By Marx Peterson

On September 11, 2001, the world changed. When the twin towers came crumbling down on live TV in front of millions of people, the American psyche was shaken to its core. 3000 people died on that day in what is undoubtedly the worst act of terrorism to ever occur on US soil. Almost immediately, George W Bush went on TV to denounce this act of violence and to say that the ‘perpetrators will be punished’. A wave of angry, jingoistic nationalism took over in America, as well as a new paranoia of terrorists and essentially anyone who looked Arab. Western politicians, especially American politicians, claimed that this was an example of a ‘clash of civilizations’ between the ‘backward and violent’ Arab Muslims of the Middle East and North Africa and the ‘civilized and peaceful’ nations of Europe and North America.

However, the facts that were omitted from the reporting of this newly dubbed ‘war on terror’ were and are still essentially to understanding why Islamic terrorism exists and how it came to become a threat to people everywhere.

A good starting point for discussing modern Islamic terrorism and the ‘War on Terror’ could be 1917. In that year, the UK seized control of Palestine, Iraq, and Kuwait from the dying Ottoman Empire. [1] These territories were strategically very important to the UK and to the Allied Powers because of their oil reserves, the fact that they were located at the central meeting point of Africa and Asia, and their naval ports which could span the whole Mediterranean (from Palestine to Spain), linked Egypt with India, and therefore could easily connect the UK and France with Asian markets. Anti-imperialist movements soon began to rise up in the British controlled territories, as British brutality and exploitation began to take hold of the people within these territories.

Because of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, the British, French and Americans agreed to divide the Middle East into areas of colonial control, and solved the ‘Jewish question’ by allowing the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to create a ‘Jewish state’ in what was then known as (and still officially) the land of Palestine. [2]

This state, to be called the ‘State of Israel’ to give historical legitimacy to what was going to mostly be a state for rich white members of the international Jewish community, would act as a buffer to Arab expansionism and also satisfy Zionist demands of creating a state for Jews. There were other locations considered for Israel besides Palestine, of course, but many prominent Zionist organizations refused these locations and only wanted to allow Jewish immigration to Palestine. [3] Considering the fact that Israel is one of the smallest non-island nations in the world, the idea of populating this already crowded land with millions of people who had no immediate relatives or known family history in the region was, to put it mildly, a completely disastrous idea.

It was disastrous for a number of reasons: first of all, the land that had belonged to Palestinians and their families for hundreds of years was now going to have to adapt to millions of people who were demanding a state of prosperity, wealth and power in the region, despite having no real tangible ties to it. Secondly, the Zionist aim was (and still is) to create a ‘Jewish only’ state in Palestine. 4.8 million people are refugees because of this quite noble goal of the racist settler colonialists who came to conquer a land they believed was rightfully theirs because there was once a state of religious Jews that existed in what later became Palestine.

Most fatally, Zionists never had any interest in creating a binational state or integrating into Palestine to create a Jewish-Arab state that would allow people to live in peace. The explicit goal was to create either a Jewish only or Jewish majority state that would only give full rights and nationality to Jewish people, secular or religious, and whether or not they had any known familial connection to ancient Israel or Judaea.

At the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, representatives for both a Palestinian state and a Jewish Israeli state were present to discuss the future of Palestine.[4] At the conclusion of the Treaty talks, Britain promised a state for Palestinian Arabs and Jews alike, which would be secular and respect the rights of both Jews and Arabs for self governance and self determination within the territory. [5]

However, in order to fulfill the promises of both the Sykes-Picot agreement and the Balfour Declaration, Britain secretly negotiated an agreement with Zionist leaders that would allow for unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine, with a British-run mandate in the region until a Jewish majority could be achieved. Upon the attainment of a majority, Britain said they would pull their troops out of the region and allow for a Jewish state to be crated in place of a unified and secular Palestinian state. [6]

Arab nationalist leaders from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan (then know as Transjordan) were also present at Versailles and were promised independent Arab states in the region that would exist as a confederation. [7] This promise was obviously not going to be fulfilled, and as soon as this became obvious and Zionist settlers began attacking Palestinians and destroying their houses, Arab resistance in the region began. 1920-1921 saw the first resistance to Zionist expansionism and colonial settlements, with Britain installing military rule and martial law on Palestine as a result.[8] Also, around the same time, pro-Western puppet governments were established in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Kuwait. These governments were established with French and British support, depended on these nations for their defense and economic growth, and were very unpopular with their populations.

