulatory coverage". Thereby "reversing roles" with the military, by acting as uncritical "cheerleaders". See the January 15th report, "Media and War: Appearance and Reality" (, or, alternatively, (; see also the (generally moderate) Reporters Sans Frontières' report "US media in torment" (

  4. On the Commission on Public Information (also called the Creel Commission), see Aaron Delwiche "Of Fraud and Force Fast Woven: Domestic Propaganda During The First World War" (, and Noam Chomsky "Force and Opinion" (

  5. Commenting the intellectual atmosphere in these times, Chomsky says: "It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them" On the media, see his "What makes mainstream media mainstream" ( For a more detailed description of the propaganda model, see his book with Edward S. Herman Manufacturing Consent -- The Political Economy of the Mass Media.

  6. The major PR character Philip Lesly explained accurately in 1974 that "The task of public relations must be to curtail Americans' democratic expectations". For more coverage on the PR industry, see award-winning PR Watch (

  7. The food and drug droppings were of course criticized by virtually all humanitarian organizations. For example the doctor Jean-Herve Bradol of Médecins Sans Frontières on October the 8th: "the so-called `humanitarian' action was in fact a tool of pure propaganda, actually of small value for the Afghan people" that "can even do more harm than good". Parts of these reactions were even reported in the mainstream media.

  8. The "evidence" in the report released by the Blair government (which was the official document justifying the assault on Afghanistan) is almost embarrassing to quote: "Usama Bin Laden remains in charge, and the mastermind, of Al Qaida. In Al Qaida, an operation on the scale of the 11 September attacks would have been approved by Usama Bin Laden himself". Useless in court, and probably won't come close to convincing the Muslim world. The purpose of this document remains a mystery, but it reflects an interesting sense of humor.

  9. See Michael Ratner "An Alternative to the U.S. Employment of Military Force" ( For more on international law, see the American Society of International Law (ASIL) on the web (, including their Resources on Terrorism and ASIL Insights: Terrorist Attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

  10. See the Judgment of the 27/06/1986 on the "Case concerning the military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America)" on the site of the International Court of Justice ( The controversial American Servicemembers Protection Act (ASPA) was adopted on December 7 in the United States. The ASPA would empower the U.S. president to use "all means necessary and appropriate" to free any American detained by the International Criminal Court, which will prosecute individuals accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It also prohibits cooperation of any kind with the court. Among the few countries that oppose the court, the USA are joined by Iraq, Libya and Yemen. The director of the international justice program at Human Rights Watch hopes that "this kind of rearguard bullying" will not stop the court. See "Waiver Needed for War Crimes Court" on Human Rights Watch (

  11. See UN resolution 42/159 on international terrorism (

  12. SOA recently changed its name into "Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation" qualified by the senator of Georgia Paul Coverdell (who supports the school) as "basically cosmetic". See School of the Americas Watch (

  13. The report on civilian Casualties, written by the professor Marc W Herold, was released at the beginning of December. Local copy here: civiDeaths.html The fall of Taliban temporarily gave hope for the food deliveries, but the disorder that followed, once again reduced the deliveries by half of what is necessary. The most critical situation is in the areas controlled by the North Alliance. The Information Services of the Coalition "are spinning like mad", according to a spokesman of Christian Aid, "they're desperate to create the impression that everything is the Taliban's fault so that when the winter does hit they can keep blaming them". OXFAM warns that "the crisis is far from over", however the NGO's have managed to deliver huge amounts of food since December: "If the food pipeline had remained almost completely blocked -- as was the case throughout September and October 2001 -- then the situation would have become extremely desperate on a wide scale. Famine has almost certainly been averted, which is a tremendous achievement. However, there is widespread starvation, in the sense that many hundreds of thousands of people will only have enough food this winter to keep themselves alive and will undergo starvation for various periods as a way of eking out supplies". See the two largest distributors of food in the country: Christian Aid ( and Oxfam (

  14. See also "Threat of US strikes passed to Taliban weeks before NY attack" in The Guardian 22/09/2001 (,3858,4262511,00.html). According to another BBC report, the Bush Administration ordered the FBI and intelligence agencies to "back off" investigations involving the bin Laden family in January, including two of Osama Bin Laden's relatives (Abdullah and Omar) who were living in Falls Church, VA -- right next to CIA headquarters. This followed previous orders dating back to 1996, frustrating efforts to investigate the Bin Laden family. Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie's book Ben Laden: La vérité interdite (see relates the story of former FBI official John O'Neill, who carried out an investigation on Bin Laden, and had predicted the possibility of an organized attack by terrorists operating within the country. The government hindered his investigations to a point that he resigned in protest. He died in the 9-11 attacks, on his first working day as head of security for the twin towers.

  15. See Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, Verso Books, 1997. The Washington-based American Petroleum Institute, voice of the major U.S. oil companies, called the Caspian region, "the area of greatest resource potential outside of the Middle East". For more information see The Energy Information Agency report on the region (

    Regarding the Afghan pipeline, the vice-president of international relations for Unocal declared in 1998: "From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company". See "U.S. Interests in the Central Asian Republics -- Hearing before the subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific", 12 Feb 1998 (

    The book Ben Laden: La vérité interdite also describes the pipeline negotiations in detail. In an interview, Brisard explained that "At one moment during the negotiations, the U.S. representatives told the Taliban: `either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs'". An important link to the Western attitude is that an oil crisis is approaching. Specialists in the field affirm that the peak for oil extraction will be reached in the first decade of the 21st century. One of those is the Geophysicist Dr. M. King Hubbert. For data, analysis and recommendations, see

  16. See Patrick Martin, "US bases pave the way for long-term intervention in Central Asia", Jan 11 2002 (

  17. The day after the attacks, the commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force Anatoli Kornukov (hierarchical equivalent of Richard B Myers) confirms the suspicions: "Generally it is impossible to carry out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA yesterday. We had such events too. The notification and control system for the air transport in Russia does not allow uncontrolled flights and leads to immediate reaction of the anti-missile defense. As soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up".

