9/11 : A DESPERATE PROVOCATION BY U.S. CAPITALISM
The "War on Terrorism" is indeed a fraud, as Australian film and print journalist John Pilger has repeatedly pointed out. "Terrorism" is simply taking the place of "Communism" during the Cold War as the propaganda line spewed by the state and the corporate media to rally a confused and fearful population against "enemies" who supposedly threaten them. This most effective form of social control was recommended by Hitler's chief propagandist, Josef Goebbels. The purpose of the "War on Terrorism" is to maintain carte blanche for the ever more desperate agenda of American capital: the domination of the continent of Eurasia (the critical sector of which is Central Asia, precisely where the "War on Terrorism" just happens to have begun), and the crushing of the Left worldwide, especially its explicitly anti-capitalist core.
In the face of this juggernaut the Left has shown a potentially fatal lack of intellectual rigor as well as nerve. The evidence that the attacks on September 11 were in all likelihood a black operation of the US intelligence services, a state "provocation" designed as a pretext to launch the global "War on Terrorism", is very substantial. It is also painful to consider, but the task must not be shirked. The purpose of this essay is to consider its relevance to the future of the only force which holds any hope of saving humanity and the planet from the megadeath capital is preparing, the anti-capitalist Left.
Shock, Propaganda And Paralysis
Four months after September 11, it appears that most of the Left is asleep at the switch. Just about the only response has been the "anti-war movement", which has been weak, especially in the U.S., where the propaganda barrage has successfully marshalled the bulk of the population, including many leftists, into lockstep with their masters' plans. In any case the movement hasn't stopped the "war" in Afghanistan (really a one-sided attack against an essentially defenseless target, not a war). Nor is there any reason to imagine that it has frightened the Bush cabal from implementing plans to unleash its death machine on any number of additional targets in the future. US troops are massing in Kuwait and Qatar, in preparation for an attack on Iraq, and "special operations" are underway already in Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines and perhaps Sudan. Then there's Colombia. . .Venezuela. . .Bolivia. . .Mexico, and these are just the most obvious near-term objects of attention from the Sickos in command.
It is probably safe to say that the anti-war sector of the US population is almost entirely restricted to the left end of the political spectrum. But today's Left is a truncated remnant of its past self, both in size and in critical understanding. Much of it, when hit by the double whammy of the events of 9/11 and the immediate subsequent government and media propaganda assault, jumped right in line behind our new Fuhrer. After all, "we" have been attacked! The rump that is still anti-war has been pretty feeble, not so much in terms of the number of demonstrators in the streets, but above all in their acceptance of much of the elite's propaganda.
Most of the endless stream of "analysis" from the Left or "progressive" side has centered on "terrorism", posing and answering questions such as "what is terrorism?" or "why do they hate us?" For example, the "Marxist" Tariq Ali's critique of events amounts to pointing out the ineffectiveness of the US military assault as a method of eliminating terrorism. His main conclusion seems to be that the US rulers are really dumb; anybody with half a brain can see that the attack in Afghanistan will only breed more terrorists! It never occurs to him that maybe they're not dumb, but have a different purpose in mind; he takes their propaganda at face value. And so do most other "critics" of the war. This is the wrong way to stamp out terrorism! Wage peace instead! Dispense justice! Be nice! Then "they" won't hate "us" anymore (and "we" can carry on with our relentless pursuit of money and goodies like SUVs).
Evidently the Left, like everybody else, spends too much of its time watching TV and reading the newspapers, i.e., absorbing propaganda. How else to comprehend why almost everyone from "liberal" Democrats and "progressives" to Marxists and anarchists has accepted the propaganda line of the corporate media and psyops specialists in the US government: the attacks on September 11 were planned and carried out by Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorists, namely Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaida, and caught the US national security apparatus completely offguard. The fact that no proof has ever been produced doesn't seem to bother anyone. And when this lack of proof is pointed out, and all the innumerable facts and circumstances that cast very serious doubt on this story are brought up, even "critics" of the war dismiss these persistent questions as lunatic "conspiracy" mongering.