Many Arabs began to see that Zionism and western imperialism were one and the same. Zionists were forcing Palestinians out of their communities and European governments were stealing resources and land from the ‘independent’ Levantine states. In North Africa, France, Spain, Italy and Britain still controlled areas that were heavily populated with Arabs. Conservative Islamic scholars and Arab nationalists began to develop strategies to overthrow Western and Zionist rule in ‘Islamic World’, or everywhere from Morocco to Iran. [9]

Their goals differed, however: Islamic conservatives wished to unify the entire Islamic world (not just Arab states) under a single leader, or caliph, with the capital of this caliphate being Mecca, in order to revive the glory days of the Middle Ages, in which unified Islamic empires made major progress in science and technology, while also remaining independent, united, and prosperous. Arab nationalists tended to favor the establishment of a single secular Arab state from Morocco to Iraq. [10]

Both of these groups were opposed to each other in theory, however, they were unified for a time in opposition to European mandate governments and puppets in the Islamic world before WWII. After the war, the Levantine states were given independence, along with much of North Africa (except for Algeria, Libya and Morocco), and the Arab nationalist movement soon gained power in these new states. This led to the breaking off of Islamic movements from many of their host states, as they no longer had a reason to work with the nationalist movements. Meanwhile, Zionist terrorism began to occur in Palestine, in the form of bombings, kidnapping and assassinations of Arabs, [11] enraging Arab and Islamic nationalist movements.

In 1947, the UN (encouraged heavily by the US and the UK) developed a partition plan for Palestine. This plan, signed into law on November 29, 1947, divided the region into an Arab state and a Jewish state, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN authority [12] at the urging of the Neturei Karta Orthodox Jewish community (Neturei Karta means ‘guardians of the city’ in Aramaic). [13]

Almost immediately, Zionists violated this agreement by destroying Arab villages and then seizing Jerusalem. They bombed or massacred civilians in 33 cities from December 1947 to May 15, 1948 [14]. On that date, Israel declared independence and invaded Palestine. The next day, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon declared war on Israel at the urging of Palestinian Arab leaders. From May 1948 to July 1949, Israel fought a war with these nations. [15] This was a war of aggression on Israel’s part, despite Zionist claims that the Arab states started the war because they were ‘anti-Semitic’.

Jordan and Egypt seized the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to defend the Arab people living there during this war. In 1946, Irgun forces bombed the King David Hotel, intending to blame it on Egyptian extremists to gain international sympathy. Unfortunately for them, the truth came out, and the UK condemned the act as an act of Israeli terrorism. [16]

You can only oppress and murder people for so long before they begin to fight back using the same tactics. Islamic extremists, enraged by Zionist terrorism, Western-sponsored coups and dictatorships (in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, among others) began to organize military groups to fight against imperialism from Western and Zionist sources. These Islamic groups, in alliance with nationalists, led a revolution in Algeria in the late 1950s and early 1960s, forcing France to give the nation independence in 1962. [17]

France, the US, Israel, and the UK declared these liberation movements to be ‘terrorist organizations’, even though they were engaged in legitimate wars of resistance against Western imperialism and colonialism, and didn’t target civilians unlike Zionist terrorist organizations such as the Irgun, Mossad, and the Stern Gang. Of course those movements were never called ‘terrorist’ by Western powers, because they served a useful function for these nations by supporting the client state of Israel and helped fight against Arab nationalist movements who wanted full socioeconomic independence.

In 1967, Israel declared war on Egypt, Jordan and Syria to expand their territorial possessions. The IDF (which should be called the Israeli Offense Forces if we look at their track record of pre-emptive war) claimed that the war was ‘inevitable’ because Egypt moved military forces into the Sinai peninsula and closed the Strait of Tiran, which blocked Israeli access to the Red Sea. This was done in response to Zionist aggression in Gaza, but that fact has conveniently been forgotten in the West [18]. Israel claimed that they had to attack these nations because they posed an ‘imminent threat’ to Israeli sovereignty, yet in just 6 days, Israel completely conquered Gaza, the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank, and a part of Southern Syria called Golan Heights.

