How the Pentagon Leaned on Hollywood to Sell the War in Afghanistan

September 28th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

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In hundreds of films and TV shows, every single word and image has been closely scrutinized and signed off on by senior military figures, all in an effort to convince viewers into supporting deadly and grossly immoral campaigns around the world.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA — The (official) 20-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan has come to a close, with the military beating a hasty and ignominious retreat. The puppet Afghan government NATO installed lasted fewer than two weeks on its own, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing for the UAE, allegedly with around $169 million in cash.

If the occupation was so unpopular and weak, how was it able to last so long? The Afghanistan Papers  — a trove of military documents leaked to The Washington Post — showed that high-ranking government officials knew that the war was unwinnable but were openly lying to the public about how it was going, all while NGOs and military contractors made billions

But documents obtained by journalist Tom Secker under the Freedom of Information Act and shared with MintPress also show that Hollywood also played a significant role, knowingly collaborating with the Pentagon to produce pro-war propaganda about Afghanistan, ultimately helping to artificially buoy public opinion on the unwinnable campaign. This typically included giving the Pentagon direct editorial control over scripts and even removing any anti-war content or scenes that would show the military in a negative light. In exchange, the military offered its human resources, its bases as locations for filming, and its wide range of hi-tech vehicles to be used in movies. This quid pro quo effectively turned much of Hollywood, and the entertainment industry more generally, into cheerleaders for imperialism. 

The military-industrial-media complex

Reading through the documents, what becomes clear is the sheer scale of the military’s involvement in the silver screen, and in pop culture more generally. For instance, between 2015 and 2017, the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs West (OCPA-W) — based just outside of Hollywood, CA — was generally working on between 40 and 70 entertainment media projects at one time. The OCPA-W is one of three Army regional offices, the others being in Chicago and New York City. The Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, CIA and other government organizations all have similar agencies and programs aimed at manipulating their image in mass media. 

The OCPA-W’s weekly summary of its affairs for the week of December 22, 2016, for example, notes that it is involved in 63 working projects; 15 in pre-production, 26 in production and 22 in post-production. According to research by Secker  and Matthew Alford for their 2017 book “National Security Cinema,” the Department of Defense has supported at least 814 movies and 1,133 separate TV shows, the majority of those in recent years.

Afghanistan is generally far from American minds. This is by design: few at the top of American society want the public to be scrutinizing U.S. actions there. When the country is portrayed on American screens, the military works extremely hard to present the war in a way most conducive to its interests. Hollywood has been a willing collaborator in this. Below is a selection of case studies of movies about or featuring the war in Afghanistan and a discussion about how the U.S. military has had those movies sanitized before they ever met the public eye. 

12 Strong (2018)

“12 Strong” is a jingoistic action film based on a true story about a small unit of 12 U.S. Special Forces who invaded Afghanistan immediately after the September 11 attacks, thus being the first American boots on the ground of a two-decade campaign that cost the lives of an estimated 176,000 Afghans, displacing almost 6 million more. 

The film entails the elite group attempting to capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif before NATO forces arrive. The team, so they say, is outnumbered by “50,000 Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces,” as if the two were close allies. This is despite the fact that the Taliban immediately condemned the 9/11 attacks and that Western estimates put al-Qaeda’s global forces at the time at below 100 members. “If we don’t take that city, the World Trade Center is just the beginning,” says one of the heroes of the film, whose tagline is “twelve soldiers gave us a reason to hope.”

Documents show that the military was eager to help with such a nationalistic film, and matched what they called the production company’s “breathtaking” list of asks, including access to a number of military bases in New Mexico for shooting; army uniforms for actors; “target” vehicles they could blow up; the hire of a number of aircraft, including Chinook and Seahawk helicopters; and appropriate Soviet tanks for the enemy to use. They also aided the company in finding military extras to appear in minor roles.

Despite the movie’s strongly pro-war message, the OCPA-W, Air Force, and other military organizations still insisted on going through the script with a fine-toothed comb, removing even minor details it did not like. This included demanding that writers changed their plans to present the 12 soldiers as rugged men with full beards and tattoos. An email from OCPA read: 

My other concern is that during the loadout sequences at Fort Campbell that occurred shortly after 9/11 our soldiers did not have full length beards and neck tattoos. That came later. I hope [REDACTED] guys are going to Shave for those sequences.

A few weeks later, the seemingly minor point had not been resolved. In a show of just how much control over creative direction the military had, the OCPA threatened to pull out of the movie, reminding the production company of the agreement they had signed up for: 

The production company agrees to cast actors, extras, doubles, and stunt personnel portraying military men and women who conform to individual Military Service regulations governing age, height / weight, uniform, grooming, appearance, and conduct standards. DoD reserves the right to suspend support in the event that disagreement regarding the military aspects of their portrayals cannot be resolved in negotiation between the production company and DoD within the seventy-two hour cure-period. The DoD Project Officer will provide written guidance specific to each Military Service being portrayed.

  1. U.S. Army.

(1) The depiction of Soldiers in the Continental United States prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks should be in accordance with U.S. Army Regulation 670-1, West and Appearance of Army Uniforms and Insignia. Soldiers would meet height/weight standards, be clean shaven, with a well-groomed haircut and be wearing the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU). Load bearing equipment would be olive drab or the BDU pattern.

(2) The depiction of deployed Soldiers following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks would be in accordance with the tactical situation. Soldiers would still meet height/weight requirements (appear physically fit) with relaxed grooming standards for extended operations. The deployed Soldiers would be wearing the Desert Combat Dress Uniform (DCU) with olive drab or BDU pattern load bearing equipment.

The Department of Defense is well aware that the sort of assistance they offer (free equipment, filming locations, etc.) would be enormously expensive, if not impossible, to otherwise obtain. Therefore, they leverage their considerable influence into what amounts to control over every aspect of a movie or TV show they work on. This often even means jettisoning reality in favor of a relentlessly pro-war message.

Emails show that OCPA instructed the production company to change the minor criminal backstory of one of the 12 soldiers, despite the fact it was perfectly real. As one OCPA official wrote: 

I told him our two biggest issues were the background story of Cpt [REDACTED]

being any FNG [“Fucking New Guy,” a derogatory military term for recruits] when he was actually a Team Leader for two years and the comment about Sergeant [REDACTED] having a choice between Jail and the Army.

According to the book the bar fight incident did happen, [REDACTED] attorney

was able to plea deal it down to a misdemeanor with a probation period. He

did lose his job as a school teacher and he started to work construction. I [sic]

period of time later, he decided to join the US Army.

Production quickly agreed to the changes, a few weeks later sending a new script for the OCPA and Air Force’s approval. “Here is a revised draft of Horse Soldiers,” they replied. “We changed [REDACTED]’s backstory per your suggestion. Please let me know if this works for you. [PERSON’s NAME REDACTED], would you send this draft to the appropriate Air Force personnel and let me know whom to follow up with?” (Cross referencing the documents with the book it is based on makes it clear that the sergeant in question is Sam Diller, one of the main characters in both book and movie). 

None of the military’s demands appear to have caused much resistance from the company. Indeed, towards the end of filming, a senior member of the team even emailed the OCPA and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to offer his profound gratitude for their services: 

[The] Army and the entire team have been absolutely fantastic and helped us achieve an amazing air-to-air shoot this evening. They are the utmost professional highly trained crew. We know if it wasn’t for your great efforts to make this movie badass we would have never gotten such a team. We promise to make the Army proud, so THANK YOU!!!!!

Lone Survivor (2013)

“Lone Survivor” is the largely true story of a Navy SEAL team that was discovered and attacked by the Taliban while carrying out a special operation to assassinate the organization’s commander, Ahmad Shah. The SEALs suffered devastating losses, leaving only one man — Marcus Luttrell — to tell the story. 

The plot of the film revolves around the squad being discovered by local goat herders and their supposedly heart-wrenching decision on whether to kill the shepherds to cover their tracks, or let them go, the assumption being that the old man and two children in question would immediately alert the Taliban to their whereabouts. The group decided to let their captives go, which almost immediately turned out to be a deadly mistake. 

The story is based upon the book by Luttrell, who is now a Trump-loving media anchor on Glenn Beck’s conservative TV network “TheBlaze.” At times, Luttrell’s book reads like the manifesto of a white-nationalist mass-shooter, and is peppered throughout with his seething hatred of liberals. Luttrell is extremely regretful that he went along with the decision to let the Afghans go and did not stick to his gut feeling and insist they murder an old man and two children (all unarmed). “It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life,” he wrote. “I’d turned into a fucking liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain.” By way of explanation, he said that it was his certainty that the liberal media would betray the troops and side with the Taliban that made him release them, telling his fellow SEALs at the time: 

Just so you all understand, their bodies will be found, the Taliban will use it to the max. They’ll get it in the papers, and the U.S. liberal media will attack us without mercy. We will almost certainly be charged with murder.

Apologizing for not carrying out what amounts to a war crime, he writes: 

That situation might look simple in Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.

The book is a glorification of supposedly righteous violence against a subhuman opponent. As he explains: 

“In the global war on terror, we have rules, and our opponents use them against us. We try to be reasonable; they will stop at nothing. They will stoop to any form of base warfare: torture, beheading, mutilation. Attacks on innocent civilians, women and children, car bombs, suicide bombers, anything the hell they can think of. They’re right up there with the monsters of history.

The original script stayed close to Luttrell’s interpretation of events. Needless to say, however, the military demanded major rewrites. In the finished version, the Navy SEAL commander simply decides to let the goat herders go, with no arguments about whether to kill them and hide their bodies and certainly no long soliloquies about the treachery of the liberal media, as happens in the book.

The military often claims that they aid the film industry merely to ensure depictions of themselves are more accurate. Yet reading through 131 pages of declassified emails between them and production company, Film 44, it is clear that this is not the case. Indeed, Philip Strub, the Department of Defense’s chief Hollywood liaison, made this explicit, writing in a now-declassified email:

While maximizing historical authenticity is our mandate, we share responsibility for the reputations of the four SEALs and to their families’ memories of them.

What also becomes apparent after reading the documents is the level of intimacy between the movie industry and the military, and the latter’s fastidious attention to detail, poring over every single word of dialogue to ensure each frame is as pro-war as the film can get. Strub and his associates even insisted minor touches, like visible tattoos on the SEALs, be written out of the script. They also demanded the deletion of a scene in which Luttrell and another SEAL have a conversation about Power Bars, taunting each other, with Luttrell shouting “blow me, fag,” then loudly farting. This was presumably in an effort to ensure members of the Navy SEALs did not come across as uncouth as Lutrell does in his own book. 

“I just learned from Film 44 (Sarah and Braden) that they are ready to submit Pete’s latest rewrite to us. They say that they have used our notes as a kind of check-list, and addressed all of our concerns. You’ll be receiving the watermarked script via email very shortly,” Strub wrote in an email that suggests that every draft script needed to meet the military’s exacting standards. Strub is one of the most powerful men in the entertainment industry. The list of movies and TV shows for which he is (publicly) credited is staggering, surely more impressive than virtually any other director or producer in Hollywood. Yet his name is all but unknown to the public.

According to the documents, the military categorized their role in the movie into four parts: “script review and vetting,” “production department consulting,” talent training” and “on-set coaching.” In exchange for what amounts to total content control, the military provided “Lone Survivor’s” producers with the use of Kirtland Air Force Base in a rocky and sandy part of New Mexico that could easily pass for Afghanistan; the use of a multitude of expensive aircraft, including Black Hawk and Apache helicopters; and parachute jumpers and other general military personnel.

One reason for this continued involvement is obvious, and made explicit in the emails. “One of the criteria for DoD to support the movie is recruiting,” wrote an officer from U.S. Special Operations Command. 

What is particularly noteworthy about this movie is that its entire premise — that if the SEALs chose not to kill the goat herders they would be found out — is demonstrably incorrect. Interviews with locals (including the man who hid and protected Luttrell, ensuring he was the lone survivor) establish that everybody in the area knew the SEALs were there, thanks to the elite unit’s own incompetence when it came to stealth. An enormous American helicopter landing in a remote part of rural Afghanistan was enough to raise suspicions among locals. If that was not enough, the SEAL team failed to dispose of evidence of their landing. 

Unsurprisingly, Strub and his colleagues insisted this scene, which threatened to introduce a potential alternative reading of the movie — in which bungling Americans get caught, outmaneuvered, then slaughtered — was changed. This helped ensure the movie was as relentlessly pro-military as possible, despite the fact that it was telling the story of one of the deadliest U.S. military blunders of the entire war.

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

“Charlie Wilson’s War” tells the story of the eponymous Texas politician most famous for being the driving force behind Operation Cyclone — the CIA’s funding and training of the Afghan Mujahideen (an action that also turned the country into the world’s largest heroin producer).

The original script did not portray Wilson or his endeavors especially sympathetically, explicitly noting how he was supporting extremists like Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda. One of these ultra-radicals was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a brutal warlord widely accused of starting the trend of throwing acid in women’s faces. Throughout the original script, 9/11 is presented as a foreseeable consequence of the U.S.’s decision to empower these violent fanatics. Indeed, the original end scene took place at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, with Wilson hearing the deafening screech of an airliner hitting the building.

However, all this — al-Qaeda, Hekmatyar, and the 9/11 scene — was cut from the script after the CIA reviewed it. Instead, the finished film ends with Wilson receiving a medal for his services to freedom in Afghanistan. Also removed was a scene discussing the Sabra and Shatilla Massacres, where Israeli-backed forces slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinian refugees.

Earlier versions of the script also portrayed the Soviets somewhat sympathetically, with one character noting that Soviet atrocities in Afghanistan included “forc[ing] them [Afghans] to learn to read and write.” This was also cut in favor of portraying Soviet soldiers as brutal and unthinking monsters slaughtering the local population. 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) 

The comedy-drama — which stars Tina Fey, Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman as Western journalists covering the Afghan War — was something of a flop at the box office. Still, it managed to reduce losses significantly by filming at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico (just as “Lone Survivor” did) and using real U.S. Marines as extras. In exchange, producers handed over significant editorial control of the story to the military, which insisted on changing a scene where a U.S. military truck crashed into a crowd of civilians. In the final movie, there are no images of this, and the incident is referred to only in a 20-second news segment that describes it merely as “a fatal traffic accident involving a coalition truck.” 

The crash was a real incident. In 2006, the truck plowed through Kabul during rush hour, killing at least three civilians and injuring many others. “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” is based on American journalist Kim Barker’s memoir “The Taliban Shuffle.” The incident plays a major role in her book as the point where she finally understood how pointless and unwinnable the war was, how there was no accountability for the rich and powerful and no justice for the “have nots.” She described it and the following anti-U.S. riots as “a major breaking point in Afghanistan, the time when we first saw just how angry some Afghans were, just how ripe the country was for a Taliban comeback, just how leaderless Afghanistan really was.” Yet in the movie, the crash is mentioned only in passing, making the rioting Afghans appear irrationally angry and violent, a typical stereotype of Afghan War films. 

Iron Man (2008)

The original “Iron Man” script was decidedly pacifist, with protagonist Tony Stark attempting to use his enormous manufacturing empire to battle against war profiteers and the military industrial complex. However, after the Pentagon got involved, with Philip Strub again acting as the military liaison, the tone of the movie was radically altered. Much of the fighting in the movie takes place in modern-day Afghanistan, with the U.S. military serving the role of the good guys. In this sense, the film’s stance on war was reversed.

In exchange, the production agreement notes that the military would allow the movie to be shot at Edwards Air Force Base, just north of Los Angeles; provide “approximately 150 extras at Edwards AFB to play military members from various services and Afghan nationals;” help produce around 100 uniforms; and provide the opportunity to use a range of expensive aircraft.

Tom Secker, when asked by MintPress to assess the U.S. film industry’s role in prolonging the Afghan war, responded: 

Hollywood’s coverage of NATO’s war in Afghanistan has been notable by its absence, its silence, and its use of contextless microcosms which represent the war, rather than explore or explain it. “Iron Man” and “Lone Survivor” — two Pentagon-supported blockbusters — are both set during the U.S. occupation, but the scale of that occupation and the mess it was making of the country are ignored by both narratives, in favor of tightly-focused cinematic synecdoches which conveniently avoid the suffering of everyone involved.

Secker concluded:

In that sense, of course Hollywood has played a crucial role in perpetuating the war. They either failed to remind people that the war was still going on, or painted it in heroic, decontextualized colors that make it seem like a benevolent adventure halfway round the world, rather than the crushing, destructive geopolitical ratfuck it truly is.  

A mediated war 

It is not just big-budget Hollywood movies that the Pentagon works on, however. Practically every medium is used to spread a pro-war message. Declassified documents show that the Army flew Arnold Schwarzenegger to Afghanistan for the global-warming documentary TV series “Years of Living Dangerously.” This was, laughably, an effort to present the U.S. military — the single largest polluter in the world — as a force for good with regard to climate change, showing the former bodybuilder their supposed efforts to set up renewable energy systems across the Middle East. 

Likewise, pop culture is full of strategically inserted pro-war messages. For instance, declassified documents show that the OCPA-W carefully placed uniformed service members in opportune spots in the audience of the game show “The Price is Right.” The military pays the National Football League millions of dollars to put troops on the field or fly aircraft over the stadium before big football games, turning the entire event into a recruitment drive. It also has a video-games team called “U.S. Army Esports,” helping to associate the military with fun in the minds of the children watching. They have also been accused of using the same grooming techniques pedophiles use, only to recruit children into joining the war machine. 

Meanwhile, the music video for pop star Katy Perry’s song “Part of Me” was shot at Camp Pendleton Military Base in California, and shows Perry getting over a bad breakup by joining the Marines. The training process shows her finding herself again and growing as an individual. When Fox News asked Perry’s team if they had been paid by the military for the video, they refused to answer. The video currently has 887 million views on YouTube.

“The whole videography … is straight out of [Nazi film maker] Leni Riefenstahl: the same angled, heroizing upward shots, the same fetishization of physical power, of gleaming armaments, and of the rigor and mechanism of human beings cohering into living militarized units,” wrote feminist critic Naomi Wolf, who labeled the song “war propaganda.”

TV news is also filled with former high-ranking military officials who play the role of neutral expert while sticking, laser-like, to pro-war talking points, helping to give cable news coverage of the conflict a decidedly jingoistic bent. 

What these documents ultimately underline is the deep interlocking connections between Hollywood and the national security state. Few Americans experience the war from close up. Even fewer realize that depictions of the conflict come heavily mediated through the military. In hundreds of films and TV shows, every single word and image has been closely scrutinized and signed off by senior military figures, all in the effort to convince viewers into supporting deadly and grossly immoral campaigns around the world. Long ago, the military realized the power of Hollywood. It is high time that Americans realized that, when watching movies and TV shows about war, all too often they are not seeing neutral works of art, but carefully constructed pieces of national security propaganda.

Who Really Runs the Middle East?

September 25, 2021

Who Really Runs the Middle East?

By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

Afghanistan is on many people’s minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others for deep concern, and then there are those who think it an utter disaster that justifies foreign re-entry.

Most of the western concern arises out of 9/11 and the Taliban’s supposed connection to this through Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, however, as Scott Ritter (who was the lead analyst for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade on the Soviet war in Afghanistan) wrote:

The entire Afghan conflict must be examined considering this reality – everything is a lie. Every battle, every campaign, every contract written and implemented – everything was founded in a lie…

Admiral McRaven, when speaking of the operation to kill Bin Laden, noted that there wasn’t anything fundamentally special about that mission in terms of the tactics. ‘I think that night we ran 11 or 12 [other] missions in Afghanistan,’ McRaven noted. Clearly there was a military focus beyond simply killing Bin Laden. It was secretive work, reportedly involving the assassination of Taliban members, that often resulted in innocent civilians beings killed.

It should be noted that, as of 2019, McRaven believed that this kind of special operations activity should be continued in Afghanistan for years to come. So much for the US mission in Afghanistan being defined by the death of Bin Laden. The mission had become death, and the careers that were defined by those deaths.

The fact is the war in Afghanistan did not need to be fought. We could have ended the threat posed by Bin Laden simply by negotiating with the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, providing the evidence we claimed to have linking Bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Any student of Afghanistan worth their salt knows the fundamental importance of honor that is enshrined in the concepts of Pashtunwali, the unwritten ethical code that defines the traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun people. If, as we claimed, Bin Laden carried out an attack on women and children while he was living under the protection of Pashtunwali, then his dishonor is that of the Pashtun tribes. To clear their honor, they would seek justice – in this case, evicting Bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan.

In fact, the Taliban made precisely this offer.

For America, however, this would have been an unsatisfying result. We needed blood, not justice, and we sent our troops to Afghanistan to stack bodies, which they did, in prodigious numbers. Most of these bodies were Taliban. We excused this by claiming the Taliban were providing safe haven to Bin Laden, and as such were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

Which was a lie.

Scott Ritter (who was a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from ’91-98) had also played a leading role in bringing to the public’s attention the lies told to justify the illegal war in Iraq, which was based off of cooked British intelligence.

It was not just based on the illusion of “justice,” there was a deeper and much more disturbing agenda under the patriotic trumpet blaring.

In this light, Afghanistan is indeed an incredible American “failure,” not only in failing to install their puppet government; it has also failed the American people, however, not in the way most are talking about.

The 20 year, some say occupancy others say terrorizing, of Afghanistan, is estimated at $1-2 trillion. This is only for the case of Afghanistan, it does not account for the total cost thus far of the War on Terror. Such extravagant spending with really nothing to show for it but destruction, the slaughter of innocents, instability and chaos; you would think the United States must be a very rich country to afford such a budget with no clear goal or objective. Instead, what we find is that the American economy is tanking and the living standard is plummeting, while drug use and overdose rates are sky-rocketing and suicide is among the top causes of death in the United States, especially among their youth.

What is going on here? Have the Americans gone mad? Or is there something much much more sinister afoot?

This situation cannot just be explained away as incompetence or the money-making business of war, or even the crazed end-of-world ideologies of neo-conservatives or Zionists, although these are all major factors.

The reason for this is because there has been something operating within the Middle East for much longer, it is even the reason why we call the Middle East and the Far East by such a name, it is the reason for why many countries in this region have the boundaries they do, and was the originator of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

It is also found at the center of the origin and funding of Islamic terrorism as we see in its modern form today.

Whose “Arab Awakening”?

The renunciation will not be easy. Jewish hopes have been raised to such a pitch that the non-fulfilment of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine will cause intense disillusionment and bitterness. The manifold proofs of public spirit and of capacity to endure hardships and face danger in the building up of the national home are there to testify to the devotion with which a large section of the Jewish people cherish the Zionist ideal. And it would be an act of further cruelty to the Jews to disappoint those hopes if there existed some way of satisfying them, that did not involve cruelty to another people. But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.” [emphasis added]

– the concluding paragraph of George Antonius’ “The Arab Awakening” (1938), graduate from Cambridge University, civil servant in the British Mandate of Palestine

Much of what is responsible for the war and havoc in the Middle East today has the British orchestrated so-called “Arab Awakening” to thank, led by characters such as E.G. Browne, St. John Philby, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, and Gertrude Bell. Although its origins go as far back as the 19th century, it was only until the early 20th century, that the British were able to reap significant results from its long harvest.