Professor John McMurtry of the University of Guelph points to a deeper explanation of the difficulty people have had in analyzing all the evidence objectively. The crimes of September 11 were so shocking that for many, perhaps most people, even those on the Left, it is literally unthinkable that they could have been committed or intentionally permitted by the Bush administration or some secret operations group working for it:
"There is growing suspicion, which is officially unspeakable, that the Afghanistan War is a set-up, including September 11 itself. With any such hypothesis, one looks not only for the evidence confirming it, but more conscientiously, for the evidence disconfirming it. The principal reason against is the assumption that it is impossible that the U.S. national security apparatus would ever permit such a mass killing of Americans on U.S. soil, but this assumption itself is shaky given that Pearl Harbour itself was likely known about in advance, and non-defensive wars since have sacrificed tens of thousands of U.S. citizens (not to say millions of others) for so-called 'foreign policy and national security objectives'".
McMurtry proceeds to make a succinct statement of some of the suspicions that arise in the minds of those who are not paralyzed by this assumption: "The forensic principle of 'who most benefits from the crime?' clearly points in the direction of the Bush administration. One would be naïve to think the Bush Jr. faction and its oil, military-industrial and Wall Street backers who had stolen an election with its man rated in office by the majority of Americans as poor on the economy (a Netscape Poll taken off the screen when the planes hit the towers), and more deplored by the rest of the world as a deep danger to the global environment and the international rule of law, do not benefit astronomically from this mass-kill explosion. If there was a wish-list, it is all granted by this numbing turn of events. Americans are diverted from a free-falling economy to attack another foreign Satan, while the Bush regime's popularity climbs. The military, the CIA and every satellite armed security apparatus have more money and power than ever, and become as dominant as they can over civilians in the 'the whole new era' already being declared by the White House. The anti-missile plan to rule the skies is now exonerated (if irrelevantly so), and Israel's apartheid civil war is vindicated at the same time. Even the surgingly popular 'anti world-trade' movement is now associated with foreign terrorists blowing up the World Trade Centre. The more you review the connections and the sweeping lapse of security across so many co-ordinates, the more the lines point backwards."
The failure to look hard facts in the face could be fatal, especially to the Left, which, judging by its response to this point, doesn't seem to realize that it is one of the principal targets of the coming global war. We need to look at all the clues which could lead us to discover who the criminals behind September's events really are, and we need to do so right away. A huge mass of evidence suggests that the events of September were planned and carried out by the same team of "rogue" secret government planners and operatives who have wrought so much murder and destruction worldwide for the last 40+ years: the CIA, the Pentagon, the National Security Agency and their contractees.
A War Long Planned
One way to assess the plausibility of the hypothesis that the attacks of September 11 were a black operation, a "provocation" on an unheard-of scale, is to evaluate the subsequent actions of the Bush administration. Another dimension to the horrors of that day was added by the violent assault of the US Government and the corporate media on the United States and world populations which took off just minutes after the planes struck their targets. This aggressive "response", surely, is fair game for a critical Left analysis, undertaken from a position of strong skepticism toward any official statements.
Why "strong skepticism?" First let's ask why would any rational person on the Left believe or take at face value, anything said by anyone in the Bush administration. It is important to remember that Bush stole the election: he lost the popular vote by over 500,000 votes (NOT too close to call!) and stole Florida's electoral votes and the Presidency by a complex, sophisticated and advance-planned operation involving the elimination of many thousands of voters from the registration lists, obstruction and intimidation at the polls, intimidation during the post-election recount process, and finally by a totally outrageous intervention by the Supreme Court.
