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For historians who like dates and bookends for their events, the “global war on terror” started with the destruction of the Twin Towers and the attack on the Pentagon (9/11). The idea of perpetual war provided large benefits to a few and pain and terror to much of the world, and to the rest of the world an increasing disbelief in the intents, means, and rationales for the war. Unfortunately for the academic writers of history, history itself does not operate within the confines of given dates - the flow of actions and counter actions never ceases. The 9/11 attacks were by any real accounting only another incident in the fraud that the imperial powers of the world have ‘perpetuated’ on the citizens of the world.
Rather than speak of war, which is an act of violence with many differing excuses and exercises, it is rather a perpetual fraud perpetrated by these self-acclaiming empires - fraud that goes beyond acts of war into the daily lives of citizens around the world - that is the basis for the crimes against humanity (and the environment as a whole). ‘Fraud’ is defined as “Criminal deception, use of false representations to gain unjust advantage; dishonest artifice or trick” with the addition of ‘pious fraud’ as a “deception intended to benefit those deceived, and especially to strengthen religious belief.”
Both of these definitions need to be applied to our current global situation. Criminal deception has been used by various governments, notably the U.S., Great Britain, and Israel, with the support of various sycophant allies, to try to gain advantage militarily and economically over much of the world. This is combined with pious deception as those deceived to a great part are the citizens of those countries, with the aspect of religion being used to reinforce and support the overall criminal fraud.
The big lie
The big lie is simple, that there really is a global war on terror. The truth is more realistically that there is a global war of terror. Those self-righteous countries that proclaim against terror are themselves the greatest sources of terror around the world.
The United States has an ongoing history of occupations, invasions, covert and subvert activities against any nation that dare raise a voice that contradicted U.S. wishes and desires, most of which reflected the corporate agenda to control the natural resources and economies of the world. Great Britain’s empire (along with most of the other European empires of Spain, France, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands) produced terror and war wherever It was established. In spite of its many proclamations of civilizing the savages of the world, the real intentions were the same, military and economic control of global wealth. Its only ‘success’, at least from the eyes of the invaders, were the colonies of Australia, New Zealand and North America (U.S. and Canada), successful in that they eliminated any opposition from the indigenous people through the violence and terror of war and genocide.
Israel’s empire is much more modest when considered in terms of occupying and settling territory for their own advantage. All they have endeavoured to gain has been the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river, a desert land empty of people that they wished to make bloom with the fruits of their civilization and religion. That ‘empty land’ however contained a significant indigenous population that was already successfully cultivating the land and had for millennia a distinct cultural environment. The occupation of Palestinian territory fits both definitions of fraud, as a criminal activity against international law and most certainly as a pious deception based on an arguable fundamentalist belief that they and only they should occupy Palestine.
All three of these states, apart from the historical frauds of claiming lands and resources that were not their own, have extended this fraud into the much larger global war of terror.
A recent comment by Obama highlighted this fraud: "Iran is not just a challenge for Israel. I believe it is a challenge for the whole world. I can hardly think of a stable world order with a nuclear Iran.” This fraudulent claim only extends the previous fraudulent claims that led to invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (okay, only aerial invasions so far, plus a whole bunch of covert operatives) - for the U.S. the list is almost endless, but I will stay with current events for now - Lebanon, and Gaza.
“A stable world order” will never exist with countries carrying nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Soviet Union perpetrated their lies and counter-lies for decades while maintaining overwhelming arsenals of nuclear weapons. I for one did not feel any stability concerning international affairs during that period of my life - at any given moment of carelessness or rhetorical stupidity one country could easily have triggered a civilization ending war. That situation still exists.
Nuclear weapons are a grand deception for a ‘stable world order’. The U.S. is the main rogue state in this regard, maintaining its superiority in all areas of their nuclear arsenal. India developed nuclear weapons outside the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the U.S. has recently worked with them in developing their nuclear industry and weapons even more. Pakistan similarly developed weapons outside the NPT, and with its mainly Muslim population, and a government in conflict with India on many issues and subordinate to - yet resistant of - U.S. influence, is hardly stable. Israel has an arsenal of an estimated two hundred nuclear weapons (estimates can be made from the kind of reactors used and the availability of materials to fuel it) that have never been questioned by the U.S. or its allies even though they are outside the nuclear proliferation treaties bounds. Somehow all this makes Iran the greatest threat to a ‘stable world order’?
But nuclear weapons, as catastrophic as they may be, are really just another part of the overall deception. The deception is there to hide the reality of U.S. corporate-military intentions to contain and control the majority of resources and peoples of the world as they can, to accumulate as much of the wealth and power as they can for the benefit of their own elites (as part of the deception involves deceiving their own population.)
The current deceptions began before 9/11. The Project for a New American Century clamoured for full spectrum dominance and included the statement, “…the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor". Arguments about 9/11 include ideas ranging from it being an inside piece of work, to being a truly successful terrorist attack that allowed the neocon PNAC writers their opportunity to strive for their objectives (remembering that Pearl Harbor was not as ‘surprising‘ as the historians of the day proclaimed). What rises is the question (apart from all the questions about 9/11 itself) of who benefits from it all?