The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, had been, to the detriment of the Arab people, a British led rebellion. The British claimed that their sole interest in the affair was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and had given their word that these Arab territories would be freed and allowed independence if they agreed to rebel, in large part led and directed by the British.

It is a rather predictable feature of the British to lie and double cross and thus it should be of no surprise to anyone that their intentions were quite the opposite of what they had promised and thanks to the Sykes-Picot Russian leak, were revealed in their entire shameful glory.

Once the Arab Revolt was “won” against the Ottoman Empire, instead of the promised Arab independence, the Middle East was carved up into zones of influence under British and French colonial rule. Puppet monarchies were created in regions that were considered not under direct colonial subjugation in order to continue the illusion that Arabs remained in charge of sacred regions such as Mecca and Medina.

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In central Arabia, Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the puppet leader of the Arab Revolt laid claim to the title Caliph in 1924, which his rival Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud rejected and declared war, defeating the Hashemites. Hussein (British Cairo Office favourite) abdicated and Ibn Saud (British India Office favourite), was proclaimed King of Hejaz and Najd in 1926, which led to the founding of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Al Saud (House of Saud) warriors of Wahhabism were a formidable strike force that the British believed would help London gain control of the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal (under the heavy tutelage of T.E. Lawrence, Cairo Office) was bestowed as King of Iraq and Hussein’s other son, Abdullah I was established as the Emir of Transjordan until a negotiated legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate occurred in 1946, whereupon he was crowned King of Jordan.

While the British were promising Arab independence they simultaneously were promising a homeland in Palestine to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917 states:

“His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

Palestine had been seized by the British during the so-called “Arab Revolt” on December 11th, 1917 when General Allenby marched into Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and declared martial law over the city. Palestine has remained occupied ever since.

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Britain would receive the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations in July 1922.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing thousands of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire. In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

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The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel’s “prescription” and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police.

Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947. Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

“We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.”

– Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

In 1869, a man named Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the intellectual founder of the Salafiyya movement, went to India where British led colonial authorities welcomed him with honors and graciously escorted him aboard a government owned vessel on an all-expenses paid voyage to the Suez. [1]

In Cairo he was adopted by the Egyptian prime minister Riad Pasha, a notorious enemy of the emerging nationalist movement in Egypt. Pasha persuaded Afghani to stay in Egypt and allowed him to take up residence in Cairo’s 900 year old Al Azhar mosque considered the center of Islamic learning worldwide, where he received lodging and a monthly government stipend (paid for by the British).[2]

While Egypt was fighting its nationalist fight from 1879-1882, Afghani and his chief disciple Muhammad Abduh travelled together first to Paris and then to Britain, it was in Britain that they would make a proposal for a pan-Islamic alliance among Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan against Czarist Russia.[3]

What Afghani was proposing to the British was that they provide aid and resources to support his formation of a militant Islam sect that would favour Britain’s interest in the Middle East, in other words, Afghani was offering to fight Islam with Islam to service British interests, having stated in one of his works “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.[4]

Although it is said that the British refused this offer, this is not likely considering the support Afghani would receive in creating the intellectual foundation for a pan-Islamic movement with British patronage and the support of England’s leading orientalist E.G. Browne, the godfather of twentieth century Orientalism and teacher of St John Philby and T.E. Lawrence.

E.G. Browne would make sure the work of Afghani would continue long beyond his death by lionising him in his 1910 “The Persian Revolution,” considered an authoritative history of the time.

In 1888, Abduh, the chief disciple of Afghani, would return to Egypt in triumph with the full support of the representatives of her Majesty’s imperial force and took the first of several positions in Cairo, openly casting his lot with Lord Cromer, who was the symbol of British imperialism in Egypt.

Abduh would found, with the hold of London’s Egyptian proconsul Evelyn Baring (aka Lord Cromer) who was the scion of the enormously powerful banking clan (Barings Bank) under the city of London, the Salafiyya movement.[5]

Abduh had attached himself to the British rulers of Egypt and created the cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood which dominated the militant Islamic right throughout the twentieth century.

In 1899, Abduh reached the pinnacle of his power and influence, and was named mufti of Egypt.

***

In 1902, Riyadh fell to Ibn Saud and it was during this period that Ibn Saud established the fearsome Ikhwan (translated as “brotherhood”). From the 1920s onward, the new Saudi state merged its Wahhabi orthodoxy with the Salafiyya movement (which would be organised into the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928).

William Shakespear, a famed British agent, forged the first formal treaty between England and Saudi Arabia which was signed in 1915, which bound London and Arabia for years before Saudi Arabia became a country. “It formally recognized Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of the Nejd and its Dependencies under British protection. In return, Ibn Saud undertook to follow British advice.[6]

Harry St. John Bridger Philby, a British operative schooled by E.G. Browne and father to the legendary triple agent Kim Philby, would succeed Shakespear as Great Britain’s liaison to Ibn Saud under the British India Office, the friendly rival of the Cairo Arab Bureau office which was sponsoring T.E. Lawrence of Arabia.

In Egypt 1928, Hassan al-Banna (a follower of Afghani and Abduh) founded the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), the organization that would change the course of history in the twentieth century Middle East.

Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood was established with a grant from England’s Suez Canal Company[7] and from that point on, British diplomats and intelligence service, along with the British puppet King Farouq would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a truncheon against Egypt’s nationalists and later against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. (For more on this refer to my paper.)

To get the Muslim Brotherhood off the ground, the Suez Canal Company helped Banna build the mosque in Ismailia that would serve as its headquarters and base of operation.[8] The fact that Banna created the organization in Ismailia is itself worthy of note. For England, the Suez Canal was the indispensable route to its prize possession, India, and in 1928 the town Ismailia happened to house not only the company’s offices but a major British military base built during WWI. It was also, in the 1920s a center of pro-British sentiment in Egypt.

In the post-WWI world, England reigned supreme, the flag of the British Empire was everywhere from the Mediterranean to India. A new generation of kings and potentates ruled over British dominated colonies, mandates, vassal states, and semi-independent fiefdoms in Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan and Persia. To varying degrees those monarchies were beholden to London.

In the half century between 1875 and 1925 the building blocks of the militant Islamic right were cemented in place by the British Empire.

Islamic Banking Made in Geneva/London

Islamic banking [that is the banking system dominated presently by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States] was born in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia and then spread to the far corners of the Muslim world. Eventually the Islamic banking movement became a vehicle not only for exporting political Islam but for sponsoring violence. However, Islamic banking did not get off the ground on its own, as Ibrahim Warde (a renowned scholar of international finance) explains in his book “Islamic Finance in the Global Economy,” Islamic banking:

operates more out of London, Geneva, or the Bahamas than it does out of Jeddah, Karachi or Cairo…Ideologically, both liberalism and economic Islam were driven by their common opposition to socialism and economic dirigisme…Even Islamic Republics have on occasion openly embraced neo-liberalism…In Sudan, between 1992 and the end of 1993, Economics Minister Abdul Rahim Hamdi – a disciple of Milton Friedman and incidentally a former Islamic banker in London – did not hesitate to implement the harshest free-market remedies dictated by the International Monetary Fund. He said he was committed to transforming the heretofore statist economy ‘according to free-market rules, because this is how an Islamic economy should function.’ ” [emphasis added]

Perhaps the best case study to this phenomenon is the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

BCCI was an international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. A decade after opening, BCCI had over 400 branches in 78 countries in excess of $20 billion USD, making it the seventh largest private bank in the world.

In the 1980s investigations into BCCI led to the discovery of its involvement in massive money laundering and other financial crimes, and that the BCCI had illegally and secretly gained the control of a major American bank, First American, according to Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA) who had been investigating the bank for over two years.

BCCI was also to be found guilty for illegally buying another American bank, the Independence Bank of Los Angeles, using a Saudi businessman Ghaith Paraon as the puppet owner. The American depositors lost most of their money when BCCI was forced to foreclose since it was essentially operating a Ponzi scheme to fund illegal activity of all sorts.

According to Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald’s book “The Valediction”:

Afghanistan offered the opportunity for BCCI to migrate the lucrative heroin business from Southeast Asia [Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam] to the Pakistani/Afghan border under the cover of destabilization. President Carter supported Brzezinski’s provocations into Soviet territory from the minute they got into the White House. He then sanctioned Brzezinski’s plan to use Afghanistan to lure the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam and lied to the public about it when they fell into the trap on December 27, 1979.

…The destabilization kills three birds with one stone. It weakens the Soviets…It acts as a cover for moving the heroin business out of Vietnam/Laos and Cambodia to a safe haven on the Pakistan frontier with Afghanistan – a trade that propped up the British Empire financially for over a hundred years.

…Afghan drug dealer and CIA asset Gulbuddin Hekmatyar…[then organizes] a deal with the renegade gangster, Afghan prime minister, and possible CIA asset Hafizullah Amin…to make Kabul the center of the world heroin trade…pays for the off-the-books operation with drug money brought in by Hekmatyar and laundered through a Pakistani bank…known as BCCI. Everything goes smoothly until the new US Ambassador Adolph Dubs launches a campaign against the destabilization…

US Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated, just seven months after taking his post, under an extremely suspect situation, on February 14, 1979, to which Gould and Fitzgerald do a superb investigation of, as well as what really happened in Afghanistan in 1979, in their book “The Valediction.

Investigators in the United States and the UK determined that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.[9]

This is an incredibly sophisticated operation, and interestingly, uses the very same methods that the City of London has been using for centuries and presently operates to a diabolical perfection today. There is no way that a solo Pakistani financier, even if he was financed by the Sheik of Abu Dhabi, could rise in less than a decade, operating on the turf of ancient banking channels that go back several centuries, to rise to become the seventh largest bank in the netherworld of finance without a little help from the big boys.

On July 29th, 1991, a Manhattan grand jury indicted BCCI on twelve accounts of fraud, money laundering and larceny. Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA), who was in charge of the investigation, has described BCCI as “the largest bank fraud in world financial history.”

Through the Rabbit Hole and Out Again

Today, the actions of the United States can best be understood in the context of the Anglo-American Empire, with Wall Street operating as an extension of the ancient banking channels of the City of London and Geneva.

The disastrous foreign policy of namely Britain and the United States in the War on Terror Crusade has been exposed multiple times. That is, that the very governments who have been shouting the loudest against Islamic extremism and for stability in the Middle East, are the very ones who have been weaponising, training and funding such terrorist groupings. The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS (and all its viral variants) would not exist today if it were not for namely Britain’s age old strategy.

So what is the goal?

Well, what does any empire seek? Global domination.

In this light, the War on Terror is exposed for what it truly is. It is meant to impoverish and destroy the national sovereignty of the people, not only of the Middle East (or more accurately Southwest Asia), but as we are seeing clearly today, it has also acted as a slow blood-letting of the western people, whose economies are much weaker today than they were 20 years ago.

While western countries are increasingly unable to provide a proper standard of living, with mass unemployment, lack of healthcare, increased crime and suicide rates, and increased overdoses and homelessness, and pretty much everything you would expect to rise during a Dark Age straight out of a Goya painting, these “first-world” governments are applying further austerity measures on the people, even after prolonged lockdowns, while openly pumping trillions of dollars into wars that not only fund the destruction of entire nations, but funds the global drug, arms and sex-trafficking trade. All of this dirty money then circles back into the London-Geneva fondi, benefitting a select class that has existed and thrived for centuries on this sort of backdrop.

Nobody has benefitted from this War on Terror except the global elite.

So stop getting sucked into the same old same old lies; stop being a slave to the system and let us finally unite and stand up against the true common enemy of the people of the world.

The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/

  1. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam” 
  2. Ibid. 
  3. The proposal to London from Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was reported by a British Orientalist and author W.S. Blunt, a friend of Afghani’s. It is cited in C.C. Adams, “Islam and Modernism in Egypt.” 
  4. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam.” 
  5. Ibid. 
  6. David Holden and Richard Johns, “The House of Saud.” 
  7. Richard P. Mitchell, “The Society of the Muslim Brothers.” 
  8. Ibid. 
  9. John Kerry “The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations.” 

Another Look at 9/11: Ask Not ‘What Happened?’ but ‘Who Did It?’

See the source image

Philip Giraldi

September 16, 202

The evidence of Israeli involvement is substantial, based on the level of the Jewish state’s espionage operations in the U.S., Phil Giraldi writes.

The twentieth anniversary of 9/11 last Saturday has raised many of the usual issues about what actually happened on that day. Were hijacked airliners actually crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or was the damage in New York City attributable to explosives or even some kind of nuclear device? These are fundamental questions and the so-called “Truthers” who raise them have been inspired by their reading of the 585 page 9/11 Report, which is most charitably described as incomplete, though many would reasonably call it a government cover-up.

I have long believed that unless one actually sees or experiences something first hand the description of any event is no better than hearsay. The closest I came to “seeing” 9/11 was the panicked evacuation of a CIA office building, where I was working at the time. Another related bit of 9/11 narrative also came from two close friends who were driving into work at the Pentagon when they each independently observed what appeared to be a large plane passing over their cars and striking the building. I consider the sources credible but was it an airplane or a missile? And I was not there to see it with my own eyes, so I am reluctant to claim that my friends actually saw something that in retrospect might have been misconstrued.

Critics of the physical and engineering aspects of the accepted narrative certainly have a great deal of expert evidence that supports their case. The way the towers fell as well as the collapse of Building 7 nearby are suggestive of something other than the impact of an airliner near the top of the structure, but I am no expert in the science of the matter and have avoided expressing a view regarding it.

Apart from what happened, I have always been more intrigued by “Who done it?” I found the 9/11 Report to be conspicuously lacking in its failure to cover possible foreign involvement, to include the Saudis, Pakistanis and the Israelis. Indeed, President Joe Biden has taken steps that have resulted in the declassification and release of 16 pages of the notorious 28-page redaction of documents relating to any possible Saudi role. The document consists of interviews with Saudi student Omar al-Bayoumi, who reportedly helped support several hijackers.

The Saudis are being sued by 9/11 survivors, but it is unlikely that anything really sensitive will ever be exposed, as explained by investigative journalist Jim Bovard. Indeed, the documents released last Saturday did not demonstrate that the Saudi government itself played any direct role in 9/11, though it is clear that wealthy Saudis and even members of the Royal Family had been supporting and funding al-Qaeda. It is also known that that Saudi Embassy and Consulate employees in the U.S. had funded the alleged hijackers.

Friends who were in CIA’s Counterterrorism Center at the time of 9/11 tend to believe that the Saudis were indeed supporting their fellow citizens while in the U.S. but were likely not knowledgeable regarding any terrorist plot. They observed, however, that there was considerable evidence that Israel knew in advance about what was impending and may have even been instrumental in making sure that it succeeded.

The evidence of Israeli involvement is substantial, based on the level of the Jewish state’s espionage operations in the U.S. and also its track record on so-called covert actions simulating terrorist attacks designed to influence political decision making in foreign countries. But, of course, in reporting on the 9/11 tragedy no one in the mainstream media did pick up on the connection, inhibited no doubt by the understanding that there are some things that one just does not write about Israel if one hopes to remain employed. That is true in spite of the fact that the Israeli angle to 9/11 is without a doubt a good story, consigned to the alternative media, where it can be marginalized by critics as a conspiracy theory or the product of anti-Semitism.

In the year 2001 Israel was running a massive spying operation directed against Muslims either resident or traveling in the United States. The operation included the creation of a number of cover companies in New Jersey, Florida and also on the west coast that served as spying mechanisms for Mossad officers. The effort was supported by the Mossad Station in Washington DC and included a large number of volunteers, the so-called “art students” who traveled around the U.S. selling various products at malls and outdoor markets. The FBI was aware of the numerous Israeli students who were routinely overstaying their visas but they were regarded as a minor nuisance and were normally left to the tender mercies of the inspectors at the Bureau of Customs and Immigration.

The Israelis were also running more sophisticated intelligence operations inside the United States, many of which were focused on Washington’s military capabilities and intentions. Some specialized intelligence units concentrated on obtaining military and dual use technology. It was also known that Israeli spies had penetrated the phone systems of the U.S. government, to include those at the White House.

All of that came into focus on September 11, 2001, when a New Jersey housewife saw something from the window of her apartment building, which overlooked the World Trade Center. She watched as the buildings burned and crumbled but also noted something strange. Three young men were kneeling on the roof of a white transit van parked by the water’s edge, making a movie in which they featured themselves high fiving and laughing in front of the catastrophic scene unfolding behind them. The woman wrote down the license plate number of the van and called the police, who responded quickly and soon both the local force and the FBI began looking for the vehicle, which was subsequently seen by other witnesses in various locations along the New Jersey waterfront, its occupants “celebrating and filming.”

The license plate number revealed that the van belonged to a New Jersey registered company called Urban Moving Systems. The van was identified and pulled over. Five men between the ages of 22 and 27 years old emerged to be detained at gunpoint and handcuffed. They were all Israelis. One of them had $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock and another had two foreign passports. Bomb sniffing dogs reacted to the smell of explosives in the van.

According to the initial police report, the driver identified as Sivan Kurzberg, stated “We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.” The five men were detained at the Bergen County jail in New Jersey before being transferred the FBI’s Foreign Counterintelligence Section, which handles allegations of spying.

After the arrest, the FBI obtained a warrant to search Urban Moving System’s Weehawken, NJ, offices. Papers and computers were seized. The company owner Dominick Suter, also an Israeli, answered FBI questions but when a follow-up interview was set up a few days later it was learned that he had fled the country for Israel, putting both his business and home up for sale. It was later learned that Suter has been associated with at least fourteen businesses in the United States, mostly in New Jersey and New York but also in Florida.

The five Israelis were held in Brooklyn, initially on charges relating to visa fraud. FBI interrogators questioned them for more than two months. Several were held in solitary confinement so they could not communicate with each other and two of them were given repeated polygraph exams, which they failed when claiming that they were nothing more than students working summer jobs. The two men that the FBI focused on most intensively were believed to be Mossad staff officers and the other three were volunteers helping with surveillance. Interestingly, photo evidence demonstrated that they had been seen “casing” the area where they were seen celebrating on the day before, indicating that they had prior knowledge of the attack.

The Israelis were not exactly cooperative, but the FBI concluded from documents obtained at their office in Weehawken that they had been targeting Arabs in New York and New Jersey. The FBI concluded that there was a distinct possibility that the Israelis had actually monitored the activities of at least two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers while the cover companies and intelligence personnel often intersected with locations frequented by the Saudis.

The dots were apparently never connected by investigators. Police records in New Jersey and New York where the men were held have disappeared and FBI interrogation reports are inaccessible. Media coverage of the case also died, though the five were referred to in the press as the “dancing Israelis” and by some, more disparagingly, as the “dancing Shlomos.”

Inevitably, the George W. Bush White House intervened. After 71 days in detention, the five Israelis were inexplicably released from prison, put on a plane, and deported. One should also recall that when the news of 9/11 reached Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pleased, saying that “It’s very good. Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” It will “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.” And, of course, it was conveniently attributable to Israel’s enemies.

The possible role of Israel in 9/11 was first explored in book form in 2003 by Antiwar.com editorial director Justin Raimondo in his The Terror Enigma, a short book focusing on Israeli spying and inconsistencies in the narrative that bore the provocative subtitle “9/11 and the Israeli Connection.”

Currently, the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 has inspired some others to take another look at the possible Israeli role. Ron Unz has recently completed an exhaustive examination of the evidence. He observes that 9/11 and its aftermath have shaped “the last two decades, greatly changing the daily lives and liberties of most ordinary Americans.” He asks “What organized group would have been sufficiently powerful and daring to carry off an attack of such vast scale against the central heart of the world’s sole superpower? And how were they possibly able to orchestrate such a massively effective media and political cover-up, even enlisting the participation of the U.S. government itself?”

Ron Unz answers his question, concluding that there is “a strong, perhaps even overwhelming case that the Israeli Mossad together with its American collaborators played the central role” in the attack. His argument is based on the noted inconsistencies in the standard narrative, plus an examination of the history of Israeli false flag and mass terrorism attacks. It also includes new information gleaned from Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman’s recent book Rise and Kill First: the Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.

To a certain extent, Unz relies on a detailed investigative article written by French journalist Laurent Guyenot in 2018 as well as on an argument made by an ex-Marine and former instructor at the U.S. Army War College Alan Sabrosky in an article where he records how “Many years ago I read a fascinating discussion of the ‘tactics of mistake.’ This essentially entailed using a target’s prejudices and preconceptions to mislead them as to the origin and intent of the attack, entrapping them in a tactical situation that later worked to the attacker’s strategic advantage. This is what unfolded in the 9/11 attacks that led us into the matrix of wars and conflicts, present (Afghanistan and Iraq), planned (Iran and Syria) and projected (Jordan and Egypt), that benefit Israel and no other country — although I concede that many private contractors and politicians are doing very well for themselves out of the death and misery of others. I am also absolutely certain as a strategic analyst that 9/11 itself, from which all else flows, was a classic Mossad-orchestrated operation. But Mossad did not do it alone. They needed local help within America (and perhaps elsewhere) and they had it, principally from some alumni of PNAC (the misnamed Project for a New American Century) and their affiliates within and outside of the U.S. Government (USG), who in the 9/11 attacks got the ‘catalytic event’ they needed and craved to take the U.S. to war on Israel’s behalf…”

Economist and author Paul Craig Roberts has also been motivated by the anniversary to review the evidence and concludes “Circumstantial evidence suggests that 9/11 was a scheme of George W. Bush regime neoconservative officials allied with vice president Dick Cheney and Israel to create a ‘new Pearl Harbor’ that would generate support on the part of the American people and Washington’s European allies for a Middle Eastern ‘war on terror’ whose real purpose was to destroy Israel’s enemies in the interest of Greater Israel… This is the most plausible explanation, but, if true, it is not one that the U.S. and Israeli governments would ever acknowledge. Consequently, we are stuck with an official explanation long championed by the presstitutes that no one believes.”

Yes, an implausible explanation that no one really believes for the greatest national security disaster in America’s twenty-first century. And Israel gets yet another pass.

American Pravda: Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years

September 14, 2021

American Pravda: Seeking 9/11 Truth After Twenty Years

by Ron Unz, reposted with permission

The twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks is almost upon us, and although their immediacy has been somewhat reduced by the events of the last eighteen months, we must recognize that they have drastically shaped the world history of the last two decades, greatly changing the daily lives and liberties of most ordinary Americans.

The widespread doubts about the reality of the official story provided by our government and almost universally promoted by our media has severely diminished popular faith in the credibility of those two crucial institutions, with consequences that are still very apparent in today’s highest profile issues.

Over the years, diligent researchers and courageous journalists have largely demolished the original narrative of those events, and have made a strong, perhaps even overwhelming case that the Israeli Mossad together with its American collaborators played the central role. My own reconstruction, substantially relying upon such accumulated evidence, came to such conclusions, and I am therefore republishing it below, drawn from my previous articles which had appeared in late 2018 and early 2020, with the later material making heavy use of Ronen Bergman’s authoritative 2018 history of the Mossad, which ran more than 750 pages.