Then Bush loaded his Cabinet with oilmen (and women) and "Cold Warriors" from his father's rolodex, giving plain notice of his administration's plans (at least for those with eyes to see). Michael Ruppert, who has been tracking the secret operations of the CIA and the Bush family for years, was able to predict in January 2001 the essential pattern of events which is now unfolding:
"Make no mistake about it. The United States is preparing for war. Events immediately following the 2000 US election debacle are ominous predictors for the Bush-Cheney Administration. . .the key posts of Treasury, Defense, Justice and National Security Advisor point to the most militarized oil-and-big-business-friendly administration in 35 years. . .We can be assured that an empire (as opposed to a republic) is emerging in the United States more quickly than many have expected. And the Bush Administration is already acting in a "godlike" manner. It is an empire that may have little need even of the pretence of democracy as American corporate fascism removes its mask in the wake of our election circus, the prostitution of our Supreme Court and the virtual destruction of American government as a servant of anything other than money, greed and power."
Go to war they did, and on a tight, pre-planned schedule. Overwhelming evidence shows that the war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with "terrorism" and everything to do with geostrategic plans for domination of Asia and control of rapidly dwindling natural gas and oil resources. The US has been planning the "war" in Afghanistan for years, and the attacks in the US on September 11 were remarkable in their provision of the shock necessary for the American population to fall into line behind the imperial adventure to take over Central Asia. The whole plan is laid out in exquisite detail by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his 1997 book, The Grand Chessboard, in which he repeatedly emphasizes the probable need for an attack comparable to Pearl Harbor to bring the US domestic population onboard. Michael Ruppert has presented an acute analysis of the relevance of this book for an understanding of the current situation.
American imperial planners such as Brzezinski see the necessity for the US to secure its global domination in the near term; they fear the rise of a contesting power, such as Russia or China, in the Eurasian heartland, which they see as key for global supremacy. But other, less "grand" imperatives are uppermost in the minds of the Bush Oiligarchy, including the coming "Big Rollover" when oil and gas supplies peak and then precipitously decline, estimated to occur as early as 2003. Within a very few years the amount of oil extracted from the ground will start to drop inexorably, regardless of the rate at which new sources are developed. This reduction of availability combined with the capitalist imperative of continual expansion of production and growing global consumption will place severe stress on the global capitalist system, stress which the US planners intend to manage for their own benefit. By launching the "war" in Afghanistan, the US has established a permanent presence on the ground in Central Asia (it now has bases in nine countries in the region), with the ability to exert its will over the development of the oil and gas resources of what is considered the last major untapped field in the world (although Somalia, the Pentagon's likely next target, is thought to contain substantial reserves as well).
The Houston-based oil company Unocal has been planning gas and oil pipelines across Afghanistan for years, but its plans were frustrated by the instability of the country and the difficulty of working out a deal with the Taliban. One of the first things the newly emplaced Bush regime did was reopen negotiations with them over the terms under which they would provide protection for oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, across Afghanistan to Pakistan. A new book, Bin Laden: the Forbidden Truth, by Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, reveals details of these negotiations, including the true Mafiosi-style offer in which "US representatives told the Taliban, 'either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.'" Somehow the Taliban found it an offer they could, and did, refuse. Now, after extensive carpet bombing, the Taliban have been removed, a puppet regime installed by the US in Kabul (both Hamid Karzai, the new interim Prime Minister, as well as US Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, are former Unocal consultants), and the plans for pipelines are underway once again. In the Machiavellian world of "diplomacy", this is called "establishing credibility".
Mention should also be made of the history of close association of Osama bin Laden with the CIA and Pentagon. Installed in Afghanistan in the 1980s by the CIA and Saudi royal family (working through their local proxies, the Inter Service Intelligence or ISI of Pakistan) to attract "freedom fighters" from the Arab world to fight against the Russians and "give Russia its Vietnam", Bin Laden went on after the pullout of Russia to supply mujahedin to other battle zones in Asia and Europe. He collaborated with the US in Chechnya and Bosnia, supplying training and fighters to the Chechens and Bosnian Muslims, and continued the same type of service to the US proxy Kosovo Liberation Army during the NATO attack on Serbia. His most recent collaboration with the US has been in the ongoing provision of mercenaries in Macedonia to destablize the government there, along the lines of US policy in Kosovo and Albania. The evident reason for all this "Byzantine" complexity? The laying of an oil pipeline from Burgas on the Black Sea across Bulgaria and Macedonia to the port of Vlore on the Adriatic coast of Albania, now currently under construction by the US oil company AMBO. As they say, "once a CIA agent, always a CIA agent". There is strong reason to doubt the US propaganda line that Bin Laden is the mastermind behind the attacks of September 11, because he is still on the payroll of the CIA. If he did have anything to do with them, then he must have been following orders.
