TWO decades after 9/11, which was eleven years to the day after President George H W Bush delivered his famous ‘new world order’ speech, the historical significance of both events is now much clearer.
Two decades of permanent ‘most favoured nation’ trading status for China has produced the largest transfer of wealth, technology, manufacturing capacity and markets in human history, and destroyed the American industrial economy.
Two decades of the ‘War on Terror’ and the cancerous growth of a global surveillance state has destroyed Western liberty and obliterated civil rights.
Two decades of the corporate internet, social media and smartphones has lobotomised Western culture, destroyed key Western institutions, engineered a rolling mass psychosis and transferred regional political and economic power to Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
Two decades of the occupation of Afghanistan, then Iraq, drone war and collateral murder in Pakistan, and attacks on Libya, Syria and Yemen has destroyed the authority of the United States and its allies to the point where the senile winner of a crooked election mumbling prepared talking points inside a fortified Capitol is the nominal leader of what was once called the free world.
Before 9/11 it was still almost possible to believe America’s idealised story of itself. Today the USA can be compared to the most corrupt regimes in history, and may even be the most corrupt, given the scale of corruption now possible.
Gangster states, which are merely criminal rather than sadistic and depraved, now look at the United States with justified disgust.
But America is no longer really America, just as Britain is no longer really Britain. Both are no more than holding companies of a global commercial conglomerate hostile to national power as a barrier to global domination, just as developing national power in an earlier era was determined to weaken regional power.
All this was accelerated after 9/11 through the imposition of a war whose structural outcome, if not objective, was the demolition of the democratic West, and it is now being accelerated yet further via the pandemic.
Once again shock propaganda has been used to declare a state of emergency and enable the seizure of power from the people to State and transnational organs. Here, too, a highly profitable permanent war has been declared against an invisible enemy with no definable conditions of victory, or even coherently stated aims.
Again, the winners are the same global political, economic and security elites who consolidated after 9/11 by destroying the independence and competence of the institutions over which they had acquired control in the process of converting them into instruments of domination.
Here, too, beyond a lingering and misplaced respect for institutional authority, the plausibility-effect produced by endless, mantra-like repetition, and the production of irrelevant distractions, the official story remains unpersuasive.
In the days which followed 9/11 questions were already being asked about the relationship between the official story, the actual pattern of the evidence and a series of imponderables, and they have continued to be asked.
What is without question is that one hour after the attack in New York, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had identified the likely perpetrator as Osama Bin Laden (Bin Laden would later deny any involvement) and called for the declaration of a global ‘war against terror’ extending beyond the perpetrators of 9/11 itself to confront terror generally.
The paradigm was adopted wholesale by George Bush in a speech to Congress nine days later. ’Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda,’ Bush said, ‘but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.’
Islam itself was not the enemy, we were told. Al Qaeda had only ‘hijacked’ Islam for the purpose of ‘remaking the world and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere’.
In subsequent years this vague and ambiguous distinction would be used to support the extension of police state surveillance not just of rapidly growing Muslim populations across the West (to monitor evidence of dangerous radicalisation) but anyone articulating suspicion towards Muslims. By 2019 more ‘Right-wingers’ than Islamic activists were being referred to the Prevent programme. Last month the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin implying that if Americans question and challenge the Covid vaccination mandates, they are now considered potential ‘Domestic Violent Extremists’.
In truth, Bush and his associates and masters had hijacked Al-Qaeda and Islam for the purpose of imposing their own radical agenda. Spun between a belligerent discourse of Islamofascism and a police discourse of Islamophobia, a schizoid and insulting fantasy of a liberal Islam became the object of a new imperialism in the stated cause of Western values, and in reality enacting their destruction.
Just as recent calls to ‘Save the NHS’ have served to camouflage the liquidation of the NHS, the rhetoric of ‘nation-building’ efforts to extend Western democracy across the world have, in reality, destroyed democracy everywhere.
Even as mass Muslim immigration into the West accelerated following their destruction of their countries, a steady drumbeat of slaughter and atrocity in London, Madrid, Paris and elsewhere, staged by actors invariably known to intelligence agencies, maintained a climate of hostility and madness to the benefit of the occupational elites. The language of permanent terror bled into a culture (what is a safe space but a refuge from a world of terror?) as a psychologically brutalised population regressed into a cloying ‘thoughts and prayers’ martyrology, in fact promoted or exploded into murderous psychosis, combining in cases like Usman Khan, who shortly before his London Bridge rampage attended a conference on criminal rehabilitation as a rehabilitated criminal. https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/the-indoctrination-of-the-justice-system/ (The Millwall supporter who helped to disarm him, Roy Larner, was later added to the terror watch list.)
In February 2007, when former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski denounced before the Senate ‘a historical, strategic and moral calamity . . . driven by Manichaean impulses and imperial hubris’, the full extent of the damage was not yet clear. What now is clear is that the War on Terror was a weapon directed against the West itself which has succeeded beyond all expectations.
Whether through a conscious plan or what Hegel called the cunning of reason, the West has been destroyed. What now exists is a shadow West, which still speaks as if it was the West for camouflage, but in the service of completely different goals. It is not a coincidence that the characters promoted and rewarded for their participation in the War on Terror have either remained in place or returned to play a role in the pandemic: from their perspective there has been no error. What has materialised over the last thirty years, and especially the last eighteen months, is a new system of power, which although still defined within the context of the history of the nation-state, represents its ultimate destruction.