The main beneficiaries are the members of the international corporate world, the military establishments (pretty much one and the same) especially of the U.S. and Israel, and the politicians who support it all (ditto). With the U.S. economy riding a series of speculative bubbles while the real growth and wealth creating activities are shipped overseas, in particular to the rising economy of China, there is little in the way of home grown wealth left to be harvested (other than the largesse of government bailouts to the banks and corporations and the largesse of government military contracts that support a wide array of industries related to military provisioning). The “global war on terror” deception provides the excuse, the rationale, the motive, and most importantly the means, to extend U.S. corporate/political/economic control over the Middle East (mostly, but because of its very broad definition, the war could go anywhere) for its natural resources (mainly oil and gas) at the same time attempting to contain and counteract the rising influence of China and the ongoing interests of Russia in the region.
Israel is quite happy to benefit along with all this. Riding on the U.S. stagecoach of spreading freedom and democracy at the end of a gun-barrel so that U.S. corporations can continue to rake in the wealth…but wait a minute…with corporate and political leaders in the U.S. bowing obsequiously to the Israelis, from Obama to Jimmy Carter (whose letter of apology to the Israelis came as his grandson was running for a Georgia senatorial seat) perhaps Israel is not riding on the stage coach but is riding with reins in hand while the U.S. rides shotgun on their own coach. The U.S. has contributed enormously to Israel, both financially and militarily. The relationship is not all smiles and roses, but the strength of the Israeli lobby and the apparent U.S. desire to maintain Israel as its forward military garrison at the western end of the Middle East keeps the U.S. establishment under Israeli manipulation, if not outright control. The manner in which Netanyahu has bested Obama indicates that perhaps the latter word is the operative one.
The casualties in this global war on terror can be classified in various ways: religion, environment, the economy, the citizens of most countries, the ideas of democracy and freedom, peace, and health. They can and usually are also classified as national peoples or states, with Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan being the current crop of nations struggling under the war of terror.
Arguably the single biggest casualty is to the Palestinian people. Israel, with the acceptance of the majority of the governments of the world, has occupied the West Bank for over forty years, destroying farms, communities, families, lives, culture - most anything it can about being Palestinian. Given an historical democratic election in 2006, accepted as such by the majority of the world, the U.S. and its allies quickly denounced the results and created a situation that destroyed the democratic outcomes. The occupation continues under Israel’s reign of terror, with the added impetus of the global war on terror as an excuse to continue with its methods - most if not all considered illegal under international law. Similarly, the Gaza strip, more correctly the Gaza ghetto, contains about 1.5 million Palestinians living in conditions of severe deprivation, under the confinement of the Israeli military, again having the war on terror as an additional excuse to subjugate and terrorize the population, again against all the standards of international law.
The world remains complicit with this. All governments that support the U.S. in their actions, members of NATO or otherwise are part of the fraud controlled by U.S. interests and U.S. media conglomerates (the latter part and parcel of the military corporate structures). Canada has recently stopped supporting UNRWA, "but [the aid] is now being redirected in accordance with Canadian values." Theoretically the funds are being specifically targeted for “training prosecutors, judges and police, and shoring up the Palestinian judicial sector by building courthouses,” in the West Bank. What this amounts to is Canada accepting Israel’s position vis a vis Gaza and Hamas and directing the aid money to the compliant Palestinian Authority of the West Bank, now in the process of eliminating their Hamas opposition - no aid for refugees, only for sources supporting Israeli intentions. Canadian values, at least at the government level, have fallen in line with U.S. and Israeli values.
On the other hand, it could be argued that Iraq is the single biggest casualty, based on the number of exiles, the number of civilians killed, the degree of environmental damage from the oil sector, depleted uranium munitions, and the general chaos of warfare. Under the pretences of weapons of mass destruction (such as the U.S. has in abundance), alliances with al-Queda, and the nasty nature of Hussein, Iraq became the first victim of occupation in the war of terror. With no WMDs and only a limited al-Queda presence after the invasion, Iraq’s situation remains one of an illegally occupied country destabilized by the many diverse political, religious, and natural resource riches of the region.
Afghanistan was supposedly the origin of the 9/11 attacks (what about Saudi Arabia?), and has suffered incredible hardships under the terror perpetrated by the U.S. Certainly the Taliban were not angels of mercy, but they did bring stability to a region that had been reduced to war-lordism. And in spite of U.S. arguments otherwise, there were several opportunities to kill or sequester bin Laden. Supposedly operating under a UN mandate for reconstruction and rehabilitation, the U.S./NATO forces are essentially there to create more space for U.S. control of oil and gas and the ongoing encirclement and containment of Russia and China. The use of torture, the lack of protection for civilians, and their purposeful murder within the context of the war create a situation - the illegality of the occupation in the first place not withstanding - that goes against international humanitarian law and war law.
