Twenty years after the events of September 11, 2001, and amid the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, it seems appropriate to question the validity of the so-called “War on Terror”. The Cost of War project estimates America’s 20-year wars, started with alleged counter-terrorism intentions, killed nearly a million people, displaced 37 million, and cost the US government $ 8 trillion. If the intent of these wars was to reduce terrorism, they have failed, as every bomb dropped on civilians has spawned more terrorists. If the intention was to enrich arms manufacturers, the “war on terror” succeeded,
But is the terrorism threat real? Or is it like the bark of a dog leading a herd? The threat of catastrophic climate change is very real indeed. The threat to future global food security is also real. 11 million children die every year from malnutrition and poverty-related causes. The threat to human civilization and the biosphere from a possible World War III is real. The threat of non-renewable resource depletion and economic collapse is real. The dangers associated with our unstable partial reserve banking system are also real. Aside from these all-too-real threats to our future, the threat posed by terrorism is negligible.
Millions are starving. Millions die each year from preventable diseases. Millions die as a result of war. Compared to these numbers, the total number of victims of terrorism is negligible. In fact, it’s invisible compared to the number of people killed in car accidents each year.
The official story of 9/11 is untrue
There is compelling evidence, available to anyone willing to look it online, that shows that the official version of 9/11 is untrue and that the US government made the disaster worse than it would otherwise have been to justify not only an endless “war on terror” but also the curtailment of civil liberties within the United States. But very few want to question the official version of the attack on the World Trade Center. Those who accept the official version are. respectable citizens by definition, while those who question this are “leftists” and “likely terrorist sympathizers”. As George W. Bush said, “You are either for us or you are against us”.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Bush’s reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacks appears to have been to ask his advisors whether he was now free to invade Iraq. According to former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, Bush was “obsessed” with Iraq as his primary target after September 11, 2001.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair attended a private dinner at the White House nine days after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Sir Christopher Meyer, former British Ambassador to Washington, was also present at the dinner. According to Meyer, Blair told Bush not to be distracted from their main goal – dealing with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and Bush replied, “I agree with you, Tony. We have to deal with that first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we have to return to Iraq. ”Given the prospect of wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Blair did not protest, according to Meyer.
In the summer of 2002, Bush and Blair discussed Iraq over the phone. A senior official in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office who read the transcript of the call was quoted by Vanity Fair magazine as saying, “As it was said, Saddam would go whatever; they said they were going to move forward, they were going to turn off the regime, and they were doing the right thing. Blair didn’t need to be persuaded. There was no ‘come on Tony, we have to get you on board’. I remember reading it and then thinking, ‘Okay, now I know what we’re going to do next year.’ “
On June 1, 2002, Bush announced a new US policy that not only completely violated all precedents of American foreign policy, but also undermined the United Nations Charter and international law. At the graduation ceremony of the US Military Academy at West Point, he stressed that the United States had the right to wage preventive war against any country that could pose a threat to the United States in the future. “If we wait for the threats to materialize fully,” he said, “we have waited too long.” He pointed out that 60 countries could fall into this category, about a third of the world’s nations.
Claiming that the United States or any other country has the right to wage preventive wars is an express violation of Chapter 1, Articles 2.3 and 2.4 of the United Nations Charter. These demand that “all members settle their disputes by peaceful means in such a way that world peace, security and justice are not endangered” and that “all members refrain from threatening or using force against the territory in their international relations” Integrity of a state or in any other way incompatible with the goals of the United Nations. The UN Charter allows a nation under attack to defend itself, but only until the Security Council has had time to act.
Murder and Torture in the Name of Counter Terrorism
With the end of the Cold War, a new justification had to be found for the colossal US military budget. The answer was the “war on terror”. Regardless of the fact that terrorism is a crime committed by individuals, not nations, and that police action rather than war is the appropriate response. Entire nations were accused of “sponsoring terror” and attacked. In addition, individual terrorist suspects were extrajudicially murdered, for example by drone attacks. Large-scale torture programs were also initiated and justified on the pretext that any method could be used in the “fight against terror”.
The effect of the innocent people killed in drone attacks and the effect of torture programs was of course not to reduce the number of terrorists, but to produce more of them and increase their fanaticism. But that was good for the government, because the real aim of the “war on terror” was not to end terrorism, but to justify obscenely inflated military budgets.
Progressives can save America
This article was ruthless in its criticism of America’s “war on terror”. But America is full of good people. Although an enormous flow of money from the military-industrial complex (and other corporate oligarchies) controls many corrupt politicians, the progressives are fighting back. We must unite behind the progressives and fight militarism, not just in the United States but around the world.
John Scales Avery
Covid Response Watch