Despite the fact that Israel started the war, almost destroyed the Egyptian Air Force, and conquered land where the majority of people didn’t want to be ‘liberated’, Israeli PR once again spun the narrative of the war to convince the West and the UN that they were simply fighting a war of ‘defense’ and that they had ‘liberated’ these territories. Since 1967, Golan Heights, Gaza and the West Bank have been under military occupation or under siege by Israel, in violation of the Geneva Conventions [19].

This war, along with acts of Zionist and Israeli terrorism in Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, gave fuel to Islamic extremists and anti-Western sentiment among a small but vocal minority of Muslim Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa. The first major act of Islamic terrorism was the bombing at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, which killed a half dozen Israeli athletes [20]. The West and much of the international community, which had remained silent as Israel and its proxy groups had committed dozens of acts of terrorism, destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages, displaced millions of people and illegally seized land in wars of aggression, instantly went into a state of hysteria.

The US and Israel harshly condemned this attack and made it seem like Islamic terrorism was going to ‘overrun’ the Middle East and that Arab countries were determined to ‘exterminate’ Israel and all Jewish people in the region. Arab governments, for the most part, condemned the attack as well [20], but that fact was kept hidden from the people of the West to gain more sympathy for Israel.

I personally condemn such acts of terrorism, and I find it disgusting that the Olympic Bombing occurred in the name of Islam. However, that does not change the fact that this terrorist attack and the group that was responsible (Black September, a Palestinian Islamic militant group [20]) were both done in retaliation for Zionist terrorist attacks on Palestinians and Israeli aggression, both of which had been taking place since the 1910s.

Nonetheless, because this was an act of terrorism by Muslims in the West, it became a major story, and European anti-terrorist organizations were founded to counter the ‘imminent threat’ of Islamic terrorism. Nothing was ever done about Zionist terrorism, even after the King David Hotel bombing and the assassination of the British emissary to Palestine during the mandatory period by Zionists. This double standard shows that it is only acceptable to commit acts of terrorism, in the West’s mind, if the people who die are helping their imperialist causes.

Black September had committed some minor acts of terrorism before the Munich Bombing, and committed some minor acts of terrorism through the 1970s. What they did can not be justified and I oppose such tactics wholeheartedly. That doesn’t mean that this group, and other groups similar to it that developed in the 70s and 80s, were created in a vacuum for the sole purpose of killing Jewish and Western civilians. A fundamental law of nature is that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This can be applied to sociology as well as the natural sciences.

In the case of Islamic terrorism, the actions that led to this reaction and similar ones were years of Israeli occupation, massacres, Zionist terrorism, Western interference in Muslim and Arab countries, and the support that Israel received from West Germany, the UK, the US, and France. Most Muslims were (and still are) opposed to the killing of civilians in the name of Allah. Killing (except in self defense) is forbidden in Islam, and there is no historical precedent for such attacks by Islamic militant groups against Europe and the West since at least 732 AD [21].

Around the same time that Black September was founded, the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in Ramallah by Yasser Arafat (in 1964, to be exact). This organization’s purpose was, obviously, to liberate the Palestinian Territories from Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state. This organization soon incorporated smaller groups that were fighting for liberation from Israel, including Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Marxist-Leninist militant group. [22]

When armed resistance against the IDF proved to be disastrous, the PLO began attacks on civilians [23]. In 1974, Yasser Arafat spoke at the UN to ask for international recognition of Palestine as an occupied but autonomous state. The PLO was designated as the international representative for the Palestinian people that same year [24], which obviously enraged the US and Israel. Israel has been fighting to get Palestinian recognition revoked, while at the same time, they call any state/group that doesn’t recognize them ‘racist’ or ‘anti-Semitic’.

