On the Other Hand...
by Jim Davies
Was it Provoked?
GWB says not, but then again so did FDR, about an earlier "surprise attack on US soil." And we now know beyond a doubt that FDR was a black liar, who had himself urgently provoked Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor, and who knew full well that it was coming but did nothing to alert the commanders of the 2,400 Americans who died there; see details here.
For now, it doesn't matter whether or not GWB too had any specific warnings just prior to 9/11, or whether his henchmen were busy facilitating the details of the attacks. Future historians will let us know in due course. We already know all that we need to know: that successive US governments did most emphatically provoke those attacks, and the record of that is plain in every account of foreign policy over the last six decades. We also know that very strangely, the media seems most reluctant to admit their existence, even after having reported every one of them over the years.
Here are those undeniable acts of US government provocation:
Every one of these actions was taken without a shred of defensive need. Each made a stench in the nostrils of most Muslims, whose religion may be mediaeval but whose right to practise it is absolute. Their retaliation on 9/11 was terrible and unexpected; but it was unexpected only because we have not been paying attention to what our governments have been doing in our name. We are in one sense lucky, that the hundreds of millions of offended Muslims worldwide have not, so far, organized themselves into a force vastly more formidable than a few hundred suicidal zealots. We're even luckier that so far, most of them have condemned the 9/11 attacks as overkill. But if we don't very soon dispose of our aggressive governments, our luck will run out.
- They helped exclude Palestinians from their homeland
- They handed substantial US taxpayer dollar donations to Israel
- They intervened in the affairs of Iran, installing a sadistic Shah
- They intervened in 1990 in a war between Iraq and Kuwait
- They intervened in 1993 in a civil war in Somalia
- They kept "infidel" soldiers on the "holy ground" of Saudi Arabia
- They may have starved hundreds of thousands of Iraqis since 1990
Would Al Queda have launched the vicious attacks of 9/11 if none of those provocations had take place? - in my opinion, no way. What's yours, and why?
Such is the present pro-war hysteria that it's very rare for any part of the foregoing to be placed before a Statist, but when it happens the reaction is indignant and emphatic. Let's digress to consider:
Such responses are given dismissively, as if to close the conversation. Little wonder; for each is nonsense from start to finish.
- No excuse or rationale is possible for people so barbaric as to do what was done on 9/11, and
- If those factors were taken into consideration in any negotiation with them, a long line of me-too imitators would follow; America would be for ever conceding to terrorist blackmailers.
Barbaric the attacks were indeed, though they hardly came without warning; the USS Cole and two US embassies had been bombed first with no sign that the US government was open for negotiation. But what is barbaric for the Arabian goose must also be barbaric for the American gander; and the mass murder of civilians during conflict is by no means outside the normal operating mode of US governments. Over 50,000 were killed by US government bombers in Dresden and another 100,000 in Nagasaki, for example, both in 1945 and both without a shred of credible military "need." So if 9/11 was barbaric, those acts alone were ten times more barbaric.
The precedent-setting problem is more real, but what the Statists do not point out is that future blackmail may come in two flavors.
Demands for the righting of a wrong already inflicted by the US Government would fall into the same category as the present outrage at its intervention into Muslim affairs, and should be answered affirmatively; give them what they demand, for it should never have been with-held in the first place.
Demands for a new favor or handout of some kind, where no previous US aggression has taken place, would indeed amount to acts of aggression against the USA, and those should be dealt with as such with appropriate, reactive force. Note however that such has never yet happened in 225 years of US history, and that the way in which they might be handled opens the question of whether a reformed USA should operate a collectivized defense system or whether it's better to frustrate potential blackmailers by closing the DoD to make them negotiate with all 280 million of us individually. I favor the latter; they would tire more quickly. Naturally the Statists, ever watchful for their own job security, disagree.
The damage has been done; the aggression was committed, and the victim has struck back hard, and may well strike again. How should this totally needless war now be wound down, before more are killed and even more domestic tyranny put in place?
The solution chosen with 90% public approval is to escalate the war, to hit back again, so exercising a new round of provocation and inviting a new round of retaliation. This is the strategic policy of a playground fist fight.
It's also the strategy followed in 1941. Then, on December 8th FDR should have 'fessed up to his duplicity, apologized for interfering with US-Japanese trade and for being responsible for the 2,400 deaths, and promptly resigned. Instead, he waged a war that killed over 400,000 Americans and tens of millions of foreigners, cost nearly two years' worth of US Gross National Product, and battered Americans into allowing government to run nearly every aspect of their lives including what to eat. It did also, however, leave the United States Government as the dominant superpower in 1945 and ever since; that's probably why FDR was so desperately eager to wage it.
And it's the chosen strategy of GWB and his enormous groundswell of support. It will for certain result in the further subjugation of American individuals to the power and scrutiny of government; the Bill of Rights had already been trashed but in the weeks following 9/11 its tattered remains were flushed down the toilet. Again, I have no way to know whether GWB was able to affect the timing of the Muslim backlash; but he sure was ready to take advantage of it when it came. Freedom has collapsed, as surely as the WTC towers.
The only question remaining is whether his government will win the war it has started, as FDR won his. If he doesn't, with spectacular early victories to keep popular support alive, then there may be some hope that after another lake of blood has been shed, he may yet call a peace conference and withdraw American forces from where they should never have been sent: the Middle East.
Prediction is always hazardous, especially about the future; but I'll risk the view that probably, this will in fact turn out to be another Vietnam. I could be wrong, but do not think this war is winnable - or not at any price which, once visible, Americans will be willing to pay.
Why? - because if the Al Queda leaders are killed, a hundred more zealots stand ready to take each missing place; the cost of preventing that, by making war on every State that permits them to train, would be prohibitive. This is a decentralized worldwide group of sleeper cells; one is eliminated, others form. Our enemy is totally, permanently dedicated for the long haul and is in no way deterred by death; each member welcomes it, as an entrance to an eternity in paradise. Nobody who watched TV on 9/11 and saw hundreds of Palestinian teenagers dancing in the streets at the news of the WTC destruction can fail to know that. They have found the weak spot in the monstrously expensive US Defense establishment. This war is already lost; it remains only for the population to learn the fact, and to turn on its benighted leaders and restore peace in the only honorable way.
So what is that honorable way, the correct strategy to wind down this war? - to apologize for allowing past provocations, and do no more.
Can that really be done, without abandoning the institution of government itself? - I very much doubt it. Government is addicted to power; to control at home and intervention abroad. To have it stop would be like turning a vulture into a puppy. I think government will never reform; it has to be scrapped. And the sooner, by far the better.
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