9-11 wasn’t the first time an administration saw an opportunity to inflict a big lie on the American public.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident was the Big Lie that political hawks used to precipitate the disastrous Vietnam War, though it didn’t happen in a vacuum.
In 1964, the United States was involved in covert action against a country thousands of miles away, just as it has been in the Middle East in subsequent decades. And in the very same way as today, its actions were determined by doctrines.
Belief systems named after infallible wise men like Dulles and Eisenhower. It was quasi-religious, which isn’t too surprising in a country so fervently believing in the supernatural.
American warships were involved in an engagement with Vietnamese torpedo boats, which they damaged, though you would have to ask what these warships were doing in the waters of a country thousands of miles away. Subsequently, when the Vietnamese attempted to recover their damaged vessels, the US navy reported in error that there had been a second fight, which had never happened.
Back in Washington, the erroneous report was seized upon by those who wished to invade this remote country on foot of Dulles’s insane domino theory. The American people were told that their forces had been attacked, which was untrue, and so began the big push against Vietnam, a push resulting in an ignominious withdrawal, the deaths of millions, an entire generation of Americans traumatised, and an entire generation of Vietnamese people crushed or killed.
Iraq, though run by a very unpleasant dictator, had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks. Afghanistan, although ruled by a very unpleasant bunch of religious fanatics, likewise had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks. Saudi Arabia, run by an extremely ugly dictatorship, and which supplied most of the conspirators and the funding, had everything to do with the atrocity.
So who did the United States attack in response?
Did they attack Saudi Arabia, the country from which the attack originated?
Of course they didn’t.
First they attacked Afghanistan, and then they attacked Iraq, the cradle of western civilisation. They sent their redneck reservist battalions in there, people with no respect for tradition or civilisation, and they destroyed those countries.
Of course, such a thing can’t be achieved without a Big Lie, but luckily, Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Liar.
They had Cheney, and they had Rumsfeld, two accomplished liars. And of course, they had Bush, the idiot.
Cheney has extensive business interests in both Afghanistan and Iraq through his involvement in Halliburton. Afghanistan is important strategically as a route for the gas pipeline, while Iraq, with its vast oil resources is Nirvana for companies like Halliburton.
And so it was that this triumvirate began to hammer home the message that Iraq and Afghanistan somehow had something to do with the 9-11 attacks.
They didn’t, but that mattered nothing to Bush’s puppet-masters who continued, in statement after statement, to mention Iraq and Afghanistan in the same sentence as the World Trade Centre attacks, reinforcing the belief among Americans that they had sonehow been involved.
This was nothing short of treason. Even if you care nothing for all the Iraqis killed in these senseless invasions, they threw away American lives on the basis of a huge lie.
I have an American friend. A good guy that I like very much, and an honest man. I once asked him how many people died in the Vietnam war and he replied, Sixty thousand.
Now, of course, he reacted immediately and corrected himself, but still, it’s a salutary illustration of how easy it is for demagogues like Cheney and Rumsfeld to stir up hatred and war in the pursuit of profit. And of course, needless to mention, neither Cheney nor Rumsfeld were sending sons or daughters to risk their lives in either invasion.
In doing what they did, by plunging Americans into two wars against countries that had never attacked them, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bremer and all the rest of the filthy, dishonest, self-serving clique spat on the memory of those who had been murdered in the 9-11 attacks.
This is the legacy of the Bush years.