In the 1980s, a few major events occurred that led to more Islamic terrorist groups being founded and also led to increased membership in such groups. One key event was the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel, in which carpet bombing and shelling of southern Lebanon by the IDF led to the deaths of 20,000 people, the vast majority of them civilians. Israel claimed that this was in retaliation for the attempted assassination of Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, by a group called the Abu Nidal Organization, which was based in Lebanon [25]. Of course, no one in the West would have accepted a Palestinian invasion of Israel in response to the hundreds of political assassinations and dozens of massacres of Palestinians that had taken place since 1917, once again illustrating the hypocrisy of the Israeli state.

Once again, the US provided military support for Israel in this war, which punished the people of Lebanon for what a small extremist fringe group had done. During the war, Israel trained, funded and armed a Christian Lebanese militia known as the Southern Lebanon Army, and referred to as the ‘Phalangists’ [26]. They also militarily occupied southern Lebanon for 18 years, which was a flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty and illegal under international law.

Another major event was the Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, which started with a Soviet-backed coup in November 1978 that installed a pro-Soviet dictatorship (or so the Soviets thought). When this government began to resist Soviet demands, the Soviet Union invaded on December 24, 1979 [27]. Islamic terrorist/militant groups all across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Wahhabi imams in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, called this a war on Islam by the secular Soviet Union and used it as a way to gain more supporters. As the old saying goes, war makes for strange bedfellows. The US had a strong interest in intensifying this conflict from the start to destabilize the Soviet Union. Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzeziński, was a major proponent of arming Islamic militant groups in Afghanistan from the start of the war to quicken the demise of the Soviet Union by forcing them into their own Vietnam, so to speak. US ‘advisors’ were sent to Kabul in 1980, and covert funding began around that same time. When Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, the aid increased and became public. Reagan and a young Saudi Wahhabi militant leader named Osama Bin Laden became unlikely allies in their fight against the ‘Great Satan’ or ‘Evil Empire’, the Soviet Union. [28]

In 1983, the CIA and State Department began a controversial program to aid the Islamic militants, or mujihadeen, in their war against the Soviets. The CIA began training and organizing a group referred to as ‘Al Qaeda’, which means ‘The Base’ in Arabic. Osama Bin Laden was chosen to lead this group, and was given diplomatic immunity from terrorism charges if he was to get himself into hot water with international authorities. From 1983 to 1992, the US gave Al Qaeda, one of the most extreme, racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Western Islamic militant groups of the 20th and 21st centuries, 800 billion dollars in aid, weapons, and training by elite CIA operatives [28]. Osama never had any interest in supporting US policy goals in the Islamic world aside from fighting the Soviet Union, but that didn’t stop him and other mujihadeen groups from being glorified in the US as ‘anti-communist freedom fighters’. One US politician, Charlie Wilson, actual to traveled to Afghanistan in the 1980s to fight alongside these groups, one of which would later become the Taliban. He posed for pictures on horseback with militants in what would later be considered a pretty big fuck up after 9/11. [29]

The third, and possibly most critical of the events of the 1980s that led to modern Islamic terrorism, was the Iranian Revolution. Similar to the other events, the West, specifically the US and their Iranian proxy government of Shah Reza Pahlavi, was indirectly responsible for the events that would lead to the rise of fundamentalist Shia clerics and then lead to the revolution. Shah Pahlavi wasn’t exactly a benevolent dictator. His reign of terror in the 50s, 60s and 70s radicalized much of the Iranian population and helped the Shia theocrats gain power. He had been overthrown in 1944 by a coalition of secular, liberal nationalist forces. The new Iranian regime wasn’t seen as a threat to the West at first, but when President Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized the formerly British-US run oil company, Persian Oil, and began a program of land reform, protectionism, and trade with the Soviet Union, US and British officials were horrified. They claimed that Mossadegh was a ‘Soviet controlled puppet’ and, in the name of fighting communism, had to be deposed. In 1953, with the help of the CIA, monarchist forces overthrew Mossadegh and re-installed the vastly unpopular but pro-Western Shah. [30]

After he regained power, the Shah instantly crushed opposition, closed down political parties, abolished any civil liberties, and set up a secret police force with the help of the CIA called ‘SAVAK’, which became notorious for its kidnappings, political assassinations, killing of protestors, and complete intolerance to any sort of dissent [31]. Obviously, these facts were conveniently left out of US media when (and if) Iran was discussed before the 1979 revolution. After the 1970-1973 global economic recession, the Shah became even more unpopular than before, and mass protests and riots began to occur in major Iranian cities. These were brutally put down by SAVAK, with hundreds of casualties, as live ammunition was used on demonstrators. These facts also ‘happened’ to be left out of media coverage in the US so that people would believe the myth that America was ‘spreading democracy and freedom’ around the globe.