The assault on the domestic population in the US is motivated by equally complex and related considerations. The USA PATRIOT Act is presented as a response to an unexpected terrorist strike, but was in fact already written and ready to go as the sun rose on September 11. Hundreds of pages in length, it contains all the pet projects of the national security apparatus for complete control of the population: surveillance of phone and internet communications; CIA operations within the US; sharing of information by the CIA and domestic law enforcement agencies; provision of grand jury materials to the CIA, which can then be widely shared as well; seizure of assets; surreptitious entry of private homes and businesses and removal of "evidence"("black bag" jobs); and arrest and detention without formal charges of anyone the government deems a "terrorist", with no judicial review. The bill was passed by both houses of Congress in record speed, so fast in fact that no one in Congress had time to read it first; evidently they didn't need to.
Numerous people have pointed out that the bill really provides few new powers that would significantly strengthen protections against terrorism from abroad, but does provide the whole list of powers over the US domestic population desired by the CIA and FBI for decades. Essentially a new COINTELPRO has been authorized, undoubtedly with the primary target, as previously, being the Left. This, combined with the Operation Garden Plot system of concentration camps, already in place on federal facilities near major cities around the country, surely should make people on the Left suspicious. They should be trying to figure out what is coming -- for what purposes has the government taken these steps? An obvious and plausible interpretation is that the government is greatly disturbed by the growing strength of the "anti-globalization movement" (and especially its anti-capitalist core), in the US since the events of Seattle in 1999, and foresees future social upheaval as the global recession moves into an oil-starved depression. Could it be that they want to have draconian social control mechanisms in place and operational before the crunch comes? If so, their principal target will be those deemed "leftists", as has happened before in US history (the Red Scare after World War I, and the McCarthy period after WWII). This time, however, the attack on the Left will be even deadlier, if the past actions of the people now in charge of the government are any clue.
The assault launched by the US military, police and intelligence powers since September 11 is described by the mainstream media as a "response" to the attacks of terrorists from abroad. The nature of the response, however, makes this claim highly dubious. Instead, the attack on Afghanistan and the stripping of civil liberties in the US in themselves suggest a high likelihood that the " terrorist attacks" in New York and Washington DC were an operation by some secret arm of the government to provide the pretext to unleash a global and domestic offensive. Although much has been written and posted online to examine this possibility, virtually no word of such speculation reaches the mass media (unless on the lips of Bush or Cheney themselves, who seem to have some concern about "conspiracy theories" circulating widely just under the surface).
Anomalies, Incredibilities and Suspicious Circumstances
At this point it will be useful to survey the many lines of evidence and argument which, taken together, make the standard account of the events surrounding the attacks on September 11 and the subsequent US Government response highly dubious. Links are provided to the most useful discussions of the different lines of evidence.
It is simply not credible that the vast global surveillance and "intelligence" system maintained by the US Government, with annual budgets, prior to its historic "failure" on September 11, totaling at least $30 billion, would have missed the huge "intelligence signature" such a complex and sophisticated operation would inevitably have made. US intelligence experts are muzzled but Europeans have been highly skeptical of the claim that a network such as Al-Qaida would have the capability to pull it off. Eckehardt Werthebach, former head of Germany's FBI, the Verfassungschutz, has stated that "the deathly precision" and "magnitude" of the attacks would have required "years of planning" and "the fixed frame" of a state intelligence organization. Following this logic many have speculated that Israel's Mossad, Pakistan's ISI or even Saudi Arabia may have been the perpetrator. And this complete "failure" also required an adamantine lack of response to many warnings to the US from foreign intelligence services (including Russia, Egypt, Germany and Israel) as well as US citizens like attorney David Schippers who, tipped off by informants, contacted the government with warnings prior to September 11.
