Guest Writings
 
  
15/3/06
The Changing Face of Terror by Mike Whitney
  

Ever since the attacks on 9-11 we have heard one slogan reiterated more frequently than any other, “Everything changed on September 11".

  The phrase has become the motto for transforming America according to the policy objectives of the men in power. In fact, the criminal conduct of government officials and their wars of aggression have all been causally brushed aside by invoking their keynote defense, “Everything changed”!

   September 11 has been the most abused and manipulated public relations scam in history. It is trotted out for every presidential speech, every executive press conference, and every appearance by an administration official. It is routinely used to undermine the rule of law and to vindicate the despotic powers of the president.

    “Everything changed”; “The gloves came off”; “We must accept the new realities of the post 9-11 world”.

    September 11 has become the defining moment in human history; the seminal event that provides the meager justification for butchery and repression.

   The United States is now gripped by a form of low-grade state terror; the twin-axels of fear and deception keep the imperial bandwagon gliding along its path. America has been subsumed in a swamp of paranoia and lies; clearing the way for future hostilities and greater brutality.

   Everything changed.

   We know now that every breach of the law, every assault on tradition, every illegal war was perfectly timed to coincide with the “galvanizing moment”; a “Pearl Harbor-type event” that would rally the public behind their war president and begin the long, descent into iniquity.

   The Patriot Act was prepared and ready for approval well before 9-11, just as the NSA program of blanket-spying on the American people began shortly after. Rumsfeld was already looking for excuses to attack Iraq just hours after the Towers fell, and in a matter of months, White House attorneys would be building a legal defense for the cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners. 

      Was this merely coincidence or was the Bush administration already prepared for the transition to dictatorship?

   Treaties were shredded, civil liberties were savaged, and every obstacle to presidential authority was removed. Now, the only principle the Bush administration adheres to is the fundamental belief that it is above the law.

   In Iraq we see a mirror-image of the radical ideology that energizes domestic policy. The daily slaughter of innocent people is papered-over by a slick public relations campaign disparaging terror and touting liberation. Again, we see the twin-axels of fear and deception rotating simultaneously.

  The promises of reconstruction, democracy, and security have disappeared behind the daily onslaught of cluster-bombs, death squads, malnutrition, poisoned water, unemployment, and despair.

   New Orleans is only different by a matter of degrees. America’s “Jewel of the South” has been transformed into a garrison city, replete with armored vehicles, fully-armed military personnel, and contingents of corporate paramilitaries.

  If riots had broken out, we would have seen a reenactment of Falluja-type justice dispensed by Army regulars and Cheney’s mercenaries.

   In the 6 months since Hurricane Katrina, the administration has not provided funds for the reconstruction of even one home in the region. Bush’s abhorrence to “nation building” has been faithfully honored in New Orleans as well as Baghdad. The American public has been dumbstruck by the extent of the governments’ callousness. This country has never seen capitalism stripped of its adornments; a predatory, mean-spirited system that discards its own people when profit is not involved.

     In Iraq, fear and deception are the driving forces behind the policy. The MSM has played a major role by providing bogus information that is designed to mislead the public.

    Can we believe the media when they refer to “suicide bombers” or “sectarian violence” without evidence? Isn’t the moniker “suicide bomber” loaded with political bias; suggesting crazed, Muslim fanatics who have no regard for their own lives or the lives of others? Where’s the proof? Couldn’t it be a device that the media purposely uses to reinforce racial stereotypes and, thus, support the war-effort?

   The same rule applies to sectarian violence. The phrase “sectarian violence” is meant to imply that this is not America’s war at all, but that we are simply innocent bystanders keeping the warring parties from killing each other.

   What rubbish.

    The term “sectarian violence” suggests that the media knows who is detonating the bombs, provoking ethnic tensions, and producing the mountains of carnage.

   But do they? Most of them are locked up in the Palestine Hotel all day, polishing up the narrative they are provided by the Pentagon.

    The media reports what they are told to report and most of it is nothing more than the verbatim statements from administration and military officials.

    Who could read the papers or listen to the news and not draw that very same conclusion? 

   Perhaps, there is a far more sinister force behind the seemingly random bombings that alternate between Shiite and Sunni communities. Perhaps, they are being ignited by people who want to see Iraq broken up into mini-statelets that are less threatening to the occupying army? Perhaps, they are part of a massive covert operation intended to weaken resistance and spread anarchy throughout the region?

   Perhaps, Iraq, like America, is being controlled by men who believe that terror is the most effective way to govern. 

    At least that would explain why “everything has changed”.

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