The antiwar movement has proven impotent to stop the war in
Iraq despite the fact that the war was initiated on the basis of lies and
The antiwar 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.
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
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
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 cover-up, 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 antiwar movement is impotent.
Craig Roberts [email him] 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. Click here for Peter
Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of