By Richard K. Moore
May 7, 2004
Like many other viewers, I shrank back in disbelief when
the images of the World Trade Centre (WTC) attack first began to flood the
airwaves. How could this happen? Who would want to do such a thing? How
could four different airliners all be hijacked at the same time? How had
security systems and air defenses both failed so miserably? How would America
And then the answers to such questions started coming in.
within hours the authorities "knew" that the perpetrators were
linked to Bin Laden, and President George Bush was already announcing a
"War Against Terrorism". While images of the attack were still
being replayed, over and over again, US Congress had already authorised
the President to take "any necessary measures", and had allocated
$40 billion to that purpose. Within days, the
US had persuaded NATO to declare that this "attack on one member nation
was an attack on all". Then it turned out that the $40 billion had
come from America's social-security fund, and $15 billion was being allocated
to bailing out the airline industry. Next we were being told that Americans
would need to give up their civil liberties, and Congress was rapidly approving
the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001". The War on Terrorism was
going to be largely a covert war, a war "unlike any other", a
war that would go on indefinitely into the future.
By this time, my disbelief began to turn into suspicion. How
had the US government come up so quickly with such a comprehensive and coordinated
response? How had they decided within hours that an extended War on Terrorism
was the appropriate action? How did they know that $40 billion was the exact
amount needed? And then as background reports began to appear, my suspicion
deepened. It turns out that the airlines were already in deep trouble, before
the attack. And the US had other reasons to go after Afghanistan, having
to do with oil reserves, and pipeline routes. And there had been earlier
signs that the social-security funds might be raided for other uses. And
still, no actual evidence had been produced linking Bin Laden to the attacks.
The whole scenario began to fit a very familiar pattern, a
pattern that has characterised American history from its earliest days.
This led me to a quite different analysis of the events than we were being
fed over the mass media. I am not claiming that this alternative analysis
is correct, I offer it only for your consideration. The various claims I
make in this article are my opinion only. There may be some factual errors,
but in my humble opinion, given the reports I have seen, this seems to be
the most-likely scenario...
US History - A Series of Suspicious Warpath
As we look back at history, we find that every time the US has entered
into a major military adventure, that has been enabled by a dramatic incident
which aroused public sentiment overwhelmingly in favour of military action.
These incidents have always been accepted at face value when they occurred,
but in every case we have learned later that the incidents were highly suspicious.
And in every case, the ensuing military action served some elite geopolitical
Consider, for example, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which
gave President Lyndon Johnson an excuse to begin major escalation of the
Vietnam War. Supposedly, in that incident, a North Vietnamese boat launched
torpedoes in an attempt to sink an American warship. It is now generally
accepted by historians that the attack did not in fact occur, and that Johnson
had been preparing to escalate all along.
One of my correspondents on the Internet summarised a portion
of the history this way:
"The US Government lied to the American People about
the following events. Each of these incidents led the United States into
"1898.THEY LIED about the sinking of the battleship Maine.
(Spanish American War)
"1915.THEY LIED about the sinking of the ocean liner
Lusitania (World War I)
"1941.THEY LIED about the attack on Pearl Harbor. (World
"1964.THEY LIED about the Gulf of Tonkin affair. (Vietnam
In the media coverage of the recent WTC attack, the comparison
with Pearl Harbor has been frequently raised. Thousands of American troops
were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, and thousands of American civilians
were killed in the attack on the WTC. In both cases the American people
responded (quite understandably) with deep shock and outrage. In both cases,
overwhelming public sentiment was for retaliation, and for giving yhe President
total support for whatever course he chose. In 1941, as now, any suggestion
that the US government knew in advance of the attacks, and could have prevented
them, would have been met by angry disbelief by almost any American. Nonetheless,
the evidence now seems to favour the view that President Franklin D. Roosevelt
(FDR) did know about the impending attack on Pearl Harbor, and that he could
have mounted an effective defense.
We now know that elite US planners, during the period 1939-1941,
had come to the conclusion that the Japanese conquest of Asia had to be
stopped. The planners determined that Southeast Asia, in particular, was
critical to US economic interests. But US public opinion was overwhelmingly
against entering the war. It now seems that FDR figured out a way to get
the US into the war, and that Pearl Harbor was the key to his plan.
When the Japanese began to threaten Southeast Asia, FDR froze
Japanese assets in US banks, resulting in a cutoff of Japanese oil supplies.
This was considered an act of war by Japan, and Japanese retaliation was
expected by American planners. As the Japanese fleet approached Pearl Harbor,
intelligence services in Britain and the US evidently knew of that approach.
British Prime Minister Churchill notified his Pacific commanders that the
Japanese were heading for Pearl Harbor. FDR, on the other hand, did not
notify his commanders. Instead, he sent the most strategic ships (the aircraft
carriers) out to sea where they would be safe, and instructed key observation
outposts on the island of Kauai to stand down. It was over Kauai that the
Japanese made their approach to Pearl Harbor.
