Friday, 11 September 2009

Voodoo History: 9/11.

"The Towers are gone now, reduced to bloody rubble, along with all hopes for peace in our time, in the United States or any other country." - Hunter S Thompson

Today is Friday, it is also September 11th 2009, 8 years since the attacks on the World Trade Centre shocked the world and changed America forever. It was one of those moments in history, like the assassination of John F Kennedy on November 22nd 1963, many of those alive to have witnessed it will never forget where they were on that day. Much like the assassination of JFK, the attacks on the Twin Towers have become the subject of conspiracy theorists. Though, it should be noted that the main reason we fixate on atrocities like the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers is mostly down to the fact that Westerners were the victims. No public official dedicates a moment of silence to those who died in Chile on September 11th 1973, or during the following 17 years in Chile. That's why I'd like to dedicate this article to not only the hundreds of people who were murdered on September 11th 2001, but also to the thousands of people who were tortured and murdered on September 11th 1973 and in the months following. Though, it is not the latter I am focusing on in this article.

On the way to the London-based Westfield Centre today, I passed a crowd of men and women, mostly young, some sported dreadlocks and some wore headscarves. They were waving around placards that carried slogans like "Investigate 9/11" and "Obama is a puppet for the New World Order." One of the protesters had a megaphone and was shouting out slogans like "Investigate the criminal activities of the New World Order!"
The protesters were handing out various DVDs that supported their cause or provided some greater insight into their theory. The demonstration was small. Though, it was certainly "lively" it was not the subject of intense policing - unlike the protests in Harrow on the same day. One of the documentaries was Endgame: Blue Print for Global Enslavement, which concludes that the Bilderberg group is attempting to establish a world government by exploiting fear of terrorism and climate change.

The attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11th 2001, was an event of shocking and bizarre magnitude. As the planes struck, President Bush was in an elementary school, reading My Pet Goat with the full knowledge that his country was under attack. A conspiracy theory was sort of inevitable, particularly with the events that followed 9/11 such as the invasion of Iraq. However, there is a deeply flawed and immoral logic at the heart of most of these theories. The theory that the Bush administration were in some way involved in the 9/11 attacks, as part of an overall plot to invade Iraq of which 9/11 provided justification. A common accusation of the Bush administration, in relation to this theory, is that 9/11 was actually a controlled demolition - assuming that such destruction would legitimise the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

What's wrong with this theory? A lot, actually. The facts are that the men involved in the plot were not Iraqi Arabs, most of them were from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. If the Bush administration is capable of orchestrating such a horrific act of state-sponsored terrorism against US citizens, it doesn't make sense that they would implicate Saudis and Egyptians. Saudi Arabia is the oldest ally of the US government in the Middle East, the US government effectively helps keep the dictatorial Saudi Royals in power, sitting on the "Black Gold" and heavily armed. Egypt is another close ally of the Americans, since it is almost totally dependent on the US for weaponry and support in the oppression of the Egyptian people. It would more sense to implicate Afghans or Iraqis in the attacks. But they weren't implicated in the attacks, Afghanistan and Iraq were targeted for supposedly harbouring terrorists. Though, we now know that those two states were most likely invaded to achieve strategic goals: gaining control of large oil and gas reserves in the Middle East being the most obvious.

It is true that the Bush administration knew that Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri were planning a terrorist attack in the United States in the months prior to 9/11. They had been informed by numerous intelligence agencies and political leaders such as Vladimir Putin. It is true that the Bush administration benefited from the attacks, in terms of power, but so did all governments around the world. It is true that the Bush administration used 9/11 to gather jingoistic support for the invasion of Iraq. It is also true, and a matter of public knowledge, that the US government has a history of invading countries with the intention of seizing their resources and exploiting the natives. But an attack on the World Trade Centre by a group of Arabs does not justify an invasion of any Arab country. The assumption that 9/11 would provide some kind of justification for invadiing Iraq is fundamentally racist. The implication of the assumption is that the deaths of 3,000 Americans, at the hands of any Arabs, justifies killing nearly 2 million Arabs, that is nearly 700 Arab deaths for every 1 American death.

The way in which the Twin Towers fell was unusual and did resembled a demolition, to a layman. But that is irrelevant really, since there has never been a controlled experiment in which two of the world's tallest sky-scrapers are attacked to see what happens. Therefore, we do not know what "normally" happens when a plane collides with a tall building. There hasn't been a single scientific article submitted in favour of the theory that the World Trade Centre was demolished. But if we assume that an Arab life is worth a lot less than an American life, even then it was not in the interest of the Bush administration to demolish the Towers. The way in which the Twin Towers collapse ensured a lower body count, than if the towers had toppled over which may have killed tens or even hundreds of thousands. The Bush administration was probably the most extreme administration seen in decades, not even in terms of what they did but in how they did it. Despite that, it seems unlikely that the Bushites would have been crazy enough to orchestrate such attacks. If they had been exposed, which would have been quite likely due to the amount of people involved, that would have meant the end of the Republican Party.