The incredibilities accumulate as the attacks take place. Four planes are hijacked, supposedly by "Arab" terrorists, but the passenger lists from the four flights do not include the name (real or assumed) of a single one of them! This casts doubt on the list of 19 Arabs produced by the FBI, and raises the possibility that there actually were no hijackers on the planes at all. The planes, all equipped with "Home Run" anti-hijack computer technology which would have made it possible to seize control of the flights from the ground, veer from their approved flight paths and head for their targets. The FAA, as it is required to do, issues alerts to the US military, but no interceptor aircraft are scrambled to investigate, as required by standard procedure. The "explanations" of this "failure" are unconvincing. Dick Cheney claimed that it was an excruciatingly tough decision to order the jetliners shot down, a decision that only the President is authorized to make. This is pure smoke. The standard response to planes off course is interception, not shooting down. No interception took place, and no credible explanation has been given for this "failure" of the US air defenses. On the contrary, stand down orders apparently were issued from the highest command levels.
The hijacked airliners, unhindered (in at least three out of four cases) then proceeded to execute their spectacular aerial maneuvers. Two of them, the one which struck the second, south tower of the World Trade Center, and the one which crashed into the Pentagon, displayed the flying skills that only crack pilots possess. A problem for the standard account here is that none of the 19 supposed hijackers was a crack pilot. The "evidence" presented about their "training" for their mission is limited to short courses at small-plane flight schools. Experienced pilots have expressed doubts about the possibility that inexperienced pilots could have flown the jetliners at such high speeds with such unerring accuracy. Retired career Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff has highlighted the problem of the official story with respect to the Pentagon strike:
"A pilot they want us to believe was trained at a Florida puddle-jumper school for Piper Cubs and Cessnas, conducts a well-controlled downward spiral, descending the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes, brings the plane in so low and flat that it clips the electrical wires across the street from the Pentagon, and flies it with pinpoint accuracy into the side of this building at 460 nauts. When the theory about learning to fly this well at the puddle-jumper school began to lose ground, it was added that they received further flight training on a flight simulator. This is like saying you prepared your teenager for her first drive on I-40 at rush hour by buying her a video driving game. It's horse shit!" Again, no explanation has been offered to make the government's claims credible.
Other very real possibilities do offer explanations, however. The planes may have been "hijacked" electronically, using the onboard Home Run technology. The system allows flight controllers on the ground to take over all flight functions from people onboard the plane, and could as easily be employed to cause a remote-controlled hijacking as to seize control of a plane hijacked by persons onboard. No 19 Arabs were necessary! This would explain the absence of any of the "19 hijackers" from the passenger lists, as well as the inexplicable demonstration of the highest flying skills in the crashes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Interestingly, the Home Run system just happens to permit one person, at a remote location, to fly four planes simultaneously. One highly skilled operator could have performed all the aerial feats of the hijacked planes. An explanation would also be provided for some additional anomalies, including why the Home Run system was not used to rescue the planes as it was designed to do, and why none of the "black boxes" with their Cockpit Voice Recorders have ever been "found" and the contents revealed. They might reveal the surprise of those onboard at the remote-controlled takeover of the planes.
After the World Trade Centers were struck by the airliners they collapsed, as did the nearby WTC #7 (a mere 47 stories tall), which was not struck by any plane. No entirely convincing explanations of these collapses have been forthcoming; many people have doubted that buildings designed to withstand such a blow from an airliner, as they were, would have disintegrated. These critics contend that only a professional demolition job could have caused the buildings to collapse in the manner in which they did. The official investigation into the cause of the collapse has been undermined from the start; the steel from the collapsed structures was recycled immediately, supposedly by decision of the City of New York, before any team of qualified forensic engineers could examine it.
