9/11 Explains the Impotence of the Anti-war Movement By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
09/14/07 “

The 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 story line.

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 demolitions.

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 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 Bush administration.

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 is impotent.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.


9-11, Six Years Later By Paul Craig Roberts

7 thoughts on “9/11 Explains the Impotence of the Anti-war Movement By Paul Craig Roberts

  1. The lack of a draft explains the impotency of the anti war movement.

    As for the truth behind who did 9/11 its hard to tell if we’ll ever know who really did it since it seems to me we’re being bs’d by just about everybody. The feds make the fact that Osama didn’t do it so obvious its ridiculous. The conspiracy theorists will give you a million different answers as to who “they” are, so I dont know if we’ll ever know who did it,

  2. The problem I see with this reasoning is that the 911 Truth Movement and the War are not related at all except that 911 was a political ploy to gain emotional support for the Wars. Both, however, are completely separate legal issues.

    The Wars can be stopped simply because they are illegal and unconstitutional. According to our Constitution, we must obey the Law of the Land which now includes the U.N. Charter that specifies we cannot attack a country pre-emptively. We did and are now guilty of Crimes against Humanity. A modern version of the Nuremburg Trials are in our future.

    The 911 Truth Movement has a different legal basis in that there must be enough physical evidence to prove certain persons in this country are guilty of murder and/or treason. Unfortunately, most theories are based on circumstantial evidence and without hard facts or a reputable whistle-blower it’s going to be a tough one to prove. The Movement can, however, shake people out of their slumber. Once we stop fearing the wind we’ll stop buying the bull. In this way, the 911 Truth Movement can help stop the War.

  3. I strongly disagree with Jacob’s comment.

    Roberts is not saying the anti-war movement is impotent because people are interested in 9/11.

    He’s saying just the opposite, that the anti-war movement is impotent because the truth about 9/11 has not come out, and because the Bush administration has not been held accountable.

    He says so in no uncertain terms, in the very last paragraph

    “no one was held accountable for 9/11 except Muslim countries. This is the reason the anti-war movement is impotent.”

  4. Hi Jacob, thanks for dropping by the blog. 🙂

    I’m beginning to believe our only chance at ending this war and/or others is for our military personnel to refuse to fight. GI Resistance must continue.

  5. Thanks for this post, Lo.

    More or less, Roberts here re-iterates Chomsky’s position. I used to disagree with it (I even argued with Chomsky over the course of several emails on the matter). But now, I gotta say I am so sick of 9/11 and the truthers. I am even sick of the impeach movement.

    Not to say they are worthless or should be abandoned. But, our primary concern should be this war. Or, at least, that’s my opinion.

    We can get to the rest later.

    Yeah, I know. Impeachment solves the war problem…but so does de-funding.

Comments are closed.