Immediately following my own analysis is a link to a particularly noteworthy article along the same lines by French writer Laurent Guyénot, which we had originally released simultaneously with my own, then followed by more than a dozen other significant articles of the previous decade, all published or republished on this website. In coming days, some of these may also be separately featured as part of the twenty-year commemoration.

The 9/11 Attacks – What Happened?

Although somewhat related, political assassinations and terrorist attacks are distinct topics, and Bergman’s comprehensive volume explicitly focuses on the former, so we cannot fault him for providing only slight coverage of the latter. But the historical pattern of Israeli activity, especially with regard to false-flag attacks, is really quite remarkable, as I noted in a 2018 article:

One of history’s largest terrorist attacks prior to 9/11 was the 1946 bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by Zionist militants dressed as Arabs, which killed 91 people and largely destroyed the structure. In the famous Lavon Affair of 1954, Israeli agents launched a wave of terrorist attacks against Western targets in Egypt, intending to have those blamed on anti-Western Arab groups. There are strong claims that in 1950 Israeli Mossad agents began a series of false-flag terrorist bombings against Jewish targets in Baghdad, successfully using those violent methods to help persuade Iraq’s thousand-year-old Jewish community to emigrate to the Jewish state. In 1967, Israel launched a deliberate air and sea attack against the U.S.S. Liberty, intending to leave no survivors, killing or wounding over 200 American servicemen before word of the attack reached our Sixth Fleet and the Israelis withdrew.

The enormous extent of pro-Israel influence in world political and media circles meant that none of these brutal attacks ever drew serious retaliation, and in nearly all cases, they were quickly thrown down the memory hole, so that today probably no more than one in a hundred Americans is even aware of them. Furthermore, most of these incidents came to light due to chance circumstances, so we may easily suspect that many other attacks of a similar nature have never become part of the historical record.

Of these famous incidents, Bergman only includes mention of the King David Hotel bombing. But much later in his narrative, he describes the huge wave of false-flag terrorist attacks unleashed in 1981 by Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, who recruited a former high-ranking Mossad official to manage the project.

Under Israeli direction, large car bombs began exploding in the Palestinian neighborhoods of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, killing or injuring enormous numbers of civilians. A single attack in October inflicted nearly 400 casualties, and by December, there were eighteen bombings per month, with their effectiveness greatly enhanced by the use of innovative new Israeli drone technology. Official responsibility for all the attacks was claimed by a previously unknown Lebanese organization, but the intent was to provoke the PLO into military retaliation against Israel, thereby justifying Sharon’s planned invasion of the neighboring country.

Since the PLO stubbornly refused to take the bait, plans were put into motion for the huge bombing of an entire Beirut sports stadium using tons of explosives during a January 1st political ceremony, with the death and destruction expected to be “of unprecedented proportions, even in terms of Lebanon.” But Sharon’s political enemies learned of the plot and emphasized that many foreign diplomats including the Soviet ambassador were expected to be present and probably would be killed, so after a bitter debate, Prime Minister Begin ordered the attack aborted. A future Mossad chief mentions the major headaches they then faced in removing the large quantity of explosives that they had already planted within the structure.

I think that this thoroughly documented history of major Israeli false-flag terrorist attacks, including those against American and other Western targets, should be carefully kept in mind when we consider the 9/11 attacks, whose aftermath has massively transformed our society and cost us so many trillions of dollars. I analyzed the strange circumstances of the attacks and their likely nature at considerable length in my 2018 article:

Oddly enough, for many years after 9/11, I paid very little attention to the details of the attacks themselves. I was entirely preoccupied with building my content-archiving software system, and with the little time I could spare for public policy matters, I was totally focused on the ongoing Iraq War disaster, as well as my terrible fears that Bush might at any moment suddenly extend the conflict to Iran. Despite Neocon lies shamelessly echoed by our corrupt media, neither Iraq nor Iran had had anything whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks, so those events gradually faded in my consciousness, and I suspect the same was true for most other Americans. Al Qaeda had largely disappeared and Bin Laden was supposedly hiding in a cave somewhere. Despite endless Homeland Security “threat alerts,” there had been no further Islamic terrorism on American soil, and relatively little anywhere else outside of the Iraq charnel house. So the precise details of the 9/11 plots had become almost irrelevant to me.

Others I knew seemed to feel the same way. Virtually all the exchanges I had with my old friend Bill Odom, the three-star general who had run the NSA for Ronald Reagan, had concerned the Iraq War and risk it might spread to Iran, as well as the bitter anger he felt toward Bush’s perversion of his beloved NSA into an extra-constitutional tool of domestic espionage. When the New York Times broke the story of the massive extent of domestic NSA spying, Gen. Odom declared that President Bush should be impeached and NSA Director Michael Hayden court-martialed. But in all the years prior to his untimely passing in 2008, I don’t recall the 9/11 attacks themselves even once coming up as a topic in our discussions.

Admittedly, I’d occasionally heard of some considerable oddities regarding the 9/11 attacks here and there, and these certainly raised some suspicions. Most days I would glance at the Antiwar.com front page, and it seemed that some Israeli Mossad agents had been caught while filming the plane attacks in NYC, while a much larger Mossad “art student” spy operation around the country had also been broken up around the same time. Apparently, FoxNews had even broadcast a multi-part series on the latter topic before that expose was scuttled and “disappeared” under ADL pressure.

Although I wasn’t entirely sure about the credibility of those claims, it did seem plausible that Mossad had known of the attacks in advance and allowed them to proceed, recognizing the huge benefits that Israel would derive from the anti-Arab backlash. I think I was vaguely aware that Antiwar.com editorial director Justin Raimondo had published The Terror Enigma, a short book about some of those strange facts, bearing the provocative subtitle “9/11 and the Israeli Connection,” but I never considered reading it. In 2007, Counterpunch itself published a fascinating follow-up story about the arrest of that group of Israeli Mossad agents in NYC, who were caught filming and apparently celebrating the plane attacks on that fateful day, and the Mossad activity seemed to be far larger than I had previously realized. But all these details remained a little fuzzy in my mind next to my overriding concerns about wars in Iraq and Iran.

However, by the end of 2008 my focus had begun to change. Bush was leaving office without having started an Iranian war, and America had successfully dodged the bullet of an even more dangerous John McCain administration. I assumed that Barack Obama would be a terrible president and he proved worse than my expectations, but I still breathed a huge sigh of relief every day that he was in the White House.

Moreover, around that same time I’d stumbled across an astonishing detail of the 9/11 attacks that demonstrated the remarkable depths of my own ignorance. In a Counterpunch article, I’d discovered that immediately following the attacks, the supposed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden had publicly denied any involvement, even declaring that no good Muslim would have committed such deeds.

Once I checked around a little and fully confirmed that fact, I was flabbergasted. 9/11 was not only the most successful terrorist attack in the history of the world, but may have been greater in its physical magnitude than all past terrorist operations combined. The entire purpose of terrorism is to allow a small organization to show the world that it can inflict serious losses upon a powerful state, and I had never previously heard of any terrorist leader denying his role in a successful operation, let alone the greatest in history. Something seemed extremely wrong in the media-generated narrative that I had previously accepted. I began to wonder if I had been as deluded as the tens of millions of Americans in 2003 and 2004 who naively believed that Saddam had been the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks. We live in a world of illusions generated by our media, and I suddenly felt that I had noticed a tear in the paper-mache mountains displayed in the background of a Hollywood sound-stage. If Osama was probably not the author of 9/11, what other huge falsehoods had I blindly accepted?

A couple of years later, I came across a very interesting column by Eric Margolis, a prominent Canadian foreign policy journalist purged from the broadcast media for his strong opposition to the Iraq War. He had long published a weekly column in the Toronto Sun and when that tenure ended, he used his closing appearance to run a double-length piece expressing his very strong doubts about the official 9/11 story, even noting that the former director of Pakistani Intelligence insisted that Israel had been behind the attacks.

I eventually discovered that in 2003 former German Cabinet Minister Andreas von Bülow had published a best-selling book strongly suggesting that the CIA rather than Bin Laden was behind the attacks, while in 2007 former Italian President Francesco Cossiga had similarly argued that the CIA and the Israeli Mossad had been responsible, claiming that fact was well known among Western intelligence agencies.

Over the years, all these discordant claims had gradually raised my suspicions about the official 9/11 story to rather strong levels, but it was only very recently that I finally found the time to begin to seriously investigate the subject and read eight or ten of the main 9/11 Truther books, mostly those by Prof. David Ray Griffin, the widely acknowledged leader in that field. And his books, together with the writings of his numerous colleagues and allies, revealed all sorts of very telling details, most of which had previously been unknown to me. I was also greatly impressed by the sheer number of seemingly reputable individuals of no apparent ideological bent who had become adherents of the 9/11 Truth movement over the years.

When utterly astonishing claims of an extremely controversial nature are made over a period of many years by numerous seemingly reputable academics and other experts, and they are entirely ignored or suppressed but never effectively rebutted, reasonable conclusions seem to point in an obvious direction. Based on my very recent readings in this topic, the total number of huge flaws in the official 9/11 story has now grown extremely long, probably numbering in the many dozens. Most of these individual items seem reasonably likely and if we decide that even just two or three of them are correct, we must totally reject the official narrative that so many of us have believed for so long.

Now I am merely just an amateur in the complex intelligence craft of extracting nuggets of truth from a mountain of manufactured falsehood. Although the arguments of the 9/11 Truth Movement seem quite persuasive to me, I would obviously have felt much more comfortable if they were seconded by an experienced professional, such as a top CIA analyst. A few years ago, I was shocked to discover that was indeed the case.

William Christison had spent 29 years at the CIA, rising to become one of its senior figures as Director of its Office of Regional and Political Analysis, with 200 research analysts serving under him. In August 2006, he published a remarkable 2,700 word article explaining why he no longer believed the official 9/11 story and felt sure that the 9/11 Commission Report constituted a cover-up, with the truth being quite different. The following year, he provided a forceful endorsement to one of Griffin’s books, writing that “[There’s] a strong body of evidence showing the official U.S. Government story of what happened on September 11, 2001 to be almost certainly a monstrous series of lies.” And Christison’s extreme 9/11 skepticism was seconded by that of many other highly regarded former US intelligence professionals.

We might expect that if a former CIA intelligence officer of Christison’s rank were to denounce the official 9/11 report as a fraud and a cover-up, such a story would constitute front-page news. But it was never reported anywhere in our mainstream media, and I only stumbled upon it a decade later.

Even our supposed “alternative” media outlets were nearly as silent. Throughout the 2000s, Christison and his wife Kathleen, also a former CIA analyst, had been regular contributors to Counterpunch, publishing many dozens of articles there and certainly being its most highly credentialed writers on intelligence and national security matters. But editor Alexander Cockburn refused to publish any of their 9/11 skepticism, so it never came to my attention at the time. Indeed, when I mentioned Christison’s views to current Counterpunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair a couple of years ago, he was stunned to discover that the friend he had regarded so very highly had actually become a “9/11 Truther.” When media organs serve as ideological gatekeepers, a condition of widespread ignorance becomes unavoidable.

With so many gaping holes in the official story of the events of seventeen years ago, each of us is free to choose to focus on those we personally consider most persuasive, and I have several of my own. Danish Chemistry professor Niels Harrit was one of the scientists who analyzed the debris of the destroyed buildings and detected the residual presence of nano-thermite, a military-grade explosive compound, and I found him quite credible during his hour-long interview on Red Ice Radio. The notion that an undamaged hijacker passport was found on an NYC street after the massive, fiery destruction of the skyscrapers is totally absurd, as was the claim that the top hijacker conveniently lost his luggage at one of the airports and it was found to contain a large mass of incriminating information. The testimonies of the dozens of firefighters who heard explosions just before the collapse of the buildings seems totally inexplicable under the official account. The sudden total collapse of Building Seven, never hit by any jetliners is also extremely implausible.

The 9/11 Attacks – Who Did It?

Let us now suppose that the overwhelming weight of evidence is correct, and concur with high-ranking former CIA intelligence analysts, distinguished academics, and experienced professionals that the 9/11 attacks were not what they appeared to be. We recognize the extreme implausibility that three huge skyscrapers in New York City suddenly collapsed at free-fall velocity into their own footprints after just two of them were hit by airplanes, and also that a large civilian jetliner probably did not strike the Pentagon leaving behind absolutely no wreckage and only a small hole. What actually did happen, and more importantly, who was responsible?

The first question is obviously impossible to answer without an honest and thorough official investigation of the evidence. Until that occurs, we should not be surprised that numerous, somewhat conflicting hypotheses have been advanced and debated within the confines of the 9/11 Truth community. But the second question is probably the more important and relevant one, and I think it has always represented a source of extreme vulnerability to 9/11 Truthers.

The most typical approach, as generally followed in the numerous Griffin books, is to avoid the issue entirely and focus solely on the gaping flaws in the official narrative. This is a perfectly acceptable position but leaves all sorts of serious doubts. What organized group would have been sufficiently powerful and daring to carry off an attack of such vast scale against the central heart of the world’s sole superpower? And how were they possibly able to orchestrate such a massively effective media and political cover-up, even enlisting the participation of the U.S. government itself?

The much smaller fraction of 9/11 Truthers who choose to address this “whodunit” question seem to be overwhelmingly concentrated among rank-and-file grassroots activists rather than the prestigious experts, and they usually answer “inside job!” Their widespread belief seems to be that the top political leadership of the Bush Administration, probably including Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had organized the terrorist attacks, either with or without the knowledge of their ignorant nominal superior, President George W. Bush. The suggested motives included justifying military attacks against various countries, supporting the financial interests of the powerful oil industry and military-industrial complex, and enabling the destruction of traditional American civil liberties. Since the vast majority of politically-active Truthers seem to come from the far left of the ideological spectrum, they regard these notions as logical and almost self-evident.

Although not explicitly endorsing those Truther conspiracies, filmmaker Michael Moore’s leftist box office hit Fahrenheit 9/11 seemed to raise such similar suspicions. His small budget documentary earned an astonishing $220 million by suggesting that the very close business ties between the Bush family, Cheney, the oil companies, and the Saudis were responsible for the Iraq War aftermath of the terrorist attacks, as well as the domestic crackdown on civil liberties, which was part-and-parcel of the right-wing Republican agenda.

Unfortunately, this apparently plausible picture seems to have almost no basis in reality. During the drive to the Iraq War, I read Times articles interviewing numerous top oil men in Texas who expressed total puzzlement at why America was planning to attack Saddam, saying that they could only assume that President Bush knew something that they themselves did not. Saudi Arabian leaders were adamantly opposed to an American attack on Iraq, and made every effort to prevent it. Prior to his joining the Bush Administration, Cheney had served as CEO of Halliburton, an oil services giant, and his firm had heavily lobbied for the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions against Iraq. Prof. James Petras, a scholar of strong Marxist leanings, published an excellent 2008 book entitled Zionism, Militarism, and the Decline of US Power in which he conclusively demonstrated that Zionist interests rather than those of the oil industry had dominated the Bush Administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and promoted the Iraq War.

As for the Michael Moore film, I remember at the time sharing a laugh with a (Jewish) friend of mine, both of us finding it ridiculous that a government so overwhelmingly permeated by fanatically pro-Israel Neocons was being portrayed as being in thrall to the Saudis. Not only did the plotline of Moore’s film demonstrate the fearsome power of Jewish Hollywood, but its huge success suggested that most of the American public had apparently never heard of the Neocons.

Bush critics properly ridiculed the president for his tongue-tied statement that the 9/11 terrorists had attacked America “for its freedoms” and Truthers have reasonably branded as implausible the claims that the massive attacks were organized by a cave-dwelling Islamic preacher. But the suggestion that they were led and organized by the top figures of the Bush Administration seems even more preposterous.

Cheney and Rumsfeld had both spent decades as stalwarts of the moderate pro-business wing of the Republican Party, each serving in top government positions and also as CEOs of major corporations. The notion that they capped their careers by joining a new Republican administration in early 2001 and almost immediately set about organizing a gigantic false-flag terrorist attack upon the proudest towers of our largest city together with our own national military headquarters, intending to kill many thousands of Americans in the process, is too ridiculous to even be part of a leftist political satire.

Let’s step back a bit. In the entire history of the world, I can think of no documented case in which the top political leadership of a country has launched a major false-flag attack upon its own centers of power and finance and tried to kill large numbers of its own people. The America of 2001 was a peaceful and prosperous country run by relatively bland political leaders focused upon the traditional Republican goals of enacting tax-cuts for the rich and reducing environmental regulations. Too many Truther activists have apparently drawn their understanding of the world from the caricatures of leftist comic-books in which corporate Republicans are all diabolical Dr. Evils, seeking to kill Americans out of sheer malevolence, and Alexander Cockburn was absolutely correct to ridicule them at least on that particular score.

Consider also the simple practicalities of the situation. The gigantic nature of the 9/11 attacks as postulated by the Truth movement would have clearly required enormous planning and probably involved the work of many dozens or even hundreds of skilled agents. Ordering CIA operatives or special military units to organize secret attacks against civilian targets in Venezuela or Yemen is one thing, but directing them to mount attacks against the Pentagon and the heart of New York City would be fraught with stupendous risk.

Bush had lost the popular vote in November 2000 and had only reached the White House because of a few dangling chads in Florida and the controversial decision of a deeply divided Supreme Court. As a consequence, most of the American media regarded his new administration with enormous hostility. If the first act of such a newly-sworn presidential team had been ordering the CIA or the military to prepare attacks against New York City and the Pentagon, surely those orders would have been regarded as issued by a group of lunatics, and immediately leaked to the hostile national press.

The whole scenario of top American leaders being the masterminds behind 9/11 is beyond ridiculous, and those 9/11 Truthers who make or imply such claims—doing so without a single shred of solid evidence—have unfortunately played a major role in discrediting their entire movement. In fact, the common meaning of the “inside job” scenario is so patently absurd and self-defeating that one might even suspect that the claim was encouraged by those seeking to discredit the entire 9/11 Truth movement as a consequence.

The focus on Cheney and Rumsfeld seems particularly ill-directed. Although I’ve never met nor had any dealings with either of those individuals, I was quite actively involved in DC politics during the 1990s, and can say with some assurance that prior to 9/11, neither of them were regarded as Neocons. Instead, they were the archetypical examples of moderate business-type mainstream Republicans, stretching all the way back to their years at the top of the Ford Administration during the mid-1970s.

Skeptics of this claim may note that they signed the 1997 declaration issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a leading Neocon foreign policy manifesto organized by Bill Kristol, but I would regard that as something of a red herring. In DC circles, individuals are always recruiting their friends to sign various declarations, which may or may not be indicative of anything, and I remember Kristol trying to get me to sign the PNAC statement as well. Since my private views on that issue were absolutely 100% contrary to the Neocon position, which I regarded as foreign policy lunacy, I deflected his request and very politely turned him down. But I was quite friendly with him at the time, so if I had been someone without strong opinions in that area, I probably would have agreed.

This raises a larger point. By 2000, the Neocons had gained almost total control of all the major conservative/Republican media outlets and the foreign policy wings of nearly all the similarly aligned thinktanks in DC, successfully purging most of their traditional opponents. So although Cheney and Rumsfeld were not themselves Neocons, they were swimming in a Neocon sea, with a very large fraction of all the information they received coming from such sources and with their top aides such as “Scooter” Libby, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith being Neocons. Rumsfeld was already somewhat elderly while Cheney had suffered several heart-attacks starting at age 37, so under those circumstances it may have been relatively easy for them to be shifted toward certain policy positions.

Indeed, the entire demonization of Cheney and Rumsfeld in anti-Iraq War circles has seemed somewhat suspicious to me. I always wondered whether the heavily Jewish liberal media had focused its wrath upon those two individuals in order to deflect culpability from the Jewish Neocons who were the obvious originators of that disastrous policy; and the same may be true of the 9/11 Truthers, who probably feared accusations of anti-Semitism. Regarding that former issue, a prominent Israeli columnist was characteristically blunt on the matter in 2003, strongly suggesting that 25 Neocon intellectuals, nearly all of them Jewish, were primarily responsible for the war. Under normal circumstances, the president himself would have surely been portrayed as the evil mastermind behind the 9/11 plot, but “W” was too widely known for his ignorance for such accusations to be credible.

It does seem entirely plausible that Cheney, Rumsfeld, and other top Bush leaders may have been manipulated into taking certain actions that inadvertently fostered the 9/11 plot, while a few lower-level Bush appointees might have been more directly involved, perhaps even as outright conspirators. But I do not think this is the usual meaning of the “inside job” accusation.

So where do we now stand? It seems very likely that the 9/11 attacks were the work of an organization far more powerful and professionally-skilled than a rag-tag band of nineteen random Arabs armed with box-cutters, but also that the attacks were very unlikely to have been the work of the American government itself. So who actually attacked our country on that fateful day seventeen years ago, killing thousands of our fellow citizens?

Effective intelligence operations are concealed in a hall of mirrors, often extremely difficult for outsiders to penetrate, and false-flag terrorist attacks certainly fall into this category. But if we apply a different metaphor, the complexities of such events may be seen as a Gordian Knot, almost impossible to disentangle, but vulnerable to the sword-stroke of asking the simple question “Who benefited?”

America and most of the world certainly did not, and the disastrous legacies of that fateful day have transformed our own society and wrecked many other countries. The endless American wars soon unleashed have already cost us many trillions of dollars and set our nation on the road to bankruptcy while killing or displacing many millions of innocent Middle Easterners. Most recently, that resulting flood of desperate refugees has begun engulfing Europe, and the peace and prosperity of that ancient continent is now under severe threat.

Our traditional civil liberties and constitutional protections have been drastically eroded, with our society having taken long steps toward becoming an outright police state. American citizens now passively accept unimaginable infringements on their personal freedoms, all originally begun under the guise of preventing terrorism.

I find it difficult to think of any country in the world that clearly gained as a result of the 9/11 attacks and America’s military reaction, with one single, solitary exception.

During 2000 and most of 2001, America was a peaceful prosperous country, but a certain small Middle Eastern nation had found itself in an increasingly desperate situation. Israel then seemed to be fighting for its life against the massive waves of domestic terrorism that constituted the Second Palestinian Intifada.

Ariel Sharon was widely believed to have deliberately provoked that uprising in September 2000 by marching to the Temple Mount backed by a thousand armed police, and the resulting violence and polarization of Israeli society had successfully installed him as Prime Minister in early 2001. But once in office, his brutal measures failed to end the wave of continuing attacks, which increasingly took the form of suicide-bombings against civilian targets. Many believed that the violence might soon trigger a huge outflow of Israeli citizens, perhaps producing a death-spiral for the Jewish state. Iraq, Iran, Libya, and other major Muslim powers were supporting the Palestinians with money, rhetoric, and sometimes weaponry, and Israeli society seemed close to crumbling. I remember hearing from some of my DC friends that numerous Israeli policy experts were suddenly seeking berths at Neocon thinktanks so that they could relocate to America.

Sharon was a notoriously bloody and reckless leader, with a long history of undertaking strategic gambles of astonishing boldness, sometimes betting everything on a single roll of the dice. He had spent decades seeking the Prime Ministership, but having finally obtained it, he now had his back to the wall, with no obvious source of rescue in sight.