It seems that FDR intentionally set the stage for a 'surprise'
attack - shocking the nation and instantly shifting public opinion from
non-interventionism to war frenzy. I am suggesting that this same scenario
must be considered in the case of the recent WTC and Pentagon attacks. Unbelievable
as this may seem, this is a scenario that matches the modus operandi of
US ruling elites. These elites show callous disregard for civilian lives
in Iraq, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and dozens of other places around the world.
Is it so surprising that they would sacrifice a few thousand American civilians
if they considered that necessary in order to pursue their geopolitical
Let us now consider in more detail the possible motives for
such a crime scenario.
Global Capitalism in Crisis
Capitalism must have growth and change in order to operate. The engine
of capitalism is driven by wealthy investors who put their money into the
economy in order to increase their wealth. If the economy offers no growth
opportunities, then investors withdraw their money and the whole system
collapses. A minor collapse is called a recession, and a major collapse
is called a depression. The history of capitalism is punctuated by such
Capitalism came into existence along with the Industrial Revolution
in the late 1700s in Scotland and northern England. Before that time societies
were not based primarily on growth. Certainly there were people before then
who sought to increase their wealth, but economies as a whole did not require
growth in order to operate. Societies were ruled by aristocratic elites
whose wealth was measured by the estates they owned, and the peasants who
worked their land. Such aristocrats were more interested in stability than
change, and more concerned with maintaining their estates than with economic
When the Industrial Revolution came along then all this began
to change. With the cotton gin, steam engine, and other new technologies,
it became possible for an entrepreneur to make a great deal of wealth rapidly.
A new wealthy elite began to emerge made up inventors, industrialists, bankers,
and traders. These were the people who built the factories, invested in
them, and figured out ways to get the new products to markets.
The interests of this new elite clashed with those of the
old aristocratic elite. The aristocrats favoured stability, and laws which
provided stability - such as tariffs, price controls, etc. The new elite,
on the other hand, wanted change and growth - they wanted to develop new
products, build new factories, and capture new markets. While aristocratic
wealth was based on land and stability, industrial wealth was based on investment,
development, change, and growth.
This new kind of economics, based on investment and growth,
came to be known as capitalism. And the new elite, gaining its wealth through
change and growth, is the capitalist elite. At first capitalism existed
alongside aristocracy, competing with it to control the laws of society.
But then in Britain, and later in other nations, the capitalist elite won
out. Laws, economies, and societies were transformed to favour capitalism
and growth over stability and land-based wealth. Banking, monetary systems,
and taxation were re-engineered so as to compel businesses to seek growth
whether they wanted to or not. Thus our economies were transformed into
engines designed to increase elite wealth. Rather than economies which serve
the needs of societies, we have societies which serve the needs of capital
No one can deny that capitalism and its growth have brought
many kinds of benefits to some people. America was based on capitalism from
its very founding, and American wealth and prosperity are legendary. But
there is a fundamental problem with capitalism. How is it possible for an
economy to grow endlessly? How can growth be forever achieved in a finite
world? Is capitalism, in the final analysis, sustainable?
In fact, providing for ongoing growth has been the primary
challenge faced by every nation that has adopted capitalism. The history
of the 19th and 20th centuries has been primarily the story of nations competing
for markets and resources to support growth. Our history books tell us about
noble causes and evil enemies, but in truth every significant war since
1800 has been about competition among Great Powers for economic growth.
Before capitalism, nations built empires because kings or
individuals were greedy and wanted more territory and wealth. After capitalism,
nations developed empires out of necessity. If they didn't expand their
markets and access to resources their economies would collapse. As industrial
capitalism got into high gear in the late 1800s, that was accompanied by
an unprecedented expansion of imperialism on a global scale.
From 1800 until 1945 the world system was a matter of competition
among Great Powers for empires, in order to provide for capitalist growth.
In each empire there was a core nation which ruled over peripheral territories.
The peripheral territories were exploited in order to provide growth for
the core ruling nation. The populations of the core nations were convinced
by propaganda that they were helping or aiding the periphery to develop.
This propaganda was lies. The fact was suppression, exploitation, and the
prevention of healthy development in the periphery - so as to
enable capitalism to flourish in the core Great Powers.
In 1945 this global system was radically changed. Under American
leadership, with the help of both incentives and coercion, a new paradigm
of capitalist growth was launched. Instead of competitive imperialism, a
regime of cooperative imperialism was instituted. Under the protection of
the American military, the so-called "Free World" was opened to
exploitation by capitalism generally. This led to the rise of immense transnational
corporations which were no longer limited in their growth to a single national
empire. This new post-1945 system was invented in order
to provide another round of growth to capitalism.