Finally, there are many lines of evidence indicating advance knowledge of the attacks, including insider trading in airline and insurance company stocks (rather implausibly attributed to Al-Qaida), and warnings to various people (including San Francisco mayor Willie Brown) not to fly on September 11. A major shift of the offices of high-ranking Pentagon planners took place one week before the plane crashed into the space they had vacated; no high level officers or civilian officials was killed. No Congressional investigation of any of the unexplained "anomalies" surrounding September 11 has been launched. No one has been punished for the massive failures of established procedures and expectations; on the contrary the agencies which "failed" so spectacularly have been rewarded by increased funds and powers.
Furthermore it has been revealed that the Bush regime stopped FBI investigations into Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida in the early summer of 2001, causing the lead investigator, John O'Neill, to resign in protest. Circulating in the background is the close business relationship between the Bush family and the Bin Laden family, their joint ownership of major shares of the Carlyle Group (a large US defense company now profiting handsomely from the new surge in military expenditures), and the abundant evidence that Osama bin Laden has continued to receive major financial support from the Saudi royal family.
All this complexity is really just a "short list" of some of the unexplained facts, incredible assertions and suspicious circumstances surrounding the events of September 11. There are many more. The many highly technical aspects of the questions raised make it extremely difficult for anyone to get a firm grasp of the whole picture. Nevertheless, people on the Left should be able to look at them and evaluate them objectively as well as they can, especially given the high stakes, but few have done so.
Who Really Rules
As Jim Garrison pointed out in 1967, after frustrating years trying to penetrate the layers of official obscurity erected around the real perpetrators of the JFK assassination, "In a very real and terrifying sense, our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society. Of course, you can't spot this trend to fascism by casually looking around. You can't look for such familiar signs as the swastika, because they won't be there. We won't build Dachaus and Auschwitzes; the clever manipulation of the mass media is creating a concentration camp of the mind that promises to be far more effective in keeping the population in line. . . .The test is, what happens to the individual who dissents?. . .the awesome power of the CIA and the defense establishment seem destined. . .to bring us into a new Orwellian world where the citizen exists for the State and where raw power justifies any and every immoral act. . .fascism will come to America in the name of national security." Garrison's nightmare vision is now plainly visible to all who are willing to look.
"Fascism" has been back on people's lips a lot lately, especially since the events of Genoa in July, 2001, in which Silvio Berlusconi launched a typical Italian fascist police attack on leftists demonstrating against the heads of state of the G8 nations. Berlusconi was not the only one there with fascist connections; the Bushes have been linked with fascism since the 1920s, when George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush became bankers for the Nazi Party. George W. Bush is a figure rather similar in certain fundamental ways to Ronald Reagan. He is the titular President, but isn't up to the job; he is a puppet controlled by unknown persons behind the scenes. The probable puppet-master is his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, the man who correctly said "I am not a one-term President". Long time CIA agent, and Director of the CIA when the leftist minister from Salvador Allende's government, Orlando Letelier, was assassinated by a car-bomb in the streets of Washington DC, George H.W. Bush was actually in charge of the country for twelve years, during Reagan's two terms and his own one. Gene Wheaton, a military criminal investigator who at one time was very close to the CIA but couldn't stomach the outrageous covert operations of "Iran-Contra" and was an early whistle blower of the affair, provided a rare insider's view of the reality of the Reagan years:
"Reagan never really was the president. He was the front man. They selected a guy that had charisma, who was popular, and just a good old boy, but they got George Bush in there to actually run the White House. They'd let Ronald Reagan and Nancy out of the closet and let them make a speech and run them up the flagpole and salute them and put them back in the closet while these spooks ran the White House. They made sure that George Bush was the chairman of each of the critical committees involving these covert operations things. One of them was the Vice President's Task Force on Combating Terrorism. They got Bush in as the head of the Vice President's task force on narcotics, the South Florida Task Force, so that they could place people in DEA and in the Pentagon and in Customs to run interference for them in these large-scale international narcotics and movement of narcotics money cases. They got Bush in as the chairman of the committee to deregulate the Savings and Loans in '83 so they could deregulate the Savings and Loans, so that they would be so loosely structured that they could steal 400, 500 billion dollars. . .they ran the whole operation, and Bush was the de facto president even before the '88 election when he became president.