The 9/11 attacks changed everything. Suddenly the world’s sole superpower was fully mobilized against Arab and Muslim terrorist movements, especially those connected with the Middle East. Sharon’s close Neocon political allies in America used the unexpected crisis as an opportunity to seize control of America’s foreign policy and national security apparatus, with an NSA staffer later reporting that Israeli generals freely roamed the halls of the Pentagon without any security controls. Meanwhile, the excuse of preventing domestic terrorism was used to implement newly centralized American police controls that were soon employed to harass or even shut down various anti-Zionist political organizations. One of the Israeli Mossad agents arrested by the police in New York City as he and his fellows were celebrating the 9/11 attacks and producing a souvenir film of the burning World Trade Center towers told the officers that “We are Israelis…Your problems are our problems.” And so they immediately became.

General Wesley Clark reported that soon after the 9/11 attacks he was informed that a secret military plan had somehow come into being under which America would attack and destroy seven major Muslim countries over the next few years, including Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya, which coincidentally were all of Israel’s strongest regional adversaries and the leading supporters of the Palestinians. As America began to expend enormous oceans of blood and treasure attacking all of Israel’s enemies after 9/11, Israel itself no longer needed to do so. Partly as a consequence, almost no other nation in the world has so enormously improved its strategic and economic situation during the last seventeen years, even while a large fraction of the American population has become completely impoverished during that same period and our national debt has grown to insurmountable levels. A parasite can often grow fat even as its host suffers and declines.

I have emphasized that for many years after the 9/11 attacks I paid little attention to the details and had only the vaguest notion that there even existed an organized 9/11 Truth movement. But if someone had ever convinced me that the terrorist attacks had been false-flag operations and someone other than Osama had been responsible, my immediate guess would have been Israel and its Mossad.

Certainly no other nation in the world can remotely match Israel’s track-record of remarkably bold high-level assassinations and false-flag attacks, terrorist and otherwise, against other countries, even including America and its military. Furthermore, the enormous dominance of Jewish and pro-Israel elements in the American establishment media and increasingly that of many other major countries in the West has long ensured that even when the solid evidence of such attacks was discovered, very few ordinary Americans would ever hear those facts.

Once we accept that the 9/11 attacks were probably a false-flag operation, a central clue to the likely perpetrators has been their extraordinary success in ensuring that such a wealth of enormously suspicious evidence has been totally ignored by virtually the entire American media, whether liberal or conservative, left-wing or right-wing.

In the particular case at hand, the considerable number of zealously pro-Israel Neocons situated just beneath the public surface of the Bush Administration in 2001 could have greatly facilitated both the successful organization of the attacks and their effective cover-up and concealment, with Libby, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Richard Perle being merely the most obvious names. Whether such individuals were knowing conspirators or merely had personal ties allowing them to be exploited in furthering the plot is entirely unclear.

Most of this information must surely have long been apparent to knowledgeable observers, and I strongly suspect that many individuals who had paid much greater attention than myself to the details of the 9/11 attacks may have quickly formed a tentative conclusion along these same lines. But for obvious social and political reasons, there is a great reluctance to publicly point the finger of blame towards Israel on a matter of such enormous magnitude. Hence, except for a few fringe activists here and there, such dark suspicions remained private.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the 9/11 Truth movement probably feared they would be destroyed by media accusations of deranged anti-Semitism if they had ever expressed even a hint of such ideas. This political strategy may have been necessary, but by failing to name any plausible culprit, they created a vacuum that was soon filled by “useful idiots” who shouted “inside job!” while pointing an accusing finger toward Cheney and Rumsfeld, and thereby did so much to discredit the entire 9/11 Truth movement.

This unfortunate conspiracy of silence finally ended in 2009 when Dr. Alan Sabrosky, former Director of Studies at the US Army War College, stepped forward and publicly declared that the Israeli Mossad had very likely been responsible for the 9/11 attacks, writing a series of columns on the subject, and eventually presenting his views in a number of media interviews, along with additional analyses.

Obviously, such explosive charges never reached the pages of my morning Times, but they did receive considerable if transitory coverage in portions of the alternative media, and I remember seeing the links very prominently featured at Antiwar.com and widely discussed elsewhere. I had never previously heard of Sabrosky, so I consulted my archiving system and immediately discovered that he had a perfectly respectable record of publication on military affairs in mainstream foreign policy periodicals and had also held a series of academic appointments at prestigious institutions. Reading one or two of his articles on 9/11, I felt he made a rather persuasive case for Mossad involvement, with some of his information already known to me but much of it not.

Since I was very busy with my software work and had never spent any time investigating 9/11 or reading any of the books on the topic, my belief in his claims back then was obviously quite tentative. But now that I have finally looked into the subject in much greater detail and done a great deal of reading, I think it seems quite likely that his 2009 analysis was entirely correct.

I would particularly recommend his long 2011 interview on Iranian Press TV, which I first watched just a couple of days ago. He came across as highly credible and forthright in his claims:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/tpYjyFbJzPZh/

He also provided a pugnacious conclusion in a much longer 2010 radio interview:

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/BigWEQyw6Cb7/

Sabrosky focused much of his attention upon a particular segment of a Dutch documentary film on the 9/11 attacks produced several years earlier. In that fascinating interview, a professional demolition expert named Danny Jowenko who was largely ignorant of the 9/11 attacks immediately identified the filmed collapse of WTC Building 7 as a controlled-demolition, and the remarkable clip was broadcast worldwide on Press TV and widely discussed across the Internet.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Sl2RIqT-4bk?feature=oembed

And by a very strange coincidence, just three days after Jowenko’s broadcast video interview had received such heavy attention, he had the misfortune to die in a frontal collision with a tree in Holland. I’d suspect that the community of professional demolition experts is a small one, and Jowenko’s surviving industry colleagues may have quickly concluded that serious misfortune might visit those who rendered controversial expert opinions on the collapse of the three World Trade Center towers.

Meanwhile, the ADL soon mounted a huge and largely successful effort to have Press TV banned in the West for promoting “anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” even persuading YouTube to entirely eliminate the huge video archive of those past shows, notably including Sabrosky’s long interview.

Most recently, Sabrosky provided an hour-long presentation at this June’s Deep Truth video panel conference, during which he expressed considerable pessimism about America’s political predicament, and suggested that the Zionist control over our politics and media had grown even stronger over the last decade.

His discussion was soon rebroadcast by Guns & Butter, a prominent progressive radio program, which as a consequence was soon purged from its home station after seventeen years of great national popularity and strong listener support.

The late Alan Hart, a very distinguished British broadcast journalist and foreign correspondent, also broke his silence in 2010 and similarly pointed to the Israelis as the likely culprits behind the 9/11 attacks. Those interested may wish to listen to his extended interview.

Journalist Christopher Bollyn was one of the first writers to explore the possible Israeli links to the 9/11 attacks, and the details contained in his long series of newspaper articles are often quoted by other researchers. In 2012, he gathered together this material and published it in the form of a book entitled Solving 9-11, thereby making his information on the possible role of the Israeli Mossad available to a much wider audience, with a version being available online. Unfortunately his printed volume severely suffers from the typical lack of resources available to the writers on the political fringe, with poor organization and frequent repetition of the same points due to its origins in a set of individual articles, and this may diminish its credibility among some readers. So those who purchase it should be forewarned about these serious stylistic weaknesses.

Probably a much better compendium of the very extensive evidence pointing to the Israeli hand behind the 9/11 attacks has been more recently provided by French writer Laurent Guyénot, both in his 2017 book JFK-9/11: 50 Years of the Deep State and also his 8,500 word article “9/11 was an Israeli Job”, published concurrently with this one and providing a far greater wealth of detail than is contained here. While I would not necessarily endorse all of his claims and arguments, his overall analysis seems fully consistent with my own.

These writers have provided a great deal of material in support of the Israeli Mossad Hypothesis, but I would focus attention on just one important point. We would normally expect that terrorist attacks resulting in the complete destruction of three gigantic office buildings in New York City and an aerial assault on the Pentagon would be an operation of enormous size and scale, involving very considerable organizational infrastructure and manpower. In the aftermath of the attacks, the US government undertook great efforts to locate and arrest the surviving Islamic conspirators, but scarcely managed to find a single one. Apparently, they had all died in the attacks themselves or otherwise simply vanished into thin air.

But without making much effort at all, the American government did quickly round up and arrest some 200 Israeli Mossad agents, many of whom had been based in exactly the same geographical locations as the purported 19 Arab hijackers. Furthermore, NYC police arrested some of these agents while they were publicly celebrating the 9/11 attacks, and others were caught driving vans in the New York area containing explosives or their residual traces. Most of these Mossad agents refused to answer any questions, and many of those who did failed polygraph tests, but under massive political pressure all were eventually released and deported back to Israel. A couple of years ago, much of this information was very effectively presented in a short video available on YouTube.

There is another fascinating tidbit that I have very rarely seen mentioned. Just a month after the 9/11 attacks, two Israelis were caught sneaking weapons and explosives into the Mexican Parliament building, a story that naturally produced several banner-headlines in leading Mexican newspapers at the time but which was greeted by total silence in the American media. Eventually, under massive political pressure, all charges were dropped and the Israeli agents were deported back home. This remarkable incident was only reported on a small Hispanic-activist website, and discussed in a few other places. Some years ago I easily found the scanned front pages of the Mexican newspapers reporting those dramatic events on the Internet, but I can no longer easily locate them. The details are obviously somewhat fragmentary and possibly garbled, but certainly quite intriguing.

One might speculate that if supposed Islamic terrorists had followed up their 9/11 attacks by attacking and destroying the Mexican parliament building a month later, Latin American support for America’s military invasions in the Middle East would have been greatly magnified. Furthermore, any scenes of such massive destruction in the Mexican capital by Arab terrorists would surely have been broadcast non-stop on Univision, America’s dominant Spanish-language network, fully solidifying Hispanic support for President Bush’s military endeavors.

Although my growing suspicions about the 9/11 attacks stretch back a decade or more, my serious investigation of the topic is quite recent, so I am certainly a newcomer to the field. But sometimes an outsider can notice things that may escape the attention of those who have spent so many years deeply immersed in a given topic.

From my perspective, a huge fraction of the 9/11 Truth community spends far too much of its time absorbed in the particular details of the attacks, debating the precise method by which the World Trade Center towers in New York were brought down or what actually struck the Pentagon. But these sorts of issues seem of little ultimate significance.

I would argue that the only important aspect of such technical issues is whether the overall evidence is sufficiently strong to establish the falsehood of the official 9/11 narrative and also demonstrate that the attacks must have been the work of a highly sophisticated organization with access to advanced military technology rather than a rag-tag band of 19 Arabs armed with box-cutters. Beyond that, none of those details matter.

In that regard, I believe that the volume of factual material collected by determined researchers over the last seventeen years has easily met that requirement, perhaps even ten or twenty times over. For example, even agreeing upon a single particular item such as the clear presence of nano-thermite, a military-grade explosive compound, would immediately satisfy those two criteria. So I see little point in endless debates over whether nano-thermite was used, or nano-thermite plus something else, or just something else entirely. And such complex technical debates may serve to obscure the larger picture, while confusing and intimidating any casually-interested onlookers, thereby being quite counter-productive to the overall goals of the 9/11 Truth movement.

Once we have concluded that the culprits were part of a highly sophisticated organization, we can then focus on the Who and the Why, which surely would be of greater importance than the particular details of the How. Yet currently all the endless debate over the How tends to crowd out the Who and the Why, and I wonder whether this unfortunate situation might even be intentional.

Perhaps one reason is that once sincere 9/11 Truthers do focus on those more important questions, the vast weight of the evidence clearly points in a single direction, implicating Israel and its Mossad intelligence service, with the case being overwhelmingly strong in motive, means, and opportunity. And leveling accusations of blame at Israel and its domestic collaborators for the greatest attack ever launched against America on our own soil entails enormous social and political risks.

But such difficulties must be weighed against the reality of three thousand American civilian lives and the subsequent seventeen years of our multi-trillion-dollar wars, which have produced tens of thousands of dead or wounded American servicemen and the death or displacement of many millions of innocent Middle Easterners.

The members of the 9/11 Truth movement must therefore ask themselves whether or not “Truth” is indeed the central goal of their efforts.

Other Noteworthy 9/11 Articles Available on this Website

Related Reading:

Taliban danger

SEPTEMBER 12, 2021

Taliban danger

by Batko Milacic for the Saker Blog

During the 20 years of Afghan occupation, which was initially quick and successful, the Americans and their allies failed to give Afghanistan anything. The impression is that successive US administrations initially had no strategy to pacify the country. After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the country’s secular regime, abandoned by the Russians, held out for three years and collapsed only after being completely deprived of all assistance from Moscow. The allied international forces were still in the country when the government of President Ghani, which they controlled, left the capital at the mercy of the Taliban. Why?!

When Russians were in Afganistan, they not only fought, but taught the Afghans, sending one of them into space and building hospitals, roads and factories. Therefore, the Afghans, who fought on the side of the country’s last truly secular government, knew what they were fighting for.

What did the soldiers of the current Afghan army, let alone ordinary Afghans, have to die for? For the president who stole so much money that it didn’t fit into his plane? For kickbacks from US arms manufacturers who supplied Afghanistan with the equipment, all of which was inherited by the Taliban? Maybe for freedom and universal human values, which had allegedly been promoted for 20 years by numerous NGOs that squandered the money of American and European taxpayers?!

Ordinary Afghan people lives by the same rules as their distant ancestors; they don`t understand the advantages of Western culture. Two decades of US rule have cost Afghans nearly a million lives. They faced killings of civilians “by mistake,” cleansing of villages, forced prostitution and humiliation. And a small sliver of “Europeanized Afghans,” supporters of women’s rights, religious tolerance and freedom, are just as alien to ordinary Afghans as are the arrogant US military. Therefore, some Afghans greet the Taliban as liberators, while others have learned to tolerate them and believe that life will not get any worse than it is now!

However, there are still others, who have no other choice than to fight! These are representatives of ethnic minorities. Nine percent of the country’s population are ethnic Uzbeks, and 27 percent – Tajiks. Pashtuns make up 42 percent of the Afghan population and they are the main source of the support for the Taliban`s. The Pashtuns are backed by neighboring Pakistan, and provide most of the volunteers for the militants. As for the Tajiks and Uzbeks, they were the main pillars of the secular state. Their leaders, Ahmad Shah Massoud, Sr. and Marshal Dostum, fought the Taliban throughout the initial period of their rule. They are less religious and not all of them are willing to spend the rest of their lives living according to strict Sharia law. Fully aware of this, the Taliban were all set not to repeat the mistakes they made in 1996-2001. The ethnic minorities must not only submit; they must be deprived of any chance to rebel. Given the fact that the country’s new rulers are divided into several groups, this goal was even easier to achieve. For example, the Haqqani Network, which is even more radical than the Taliban themselves (impossible as it may seem), and has in its ranks a large number of Arabic-speaking immigrants from ISIS and al-Qaeda, has sent out its militants to Panjshir and other northern provinces, while the Taliban still pretended to negotiate with them.

Panjshir is a small mountain valley in the north of the country, which has never really submitted to any conqueror. The passes leading to it are easy to block, and the terrain of the province itself is very conducive to guerrilla warfare. At the same time, routes go through the province to China and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, making it an important logistics hub. In addition, the sparsely populated valley (around 100,000 inhabitants) is rich in minerals, including emeralds, which actually allowed Massoud Sr. to hold out there for five years. This is why the Taliban are so eager to nip the local resistance in the bud. The only reason they needed negotiations was to improve their image in the world. In Washington, they have already been recognized as a “different” Taliban, not those who are responsible for the attacks on and killings of civilians. Well, you demonstrate to the outside world your flexibility and readiness for dialogue, and, who knows, maybe one day they will also give you diplomatic recognition! Naturally enough, Ahmad Massoud Jr. and Amrullah Saleh (also an ethnic Tajik), who had declared himself the legitimate head of Afghanistan, had no desire to leave the autonomy, give up their ability to maintain self-defense units and exercise real control over part of the government. Meanwhile, the “Haqqani Network” has already put the defense capability of the “lion cub of Panjshir” to the test.

The rest we know from news reports. After the Taliban and their allies suffered their first setbacks, drones suddenly appeared in the air, flown by Pakistani operators. According to numerous reports, Pakistani special OPs helped the Taliban break into the valley, resulting in videos from its center and from the mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Massoud being posted online on the morning of September 6. The “Lion” announced the continuation of the resistance and went into the mountains. Fearing for their life (and with good reason too) most of the local civilian population left with him. Well, the pro-Soviet forces in Afghanistan once also controlled the valley, while Massoud Sr. fought and eventually defeated them in the surrounding mountains. There is a big difference though. The best anti-guerrilla tactic is to deprive the militants of any support – in other words, “scorched earth” or genocide. With Panjshir completely cut off from the outside world, the Taliban simultaneously solve two problems – they will get rid of the disloyal population by killing them or squeezing them out to Tajikistan, and reward their supporters by handing them the houses and property left behind by the escaped local residents, thereby ensuring their loyalty and creating a formidable base against Massoud’s supporters. All of this comes as very good news for Pakistan, which has given the Taliban full control over the country and received access to the resources of the potentially very rich Panjshir.

Massoud Jr., who represents Afghanistan’s eight million Tajiks, will apparently be forced to fight to the bitter end. However, it looks like he will not be getting any outside help now that the White House has apparently decided to leave the region completely and has clinched some kind of secret deals with the Taliban or their patrons from the neighboring countries. How else to explain the position of Dushanbe? The Tajik authorities obviously ignore the situation, refusing to support their fellow country folk. Have the Americans allegedly guaranteed the Central Asian republic security against the Taliban if Dushanbe does not interfere in the process of Afghan unification? But how can one believe an old fox telling the sheep that the wolf will not touch them? All the more so, if the wolves have just bitten the red-haired deceiver?

A much similar situation has developed in Uzbekistan – the country that Marshal Dostum, an ethnic Uzbek and a graduate of Soviet military schools, who is considered a man of great courage, has fled to. However, this brave man with all his associates, including loyal fighters, has crossed the Uzbek border and disappeared. Unusual behavior for a combat-hardened general who fought for 35 years and never accepted Islamists. What was he promised? Security for the Uzbek minority? Or was he simply bought out? Or blackmailed? In any case, the last hero of all wars disappeared from the media radar without firing a single shot.

The information vacuum will allow the Taliban to quickly take control of the whole country. The world media will not write about the millions of victims of ethnic and religious cleansing simply because it will know nothing about that. If the “young lion of Panjshir” and Saleh do not receive real support in the coming days, they are doomed, along with their compatriots. Back in 1975, the world was blissfully unaware of the insane atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, who killed a third of their own population, simply because there was no one to write about this in a country shuttered from the outside world. In 2021, they will also try to hide the death of several million people, if only this is what Washington wants. And the White House does want a dialogue with the Taliban, forgetting about the victims of September 11, forgetting about the terrorist attacks across Europe and the hundreds of young men and women who died for “democracy” in Afghanistan. But what will the Taliban do after they crack down on Afghan minorities? Will it be peaceful construction? No, because radical Islam presupposes an eternal struggle against infidels in the name of a global caliphate and constant expansion. Its supporters have no need for music, literature, cinema – all these wonderful things created by mankind. They go to God through blood and violence, and they will go beyond their immediate neighbors. With a solid base and money from the sale of resources to China and Pakistan, the new Afghan authorities will become a unifying center for all like-minded Islamists – the holdovers from al-Qaeda and ISIS. As for the Taliban’s promise to get rid of the sprawling drug industry, which, during the 20 years of US occupation spiked from 120 tons a year to a whopping 10,000 tons, it is hardly credible. Indeed, why destroy what can be sold to infidels with profit and then be spent on a “holy war” bombing peaceful American and European cities. This is exactly what the Western world will get if it fails to figure out (and fast!) how to check the triumphant advance of terrorism from Afghanistan. True, judging by its escape from Kabul, the world policeman now urgently needs to talk this over with Moscow and Beijing. Otherwise, a new 9/11 may not be too far off.

The 9/11 Mother of All Scams Until Flu/Covid Arrived

September 11, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

All governments lie, notably Western ones.

Nothing they say can be taken at face value. The same goes for their media press agents.

9/11 was the mother of all Big Lies, the mother of all state-sponsored false flags, until flu/covid surpassed its infamy.

Twenty years ago today, I remember where I was and what I was doing when learned that the twin towers came down.

Though not an architect or engineer, something smelled rotten.

While still unaware of what I later learned and wrote voluminously about, I recall telling my brother that they’re drinking champagne in the White House tonight.

I couldn’t understand how steel columns could collapse in free fall like a house of cards in a stiff breeze.

I remember WTC 7’s later in the day collapse at 5:21PM, though unstruck.

I later saw a video clip by the UK owned and controlled BBC, its reporter Jane Standley in New York at the time.

At 4:54PM — 27 minutes before WTC 7’s collapse — she reported what hadn’t yet happened, showing the beeb had advance knowledge of the made-in-the-USA false flag.

Partly funded by Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth), a study titled “A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of World Trade Center” revealed the following:

Scientific evidence showed that “fires could not have caused weakening or displacement of structural members capable of initiating any of the hypothetical local failures alleged to have triggered the total collapse of the (twin towers or WTC 7), nor could any local failures, even if they had occurred, have triggered a sequence of failures that would have resulted in the observed total collapse.”

Jet fuel doesn’t heat high enough to melt or cause rigid steel columns to crumble.

It’s “scientifically impossible.” 

State-sponsored controlled demolitions destroyed both towers and WTC 7.

Their debris was removed and destroyed to prevent a proper forensic analysis, AE911Truth explained.

David Ray Griffin’s exhaustive research, writings and lectures exposed and documented the mother of all Big Lies to that time — including official coverup by the 9/11 whitewash commission.

Virtually everything officially reported and regurgitated by MSM was fake news.

Alleged hijackers weren’t aboard the four fateful flights.

Bin Laden had nothing to do with what happened.

Hospitalized in Pakistan, he died of natural causes in December 2001 — reported by the NYT, the BBC, and other MSM.

Obama did not kill Osama, one of many Big Lies about 9/11, its aftermath, and a figure designated Enemy Number One by hegemon USA.

In September 2001, CBS News anchor Dan Rather said he was admitted to a Rawalpindi, Pakistan hospital on September 10, 2001. 

France’s Le Figaro reported the following:

“Dubai…was the backdrop of a secret meeting between Osama bin Laden and the local CIA agent in July (2001).”

“A partner of the administration of the American Hospital…claims that (bin Laden) stayed (there) between the 4th and 14th of July (and) received visits from many members of his family as well as prominent Saudis and Emiratis.”

“(During the same period), the local CIA agent, known to many in Dubai, was seen taking (the hospital’s) main elevator (to) bin Laden’s room.”

Pakistani intelligence confirmed his December 2001 death. Yet the myth of his responsibility for 9/11 persists. 

The FBI later admitted it had no evidence linking him to the attack.