Under the post-1945 system, part of the scheme was to provide
prosperity to the Western middle classes. In Europe, the USA, and in Japan
as well, populations experienced unprecedented prosperity. Cooperative imperialism
provided immense growth room for capitalism, and the wealth was being shared
with the core-nation populations.
But no matter what system might be set up, growth eventually
runs into the limits of that system. The post-1945 system was no exception.
By the early 1970s the growth machine was beginning to slow down. Recessions
began to replace prosperity. As a consequence, the global capitalist elite
designed yet another system, offering yet another round of capitalist growth.
This new system goes under the name 'neoliberalism', and it was launched
the auspices of Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK.
The purpose of neoliberalism was to steal the wealth of the
prosperous capitalist nations and transfer that wealth to the capitalist
elite and the corporations which they own and control. That's what privatisation,
deregulation, and other so-called 'reforms' were all about. In addition,
neoliberalism was aimed at disempowering democracy itself - because it was
the democratic nations which were implementing laws which limited the power
of corporations. Any limit on the power of corporations is a limit on their
ability to grow. And the one thing capitalism cannot tolerate is limits
its growth. That is a matter of life and death to capitalism.
Again, as must always happen, the neoliberal system also began
to run out of growth room. In this case, the system only provided growth
for about ten years, the decade of the 1980s. And thus we were brought to
the era of globalisation. Propaganda tells us that globalisation is simply
the continuation of 'natural' trends in technology, trade, and commerce.
This is not true. Globalisation represents an intentional and radical policy
shift on the part of the global capitalist elite.
Globalisation amounts to four radical changes in the world
system. These are (1) the destabilisation of and removal of sovereignty
from Western nation states, (2) the establishment of an essentially fascist
world government under the direct control of the capitalist elite, (3) the
greatly accelerated exploitation and suppression of the third-world, and
(4) the gradual downgrading of Western living conditions toward third-world
standards. By these means, elites hope to achieve yet another round of capital
During most of the decade of the 1990s globalisation proceeded
almost unnoticed by the world's population. The World Trade Organisation
(WTO) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) began to establish their tentacles
of power without publicity. Government leaders worldwide, under the pressure
of capitalist elites, were quietly signing their sovereignty over to the
new global institutions. When globalisation was mentioned at all in the
media, it was described in propaganda terms as sharing 'progress' with the
downtrodden of the world.
And then in December 1999 the people of the world began to
wake up. The demonstrations in Seattle marked the beginning of a new global
movement. In fairness, one must acknowledge that there were earlier signs
of the movement in Europe and the third world. But only when the movement
reached the USA did it become 'real' in the eyes of the world. And ever
since Seattle the movement has been growing by leaps and bounds on a global
The movement does not yet have well-defined goals, but it
is a very promising and very radical movement. It is based on a clear understanding
that global capitalism is leading us to ecological disaster and to tyranny.
The movement does not have a clear organisational structure, but that itself
is promising. The decentralised nature of the movement points the way to
a new kind of genuine, locally-based democracy - a democracy that is not
subject to elite manipulation as have been our Western pseudo-democracies
with their manufactured 'majorities'.
Having presented this (highly abbreviated) historical background,
I can now describe the nature of 'the global crisis of capitalism'. On the
one hand, the capitalist elite must accelerate the pace of globalisation
in order to continue providing room for capital growth. On the other hand,
the people of the world, including in the West, have begun to wake up and
oppose the dangerous and ominous path of globalisation. The elite know that
as the path of globalisation is pursued more vigorously, more and more people
will rise in opposition. The crisis of globalisation is a crisis of population
control, requiring tightened political management of the people of Europe
and North America.
People in the third world have been subjected to imperialist
tyranny for centuries, and this has been possible because of suppression
by Western military force. If the people of the West arise in opposition
to globalisation, then the hegemony of the capitalist elite is seriously
threatened. This is the crisis of global capitalism.
"War on Terrorism" - A Solution
to Capitalism's Crisis
President Bush calls it a "War on Terrorism", but what
is it really? Let's look at some of the specifics...
. Congress has authorised the President to do "whatever
. Congress has allocated 40 billion dollars to do "whatever".
. The $40 billion came from Social Security funds.
. $15 billion is being allocated to bail out the airline
industry. Thus, terrorism is being used as an excuse to steal the savings
of workers and transfer it to large corporations, including airlines
and weapons contractors.
. For the first time, NATO has invoked the treaty clause
which says "an attack on one nation is an attack on all".
. We've been told to expect significant curtailment
of civil liberties.
. Bush declared that "Every nation in every region
now has a decision to make. Either you are with us or you are with the
. Fleets, planes, and ground troops have been dispatched
to the Middle East to do "whatever".
