Americans Need the Truth About 9/11
by Eric Margolis: Forget
Libya or Syria. Worry About Kashmir!
become like the moribund Hapsburg Empire which was said to have
forgotten nothing and learned nothing.
commemorations, which have by now become an annual religious-political
event, reminds us of this old adage.
One of the
biggest tragedies within the tragedy of 9/11 is that the nation
has not learned the real lesson of 9/11 – the reason why the 19
suicide hijackers attacked New York and Washington.
attack, the hijacker’s ringleaders made clear their goal was to
punish the United States for occupying the holy land of Saudi Arabia
and for supporting Israel’s repression of the Palestinians.
A subtext of
the deadly operation was to make America experience some of the
suffering and damage it had long inflicted on the Mideast.
In short, the
motive for the assault was entirely political. But the Bush administration
and then Congress were unable or unwilling to accept the fact that
America’s Mideast policies were the cause of the attacks. The US
media cowered from discussing the true reasons for the attack as
a third-rail that had to be avoided.
was spun by the White House and a remarkably tame media into an
assault on America by crazed Muslim fanatics who hated, as President
Bush said, our freedoms, values, religion and way of life. Islam
was to blame.
reverberated through the US media and government. Christian and
some Jewish fundamentalist groups amplified the theme that Islam
is a menace. Pundits opined that Islam was inherently and dangerously
flawed, a religion that preached violence and sought world domination.
lurid proclamations of Osama bin Laden served as a convenient, perfectly
timed proof of the wickedness and danger of Islam. His tiny organization
of no more than 300 men, as this writer saw firsthand, had been
devoted to fighting the Afghan Communists, suddenly morphed into
a mortal danger for the United States.
vastly exaggerated into a worldwide menace. Housewives in Peoria,
Illinois, voted for George Bush because they feared Osama bin Laden
was about to come and snatch away their children. Paranoia gripped
the United States and made it do terrible things that violated its
own laws, ethics and values.
our mattress replaced the old bogeyman of the 1950’s, reds under
When Bush declared
a "crusade" against terrorism, he really meant it. Like
all crusades, this ostensibly religious mission quickly became a
scramble for plunder – in this case, Iraq’s vast troves of oil and
Thanks to Washington’s
anti-Islamic spin over 9/11, Americans were able to steep themselves
in righteous indignation and victimhood, free of any inconvenient
questions that their policies in the Muslim world may have contributed
to the 9/11 attacks.
used to call such attacks, "the cost of empire." But Americans
were simply not aware their nation had an empire. This writer calls
it the "American Raj."
Muslims for 9/11 may have been a tactical success for the Bush White
House. But in the longer run, laying off the blame on Islam has
proved strategically disastrous for the US and just as dishonest
as blaming World War II on Christianity.
poll is now showing that a majority in Muslim nations, even so-called
"moderate" ones like Egypt, Indonesia and Morocco, mistakenly
believe the US is out to destroy Islam.
The fire and
brimstone anti-Muslim hate fulminations of mountebanks like Rev.
Hagee, Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh are amplified
at full volume across the Muslim world.
now regard the United States as their nation’s leading enemy. Old
foe India has fallen into second place. Anti-Americanism is now
raging across the Muslim world. The next explosion will come in
has fallen into Osama bin Laden’s last and deepest trap. First,
two wars that have so far cost up to $4 trillion and thousands of
US military casualties. Next, the undermining of the US economy
by reckless deficit spending on the military and intelligence. Under
Bush, and now Obama, the runaway deficit has reached an astounding
so-called "war on terror," that has earned America the
searing hatred of much of the Muslim world.
him mail] is the author of War
at the Top of the World and the new book, American
Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the
West and the Muslim World. See his
© 2011 Eric Margolis
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