What happened 20 years ago today was all about inventing a pretext for unparalleled state terrorism that followed, for waging war on humanity at home and abroad — for transforming the US into a totalitarian police state.

The unpatriotic Patriot Act was written months in advance, the same likely true for the Homeland Security Act and what else unfolded in the aftermath of 9/11.

I discussed it in a December 2007 article, titled Police State America.

US planned in advance war OF terrorism, not on it, remains ongoing with no end of it in prospect.

Along with the Patriot Act (Oct. 2001), Bush/Cheney’s November 2001 Military Order Number 1 — a coup d’etat against peace and fundamental freedoms — was prelude for extrajudicial horrors that followed at home and abroad.

So-called Continuity of Government (COG) procedures under an alleged Catastrophic Emergency was and remains all about empowering the ruling US regime to declare martial law without congressional authorization and govern despotically.

It’s how Biden regime hardliners have been operating after seasonal flu was renamed covid.

The worst of what they have in mind is likely ahead — notably after the fake Biden’s Thursday remarks, transforming totalitarian USA into tyrannical rule.

Events, legislation, White House diktats and actions made the US unsafe and unfit to live in.

A Final Comment

James Fetzer founded Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, dedicated to exposing official lies, removing the shroud of deceit, and revealing truths behind 9/11.

On Friday, Fetzer stressed that the alleged 9/11 hijackers and bin ladin “had nothing to do with the atrocities of 9/11,” adding:

“(T)hey were (convenient) patsies, like Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan in relation to JFK and Bobby” — both figures uninvolved with their state-sponsored assassination.

Fetzer quoted Marc Thiessen, stressing that Biden (the real or fake one) “has no business visit(ing) Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., on” Saturday — the 20th anniversary of the mother of all state-sponsored false flags to that time.

The nation I grew up in long ago has been responsible for more harm to more people over a longer duration than any others in world history.

The worst of their diabolical war on humanity likely lies ahead — why the only solution is popular revolution.

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

September 11, 2021

9/11: A U.S. Deep State Insider Speaks …

An 8 part tweet stream by Pepe Escobar and posted with his permission

Pepe has two requests as follows:

  • Please retweet as much as possible
  • Please alert the Saker community – because at least parts of this thread may be “disappeared”, post-Allende-style, in no time. These are the parts that totally destroy the official narrative.

9/11: A U.S. DEEP STATE INSIDER SPEAKS Old school. Top clearance. Extremely discreet. Attended secret Deep State meetings on 9-11. Tired of all the lies. The following is what’s fit to print without being redacted.

Part 1 THE PHONE CALL. Up next.

“An emergency phone conference was held in the early afternoon of 9/11 based on the fact that WTC Building Number Seven was still standing. Demolitions were engineered to cause the building, as well as the others, to fall into its own footprint. I attended this call.”

Part 2 On WTC7: “No plane hit Building Number Seven.” “The CIA was brought to cover it up. The CIA set up failed asset bin Laden to blame as misdirection, then pulled the plug on Building Number Seven.” “The CIA doctored boarding tapes to show Arabs entering the planes.”

Part 3 On Mullah Omar: “Our CIA Arabists knew that if we blamed Osama, who was innocent of 9-11, Mullah Omar would not give him up in violation of the laws of Islamic hospitality. Mullah Omar requested evidence: then he would turn Osama over. Of course, we did not want that.”

Part 4 On heroin: “The Afghanistan heroin war was justified by 9-11. No one in Afghanistan was involved in 9/11. No member of Islam was involved. We invaded Afghanistan for only one purpose, which was to restart heroin production shut down by a righteous act of Mullah Omar.”

Part 5 On CIA and heroin: “CIA heroin plantations in Afghanistan funded external, clandestine operations and lined some important people’s pockets. That was common practice when the CIA ran the heroin operation in the Golden Triangle.”

Part 6 On MOTIVE: “It was never in the U.S. strategic interest to lay a curse on Islam in the West.” “9-11 was a kind of Gulf of Tonkin false flag operation justifying a war on Islam and the invasion of Iraq, followed by other invasions of Islamic nations.”

Part 7 Afghanistan-Iraq: “The Taliban loved us as they did not know that we lured Russia into Afghanistan. It was idiotic to think that they wanted to hurt their ally on 9-11.” “With Iraq invaded over a new falsity, the neocons created a war of hatred against Islam.”

Part 8 Who’s in charge: “The apex of the U.S. command structure is not the presidency. It’s the Deep State. I use that term even though we did not as it is commonly used.”

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

September 11, 2021

9/11 twenty years later and cheap & ubiquitous cellphones

by Andrei for the Saker blog

Twenty years have passed since 9/11, so where do we stand today?  I will give my short answers as bullet points and then let you post your own conclusions.  Here are mine:

  1. Numerous engineers, architects, chemists, researchers and others have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that 9/11 was a controlled demolition.
  2. There is very strong, albeit indirect, preponderance of evidence that the Israelis were deeply involved and that they had accomplices inside the USA.
  3. From the two above I think that it is reasonable to assume that the Israelis were working with the US Neocons on a common project.
  4. Al-Qaeda (which is a CIA creation in the first place!) had some parts of it activated by the US/Israeli deep states (which are trying run the Takfiris everywhere), but only to play the role of a patsy (there were a few Saudis and there were real aircraft, but they did not bring down any buildings in NY).
  5. It remains unclear to me what really happened at the Pentagon, but I think that we can take the notion that the aircraft over DC and NY were remotely piloted as a pretty good working hypothesis (which still needs to be proven).
  6. Directed energy weapons, Russian naval nuclear cruise missiles, mini-nukes and the like are crude disinformation responses to the 9/11 Truth movement by the US deep state.  These were only moderately effective and only convinced a, shall we say, specific type of “truthers” which are all rejected as idiots (at best) by the mainstream 9/11 movement.
  7. The truth about 9/11 is now slowly getting “JFK status” which is “everybody either suspects/knows, but nobody really cares anymore”.  It’s old news, especially in a society with an attention span somewhere between 2 mins and 2 days.
  8. The real goal of 9/11 was to create a “patriotic pretext” to launch the GWOT and change the entire Middle-East into a compliant entity à la Jordan.
  9. The GWOT was a total failure and one of the worst military campaign in military history.
  10. The plan to create a “new” Middle-East have totally failed and, if anything, created a stronger anti-Israeli environment than before 9/11.  The fact that GWOT medals are handed out by the ton means nothing: after the Grenada faceplant Uncle Shmuel gave out more medals than participants took place in the entire operation.
  11. The AngloZionost Empire died on January 8th, 2020 and the USA, as we knew it, died on January 6th 2021 (see here for a detailed discussion of these dates and context), almost exactly one year later.
  12. By being murdered by the USA, General Soleimani won the biggest victory in his life.
  13. The US will have to leave both Iraq and Syria sooner rather than later.
  14. The Zionist entity calling itself “Israel” is now in a major political and even existential crisis and is now on the ropes and desperate.  But they hide it a lot better than the US propagandists.  But the Palestinians “feel” that, as do quite a few Israelis too.
  15. Both Biden and “Biden” are now fighting for their political lives not only due to “Kabul” but also due to the way Biden has just declared war on those who refuse vaccines.
  16. Anti-vaxxers might be many things, but nobody can deny them the following qualities: they are very strongly driven, for them the entire issue is not medical, but one of self-image, of identity and resistance to tyranny.  Okay, some will quietly cave in, but many will not.  That is why I strongly believe that Biden’s “declaration of war” against the unvaccinated “deplorables” (he did not use the word, but his contempt and hate was obvious) is a huge mistake.  At least in the USA, I believe that there are plenty of anti-vaxxers who will rather die in a firefight than being vaxxed (which they sincerely believe will either chip them, or kill them in a couple of years).  In other words, I do not believe that “Biden” has the means to force 80M+ anti-vaxxers to get the jab, in fact, if anything, his entire speech was a highly divisive slap in the face of millions of US Americans.  Violence is almost inevitable by now.  First isolated incidents, but possibly something bigger too.
  17. The US economy is not growing or recovery.  That is just playing with numbers or, “statistics” in Churchill’s sense of the word.  The truth is that the country is breaking apart and slowly going “3rd world” (okay, there are already plenty of “3rd world” areas of the USA, but these are now expanding).  The real Chinese economy is about 1.5 times larger than the real US one.  Point, set, game and match China.  By the way, the real Russian economy is comparable or bigger to the real German one, and the Russian economy has pretty much recovered from the COVID crisis (but it is not over, cases are still rising in some areas of Russia).
  18. The US military has totally lost its ability to function as a real military.  Ditto for NATO.  They were publicly humiliated pretty much everywhere they set foot.  This process is now irreversible. Point, set, game and match Russia, China and Iran.
  19. Internally, the USA losing its cohesion and that centrifugal process is being accelerated by the truly insane internal policies of “Biden” (just Woke and Covid are a declaration of war against millions of US Americans).  I am not at all confident that “Biden” can bring states like Florida or Texas to heel.  I won’t comment any further on the internal US situation, but that needed to be mentioned.

Conclusions:

  1. As with all Neocon type policies, they initially look “brilliant” only to end up in an abject clusterbleep and the Neocons hated by pretty much everybody else.
  2. The Taliban won the GWOT (even at its best, Uncle Shmuel “controlled” about 40% of the country, max!).
  3. The entire Zone B and a big part of Zone A now realize that (whether they openly admit it or not).
  4. There is a good chance that the very public disaster in Afghanistan will now force the Europeans to distance themselves from a clearly senile, demented and weak Big Brother.
  5. The core Anglosphere (UK/CA/NZ/AUS) seems to be consolidating around the “Biden USA” which might put them on a collision course with the EU.  We are not quite there yet, but that’s were we are heading.
  6. The COVID pandemic effectively “exploded” all the societies in Zone A which are now all in a low-level “brewing” pre-civil war condition.  I do not see what anybody could do to change that.
  7. The COVID pandemic will only get worse, which will only trigger more attempts by Zone A government to try force their population to “obey” and that, in turn, will only further destabilize all, repeat, ALL the regimes in power in Zone A.

The bottom line is this: 9/11 and the GWOT were initial, very short lived, tactical successes which resulted in a strategic disaster or, better, in a strategic collapse of both the AngloZionist Empire and the USA.

And, finally, this.  I cannot prove it, but my reading of modern history and regime collapses brings me to believe the following:

I have always said that US policies, internal and external, are not really the result of careful planning as they are the result of various interests/entities using their influence and power to “pull” US policies in the way they want.  And since there are A LOT of various interests/entities, especially in important cases, what we see is not a “policy outcome” but only a “sum vector”, an “outcome” which is the sum of all the different pulling and the relative strength of the folks doing that pulling.

I believe that this process has only been magnified but by an order of magnitude.  What we see today in the US ruling elites is a huge “cover your ass”, “run for your life”, “protect yourself and your future” and even “grab it while you still can” and NOT, repeat, NOT “real” policies.  Those who believe in a grand conspiracy fail to realize that what happened in Kabul is not the exception, it is the rule!  Kabul was a giant spotlight which finally showed the true face of the US military to the entire planet: not the Tom Clancy kind of patriotic delusional hallucinations or Hollywood, but the “real reality” filmed “on the ground” on cheap but ubiquitous cellphones, by both Afghani and even US/NATO servicemen’s!

The problem for the delusional patriots is this: far from being “Putin agents” or anything like that, the million of folks out there who have cellphones with cameras (no matter how old or cheap) produce such a raw volume of data which makes it impossible to suppress.  The exact same goes for the Israelis, by the way, who have paid a huge price in terms of “losing the propaganda war” since the Palestinians (and quite a few Israelis too!!) now use their cellphones more effectively than any Palestinian rocket or suicide-bomber ever would.  That is also what really screwed up the recent US elections: ubiquitous cellphones (well, and CCTV cameras).

If we imagine the US/Israeli propaganda machine as a huge powerful animal (BILLIONS are invested into this) you can think of poor, oppressed people with cheapo cellphones as fire ants.  Let’s just conclude by saying that time is not on the side of the big powerful heavy animal, but on the fire ants’ side.

Andrei

PS: yes, I mentioned the POLITICAL aspects of the COVID pandemic.  I get to set the rules, since this is my blog.  The COVID topic remains banned on the entire Saker blog (Cafe included), EVEN if I get to mention it if/when it is part of my political analyses (I won’t touch the medicals aspects of COVID anymore, I have said all I have to say on this topic already anyway).  Do do NOT, repeat, NOT try to “sneak in” some COVID comments or you will be banned.  For the alternatively gifted: the article above is NOT about vaccines or the dangers of mRNA, it is about the political evaluation of 9/11 and the GWOT.  Stay on topic or else…

Pakistan will face consequences of its actions in Afghanistan, warns ex-Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

September 11, 2021

Pakistan will face consequences of its actions in Afghanistan, warns ex-Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

https://www.wionews.com/world/exclusive-pakistan-will-face-consequences-of-its-actions-in-afghanistan-warns-ex-iran-president-mahmoud-ahmadinejad-411375

Story highlights

Speaking to WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma, Ahmadinejad stressed that the handing over of power to Taliban is part of a ‘satanic plot’ by the western powers led by the US. India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China and regional countries will face the consequences of the re-emergence of Taliban, he said on WION’s Afghanistan Dialogues programme. He urged Pakistan to join efforts by Iran and India to resolve the crisis.

Amid reports that Pakistan had helped the Taliban quell the resistance in Panjshir, Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Islamabad that it will be haunted by its actions in near future in which he foresaw the militant group threatening Pakistani government and sovereignty.

Speaking to WION’s Executive Editor Palki Sharma, Ahmadinejad also stressed that the handing over of power to Taliban is part of a ‘satanic plot’ by the western powers led by the US.

Families of 9/11 Victims Expect Release of FBI Report on Saudi Role 

September 10, 2021

Families of 9/11 Victims Expect Release of FBI Report on Saudi Role 

By Staff, Agencies 

Families of the victims of the September 11 attacks who are suing the government of Saudi Arabia in a United States federal court in New York are expecting the US government to imminently release a key FBI report.

The 16-page report is an FBI summary and analysis of the agency’s long-running investigation into the activities of two of the September 11 hijackers, Saudi nationals, Khalid Al-Mihdhar and Nawaf Al-Hazmi.

In January 2000, the two Al-Qaeda operatives arrived in California where they were assisted by other Saudis. The FBI report, which may be redacted upon its public release, is expected to provide details of the FBI’s inquiry into who helped Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi, according to a lawyer for the September 11 families.

“It’s unclear what other parts of the government may have known what was going on, but clearly, fairly high-level and mid-level Saudi officials working for the government were part of this conspiracy,” said Andrew ‘Duke’ Maloney, a lawyer with the law firm Kreindler LLP representing the September 11 families in the litigation against Saudi Arabia.

Now 20 years after the 2001 attacks that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the families’ lawsuit accusing the Saudi government of complicity is nearing a turning point. Either sufficient evidence to support the lawsuit will be presented to the court or it will fail to move forward.

The pending FBI report is an analysis by agents who looked into how Al-Mihdhar and Al-Hazmi, who spoke little English and had no independent resources when they arrived in the US, gained a foothold in Los Angeles and then in San Diego.

Lawyers for the September 11 families believe they can prove there was “a cabal” of Saudi government officials “who were conspiring with Al-Qaeda operatives.” The lawsuit’s goal is to win a financial settlement for the families of the victims of the attack.

Argued largely in private, behind closed doors and in secret filings, the factual underpinnings of the case could soon become public under an executive order by President Joe Biden.

After Biden was told by September 11 family members he would not be welcome at anniversary memorials usually attended by the president, Biden directed the Justice Department and other agencies to review and release still-secret FBI documents and evidence.

Biden’s order specifically directs the release of the 16-page report by the September 11, 2021 anniversary.

The report is likely to shed new light on what the FBI knows about several men connected to the hijackers, including Saudi nationals, Muslim leader Fahad Al-Thumairy and suspect Saudi spy Omar Al-Bayoumi, Maloney said.

A Saudi embassy official, Mussaed Ahmed Al-Jarrah, whose name had emerged previously as part of the legal proceedings, is believed to have provided assistance to the future hijackers, according to the families’ lawyers.

Of the 19 al-Qaeda hijackers, 15 were Saudis and from the beginning of multiple US inquiries in to the September 11 attacks, questions have swirled around the Saudi role.

أوراق أيلول الأميركية: غمّ السعودية الدائم

السبت 11 أيلول 2021

حسين إبراهيم

عشرون عاماً مرّت على هجمات 11 أيلول، وما زال لُغزها كامناً في بضع أوراق تمنّع «الإستبليشمنت» الأميركي طويلاً عن رفع السرّية عنها، إلى أن قرّرت إدارة جو بايدن، مع اقتراب الذكرى، بدء مراجعتها لتحديد ما يمكن كشفه منها. وفيما يتصرّف الجميع على أساس أن تلك الأوراق تتناول أدوار مسؤولين سعوديّين في تقديم مساعدة إلى انتحاريّين شاركوا في الهجمات، تتفاوت التّقديرات في شأن ما سيخلّفه ذلك على مسار العلاقات السعودية – الأميركية، التي لم يَعُد خافياً أنها تعيش واحدة من أحلك مراحلهالا تخطئ العين حقيقة أن إدارة جو بايدن ونظام سلمان بن عبد العزيز وابنه يتصرّفان كخصمَين. فالتّعامل المباشر مع الملك الذي تحدّث عنه بايدن في معرض إعلانه رفض اللّقاء أو الاتصال بولي العهد محمد بن سلمان، لتورّطه في قتل جمال خاشقجي، اقتصر على اتصال هاتفي يتيم منذ تسلّمه الرئاسة، فيما الزيارات القليلة المتبادلة لا تتجاوز نواب الوزراء، بل إن وزيرَي الخارجية والدّفاع، أنتوني بلينكن ولويد أوستن، اللذين زارا قطر قبل أيام، في غمرة الانسحاب من أفغانستان، لم يعرّجا على الرياض، وكأنها غير موجودة على الخارطة، علماً أنّ الأخير هو المكلّف من الإدارة بالتعامل المباشر مع ابن سلمان.

أي معلومة تورّط السعودية في هجمات 11 أيلول، يمكن أن تكون لها تبعات خطيرة على المملكة (أ ف ب )


وطّن القريبون من ولي العهد أنفسهم على أن واشنطن تتعامل معهم كأعداء، لا كأصدقاء، فضلاً عن أن يكونوا حلفاء، علماً أن غالبيتهم على لائحة العقوبات الأميركية بسبب دورهم في اغتيال خاشقجي. لكن ما هو في الرّهان الآن، أكبر بكثير من قتل خاشقجي. فأيّ معلومة تُورّط السعودية في هجمات 11 أيلول، يمكن أن تكون لها تبعات خطيرة على المملكة. وينعكس الخوف والحرج اللذان يسبّبهما اقتراب كشف الأوراق، عشوائية في السياسة الخارجية للرياض. فمثلاً، يقول حساب «ملفات كريستوف» على «تويتر»، والذي يُعتقد أن سعود القحطاني هو الذي يديره، لمناسبة رفع السرّية عن الوثائق، إن «الضعف السياسي والنزاع المؤسّسي الواضح، الذي ألقى بظلاله على القرارات الأميركية في السنوات الأخيرة، أحدث شرخاً في ثقة الحلفاء بما فيهم أوروبا، التي بدأت تبحث تشكيل تكتّل عسكري خارج مظلّة الناتو». ومع ذلك، لا تزال المملكة تُظهر مكابرة، عبر ترحيبها رسمياً بنشر الأوراق، كما جاء في بيان سفارتها في واشنطن التي تتولّاها ريما بنت بندر بن سلطان. وما يسوّقه «كريستوف» ينطبق على دونالد ترامب الذي كان هو مَن خلع عباءة «الاستبليشمنت»، ثمّ مِن خارجها، دعَم صعود ابن سلمان إلى السلطة.

المسألة الأهمّ الآن هي: هل يتعلّق الأمر بمجرّد ابتزاز مالي أو سياسي نمطي في علاقات قائمة أصلاً على الابتزاز، أم يتعدّاه إلى تغيير جوهري في أساس العلاقات؟ ما هو ثابت هو أن ابن سلمان خائف، بخلاف ما كانت عليه الحال أيام رئاسة جورج بوش الابن. حينها، كان السعوديون مطمئنّين إلى أن المملكة ما زالت حاجة أميركية، قبل غزو أفغانستان، ثمّ العراق، ضمن المشروع الذي هدف إلى تغيير الشرق الأوسط بكامله، وفشل فشلاً ذريعاً. ومع بدء العدّ العكسي لكشف الأوراق، يبدو أن ما يجري في واشنطن بين إدارة بايدن وأهالي الضحايا، الذين ما انفكّوا منذ سنين طويلة يطالبون برفع السرّية عنها، يمثّل مقدّمة لتدفيع السعودية ثمناً غير مقدَّر حتى الآن عن تلك الهجمات، خاصة بعد تسريب اسم الدبلوماسي السعودي، مساعد بن أحمد الجراح، المتورّط في تقديم مساعدة للانتحاريَين نواف الحازمي وخالد المحضار، عبر الداعية فهد الثميري (كان إماماً لمسجد الملك فهد في لوس أنجلس)، وعمر البيومي (يُشتبه في أنه عميل للاستخبارات السعودية)، اللّذين قاما بمساعدة الانتحاريَين على استئجار شقة ودخول مدرسة تدريب على الطيران والحصول على أوراق ثبوتية قانونية، وقدّما لهما أموالاً.

المعارضون السعوديون مختلفون في تقدير مدى تأثير كشف الأوراق


المعارضون السعوديّون مختلفون في تقدير مدى تأثير كشف الأوراق. إذ يميل المقيمون في أميركا وكندا إلى اعتبار ما هو مقبل خطيراً على ابن سلمان الذي بات خائفاً على أمنه الشّخصي، إلى درجة أن شقيقه خالد، نائب وزير الدفاع، لا يستطيع الوصول إليه بسهولة. وتتمحور وجهة نظر هؤلاء حول أن الإدارة الأميركية تشعر بالضّيق من إصرار ابن سلمان على المضيّ في دعاوى قضائية في الولايات المتّحدة وكندا تُورّط خصومه السّعوديين، ولكنها تُورّط أيضاً كثيراً من العاملين في إدارة بايدن، ممّن عملوا سابقاً في إدارة باراك أوباما، وهم شركاء في عمليات أميركية – سعودية حصلت في ذلك الحين تحت عنوان «مكافحة الإرهاب»، وتخلّلها دعم سعودي بأوامر أميركية لجماعات لا تريد واشنطن الكشف عن علاقتها بها. ويشير هؤلاء إلى اجتماع حصل قبل أقلّ من شهر لقيادات في فريق بايدن تناول إصرار ابن سلمان على دعواه ضدّ سعد الجبري، المساعد السابق لمحمد بن نايف، والتي تهدّد بفضح معلومات لا يفترض خروجها إلى العلن، وسط خلافات بين مَن يريدون التخلّص من ولي العهد دفعة واحدة، ومَن يفضلّون الانتظار حتى يهدأ «الثور الهائج» من تلقاء نفسه، ومَن يبحثون بهدوء عن سيناريوات بديلة مِن مِثل استبداله بأحد حلفاء الولايات المتحدة داخل الأسرة.

