9/11: Ten Theses on Ten Lost Years

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Thesis 1: The atrocious violence against the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC did not communicate. 9/11 itself set the tone for the decade: violence as a tool of politics backfires. Some Arabs-Muslims had grievances (thesis 5). A nonviolent demonstration of Muslim women dressed in black encircling relevant US embassies (there may be many) demanding dialogue, calling the themes, contacting the media, would have communicated infinitely better. What happened was a united resolve not against the US government for its errors but against the attackers. Of course, the US kept the attackers’ letter secret.

Thesis 2: Explanations in terms of “evil” and “terrorism” block understanding, making the “war on terror” counterproductive. The immediate US analysis was in terms of Good (us) vs. Evil (them); using the word “terrorism”–evil actors with terror as project, with whom dialogue is impossible. “9/11 has nothing to do with anything we have done” was a basic theme, with the exception of a faint “blowback” theme recorded some places. This non-analysis is highly unintelligent as we cannot understand an event of that magnitude in capability without understanding the intent–elementary security analysis. With that lack of intelligence in the US reaction theses 9 and 10 follow. And the war on terror produces more terrorists than it incapacitates.

Thesis 3: The invasion of Afghanistan 7 October 2001 used 9/11 as pretext, was based on lies, and is counterproductive. No proof has ever been offered that 9/11 was prepared from Afghanistan (as opposed to violence in Chechnya and Kashmir), nor that bin Laden was organizer (as opposed to a gifted commentator). The true goals seem to be bases (established immediately) and a pipeline from Turkmenistan to the Indian Ocean via Afghanistan-Pakistan (established in May 2003). The war is against Muslims who will never capitulate to infidels, is against an umma (community of the believers) of 1,560 million Muslims in 57 countries committed to defending Islam with the sword when trampled upon, and against a triple motivation: to protect Islam against secularism, to protect local autonomies from Kabul and from domestic and global forces using Kabul to enforce a unitary state, and against being invaded. The war produces more resistance than it eliminates, and US-NATO produces its own insecurity due to high likelihood of revenge.

Thesis 4: The invasion of Iraq on 19/Mar/2003 used 9/11 as a pretext; it was based on lies, and is counterproductive. No proof has ever been offered that Saddam Hussein cooperated with Al Qaeda, nor that he was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. The true goals seem to be oil (not only pipelines) and bases. Iraq is an artificial country constructed by the UK to have Kirkuk-Mosul and Basra oil within one colony, split between Kurds and Arabs, with Arabs split between sunnis and shias. The Kurds have strong attachments to Kurds in Turkey-Iran-Syria, and the shia Arabs to shia Arabs in Iran. Any imposition of a unitary state is doomed to fail; so also any rule from Baghdad. The war produces more resistance than it eliminates, and US-NATO produces own insecurity through revenge.

Thesis 5: The conflict underlying the atrocious 9/11 violence is between the USA and Saudi-Arabia, over the oil accords of March 1945 and the use of Saudi Arabia as staging area for wars on Iraq in the 1990s. In the Holy Land of Islam, where the Prophet ran a city-state from 622-632, wahhabism is the national religion with such ideas as “the good life is the life at the time of the Prophet” and “there will be no two religions in Arabia”. Hypothesis: “9/11 was the execution of two buildings for having sinned against Alla’h”; compatible with the official version that 15 of the 19 young hijackers were Saudis, that there has been no follow-up of that kind, as punishment is executed once only, and with the choice of buildings. Was the fourth plane heading for the CIA in Langley, VA?

Thesis 6: The conspiracy thesis of 9/11 being an inside job by USA(-Israel) to mobilize against the Muslim world is untenable. There are many unanswered questions, and the Commission report, focusing on US acts of omission, not commission, adds even more. But the general experience with the almost 250 US interventions since 1805 (in Tripoli) is that the USA invents pretexts and pliant media cooperate; with no need for killing 3,000 and destroying much of value.

Thesis 7: There has been no serious effort to solve the underlying conflict through mediation and reconciliation; like for 7 July 2005 in London, but not for 11 March 2004 in Madrid–both of them atrocious, totally unacceptable acts. PM Zapatero withdrew Spanish troops from Iraq, travelled to Rabat for a dialogue with King Mohammed VI, legitimized close to half a million illegal Moroccan immigrants (provided they had found jobs), and initiated with PM Erdögan of Turkey under UN auspices an Alliance of civilizations. An example to follow.

Thesis 8: The media reported war-violence with no analysis, no proposals. An analysis of the excerpts in World Press Review for fall 2001 shows detailed description, solidarity with the USA as victim, but no explanation except “poverty”, and no proposals. No peace journalism.

Thesis 9: The US Republic has come far in destroying itself through its reaction to 9/11. The Patriot Act I and II, surveillance of the US population and others, torture and extraordinary renditions, all destroy the spirit of democracy from the inside, on top of the destruction of the economy, also through the three extremely expensive wars in 2-4.

Thesis 10: The US Empire destroyed also itself in the way it reacted to 9/11. The coalitions of the willing followed suit, but many became unwilling. The rest was watching, keeping distance. The economic contradictions accumulated, as did military non-victories, increasing non-attention, and increasing lack of faith in the USA as “exceptional”. The magic was gone. But not only that. Countries like Turkey-Iran-Russia-China start working, something is already on the horizon: not victory, dictating the end result, nor defeat; they will withdraw before that. Something worse: US-NATO irrelevance.

Johan Galtung
12 September 2011


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