. We are to expect a long, protracted war, much of which
will be covert and we won't be told what happened even after it's all
. After Bin Laden is dealt with, Secretary of State
Colin Powell tells us "we will then broaden the campaign to go
after other terrorist organisations and forms of terrorism around the
. Bush tells us that "We will use every necessary
weapon of war", and "Americans should not expect one battle,
but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen."
. The Pentagon specifically refuses to rule out the
use of nuclear weapons.
This is a very comprehensive agenda. Bush has a blank check
to do whatever he wants, wherever he wants, using whatever means he chooses.
He has made it clear he intends to pull no punches and that he will keep
drawing on this blank check for a long time to come. From such an agenda,
one cannot easily predict where it will all lead. In such a case, it is
instructive to look at the historical precedents.
Pearl Harbor aroused the wrath of Americans against the Japanese...
but as soon as the blank check was signed, it was Europe that received the
initial focus of American military attention. After the Battleship Maine
was blown up (from an internal explosion we have since learned), the thirst
for revenge was translated into the imperialist capture of the Philippines.
In other words, when one of these outrage incidents occurs, the modus operandi
of the US elite is to pursue whatever objectives are most important to it
- regardless of the incident that provided the blank check.
And the most important issue before the elite at this point
in history is the preservation of global elite rule, the acceleration of
globalisation, and the suppression of the anti-globalisation movement. They
must deal with the crisis of global capitalism.
From this perspective, the real meaning of the "War
on Terrorism" begins to come into focus. Permit me to speculate as
to the scenario which is likely to unfold...
. Nearly every country in the third world has some local ethnic
group which is struggling against some kind of dictatorial government, usually
installed by the USA. Every one of these ethnic groups can be labelled 'terrorist'.
Thus Bush can always intervene anywhere he wants for whatever reason and
call it part of the "War on Terrorism".
. In the Middle East, Balkans, and Western Asia, the US will
continue the process of turning much of the region into an occupied imperialist
realm, as we now see in Kosovo. Afghanistan occupies a very strategic geopolitical
position, and military bases there will be important in the coming confrontation
with China. Vast reserves of oil remain in that region, along with other
minerals, and control over these resources will be critical as global supplies
become increasingly scarce. In particular, Afghanistan is the planned route
for a pipeline to transport huge Caspian Sea oil reserves to Western markets.
. US dominance of the NATO agenda will be important in this
region, as will the careful management of European public opinion. One should
not be surprised if US intelligence agencies covertly arrange for terrorist
attacks in Europe along the same lines as the WTC attacks.
. Even without covert US encouragement, one can expect terrorist
responses to the indiscriminate US bombing unleashed in Afghanistan and
who-knows-where-else. Any such terrorist attacks will galvanise Western
public opinion still further, adding depth to Bush's blank check.
. The "Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001" is almost unbelievable
in the degree to which it will turn the USA into a full-scale police state.
Terrorism is very loosely and broadly defined, and life imprisonment is
authorised for any offense which comes under this definition. The bill is
retroactive and there is no statue of limitations. This means that people
who were activists back in the 1960s or 1970s could be imprisoned for life,
if their acts in the past could be construed as 'terrorism' under this new
police-state bill. Even those who merely attended the demonstrations, or
helped plan them, could be punished equally with those who actually committed
the acts. Broad new powers of surveillance, preventive detention, and searches
of homes without warrants are included in the police-state bill. Even minor
computer hacking would be 'terrorism' and would be punishable by life imprisonment.
And there many, many other equally frightening provisions.
. Already Greenpeace and many other progressive organisations
are categorised as 'terrorist' in the FBI lexicon. And it is the anti-globalisation
movement, which includes such organisations, which is the real threat to
the global capitalist elite. Agent-provocateur tactics have already been
used against the movement, from Seattle to Genoa, and in the media the movement
has been falsely portrayed as being essentially a violent movement. When
Colin Powell talks about going after "other forms of terrorism",
it seems very clear that the movement will be systematically suppressed
on a global scale. The overt fascism we saw in Genoa will be raising its
ugly head in the US, Germany, the UK, and elsewhere. Right-wing paranoia
about Federally-managed concentration camps in the USA will soon seem much
George Bush senior announced the New World Order, and it seems
that George Bush junior is destined to complete its implementation. With
a blank check to dominate the globe militarily, and to suppress the American
people in the name of 'security', there seems to be little to stand in his
way. This does not mean that the movement should give up. It means that
the movement needs to be aware that the game being played is totally hardball.
And hardball does not mean violence, at least not on the part of the movement.
Hardball means we need to realise that the enemy is nothing less than global
fascism. The sooner we realise that and organise accordingly, the greater
chance we have of changing things while there are still human beings alive
and out of prison on this Earth.
Richard K. Moore
Web posted at: http://www.newdawnmagazine.com.au/articles/War_on_Terror_The_
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