قسم آخر من المعارضين السعوديين لا يتوقّع الكثير من رفع السرّية عن الأوراق، ويعتقد أن سعوديّي أميركا متحمّسون أكثر من اللّازم. ويرى أصحاب وجهة النظر هذه أن موضوع الوثائق يندرج ضمن سياق ابتزاز طويل، تعاوده الإدارة كلّ فترة، حتى تعب الجمهور الأميركي نفسه من تكراره. ويعتبرون أهالي ضحايا 11 أيلول أكثر ممارسة للابتزاز من الحكومة، فهم نسوا حتى أسماء الضحايا، وما يهمّهم هو الحصول على تعويضات فقط. لكن السؤال بالنسبة لهؤلاء هو، لماذا الآن؟ فالأميركيون كانوا قد خفّفوا من حملتهم على ابن سلمان، ولم يكونوا في وارد التّصعيد ضدّه، فهل طرأ ما يستدعي خلاف ذلك؟ وإذا جرى توريط السعودية، وفق هؤلاء، فسيشكّل الأمر ضربة للنظام السعودي، ولكنها لن تكون ضربة قاصمة، وستظلّ ضمن الإطار الذي يحافظ على حدّ من العلاقات بين الجانبين، خاصة أن عملية التدقيق في الصفحات لتحديد ما يمكن كشفه منها، وما لا يمكن كشفه، إن لم يكن لأسباب سعودية، فأميركية، قد تأخذ وقتاً.
وبغضّ النظر عن وجهتَي النظر المتعارضتَين حدّ التناقض، فالمؤكّد أن المعلومات المتضمّنة في الصفحات، أكثر خطورة وحساسية من المعلومات التي تمّ كشفها، وإلّا لما حُجبت كلّ هذا الوقت. وتفيد التقديرات بأن التداعيات التي ستطال السعودية من جرّاء كشف الأوراق المستورة، سوف تتراوح بين تكبيدها مبالغ مالية طائلة، وبين إلحاق أضرار إضافية بالعلاقات مع المملكة ونظامها الحاكم حالياً تحديداً، ذلك أن عائلات ما يقرب من 2500 من القتلى وأكثر من 20 ألف مصاب، فضلاً عن الشركات المتضرّرة وخاصة شركات التأمين، رفعوا دعاوى منذ عام 2003 يتّهمون فيها حكومة الرياض بالمشاركة في الهجمات. واكتسبت هذه الدعاوى زخماً كبيراً في 2016 عندما أقرّ الكونغرس «قانون جاستا» الذي يتيح للأميركيّين مقاضاة حكومات أجنبية بتهمة «الإرهاب». لكن أكثر ما يُقلق العائلات هو احتمال التوصّل إلى صفقة ما، من خارج السياق، تستمرّ بموجبها الإدارة في التواطؤ مع السعودية، خاصة أن لجنة حكوميّة أميركية شُكّلت سابقاً، «لم تَجد» أيّ دليل على أن السعودية موّلت تنظيم «القاعدة» بشكلٍ مباشر، لكنّها تركت الأمر مفتوحاً بشأن ما إذا كان مسؤولون سعوديون قد فعلوا ذلك.

9/11 and the Politics of Fear and Self-Preservation

We will either be remembered as a country that took freedom and liberty for all seriously or we will be remembered as a nation of cowards who, driven by fear, were willing to deprive this group, then that group, of their freedom — before losing that freedom entirely.

September 10th, 2021

By Whitney Webb

Source

The 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001 is a particularly somber one, not just because of the horrific nature of events of that day reaching its second-decade milestone, but because of how little we seem to have learned in that amount of time.

The fear and trauma generated by the events of 9/11 were used by the U.S. national security state and its civilian allies to great effect to divide the American population, to attack independent reporting as well as independent thought, to gut the anti-war movement, and to normalize the U.S. government’s overt and persistent degradation of the country’s Constitution. This, of course, is in addition to the illegal U.S. occupations and drone wars in the Middle East and elsewhere that were also born out of this event.

The true beneficiaries of 9/11

As a nation, the U.S. populace has failed to grapple with these realities, and many others, in the two decades since the Twin Towers and WTC Building 7 fell. Far from bringing any benefit to the alleged masterminds of the event, the results of 9/11 instead overwhelmingly favored the ambitions of a powerful faction within the U.S. national security state that had long sought to bring the dissident-elimination efforts it spent decades implementing abroad – from the Phoenix Program in Vietnam to Operation Condor in South America – home to roost.

As a result, the response of the U.S. government to the attack supposedly launched by those “who hate us for our freedom” was to work to reduce our freedoms and civil liberties. Now, 20 years on, the sophisticated “War on Terror” apparatus has been fully turned into a “War on Domestic Terror,” with many of those who once opposed the war on terrorism abroad now cheering on the ratcheting up of its domestic equivalent.

Yet, the domestic terror apparatus being swiftly created and implemented very clearly targets individuals and ideologies on both sides of the political divide. It is also extremely vague, essentially leaving it up to those holding the reins of political power – whether Democrat, Republican or something else – to decide who is “terrorist” and who is not. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Joe Biden back in the mid-1990s who introduced legislation that would have given the president sole and unappealable authority to define what constitutes “terrorism,” a fact that was omitted from media coverage of last year’s presidential campaign and the past several months of his presidency.

A crisis of courage

It seems clear at this point that one of the key reasons the U.S. continues to hemorrhage its remaining civil liberties, either as a result of the new “War on Domestic Terrorism” or as a response to COVID-19, is that it is undergoing a crisis of conscience and courage in grappling with not just the true nature of the events of 9/11 itself, but with the orthodoxy over the “official story” of those events.

Even two decades after the fact, it is still deemed too controversial or unthinkable to question whether the official story is an accurate portrayal of the events that transpired on and led to that day. This is despite the fact that the official story itself, presumably the same story told by the 9/11 Commission report, has been labeled incomplete, and unable to answer major questions about that day, by its very authors. In addition, the official story relies heavily on testimony obtained through extreme torture, meaning it is of questionable accuracy.

Many of those who have been quick and vocal to point out the lies of the U.S. government when it comes to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and other consequences of the War on Terror have been unable to even consider that the official story of 9/11 may not be legitimate and may indeed have been dealt from the same pack. This may be for a variety of reasons, including a strong desire to not be de-legitimized by their peers as bearers of the “conspiracy theorist” smear and an unwillingness to face a political reality where U.S. government officials may have been complicit in a deadly attack on American soil. In those two examples, however, the failure of such individuals, particularly in media, to even consider that there may be more to the story boils down to a desire for self-preservation in the case of the former and preservation of a particular worldview in the case of the latter. Yet, in both cases, the casualty is the truth and the cause is cowardice.

By failing as a society to thoroughly examine the events of 9/11 and why those events occurred, the American public has shown the powers that be that their desire to preserve a “safe” worldview — and to preserve their own careers, in the case of certain professional classes — is enough to keep people from questioning world-altering events when they emerge. Those powers are well aware of this refusal and have been using it to their advantage ever since.

The poison remains in our system

Today, with the COVID-19 crisis still dragging on, we are similarly immersed in a situation where nuance and facts are being cast aside, militantly in some cases, in favor of the establishment narrative. Is everyone who chooses not to take this particular vaccine a “conspiracy theorist” and “anti-vaxxer”? Does it really make sense to so dramatically divide the public into groups of vaccinated and unvaccinated through a new ID system when the vaccine claims to reduce the severity of illness but not to stop disease transmission? Should those that question the motivation of politicians, powerful pharmaceutical corporations and mainstream media “experts” be censored from expressing those views online?

You do not need to agree with those who hold such views, but what is wrong with hearing what they have to say and debating their evidence with your own? We are losing the ability to have rational public discourse about these issues — and losing it swiftly, at a speed comparable to what took place in the aftermath of 9/11, when questioning the motives of the Bush administration, U.S. intelligence agencies and other groups, as well as their proposed responses and “solutions,” was deemed “unpatriotic” and even “treasonous” by some. Calls were made to strip an entire class of Americans of their freedom for merely sharing the same ethno-religious identities as those we were told attacked us, and many went along with it. Freedom became treated as a privilege only for certain groups, not as a right, and this insidious fallacy has reared its head yet again in recent months in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine debate and also the war on domestic terror.

Our pandemic of fear

Though the failure to consider explanations for 9/11 that deviate from the official story can be called cowardice, the most enduring lesson 20 years on from 9/11 is perhaps that fear was and remains the most powerful tool that has been consistently used to whittle down our freedom and civil liberties. While the divide-and-conquer strategies have raged on from 9/11 to the present, the largest wealth transfers in history have occurred, creating an unaccountable and ultra-wealthy super-elite that dominates an ever-growing underclass.

The march towards this de facto neo-feudalism certainly didn’t begin on or after 9/11, but our collective failure to grapple with the narrative orthodoxies of that day have prevented us from fully understanding the big picture of that event as well as many subsequent and similarly consequential events. For too long, the desire to preserve our self-image, our reputation, and the worldview we are taught in school has all too often made hard, difficult truths a casualty.

In order to truly understand the War on Terror, the domestic surveillance state and our current reality, we must accept that we were lied to about 9/11. We must ask the hard questions and accept hard truths. We must put an end to the 20-plus-year-long pandemic of fear over “invisible enemies,” fear that has pushed us to surrender the very freedoms that we are told we are protecting.

The United States, and much of the world, is quickly becoming an unrecognizable and authoritarian dystopia. We cannot wait another two decades to grapple with the difficult questions and realities that arose after 9/11 and persist into the present. We will either be remembered as a country that took freedom and liberty for all seriously or we will be remembered as a nation of cowards who, driven by fear, were willing to deprive this group, then that group, of their freedom — before losing that freedom entirely.

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

September 09, 2021

The Taliban, 9/11, the Empire, MAGA eastern wet pampers

by Andrei for the Saker Blog

Most of you must have heard it: the Taliban will organize a major celebration on September 11th to mark the liberation of Afghanistan from the US occupation and the creation of the new Afghan government.  The Russians and the Chinese have been invited.  As are the Pakistanis.  Not sure about Iran (do you know?)?

The Afghan government could be called a “GITMO government” since 5 members are former GITMO hostages and one, the head of security/intel, is still on the FBI most wanted list.

Needless to say, the Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.  As for Bin-Laden and al-Qaeda they were somewhat involved, but only as “patsies”.

But the US government declared that the Taliban guilty and invaded Afghanistan.

Twenty years later, the Taliban are in total control and the US has probably executed one of the dumbest, worst and generally immoral military operation in history.  And 20 years later, the US was totally defeated.  Not by Russia.  Not by China.  Not by Iran.  Not even by Venezuela.  By the Afghans, after 20 years of warfare and trillions spent.

I have to agree with a Russian analyst who recently declared that “no, this is not even a “regular/normal” imperial collapse, this is the worst and most shameful imperial collapse in history”.

I fully concur.

As for what the Taliban will do this Saturday, it can’t even be called “spitting in Uncle Shmuel’s face”.  It’s even more than that.  Maybe we could speak of “urinating into Uncle Shmuel’s face” or some other even ruder metaphor showing both the total and utter contempt in which the Taliban hold not only the USA but the entire AngloZionist Empire AND somehow express the magnitude of the humiliation inflicted upon the USA.

I lack the words to come up with a suitable metaphor.

Can somebody come up with something sufficiently powerful?

Also, and especially for the MAGA folks out there:

CNN has reported that the entire “Ukie plan” to kidnap Russian PMCs was organized by the CIA and botched by the Ukies.  The harcore Ukronazis are now accusing CNN of either being “duped by the FSB” or even for being used by Putin personally.  Or both.

Anyway, what this goes to prove that Trump approved a clear terrorist attack against Russia.  Either that, or he did not even know about it, which might be worse…

And you guys are seriously discussing his possible comeback?!?!

Get real!

I saw an interesting poll somewhere (sorry, don’t remember where exactly) which shows that 49% of US Americans feel safer than on 9/11 20 years ago and 41% feel less safe.

And that is the real outcome of this monumentally evil and stupid Neocon plan.

After 20 years of warfare, pompous self-aggrandizement, many thousands dead and maimed and trillions spent.

Nothing will ever wash off this shame from the awareness of folks in Zone B and even many in Zone A.

Finally, today the Ukronazis shelled the Donbass again, with howitzers and mortars.  They were aiming at a water pumping station, miss and wounded/killed a couple.  Either way, this is a warcrime.  The Russians have declared that they have the designation of the unit which fired and the name of the commander who gave the order.

Which is all very predictable, since 1) US officials just visited the Ukraine 2) the CNN story is a HUGE scandal in the Ukie Rada and 3) Zelenskii is desperate to show that he might still be useful to the USA.

As for the Poles, they are fearing Russian invasion, so they put bared wire (I kid you not!) along their eastern border.  Which remind me of a Russian joke: a man walks down the street minding his own business, when he sees a woman on a balcony screaming “help! he wants to rape me! help!!!” from the top of her lungs.  The man looks up and says, “ma’am, calm down, I have no interest in you whatsoever and you are on the balcony while I am in the street” to which the woman replies, “yeah, maybe, but I can come down!“.

The Russian military is engaged in some large and serious, not fake, military maneuvers: 200’000 soldiers in both Russia and Belarus.  Hence all the wet pampers in eastern Europe (especially in Poland – the “hyena of Europe” always was a cowardly animal).

The Poles have even predicted the date of the Russian invasion: tomorrow (not a joke)

I have terrible news for Poland, the Baltic statelets and the Ukraine: nobody in Russia has any need for you, or your land.  Nobody.  Oh, and, for your information: “defenses” like walls, barbed-wires or even trenches cannot stop a modern military, such crap would not even slow the Russians down.

Summary: both Biden and Zelenskii might get impeached or otherwise removed.  That’s won’t solve anything for the US or the Ukraine, but sheer magnitude of their incompetence and stupidity makes such an outcome quite possible.

Not even in my most wildest and craziest dreams could I ever have imagined such a quick and total collapse of the Empire and of the USA.  I have to pinch myself several times a day, each time I get the news 🙂

Cheers

Marking the twentieth anniversary of “9/11”

Marking the twentieth anniversary of “9/11”

September 08, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

President Joe Biden, smartly announced that the US troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, marking the twentieth Anniversary of the staged drama of “9/11”. He deviated from the actual deal reached between President Trump and the Taliban in February 2020, which was to complete evacuation before May 2021. President Joe Biden has the right to become a hero and get credit by linking withdrawal with “9/11”. Because he was part of scriptwriting the drama “9/11”. Without going into details, of 9/11, many reports are available describing it as a pre-planned play only.

The US was keeping its eyes on the natural resources and oil wealth of the Muslim world. He needed an excuse to impose a war on Muslim World to achieve its economic and political objectives. President Bush used “9/11” as a false flag operation, and without investigating or compiling any concrete pieces of evidence, he announce the launch of the Crusade against the Muslim world. Maybe it was written in the script already, and he have to perform accordingly. Although, it was never proved that Afghanistan was involved in “9/11”.

A massive media campaign was launched, the unholy media, played a dirty role and spread fake news, fabricated stories, and distorted stories of Muslims. Media is merely a tool for Western powers to malign any country, nation, or individual. Ugly media is one sale or for money ready to serve them, The unholy media, keeping ethics and their conscious out and looking after materialistic gains only. Projected Muslims as terrorists, barbaric, uncivilized, etc.

The BBC broke the news of Weapons of Mass destruction, and after destroying Iraq, they found nothing, and BBC accepted that the news of Weapons of Mass destruction was wrong, Prime Minister of the UK have to apologize later on. Similar tactics were used to destroy Libya. Again, it was BBC, reported, the use of Chemical weapons by Syrian Governments, which could not be verified later on, but the war in Syria has killed millions of innocent people, made millions homeless, economic loss worth hundreds of billions were caused to a poor country like Syria.

Afghanistan was attacked, and the Taliban were pushed out. Two-decades war, caused two trillion dollars, few thousand American lives, but millions of Afghans innocent citizens were killed, made homeless. Marriage parties were bombed, funerals were bombed, mother all bombs were used, schools were destroyed, hospitals were destroyed, Mosques were destroyed, agriculture, businesses were damaged. The whole society was made suffering.

The US and its close allies were beneficiaries of wars and looted the oil wealth of many Muslim countries. The net losers were the Muslim world, millions were killed, millions were injured, arrested, tortured, made homeless. The economies of Muslim countries were destroyed, Agriculture destroyed, image distorted.

Yet have to leave humiliated. The US is claiming, the safe evacuation of its troops, as its victory, and the Joe Biden administration is trying to get credit. Actually, it was the part of the peace deal, that the Taliban will allow and facilitate the safe exit with face-saving to all US troops. Taliban are responsible people and stick to their words, and did allow safe exit. It is no credit to US-Administration, but credit goes to the Taliban.

In fact, the Taliban has not harmed anyone and pardoned everyone with an open heart. Since 15 August, from peaceful recapture of Kabul to safe evacuation, law and order situation in Afghanistan, the world has witnessed, something different from the narrative which bias Western media was propagating. Taliban are behaving gently, kindly, modestly, and much more maturely, wisely, and smartly.

They have been announcing one by one important figure with their responsibilities in the new set-up. They were vigilant, and watching the response of the international community. They were engaged in diplomatic and political activities and coordinating with the international community. Now the stage has come where they are more confident and already got international recognition informally and are in a position to announce new Government.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday announced 33 members of the “acting” government, saying that it will be led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund while the group’s co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy Afghan leader.

Key figures in the interim govt include Prime Minister, Mohammad Hasan Akhund. Deputy Prime Minister, Abdul Ghani Baradar. Interior Minister, Sirjauddin Haqqani. Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi. Deputy Foreign Minister, Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai. Defence Minister, Mullah Yaqoob. Army Chief, Fasihuddin Badakhshani.

Finance Minister, Mullah Hidayatullah. Information Minister, Zabihullah Mujahid. Taliban’s deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani will be the acting interior minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi will be the acting foreign minister, political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai will be the acting deputy foreign minister and Mullah Yaqoob will be the acting defense minister, he announced during a press conference in Kabul.

Mujahid himself will be the information minister, Fasihuddin Badakhshani will be the army chief, and Mullah Hidayatullah will be the finance minister.

The heads of various other ministries will be appointed soon, Mujahid added.

“All groups have been represented in the cabinet,” he said. The Taliban spokesperson said Afghanistan had “gained freedom”, stressing that “only the will of Afghans” will be applicable in the country. “After today, no one will be able to interfere in Afghanistan,” he emphasized. Mujahid said that the Taliban had been in contact with various countries and their envoys had visited Afghanistan. In response to a question, the spokesperson said the country will now be called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Mujahid said there was no fighting in Panjshir, the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country and the only province the Taliban had not seized during their blitz across Afghanistan last month. Separately, in a written statement, Acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hasan Akhund congratulated Afghans for the “withdrawal of all foreign forces, end of the occupation and complete liberation of the country”.

A caretaker and “committed” cabinet had been announced which will start working at the earliest, he said, adding that the leaders will “work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and Sharia (Islamic law) in the country, protecting the country’s highest interests, securing Afghanistan’s borders, and ensuring lasting peace, prosperity, and development”.

All governance and life in the country will henceforth be in accordance with Islamic law, Akhund said.

“We want to have a peaceful, prosperous, and self-reliant Afghanistan, for which we will strive to eliminate all causes of war and strife in the country, and [for] our countrymen to live in complete security and comfort.”

He also emphasized that the interim government will take “serious and effective steps” to protect human rights as well as the rights of minorities and underprivileged groups within the framework of the demands of Islam.

“All Afghans, without distinction or exception, will have the right to live with dignity and peace in their own country. Their lives, property, and honor will be protected.”

Terming education “one of the most important requirements”, the Taliban leader said it will be the government’s duty to provide a healthy and safe environment to all citizens to study religion and modern sciences.

“We will pave the way for the country’s development in the field of education and build our country with knowledge and understanding,” he added.

He pointed out that the country had been suffering from war and economic crises for the last four decades. “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will use all its resources for economic strength, prosperity, and development on top of strengthening security,” he assured.

Talking further about his government’s plans, Akhund said: “It will manage domestic revenue properly and transparently, provide special opportunities for international investment and various sectors of trade [and] will work to fight unemployment effectively. Our ultimate goal will be to get our country back on its feet as quickly as possible, and efficiently perform reconstruction and rehabilitation work in our war-torn country.”

He added that the interim government would reach out to Afghan businessmen, investors, and sensible citizens to ask for their support and help in ending poverty and strengthening the country’s economy.

Talking about the media, he said the government would work towards its freedom, functioning, and improvement in quality. “We consider it our duty to take into account the sacred precepts of Islam, the national interest of the country, and impartiality in our broadcasts,” he added.

Furthermore, the Taliban wanted to have “strong and healthy” relations with all countries based on mutual respect, he said.

“We are committed to all international laws and treaties, resolutions and commitments that are not in conflict with Islamic law and the country’s national values,” Akhund stressed.

Akhund said he wanted to give Afghanistan’s neighbors, the region, and the world the message that Afghan soil would not be used against any other country, stressing that there was “no concern”.

“We assure all foreign diplomats, embassies, consulates, humanitarian organizations, and investors in the country that they will not face any problem. The Islamic Emirate is doing its best for its complete security and safety. Their presence is a need of our country, so they should carry out their work with peace of mind.”

Akhund emphasized that “no one should be worried about the future.” He said the country needed the support of its people and assured skilled people, including doctors, engineers, scholars, professors, and scientists that they would be valued.

No one was allowed to destroy, waste, or take possession of the public treasury, including military vehicles, weapons, ammunition, government buildings, and national property, he said.

The Taliban who swept to power last month has been expected to announce a government since the United States-led evacuation was completed at the end of August. They have promised an “inclusive” government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup, though women are unlikely to be included at the top levels. As they transition from insurgency group to governing power, the Taliban have a series of major issues to address, including looming financial and humanitarian crises.

The caretaker Government is all-inclusive, all ethnic groups, religious factions, minorities, Women, etc were given representation. Of course Traitors, CIA agents, Foreign implants, and disloyal with Afghanistan, will be not considered in political setup. Either they belong to Hamid Karzai, or Ashraf Ghani groups, or Dr.Najeeb, Hafizullah Amin, Babrak Karmal, or Noor Muhammad Turkey group, will be out of new government. Both groups were foreign agents, either baked by USSR or the US, are not to be considered for any political role in the future of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has a long history, its uniques tribal society, traditions, and culture, the Western world can not understand their psychic and should not impose any democratic demands. The West should fulfill its moral obligation by paying them the war compensation so that reconstruction of Afghanistan can be made possible. The US spent Two Trillion Dollars to destroy Afghanistan, it is expected only a percentage of this amount should pay for rebuilding Afghanistan.