As the U.S. dominos tumble, Pakistan became the next target on the list. Unstable from its inception, created with artificial boundaries that cut through tribal regions (all the Middle East boundaries are artificially created by the European empirical powers - save Iran). Ostensibly an ally of the U.S. in the war of terror, Pakistan is becoming increasingly destabilized as U.S. covert operations and drone attacks extend U.S. power over the country. Fearful of its nuclear power, fearful of its Muslim population, fearful of its base for insurgents in Afghanistan, the U.S. is trying both military and political manoeuvring to control the country.
Iran is obviously being set up as the fourth country to be subjected to an illegal U.S. or Israeli attack. All the same precedents are there: the false accusations concerning nuclear weapons (with the obvious irony that the U.S. and Israel consistently act outside the intent of the NPT), the demonizing of the government, the tales of terror being flung far and wide from the country (certainly Iran is supporting its military interests in the region, but not with the degree of terror imposed by the U.S.), and the calls for democracy and freedom, ideas which more and more are inimical to both the U.S., its allies, and Israel.
Other casualties are of the ideals of the world, of the freedom, democracy, of religious beliefs in all the main religions combined with the hard reality of environmental destruction, topped up with an economic recession based on global finances that vacuum up the wealth of the many rather than trickle down the wealth of the few.
All the major monotheistic religions have beliefs that call for caring for the environment, caring for the poor, the down-trodden, for aiding and helping humanity through love and compassionate caring. As a casualty of the war of terror, the fundamentalist beliefs of these religions have risen to the surface, advocating hatred, creating an evil other who is to be disposed off without concern or emotion, negating the compassionate side of the religions.
The environment obviously suffers from the direct impact of war, with the ongoing contamination from the many chemicals used in the fighting and the destruction of civilian infrastructure used to control the environment for human use. This applies not only to the occupied war torn territories, but also the territories where the resources are extracted from to continue the war, and the communities where the war provisioning industries are located.
Perhaps the biggest casualty in this grouping is that of democracy. The nominative democracies that perpetuate the war are increasingly subordinate to a wealthy elite who control the media, the message, and who have created the legislative support to spy on and detain their own citizens without the rights of a truly democratic society that citizens have fought for over the centuries. Canadian and U.S. troops are now importing ‘ democracy in a box’ into Marjah near Kandahar. If they can do it there, they should consider doing it in Ottawa and Washington.
Through all this, many questions circulate around the war of terror events. All of them are treated dismissively as conspiracy theories by the governing elites, with the intentions that the questions will be both ignored and be considered either unpatriotic or ignorant or both. So with hesitation, I have to reiterate what I see as the more valid questions, that if answered fully may or may not convince me to change my viewpoint.
First and foremost, where is bin Laden? For all the vaunted prowess and all-seeing eyes of the various U.S./Israeli/U.K. spy agencies, and the supposed skills of their special ops teams, why have they not found bin Laden? They had him in their sights for a decade or so before 9/11, they assisted him (and others) in Afghanistan to give a body blow to the Soviets, and then suddenly after 9/11 he disappears from view except for the occasional video tape…? Surely for all their skills and prowess and the huge sums of money they are willing and capable of throwing around to enemies and allies alike, the U.S. must know his whereabouts if he is still alive.
Dead or alive, it really does not matter, as long as he is not proven to be one or the other. For an illegal war based on false pretences, it is good to have a bogeyman hidden in the mountains of some far away place that is essentially inaccessible to most if not all prying eyes. The fear that can be promoted by having these occasional videos presented at propitious moments can only aid the ongoing promulgation of the war of terror.
Many question have arisen around the events of 9/11 itself, and increasingly more and more mainstream scientists, architects, and pilots are questioning the official version of events. Is it a conspiracy theory? No, no theory is being applied, the questions are being applied to specific points. There are three questions that have been brought forward that I would like to have answered. First, why did Tower 7 collapse as if it had been ‘pulled’ for demolition? What forensic evidence is there to support the Pentagon airplane attack? And why did all the materials from what is purportedly an international crime site be removed and not held for future prosecution?
The fraud continues
What supposedly began with 9/11 may well be a never ending story, at least for the foreseeable future. The U.S. is mired in an economic morass that has it tied to the rising power of China at the same time that its military empire is violently expanding and exercising its self-applied unilateral right to strike anywhere anytime in the name of terror. It is an empire on the wane economically, but as I feared earlier, it is going out with a bang rather than with any intent of reconciliation. Israel is increasingly hard-line in its pursuit of settlements and territorial advantage over the Palestinians. Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are subjugated under the occupation of U.S. intentions for resource control and political containment. Iran is increasingly looking like the next excuse to extend this military dominance and control.
Unfortunately so far all outcomes have generally been unexpected, and the war of terror has not done any good for any region of the world. Environmental concerns, economic concerns, human culture and societies have all suffered because of the artifices of creating an ephemeral enemy that can never be captured, therefore creating a war that will be a perpetual fraud.
Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinin pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles' work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.