By 1974, there was a vast coalition of anti-Shah forces in Iran, ranging from far left secular groups to far right Shia fundamentalists. However, the most organized and largest of these groups were the fundamentalist ones, and in 1978, the Iranian revolution began. In January of 1979, the Shah fled the country, Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran, and two major Islamist parties, the Council of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) were founded. In November, the provisional military government of the exiled Shah was defeated and the Islamic Republic of Iran was declared in place of the Persian Monarchy. [31]

This new government, much to the chagrin of its liberal and leftist allies, banned all political parties besides the IRP, declared Shari’a to be the highest law of the land, and stated that Shia Islam was the official religion. Also, on December 4, 1979, militants associated with the IRP kidnapped some 60+ Americans from the American Embassy in Tehran, and held them hostage until January of 1981 [32]. A major reason why Carter lost in 1980 was because of his failure to end this hostage situation, while Reagan promised to end it immediately, and he did. How he did it, however, is more nefarious than one might think. In return for releasing the hostages, the US was to covertly arm the new Iranian government. The money from these arms sales was then funneled to the terrorist Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua, who were killing civilians purposefully, bombing hospitals, houses and churches, and burning fields and whole villages to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government [33]. Without US armaments, Iran would have never been able to become a major regional player.

Saudi Arabia, another US ally in the Middle East, and its neighboring states, also US allies, were crucial in funding and arming terrorist organizations in the 80s and 90s. Wahhabism, the racist Islamic political ideology that motivates many Islamic terrorist organizations, was and still is the official ideology of the state of Saudi Arabia, and that nation has established many Wahhabi mosques, madrassas, and think tanks that have spread this vile and hateful ideology around the Islamic world [34]. The US knew about this, but remained silent, even though the implications were severe. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt, with the desire to create a unified Islamic state in the ME and North Africa. Their Palestinian branch, Hamas, was established in 1987 during the First Intifada. Hamas has been the Israeli scapegoat ever since, even though they allowed it to flourish and fought it’s enemies (Fatah and the PLO) during it’s early years.[35]

By 1990, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were dissolving, and the end of the ‘Evil Empire’ was imminent. Any nationalistic war-based state needs an enemy to unify the people and to keep nationalist fervor high. In wartime, the government can censor the media, crack down on dissent, and justify spending billions of dollars to prop up it’s military-industrial complex and keep arms dealers happy. Before 9/11, the enemy became Saddam Hussein. Even though the US had provided Saddam with chemical and biological weapons in the 80s, [36] and promised him that there would be no military response if he invaded Kuwait, [37] when he invaded in August of 1990, the US almost immediately declared war on him for his act of aggression. By the time the war ended in March of 1991, Iraqs forces had been decimated, much of Iraqs oil fields had been bombed or burned by US and ‘Coalition’ Forces, and President Bush was being hailed as a ‘war hero’ in US media and his approval ratings had skyrocketed.

Until 2003, Iraq faced some of the harshest sanctions in the modern era. An estimated 1 million people died as a result of these sanctions, while millions more suffered from hunger of near starvation conditions. [38] The US allowed Saddam to stay into power as long as he agreed to sell his oil for below market prices, and almost entirely to the US. Tensions began to increase in 2000, however, when Saddam began selling oil in Euros and began trading with some European countries more than the US. [39] Something far more important for US foreign policy was about to occur, however, so Saddam’s defiance of US demands took a back seat for a few years.

On September 11, 2001, a new enemy was created in the American consciousness. When 3000 people died from the WTC attacks, the American people were mobilized into a state of paranoia and fear. President Bush called the attacks ‘evil’ and said that the US was attacked ‘for it’s freedom’. Of course, the second part was a lie, but no matter. Immediately, Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, which had been funded and basically created by the US, were blamed for the attacks and the US demanded that the Taliban surrender Osama to American authorities. When they refused, the US began major air strikes and later a ground invasion, starting on October 7.