"See, when Harry Truman signed the National Security Act creating the CIA, he specifically stated in that act that they could not have any police powers. And they could not operate domestically in the United States, because he feared a secret police coup. By creeping in a little at a time, that coup has taken place.
"This crowd really believes that the unwashed masses are ignorant, that we are people who are not capable of governing ourselves, that we need this elitist group to control the country, and the world -- these guys have expanded. They look at the United States not as a country, not in any patriotic mode now, but they look on it as a state within a world that they control. And that's this attitude they have. They're not unlike any other megalomaniac in the world. They're nutty as a fruitcake, but they've got distinguished gray hair, three-piece dark suits and they carry briefcases, and they'll stand up and make speeches just as articulate as anybody in the world, but they don't socialize and function outside their own little clique. My experience with them is that they could be certified as criminally insane and put away in a rubber room and have the key thrown away. That's how dangerous they are. But they're powerful, and they're educated. And that makes them twice as dangerous. And that's basically what's running the world right now."
In all likelihood the structure within the current White House is similar: a well-rested front man for the photo-ops, a powerful Vice President actually running the day-to-day operations, and heavies from the CIA and Pentagon doing the long-range strategizing, all veterans of George H.W. Bush's regime. If this hypothesis is even partially accurate, an analysis of the past, when the elder Bush was in power, would most probably provide solid clues to what the new regime is currently planning. The Gulf War of 1990 shows obvious parallels to today; it was very largely about oil, as is the "War on Terrorism", and followed a deceptive move on the part of Bush administration, which duped Saddam Hussein into making his move on Kuwait. This then provided the pretext for the US to establish military bases in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, as well as to try out all the new weaponry that had been developed and awaited its exemplary debut.
Another salient feature of the Reagan/Bush period was the systematic murder of thousands of leftists around the world, in countries controlled by puppet regimes of the US, and most especially so in Latin America. Death squads trained at the School of the Americas eliminated radicals, unionists, students, teachers, landless peasants, professors and priests in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. In every case these killings were in keeping with US government policy: leftists are the enemy and will be killed wherever possible, preferably in as painful and horrific a manner as possible. This activity is still taking place, especially in Colombia, where the US is currently funding a massive escalation in military and paramilitary attacks on the population, called Plan Colombia.
So What Is Plan United States?
Could it really be that the current regime has intentions of crushing the Left in the US, with massive arrests, torture, and disappearances, as in Latin America? Before rejecting the proposition out of hand, it would be wise to consider recent events from the standpoint of what they suggest about the concern our rogue capitalist masters have regarding people like us.
A clue to understanding the real core of the situation is to recognize how destablilizing is the imperial adventure embarked upon by the Bush regime. The attack on Afghanistan threatens to destroy a very delicate balance in the Middle East and South and Central Asia, both regionally and within individual countries. The attack is incredibly risky, a daring throw in a high stakes game. Such a move, undertaken by the most powerful nation in the world, must be a sign of desperation.
Two sources of this desperation have already been identified: the coming Big Rollover, when the supply of oil will peak and can no longer keep up with demand, putting severe strain on the capitalist system which relies so heavily on abundant and cheap energy; and the rapidly growing global anti-capitalist movement, which will be well positioned to advance as the oil shortages materialize. The planners of capital have seen their every attempt to meet and strategize contested by ever-growing numbers of demonstrators, and all over the world major development projects of capital, for dams, pipelines, power or chemical plants, are strongly contested by local people affected by them. The role of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, World Economic Forum, NAFTA, European Union and similar planning and developmental agencies of capital are recognized all over the world as imperialist and neo-colonialist weapons of the capitalist marauder class, designed to impose the "new" corporate-state oligarchy. Such agencies and the powers behind them, states and corporations, are now increasingly seen as illegitimate all over the world. The US state, as the global center of capital and coercion, has now launched a preemptive war in response to this crisis of illegitimacy, which it correctly sees is potentially fatal for global capital.