It is expected that the Taliban will formally announce their Government on September 11, 2021, marking the twentieth anniversary of “9/11”.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

Two 9/11 Saudi Hijackers Helped By US-Based Network – Ex-FBI Agent

September 6, 2021

Two 9/11 Saudi Hijackers Helped By US-Based Network – Ex-FBI Agent

By Staff, Agencies

A former Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] agent involved in an investigation into the September 11, 2001 attacks said two of the hijackers received help from a US-based network of Saudis, including Omar al-Bayoumi who had ties to the Saudi government.

Danny Gonzalez, who worked on the still-classified FBI investigation ‘Operation Encore’ which focused on Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar who along with three other hijackers flew planes into the Pentagon, said he believes the pair were helped by a number of Saudi citizens including Bayoumi after they moved to San Diego in January 2001.

“19 hijackers cannot commit 3,000 mass murders by themselves,” Gonzalez told CBS News.

Bayoumi, who was working for the Riyadh government, helped al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar move to San Diego and assisted them in finding an apartment and opening a bank account after, Gonzalez said.

The 9/11 Commission report released in 2004 found that Bayoumi was an “unlikely candidate for clandestine involvement” with extremists. It said there was “no credible evidence that he believed in violent extremism or knowingly aided extremist groups.”

But Gonzalez said the public would learn “a lot” if documents from ‘Operation Encore’, which began two years after the Commission’s report, were released, adding that the records would change the public’s understanding of the attacks.

Gonzalez said he can’t reveal certain classified information about the investigation per orders from the FBI.

His statements came as US President Joe Biden on Friday directed the Department of Justice to declassify some documents related to the attacks and release them over the next six months amid pressure from families and survivors who are suing the kingdom for its alleged complicity in the attacks.

Some of the documents which are set to be released pertain to “Encore.”

Commenting on Biden’s order, Brett Eagleson who lost his father Bruce in the Twin Towers attacks and has been an advocate for the victims’ families, said they would stay skeptical until the documents were released. 

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will get the documents we need, however our guard is still up,” Eagleson told DailyMail.com.

Some 3,000 people were killed in the attacks that targeted several locations across the US.

Saudi Arabia’s name came to the fore in discussions concerning the attacks after their occurrence, with investigators quickly concluding that 15 of the 19 hijackers involved in the raids were of Saudi origin.

The Riyadh regime, however, has managed to avoid any liability amid what the families of the victims, survivors and their lawyers denounce as Washington’s attempts to shield the kingdom from any comeuppance.

Afghanistan: US defeat stems from its ruinous response to 9/11 attacks

6 September 2021 10:08 UTC 

Peter Oborne

Osama bin Laden outwitted George W Bush by dragging America into its unwinnable ‘war on terror’. If the US had reacted more rationally, the world today would look very differently

US President George W Bush being informed by his chief of staff, Andrew Card, of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York during a visit to a Florida school, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

Today George W Bush lives a comfortable life in his adoptive home state of Texas. He has reinvented himself as a painter.

Osama bin Laden was shot dead by US special forces and reportedly buried at sea.

But the two men will always be remembered for the same reason: Osama bin Laden’s attack on the United States on 11 September 2001 – and Bush’s ruinous response. The memories of these terrible events are still raw, though some of the facts remain disputed. 

Looking back with the perspective of 20 years, we can judge which man came closest to realising his objectives.

It was not George W Bush. With the Taliban back in charge in Afghanistan, the neoconservative project in ruins and the United States in headlong retreat from its global ambitions, Bush has a claim to be, by some distance, the most disastrous president in his country’s history.

Morally abject figure

Bin Laden is a morally abject figure, a preacher of death and hatred. Yet he outwitted Bush, the leader of the western world, the trustee of all its values, the beneficiary of its intellectual and scientific vitality. 

Before 9/11, bin Laden could command at most a few thousand followers: a sandal-wearing tribal militia whose most powerful military weapons were machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. But, paradoxically, that gave it an advantage against the most powerful and well-equipped armed forces the world has ever known. Two decades since 9/11: The human toll of the ‘war on terror’

Bin Laden induced the United States to commit itself to an open-ended asymmetric war against him and any other group of terrorists America deemed to be his allies. He wanted the US to invade Muslim countries so that jihad could bleed America’s military in prolonged guerrilla warfare. Only that way could the US, like the Soviet Union before it, be defeated.

This forced the US into committing colossal military resources for limited and impermanent gains. Above all, it imposed a steady flow of US casualties in faraway countries largely unknown to the American population, with no prospect of an end that would allow their loved ones to come home. 

Those armed forces have been defeated. Not just once, but twice. First in Iraq, then in Afghanistan. They have not lost any conventional battle – but they failed, totally, to achieve their objectives.

Historians and analysts have not yet even begun to grasp the meaning and consequence of 9/11 and its aftermath. US military thinkers and their British equivalents are in open denial. 

Superficial parallel

The first important point to grasp is that bin Laden himself did not defeat them. After the destruction of the Twin Towers, the al-Qaeda leader was either in hiding or on the run. His lines of communications were broken, while by the end of 2001 his organisation could count on no more than a few dozen fighters. 

9/11 crash
A hijacked plane approaches the World Trade Center in New York, 11 September 2001 (AFP)

Meanwhile, the world was on the side of the United States, including candlelit vigils in Tehran. 

George W Bush rejected these offers, a mistake brought about by a misunderstanding of the meaning of 9/11. Bush interpreted it as an act of war equivalent to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.

It was a superficial parallel. For while Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were both unforeseen by intelligence agencies and came from the air, Pearl Harbor was an act of conventional war, launched by Japan, an organised state, and as such demanded a conventional military response.

Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him

The attack on the Twin Towers, for all its horror, was a terrorist atrocity, by what modern jargon describes as a “non-state actor”. The US president could and should have dealt with it by hunting down bin Laden and his murderous associates using counterterrorism methods – those which ultimately secured his death. 

He chose not to do so, launching instead his “war on terror”, an abstract, undefined and open-ended concept which played mightily into the hands of al-Qaeda. The “war on terror” gave an immediate boost in domestic politics for an undistinguished, underachieving presidency. Bush’s popularity ratings soared and his administration, with suspicious promptitude, was able to introduce a raft of tough security legislation, which it passed with minimal resistance. But it was a military and foreign policy disaster. 

Bush was not alone in his error. In the UK, Prime Minister Tony Blair shared his analysis (and so did the media: even the Guardian’s headline the following day read “A declaration of war”). But this formulation laid open the question: who was the US fighting against? 

Remember, no national government had supported the attack; not even the Taliban in Afghanistan supported bin Laden’s plan for international jihad. Bin Laden played the United States president with the proficiency of a highly skilled judoka, whose objective is to use the weight of his opponent to defeat him.

‘Head of the snake’

To quote Professor Fawaz Gerges, historian of al-Qaeda: “Bin Laden and his inner circle developed a strategic vision that involved forcing the United States to fight the war on bin Laden’s terms and lash out angrily against the Muslim world at large. As a small elitist vanguard, they could neither challenge American power nor survive direct confrontation with it. The only way to level the playing field lay in asymmetric warfare, one that ignited a greater clash between America and the world of Islam.”

To an astonishing extent, bin Laden caused all this to happen. His underlying objective was always to drive American forces out of Muslim countries, in particular his native Saudi Arabia, the land of the two holy places, Mecca and Medina. (That has still not been achieved, though with America exposed as an unreliable ally in headlong retreat, it is a more likely outcome than ever before.)

bin laden rally, Pakistan
Protesters flash victory signs during a rally in support of Osama bin Laden in Lahore, Pakistan, on 21 September 2001 (AFP)

While other jihadis wanted to fight the “near enemy” – US-sponsored client regimes across the Muslim world – bin Laden’s special insight was the strategic utility of striking “at the head of the snake” and thus provoking the United States into a violent and irrational response which would poison its relationships with Muslim states and communities and make all of his Muslim opponents look like collaborators with the enemy. 

Chaos and carnage

Bin Laden knew also that he and his followers could prevail in the struggle simply by remaining in being and forcing the US to accept more casualties and costs than its population would be ready to endure. 

The course of events suggests that bin Laden may have understood the United States rather more clearly than Bush. He induced the US president to do exactly what he wanted, plunging much of the Muslim world into a period of chaos and carnage, from which it has yet to emerge, and creating the conditions for al-Qaeda and other terror groups to prosper.

For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious

The neoconservatives who directed Bush’s response to 9/11 and al-Qaeda mirrored each other. They were both revivalist movements at odds with what they saw as a corrupt modernity seeking inspiration in the Salaf – the ancients. They both despised due process and the rule of law. They preferred violence to diplomacy.

For the neocons as for al-Qaeda, there was no middle way. The world was divided into two opposing forces: Islam and the West – and only one could emerge victorious. Both saw themselves as the ultimate good fighting the ultimate evil. Both despised moderate Muslims as much as western liberals. 

Al-Qaeda and the neocons thus shared the false interpretation of Islam as a religion of violence and the same demented belief in an irreconcilable clash of civilisations between Muslims and the West. 

Between them, they plunged much of the world into a death spiral. Muslims have suffered far worse in terms of lives lost. But America’s reputation across the world as a force for good has been destroyed, while the country now faces military defeat and a deep moral crisis from which it may not recover.

Had George W Bush acted rationally, Osama bin Laden would be despised as another terrorist – and no more. Thanks to Bush, he became a terrorist who changed world history, and a model for other terrorists across the world.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.Peter ObornePeter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He was also named as British Press Awards Columnist of the Year in 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His latest book, The Assault on Truth, was published in February 2021. His previous books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

Back to the future: Talibanistan, Year 2000

Back to the future: Talibanistan, Year 2000

August 31, 2021

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog and friends

Dear reader: this is very special, a trip down memory lane like no other: back to prehistoric times – the pre-9/11, pre-YouTube, pre-social network world.

Welcome to Taliban Afghanistan – Talibanistan – in the Year 2000. This is when photographer Jason Florio and myself slowly crossed it overland from east to west, from the Pakistani border at Torkham to the Iranian border at Islam qillah. As Afghan ONG workers acknowledged, we were the first Westerners to pull this off in years.

Fatima, Maliha and Nouria, at home in Kabul

Those were the days. Bill Clinton was enjoying his last stretch at the White House. Osama bin Laden was a discreet guest of Mullah Omar – hitting the front pages only occasionally. There was no hint of 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, the “war on terror”, the perpetual financial crisis, the Russia-China strategic partnership. Globalization ruled, and the US was the undisputed global top dog. The Clinton administration and the Taliban were deep into Pipelineistan territory – arguing over the tortuous, proposed Trans-Afghan gas pipeline.

We tried everything, but we couldn’t even get a glimpse of Mullah Omar. Osama bin Laden was also nowhere to be seen. But we did experience Talibanistan in action, in close detail.

Today is a special day to revisit it. The Forever War in Afghanistan is over; from now on it will be a Hybrid mongrel, against the integration of Afghanistan into the New Silk Roads and Greater Eurasia.

In 2000 I wrote a Talibanistan road trip special for a Japanese political magazine, now extinct, and ten years later a 3-part mini-series revisiting it for Asia Times.

Part 2 of this series can be found here, and part 3 here.

Yet this particular essay – part 1 – had completely disappeared from the internet (that’s a long story): I found it recently, by accident, in a hard drive. The images come from the footage I shot at the time with a Sony mini-DV: I just received the file today from Paris.

This is a glimpse of a long-lost world; call it a historical register from a time when no one would even dream of a “Saigon moment” remixed – as a rebranded umbrella of warriors conveniently labeled “Taliban”, after biding their time, Pashtun-style, for two decades, praises Allah for eventually handing them victory over yet another foreign invader.

Now let’s hit the road.

KABUL, GHAZNI – Fatima, Maliha and Nouria, who I used to call The Three Graces, must be by now 40, 39 and 35 years old, respectively. In the year 2000 they lived in an empty, bombed house next to a bullet-ridden mosque in a half-destroyed, apocalyptic theme park Kabul – by then the world capital of the discarded container (or reconstituted by a missile and reconverted into a shop); a city where 70% of the population were refugees, legions of homeless kids carried bags of cash on their backs ($1 was worth more than 60,000 Afghanis) and sheep outnumbered rattling 1960s Mercedes buses.

Under the merciless Taliban theocracy, the Three Graces suffered triple discrimination – as women, Hazaras and Shi’ites. They lived in Kardechar, a neighborhood totally destroyed in the 1990s by the war between Commander Masoud, The Lion of the Panjshir, and the Hazaras (the descendants of mixed marriages between Genghis Khan’s Mongol warriors and Turkish and Tajik peoples) before the Taliban took power in 1996. The Hazaras were always the weakest link in the Tajik-Uzbek-Hazara alliance – supported by Iran, Russia and China – confronting the Taliban.

Every dejected Kabuli intellectual I had met invariably defined the Taliban as “an occupation force of religious fanatics” – their rural medievalism totally absurd for urban Tajiks, used to a tolerant form of Islam. According to a university professor, “their jihad is not against kafirs; it’s against other Muslims who follow Islam”.

I spent a long time talking to the Dari-speaking Three Graces inside their bombed-out home – with translation provided by their brother Aloyuz, who had spent a few years in Iran supporting the family long-distance. This simple fact in itself would assure that if caught, we would all be shot dead by the Taliban V & V – the notorious Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Taliban religious police.

This is how bombed-out Kabul looked like in 2000

The Three Graces’ dream was to live “free, not under pressure”. They had never been to a restaurant, a bar or a cinema. Fatima liked “rock” music, which in her case meant Afghan singer Natasha. She said she “liked” the Taliban, but most of all she wanted to get back to school. They never mentioned any discrimination between Sunnis and Shi’ites; they actually wanted to leave for Pakistan.

Their definition of “human rights” included priority for education, the right to work, and to get a job in the state sector; Fatima and Maliha wanted to be doctors. Perhaps they are, today, in Hazara land; 21 years ago they spent their days weaving beautiful silk shawls.

Education was terminally forbidden for girls over 12. The literacy rate among women was only 4%. Outside the Three Graces’ house, almost every woman was a “widow of war”, enveloped in dusty light blue burqas, begging to support their children. Not only this was an unbearable humiliation in the context of an ultra-rigid Islamic society, it contradicted the Taliban obsession of preserving the “honor and purity” of their women.

Kabul’s population was then 2 million; less than 10%, concentrated in the periphery, supported the Taliban. True Kabulis regarded them as barbarians. For the Taliban, Kabul was more remote than Mars. Every day at sunset the Intercontinental Hotel, by then an archeological ruin, received an inevitable Taliban sightseeing group. They’d come to ride the lift (the only one in town) and walk around the empty swimming pool and tennis court. They’d be taking a break from cruising around town in their fleet of imported-from-Dubai Toyota Hi-Lux, complete with Islamic homilies painted in the windows, Kalashnikovs on show and little whips on hand to impose on the infidels the appropriate, Islamically correct, behavior. But at least the Three Graces were safe; they never left their bombed-out shelter.

Doubt is sin, debate is heresy

Few things were more thrilling in Talibanistan 21 years ago than to alight at Pul-e-Khisshti – the fabled Blue Mosque, the largest in Afghanistan – on a Friday afternoon after Jumma prayers and confront the One Thousand and One Nights assembled cast. Any image of this apotheosis of thousands of black or white-turbaned rustic warriors, kohl in their eyes and the requisite macho-sexy stare, would be all the rage on the cover of Uomo Vogue. To even think of taking a photo was anathema; the entrance to the mosque was always swarming with V & V informants.

Finally, in one of those eventful Friday afternoons, I managed to be introduced into the Holy Grail – the secluded quarters of maulvi (priest) Noor Muhamad Qureishi, by then the Taliban Prophet in Kabul. He had never exchanged views with a Westerner. It was certainly one of the most surrealist interviews of my life.

Qureishi, like all Taliban religious leaders, was educated in a Pakistani madrassa. At first, he was your typical hardcore deobandi; the deobandis, as the West would later find out, were an initially progressive movement born in India in the mid-19th century to revive Islamic values vis-à-vis the sprawling British Empire. But they soon derailed into megalomania, discrimination against women and Shi’ite-hatred.

Most of all, Quereishi was the quintessential product of a boom – the connection between the ISI and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) party during the 1980s anti-Soviet jihad, when thousands of madrassas were built in Pakistan’s Pashtun belt. Afghan refugees had the right to free education, a roof over their heads, three meals a day and military training. Their “educators” were semi-illiterate maulvis who had never known the reformist agenda of the original deobandi movement.

On the Afghanistan-Iran border at Islam qilla

Reclined on a tattered cushion over one of the mosque’s ragged carpets, Qureishi laid down the deobandi law in Pashto for hours. Among other things he said the movement was “the most popular” because its ideologues dreamed that Prophet Muhammad ordered them to build a madrassa in Deoband, India. So this was Islam’s purest form “because it came directly from Muhammad”. Despite the formidable catalogue of Taliban atrocities, he insisted on their “purity”.

Qureishi dabbled on the inferiority of Hindus because of their sacred cows (“why not dogs, at least they are faithful to their owners”). As for Buddhism, it was positively depraved (“Buddha is an idol”). He would have had a multiple heart attack with Thailand’s Buddhist go-go girls, dancing topless at night and offering incense at the temple the morning after.

Doubt is sin. Debate is heresy. “The only true knowledge is the Koran”. He insisted that all “forms of modern scientific knowledge came from the Koran”. As an example, he quoted – what else – a Koranic verse (the Koran, by the way, in its neo-deobandi, Talibanized version, forbade women to write, and allowed education only up to 10 years old). I could not help being reminded of that 18th century French anonymous – a typical product of the Enlightenment – who had written the Treaty of the Three Impostors – Moses, Jesus and Muhammad; but if I tried to insert the European Enlightenment into (his) monologue I would probably be shot dead. Basically, Qureishi finally managed to convince me that all this religious shadow play was about proving that “my sect is purer than yours”.

Village elders in Herat

Play it again, infidel

Talibanistan lived under a strict Kalashnikov culture. But the supreme anti-Taliban lethal weapon was not a gun, or even a mortar or RPG. It was a camera. I knew inevitably that day would come, and it came on Kabul stadium, built by the former USSR to extol proletarian internationalism; another Friday, at 5 pm, the weekly soccer hour – the only form of entertainment absent from the Taliban’s Index Prohibitorum apart from public executions and mango ice cream.

Jason and me were lodged at the VIP tribune – less than 10 US cents for the ticket. The stadium was packed – but silent as a mosque. Two teams, the red and the blue, were playing the Islamically correct way – with extra skirts under their trunks. At half time the whole stadium – to the sound of “Allah Akbar” – run to pray by the pitch; those who didn’t were spanked or thrown in jail.

Jason had his cameras hanging from his neck but he was not using them. Yet that was more than enough for a hysteric V & V teenage informant. We are escorted out of the stands by a small army of smiling, homoerotic brotherhood, those who were then referred to as “soldiers of Allah”. Finally we are presented to a white-turbaned Talib with assassin’s eyes; he’s no one other than mullah Salimi, the vice-Minister of the religious police in Kabul – the reincarnation of The Great Inquisitor. We are finally escorted out of the stadium and thrown into a Hi-Lux, destination unknown. Suddenly we are more popular with the crowd than the soccer match itself.

At a Taliban “office” – a towel on the grass in front of a bombed-out building, decorated with a mute sat-phone – we are charged with espionage. Our backpacks are thoroughly searched. Salimi inspects two rolls of film from Jason’s cameras; no incriminating photo. It’s now the turn of my Sony mini-DV camera. We press “play”; Salimi recoils in horror. We explain nothing is recorded on the blue screen. What was really recorded – he just needed to press “rewind” – would be enough to send us to the gallows, including a lot of stuff with the Three Graces. Once again we noticed the Taliban badly needed not only art directors and PR agents but also info-tech whiz kids.

Carpet-weaving at the Herat bazaar

In Taliban anti-iconography, video, in theory, might be allowed, because the screen is a mirror. Anyway, later we would know from the lion’s mouth, that is, the Ministry of Information and Culture in Kandahar: TV and video would remain perpetually banned.

At that time, a few photo-studios survived near one of the Kabul bazaars – only churning out 3X4 photos for documents. The owners paid their bills renting their Xerox machines. The Zahir Photo Studio still had on its walls a collection of black and white and sepia photos of Kabul, Herat, minarets, nomads and caravans. Among Leicas, superb Speed Graphic 8 X 10 and dusty Russian panoramic cameras, Mr. Zahir would lament, “photography is dead in Afghanistan”. At least, that wouldn’t be for long.

The 11th century Ghazni minaret with, on the foreground, a Taliban military base

So after an interminable debate in Pashto with some Urdu and English thrown in, we are “liberated”. Some Taliban – but certainly not Salimi, still piercing us with his assassin’s eyes – try a formal apology, saying this is incompatible with the Pashtun code of hospitality. All tribal Pashtun – like the Taliban – follow the pashtunwali, the rigid code that emphasizes, among other things, hospitality, vengeance and a pious Islamic life. According to the code, it’s a council of elders that arbitrates specific disputes, applying a compendium of laws and punishments. Most cases involve murders, land disputes and trouble with women. For the Pashtun, the line between pashtunwali and Sharia was always fuzzy.

A Kuchi nomad caravan going south towards Kandahar.

The V & V obviously was not a creation of Mullah Omar, the “Leader of the Faithful”; it was based on a Saudi Arabian original. In its heyday, in the second half of the 1990s, the V & V was a formidable intelligence agency – with informers infiltrated in the Army, ministries, hospitals, UN agencies, NGOs – evoking a bizarre memory of KHAD, the enormous intel agency of the 1980’s communist regime, during the anti-USSR jihad. The difference is that the V & V only answered to orders – issued on bits and pieces of paper – of Mullah Omar himself.

Rock the base

The verdict echoed like a dagger piercing the oppressive air of the desert near Ghazni. A 360-degree panoramic shot revealed a background of mountains where the mineral had expelled all the vegetal; the silhouette of two 11th century minarets; and a foreground of tanks, helicopters and rocket launchers. The verdict, issued in Pashto and mumbled by our scared official translator imposed by Kabul, was inexorable: “You will be denounced in a military court. The investigation will be long, six months; meanwhile you will await the decision in jail”.

Once again, we were being charged with espionage, but now this was the real deal. We could be executed with a shot on the back of the neck – Khmer Rouge style. Or stoned. Or thrown into a shallow grave and buried alive by a brick wall smashed by a tractor. Brilliant Taliban methods for the final solution were myriad. And to think this was all happening because of two minarets.

To walk over a supposedly mined field trying to reach two minarets was not exactly a brilliant idea in the first place. Red Army experts, during the 1980s, buried 12 million mines in Afghanistan. They diversified like crazy; more than 50 models, from Zimbabwe’s RAP-2s to Belgium’s NR-127s. UN officials had assured us that more than half the country was mined. Afghan officials at the Mine Detention Center in Herat, with their 50 highly trained German shepherds, would later tell us that it would take 22,000 years to demine the whole country.

My objects of desire in Ghazni were two “Towers of Victory”; two circular superstructures, isolated in the middle of the desert and built by the Sassanians as minarets – commemorative, not religious; there was never a mosque in the surroundings. In the mid-19th century scholars attributed the grand minaret to Mahmud, protector of Avicenna and the great Persian poet Ferdowsi. Today it is known that the small minaret dates from 1030, and the big one, from 1099. They are like two brick rockets pointing to the sheltering sky and claiming for the attention of those travelling the by then horrific Kabul-Kandahar highway, a Via Dolorosa of multinational flat tires – Russian, Chinese, Iranian.