I am not of the opinion that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’, or that Mossad was behind it. I do believe that Al Qaeda terrorists were responsible for that tragic attack. However, the claim that the US government didn’t know there was a risk of a terrorist attack leading up to 9/11 is a compete lie. Through 2001, at least 5 foreign governments sent diplomatic cables to the State Department, warning of an imminent terrorist attack on US soil [39]. In August, President Bush received a daily briefing that was titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US’, which he apparently forgot about or ignored [40]. US airport security was in a terrible state of disrepair, and the FBI and CIA both warned Bush (and, previously, Clinton) about the risk of airplane hijacking because of faulty and inadequate security measures. Islamic terrorism had been a major concern of the State Department and FBI since the American Embassy bombing in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. [41] Apparently, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and W. Bush weren’t very concerned with the rise of anti-American terrorist organizations, and severely underestimated their abilities. Once 9/11 happened, however, ‘fighting terrorism’ became the key foreign policy objective of the Bush Administration.

Though the attack wasn’t an inside job, I believe it was allowed to happen to create a new scapegoat for the American political class to use as a way to curtail civil liberties, crack down on anti-capitalist, leftist, and environmental groups, and to justify the gargantuan military budget which had barely been cut since the end of the Cold War. US media acted as if the attack was simply motivated by Al Qaeda’s hatred of the US and our ‘democracy’, and essentially became a tool of the government to spread propaganda and fear. Fox News and CNN were the biggest cheerleaders for war, and Fox in particular parroted the official US government line.

Right after the ‘War on Terror’ began, the government passed the PATRIOT Act, which essentially suspended habeus corpus, overruled the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th amendments in the Bill of Rights, gave the President illegal authority to do what he felt ‘necessary’, allowed the US to wage war anywhere and anytime against any population that they felt was a ‘threat to national security’, and established an illegal surveillance program under the authority of the NSA. Also, the FBI increased their number of informants from 1,000 to 15,000 in just one year [41], and infiltrated Muslim, Arab, environmental, peace, and anti-capitalist groups to try to arrest people and break these groups up, which is also very illegal. Almost every foiled ‘terror plot’ that has been exposed in the past decade has been created by the FBI to justify the continuation of their illegal activities. [42]

We now turn to the international significance and reaction to 9/11 and the new ‘War on Terror’. Israel’s reaction to 9/11 was, to put it lightly, less than friendly. Despite the fact that they claim to be America’s only ally in the Middle East, five Israelis actually cheered in NYC on 9/11. [43] Benjamin Netanyahu, the current PM of Israel and a KM (Knesset Member, basically a Senator) at the time, said ‘it’s [the 9/11 attack] very good…well, not very good, but it will generate sympathy [for Israel].’ [44] Not only is that treasonous, vile, and shows no sympathy for the people who died on that day, but it shows that Netanyahu only cared about how his nation would benefit from the event.

This, and other similar statements made by Israelis (including government officials), were never quoted in US mainstream media. On the other hand, Arab and Muslim leaders strongly condemned the attacks, called for ‘an end to terrorism’, and hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Arabs attended ceremonies dedicated to remembering the victims and condemning terrorism [45]. These facts were also ignored and unreported by US media, because they did not fit with the mentality that ‘Israel is good and Muslims/Arabs are bad’.

Israel used 9/11 to it’s advantage, despite it’s callous and selfish statements about the attacks of that day. The Israeli government compared Al Qaeda to Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO and any other Palestinian resistance groups, even peaceful protestors, saying that these groups all desire the destruction of Israel and another Holocaust. While Hamas and Hezbollah are certainly dangerous and anti-Semitic Islamic terrorist groups, they are willing to recognize Israel if it withdraws militarily from the occupied territories [46]. It is certainly true that they wish to unify Palestine and establish and Islamic state, but even Hamas is willing to accept a two state solution, which Israel is not willing to accept. The PLO and Fatah, for their part, gave up terrorism and even armed resistance after the Oslo Accords of 1993, while Israel violated their half of the agreement almost instantly [47].

