Centre for Research on GlobalisationCentre de recherche sur la mondialisation
Review of The War on Freedom: How and Why America Was Attacked, September 11, 2001. By Nafeez Mozaddeq Ahmed. “Backword” by John Leonard. Tree of Life Publications. 400 pp..
While the effects of September 11 can be seen in U.S. President George W. Bush’s so-called “War on Terror”, the causes of that terrible day cloak themselves in emotional assumptions and flimsy U.S. government and media narratives. Does the leading explanation - “intelligence failure” - and it’s many variants stand up to sustained scrutiny?
Ominously, the answer is no. The facts on public record, coherently collated and rationally interpreted for possibly the first time in The War on Freedom, by Nafeez Mozaddeq Ahmed, reveal the contours of a 9-11 narrative at odds with the official story. While September 11 was certainly a day of infamy, Ahmed concludes, it was also a day of deception.
“As far as the facts on record are concerned,” he explains
“the best explanation of them ... is one that points directly to U.S. state responsibility ... A detailed review of the facts points not only to Kabul [the former ruling Taliban of Afghanistan], but to Riydah [Saudi Arabia], Islamabad [Pakistan], and most principally, Washington [the United States]. Furthermore ... the documentation presented in this study strongly suggests, though not necessarily conclusively, that significant elements of the U.S. government, military and intelligence agencies had extensive advance warning of the 11th September attacks, and were in various ways complicit in those attacks (pp. 290).”
Ahmed’s text is organized thematically and chronologically and divides into seven parts.
Part 1, “The Role of the International Community in the Afghan Crisis”, points to U.S. and Soviet responsibility for inciting civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1970’s. Both superpowers were attempting “to secure their influence and control” in the Central Asian region, the world’s single most decisive geopolitical prize.
Part 2, “The United States, Afghanistan and the Taliban, 1994- 2001”, demonstrates how the U.S. maneuvered the Taliban into power in the years following the Soviet withdrawal in the early 1990’s. Only after oil pipeline negotiations soured did the U.S. turn against theTaliban - the record shows this development had nothing to do with human rights concerns.
Part 3, “Strategic Design Behind U.S. War Plans”, outlines U.S. and British war plans to attack Afghanistan that predate September 11 by over a year. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1997 Council on Foreign Relations study The Grand Chessboard, which asserted the necessity of U.S. control of Central Asia, is also examined. “As America becomes an increasingly multi- cultural society”, Brzezinski wrote, “it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.”
Part 4, “Warning Signs of 9-11 and Intelligence Failures”, debunks the “intelligence failure”, “incompetence” and “failure-to-connect-the-dots” arguments put forward by the U.S. government and mass media. As early as 1994, the White House commissioned a report exploring the potential impact of airline hijackings against strategic U.S. buildings and infrastructure. In 1995, intelligence agencies uncovered Al- Qaeda’s “Project Bojinka”, a plot based on airliner hijackings.
The original plan was to explode 11 planes in midair after taking off from the Phillipines. But modified versions of “Bojinka” were also detailed by Al-Qaeda at that time, and this information was siezed by the CIA. Computer files detailing these subplots described “Bojinka” strikes against U.S. buildings, including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Overall, Ahmed’s reconstruction in Part 4 of warnings foreshadowing 9-11 shows the U.S. government possessed specific and repeatedly reinforced warnings of the attacks from a widely variety of credible sources.
In Part 5, “The Collapse of Standard Operating Procedure on 9-11”, Ahmed minutely dissects the timeline of September 11, showing the attacks should have been prevented, intercepted, or terminated by Standard Operating Procedure Air Force intervention. Instead, emergency response protocols were ignored, or suspended. Only top level U.S. Executive, defense and military leaders would have had the authority to override these measures. No effective alternative counter-terrorism measures were put in their place.
