The real reason our media were unable to examine
the causes of 9/11 is that too many powerful
Americans were invested in them.
By Philip Weiss
September 16, 2021 -- "Information
Clearing House -
- I watched and listened to a lot of
broadcast coverage of the 20th anniversary of the
9/11 attacks and it was appalling: There was zero
reflection on Why they hated us. I thought that
after 20 years people in the mainstream would speak
openly of the political motivation of the attack.
No, everyone talked about “jihad,” as if an Arabic
word for struggle was the American enemy. The long
on National Public Radio was all about how U.S.
authorities missed the signs of the plot to attack
the World Trade Center, as if this were merely a
dastardly crime by evil men, which it was, and not a
conspiracy generated by political grievances.
As if two dozen men would uproot their lives and
cross oceans to die because they were “marginal” and
“unstable,” as the 9/11 commission concluded — and
not because they were fired by a sense of injustice.
On one NPR story, teachers spoke about teaching the
attack to children. When the kids asked why it
happened, none of them had an answer. NPR treated
their agnosticism as ineffable and blessed.
Actually, it’s scandalous.
Al Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks because the
U.S. was deeply involved as an occupying military
force in the Middle East.
A 1998 declaration of war by Osama bin Laden
cites three issues: the occupation of Saudi Arabia
as a military base, the “devastation” of Iraq by
U.S. sanctions including the alleged deaths of 1
million Iraqis, and the effort by the U.S. to
“fragment” Arab nations so as to insure the survival
No Advertising - No
Government Grants - This Is Independent Media
Get Our Free
Bin Laden’s declaration is angry and articulate:
Third, if the Americans’ aims behind these
wars are religious and economic, the aim is also
to serve the Jews’ petty state and divert
attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and
murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this
is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the
strongest neighboring Arab state, and their
endeavor to fragment all the states of the
region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and
Sudan into paper statelets and through their
disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel’s
survival and the continuation of the brutal
crusade occupation of the Peninsula.
“There you have it,” Scott Horton writes in his
book “Fool’s Errand.” Bin Laden’s third cause of
action was actually a rough description of the
neoconservative project in the Middle East. The
neocons laid it out in the 1996 paper they wrote for
Netanyahu– which bin Laden surely read — called “A
Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”
which envisioned militant action across the region.
“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in
cooperation with Turkey and Jordan,
by weakening, containing, and even rolling back
Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam
Hussein from power in Iraq.”
The neocons of course carried out that scheme for
Iraq on the part of the United States in 2003, a war
that destabilized two or three countries.
Americans came up with many lies at the time
about Why they hate us.
They hate our freedom. They hate Christianity.
They hate western civilization. It is a war on
terror– as if the bad guys are committed to
terrorism as an existential faith. The 911
commission participated in this coverup. They did so
because they did not want to face the truth: that
brutal U.S. policies in the Middle East of an
imperial character and in support of Israel had
caused many Muslims to hate us to the point of
wanting to hurt us by any means.
I know that it was considered bad form to bring
up the causes early on because that suggested that
our innocent neighbors deserved to die in such awful
ways. Of course they didn’t, but as a country we
were hardly innocent. And smart people knew it. A
friend of mine who walked his son home from a school
on Canal Street that morning wrote to me that day to
say the chickens had come home to roost. The next
day Robert Fisk wrote
in the Nation and got the proportions right:
So it has come to this. The entire modern
history of the Middle East–the collapse of the
Ottoman Empire, the Balfour declaration,
Lawrence of Arabia’s lies, the Arab revolt, the
foundation of the state of Israel, four
Arab-Israeli wars and the thirty-four years of
Israel’s brutal occupation of Arab land–all
erased within hours as those who claim to
represent a crushed, humiliated population
struck back with the wickedness and awesome
cruelty of a doomed people.
The real reason our media were unable to examine
the causes is that too many powerful Americans were
invested in them. But the failure to examine those
policies resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of
thousands of civilians across the Middle East–right
ten innocents blown up by a terror drone strike
in Afghanistan on August 29.
The Israel lobby’s interest in these wars has
never been debated. When David Petraeus dared to say
that every house he went into in Fallujah had a
picture of the Al-Aqsa mosque on the wall, so U.S.
support for Israel was a danger to American
soldiers– he was shut down. Any suggestion that
supporting Israeli occupation was not in the
“American interest” had to be crushed inside the
Many on the left say that the
Iraq/Syria/Sudan/Yemen wars are about oil. Neale and
Lindisfarne say so
in their excellent analysis of the Afghanistan
war that we ran lately. I disagree, and am happy to
debate that some other time. While the causes of
U.S. engagement across the Middle East surely have
an imperial component, my lens is the Israel lobby
and its role in pushing War as an answer. I remember
when my mother’s best friend told me in Jerusalem in
2006, “The Arabs don’t want us here, and so there
will be one war after another till they accept us.”
This is the Israeli vision, constantly restated,
even from hawks hosted by liberal Zionists; and it
is no vision for any kind of future; and yet the
U.S. adopted that mindset at the urging of
neoconservatives, who have long pushed big U.S.
defense spending in the name of Israel’s security.
And after Joe Biden withdrew from Afghanistan,
the Israeli Prime Minister was lecturing him in the
White House. You must not withdraw forces from
Syria. You must threaten Iran.
It never ends. The Israeli vision of future war
is granted standing inside policy circles, this time
from the mouth of a racist expansionist who has
bragged about killing Arabs.
The pressing question is of course what 20 years
of devastating wars in others’ countries has
achieved inside the Beltway, in the minds of those
who design U.S. foreign policy. Here I am actually
hopeful. These wars don’t make America safer, they
breed hatred. Joe Biden’s angry defense of his
Afghanistan withdrawal suggests that he believes as
much. The New Yorker dares to say so in
Anand Gopal’s piece of last week about why Afghans
want us gone. The neoconservatives are today on the
back foot, looking for a home. Criticisms of Israel
are being expressed at last in the Democratic Party
despite huge resistance.
A few can openly dare to question Israel’s policy
of never-ending military occupation. A few talk
It’s been a long time but consciousness is
changing. The U.S. has paid a terrible price for
this understanding, but a far lesser one than the
peoples of the Middle East.
Thx to Donald Johnson and James North and
Registration is necessary to post comments.
We ask only that you do not use obscene or offensive
language. Please be respectful of others.