Facts don’t matter to governments, however, so right after 9/11, the American people were told that Islamic terrorism was the enemy of both Israel and the US. No context was given for why Palestinians had to resort to terrorism and rocket fire, no history was provided. US media just reported on Hamas rockets with no explanation to why these rockets were being fired, no mention of Israeli aggression, and no mention of the causes of Islamic terrorism or the reasons why Muslims and Arabs could be angry at Israel and the US.

Bush and Tony Blair, the PM of the UK at the time, began to discuss strategies for dealing with Saddam. It was obvious that to completely secure all oil in the Middle East for Western interests, he would have to be taken out. Also, many people within elite circles in the US and UK began to think that if they established bourgeois democracy in Iraq, other nations would fall to bourgeois democracy as well, in a resort to the flawed ‘Domino Theory’ used during the Cold War. [48]

Public support for a war against Iraq was developed through one of the most comprehensive and absurd displays of propaganda in the 21st century. Bush began to talk about how Iraq was ‘secretly’ building nuclear weapons with uranium bought from Niger. When this was debunked, Colin Powell was sent to the UN with fake photographs that supposedly ‘proved’ that Saddam was creating chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons. US media channels and newspapers began to pump out fake stories about how an Iraqi defector ‘revealed’ Saddam’s nuclear weapons program and his ‘determination’ to nuke either Israel or the US. [49]

When these theories began to lose credibility, Bush turned to the most reliable way of gaining support for his illegal war. He said that Saddam was a mass murderer who had the bloodiest and most fascist dictatorship in the Middle East, and that he had strong connections to Osama Bin Laden, America’s favorite villain. Was he partially correct? Yes, but once again, the historical context of his accusations was left out of the discussion. Saddam Hussein did kill around 10,000 Kurds with chemical weapons and 50,000 other political/Shia enemies, but this was during the 1980s when the US called Iraq an ally. The weapons he used had been supplied by the US, and Reagan’s State Department wasn’t so naive that they thought he wasn’t going to use them illegally [50]. Also, the CIA orchestrated the coup that brought Saddam to power in 1963, even though the US knew full well that the Baathist Party was a fascist organization. [51]

This appeal to ‘humanitarian intervention’, which had been used since the Korean War by the US government to justify illegal wars, was the one that convinced most Americans that war was necessary. Never mind the fact that at the same time, hundreds of thousands of people were dying in Darfur as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing, Israel was bombing Gaza and killing Palestinian children, North Korea was sending people to concentration camps, and Myanmar was enslaving minority groups to build roads and other infrastructure while also killing political opponents and Muslims. None of these humanitarian crises warranted any media attention in the lead up to the Iraq War, because the US didn’t see any strategic benefits from ‘liberating’ these nations. So it goes.

After rigorous inspections, the UN concludes its investigation of Iraq in late 2002. Their final verdict? Iraq had no chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons, and no capability to build any. [52] Bush essentially said ‘tough shit’, and said that he was going to go ahead with an invasion anyways. On February 15, 2003, around 15 million people marched against the impending Iraq War across the globe [53]. This was the largest amount of people to demonstrate in one day in history. Of course, this didn’t change Bush’s mind, but it definitely showed that not everyone was supportive of the impending war. In March, the US began an aerial bombing campaign in Iraq, mostly targeting crowded, civilian areas of major cities. This was termed ‘Shock and Awe’ by the government and their propagandists on TV, and the bombing was broadcast live on American television, as if this war was just entertainment for Americans to sit back and enjoy. On March 23, a joint US-UK force arrived in Basra, beginning the main offensive and starting one of the most brutal and devastating wars of the 21st century.

Saddam Hussein’s army was defeated in just 6 weeks, the quickest military victory in US history. [54] Obviously, their government was such a threat to the US, it’s just that they couldn’t resist the American liberators and so they surrendered quickly because they were consumed with a sudden love for America, liberty, capitalism and baseball. In all seriousness, Saddam’s army had never recovered from the Gulf War, and the devastating effects of a decade of sanctions had left the soldiers underfed, underpaid, and ill-equipped. On May 1, Bush donned a fighter pilots uniform (though he had never fought in Vietnam as a fighter pilot because his dad got him a deferment), stood proudly on an aircraft carrier, and proclaimed ‘mission accomplished’. Those words proved to be incredibly false.