But there remains the shadow of a looming question: What purpose do conspiracy theories serve in society? The truth is that people are disillusioned and cynical, nothing ever changes no matter who we elect and seemingly unexplained atrocities continue to occur. Human beings are pattern seekers, we yearn to understand our reality and we strive towards knowledge. This is the reason for philosophy, science and religion. But this tendency, which has arguably enriched our lives, makes us vulnerable to easy answers and junk theories. Conspiracy theories about Freemasons, Jews or even shapeshifting aliens are easy answers. People are not taught about the real causes of terrorism and assassinations, let alone the details of the democratic deficit and economic exploitation that is innate to the structure of our societies.

"Government is not the solution. Government is the problem." - Ronald Reagan

I later found out Endgame was produced by Alex Jones, among many other documentaries. His political views have been described in the past as libertarian. The brand of libertarianism Jones subscribes to is the same kind as Ron Paul or Milton Friedman, which emphasises the importance of individual freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. Conservatism, and most right-wing political philosophies, can be characterised by a distrust of human nature, and government intervention in the market, combined with a paradoxical trust of corporations. Many right-wing libertarians like Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman etc. would like to see a separation between the state and the market. Although, libertarians tend to have a more positive view of human nature and a much more negative view of the government than conservatives. To some, Jones provides answers to serious questions.

Many of the survivalist private armies in America have declared themselves "constitutional militias" and are dedicated to the defence of individual liberty and the Constitution. These militias are heavily trained, well equipped with weaponry and have a large quantity of stockpiled food. They reject the legitimacy of the Federal Reserve and the IRS, as violators of the Constitution. Timothy McVeigh had links to such groups. These private armies are suspicious of the North American Union, as they believe it may be part of an attempt to establish a "world government". Alex Jones is a big supporter of militias, as part of American culture and as in accordance with his interpretation of the Constitution. The common tendency to view the government as the enemy is perfectly natural, after decades of switching between a small selection of parties who always fail to live up to their promises. This tendency is as natural as it is to view taxation as theft in our society, since we have no real democratic control over what our money ends up funding. Otherwise, we would look upon tax as a way of donating our hard-earned cash to the various programs and services we had agreed would receive funding.

Generally, there is a lot to be angry about today. But clearly people don't know what, or who, they're angry at. The anger is directed at the government and not at "Big Business". The anger is always focused away from corporations and towards the government. You have only to look at the recent controversy over MPs expenses to see this demonstrated clearly. As the scandals related to the bonuses bankers were receiving, despite their incompetence and recklessness, heated up the media began paying more attention to the expenses of politicians. The anger is directed at the government, because the state is a potentially democratic institution, corporations and businesses are not potentially democratic. Therefore, it's necessary to keep "Big Business" invisible and this is done so by guiding all hatred against the government. Most of the hatred and suspicion against the European Union derives from fears that immigration will spiral out of control and we will be governed by a distant clique in Brussels. Interestingly, the documentaries produced by Alex Jones portray unions, like the EU, as part of the move towards establishing a "world government" by elite groups.

In the words of John Dewey "Government is the shadow cast by business over society." The anger aimed at the government - the shadow and not the substance. Significant political change will still fail if the substance remains the same. Conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones are ignorant to this fact and continue to guide the anger at the government, in order to disseminate his own libertarian ideas. In theory, further integration into unions like the EU could be used to "change" the substance behind the shadow. Through such unions, the possibilities of strict regulation and increased taxation of corporations become a real possibility. Ordinarily, a multinational corporation could easily leave a country that imposes strict regulation and increased taxes, which is why politicians fear enforcing such policies. But with a union such as the EU politicians could easily enforce such policies across the whole of Europe, without fear of corporations leaving the country. The entire region of Europe is worth trillions, to corporations, it wouldn't be in their favour to ostracise an entire region.

It looks as though conspiracy theories are being used to disseminate certain ideas and views of the world. Not only are these views of a laissez-faire capitalist point of view. These views have a racist logic built into them. A theory which merely shifts the "blame" from one individual to some abstract group, like the Freemasons, is not the friend of the victims of exploitation and violence world wide. These theories do not even refute the assumptions they rely, assumptions that are widely accepted by politicians and energy corporations alike. It is not Freemasonry, Judaism, Scientology or the Government which needs to be eliminated to prevent these kinds of atrocities. It is exploitation and racist violence which is the cause of these atrocities. It is true that no one should accept the right of an oppressed people to retaliate with mass-murder. But it is also true that no one should accept the oppression of such people in the first place, let alone the aggressive reaction launched against such people by their oppressors.

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