Explains The Impotence Of
The Anti-war Movement
By Paul Craig Roberts
14 September, 2007
anti-war movement has proven impotent to stop the war in Iraq despite
the fact that the war was initiated on the basis of lies and deception.
The anti-war movement stands helpless to prevent President Bush from
attacking Iran or any other country that he might demonize for harboring
a future 9/11 threat.
September 11 enabled Bush
to take America to war and to keep America at war even though the government’s
explanation of the events of September 11 is mired in controversy and
disbelieved by a large percentage of the population.
Although the news media’s
investigative arm has withered, other entities and individuals continue
to struggle with unanswered questions. In the six years since 9/11,
numerous distinguished scientists, engineers, architects, intelligence
officers, pilots, military officers, air traffic controllers, and foreign
dignitaries have raised serious and unanswered questions about the official
Recognition of the inadequacy
of the official account of the collapse of the twin towers is widespread
in the scientific and technical community. One of the most glaring failures
in the official account is the lack of an explanation of the near free-fall
speed at which the buildings failed once the process began. Some scientists
and engineers have attempted to bolster the official account with explanations
of how this might happen in the absence of explosives used in controlled
One recent example is the
work of Cambridge University engineer, Dr. Keith Seffen, published in
the Journal of Engineering Mechanics and reported by the BBC on September
11, 2007. Dr. Seffen constructed a mathematical model that concludes
that once initiation of failure had begun, progressive collapse of the
structures would be rapid.
Another example is the work
of retired government scientist Dr. Manuel Garcia, commissioned by CounterPunch
to fill the gaping void in the official report. Garcia concludes, as
does Seffen, that explosives are not necessary to explain the near free-fall
speed at which the WTC buildings collapsed.
Seffen and Garcia each offer
a speculative hypothesis about what could have happened. Their accounts
are not definitive explanations based on evidence of what did happen.
Thus, Seffen and Garcia bring us to the crux of the matter: To understand
the buildings’ failures, we must rely on theoretical speculative
models, because the forensic evidence was not examined. Their explanations
thus have no more validity than a speculative hypothesis that explains
the failure of the buildings as a result of explosives.
To rationally choose between
the hypotheses, we would need to see how well each fits with the evidence,
but most of the evidence was quickly dispersed and destroyed by federal
authorities. Most of the evidence that remains consists largely of human
testimony: the hundred witnesses who were inside the two towers and
who report hearing and experiencing explosions and the televised statement
of Larry Silverstein, the leaseholder of the WTC properties, who clearly
said that the decision was made "to pull" WTC 7.
Today, six years after 9/11,
money, ideologies, accumulated resentments, and political careers are
all allied with the official story line on 9/11. Anyone on a Republican
mailing list or a conservative activist list, such as Young Americans
for Freedom, knows that fundraising appeals seldom fail to evoke the
9/11 attack on America. The 9/11 attacks gave neoconservatives their
"new Pearl Harbor" that enabled them to implement their hegemonic
agenda in the Middle East. The 9/11 attacks gave Americans boiling with
accumulated frustrations a foe upon whom to vent their rage. Politicians,
even Democrats, could show that they stood tall for America. George
W. Bush has invested two presidential terms in "fighting terror"
by invading countries in the Middle East.
September 11 doubters are
a threat to the legitimacy of these massive material and emotional interests.
That is why they are shouted down as "conspiracy theorists."
But if the government’s story has to be improved by outside experts
in order to be plausible, then it is not irrational or kooky to doubt
the official explanation.
Elements of the American
left-wing are also frustrated by 9/11 doubters. CounterPunch, for example,
views 9/11 as blowback from an immoral US foreign policy and as retribution
for America’s past sins in the Middle East. Manuel Garcia shares
this viewpoint. In the September 12, 2007, CounterPunch, Garcia writes
that "rationalists and realists" are people who see 9/11 "as
blowback from decades of inhuman US foreign policy." Viewing 9/11
as a government conspiracy, whether in deed or coverup, lets US foreign
policy off the hook.
This is a legitimate point
of view. But it has a downside. September 11 was the excuse for committing
yet more inhuman deeds by initiating open-ended wars on both Muslims
and US civil liberties. Defending the government’s account, instead
of pressing the government for accountability, was liberating for the
Even in the official account,
the story is one of massive failures: the failures of US intelligence
services, the failures of airport security, the failures to intercept
the hijacked airliners, the failures to preserve evidence. If a common
front had taken the Bush administration to task both for failing to
prevent the 9/11 attacks and for an explanation of 9/11 so inadequate
that its plausibility depends on outside experts, Bush could not have
so easily shifted the blame to Afghanistan and Iraq. Most 9/11 doubters
do not insist on the US government’s complicity in the deed. Failure
to protect, or incompetence, is a sufficient charge to deter an administration
from war by turning it against itself with demands for accountability.
But no one was held accountable
for 9/11 except Muslim countries. This is the reason the anti-war movement
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