The fake black bloc provocations, the murder of Carlo Giuliani and the crackdown by hooded storm troopers on the Genoa Social Forum and Indymedia center in Genoa in July 2001 was a return to familiar methods by the Berlusconi regime; the Italian state is famed for the murderous brutality it displays toward left-wing contestation. Provocations and fake terror have long been part of the state arsenal. In Italy in the late 1960s and 1970s the state secret services as part of the "strategy of tension" set off bombs in public places and blamed the non-existent "Red Brigades", using this as a pretext to launch a sweep against the Autonomist Workers movement (Autonomia) and left-wing intellectuals, in which over 5000 people were arrested and charged with "armed insurrection against the powers of the State". More than 150 remain in prison to this day. So well-executed and effective has the tactic been that even some of these political prisoners, e.g. Toni Negri, although insisting on their own personal innocence, do not question the events or the reality of the Red Brigades.
But others saw through the operation at the time, and analyzed it clearly. The situationist Gianfranco Sanguinetti, in "Is the Reichstag Burning?" (dated 19 December 1969), laid out an analysis which has been confirmed by subsequent events and document discoveries: that the bombings were carried out by the state to strengthen the security forces and provide pretexts for crushing the most radical sector of the Left. The fake terror campaign was an act of weakness on the part of the Italian capitalist state, recognizing that without such methods it could not stop the growing power of the autonomist movement.
Genoa in July was just more of the same strategy. It is easy to imagine Bush and Blair enjoying the show put on by the Carabinieri, and saying to their chum Berlusconi, "That's good, very nice, but just wait. Wait till you see what we can do!" Behind their barricades in the Ducal palace, plans were being laid for the present assault on the workers of the world. As before, the principal target is that section of the working class which has developed some understanding of the social situation, beyond the immediate individual struggle to survive. The USA PATRIOT Act and similar legislation passed in Europe signal the impending campaign of arrests, summary trials, torture, executions and disappearances, all conducted under the pretext of "terrorism", as formerly, under the rubric "Communism", they were the norm in the rest of the world. "Globalization" really means the globalization of capitalist coercion in all its forms, never excluding the physical. Capital, in its campaign to reduce workers' conditions to the lowest common denominator, so obvious in the flight of production to China, India, Mexico, and Malaysia, does not forget to "harmonize" state terror worldwide as well. As Starhawk said after the events in Genoa, they're coming soon to your home too.
Capitalism Is Organized Crime
The critical Left is the only major enemy capital has, potentially a formidable one if its numbers swell under social duress. The "War on Terrorism" makes clear that capital's strategists have decided that the time has come to strike a preemptive blow, before the coming global depression, which will make that of the 1930s look like a picnic, makes hordes of new leftists out of the unemployed and newly impoverished. The process they fear has already started in Argentina, where people are forming assemblies in their neighborhoods to plan their collective self-defense against the attacks that the Argentine state is imposing upon them. It is time for something along these lines in the North, in the US and Europe.
To defend itself under the new conditions imposed by the state, the Left must organize and exert itself to the utmost, starting now:
* First, we need to loudly and widely reject all the propaganda which is pouring out of Washington DC and London, and out of the mass media: the "War on Terrorism" is a fraud.
* We must articulate a clear, strong analysis of what capital is doing: seizing resources and preparing to crush the working class resistance to its totalitarian domination worldwide.
* We need to publicly demand in all our anti-war and anti-capitalist demonstrations and writing that the criminals who launched the fake terror on September 11 be brought to trial: not Osama Bin Laden but the secret operatives and strategizers in the US government. The criminality of what they have done can be used as a powerful weapon against them and against capitalism, which is inherently criminal.
* We must loudly reject both capitalist war and capitalist "peace", and practice total non-cooperation with both poles of the capitalist agenda.
* And clearly, like the men and women at this moment in Argentina, we need to focus on self-defense measures, and plan for what may very well be a fight to the death. There is no time to be lost.