9/11 Motive Is Still Critically Important

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The controversy over motive with respect to the 9/11 attacks twenty years ago is as relevant today as it was back then.

After the 9/11 attacks, U.S. officials immediately announced that the terrorists were motivated by hatred for America’s “freedom and values.” They supposedly hated our churches, our music (e.g., rock and roll), and our hedonist lifestyle. So, they decided to travel all the way to the United States to wreak death and destruction, committing suicide in the process.

A subsidiary argument on motive surfaced almost immediately, primarily among interventionists but enthusiastically supported by many U.S. officials, albeit in a non-prominent way. It was said that the attacks were part of a centuries-old conspiracy to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate that would encompass the United States. Interventionists had a special fear that the Muslims were coming to America to establish Sharia law in cities and towns all across America.

Here at The Future of Freedom Foundation, we were maintaining that all this was sheer nonsense — a way to avoid a close examination of America’s interventionist foreign policy. 

At the end of the Cold War, when the U.S. government lost its official Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union, U.S. officials went into the Middle East and began killing, impoverishing, destroying, and humiliating people. 

This deadly and destructive interventionism was manifested by the U.S. government’s intervention in the Persian Gulf War, the Pentagon’s intentional destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage treatment plants, the 11 years of brutal sanctions against the Iraqi people, the no-fly zones over Iraq, the stationing of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and the unconditional governmental aid to the Israeli government.

It’s also worth mentioning U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright’s infamous declaration that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions, while difficult, were in fact “worth it.”  By “it,” she was referring to the effort on the part of U.S. officials to oust their 1980s partner and ally Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.

That interventionism produced so much anger and rage among people in the Middle East that it culminated in the 9/11 terrorist attack. We should bear in mind though that it also produced pre-9/11 anti-American terrorism, which was manifested by the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, and the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in East Africa.

Why is all this relevant today? Because U.S. officials are still doing it! They are still engaged in killing, destroying, impoverishing, and humiliating people in the Middle East. 

Since they hold that anti-American terrorism is rooted in hatred for America’s freedom and values and, to a certain extent, in the quest to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate, they have no reservations or concerns about continuing their killing and destruction spree in the Middle East.

For example, the New York Times has just disclosed that in 2019 U.S. military forces dropped a 500-pound bomb on a group of innocent people in Syria. A few minutes later, they dropped a 2000-pound bomb on the people who survived the 500-pound bomb. Not surprisingly, the military establishment then proceeded to cover it all up.

Today, U.S. forces are still in Syria and in other parts of the Middle East. More important, they are continuing to kill people.

One big lesson of the 9/11 attacks is that foreigners get just as angry when their loved ones are killed as Americans do. Another big lesson is that the continued U.S. killing spree could easily produce another big retaliatory terrorist attack here on American soil. 

This is what we were saying before the 9/11 attacks. We weren’t the only ones. So was the noted analyst Chalmers Johnson, especially in his excellent pre-9/11 book Blowback, which is still worth reading today.

If that happens, the U.S. national security establishment is going to be off to the races again. Patriot Act 2 will be immediately enacted. The NSA will have even freer reign to conduct massive secret surveillance, including on people’s Internet activities. There will be more big crackdowns on civil liberties. The CIA’s assassination program will get a resurgence. There will be even bigger budgets for the “defense” industry. There might even be an invasion of Iran, just as there were invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq after the 9/11 attacks.

It will all be sold as a way to keep us safe — from the danger their interventionism will have produced. Rational thinking will be in short supply, just as it was after the 9/11 attacks. All too many people will be eager to surrender whatever modicum of freedom we have left to the national-security establishment, in order to be kept safe. It will be 9/11 all over again.

That’s why it’s imperative that the American people demand a return of all U.S. troops to the United States. Otherwise, we very possibly could see a repeat of terrorism on American soil. That’s why the motive behind the 9/11 attacks is a relevant today as it was back then.

The post 9/11 Motive Is Still Critically Important appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.

* This article was originally published here

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