    Hijackings and deviations from the flight course are not uncommon features. There are routine procedures that are usually followed in such circumstances (if you can trust official US governmental and military documents): "[Marine Corps Major Mike] Snyder, the NORAD spokesman, said its fighters routinely intercept aircraft. When planes are intercepted, they typically are handled with a graduated response. The approaching fighter may rock its wingtips to attract the pilot's attention, or make a pass in front of the aircraft. Eventually, it can fire tracer rounds in the airplane's path, or, under certain circumstances, down it with a missile." (Boston Globe, 15/09/2001)

    See the FAA's official policy on Interception Signals in FAA `AIM' §5-6-4 (; see also its Emergency Determinations: "Consider that an aircraft emergency exists . . . when: . . . There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any . . . aircraft." (§10-2-5) "If . . . you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency." (§10-1-1-c) in FAA Order 7110.65M ( See also the Defense Departments policy on "Aircraft piracy and destruction of derelict airborne objects" (

    These routine procedures were entirely ignored on September 11th. The more convenient story, issued on September 14th, said that five planes had been scrambled from Cape Cod, and Langley -- both more than a hundred miles away from Washington. However, Andrews Air Force Base, responsible for air defense over Washington, is only ten miles from the city. The DC Air National Guard is based there, whose mission is "To provide combat units in the highest possible state of readiness" according to their website. The 113th Wing is also based there. According to the Andrews website: "Training for air combat and operational airlift for national defense is the 113th's primary mission. However, as part of its dual mission, the 113th provides capable and ready response forces for the District of Columbia in the event of a natural disaster or civil emergency". Both websites erased that information in the days following September 11th.

    Another indication that the attacks were known in advance was the dramatic and abnormal increase in sales of put options (essentially a speculation that the stock will fall abruptly) that were purchased the days prior to September 11th. Many of the United Airlines puts were purchased through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm managed until 1998 by the current Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. Krongard. No other airlines show any similar trading patterns to those experienced by UAL and American. The put option purchases on both airlines were 600% above normal. And this at a time when Reuters (September 10) issues a business report stating, "Airline stocks may be poised to take off".

    Investigations into this issue also show that the CIA and other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time for the purpose of identifying potential attacks of any nature that might damage the U.S. economy. See Tom Flocco's 3-part investigation on insider trading and 9-11 (Part I: "Profits of Death -- Insider Trading And 9-11", 6 Dec 2001,, Part II: "Profits of Death Part II: Trading with the Enemy", 11 Dec 2001,, and if anyone knows where a copy of Part III is, please let the ratitor know), and Chris Blackhurst "Mystery of terror `insider dealers'" in The Independent 14/10/2001 (, as well as "Suppresed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly Into The CIA's Highest Ranks -- CIA Executive Director `Buzzy' Krongard Managed Firm That Handled `Put' Options On UAL", by Michael C. Ruppert, 9 Oct 2001 ( The above is actually just scratching on the surface of the aircraft issues.

  18. It is interesting to see the official investigative reactions to the most deadly criminal incident in US history. They were non-existent. In fact, the steel skeleton of the building is already being cut to pieces and exported, under the protests of diverse groups, ranging from architects to firefighters (eg, "Burning Questions...Need Answers": FE's Bill Manning Calls for Comprehensive Investigation of WTC Collapse, Fire Engineering Magazine, 4 Jan 2002 (See also: the interview conducted by the German daily Tagesspiegel with former German Secretary of Defence Andreas Von Buelow on 13 Jan 2002; partial translation at: And on January the 30th, CNN reported: "President Bush personally asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle Tuesday to limit the congressional investigation into the events of September 11, congressional and White House sources told CNN. The request was made at a private meeting with congressional leaders Tuesday morning. Sources said Bush initiated the conversation". The Bush White House has also drafted an executive order that would seal presidential records beginning with his fathers and Reagans administration. This has never been done in US presidential history, and shows how much the administration wants to be publicly known. See George Lardner Jr. "Bush Clamping Down On Presidential Papers" in The Washington Post 1/11/2001 (

  19. See Manoj Joshi "India helped FBI trace ISI-terrorist links" in The Times of India 9/10/2001 ( and Michel Chossudovsky "The Role of Pakistan's Military Intelligence (ISI) in the September 11 Attacks" (

  20. The report is downloadable at

  21. Dr. Johannes Koeppl, a former German defense ministry official and NATO advisor, traveled frequently to Washington and met Brzezinski on many occasions. He has made presentations at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderberger group and sub-groups to the Trilateral Commission. In the eighties, he spoke out against Brzezinski and the CFR through several writings, warning that these people were orchestrating a take-over of world governments. His fall from grace was swift: "It was a criminal society that I was dealing with. It was not possible to publish anymore in the so-called respected publications. My 30 year career in politics ended".

    As to the present conflict, Koeppl expresses his gravest concerns: "This is more than a war against terrorism. This is a war against the citizens of all countries. The current elites are creating so much fear that people don't know how to respond. But they must remember. This is a move to implement a world dictatorship within the next five years. There may not be another chance". He presents a German (and rough English translation) language website at

  22. Quoted in the New York Times, 23/02/1991

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