The problem is that, 21 years ago, right adjacent to the minarets, there was an invisible Taliban military base. At first we could see only an enormous weapons depot. We asked a sentinel to take a few pictures; he agreed. Walking around the depot – between carcasses of Russian tanks and armored cars – we found some functioning artillery pieces. And a lone, white Taliban flag. And not a living soul. This did look like an abandoned depot. But then we hit on a destroyed Russian helicopter – a prodigy of conceptual art. Too late: soon we are intercepted by a Taliban out of nowhere.

The commander of the base wanted to know “under which law” we assumed we had the right to take photos. He wanted to know which was the punishment, “in our country”, for such an act. When the going was really getting tough, everything turned Monty Python. One of the Taliban had walked back to the road to fetch our driver, Fateh. They came back two hours later. The commander talked to Fateh in Pashto. And then we were “liberated”, out of “respect for Fateh’s white beard”. But we should “confess” to our crime – which we did right away, over and over again.

The fact of the matter is that we were freed because I was carrying a precious letter hand-signed by the all-powerful Samiul Haq, the leader of Haqqania, the factory-cum-academy, Harvard and M.I.T. of Taliban in Akhora Khatak, on the Grand Trunk Road between Islamabad and Peshawar in Pakistan. Legions of Taliban ministers, province governors, military commanders, judges and bureaucrats had studied in Haqqania.

Haqqania was founded in 1947 by deobandi religious scholar Abdul Haq, the father of maulvi and former senator Samiul Haq, a wily old hand fond of brothels and as engaging as a carpet vendor in the Peshawar bazaars. He was a key educator of the first detribalized, urbanized and literate Afghan generation; “literate”, of course, in Haqqania-branded, Deobandi-style Islam. In Haqqania – where I saw hundreds of students from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan indoctrinated to later export Talibanization to Central Asia – debate was heresy, the master was infallible and Samiul Haq was almost as perfect as Allah.

He had told me – no metaphor intended – that “Allah had chosen Mullah Omar to be the leader of the Taliban”. And he was sure that when the Islamic Revolution reached Pakistan, “it will be led by a unknown rising from the masses” – like Mullah Omar. At the time Haq was Omar’s consultant on international relations and Sharia-based decisions. He bundled up both Russia and the US as “enemies of our time”; blamed the US for the Afghan tragedy; but otherwise offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to the US if Bill Clinton guaranteed no interference in Afghan affairs.

Turn left for the Ministry of Foreign Relations – at the time only recognized by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Back in Ghazni, the Taliban commander even invited us for some green tea. Thanks but no thanks. We thanked Allah’s mercy by visiting the tomb of sultan Mahmud in Razah, less than one kilometer from the towers. The tomb is a work of art – translucid marble engraved with Kufic lettering. Islamic Kufic lettering, if observed as pure design, reveals itself as a transposition of the verb, from the audible to the visible. So the conclusion was inevitable; the Taliban had managed to totally ignore the history of their own land, building a military base over two architectural relics and incapable of recognizing even the design of their own Islamic lettering as a form of art.


All pictures taken from The Roving Eye Video Archives. Pepe Escobar, 2000

Enduring Terror Forever: from al-Qaeda to ISIS-K

August 30, 2021

Enduring Terror Forever: from al-Qaeda to ISIS-K

by Pepe Escobar and first posted at AsiaTimes

It was 20 years ago today. Asia Times published Get Osama! Now! Or Else…The rest is history.

Retrospectively, this sounds like news from another galaxy. Before Planet 9/11. Before GWOT (Global War on Terror). Before the Forever Wars. Before the social network era. Before the Russia-China strategic partnership. Before the Dronification of State Violence. Before techno-feudalism.

Allow me to get a little personal. I was back in Peshawar – the Islamic Rome, capital of the tribal areas – 20 years ago after a dizzying loop around Pakistan, tribal territory, a botched smuggling op to Kunar, biding time in Tajikistan, arriving by Soviet helicopter in the Panjshir valley, a harrowing road trip to Faizabad, and a UN flight that took ages to arrive.

In the Panjshir, I had finally met “the Lion”, commander Masoud, then plotting a counter-offensive against the Taliban. He told me he was fighting a triad: the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Pakistani ISI. Less than three weeks later he was assassinated – by two al-Qaeda ops disguised as a camera crew, two days before 9/11.

No one, 20 years ago, could possibly imagine the subsequent slings and arrows of outrageous – terror – fortune. Two decades, $2.3 trillion and at least 240,000 Afghan deaths later, the Taliban are back where they were: ruling Afghanistan. Masoud Jr in theory leads a “resistance” in the Panjshir – actually a CIA ops channeled through CIA asset Amrullah Saleh, former Afghan Vice-President.

Al-Qaeda is a harmless skeleton, even rehabilitated in Syria as “moderate rebels; the new bogeyman in town is ISIS-K, a spin-off of the Islamic State in “Syraq”.

After negotiating a stunning package deal with the Taliban, the Empire of Chaos is concluding a humiliating evacuation from the land it bombed into democracy and submitted for two decades. Once again the US was de facto expelled by a peasant guerrilla army, this time mostly consisting of Pashtuns, descendants of the White Huns – a nomad confederation – as well as the Sakas, nomadic Iranic peoples of the Eurasian steppes.

The CIA shadow army

ISIS-K, the new viper’s nest, opens multiple Pandora boxes that may lead to the new incarnation of the Forever Wars. ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the horrific Kabul suicide bombing.

ISIS-K is apparently led by one ghostly emir Shahab al-Mujahir (no photo, no biography details), supposed to be an urban warfare expert who previously worked as a mere mid-level commander for the Haqqani network.

In 2020 media-savvy ISIS-K released one of his audio messages in Pashto. Yet he may not be Pashtun, but actually from some latitude in the Middle East, and not fluent in the language.

Even CENTCOM commander Gen Mackenzie has admitted that the US military are sharing intel on ISIS-K with the Taliban – or rather vice-versa: Taliban spokesman Zahibullah Mujahid in Kabul stressed that they warned the Americans in the first place about an imminent threat to the airport.

The Pentagon-Taliban collaboration is by now established. The perennial CIA shadow wars are a completely different ball game.

I have shown in this in-depth investigation how the top priority for the Taliban is to target the ramifications of the CIA shadow army in Afghanistan, deployed via the Khost Protection Force (KPF) and inside the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

The CIA army, as I explain, was a two-headed hydra. Older units harked back to 2001 and were very close to the CIA. The most powerful was the KPF, based at the CIA’s Camp Chapman in Khost, which operated totally outside Afghan law, not to mention budget.

The other head of the hydra were the NDS’s own Afghan Special Forces: four main units, each operating in its own regional area. The NDS was funded by the CIA and for all practical purposes, operatives were trained and weaponized by the CIA.

So the NDS was a de facto CIA proxy. And here we have the direct connection to Saleh, who was trained by the CIA in the US when the Taliban was in power in the late 1990s. Afterwards, Saleh became the head of the NDS – which happened to work very closely with RAW, Indian intel. Now he’s a “resistance leader” in the Panjshir.

My investigation was confirmed right away by the deployment of Task Force Pineapple last week, an operation carried out by CIA/Special Forces to extract the last sensitive intel assets from Kabul who were being chased by the Taliban.

In parallel, serious questions are piling up regarding the Kabul suicide bombing and the immediate MQ-9 Reaper response targeting an “ISIS-K planner” in eastern Afghanistan.

This page has been carefully tracking prime information regarding what could be described as the Abbey Gate Massacre, not surprisingly buried by Western mainstream media.

The You Tube channel Kabul Lovers, for instance, is engaging in street-level journalism that puts to shame every multi-million dollar TV network. A military officer who examined the bodies of many of the bombing victims at Kabul Emergency Hospital claimed that most were not victims of the suicide bombing: “All victims were killed by American bullets, except maybe 20 people out of 100.” The full, original report, in Dari, is here.

Scott Ritter, for his part, has emphasized the need of “perspective” on the claimed drone strike against ISIS-K “from an actual drone expert like Daniel Hale, but they put him in jail for telling the truth about how bad our drone program actually is when it comes to killing the right people.”

By now it’s established that contrary to Pentagon claims, the drone strike hit a random house in Jalalabad, not a moving vehicle, and there was “collateral damage”: at least 3 civilians.

And the civilian death toll of a subsequent missile strike on another alleged “ISIS-K planner” in a car in Kabul is already at 9 – including 6 children.

The Syria-Afghanistan rat line

The much-lauded Pentagon offensive against ISIS in “Syraq” has been derided all across the Axis of Resistance as a massive farce.

Over the years, we have had exposés coming from Moscow; Tehran; Damascus; Hezbollah; and some of the People’s Mobilization Units (PMUs) in Iraq.

Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly asserted how “the US have been using helicopters to save ISIS terrorists from complete annihilation in Iraq/Syria and transporting them to Afghanistan to keep them as insurgents in Central Asia against Russia, China and Iran.”

The extremely well informed Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, has pointed out that Russia had received the same information from local tribal leaders. Even former President Hamid Karzai – now a key negotiator forming the next Taliban-led government in Kabul – has branded ISIS-K a “tool” of the United States.

It’s important to remember that ISIS-K has become much more powerful in Afghanistan since 2020 because of what I describe as a shadowy transportation ratline from Idlib in Syria to Kunar and Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan.

Of course there is no smoking gun – yet: but what we do have is a serious working hypothesis that ISIS-K may be just another CIA shadow army, in collaboration with the NDS.

All that, if confirmed, would point to a dark future: the continuation of the Forever Wars by other means – and tactics. Yet never underestimate the counter-power of those no-nonsense descendants of White Huns and Sakas.

The ‘Great Reset’ in Microcosm: ‘Data Driven Defeat’ in Afghanistan

August 30, 2021

Alastair Crooke

There is little mystery as to why the Taliban took over Kabul so quicklyAlastair Crooke writes.

Nation-building in Afghanistan arrived in 2001. Western interventions into the old Eastern bloc in the 1980s and early 1990s had been spectacularly effective in destroying the old social and institutional order; but equally spectacular in failing to replace imploded societies with fresh institutions.  The threat from ‘failed states’ became the new mantra, and Afghanistan – in the wake of the destruction wrought post-9/11 – therefore necessitated external intervention.  Weak and failed states were the spawning ground for terrorism and its threat to the ‘global order’, it was said. It was in Afghanistan that a new liberal world vision was to be stood-up.

At another level, the war in Afghanistan became another sort of crucible. In very real terms, Afghanistan turned into a testbed for every single innovation in technocratic project management – with each innovation heralded as precursor to our wider future. Funds poured in: Buildings were thrown up, and an army of globalised technocrats arrived to oversee the process.  Big data, AI and the utilization of ever expanding sets of technical and statistical metrics, were to topple old ‘stodgy’ ideas.  Military sociology in the form of Human Terrain Teams and other innovative creations, were unleashed to bring order to chaos. Here, the full force of the entire NGO world, the brightest minds of that international government-in-waiting, were given a playground with nearly infinite resources at their disposal.

This was to be a showcase for technical managerialism. It presumed that a properly technical, and scientific way of understanding war and nation-building would be able to mobilize reason and progress to accomplish what everyone else could not, and so create a post-modern society, out of a complex tribal one, with its own storied history.

The ‘new’ arrived, as it were, in a succession of NGO boxes marked ‘pop-up modernity’.  The 18th century British statesman Edmund Burke, of course, had already warned in Reflections on the Revolution in France, as he witnessed the Jacobins tearing down their old order: “that it is with infinite caution” that anyone should pull down or replace structures that have served society well over the ages.  But this managerial technocracy had little time for old ‘stodgy’ ideas.

But, what last week’s fall of the western instituted regime so clearly revealed is that today’s managerial class, consumed by the notion of technocracy as the only means of effecting functional rule birthed instead, something thoroughly rotten – “data-driven defeat”, as one U.S. Afghan veteran described it – so rotten, that it collapsed in a matter of days. On the extended blunders of the “system” in Afghanistan, he writes:

“A retired Navy SEAL who served in the White House under both Bush and Obama reflected,[that]  “collectively the system is incapable of taking a step back to question basic assumptions.” That “system” is best understood, not simply as a military or foreign policy body, but as a euphemism for the habits and institutions of an American ruling class that has exhibited an almost limitless collective capacity for deflecting the costs of failure.

“This class in general, and the people in charge of the war in Afghanistan in particular, believed in informational and management solutions to existential problems. They elevated data points and sta­tistical indices to avoid choosing prudent goals and organizing the proper strategies to achieve them. They believed in their own provi­dential destiny and that of people like them to rule, regardless of their failures”.

Whatever was not corrupt before America arrived, became corrupt in the maelstrom of that $2 Trillion of American money showered on the project. American soldiers, arms manufacturers, globalised technocrats, governance experts, aid workers, peacekeepers, counter-insurgency theorists and lawyers – all made their fortunes.

The flaw was that Afghanistan as a liberal progressive vision was a hoax in the first place: Afghanistan was invaded, and occupied, because of its geography. It was the ideal platform from which to perturb Central Asia, and thus unsettle Russia and China.

No one was truly committed because there was really no longer any Afghanistan to commit to. Whomsoever could steal from the Americans did so. The Ghani regime collapsed in a matter of days, because it was ‘never there’ to begin with: A Potemkin Village, whose role lay in perpetuating a fiction, or rather the myth of America’s Grand Vision of itself as the shaper and guardian of ‘our’ global future.

The true gravity for America and Europe of the present psychological ‘moment’ is not only that nation-building, as a project intended to stand up liberal values been revealed as having ‘achieved nothing’, but Afghanistan débacle has underlined the limitations to technical managerialism in way that is impossible to miss.

The gravity of America’s present psychological ‘moment’ – the implosion of Kabul – was well articulated when Robert Kagan argued earlier, that the ‘global values’ project (however tenuous its basis in reality) nonetheless has become essential to preserving ‘democracy’ at home:  For, he suggests, an America that retreats from global hegemony, would no longer possess the domestic group solidarity to preserve America as ‘idea’, at home, either.

What Kagan is saying here is important – It may constitute the true cost of the Afghanistan débacle. Every élite class advances various claims about its own legitimacy, without which a stable political order is impossible. Legitimating myths can take many forms and may change over time, but once they become exhausted, or lose their credibility – when people no longer believe in the narrative, or the claims which underpin that political ‘idea’ – then it is ‘game over’.

Swedish intellectual, Malcolm Kyeyune writes that we may be “witnessing the catastrophic end of this metaphysical power of legitimacy that has shielded the managerial ruling class for decades”:

“Anyone even briefly familiar with the historical record knows just how much of a Pandora’s box such a loss of legitimacy represents. The signs visibly have been multiplying over many years. When Michael Gove said, “I think the people in this country have had enough of experts” in a debate about the merits of Brexit, he probably traced the contours of something much bigger than anyone really knew at the time. Back then, the acute phase of the delegitimization of the managerial class was only just beginning. Now, with Afghanistan, it is impossible to miss”.

There is therefore, little mystery as to why the Taliban took over Kabul so quickly. Not only did the project per se lack legitimacy for Afghans, but that aura of claimed expertise, of technological inevitability that has protected the élite managerial class, has been exposed by the sheer dysfunctionality on display, as the West frantically flees Kabul. And it is precisely how it has ended that has really drawn back the curtain, and shown the world the rot festering beneath.

When the legitimating claim is used up, and people no longer believe in the concepts or claims that underpin a particular system or claim to rule, the extinction of that particular élite, Kyeyune writes, becomes a foregone conclusion.

Analysis of Euro-Paralysis: Uncle Sam’s Last Afghan Stand

 August 30, 2021

By Mohammad Al-Jaber

The United States dragged Europe into the Graveyard of Empires and used it as a shield in the face of its own burial.

Europe, under the guise of providing the conditions for ‘long-term’ security and stability in Afghanistan, entered the country, and the rest is history. Havoc, destruction, death, and misery infested the Southern Asian country, placing it among the world’s poorest.

A New Age Crusade

Following the September 11 attacks, the United States developed an interest in “combatting terrorism,” prompting the country known for “exporting democracy” to the rest of the world to launch what was called the “War on Terror”—an international military campaign whose goal was to eradicate terrorism abroad,

not for the safety of the populace, but rather for that of US soil.

The US, a NATO ally and core member state, did what any benevolent ally would do and dragged NATO into a multi-generational war in Afghanistan—the organization’s first commitment outside European territories.

The whole debacle started a week after 9/11, when President George W. Bush signed a resolution authorizing the use of force against those behind the attacks, followed by an October 7 announcement that the US and the UK started launching airstrikes in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and Taliban sites when demands for the extradition of Osama bin Laden went unanswered.

After the US ‘retaliation’ act, the Taliban announced they are ready for “Jihad”; alas, it was a short-lived dream.

The “Jihad” lasted barely over two months, as the group was defeated and its rule in the country was declared over after heavy air bombardment from the US and UK, with ground support from its allies, which included the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taliban militias and groups.

Now, the US did not get the man they came after; bin Laden fled the country. However, they did accomplish what they are always after—influence and power. Afghanistan became ruled by the US-backed Hamid Karzai, whom the western power saw as best-fitting to rebuild the war-torn country.

So, the United States had everything laid out the way it wanted it to be:

  • The European hand was forced into Afghanistan
  • The burden was basically split in half with Europe reaping fewer benefits
  • The US was in control of a geopolitically significant country
  • The US intimidating its regional foes, namely Russia, China, and Iran

A Mandated European Venture

Now back to Europe; how and why did the old continent join the war in Afghanistan?

In 2001, the UNSC-mandated International Security Assistance Force, which had the mission of re-instating a central authority in the country that was ruled by militias and the Taliban at the time, in addition to working on enhancing the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces, was deployed in Afghanistan. 

The mission was not led by a certain country, as its leadership was rotational between its nations—the most prominent of which were the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, and France.

On August 11, 2003, NATO assumed the ISAF’s leadership. The mission’s goals were still the same; however, when seeing the current state of Afghanistan, it’s safe to say the mission failed miserably.

The ISAF’s European nations accounted for more than half the soldiers in Afghanistan. The countries that had little to nothing to do with the conflict led the invasion of a country that never did any harm to them; the US convinced them to partake in the conflict by raising national security concerns. If anything, failure in Afghanistan would have had way more political and financial repercussions for Europe than the United States, for refugees and terrorists could reach Europe a lot easier than they could North America.

Europe: The United States’ Hadrian’s Wall

Europe has been the main bearer of consequences whenever there had been a US-related flop anywhere in the Eastern hemisphere. Take the Syrian refugee crisis, for example. A US-sparked war on a Middle Eastern country resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees flocking toward Europe. And, of course, extremists were among those who got into the continent, leading to an increase in terror attacks and national security threats.

This, alongside many other crises, is a fine testament to the US strategy that uses Europe as a shield. In the ongoing crisis and anticipation of the incoming influx of Afghan refugees, Greece took to reinforcing the European borders by building a wall. What this means is that the Syrian scenario will be replayed, as hundreds of dead children will wash up on shore in a failed attempt to flee their country.

The Europeans had little to say regarding invading Afghanistan, for the continent’s nations lacked coordination and had many domestic political issues. Had they been united in the European Union, Europe would have been able to properly alter the coalition and advocate for a much better international approach to the situation in Afghanistan—that would’ve been the best-case scenario for Europe. Obviously, on the ground, it was completely different.

Even the majority of Europeans disagree with using military force to defend a NATO ally from a hypothetical attack by Russia, according to a Pew Research Center report

All that Europe gained from Afghanistan was more refugees, more dead soldiers, and wasted taxpayer money. Altogether, Europe lost nearly a thousand soldiers, gained hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers, and spent tens of billions of dollars. The UK and Germany, the second-largest troop-contributors, spent an estimated $30 billion and $19 billion respectively, over the course of the two-decade-long war—a portion of what Europe in its entirety paid to keep the war’s flame ablaze.

At the peak of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2011, the year the US had finally achieved its dream of killing bin Laden, there were 90,000 US troops in the country and 41,300 troops from NATO and its allies. The US and its allies did not equally bear the responsibility, for, as we must not forget, this wasn’t a European issue per se. It only became one after the US forced its hand to invade Afghanistan, yet Europe was bearing nearly half the burden.

The situation was incredibly frustrating for Europe, it was stuck in a self (mostly US)-made pit. The choice was between pulling out from Afghanistan and putting the US-European relations at risk, as well as its security and economy following the influx of Afghan refugees from Afghanistan to Europe, (which was not an option altogether), or staying in Afghanistan and putting up with the financial losses and human casualties.

How Europe was the Stalin to the Munich Agreement

To add insult to injury, the United States decided to withdraw from Afghanistan in February of 2020. This was the then-President Donald Trump signed the 2020 Doha Agreement to “end the war in Afghanistan” without consulting European allies—it came as a shock to them. Europeans objected to the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in such a short period of time but to no avail; there was no reversing the decision.

Furthermore, when the Biden Administration took the decision to completely withdraw from Afghanistan ahead of the agreed-upon date—which had been previously postponed from May 1st as set by the Trump administration—his decision received criticism from all US allies. NATO officials, from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, slammed Biden over this decision that was taken without any consultation.

Leaders all across Europe were in disbelief following the decision, even those who long-supported Biden saw it as a mistake and a miscalculation. There wasn’t any direct criticism, for it is known that would harm diplomatic relations; instead, leaders voiced their criticism behind the scenes. However, the storm is yet to come, as no NATO summits have taken place following the failure, which will most definitely redefine the future of US-EU relations.

How will European leaders react to this whole ordeal? Will they be silent in the face of the US abuse? There could be a change in the way Europe manages its external affairs, moving away from the United States and aiming for autonomy; but nothing is certain. One thing that is though, is the fact that even the Israelis do not trust the Americans due to their abandonment of Afghanistan and their allies there, meaning the US is prone to abandoning Europe and other allies in such ‘dire’ circumstances, rendering it unreliable. After all, the US got its troops out of Kabul right around its fall while leaving Europe and the rest of its allies stuck in the mud.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, went as far as calling for an independent army for the European Union in light of the growing panic amongst the Europeans out of fear of not being able to complete their evacuations before the United States does.

Even prior to this whole fiasco, Europe was considering forming an autonomous army. In 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron had warned that Europeans could not be protected without a “true, European army,” (before declaring that NATO was experiencing “brain death“) – an idea backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the person who could be Germany’s next Chancellor, Armin Laschet. The idea of a European army did not seem too appealing for the UK, for it could be something that equates to NATO. Instead, they prefer a joint force to defend Europe in a case relying on the US was out of the window.

During the Trump administration, the rift between the US and Europe was at its vastest since the establishment of diplomatic ties and alliances between the two powers, but it seems that the Biden administration will be the straw that broke the camel’s back in the US-EU relations.

Afghanistan reminds us why it’s called the Graveyard of Empires, as the future of diplomacy between the two behemoths could crumble over its invasion.

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