"No government of the left has done as much for the poor as capitalism has. Even when it comes to the redistribution of income, the left talks the talk but the free market walks the walk. What do the poor most need? They need to stop being poor. And how can that be done, on a mass scale, except by an economy that creates vastly more wealth? Yet the political left has long had a remarkable lack of interest in how wealth is created. As far as they are concerned, wealth exists somehow and the only interesting question is how to redistribute it." ~ Thomas Sowell
The "Why?" of 9/11
Exclusive to STR
September 8, 2006
It's the key to the whole tragedy, and five years later it's even more tragic that so few are even asking that question, let alone suggesting an answer. It's one of the five that journalists are trained to ask about every story they cover (What, When, Where, Who and Why), and while the other four were answered professionally within hours of the first WTC impact, this one was never mentioned on any major broadcast channel the whole day. And hardly ever, since.
As you probably did, I asked it no later than noon that same day. By the end of the same week, some tentative answers were up on a short web site, which later formed the "quick overview" in my 9/11 "Trilogy", developed over the months following. Few adjustments were needed, over that time; once the question is posed, the answer isn't hard for anyone to figure out, who understands a bit about the nature of government. The net is that 9/11 was not an unprovoked attack, but a retaliation.
It's particularly sad that many in the broader freedom movement have been sidetracked from asking "Why?" by the intriguing possibility that in order to "justify" a major extension of its power and empire, the Bush government orchestrated the whole attack from soup to nuts--flying the aircraft into the Towers by remote control and making sure they collapsed by placing explosives on every floor, to be set off after a worldwide TV audience had gathered to watch. This is the kind of conspiracy theory offered in the video "Loose Change", which has apparently been seen by 30 million people. Google that title to read the frenzy of claim, counter-claim, criticism and scorn that has been heaped upon it by such as "Screw Loose Change," in which title I piously hope that the first word is a noun and not a verb.
The video's technique is to question scores of details in the "official" account of what happened on 9/11 - and to be fair, it's quite well made, especially for a budget of only $6,000 (perhaps the sum of money referenced in the title). However, most of those I found no difficulty answering at first viewing, and the others yielded fairly easily to later probing. For example, there is the video's claim that the Towers were in "free fall," undelayed by resistance from the floors being successively pancaked because explosives detonated just as the upper floors fell on to each below. A neat debunking of that myth was the observation by one critic that in very plain sight, the larger bits of debris from the higher floors were falling outside the still-stationery middle and lower ones. Those were clearly falling free; therefore, the structure itself was not.
No such questions remain, to my perception, without reasonable answers. The main weakness of the work, though, is that it fails to present a credible alternative to that account which might be subjected to a comparable scrutiny; if there really was a conspiracy then how, for example, could scores or hundreds of government hacks who carried out the plan still be 100% silent, five years later, given the well-known principle that three people can keep a secret only if two of them are dead.
Two things such conspiracists have gotten right, and for those they deserve credit: (a) it is indeed possible that government would do such a wicked thing, if it could; it really is that evil. If 30 million video viewers connect the dots and reach that opinion, then the cause of freedom will have been advanced a useful notch, absurd though this particular theory proves to be. Then (b) the government has most certainly taken full advantage of the 9/11 attacks by savagely reducing the freedoms of Americans; as one reporter (Wolf Blitzer of CNN?) remarked before the dust over Manhattan had cleared, "This changes everything." Indeed it has. But the obvious fact that the Feds have welcomed 9/11 as a golden opportunity to greatly increase their own power at our expense, waging an admittedly "endless war" so as to keep the population subdued, afraid and dependent, does not mean that they were smart enough to execute the attacks in fine detail. It just means they were expecting some attack, some time in the then near future, and had the Patriot Act all ready to be voted up when the opportunity arose.
So much for the sidetrack; back now to our subject question: Why? Why did 19 men commit mass-murder/suicide so as to express profound hatred of America? What had some American done, to generate such intense loathing?
As my "Quick Overview" suggested, the answer is easy: for at least 60 years, successive US governments have systematically enraged the Muslim world by their unrelenting support for the State of Israel . So naturally, the most heavily indoctrinated members of that religious community feel the outrage and are willing to sacrifice their lives to avenge and if possible end it. Their indoctrinators accumulate prestige and political power each time damage is inflicted on us, so the attacks will no doubt continue until that support does end; and they have alas done a good job of preparing a new generation of young boys to provide fodder for the cannon--or airliner, or train, or whatever other target their fevered brains may fix upon. Until the Feds yield and admit their gross errors so as to remove the motivation, the cause, the attacks will continue indefinitely and I don't see any defense against them, consistent even with our present residual degree of freedom to travel. A bunch of 14th-Century religious zealots living in caves has history's greatest superpower over a barrel.
By "yield and admit their gross errors," I do not mean, of course, simply that US foreign policy should be modified away from its pro-Israeli stance. If for example it had been reversed to feature an anti-Israeli stance, we'd have been shuffled from the frying pan into the fire, for I've no doubt that Mossad would have carried out a "9/11" far sooner than the cavemen of Al-Q'eda. I mean that US foreign policy should be abandoned altogether, for whatever policy might be chosen to replace it, some nation would be favored at the expense of other nations, and those other nations would be reasonably aggrieved. It is impossible to have any foreign policy and not to cause that result. Therefore, there needs to be no FedGov "foreign policy" whatever (just 300 million individual ones), and until that change is implemented, the skies will remain unfriendly and freedom will be crushed yet harder. Now, if someone wants to make the case that a government can exist without a foreign policy, I'll gladly read it; but I don't think it can. The creation or continuation of a government implies the creation or continuation of a policy towards other governments. It would be like handing Bourbon to a drunk and expecting him not to drink it.
For similar reasons, I see no merit in simply withdrawing from Iraq . That is no solution at all--on the contrary, if the only US action were to bring the troops home, every anti-US Muslim faction would be whooping it up as a total triumph, ready to press its hostility home so as yet further to humble the Great Satan. Only if coupled with an unconditional apology by the FedGov for dissing Muslims during at least the last six decades, together as above with a total abandonment of all foreign policy, would a withdrawal suffice. And if anyone thinks the FedGov is about to make such an apology then again, let him state his case; but allow me to doubt it meanwhile.
Those two requirements for ending hostilities with the cave-men appear to me politically impossible. No government will take them. Therefore, government has to go: the realities of 9/11 and what caused it call directly and unambiguously for the termination of government. The case for market anarchism has been usefully enhanced.