Bush promised that US troops were going to leave by June 30, 2004, at the very latest. [55] Like most things he said, this was a blatant lie. Almost immediately after Saddam’s government toppled, resistance to US occupation began. Some of the people fighting were Baathists, but most of them were just angry citizens who wanted to fight against the brutal occupation of their native land by a foreign country. These militants were instantly declared to be ‘terrorists’, with no evidence that they were linked to any terrorist networks at all. In the power vacuum left by the US, extremist forces quickly prospered and gained popular support. Iran took advantage of this power void and began arming and training Shia militias in the South to fight against the US-UK imperialist forces [56]. Even people who had no interest in politics or in Islamic fundamentalism became inspired to take up arms and defend their communities from the unholy imperialist alliance that was bombing them, kidnapping people, shooting civilians and burning farmlands. When June 30, 2004 came and went without US troops leaving, the resistance became even more fierce.

In 2005, the US finally allowed Iraq to have democratic elections. Though they were fair, they did very little to change the balance of power in the nation to the common people, and most candidates were pro-West and reactionary. [57]

The new US backed and US designed government of Iraq decided to make the genius decision to split the country’s new Parliament up based on sectarian divisions. Under Saddam, all people were considered Iraqi, and though he obviously favored Sunnis, there was very little importance put on sectarian divisions. The US, in all of it’s infinite wisdom, decided that dividing the country into sectarian regions was the best way to achieve ‘democracy and stability’. In fact, this proved to be disastrous. From the start, the US obviously favored the Kurds and gave them special rights and privileges. They drew a new electoral map for Iraq that gave Kurds and Shiites a majority of seats in government, marginalizing the Sunni population. In 2006, Sunni and Shia militants began bombing campaigns against the US and each other, which marked the beginning of the modern civil war in Iraq [58].

Since 2006, the ‘War on Terror’ has spread to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Syria. America now runs an illegal prison in Guantanamo, in which hundreds of Muslims are held illegally and with no charges. Inmates are routinely tortured, beaten, and denied lawyers. Obama has the authority to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, even American citizens. Police have become essentially tools of the military, and protesting has become virtually impossible without serious precautions. In the name of the ‘War on Terror’, the US oligarchy now has free reign to violate civil liberties with no regard to the law, wage illegal wars across the globe with an unknown and poorly defined enemy, and arrest or kill people suspected of terrorism, anywhere, for any reason. Counterculture groups can be easily infiltrated, spied on, and sabotaged or broken apart by infiltrators. Most mosques and Islamic communities are now heavily spied on and often caught in entrapment schemes. Anyone accused of being a ‘terrorist’ has no rights and can be deported, tortured, or detained (often all three) with no evidence, trial, or defense attorney.

In conclusion, this ‘War on Terror’ is a war against Islam, Arabs, leftists, and anyone who fights against neoliberal capitalism as it expands its control of civilian lives and societies across the planet. Anyone who resists this new regime can be killed or arrested for no reason at all. This is not a war on terror. This is a war of terror that only increases anger at the West, especially Israel and the US, and most of the ‘enemies’ have either been created by the US, funded by US ‘allies’ like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, or led to terrorism in response to Israeli and Zionist aggression. Terrorism can never be abolished by war. War only increases terrorism and gives fundamentalist Muslims/nationalists/other groups more ammunition in their propaganda war and helps to strengthen their causes. Terrorism can only be solved through dialogue, conflict resolution techniques, and compromise.





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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. There is no “war on terror”…it’s just an empty buzz phrase that’s wearing thin. People see through the chicken hawk scum bags who are running the show..complete and total liars. I am disgusted with both parties that are still continuing along with this charade like WE don’t know it’s a facade. They arm them, they fund them, they set them loose…and then point and say LOOK!! terror!! boogeymen!! This is a war on the American people, a ruse to rob them of their liberties and wealth, nothing more, nothing less. Treason.

    (Interesting read..while I’m not from the Left..I pick up facts wherever I can find them)


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History, Imperialism, Middle East, Militarism, News and Analysis, US/Canada


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