In Part 6, “American Ties With the Most Wanted Man on Earth” (Osama bin Laden), Ahmed debunks the assumption that Al-Qaeda represents the same “truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat” imagined by Brzezinski. It turns out, in fact, that the U.S. and its allies - Saudi Arabia and Pakistan - funded and protected bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and that both were kept under constant surveillance up to at least two days prior to the attacks. Their actions and intentions were understood. The CIA even appears to have participated in training thirteen of the nineteen hijackers at a military flight school in the U.S..
Ahmed refrains from speculating as to whether bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were (and are) aware of being protected and funded by the U.S. and her allies, though evidence suggests bin Laden may have been (and may still be) a double agent cooperating with U.S. intelligence to provoke a “clash of civilizations”. The proposition seems incredible, yet a result of the war against Afghanistan is that the U.S. now enjoys access to vast energy reserves outside Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in Central Asia. A deal may have been struck between the U.S. and bin Laden to “liberate” Saudi Arabia, via the war in Afghanistan.
Ahmed examines the broad forensic question, “Who benefits from the attacks?” in Part 7, “The New War: Power and Profit, at Home and Abroad”. Neither Islam as a whole, nor the now toppled Taliban, can be said to have benefited. Bin Laden himself appears not to have gained either, unless one accepts the Saudi Arabia “double agent” hypothesis.
Instead, Islam finds itself under siege, and risks coming almost entirely under the military and organizational fist of the U.S.. In contrast, the benefits the U.S. has accrued are striking and manifold. U.S. intelligence has used the attacks to reinvent itself; corporations to engorge themselves; the military to increase spending by tens of billions. Fallout has led to the disciplining of U.S. allies, as diverse as Pakistan and Canada. President George W. Bush and his administration have overrun and affected a coup against the U.S. Constitution.
A controversial U.S. election and a chronic recession have both been swept under the rug. While the alarming “rogue” policies of the Bush administration largely - though not entirely - free themselves from multilateral considerations. Add new “unlimited war powers” of the U.S. Executive office, Ahmed writes, and the 9-11 attacks have rewrote the books on international relations. September 11
“has allowed the Bush administration to challenge its principal rivals - Europe, China and Russia - in pursuit of control of Central Asia, with the final objective of consolidating U.S. hegemony over the entirety of Eurasia, thus moving toward the establishment of unrivaled global hegemony.”
In his “Backword” Leonard weighs in with bold, unapologetic exposes of historical state deception, showing how the U.S., Israel and Russia have all manipulated “staged” events like 9- 11 to enflame public opinion, and provoke elite wars against political and economic rivals He envisions a revival of U.S. Constitutional ideals and finds in the European Union a worthy federalist model for a new United States, as an antidote to the bloated powers of the Executive governmental branch.
The War on Freedom suffers from a few weaknesses. Ahmed’s text, supported as it is by a wealth of data and authoritative opinion, at times is extremely dense and difficult to ingest. Less than avid readers may fail to complete it. He misses as well a number of opportunities to follow through with the logical implications his sources imply, tending to forward overcautious conclusions, when the facts point to harsh realities. Some future revision and abridgment will enhance the work’s precision and popular appeal.
These criticisms aside, however, the work delivers on its promise to reveal, and fills a glaring vacancy in the expanding world of 9-11 scholarship. One can only hope that knowledge of this book spreads far and wide, with a potentially destructive U.S. war against Iraq looming on the horizon, ostensibly justified by “a day of infamy”.
John A. McCurdy is an Honours Undergraduate in English and History at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. He founded Say Say Say Magazine with friends in 1995 and the Hamilton Public Inquiry Into Sept. 11 in February of this year. An Inquiry website is presently under construction. To be notified of the future URL for this website, or share comments, questions and suggestions, contact John at: [email protected]
To learn more about the book visit ( www.Thewaronfreedom.com ) To discuss the book visit ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WarOnFreedom ) To contact Nafeez Mozaddeq Ahmed, Executive Director for the Institute for Policy Research & Development, E-mail: [email protected] - or go to the Web: www.globalresearch.org.
Copyright John McCurdy 2002. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MCC208A.html